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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-02-05
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.24/03 05.02.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Mr Rauf Denktas seems determined to continue the ethnic cleansing policyIllegal Bayrak Television (04.02.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, is continuing his assessment of the Annan document with the Turkish Cypriot oroganizations and various segments of the society. During a meeting with the members of the executive board of the Turkish Cypriot Physicians Union, Rauf Denktas declared that occupied Rizokarpasso and Morphou in the Annan plan can in no way be returned to the Greek Cypriots.
Mr Denktas met with the members of the executive board of the Turkish Cypriot Physicians Union headed by Ahmet Gulle.
Ahmet Gulle urged Denktas to listen to the views of those who support a solution and the EU membership.
Rauf Denktas said in reply that though the 28 February is regarded as the end of everything, the timetable placed before the Turkish Cypriot side is actually artificial. Noting that the UN Secretary-General's goodwill timetable and EU's timetable are incompatible, Denktas said the EU, overwhelmed by the issue, is considering the timetable as a remedy for the Cyprus problem. Stating that the Cyprus problem has to be settled before the EU membership comes up on the agenda, he alleged that a gross plot is being hatched by joining the two timetables and added: "The Greek Cypriots applied to the EU just when the Cyprus talks were in progress, to accomplish that which they could not achieve by use of arms and embargo. Clerides has made statements to the effect that the admission into the EU would dilute Turkey's guarantorship, limit the bizonality, and expand the three freedoms. Turkey's guarantorship over Cyprus has indeed been diluted in the Annan document.
An outsider Turkey has no right to intervene in an EU country. The Greek Cypriots are aware of this. Untroubled, the EU conceded the Greek Cypriots a right that we persistently want to preserve and do not want to forgo. What was that right? The drafters of the plan pretend as if they are making a big concession by saying that the guarantor state will also guarantee the status, constitution, and the borders of the so-called component state--an entity that does not have much meaning, it is unclear if it is a province or something less. We still have to wait and see what it would evolve into. But at closer look, we see that the guarantor's hands and feet have actually been tied up. It was with the comfort derived from that situation that they made this concession.
They are also comfortable at the prospect of introducing 60,000 Greek Cypriots into the Turkish component state. They disregarded the formula preventing the intermingling of the Greek Cypriots with us--or rather prevented the emergence of a situation that would not have rendered us homeless and transformed us into minority over here through the gradual Greek Cypriot settlement under the laws and quotas of the northern state--and instead opened the gate to 60,000 Greek Cypriots. When we opposed this, we were told not to digress from the plan. Upon which we said that we want to reduce that number to 10,000. No, it is unacceptable, they told us. In short, they are turning the Turkish component state into a mixed-population state. And in time, we have to recognize the Greek Cypriots the right to vote and get elected. With that, the other rights too are being diluted.
So, Clerides is correct in asserting that the EU membership would emasculate the guarantee system. He also said that the restrictions on the three freedoms, that is the restrictions on property ownership, settlement, and movement for the security of the Turks are incongruent with the EU norms, and as such all the refugees will gain the right to return to their homes and Hellenism will emerge victorious at the end.
We look at the plan, and we indeed see that it gives all the refugees the right of return. Though supposedly they have taken certain preventive measures, it is highly questionable how tenable that would be vis-a-vis the EU norms and human rights courts. We look at the map and see that it provides for the uprooting of 50,000 Turks at the first stage. We are asking them where are we going to resettle them. They say it is not yet clear.
The drafters of the plan gave us 28 percent territory--the Greek Cypriots are still considering giving some 25 percent. If you take away the mountains and pastures, we remain with 12 percent or 15-16 percent territory. Another 9 percent of that would be returned to the Greek Cypriots [in the form of previous property], we would eventually end up with some 4, 5, 6, or 7 percent land. I am mentioning all these numbers because I do not know the exact calculation. Say 6, 7 or 8 percent at most. But that 6, 7, 8 percent is the titled property of the Turkish Cypriots. So when I ask where should I resettle these 50,000, they say we can sequastrate lands from the Turks and resettle them there. And where is your resettlement project? They say they could find the money. De Soto said that at first they thought the Greek Cypriots will come up with the money. Clerides said there can be no such thing, but they can put a bit of money into a fund. Turkey and Greece too may put some money, just may be. Fine, then, did you calculate the cost of this project? What are you going to do exactly? They say it would be only a housing, house distribution, project. But could a person be considered rehabilitated through a mere housing project? If you uproot a gardener where are you going to rehabilitate him, where are you going to find the land for his groves, and even if he is resettled on what is he going to survive until he obtains the produce? Did you calculate all these? Do you have a project? You cannot uproot 50,000 and then keep them waiting. They say these people will not be uprooted before the housings are completed. This is not a housing issue. Beyond that I expect a rehabilitation project. They have to bring that to me."
