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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-11-21

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.222/02 21.11.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas continues his intransigent stance against the Annan plan.
  • [02] Denktas: ^”The plan is full of traps, we are at a critical stage, let us be patient^‘.
  • [03] Bush and Sezer met in Prague and discussed Cyprus.
  • [04] Republican Turkish Party favours UN plan as basis for talks.
  • [05] Erdogan says EU bid does relate to Cyprus.
  • [06] The so-called Council of Ministers convened yesterday to evaluate the UN plan.
  • [07] Turkey^“s Former President Kenan Evren: ^”We have occupied more land then operation plan envisaged in Cyprus^‘.
  • [08] Deniz Baykal demands Parliamentary debate on UN plan.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Athens gives priority to Cyprus's EU membership.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas continues his intransigent stance against the Annan plan

    According to KIBRIS (21.11.02) the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said yesterday that there were very intricate traps in the plan presented by the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on November 11 to the sides for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to TV8, Denktas said that the timing of the plan was not good, that the Turkish Parliament has not convened yet, and that it was not in a position to discuss the issue. Denktas added that the plan could not be examined in the occupied areas because of his illness and other reasons.

    ``The plan that is put in front of us is full of deficiencies, disruptions, and traps, `` Denktas said, adding that, ``despite all these, it is meaningless to set off saying `let us accept it immediately`. ``

    Denktas said this was an issue that should be discussed, criticized negotiated in detail and agreed upon in Turkey.

    When asked what kind of flexibility was requested from the U.N. Secretary-General about the dates, Denktas said, ``we had earlier obtained this flexibility from the U.N. Cyprus Special Envoy Alvaro de Soto. Upon a written statement of the U.N. Secretary General, I stated to him that we needed flexibility. They say the time was not much, but that time is not adjusted for us. It is a time appropriate to Greek Cypriots. ``

    Denktas said, ``I think the world will better understand us if we come together and speak together, `` adding that, ``I don^“t want to speak much on the issue because we are in the evaluation stage. We should discuss whether or not this issue can be negotiated, and what is necessary for basis for negotiations. ``

    [02] Denktas: ^”The plan is full of traps, we are at a critical stage, let us be patient^‘

    KIBRIS (21.11.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that the UN Secretary-General^“s plan for Cyprus is full of traps and called on the Turkish side to be patient, as ^”we are at a critical stage^‘.

    Talking last night to illegal Bayrak television at the hospital in New York where he is undergoing his therapy, Mr Denktas argued that ^”in the plan there are many unacceptable things which must change^‘, because they in time would turn the Turkish Cypriots into a minority and annihilate them.

    Asked to send a message to the Turkish Cypriots regarding the territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem, Mr Denktas said: ^”The fact that the people react is normal, because I was aware of this and I have been insisting since Boutros Ghali^“s time that the maps^“ issue should be put forward after the status of the two peoples is defined, that is after we see what constitutional order we shall have and after saying to the people that they are safe and have nothing to worry about. Why have I been insisting? ^Ň Because I want reconciliation, because I knew that untimely presentation of a map would have messed up everything. As it did and it will continue to do so. However, our people must know that these maps, these views, the views of the Secretary ^÷ General have not been submitted in a ^—take it or leave it^“ way. ^Ň

    They have been submitted in order to have the negotiations started. What we have to see is whether they constitute or not a basis for negotiations for an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem and I hope we, both Ankara and our ^—government and Foreign Affairs Ministry^“ in Nicosia, are doing this. Could it constitute a basis for negotiations for an overall settlement and if yes what kind of changes must be made? We have to bring them onto the negotiating table. We are working on these things. ^ŇIn the nearly 150-page text, let me not say in every line, there are many traps, very big defects and deficiencies. ^Ň

