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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-05-16

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.91/02 16.05.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting Kofi Annan.
  • [02] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Prime Minisiter during an interview with CUMHURIYET newspaper.
  • [03] Statements by Rauf Denktas after the dinner with the Secretary-General and President Clerides.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [04] Columnist in Afrika supports that Denktas will reject any formula even if it calls for confederation.
  • [05] Commentator in HURRIYET quotes Mesut Yilmaz elaborating on his call on Denktas to stop being inflexible.
  • [06] Commentary in Turkish Daily News links the solution of the Cyprus problem to the accession of Turkey to the EU.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting Kofi Annan

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (15.05.02) broadcast that the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, who is continuing his contacts on the island, has met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas in occupied Nicosia.

    In a statement after the meeting, Denktas said that if the Greek Cypriots accept that they are not the government of the Turkish Cypriots, then a solution might be found by June. Noting that he was very pleased with his meeting with Annan, Denktas said that they held a productive and beneficial meeting and that they will continue to discuss the various issues over dinner this evening. Pointing out that the Cyprus issue was discussed in depth, Denktas then replied to reporters' questions.

    In reply to a question on whether Annan brought something new, Denktas said: "No." He further noted that no pressure was being applied on them. Denktas concluded by saying that he is optimistic with regards to the Cyprus issue.

    [02] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Prime Minister during an interview with CUMHURIYET newspaper

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (15.05.02) publishes a report on an interview with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Mustafa Balbay.

    On Cyprus and the EU Mr Ecevit replied to questions as follows:

    Balbay: Cyprus came to the forefront. Rauf Denktas' 29 April document is being debated. The UN Secretary-General is coming to the island of Cyprus for the first time in 30 years. Is there a solution in sight?

    Answer: The visit of Kofi Annan is of importance in itself. Even if there is no solution, it is important that Annan treats Denktas and Clerides equally. The Greek Cypriots are very upset about this, but they have no right to be.

    Question: Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that if Denktas would act more flexibly, then it would facilitate the EU accession process. You had made an opposite evaluation, but has Denktas' plan been harmed?

    Answer: Cyprus has an indispensable importance from the aspect of Turkey's security. It is also the case for the security of the Eastern Mediterranean... This subject has no relation to the EU. It is a mistake to make all of these connected to the EU accession process.

    Question: Mr Yilmaz thinks that we could be divided if we do not enter the EU...

    Answer: That is impossible...

    [03] Statements by Rauf Denktas after the dinner with the Secretary-General and President Clerides

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (16.05.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas has said that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan wants the direct talks to go on but more effectively. Denktas was replying to reporters/ questions after returning to the occupied areas following his three-hour dinner with Annan and President Clerides in the buffer zone last night.

    Denktas said that the dinner went very well and that they held sincere talks. He pointed out that Kofi Annan will make a statement before he leaves the island. Denktas said: "He wants the Cyprus talks to go on. They are going on anyway. He wants them to go on more effectively. Of course it is the duty of us all to hold as effective talks as possible. I believe that the Secretary-General saw the difficulties as well as the things that can be done. It was a very good meeting".

    Asked if agreement was reached on any issues, Denktas replied: "We did not hold negotiations; we merely exchanged views" Asked if Annan made any recommendations either to him or to Clerides, Denktas said: "Of course he made recommendations. He expressed his own views. Not bad, quite good".


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [04] Columnist in AFRIKA supports that Denktas will reject any formula even if it calls for confederation

    AFRIKA newspaper (15.05.02) publishes the following commentary by Turgut Afsaroglu under the title: "The `B/ Plan":

    "I assure UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that no matter what kind of a formula he proposes to Rauf Denktas, the latter will reject this formula, even if the formula in question calls for the formation of a confederation in Cyprus...

    The reason why Denktas will reject this formula is not a secret! The continuation of the current status quo is more important than the interests of the Turkish Cypriots for Denktas...

    Mumtaz Soysal, Rauf Denktas' chief advisor, repeatedly made the following remarks in the past very openly: "North Cyprus cannot enter the EU before Turkey even if the Greek Cypriots accept a 'confederation.'"

    Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem, for his part, said the following the other day: "Denktas also represents Turkey and not the `TRNC/ alone at the table."

    Meanwhile, can Denktas, who gained the backing of all the hawks during his latest visit to Ankara, roll up his sleeves to reach an agreement by bringing the interests of the Turkish Cypriots to the fore by displaying a positive approach before Annan? As a matter of fact, Denktas made his position known even before the arrival of Annan when he said: "The hopes of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem by June 2002 are gradually becoming dimmer."

    No matter what Annan says to Denktas, his words will go in Denktas' one ear and out of the other... Denktas will say to Annan the things that he has been saying all along: "The world must abandon its recognition of the Greek Cypriot sector as the legitimate government. The Greek Cypriots must recognize our state and sovereignty."

    Annan must be prepared for seeing a Cyprus fiasco after the Janin fiasco... Annan's job before Denktas will be very difficult if he is coming to Cyprus without obtaining any certain assurances from the United States. However, Annan's job is also difficult before Glafcos Clerides. Do you know how many Secretary-Generals were worn out by this duo, Mr Annan?

    According to information that was leaked out until now, the powers that America has granted to Annan are extremely limited. "Go and see if these leaders are ready to finish this job willingly by June," the United States said to Annan.

    Annan, for his part, will try to find out whether or not the two leaders are ready for a solution. Most probably, Annan will submit a report to his big patron by saying: "I personally found out that Clerides, in general, and Denktas, in particular, are not inclined toward reaching a solution by June."

    Bush, Annan's big patron, will get a little angry at this report or he will show that he is angry and, as Johnson once said to Greece, he will demand the immediate introduction of plan "B' by saying: "They should not forget that the United States is an elephant, while they are flies. I will not interfere if these flies irritate the elephant and make it uneasy."

    In short, Plan "B" is as follows: The Greek Cypriot sector will become a full EU member at the end of 2002. On the other hand, the EU membership of the Turkish Cypriots will be suspended until Turkey enters the EU. The present status quo will be legitimized with the help of a framework agreement. Moreover, the presence of Turkey in Cyprus will continue. All the pertinent parties, particularly the United States, will grab their share of gains in Cyprus thanks to the framework agreement. Only the Turkish Cypriots will be left out! This plan will come into force by December 2002 at the latest.

    Let it be auspicious! We deserve this treatment!"

    [02] Commentator in HURRIYET quotes Mesut Yilmaz elaborating on his call on Denktas to stop being inflexible

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (14.05.02) publishes the following commentary by Muharrem Sarikaya under the title: "Reproachful in the Face of Denktas' Reproach":

    Motherland Party (MP) leader Mesut Yilmaz issued a statement to the effect that Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas, "should be more conciliatory." Denktas adopted a reproachful stand against Yilmaz due to this statement. Yilmaz, in turn, also adopted a similar approach against Denktas.

    We talked to Yilmaz at the MP general headquarters. Referring to his statement regarding Denktas and the reactions that followed, Yilmaz noted that he stands behind the words he uttered last week.

    He did not want to make any comments on the firm reactions displayed by his coalition partners, Prime Minister Ecevit and Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader Devlet Bahceli.

    Instead, he preferred to clarify his statement regarding Denktas.

    Choosing the words meticulously, Yilmaz said:

    "The essentials with regard to Cyprus are obvious. No one can ask us to make concessions from these essentials."

    Stressing that the sides can achieve results by holding negotiations on the territory and the structure of a partnership state, Yilmaz said:

    "From Turkey's standpoint, a conclusion should be reached with regard to these essentials."

    Yilmaz underlined that by initiating unconditional face-to-face negotiations and by "informing the outside world on the fact that the Turkish side accepts the principle of joint representation, Denktas has made a major opening."

    Noting that the Greek side has not appropriately responded to this opening, Yilmaz recalled that the EU unjustly promised the Greek side full membership and added that the Greek side is currently trying to exploit this full membership perspective.