 Denktas' dream for Cyprus is not living with the Greek Cypriots who live on the island since the beginning of its historyTurkish mainland AKSAM newspaper publishes an interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, by Oya Berberoglu.
The interview, published on 03 and 04 February 2003, is as follows:
Question: What will you bring to the table on Monday [3 February] as your 'absolute conditions'?
Answer: In our opinion, it is essential to make the agreement between two equal and sovereign sides. Consequently, the question appears from where the sovereignty of the joint state to be established will stem from? This subject is passed over indirectly in the Annan plan. An opportunity is given to the Greek Cypriots. They are insistently demanding and saying, 'There is the 1960 Republic of Cyprus and the Constitution of this Republic will be amended. New rights will be given to you by amending the Constitution. But the foundation is the 1960 Republic of Cyprus'. That is, the Republic about which we have been saying for 40 years, 'You destroyed this Republic. You took its title and ran away with it. You deceived the world. You committed great cruelties against us under this name'. Now, we are asked to accept this Republic. There is nothing in the agreement saying 'accept this', but it is passing indirectly. This is the situation when you look into the details. There is nothing else beyond it. Consequently, equal sovereignty is one of our absolute conditions.
Question: What about the guarantee agreement?
Answer: They say that the guarantee agreement will continue. We say that you both say the guarantee agreement will continue and that you want to carry out the application to the EU, which you made despite the guarantee agreement, with our participation as well. In other words, there is a major contradiction. You are attempting to violate Turkey's geopolitical right with the signature of the Turkish Cypriots. Here they are saying to Turkey, 'The EU will give us a guarantee. Your rights will not be eliminated. In any case, you are continuing to be a guarantor, but you will not be left behind Greece. That is, a Cyprus, which enters into the EU, will not and can not be filled with Greeks. Such a restriction is necessary until you also become a member'. There are disagreements on these subjects.
Question: You want that an agreement on Cyprus is tied to Turkey's EU full membership process with some articles. Even this is not accepted, is that not so?
Answer: It is so.
Question: It was said, 'Either you should sign this plan or you should resign'. Were you very sad?
Answer: My being sad is unimportant. What is important is for a part of the people, not my person, a part of the people who have a state, consent to the elimination of their state. They are within an attitude, such as not knowing what they will receive in return, with a belief that this situation will not create a security problem for themselves and are within an attitude of 'that is all right, we will live together, it is no problem'. What is most important is, as I said, that you declared your state and you do not back up your state. There is no meaning to the words 'lack of a solution is a solution'. This expression is an expression befitting to the Greek Cypriots. What is the Cyprus problem? Is it not Enosis? Why do we struggle? Resistance is from the Turkish Cypriot side. The joint republic instead of division. For us not to lose our equal sovereignty. Not to be a minority among the Greek Cypriots. To prevent Enosis. We fought against this and established our state. Now we are going to make a new partnership, are we not? When making a new partnership can we assume the principles, which we saved by struggling for so many years, to be nonexistent? We cannot. We are saying in a firm manner, 'Accept these'.
It was like this from state to state. Our claim was a confederation, or this or that. The U.N. Secretary-General said to us, 'Give up those names'. We gave up the names, but we say, 'Make a record that a new partnership will be established between two sovereign sides, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot nations, and the rest is easy'.
Question: What is the situation about the territorial demands?
Answer: There are huge demands on the subject of territory. For instance, they want Karpass. They are getting a large canton from there. There are such zigzags, enormous. As you can see, they are taking all of these areas. Limnitis and its environs are going completely up to this line. They want a place from Ayia Irene village up to the sea. They are taking Morphou and its environs.