    That is, if the Turkish Cypriots do not see and evaluate this as an operation to Hellenize Cyprus and if they accept this as a basis for negotiations, then it is their problem. However, I am of the view that our people are not that blind. While, as I have said, the evaluation is continuing in Turkey, here and in Cyprus. It seemed irresponsible to me that it has been said ^—what a good thing, the basis is this and that, the military service is over^“ as soon as this document is submitted. That is it would have been good if we thought about it together and work a little bit. Passing through this is a misfortune, but this is something, which does not depend on us. The UN must approach this with understanding. ^Ň

    If you accept it as a basis for negotiations it means that you have accepted the framework. Because there is a framework there and there are some unchangeable criteria, which fill up this framework. Because the framework is based on a principle and if you say ^—I accept this as a basis^“, it means you have accepted it as a basis with its map and I do not know what other things. However, let us discuss whether or not it could be a basis; let us discuss this with the Secretary ^÷ General. In order to be able to constitute a basis there are elements such as our sovereignty, our equality and there are elements such as the Greek Cypriots coming, living among us and voting as if they are our citizens. That is, there are a lot of things. That is, the more we work on it the more surprised we are.

    It includes a lot of things which must be changed, they cannot be accepted and in time they will turn us into a minority and annihilate us. The reason the Greek Cypriots said īWe accept this as a basis for negotiation is because they want to keep the EU door open as well as to torpedo our attempts for the things that we want to change^‘.

    Denktas went on and urged the people to be patient and make a very detailed evaluation of the plan all together including Turkey. ^”We are going through a very critical and fateful period,^‘Denktas cautioned.

    [03] Bush and Sezer met in Prague and discussed Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (21.11.02), Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who is currently in Prague for the NATO summit, met yesterday with U.S. President George Bush. U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and high level officials from both sides also attended the meeting which lasted for about 50 minutes.

    Bush said that Turkey had to take its place in the EU and that they extended full support to Ankara about this issue. Noting that he called the EU heads of state and government on the phone and stressed Turkey^“s importance, Bush said that they sincerely hoped that they expected that a decision in line with expectations of Turkey would be made at Copenhagen summit.

    Sezer thanked Bush for his personal contributions to Turkey^“s EU membership process.

    Stating that the side which would evaluate the U.N. plan for Cyprus was the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, Bush said that the United States wanted a lasting peace and it would be pleased with Turkey^“s support to such efforts.

    Sezer said that Turkey also wanted fair and lasting peace in the island and noted that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas pursued a constructive attitude and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan^“s proposals were being examined.

    Noting that a solution to the Cyprus question had to take into consideration the realities in the island, Sezer said that Ankara hoped for a solution on the basis of equality and new partnership.

    Drawing the attention that Annan^“s plan was tabled in an unfortunate period, Sezer said that Denktas was ill and under medical treatment and Turkey had had an election process. Sezer added that ``pressure on timing was unnecessary.``

    [04] Republican Turkish Party favours UN plan as basis for talks

    YENIDUZEN (21.11.02) reports that the Press Bureau of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) announced to the public the decisions made at the extended party assembly meeting held last night in connection with the UN solution plan. The Republican Turkish Party expressed the belief that the plan that was submitted by the UN Secretary-General to both sides in Cyprus should be viewed as a serious basis that can be negotiated with the aim of further improving the interests of the people.

    The RTP statement pointed out that the plan incorporates elements that guarantee political equality, the joint use of sovereignty, as well as equality and partnership rights in the relations with the EU. It said that the plan which takes into consideration Turkey's guarantees for the security of the community, as well as maintaining the balance between Turkey and Greece is a positive development.

    The statement noted that the extended party assembly assigned the party organs to the responsibility of providing housing for the citizens who will be affected by the territorial adjustments and their rehabilitation. The party organs were also tasked with the duty of showing the necessary care to prevent anyone from suffering in this regard and to undertake all the initiatives on this subject. The statement further remarked that while the plan is adopted as the basis for negotiations, efforts must be exerted to bring about the necessary improvements in view of the discussions triggered by the draft maps included in the plan.

