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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-05-20

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. 93/02 18-19-20.05.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriot sources assess the U.N. Secretary - General's visit to Cyprus
  • [02] Political developments in Turkey after Ecevit's illness
  • [03] Mehmet Ali Talat urges Denktas to realize that the Turkish Cypriots want peace and that his demand for sovereignty is not acceptable
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot leader admits that the pseudostate exists because of the Turkish occupation troops
  • [05] Ismail Cem expresses the hope that war will not break out in Cyprus, sees "an increased possibility" of having a solution document by the end of the year and describes as "perfect" the proposals reportedly submitted by Rauf Denktas
  • [06] Rauf Denktas: "De Soto's task remains the same"
  • [07] Cooperation between a British and a Turkish Cypriot company in the field of container transportation
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] There will be no Cyprus solution if things go on like this

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Cypriot sources assess the U.N. Secretary - General's visit to Cyprus

    Turkish Daily News (19/05/02) carries the following report by Yusuf Kanli: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who came to Cyprus to prod the two leaders, "particularly Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas", in line with a U.N. Security Council decision to become more flexible at the direct talks process, left Cyprus having a better understanding and apparent sympathy for the Turkish Cypriot position, Turkish Cypriot sources said. The sources said Annan could not get a pledge from either Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas or his Greek Cypriot counterpart Glafcos Clerides reaffirming their January declaration to reach a Cyprus resolution by the end of June, but left the island with a better insight of the fundamental aspects of the almost 40-year-old power-sharing problem between the two peoples of the eastern Mediterranean island.

    The sources said the meeting between Denktas and Annan in the occupied areas was instrumental for the change in the approach of the Secretary-General to the "core issues" of the Cyprus problem.

    When countered with remarks of Denktas during the bilateral discussions on Wednesday that everyone was talking of "continuity of the Cyprus Republic" but no one was talking about "continuity of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)", U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan signalled probability of the "TRNC" becoming a "sovereign partner" of the new partnership state to be established on the island.

    According to well-placed Turkish Cypriot sources, Denktas stressed at the meeting that the tragedy of the Palestinian people demonstrated the need of clarification of the status and future relationship between the two peoples of the island, as well as their relationship with the central administration.

    "Before the status of my people is clarified, I won't sign an agreement because such an agreement may land my people in the situation of Palestinians. You keep on talking about the continuity of the Cyprus Republic. Why don't you talk of continuity of the TRNC? Before you acknowledge our sovereignty, you cannot lead us anywhere. If the Greek Cypriot administration acknowledges the fact that they are not our legitimate government, this problem can easily be resolved by end of June. We do not want to make an agreement. We want to find a lasting resolution of this problem," Denktas has reportedly told Annan.

    "These aspirations could possibly be met in an agreement. The accord that you would sign with Clerides would constitute the fundamental aspects of the Constitution of the new state," Annan has reportedly said expressing understanding to the remarks of Denktas, and thus lent an indirect support to the sovereignty demands of the Turkish Cypriot side. According to Turkish Cypriot sources Annan has also lent support to Turkish Cypriot demands to have separate flag and national song-symbols of sovereignty-after a settlement.

    Speaking at a press conference before leaving the east Mediterranean island for East Timor, Annan refrained from using the word "federation" and made no reference to U.N. resolutions calling for a federal resolution to the Cyprus problem. On the contrary, responding to a question by a Greek Cypriot reporter how he thought the sovereignty demand of Turkish Cypriots would be met, Annan said, "Everything is on the table" and thus hinted that any accord reached by the two leaders whether or not in conformity with the U.N. resolutions, would be welcome by the U.N.

    According to the sources, during the discussions with Annan, the Turkish Cypriot side also succeeded in convincing the Secretary-General to use a different wording in explaining the "core issues" of the Cyprus problem. While in the past the most critical aspect of the Cyprus problem was being described as "constitutional aspects" in remarks of Annan in Cyprus the most important core issue was referred to as "governance."

