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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 01-01-02
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 CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 1/01 -- 2.1.01
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Turkey's Ecevit on Cyprus; Ties With EU, U.S.Turkish daily Hurriyet (Internet Version,31/12/00) publishes the text of an interview with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Sedat Ergin under the title "'Even Shakespeare Understood Importance of Cyprus Better'".
Noting that some columnists are taking a posture of "cut and run" on Cyprus, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said: "Even Shakespeare referred to the importance of Cyprus in 'Othello.' Some people are not aware of that importance even today."
Underscoring the importance of the pseudostate for Turkey's security, Ecevit said: "Even if Turkish Cypriots agree--and they would not--to the transfer of the TRNC to someone else, we would not consent to it."
The rest of the interview goes as follows:
"[Ergin] The TRNC decided to withdraw from the proximity talks when the UN Secretary General changed the parameters of the solution and took away the earlier gains of the Turkish side. Would the talks resume if these parameters are changed again in accordance with the wishes of the Turkish side?
[Ecevit] Negotiations and dialog are always useful processes. Naturally we cannot know at this time what conditions will be imposed at the stage to which you referred. However we can these matters with Denktas and the TRNC parliament. First, the existence of two states in Cyprus must definitely be recognized. Second, let us say that some hurdles are overcome, a satisfactory point is reached, and the two sides meet again in talks with or without any mediators. However I do not understand the purpose of taking the two leaders thousands of kilometers away from Cyprus. A president or a head of state must be at the helm of their states. Not just Denktas, but [Cyprus President Glafkos] Clerides are virtually imprisoned for weeks and months thousands of kilometers away from their countries. That is cruel. Consequently, if a dialog will resume, it should resume in Cyprus for these practical reasons. I have never understood this situation.
[Ergin] What was the impact on relevant circles of the decision of the Turkish side to withdraw from the talks?
[Ecevit] First I want a new approach in our domestic public opinion to emerge. There are circles that have been saying: `Let us just make some concessions and it will be over./ I think that this attitude stems from a inadequate understanding of the Cyprus problem.
The TRNC is as important for Turkey's security as Turkey is for the TRNC's security. Turkey has a peninsula the protrudes like a knife toward Turkey. The TRNC now controls that portion of Cyprus. Even if Turkish Cypriots agree--and they would not--to the transfer of the TRNC to someone else we would not consent to it. More than anyone else influential circles and opinion makers at home must realize that Cyprus is not a problem on its own and that it is also a matter of security for Turkey.
[Ergin] In the past there was a national stand on Cyprus on which there was broad public consensus in Turkey. Do you think this consensus broke down recently?
[Ecevit] Unfortunately it broke down.
[Ergin] What was the reason for that?
[Ecevit] Foreign influences began to weigh in very heavily. Also some individuals and circles are running out of patience. Diplomacy is a game of patience. Some problems can be brought to a positive conclusion by leaving them in abeyance for a long time. However there are circles in Turkey who have been saying: /Let us not pursue it any further. We have such a nice dialog between Turkey and Greece. There are concerts, dances, and so forth. Things should begin to get resolved in Cyprus also.` However this is an extremely important matter. I always say this: In the 16th century Shakespeare wrote about the importance of Cyprus for the Turks in his play 'Othello.' An English bard who lived in a small town called Stratford could perceive the importance of Cyprus for Turkey at that time, but certain knowledgeable circles in Turkey are not aware of that importance even today. This is what I do not understand. Also recall what Ataturk said in the 1930s. I believe that during a military maneuver in Antalya he said something to the effect that Cyprus must not be allowed to pass into enemy hands.
Now the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline has increased the importance of northern Cyprus even more, because the importance of eastern Mediterranean has increased for our security. If we take a passive approach and Cyprus becomes effectively dominated by Greeks and Greek Cypriots, Greece would encircled us not only from the west but also from the south. Russia has also established itself in South Cyprus. Turkey must be very careful.''
 Denktash interviewed on Cyprus problemTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (Internet Version, 28/12/00) publishes the text of an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash by Basaran Duzgun. Following are extensive excerpts from the interview:
``[Duzgun] We returned at the end of this year to the place where we had started. The indirect talks had started at the beginning of the year. You declared at the end of this year that the indirect talks have come to an end...