    [05] Erdogan says EU bid does relate to Cyprus

    Turkish Daily News (21/11/02) reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan signalled discord with a firmly-established thesis of Turkish foreign policy Wednesday and said Turkey's bid to join the European Union did depend on a solution in deadlocked Cyprus and European defence issues.

    "It was the wrong approach to present Cyprus, European defence and EU policies separate from each other. There is no point in burying our heads in the sand any longer," Erdogan said in London, after talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Minister Jack Straw.

    But he declined to call it a "policy change", saying it was an "improvement" and said his party would be in consultation with the Foreign Ministry.

    Turkey has been long opposed to the EU argument linking any progress in its bid to become a member to a solution in Cyprus and the union's plans to create a defence force of its own, which have been thwarted because of NATO member Turkey's objections to allow assured access of the proposed force to the alliance's assets, demanding more say in the force's decision-making mechanism.

    Erdogan's JDP declared EU membership priority soon after it won an overwhelming victory in the November 3 elections and Erdogan told leaders of EU countries that the reform drive under his party's rule would speed up if the union sets a date for the beginning of accession talks with Turkey in its upcoming summit in Copenhagen on December 12.

    His ongoing tour to six EU countries is in an effort to convince leaders that the new government was ready and willing to implement political and economic reforms and as such Turkey deserved to be given a date for talks before the year ends.

    "It is impossible to close our eyes to the truths. All the European leaders I have met have brought up the three issues together before us," Erdogan said, when asked whether his similar remarks in the past signified a policy change in Turkey after a meeting with Turkish and foreign businessmen.

    "Let's take them as a whole but provided that negotiations will be based on mutual sacrifice on both sides. There would be no possibility of failure to find a solution if there is mutual sacrifice."

    While in London, Erdogan won pledges from Premier Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to strongly support Turkey's EU membership "as soon as possible."

    "British leaders said that they favoured Turkey's being given a date for talks in Copenhagen summit and that we should not worry. The sole concern is about Cyprus," Erdogan told reporters while travelling from London to his next stop, Brussels.

    But he repeated it was not likely to reach a preliminary deal on the future of Cyprus before the December 12 summit of the EU, given that the government has just come to power in Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas is still in bad health.

    Instead of the December 12 deadline, Erdogan suggested EU's summit next year in Thessaloniki for negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, speaking after talks with Erdogan, expressed Britain^“s "strong support for Turkey's accession to the European Union as soon as that is possible".

    But he would not commit Britain to supporting a date for the accession negotiations to start.

    "There are 15 current members of the EU and what we are looking for in Copenhagen is a satisfactory outcome for Turkey," Straw told reporters. "You'll excuse me if I don't today publicly negotiate with the other 14 members of the European Union through the media."

    [06] The so-called Council of Ministers convened yesterday to evaluate the UN plan

    According to KIBRISLI (21.11.02) the so-called Council of Ministers convened yesterday under the chairmanship of the so-called Prime Minister and leader of the National Unity Party (NUP) Dervis Eroglu to assess the solution plan submitted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to both sides in Cyprus. Eroglu said that generally the Annan plan is far from satisfying the Turkish Cypriot side.

    The pseudo cabinet assessed the UN solution plan and discussed backlogged draft bills. In a statement before the meeting, Eroglu said that when examined the plan gives the impression that it will not grant the Turkish Cypriots the right to live in Cyprus in the future. ^”In general, the document is far from satisfying the Turkish Cypriot side^‘, Eroglu declared.

    Asked by a journalist about the meaning of the National Unity Party decision of yesterday that the plan does not constitute a basis for negotiations, Eroglu said: ^”We are not opposed to negotiations. Even if this document does not constitute a basis for negotiations, we clearly showed that we are in favour of negotiations^‘.

    Eroglu remarked that as the document is studied, one discovers that it incorporates several aspects that fail to satisfy the Turkish Cypriot side with regard to territory, property, sovereignty, security, the formation of the partnership state, and executive matters. He added that it is impossible to encounter in the document any aspect that pleases the Turkish Cypriot side. Eroglu declared that the document includes the element of rotational presidency which could be adopted by the Turkish Cypriot side, but the Greek Cypriot side is opposed to this, and in general the document is far from satisfying the Turkish Cypriot side.