    Upset with this wording and its implication, Greek Cypriot leader Clerides has reportedly told Annan "There is no need of establishing a new state on Cyprus. We can convert the Cyprus Republic into a federation through making constitutional arrangements."

    With this modest change in the wording from "constitutional aspects" to "matters related to governance" the sources said, the Turkish Cypriot position that the target of the direct talks process was to prepare the framework of a new partnership administration was recorded by the Secretary-General and the Greek Cypriot position portraying the process as a "constitutional amendment exercise" was dashed out, the sources stressed. A top Turkish Cypriot "government" source, stressed that the U.N. Secretary-General was "to the point" in his queries to Denktas, was a "very careful listener" and tried to learn the Turkish Cypriot view on all aspects of the problem during a two-hour tete-a-tete meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Wednesday -- the first ever such visit by a U.N. Secretary-General to the Turkish Cypriot "presidential office". Annan has apparently captured the hearts of Northern Cyprus with his "gentle approach, balanced attitude, respectful style" and according to the Turkish Cypriot "government" source "We definitely believe he could do much more and efficient services for a resolution of the Cyprus problem if he could get himself stripped of American and British chains."

    "The United States and Britain are shaping him. He is not able to act independently. If he could get rid of the U.S. and British chains, he would act in line with the requirements of the situation on Cyprus and in conformity with the technicalities of the problem," he said.

    The source said it was a farce to insist on Turkish Cypriots accepting "single sovereignty" on Cyprus at a time when U.N. officials were talking about satisfying independence aspirations of Kosovars by providing them some sort of a limited sovereignty and Annan was attending independence ceremonies of east Timor after Cyprus. "Timor is just 0.7 percent of the territory of Indonesia and is becoming a sovereign state, but we are denied of that right, although we were partners in sovereignty of Cyprus in the 1960 accords," the source said.

    The official source said the two peoples on Cyprus were "equal peoples" and the current exercise was to form a "new partnership state" between those two equally sovereign peoples.

    "We are trying to do everything possible and stressing our readiness for undertaking every possible concession. We have shown flexibility in all areas, but there has been no serious response to our efforts from the Greek Cypriot leadership," the source stressed.

    Another most important outcome of the Annan visit for Rauf Denktas was a relative relaxation regarding the June deadline.

    "At the end of June we will make an assessment how far we have cracked the core issues...I am not saying a signed and sealed agreement but at least they (will) have resolved the core issues by June," he said in departure remarks and thus acknowledged that the two leaders have until the year end to come up with a framework for the resolution of the almost four decades old problem of power sharing between the two peoples of the island.

    At the end of the year the EU holds a summit that will be key to enlargement of the EU, for which Cyprus is a leading candidate. Turkey, the only state to recognize the "Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus" (/TRNC/), is also hoping for some clear sign it can open membership talks.

    Despite this upbeat statement of Annan, however, a top Turkish Cypriot official told the Turkish Daily News (TDN) that after Annan's two days of discussions with Denktas and Clerides, the two sides were "as far apart as ever" on all fundamental issues of the almost 40-year-old Cyprus problem. "No one should have expected a miracle. A problem that has defied all mediation efforts for the past decades should not be expected to be resolved with a magic touch by Annan," a top Turkish Cypriot "government" source said adding that excluding a better understanding by Annan of the Cyprus problem, there was no breakthrough.

    The official said the EU has served a deadly blow to prospects of a Cyprus resolution, by accepting the Greek Cypriot application for full membership as "the sole legitimate government of Cyprus" and still insists on that wrong policy with declarations that "with or without a settlement on Cyprus" the island would be admitted into membership.

    "If they are the 'sole legitimate government of Cyprus' and if they will be accepted into the EU with or without a settlement on Cyprus, why should they try to reach a settlement and share power with us? They do not have any motivation. A settlement is not in their interest," the source said. He added that encouraged with the wrong approaches of the EU, all through the past four months, Clerides has been stressing at the direct talks process that a settlement should do no harm to the "Republic of Cyprus," the aspirations of the Turkish Cypriot people could be resolved through an amendment made in the Cyprus constitution, the new relationship between the two peoples of the island would be reflected into the new constitution, the island would continue to have one sovereignty, but there would be two autonomous cantons, one administered by Turkish Cypriots and one by Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriot state would have "legitimacy" only as a canton, a settlement must provide right to return to all refugees and Turkish Cypriots would accept to have maximum 24 percent territory of the island and as a goodwill gesture the number of Turkish troops would be taken down immediately.