Question: How much of a step back can be taken on the subject of territory? Answer: Naturally, some concessions will be made. We will arrange the border. But for them to encroach within our territories in this manner, according to what has been said by our military experts will make it something impossible to defend in the future. If we can insist. We are dismantling all of these, which could come in an attack.
Question: Is the Turkish side shown in pink on the map? The 28 percent part?
Answer: The pink areas correspond to 26 percent. Twenty-one percent of the pink areas will be returned to the Greek Cypriots. The total is 26 percent. Five percent is left to us. There are settled Turks living in that 5 percent. Consequently, the number of Turkish Cypriots who will be removed from these places is between 50-60 thousand persons. Where shall I settle them?
Question: There have been and are some criticisms directed at you.
Answer: There are many criticisms.
Question: They say that you are a very good negotiator. Can there be a solution, a way out? Because reciprocal proposals are not being accepted.
Answer: A solution is difficult by 28 February. After 28 February we should sit down with Turkey and take a decision on whether or not to continue.
Question: All right, what happens after that?
Answer: There is time up until 16 April, until the Athens Summit. Now, after giving all these opportunities to the Greek Cypriot side and because they have told them, 'you are the legal Government of Cyprus', no solution was possible up until around 1992. Because they wanted to remain as the legal government. While we were complaining about this and trying to explain it to the world, this time they honored them as an EU candidate. I brought Clerides to the negotiation table with difficulty. I started face-to-face talks with him last year. Immediately the statements started from the EU. They said, 'Whether or not you agree, do not worry, Cyprus will be an EU member'. They have done this continuously. They have still done it the other day. All right, would these people negotiate with us from now on? They agree to take us among them as a people subject to them. There is nothing beyond this.
Question: There is also a short period of time until 16 April. Can you not come to an agreement on a minimum of common points?
Answer: In any case, the Greek Cypriot side is also saying that an agreement cannot be made by 28 February. It is dependent on the attitude of Greece. For years, Greece has been setting forth all of its influence to solve this Cyprus issue in favor of the Greek Cypriots. It has shown all of its skills. Now, in this situation, when Greece is the EU term chairman, it should not be expected for it to want to solve this in harmony with Turkey by April.
Question: What will be the picture then? A state in the south, which is an EU member, and the `TRNC'?
Answer: If the EU would consider the supremacy of law, then it should say to the Greek Cypriots, 'Wait. When Turkey also enters the EU and when you have come to an agreement with Turkey, then you will enter the EU'. But I am not expecting the EU to say this.
Question: The EU has made its decision, has it not?
Answer: They will enter the EU and we will remain outside. Now, the following is the whole problem. The EU wants all of Cyprus, but it could not get it. Will it turn its back on us or will it contact us upon our request or on its own by saying, 'Why did you not come?" And will it help us by understanding why we did not come? These are also remaining as question marks.
Question: As the `TRNC', are you making preparations in this direction for the 16 April Summit? Will you make a request?
Answer: We have something for every probability. The sovereign two sides are equal.
Question: Will you apply to the EU term president?
Answer: Of course, we probably will.
Question: What is your response to the criticisms that you consider 'the lack of a solution to be a solution'?
Answer: I am repeating this. If you do answer the question of what is the Cyprus issue, then the expression, 'the lack of solution is a solution' has no meaning. But if it is recorded that a new joint partnership will be formed between the two sovereign sides, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot nations, then we are saying that the rest is easy.
Question: If the rest is easy, then why does it not happen?
Answer: We say that the rest becomes details, but 'accept that this is the foundation'. Because we are afraid. You [the Greek Cypriots] are the side, which has torn up and thrown away the agreements on paper. We are afraid and concerned that you can once again tear them up and throw them away. They say, 'No, we will not throw them away'. Then we say, 'If you are not going to throw them away, then do not be afraid of saying, "the two sovereign sides are equal"'. They are saying, 'No'.
Question: All right, what will be the developments after 16 April?
Answer: I cannot see that far ahead. Whatever the developments are, then according to this, whatever I have defended up until now, I will defend that. What did I defend: The status of my people, that they are not and cannot be a minority, that they are ready for a new partnership and that Turkey's guarantorship should continue. These are our absolute conditions.
Question: All right, if there are pressures from your people, from Turkey? At one stage you had said, 'I would resign, then they could have whomever they want sign it'.