[Denktas] I think that the year 2000 has been a good for the Cyprus issue. We were always aware of the fact that the Cyprus issue cannot be solved before the principle of equality is accepted and before the Greek Cypriots are told that they are not and cannot be the government of the whole of Cyprus.
However, we took part in the talks in the hope that the realities would be seen when we strongly defend our rights. We also hoped that everyone will see that the road that the Greek Cypriots want us to follow is wrong and that we would somehow find support for embarking on the correct road.
When we took part in the talks that were held under UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's special Cyprus representative Alvaro de Soto, we initially found out that de Soto is a good listener, an impartial individual, and an excellent diplomat.
After advancing in the talks, we discovered that this excellent diplomat does not have the intention to do anything other than the things he is authorized to do by those who have assigned him to this post. We were expecting him to tell the following to those who have assigned him to this post: `The powers that you granted to me in my assignment document do not encompass the realities. Consequently, I cannot carry out my duties. One of the two communities on the island is claiming that it is the government of the other community. The whole world is supporting this claim. The other community, for its part, is stressing that it does not and will not accept this situation.
The powers that have been granted to me envisage the reconciling of the two communities that are engaged in disputes against each other. However, these powers do not match the realities and laws and they contradict the agreements reached regarding the Cyprus problem. All this is tantamount to forcing the Turkish Cypriots to support the Greek Cypriot sector, which wants to take possession of the whole island and which is arming itself up for this purpose. Had it not for the arrival of the Turkish forces, the Greek Cypriots would have annihilated the Turkish Cypriots living on the island. Therefore, this is not the way to solve the Cyprus problem.´
Meanwhile, we frequently reminded de Soto that he must declare the aforementioned realities. However, we later realized that no matter how hard we complain, they are working in accordance with a plan containing decisions made in advance and that they are trying to contain the Turkish Cypriots within this plan. This plan has been prepared in accordance with the principle of the existence of the Republic of Cyprus. That is, conditions were introduced in the talks that were being held unconditionally.
Fortunately, we realized at an early stage the path that they wanted us to follow. Thus, we reached a stage where we were ready to say that we cannot continue moving along this path anymore. I am happy that we discovered this reality. Let our foes and those who are supporting them think of what to do next. We will never move along this path anymore. Let them bring forward formulas that are in conformity with the realities, and we will talk with them.
[Duzgun] A number of people have criticized the decision that you have made with Turkey and which won the approval of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] parliament regarding the withdrawal from the indirect talks. The deadline set with respect to the solution of the Cyprus problem is approaching. If we evade the talks now, we will be helping the Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Clerides to achieve his goals. What is your comment regarding the matter?
[Denktas] We already realized that we would have proceeded along Clerides/ path had we failed to withdraw from the talks. It has been claimed that the Greek Cypriot sector will enter the EU faster if we evade the talks. This may be true. Therefore, what is the solution?
The solution is to tell the Geek Cypriots to go ahead and enter the EU alone, but we are not going with them. I am consolidating my separate state here. I will announce my conditions for entering the EU when the EU starts separate negotiations with me. This is my state and sovereignty. Turkey's rights over Cyprus cannot be traded with EU membership.
We will talk with them if they find solutions to these problems. We may talk with the Greek Cypriots in the future regarding EU membership on condition that this membership is based on the principle of two separate states on the island. Our condition is that Turkey must become an EU member as well, because the existence of the partnership state that we will be establishing under the name of the Republic of Cyprus is linked to this condition. That is, the existence of this state on the island is linked to the balance between turkey and Greece.
The aim behind the quick and unilateral entry of the Greek Cypriot sector to the EU is to disrupt the balance between Turkey and Greece and to eliminate the guarantee on which we rely. The only solution to this problem is to find a formula on the basis of which we will sit at the table with the Greek Cypriots.
However, the Greek Cypriots should not entice us into accepting their terms by warning us that we may miss the train, because this is a Greek Cypriot train and not the train of the whole of the island. Moreover, you can find only Greece on this train, because Greece wants to achieve through the EU the things that it has failed to achieve with the force of weapons in the past 100 years.
[Duzgun] In your opinion, will Turkey become an EU member?