    There are elements such as the legislation of the meteorology law and the allocation of water resources, which have been left empty in the document, Eroglu noted, adding that if the negotiations are to be held merely to fill in these empty pages, it is impossible for such negotiations to yield any results.

    Eroglu said that responding to the plan within such a restricted period of time would be very difficult for the Turkish Cypriot side, whose views he said, which were put forward at the negotiating table were not taken notice of.

    He also added that the proposed plan gives the impression of a scenario prepared to help the Greek Cypriot side enter the European Union.

    The meeting lasted for three hours.

    After the meeting the so-called ^”Minister of Public Works and Communications^‘ and ^”Council of Ministers spokesman^‘ Salih Miroglu said they would continue to carefully assess the UN solution plan and that it was not possible to come to a conclusion at one meeting.

    [07] Turkey^“s Former President Kenan Evren: ^”We have occupied more land than the operation plan envisaged in Cyprus^‘

    According to KIBRIS (21.11.02), Turkey^“s 7th president and the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Land Forces in 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus Kenan Evren said that during the invasion, when the invading army did not meet any resistance, it had occupied more land than envisaged in the invasion plan. Evren went on and said that the Turkish Government at that time had decided to keep this territory for concessions in future negotiations. Evren said: ^”As far as I am concerned, a bit more, a bit less territory is not that much important. The time has come to solve the Cyprus problem. If we miss this chance as well, I do not know if such a chance will be presented to us again.^‘ As regards the UN Cyprus Plan, Evren said that he did not study the plan as such but what he had gathered from the press that it could be a basis for negotiation. He said: ^”Most probably there are things in the Plan which are not acceptable for the Greek side as well. If we want the settlement of the Cyprus problem, then it would be better if we act more constructively and be positive rather than take a tough stance. I am of the view that this plan is a document on which one could sit down and negotiate. I do hope that both Greece and Turkey could get rid of this trouble.^‘

    [08] Deniz Baykal demands Parliamentary debate on UN plan

    According to HALKIN SESI (21.11.02), the Republican People^“s Party (RPP) leader Deniz Baykal in Turkey said on Wednesday that he had serious concerns related to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan^“s ^”Cyprus Plan^‘ and added that the Turkish government should bring this issue to the parliament without undertaking commitment about the document.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin, Cyprus Department Chief Ertugrul Apakan and Turkish Ambassador to occupied Nicosia Hayati Guven briefed Baykal about the Cyprus issue.

    Responding to the reporters` questions, Baykal said that there was a serious contradiction between the content of the document and the atmosphere which was created in Turkey.

    Stating that they were exerting efforts to reach a peaceful solution on the Cyprus issue, Baykal stated that the plan prepared by Annan should be examined carefully.

    Upon the questions related to the objections to the plan, he said: ^”The issue should be discussed. We believe a peaceful solution should be reached in Cyprus. But the document does not seem to solve the problem with its current shape. We have serious concerns on the issue at that level.^‘

    Baykal said that the plan should be discussed at the parliament and added that they should know what is under this document.

    He said that there were two societies` requests to have two separate homelands and two different regions as the basis of peace in Cyprus and stated that Annan^“s solution was a policy of population settlement which could cause very serious problems in the future.

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot population being settled in the Turkish region would cause serious problems related to the peace in the occupied area, Baykal said that nearly 70,000 Turkish Cypriot people would have to be displaced with this agreement. He added that this situation would yield results which would destroy functioning of the political structure in Cyprus.