    He said that the position of the Greek Cypriot leadership was a "non-starter" and thus no substantial headway could be achieved in the Cyprus talks so far.

    The official said all these points were clearly explained to Annan, together with the security worries of Turkish Cypriots and the threat the Cyprus problem posed to the Western Defence System and to peace and stability in the southern Mediterranean.

    "If Greek Cypriots are allowed into the EU without a settlement on Cyprus, we would have no other option but to ask Turkey to annex northern Cyprus. Such a move would place Turkey outside of Europe, upset the Western Security System, lead to a Turkish-Greek confrontation and devastate all balances in this region. That is catastrophe and we won't be the sole ones affected from this. That's why we keep on demanding a resolution despite all the uncompromising attitudes of the Greek Cypriot side," the official said. Unless, the source said, Greek Cypriots were convinced to change their uncompromising position soon, there cannot be a Cyprus resolution by the end of June, this year-end or any time.

    "We hope," he said "Annan has seen this reality and will be able to tell the Americans and the British also and convince them to wake up to the realities of Cyprus before its too late."

    [02] Political developments in Turkey after Ecevit's illness

    Turkish Daily News (19/05/02) publishes the following report by Ayla Ganioglu on developments in Turkey after Ecevit's illness. "The prolonged rest of main coalition partner Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has locked the political system. There are those who support the government continuing on with Ecevit on the one hand, while there are those who seek a new prime minister and government, claiming that Turkey can no longer be governed by Ecevit, on the other. However, being challenged to substitute Ecevit, the political system awaits Ecevit's decision.

    Although Ecevit has said he will not leave office, political circles generally think that he will soon put a gradual plan into effect. Meanwhile, coalition partners, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP), are preparing for an early election at full speed, though Ecevit has denied claims that an early election will be held in the fall. Below are the discussion topics, in question-answer mode, that came to the agenda following Ecevit's illness:

    Question: What will happen if Ecevit leaves office?

    Answer: If Ecevit leaves office, the DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition government, which has been ruling the country for three years, will have resigned. In this case, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will appoint a deputy in order to set up a government in line with Article 109 of the Constitution. According to the political custom, Sezer is expected to appoint deputies starting from the leader of the biggest political party and moving on to the leaders of the other parties in Parliament. However, there is no constitutional article that forces Sezer to obey this custom. Sezer may appoint whomever he wants in Parliament. Sezer will take control of the new government issue once Ecevit steps down as prime minister.

    Q: Can the new coalition be set up with the current coalition parties?

    A: Those, who want the current DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition to remain in power after Ecevit resigns, constitute the majority. However, it is not that easy. There are those who propose that Deputy Prime Minister and DSP Deputy Husamettin Ozkan or Foreign Minister and DSP Deputy Ismail Cem replace Ecevit.

    However, coalition senior partner, the MHP, does not welcome a coalition governed by another DSP deputy. MHP deputies favour a coalition governed by MHP leader Devlet Bahceli if Ecevit leaves office. However, ANAP opposes this option. ANAP officials look coldly on Bahceli's governance. It is reported that DSP deputies, especially DSP deputy chairman and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's spouse, Rahsan Ecevit, would not welcome Bahceli as the prime minister.

    As a result, the MHP and ANAP prefer that the government continue with Ecevit. The MHP and ANAP are said to be demanding early elections while they are in power. As it is unclear what kind of a government model would emerge with Ecevit's withdrawal, this is an important factor for the MHP and ANAP's will to continue with Ecevit.

    Q: What kind of a government might Sezer encourage?