[Denktas] They drew up a 10-15 year program for Turkey and told it that it can become an EU member only within that period of time. Who knows what will happen to the EU after 15 years? Who knows how many membership classes will exist in the EU or the manner in which these membership classes will operate? Moreover, what kind of a membership will be assigned to Turkey, if such membership is ever granted to Turkey?
All these issues must be discussed in advance. However, what I am certain of is the fact that we will not enter the EU before Turkey becomes an EU member. If Cyprus becomes an EU member without Turkey, then the 100,000 strong Turkish community will be destroyed after being scattered throughout the EU countries.
We the Turkish Cypriot people have been living in Cyprus for the past 400 years. We have rights that have been passed on to us from the Ottoman era. These rights have remained as community rights during the British rule. We were equal under the prevailing laws, but we had community rights. We reserved these rights under the 1960 agreement. We can live only as individuals if we abandon these rights. We would thereafter melt away exactly like a candle.
These are very sensitive issues. A seminar was held at YDU [Near East University] regarding this issue last week. The things that the professors said there were very clear. We will vanish if we enter the EU without Turkey. We will have no one to support us there.
If the Greek Cypriot sector enter the EU unilaterally, then all we have to do is to consolidate our separate state and integrate with Turkey. However, let me reiterate that integration with Turkey is not Enosis [unity]. Integration with Turkey means full cooperation with Turkey. We would thereafter enter the EU together with Turkey under our own conditions after holding negotiations with the EU. Meanwhile, we must conduct studies to see whether or not the Geek Cypriots will come to north Cyprus after we attain EU membership by claiming that this is their right under EU norms. We must also study the developments and wait to see the kind of agreements that will be reached.
[Duzgun] Will not the EU get involved in the Cyprus problem when the Greek Cypriot sector enters the EU?
[Denktas] The EU is already involved in the Cyprus problem...
[Duzgun] Will not this situation become an obstacle before Turkey's EU membership?
[Denktas] Naturally, it will. As a matter of fact, the aim behind involving the EU in the Cyprus problem is to create obstacles before Turkey. Greece can use its veto against Turkey's EU membership. The Greek Cypriot sector will also use its veto in this respect when it becomes an EU member. However, will the use of veto against Turkey's EU membership serve their interests? Given that the Greek Cypriots aim at getting possession of the whole country, will they seek to prevent Turkey from entering the EU or will they support Turkey's membership? In this way, the Greek Cypriots will plan to have us accepted as an EU member in order to come to north Cyprus in accordance with the EU norms.
There is only one way of preventing the Greek Cypriots from coming to north Cyprus in accordance with EU norms. If they really want us to enter the EU and to sign an agreement with us under equal conditions--that is, if they will recognize the existence of our state--then we will immediately begin the process of the exchange of property with them. We would begin this process before the EU doors are opened.
After concluding the exchange of property process, the Greek Cypriots will not be able to come to north Cyprus under the pretext of visiting their property in north Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots are playing this game disguised under the human rights lies.
Therefore, let me reiterate the formula for solving this problem: We must first reach an agreement on the exchange of property, after which we can talk about the entry into the EU. This is a must.
[Duzgun] The talks came to an end in this way or the other and you announced several times the reasons behind your decision to withdraw...
[Denktas] This stage of the talks came to an end. That is, the indirect talks came to an end...
[Duzgun] That is exactly what I was talking about. What will happen next?
[Denktas] They will come and go. As a matter of fact, they have been coming and going back in the past as well...
[Duzgun] Will face-to-face talks be planned?
[Denktas] No matter what kind of a program they draw up, it will not work, because my hands are tied when I sit at the negotiation table. The man who sits before me at the negotiation table pretends to be talking with me on equal terms. However, no sooner he goes out of the door than he plays down my importance and returns to the negotiation table once again.
This game has been played many times before and we are now aware of the aim behind these games. The time has come for the whole world to see and recognize the fact that there are two separate cultures, two separate communities, two separate democracies, and two separate states on the island.
[Duzgun] The United Nations took a number of steps in this direction. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has made a statement in this regard on 12 September. US officials also made a number of statements on various occasions in this respect. Are you not satisfied with these steps?
[Denktas] These are half steps. Moreover, these steps are watered down whenever the Greek Cypriots react to these steps and exert pressure on the EU and the UN Secretary General. The EU and US officials must refrain from watering down these steps. They must not be affected by the reaction of the Greek Cypriots. (passage omitted).