Answer: If they pressure me, then naturally a person would say this. In order for Turkey to pressure me in this manner, it is necessary for it to give up the rights given to it in the 1960 Agreement, because the signature of Turkey will also be on the agreement as the guarantor. If Turkey is willing to have Cyprus enter into the EU without Turkey, then it means that it is giving up its rights on Cyprus.
Question: If Turkey would give up its rights, then would you sign the agreement?
Answer: I do not see such a probability, because in the contacts we have made up until today, I see that Turkey has been rather firm on these subjects.
Question: What about your recent relations with the Turkish Government?
Answer: Nothing has happened between the Turkish Government and me.
Question: It happened with Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Answer: It was an unfortunate development and that is now behind us.
Question: Did you talk with Mr Erdogan at that time? Did he phone you or did you phone him?
Answer: No. I wrote him a letter and we had no contacts after that.
Question: Did you write it after the reciprocal statements?
Answer: Yes, two to three weeks ago. He was complaining about not having the 40-year problem solved. I wrote him a short letter explaining why the problem could not be solved.
Question: Did you receive an answer?
Answer: No, no. It was not something requiring an answer. It was an explanation for him.
Question: What is your dream for Cyprus?
Answer: I believe that living intermingled with the Greek Cypriots, especially after these incidents, is filled with dangers. I know the Greek Cypriots well. They would behave respectfully to you as long as you have them accept your equality and status. In case you cannot achieve this, then they would look down upon you and do everything they can to oppress you. They are saying, 'Let us enter the EU, do not be afraid'. I look at the Turkish minority in Greece and I am asking myself why the EU could not protect the rights of the Turkish minority? Consequently, I see the future of Cyprus in a strong agreement made between the two sides, which will not be destroyed, in a new partnership, in our effective participation in the government, and in the continuation of the guarantorship of Turkey and Greece.
Question: If this does not happen?
Answer: If this does not happen, then the separation will be complete and the fight will never end. There is no need for this.
Question: What is being thought on the subject of the name of the probable partnership state?
Answer: We can agree on a name. That is not a problem. They can be called Northern Republic, Southern Republic. It can be called United Republics, United States, Partnership States. In the Annan Document it is called component state in quotation marks. Once the two component states are given a name, then there should be a name created from the combination of these. We made an experiment on this, but we could not succeed. We will try again.
Question: What was your proposal for a name? Answer: We are saying 'United States Republic', but they are not saying 'states'. They say, 'the Cyprus State' or 'Republic of Cyprus'. But if we agree in principle, then the name is easy.
Question: You have not explained your dream completely.
Answer: My dream is for a future in which my people will not be oppressed and will not be treated as second class citizens. We accepted the 1960 partnership agreement with these thoughts; a guaranteed republic, a guaranteed partnership. They destroyed it in three years. Now, we want a strong structure, on a strong foundation, which they will not be able to destroy once again.
Question: Is a preliminary agreement out of the question?
Answer: If our absolute conditions are signed, then the rest is easy. But it is they who do not want to do this. Our absolute conditions are a package of principles, which are also supported by Turkey.
Question:How would you like to have your history written?
Answer: To tell you the truth, if I would act by thinking about it, then probably my actions would not be sincere. You cannot take risks according to the situations, just because you want them to say good things about you. For that reason, a person on duty cannot think anything like this. I cannot think how history will write about me. I perform my duty and history evaluates it.
Question: Then your conscience is clear up until now.
Answer: I am comfortable. Yes, my conscience is quite clear.
Question: How many people will be forced to migrate?
Answer: With maps like these, they will uproot 50-60 thousand of our people at the beginning and 50-60 thousand Greek Cypriots will come to live among us. That is, 50-60 thousand more of our people will be uprooted. All right, if you uproot and once more settle 100-110 thousand people, and if these people, who have already migrated three times, are forced to migrate once again, then can they establish roots? This is something which has the meaning of our direct disintegration. Everyone will be on his/her own.
Question: There is, however, equality in the senate to be formed: 24-24.