    A: If Ecevit withdraws, the new government that will be established will be an election government. It is widely accepted that the new government will stay in power to carry the country to elections until spring 2003. It is rumoured by political circles that Sezer may demand a technocrat government. However, such a government will have to receive the support of the political parties in Parliament, while the establishment of such a government may take at least two months.

    Q: Can DYP leader Ciller's proposal for going for elections with a DYP minority government receive support?

    A: Ciller seeks a minority government, which is similar to the one established by the DSP after the three party coalition government was toppled in Parliament before the 1999 elections. Ciller thinks that this model will carry the True Path Party (DYP) to the government as it did for the DSP in the 1999 elections. However, one of the coalition partners, as well as the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and the Saadet (happiness or contentment) Party (SP) should support the DYP's proposal, but none of the coalition partners would support a DYP minority government.

    Q: Can early elections come to the agenda?

    A: Although Ecevit says he is sick of the early elections debate; political circles have long been discussing it. It has been stressed that an early election would be held this autumn at the earliest. Stressing that announcing an early decision at this point would be wrong, political circles note that such a decision might be taken in July. It is emphasized that the European Union summit in June and a possible U.S. operation against Iraq in the fall would clarify a date for the elections.

    If the early elections are not held until April 2003, the local and general elections should be held together, according to the Constitution. At this stage, all of the political parties oppose holding two elections at the same time. A constitutional amendment is required to prevent it. Although political parties welcome such an amendment, it is feared that the tired Parliament would be unable to pass a second constitutional amendment package.

    Q: How has State Minister Kemal Dervis' early election proposal affected politics?

    A: The coalition leaders responded to Dervis' statement, that the economy was now able to bear an early election. The statement refuted the coalition government's thesis that there would be no early election when the economic program was in effect. Dervis' statement strengthened the case of those who are demanding an early election. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen said during his meeting with Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) officials that no election could affect the economy. This has also boosted the early election expectations.

    Meanwhile, Dervis told a group of DSP deputies that the economy was on a good track and that October would be appropriate for an election. As it seems difficult to imagine that Ecevit will remain in power until elections would normally be scheduled, in 2004, because of his health problems, and the disruption of coalition harmony, which happened long ago, all these have boosted expectations for an early election in the fall. Coalition partners, the MHP and ANAP, have speeded up their election activities. As MHP deputies have been focusing on their constituencies for a while, an MHP deputy told me, "Don't hear what we say, look at what we do." On the other hand, ANAP leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz continues his efforts to attract the votes of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HADEP). ANAP is willing to enter the election climate as the party, which played an important role in Turkey's accession to the EU.

    Q: Will Ecevit enter the next elections?

    A: As Ecevit has not given an explicit answer to the question of whether he will enter the upcoming elections; this has increased comments that he will not do so. In the event of an early election decision, Ecevit will reportedly reshuffle the DSP management. These comments have also raised the question of who will replace Ecevit as DSP leader. As he has said that there are many people in the DSP that could lead the party, eyes have turned towards the DSP group. Although many names, such as Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, have been mentioned, the Ecevits are expected to make a surprise decision.

    Q: Does Dervis have a chance for DSP leadership?

    A: State Minister Kemal Dervis has put forth his will to enter politics, but is yet to declare which party he will join.

    Dervis came to Turkey and became a state minister when he was invited by Ecevit after the heavy economic crisis in February. Ecevit offered Dervis DSP membership at the time, but Dervis rejected it. It is now reported that Dervis may join the DSP since Ecevit cannot remain in the party for too much longer. However, Ecevit is not expected to make the same offer this time. Dervis is now expected to make a choice between coalition junior partner ANAP, which has invited Dervis, and the Republican People's Party (CHP), which is outside Parliament.

    [03] Mehmet Ali Talat urges Denktas to realize that the Turkish Cypriots want peace and that his demand for sovereignty is not acceptable

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (18/05/02) broadcast that the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] leader Mehmet Ali Talat in a news conference in the occupied areas, commented on the current phase of the Cyprus problem. Stressing that we are experiencing serious and critical days in the Cyprus problem, Talat said that this situation is being overlooked. Although even UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan realized that the Turkish Cypriots want peace, Talat remarked, there are circles, which fail to realize that the people want peace.

    Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side responded late during the confidence-building measures process, turned the Turkish Cypriots into the guilty party, and an agreement was obstructed, Talat stated that a similar attitude is also being displayed in the current process. He explained that the Greek Cypriots' negotiations with the EU will be concluded in June and the accession to the Union will be approved. Talat added that even if the attitude of Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Clerides is negative, the EU will not renounce its enlargement process. Talat remarked that the month of December, now earmarked by Denktas, is late because the negotiations will be concluded in June and only the approval will be given in December. Consequently, Talat declared, the Turkish Cypriot side should exert efforts without delay to attain the outline of an agreement by June.

    Noting that Denktas should undertake initiatives that will also pave the way to Turkey's EU accession, an irreversible course adopted by Turkey, Talat said, however, that Denktas is pumping negativity and hopelessness into the people by hiding behind the news black-out enforced in the talks process. Talat recalled that Denktas said that nothing is happening in the talks, and called on Talat to reveal what he knows. Talat added that Clerides accepted under duress preparations for a new constitution, political equality, a new foundation agreement, bizonality, bicommunality, the principle of the majority not imposing on the minority, single citizenship, the existence of the executive, legislative, and judicial organs in the future statelets, the continuation of the guarantee agreements, the documentation of the authorities, and separate referenda. These must be discussed, Talat said.

    Referring to Denktas' remarks that one should take notice of what Clerides is omitting to say rather than what he is saying, Talat asked Denktas to explain what the difference is. However, this is evident, Talat said, adding that Denktas wants separate sovereignty, which is impossible to accept. Talat also stated that under the current process sharing the sovereignty is essential.

    In reply to reporters' questions, Talat said that the process is suitable for reaching a framework agreement by June. The RTP will wage a more active struggle for a solution, Talat explained, adding that his party wants to take part in the process in one form or another.

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot leader admits that the pseudostate exists because of the Turkish occupation troops

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18/05/02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas in a speech he made at the swearing-in ceremony for the first group of the spring 2002 inductees into the occupation Forces Command at the Gulseren Garrison, stressed once again that the Cypriot Turks will not abandon their sovereignty.

    Rauf Denktas said: "Today, as a state, we are standing tall. Today, with our army, we exist. Today, along with Mehmetcik [affectionate term for Turkish soldiers], along with our motherland Turkey, along with our guarantor, we are not seeking problems with anyone. We want friendship, and we want peace. But a peace that is based on sovereignty."

    Noting that, while watching the swearing-in ceremonies, he had been reminded of the past, Denktas recalled that, in the past, people had sworn in secret not to let Cyprus become Greek territory, and spoke as follows:

    "There were no weapons, but there was courage, and there was honour. They swore not to let this land, which had been watered with the blood of 70 thousand Turkish martyrs, become Greek territory. Today, you are the youth that are taking their places; you are their children and grandchildren, and how fortunate you are who swear the same oath, beneath the Turkish flag, beneath your own flag, in the presence of Turkish commanders and the Turkish Ambassador, and in the presence of the leaders of your own government and state."

    Saying "Dear young people: you are being prepared for defence: for the defence of honour, and for the defence of the homeland," Denktas continued his address as follows:

    "We hope that on no day and at no time will those who are sunk in error ever hope to remove you and take possession of this land. What is needed is friendship, peace, and compromise. What is needed is for them to realize that they will not be able to usurp the rights of the Cyprus Turks that they have sought to usurp for 39 years, and for them to come to the right path and to take up our hand of friendship."

    Issuing a call to the Greek Cypriots to establish a shared state and stressing that the road to peace on Cyprus passes through the acceptance of the sovereignty of the Cypriot Turks, he said that "On the day that you accept our sovereignty, the paths will be opened. The proof that we will never give up our sovereignty is our resistance from 1955 to 1958, and the resistance and sacrifices made from 1963 to 1974."