[Duzgun] What are your expectations with respect to the Cyprus issue in 2001?
[Denktas] Our struggle will continue. The Greek Cypriots are trying to deceive the whole world, to show Turkey as the guilty party, and to show us as the intransigent party. We, for our part, will continue to defend ourselves. We have no option other than continuing our resistance.
[Duzgun] Will they practically force you to hold face-to-face talks?
[Denktas] They cannot force me to do anything. I am relying on my people and I am aware of my cause. There cannot be any talks before they accept certain criteria. The principle of equality must be applied fully. Equality that remains on paper alone is not equality. They must accept and treat us as their equal. (passage omitted)
[Duzgun] I understand that you are not pleased with the government.
[Denktas] I am not pleased with the system and not the government. The Law on Political Parties must be revised. Democracy must be maintained within the political parties. An end must be put to the process whereby politics are performed in the state only during elections. We have numerous organizations. All these organizations draw up plans only when disaster strikes. Organizations then issue circulars and lodge complaints.
Well then, should we wait until disaster strikes before moving into action? Certain individuals have earlier made suggestions on solving the existing problems. I have not seen anyone who studied these proposals in a scientific manner. That is, no one assigned duties to each sector or asked university graduates to carry out any studies regarding the existing problems.
These scholars must carry out studies, draw up plans, and submit reports. Plans on new projects must be submitted to Turkey, which will certainly help us. We cannot achieve anything if we fail to do all these.
Meanwhile, they accuse me of criticizing the government whenever I explain all these things. This is how the government reacts to my suggestions. What will happen when I fail to speak after seeing all these mistakes? Should I merely sit and watch these things during my five years in the office? What will happen then? We will lose the country if we do not act now. There is little time and too much work to do.
[Duzgun] Mr. President, are you expecting any changes in the government after the year is over?
[Denktas] I expected that changes will occur in the government immediately after the elections. This was a must after the elections. They misunderstood me. Every time I say the government must change, they say that I am seeking these changes because I want to see my son become Prime Minister. My son Serdar Denktas gave the answer to these allegations personally. I thanked Serdar Denktas for his move [his resignation from the leadership of Democratic Party, DP]. Serdar Denktas gave everyone a lesson on democracy and showed that he is a mature individual.
Despite claiming that it is harmonious government, harmony is absent in this government. This government is also not united with respect to the national cause. The government partners failed to make the same decision regarding the national cause.
The government partners must contemplate over their actions. If there is real democracy within the government, then the government partners must first contemplate over their actions and thereafter they must think about the welfare of the country. However, I do not think that the government partners will do all these. (passage omitted).
At the end of the interview Denktash said that a certain newspaper has reported about a man who is selling in Europe plots of land on the Cyprus shores. ``An inquiry conducted about the matter shows that the man does not have any official documents for selling these plots of land. However, the man has embarked on selling these plots of land by using the name of the government and the state. The same newspaper has called on the pertinent authorities to make a statement regarding the matter. However, no one has made any statement regarding the matter yet.
The matter must be investigated and the newspaper must be provided with an explanation. These issues can destroy the confidence of the people in the government. What can the people do if they have lost their confidence in the state and the government at a time when the economy is destroyed? I feel sad when I think about all these problems,'' he said.
 Denktash Issues New Year MessageIllegal Bayrak Radio 1 (1130 hours, 31/12/00) carries the new year message issued by Rauf Denktash.
On the issue of the Cyprus talks, Denktash says: "We pinned our hopes on the talks." Explaining that he had hopes that the Cyprus issue would be solved once the ``realities'' were explained, Denktash adds that the fifth round of the talks revealed the true nature of the talks. Recounting that he would like to review where the talks were leading to, Denktas adds:
"The place we were being taken to was a place, where our status was ambiguous and where Turkey's guarantee was diluted." Explaining that the goal of the talks was to have an agreement in line with the EU, Denktash adds that once the EU norms were secured, all the Greek Cypriot refugees will return to their former places. Denktash recounts that it would have been impossible to "embark on such an adventure on your behalf."