    Stating that in his contacts with the EU officials, he informed them of this situation, Yilmaz said the following with regard to the answers that he received from the EU officials:

    "They told me that the full membership of the Greek Administration is not automatic. These officials noted that if they agree that the solution to the Cyprus problem is being prevented by the Greek Administration, Cyprus' full membership might be postponed."

    Referring to a similar statement issued by Javier Solana, EU high commissioner in charge of foreign affairs and defense, Yilmaz recalled Greece's and the Greek Administration's reaction to this statement.

    Later referring to the words he uttered last week, Yilmaz continued as follows:

    "In this regard, when we look in terms of the EU, we will have to see that we are faced with a negative conjuncture regarding Cyprus. The only way to spoil this game is to take conciliatory steps even if the Greek side does not respond. It is also necessary to eliminate the image of "the Turkish side is preventing a solution in Cyprus" that is prevailing over Europe. This is why I believe that this leap initiated by honourable Denktas should continue. I also believe that it is the Turkish side that should make an initiative and that should make good use of time."

    When we reminded him of Denktas' reproach, Yilmaz said:

    "Despite the fact that honourable Denktas hurried to adopt a reproaching approach without meeting with me face-to-face, I understand his stand. I feel respect and love toward him."

    Despite our insistent questions, Yilmaz avoided making additional comments. He said: "This is all."

    What urged Yilmaz to issue this statement that brought about intensive arguments?

    According to those who are close to him, Yilmaz's words are related to the UN Secretary-General's 2 May statement:

    "Both sides -- the Turkish side in particular -- should make further sacrifices for the solution of the Cyprus issue."

    The second reason is the EU statement to the effect that "if the Turks are not ready to conciliate, the Greek side will become an EU member."

    Under these conditions the EU border will start from the Greek sector in Cyprus.

    The Cyprus issue, in turn, will become more complicated in terms of Turkey.

    At this point, everyone is waiting for the statement that will be issued by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan following his visit to the island today.

    [03] Commentary in Turkish Daily News links the solution of the Cyprus problem to the accession of Turkey to the EU

    Under the title: "When will Turkey be in the EU?" Ilnur Cevik writes the following commentary in Turkish Daily News (15.05.02): "The solution of the Cyprus question lies in the answer to our question: When will Turkey become a full member of the European Union?.. If the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots set up a brand new partnership state they will set up their new Republic in phases. When the phases are completed the island will complete full integration with the EU... That may be as early as the year 2007 or 2011 the latest. So Turkey should be in the EU by then or there will be no solution.

    This is the simple explanation for the layman.

    Let us elaborate.

    Today there are three scenarios being discussed about the fate on Cyprus.

    One is that the Cyprus talks will collapse and the Greek Cypriots will enter the EU in 2004. The Turkish Cypriots will then merge with Turkey to prevent the EU saying "Turkish soldiers are an occupation force on EU territory."

    The second option is that the Greek Cypriots will enter the EU while the `TRNC/ will be recognized by some states and thus it will win international recognition and no one will be able to challenge its legality.

    The third option is that the sides will iron out a solution that solves the territorial, security, property and refugees issues in phases and the new Cyprus Partnership Republic takes shape. If the Greek Cypriots agree to a solution they want the phases to be ended as soon as possible while the Turkish Cypriots want an extended period of up to 15 years. If and then the phases are complete the island would complete its full integration with the EU. That would mean the Greek Cypriots could circulate freely everywhere on the island, buy Turkish property and gain the upper hand even in Turkish areas. That could only be offset by Turkey entering the EU and mainland Turks gaining similar rights on the island...

    At the moment the first two options seem to be the way we are heading. But if this happens, the Western powers are aware that it will sow the seeds of discord between Turkey and Greece and become a serious security issue that hurts the entire Western defense structure.

    Is that acceptable? We doubt it.

    So the U.S. will surely push for a solution on the island that will lead to the full EU membership of the two sides on Cyprus. As a matter of fact we are told the latest Kofi Annan mission to the island may well have taken place with American prodding... If a solution also facilitates Turkish entry into the EU that will indeed be the real and durable solution. The rest will only lead to conflict and sorrow...//


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