    On his part, the occupation Forces Commander Brigadier General Galip Mendi, alleging that the Turks of Cyprus have paid a very heavy price in order to gain their sovereignty and freedom, also stressed that, for this very reason, they value these things highly. Mendi said : "I suggest, to those who think that they can deceive the Turks of Cyprus with empty promises, that they read the history of Cyprus, that they learn the value of freedom, and that they realize that such things cannot be bought with either money or empty promises."

    Stating that, as a guarantor country, Turkey has done everything possible, in line with its legal and historical obligations, for the welfare and security of the Turkish people of Cyprus, and that it will continue to do so, Mendi said that the world must finally realize that no return to the past will be possible on Cyprus.

    Brigadier General Mendi underscored that the European Union and the states of the world should show respect for the rights of the two peoples on Cyprus to govern themselves, and should accept the existence of two sovereign states.

    [05] Ismail Cem expresses the hope that war will not break out in Cyprus, sees "an increased possibility" of having a solution document by the end of the year and describes as "perfect" the proposals reportedly submitted by Rauf Denktas

    KIBRIS (18.05.02) reports that talking on "Europe" programme of the Turkish State Television TRT2, Ismail Cem, Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister, expressed the hope that a war will not break in case the Republic of Cyprus joins the European Union before the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Responding to a question, Mr Cem supported that things would be more difficult for everyone in case Cyprus joins the EU without having solved its political problem. Repeating the Turkish position that Cyprus is very important for Turkey, Mr Cem added: "As Turkey, we shall not consent to anyone's harming both the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people, Turkey and the Turkish interests in the Eastern Mediterranean". The Turkish Minister said that his government adopted the decisions taken on this issue by Turkey's Grand National Assembly and expressed the opinion that no Turkish government will have a different attitude.

    Asked about the possibility of a clash Mr Cem said that this is not something to be defined by Turkey alone and added that Turkey has already a policy, to which somewhere the EU must adapt itself. "While we are doing what we want, we do not mean to hurt the EU and cause problems. .I hope we will not reach to a clash point".

    Meanwhile talking on NTV Mr Cem described as "perfect" the proposals and the so-called "29 April document", reportedly submitted by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas during the direct talks. Mr Cem noted also that the Cyprus problem must be regarded as a separate issue from Turkey's EU accession course.

    Furthermore, talking to Saynur Tezel of CNN-TURK, Mr Cem expressed the opinion that "it is probably very difficult to secure a solution until June" , adding however that "there is now an increased possibility of having a solution document by the end of the year".

    Referring to the visit of the UN Secretary-General to Cyprus, Mr Cem described it as "extremely favourable" for the Turkish side, because its "inability" has always been to explain their story to the others.

    In reply to a question on whether the Turkish side obtained the right to put the issue of the so-called "sovereignty" on the negotiating table, the Turkish Foreign Minister answered: "It is a little pretentious to use the word 'obtained', because there has to be an agreement on this issue and it has to be secured by the two sides and not by Annan. .The Cyprus issue is extremely important for Turkey and the 'TRNC'. It is even more important than we think..". Despite this, Mr Cem added that certain issues, nevertheless, could be discussed.

    "I believe that it is possible to describe sovereignty in a manner acceptable to us and that it can be explained to the other side, which knows already that it does not have anything to gain from opposing".

    [06] Rauf Denktas: "De Soto's task remains the same"

    KIBRIS (18.05.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that the task of Mr Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary-General's special representative for Cyprus, remains the same. Responding to a question on Friday after his meeting with President Clerides, Mr Denktas noted: "There is no change in the duties of de Soto. We discussed this issue and reached an agreement".

    Mr Denktas repeated that the Turkish side would not change its stance on the issue of the so-called "sovereignty". Referring to the visit of the UN Secretary - General to Cyprus, Mr Denktas said that they would exert efforts in the direction of the talks' obtaining a "new acceleration" after this visit.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader described as "untrue" information published in the Greek Cypriot Press regarding Mr de Soto's submitting in the future a non-paper "proposals package" onto the negotiating table.