Noting that there people are curious as to whether the talks are suspended, Denktash says: "The most important thing is to protect the state regardless of whether the talks will continue and regardless of whether the results we seek will be obtained. The most important thing is to appreciate this state and insist that the agreement be based on the principle of this state. This state is all we have and we cannot find anything better. For this reason, we have to realize that the state is the main principle in terms of security, prosperity, and freedom. It is the duty of everybody to insist to this end. "
 Akinci Assesses 2000, Cites Goals for Coming Year Illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (1130 30/12/00) reports that Mustafa Akinci, ``stateminister and deputy prime minister'', has declared that a period calling for great sacrifices is awaiting the Turkish Cypriots. He said that 2001 will be a year of difficulties as well as of one with a door to the future as long as we fulfill the necessary things.
Referring to the developments in 2000 regarding the Cyprus problem, Akinci explained that the positive atmosphere created by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's statement of 12 September, which was welcomed by the Turkish Cypriot side but triggered harsh reaction in the Greek Cypriot side, ended with his statement on 8 November. ``Therefore, no distance was covered in the Cyprus issue," he said. Akinci stressed that "because of the island's position, the Cyprus issue is directly affected by world developments, and especially by Turkish-Greek and Turkish-EU relations, therefore no progress can be registered in the Cyprus issue unless these relations improve.'' Akinci stated that "the Turkish-Greek balance in the island play a key role in the solution of the Cyprus question, underlining therefore that the world's treatment of one of the sides in Cyprus as the state and the other as minority obstructs the way to a solution."
Akinci declared: "Whatever its name, the eventual solution will constitute a dual structure. Cyprus will occupy its place in the EU and in the United Nations within the framework of two states inside, and a single international identity outside." "He stressed that a solution along these lines will carry Cyprus to the EU, and EU accession can be realized by protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people."
Commenting on international developments that had some bearing on Cyprus, Akinci said that the section on Cyprus in the Turkish-EU Accession Partnership Document caused great difficulties. He explained the steps to be taken by Turkey on the road to EU accession, and added "that a kind of Turkey that has enhanced its democratization and economic development efforts will contribute more to the economy and democracy of the TRNC." Akinci also noted that "the process of good relations between Turkey and Greece" initiated by the current Turkish and Greek foreign ministers has begun yielding positive results, and this, in turn, will contribute to the solution of the Aegean and Cyprus problems.
Akinci explained that a goal for 2001 should be not to let the Turkish Cypriots lose their hope in solving the Cyprus problem in a just manner. ``The Cyprus problem, which lies at the basis of many problems in the country, can only be resolved within the framework of a formula incorporating the Turkish Cypriot people's equality, sovereignty, and security on the island, as well as Turkey's effective guarantee,'' he said.
Akinci declared: "The solution of the Cyprus problem is tantamount to a stronger economy and a healthier democracy. I say: A definite solution in Cyprus, economy, democracy, solution, and the EU after a solution. I believe that this must be turned into a communal strategic goal series."
Akinci warned that if these goals are not realized, ``another year will be wasted and this will accelerate the Greek Cypriot administration's EU accession process under the title of the only government of Cyprus. This will create extremely great dangers for the Turkish Cypriot people'', he said.
According to KIBRIS (30/12/00) Akinci replying to the question, ``what will happen in case the Greek Cypriots enter the EU alone?'', said: ``With the accession of Greek Cypriots into EU, more of our people will emigrate. The Turkish Cypriots will be European citizens as individuals but without acquiring their communal rights. Only 60% of Cyprus will enter EU, but as regards the international law, it will be counted as the whole. Passports will be given to the Turkish Cypriots as well. The Green Line will be the borders between Turkey and the EU''.
 Eroglu Notes Need for Economic Integration With TurkeyÉllegal Bayrak Radio 1 (1130 hours, 29/12/00) reports that so called prime minister Dervis Eroglu has stated that a loan agreement of $350 million will be signed between the ``TRNC'' and Turkey at a ceremony he will also be attending in the aftermath of the partnership committee meetings to be held on 10-12 January in Ankara. Noting that the year 2000 was full of economic difficulties for the Turkish Cypriots, Eroglu added that, however, these difficulties will be surmounted through the actions the ``government'' will take in the new year and through the support of the motherland. He said that an agreement is needed for the Cyprus problem but that this agreement should be based ``on the reality of the TRNC'' and should not open the door to the pre-1974 period. In a statement he made to illegal BRT Eroglu assessed the domestic and foreign developments of 2000.