    Baykal said that the maps included in the Cyprus plan could not be accepted, adding that the pseudostate was obliged to give up the occupied Karpass region or the occupied Morphou region which was very important for the pseudostateīs economy.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Athens gives priority to Cyprus's EU membership

    Under the above title, Mehmet Ali Birand publishes in his daily column OPINION in the Turkish Daily News (21.11.02) the following commentary:

    ^”On Tuesday CNN Turk accomplished something unprecedented, reporting live from Athens' PANTION University where Turkish-Greek relations were debated with academics and university students.

    They revealed the way they see Turkey, whether they wanted Turkey to be a full member of the European Union, what they think regarding a solution in Cyprus.

    First, I want to begin with a general observation I have made. Three years ago we would not have been able bring such a program to a conclusion in such a civilized manner. One of two things was bound to happen. Either I would have been booed into silence or such insults would be hurled at Turkey that I would have no choice other than cutting the program short.

    Those of you who have watched it may have been surprised. I too am surprised. For the first time they voiced their expectations while engaging in criticism. That program must have astonished the Greeks as well, judging by the way all the TV channels and newspapers gave it top coverage yesterday.

    Speakers included retired ambassador, historian Byron Theodoropoulos who has had a firsthand experience of the Turkish-Greek relations and the Cyprus incidents and even served at the Greek Foreign Ministry at a high level, Stefanos Manos who is the leader of the Filelefteri Party and Gerasimos Arsenis, a leading figure in PASOK.

    The aspect that caught my attention was the way some of the speakers tended to say, "If no solution can be reached or if this plan gets accepted but cannot be implemented, then let us let the island continue on its path in its current, divided form."

    This is not a new approach. However, this is becoming increasingly more widespread. People are reaching the point where they accept the loss of one half of the island. Since the Turkish side will be holding on to a significant part of the territory -- be it 29 percent or 28 percent -- the view that no concessions should be made from Cyprus's sovereignty and that the ^”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus^‘ should be left to its fate, is coming to prevail.

    Subtitle: EU membership the only target

    The mood in Greece is one of, "Cyprus's EU full membership must take place regardless of what happens." For a simple reason, Cyprus will gain a major advantage if it becomes a full member on its own, that is, in its present state, without the Turkish Cypriots.

    Cyprus's sovereignty will remain in the hands of the Greek Cypriots. The requirement for them to share it with the Turks will vanish. Since half of the island is going to be lost anyway, they believe that they can at least further enrich the part they have in their hands.

    After gaining full membership, the Greek Cypriots will, this time, start waiting for Turkey's full membership. The day, on which the ^”TRNC^‘ forces the EU's door in order to join the EU together with Turkey, the Greek Cypriots will, once again, be able to dictate on Ankara their list of demands.

    There is logic to this scenario. It reflects the desire to leave the resolution of the problem to some time in the future when conditions would be more suitable.

    Subtitle: Not good for the Turkish side

    Obviously, if the Greek Cypriots were to be admitted into the EU in the absence of a solution in Cyprus, that would not be in line with the interests of the ^”TRNC^‘.

    It would be a pipe dream to expect the Cyprus Government to display flexibility once they have full membership in their pocket. Knowing that they are going to lose half of the island anyway, they would be quite determined -- justifiably, from their own standpoint -- to drag their feet during the negotiations.

    Greece is so persistent on the EU membership issue basically because the Greeks want to get rid of the burden they have had on their collective conscience on the Cyprus issue since 1974. They are, in a way, paying a price.

    They know that Turkey's 1974 intervention in Cyprus was triggered by the erroneous policies of the colonels' junta in Athens. They believe that they can, this way, finally get rid of the responsibility, the pain of having been a bystander while the two Turkish interventions took place. They think that a Cyprus that becomes a full member of the EU will be able to stand on its own feet, that it will no longer be a burden on Greece's back.

    This is why Athens is conveying the following message to the EU capitals: "If Turks are going to be tardy in the negotiations for a solution, let us then admit Cyprus as a full member. Then the negotiations can still continue. The ^”TRNC^‘ too would join the EU when it considered itself ready for that."

    If this approach meets with acceptance, the Greek Cypriots will be the winning side while the Turks will be the losers.^‘


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