    [07] Cooperation between a British and a Turkish Cypriot company in the field of container transportation

    KIBRIS (20.05.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriot company M.K. Nejati & Sons Ltd and the British Fred. Olsen Agencies Ltd have reached an agreement on transporting goods with containers from Britain to the pseudostate through European ports.

    The paper notes that Cliff Neal, one of the directors of the British firm has been researching the ground in the occupied areas for the last seven days. Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Mr Neal said that they have been serving the pseudostate for many years and they know on which issues the Turkish Cypriot importers are very sensitive.

    On the other hand, Mr Huseyin Kayalp, who signed the agreement on behalf of the M.K. Nejati & Sons Ltd, noted that the network of the services they offer is broadened, adding that this is a new service for his company. He also explained that the world more and more prefers the transportation with containers, something, which forced his company to enter this field. The first cargos within the framework of the new agreement are expected to be at the occupied Famagusta harbour next week, concluded Mr Kayalp.

    KIBRIS writes that M.K. Nejati & Sons Ltd has been active in Cyprus since 1963, while Fred. Olsen Agencies Ltd operates in Britain since 1871.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] There will be no Cyprus solution if things go on like this

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (18/05/02) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    Over the past three days I have talked with both Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot officials in Cyprus. I listened to the U.N. officials. I have learned by heart the current state of the problem and the two sides' stances.

    The conclusion I have reached is, unfortunately, a pessimistic one.

    * The talks have become bogged down, and the U.N. Secretary-General's efforts have not changed anything. Denktas and Clerides are saying that they cannot go beyond their current respective stances.

    * However, time is running out. An agreement in principle has to be reached by the end of June and an overall agreement by the end of the year. Yet, big differences continue to exist.

    Denktas says: "I will not abandon my state. I will not take any step without securing my sovereignty." Clerides says: "I have made so many concessions, I cannot go beyond this point at all. It is out of the question to give the Turkish Cypriot side sovereignty."

    U.N. Secretary-General Annan's visit to the island has further increased the existing differences.

    * The ball is in the court of both of the players, namely, Denktas and Clerides. However, in the Western countries, the general public puts the blame mostly on Denktas and believes that the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" should be the first one to take a step. Pressure is being exerted mostly on Denktas.

    * If you posed a question to independent and Western observers, they would say that Turkey is the party responsible. Ankara is projecting the image of a capital city that is confused and divided on this issue, a capital city that does not know exactly what it wants. The Greek Cypriots, on the other hand, give quite clear messages and many find their proposals "reasonable and acceptable."

    Rauf Denktas' stance is quite clear. He may not exactly have used these particular words, but during our long conversations, I have discerned the following stance:

    I am not going to destroy with my own hands the state I established with my own hands. I will not take any step at all before my sovereignty is acknowledged. In Cyprus, a war was fought, a war triggered by the Greek Cypriots. We won the war. This is payback time for the Greek Cypriots. I am maintaining this stance to protect my own society, to prevent it from being eroded and from vanishing, and also, for the sake of Turkey's interests. This is Turkey's national policy. Let them come and let us undo the old Cyprus structure, founding a new state. Let that new state be set up by two sovereign -- Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot -- states.

    Let us be the ones that give the central government the power to represent us in the international community. We must be a constituent state. It is out of the question for us to alter our stance on this issue.

    It is obvious that this job cannot be completed by the end of June. I do not feel myself bound by that deadline. Now the ball is in Clerides' court. He must see the realities and he must take a step towards us. Otherwise he will have to endure the consequences.

    Glafcos Clerides is being described as "the leader that has displayed great flexibility and made big concessions," not only by his own government, but also by all the Western diplomats in Cyprus.

    Clerides gives the impression that he has done all he could possibly do and will content himself with that. Here is a summary of his views though I may not have used the same terms he himself would have:

    The central government will have "foreign-oriented sovereignty." The powers of the central government will be highly limited. We have even accepted the equality.

    Turks will have "internal sovereignty" in their own canton. No one will interfere. They will do what they want. Elections, laws, police, they will have everything...