Eroglu said that the banking crisis, which put its stamp on 2000, was mainly the result of bad management and the funneling of monies out of the banks. Pointing out that political pressure also played a role in the liquidation of banks, Eroglu continued: ``Now those who question why the banks were not kept afloat are trying to make the public forget how the first proposal we made to the depositors was rejected. If payments are made to the depositors each month, then how do we expect that bank to keep afloat?''
Pointing out that it is natural for the economic difficulties in Turkey to affect the ``TRNC'' as well, Eroglu continued: ``One should bear in mind that the motherland is making extremely important economic contributions to the TRNC and it is supplying the financing of our infrastructure investments. Our economic development depends on an economic integration with the motherland. Let no one try to assess certain negative events and to, thus, misinterpret the developments. Let no one speak against our motherland. It is impossible for us to accept such an attitude.''
Assessing the developments regarding the Cyprus issue, Eroglu claimed that no results were achieved from the proximity talks, which were held in a bid to establish the foundation of direct talks, because the Greek Cypriot side and the United Nations failed to see the ``realities''. Eroglu said that a framework agreement that will grant the Turkish Cypriots a minority status, that will eliminate the effective guarantees of Turkey, and that will reduce many Turkish Cypriots to the status of refugees cannot be accepted. He asked that the latest decision of the so-called assembly be well assessed and added. ``We are not saying that we shall never hold talks. We are not saying that we closed the doors on negotiations. We are ready to conduct talks on an improved foundation and in the light of realistic assessments. The current situation, the framework the UN secretary general presented on 8 November, however, is not the one we are seeking,'' he said.
 Hasipoglu Says British Presence No Longer BeneficialÉllegal Bayrak Radio 1 (1130 hours, 28/12/00), reports that so called assembly speaker Ertugrul Hasipoglu has stated that the year 2000 was a troubled one from the socioeconomic viewpoint, adding that all the problems experienced in 2000 should be overcome in 2001. Reiterating that a solution in Cyprus can be based on the principle of ``two states'', Hasipoglu continued: ``It is out of the question for us to relinquish this land which we have acquired at the expense of our blood and lives. If we act any differently our martyrs will turn in their graves. The Turkish Cypriots are not that ungrateful. They will not let the flag which they have hoisted high to fall on the ground.''
In a special statement to illegal BRT on occasion of the Ramadan holiday and the new year, Hasipoglu assessed foreign and domestic developments and the Cyprus issue.
Hasipoglu explained that one of the most important political events of the year 2000 was that the Cyprus issue was moved from the UN framework toward the EU one, adding that the EU committed a great error within this process. He claimed that including the Cyprus issue among the priorities section of the Accession Partnership Document at a time when the fifth round of the proximity talks were being held was a big mistake and continued: ``This mistake played a big role in ending the proximity talks. It is wrong to give the Cyprus issue a multinational aspect. This duty and mission belongs to the United Nations and the UN secretary general. This is a goodwill mission. It is beneficial to continue this issue within that framework.''
Hasipoglu said: ``The UN secretary general is currently proposing to the Security Council that a confederation be set up in the Balkans among Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Then, why do they not suggest the same thing for Cyprus? When we ask this question, the answer we get is that we have coexisted for many years. This is not the case. We did not coexist with the Greek Cypriots for many years. We coexisted with them under Ottoman and British rule. We coexisted with the Greek Cypriots only for three years. Within three years, they threw us out of the partnership. There are two separate peoples in Cyprus. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is legal according to international law. What we want is for this legal state to be recognized. After recognition is gained, friendship and bridges can be built between the two states and this beautiful island can become an island of peace.'' He further noted that the presence of the British on the island is no longer beneficial, adding that the time has come to discuss this issue.
 Cosar, Talat Offer Assessments of 2000, Goals for 2001Éllegal Bayrak Radio 1 (1130 hours, 01/01/01) reports that Salih Cosar, Democratic Party leader and so-called assembly deputy speaker, declared that 2000 failed to meet the aspirations of the pseudostate, and it was a bad year for the Turkish Cypriot community. Cosar also remarked that it is impossible for the ``TRNC'' to join the EU at present because of political reasons, but it is necessary to pursue and internalize the values and cultural heritage of the EU.