    All these years Rauf demanded all these from me. He pressed for a federation. Yet, now he rejects it.

    Even if I accepted it, the U.N. Security Council would not agree to grant the "TRNC" sovereignty. This is because of the existing resolutions. It is out of the question for me to take a step in that direction.

    I think that Turkey has not been able to make up its mind as to what exactly it wants or intends to do in Cyprus.

    Judging by this stance, Denktas does not want a solution. If he wanted one he would have abandoned this rigid stance. The ball is in his court. If he maintains this stance he will bear the responsibility.

    U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other U.N. officials are choosing their words with great care so as not to seem to be taking sides. They are biting their fingernails, trying not to explode. Yet, their stance, the between the lines of their remarks, all indicate that they find Clerides' stance more justified than that of Denktas.

    During the talk we had, Kofi Annan told me with emphasis, "This is an historic opportunity. It would be hard to get another chance like that. If that opportunity is missed the leaders will be responsible to the younger generations."

    Naturally, he would not tell me, "I have no hope. This is a quagmire." However, the U.N. circles add to the impression that Denktas is being held increasingly accountable. American and European Union diplomats too openly say that Denktas is rendering a solution difficult, that Denktas is playing for a lack of a solution. The Western world does not hide the fact that it sees the Greek Cypriots as the "flexible" and "pro-solution" side.

    To sum up, if no progress can be made until the fall, the U.N. -- that is, Washington -- and the EU Council will blame the Turkish side in the reports they will write, flashing the green light for the south entering the EU as a full member "Cyprus."

    Can the U.N. secretary-general do anything?

    He could if Washington wanted it. This depends on the Bush administration's stance. For the time being, the Bush administration officials content themselves with expressing support. They are not giving off any signal indicating that they will throw their full weight.

    A final note: Denktas says, "I am not bound by it." Yet, the U.N. insists that an agreement in principle must be reached by the end of June. The Secretary-General is not hiding the fact that he will be writing his report in July.

    The topics discussed between Denktas and Clerides are being called the "basic problems." Each comes under a separate title. Their places on the list may change, but according to the Turkish side, they must be tackled in this manner. Any agreements reached on any issue that comes under a specific title, is being considered "not finalized" until the basic "status" becomes clear.

    1. STATUS: It is in this framework that the following issues are being tackled: What kind of republic is Cyprus going to be, a federation or a confederation? How will the "TRNC's" sovereignty be reflected in the structure of the proposed new state? What kind of powers and arrangements would the cantons, that is, the founding states, or to put it differently, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot states, have?

    2. THE POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE JOINT GOVERNMENT: It is under this heading that the following issues are being discussed: Would there be political and numerical equality in the central government and in the central parliament? What kind of powers would the government and the parliament have and how would they operate?

    3. SECURITY: Here are the issues being tackled under this heading: How will security be built on the island? What would be the status held by the Turkish troops, the Greek troops and, if it is going to be maintained, the international peace force?

    4. PROPERTY EXCHANGE: It is being discussed how a property exchange will be arranged for the real estate Turkish Cypriots have left in the south and the Greek Cypriots have left in the north. Would that problem be solved by paying out compensation? Or will the problem be solved by permitting everybody, or a given part of the population, to return to their former homes?

    The Turkish Cypriot side wants the problem to be solved by mutual payments of compensation. The Greek Cypriots believe that part of the property in question should be returned to its owners.

    5. TERRITORY-REFUGEES: The Turkish Cypriot side holds 33 percent of the island's territory. To what extent will this land be retained by the "TRNC"? The "TRNC" is suggesting keeping 29 percent of the island's territory in its hands. The Greek Cypriots want this to be reduced to 24 percent.

    In other words, the Greek Cypriots want some 50,000 or 60,000 of the refugees -- who reportedly numbered 120,000 in 1974 -- to be returned to the north. The Turkish Cypriot side would prefer the return of only a symbolic amount of refugees.

    Also being discussed under this heading, are issues related to the "three liberties," that is, mutual free circulation, mutual property purchasing and settlement in one another's canton.


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