Cosar made a statement to illegal BRT on the significant developments of the past year and the goals for the coming year. Commenting on the negative events of the past year, Cosar attributed these to "wrong laws, rules, projects, and programs, and said that these events should be regarded as an experiment and a better program be implemented in 2001."
As regards the EU, Cosar said: ``The EU is a matter of culture and system. It is a matter of accepting a certain culture and system. I believe that our people in the TRNC can follow the EU, given their tolerance, their ability to attain knowledge, their quality, and their education. The EU, in turn, suits us best.''
Cosar declared: "We will not hesitate in joining the EU if the possibilities and the necessary conditions are created in connection with our own sovereignty, our own country, our own political equality, and our security. In that case, we will be ready for accession."
Republican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat also made a statement on the events of the past year and the Cyprus issue. Pointing out that the TRNC went through a bad year because of the banking crisis and the economic problems, Talat held the ``government'' responsible for this. Talat also charged that the policies of the ``TRNC'' and of Turkey regarding the Cyprus problem have been unsuccessful, adding that the biggest task is to join the negotiating process.
Outlining the political developments regarding Cyprus as "ongoing political mistakes'', Talat said: ``Finally, a decision was made to withdraw from the proximity talks. This was a vitally important and fatal decision. A decision was made to withdraw from the talks at the National Security Council meeting in Turkey, without consulting with the Turkish Cypriots, or their institutions and organizations. This was like a death edict for the Turkish Cypriots.'' Pointing out that these developments are the result of "the policy of sacrificing the Turkish Cypriots," Talat declared that a sense of "hopelessness" continues to envelop the Turkish Cypriots.
Talat said: "The situation stemming from Turkey's desire to remove the Cyprus issue from the short-term political criteria cited in Turkey's EU Accession Partnership Document will accord Turkey a temporary relaxation in its domestic policy, but in conclusion, the Turkish Cypriots will be sacrificed in order to overcome the difficulties in Turkey's domestic politics. This is extremely important. The Turkish Cypriots should be alert in this regard." Talat added: "Time is not working in favor of the Turkish Cypriots, because during this time, south Cyprus is acting to conclude accession negotiations with the EU in 2002 on behalf of the whole of Cyprus."
Pointing out that joining the EU before the Cyprus problem is resolved will leave the Turkish Cypriots out and the situation will revert to the pre- 1974 period, Talat said that this is extremely worrisome.
Referring to economic and social issues, Talat said: "This government will be happy and the coalition partners will get along as long as Turkey continues to give. Consequently, it appears that the Turkish Cypriots' economic problems will continue through 2001." It is necessary, therefore, to exert efforts to create a productive and self-sufficient economy, and to adjust our relations with Turkey along these lines, Talat stated.
Talat declared that ``the Turkish Cypriots should join the negotiating process with EU before 2002.'' Pointing out that it is essential for the Turkish Cypriots to sit at the negotiating table with the EU on the basis of their political equality together with the Greek Cypriots, Talat said that there is no risk in doing this.
 Cem on Cyprus-Turkey/s EU accessionTurkish daily Radikal (29/12/00) publishes the text of an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem by Deniz Zeyrek and Ayse Karabat.
Inter alia, Cem responded questions on Cyprus and the EU as follows:
``[Radikal] Can you comment on the action the Government plans to take in connection with the APD reference to Cyprus? Will it comply with it?
[Cem] Naturally, the APD cannot be ignored. However, Turkey will decide how to comply with it. Every country has taken its own measures to comply with the association partnership's requirements. We must not exaggerate anything to the extent that will make us feel helpless. The National Program has been seen from a wrong angle. That also applies to the APD. We concentrate on a single point and try to image the most extreme development it might create. Fearing the gigantic problem we create in our minds, we then start to argue on the matter. That is a wrong approach.
[Radikal] Sweden, which maintains a very sensitive approach on human rights, will take over the EU term presidency in January. Do you believe that Turkey will be confronted with new problems when it does so?
[Cem] The APD and the framework it calls for will be a guarantee for Turkey, regardless of which country takes over. There is a conviction that the EU countries from northern Europe do not maintain a favorable approach toward Turkey. However, I must recall that Finland supported our country's effort to become a candidate member of the organization in the past. I agree that a sensitive situation exists on human rights. But I also believe that we will effectively cooperate to improve the situation.''
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/