Answer: It is 24-24, but the 60 thousand Greek Cypriots who settle among us will have the right for citizenship in time. When they become citizens, then our 24 members will also be elected by the Greek Cypriots. What will happen if they establish a political party? The Greek Cypriots will have a considerable influence on the election of your 24 members. On the other hand, there is the state composed of 100 percent Greek Cypriots. That is, there is a tremendous dilution for the Turkish Cypriots.
Question: Do you believe that this many Greek Cypriots would settle in the Turkish Cypriot region? They can sell their properties and return to their homes in the south.
Answer: You have to know the Greek Cypriots. If the basic intention is to uproot us, then they would settle in the north out of stubbornness. Half of our population came from the south in the population exchanges. We gave them title deeds. They mortgaged their title deeds. They received money and made investments. Consequently, there is a property with two title deeds here. One belongs to the Greek Cypriot who fled and the other is the title deed we gave. Is it appropriate to solve the migration problem by creating immigrants? What is needed is to give this person the right on the title deed. You will pay indemnity or if this Turkish Cypriot is ready to exchange the property he had in the south, then you will say, 'all right, let us make an exchange'. We proposed these.
Question: Why are they not accepting these?
Answer: Because the intention is to uproot us and to make us uneasy.
Question: What is the problem in your opinion?
Answer: It is to take our stolen sovereignty. We have established the `TRNC' in the north and saved ourselves by shedding blood and losing lives. We want to establish a partnership accepting this, so that it will not happen again.
Question: With the existing borders?
Answer: We can discuss, we will discuss the borders. First of all, accept our title deed, or existence. They do not accept our title deeds. All right, is an agreement possible under these conditions? In any case, the day you would make an agreement on this foundation, you would lose.
Question: Then you are insistent on these points and you are rebelling.
Answer: We are insisting. We rebelled for years. We are rebellious.
Question: How much money is necessary for the migrations and new settlements? Are there any projections?
Answer: Billions are needed. Recently, I said to the Americans and the other diplomats who came here. You want to have this plan be accepted. One hundred ten thousand people will be immigrants. You left and passed over the indemnity problem with one line. Where are the rehabilitation plan project and the money? I said that I would not sign an agreement without seeing these. They were extremely alarmed and immediately started to look for money. This problem cannot be solved only with money. You take a gardener, a farmer and put him in an apartment. Where will this man work? Let those who put this plan in front of us also bring with it this project so that it is understood that they are human beings.
 Gul and Dick Chenney discussed Cyprus during a telephone conversation on IraqAccording to HURRIYET newspaper (05.02.03), the USA pressure on Turkey is increasing every passing day and that yesterday it reached its highest level when the Turkish prime minister, Abdullah Gul, had a 40-minute telephone conversation with the US Vice President Dick Chenney. During the conversation Mr Chenney urged prime minister Gul to send ,as soon as possible, to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) the necessary law that will give the USA right to use and to modernize the Turkish ports and use the Turkish territory to station and transport troops and war material to Iraq. The paper reports that Chenney has urged PM Gul to submit the said law to the Assembly's approval this Thursday. In his reply, Gul said that " it would be difficult for them to convince the Turkish people both for opening a front against Iraq and at the same time to take steps regarding the Cyprus problem." This answer, reports Hurriyet, "surprised Chenney".
The paper further reports that political and diplomatic circles in Ankara believe that the said law will not be passed before the end of the Kurban Bayram, that is, after 18 February.
Subtitle: Help us in Cyprus
During the telephone conversation Gul referred to the on-going negotiations in Cyprus on the Annan plan and conveyed the uneasiness that Ankara feels regarding raising the Cyprus problem simultaneously with the Iraqi issue. Thus, reports HURRIYET, Gul was able to include the Cyprus problem in the Iraqi bargain. Gul has demanded from Chenney to help to ameliorate Turkey's certain concerns in Cyprus. In his turn, reports HURRIYET, Chenney said that as the USA administration they will support a lasting solution in Cyprus.
 Talat: Denktas is sabotaging the time tableKIBRIS (05.02.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has said that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas is sabotaging the timetable set by the United Nations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Talking yesterday at a seminar in Istanbul on the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat accused Mr Denktas of supporting the policy of the non-solution in Cyprus and described the Cyprus talks between the Turkish Cypriot leader and President Clerides as "preaching to deaf ears".
According to KIBRIS, some young persons members of Turkey's Workers' Party (WP), tried to provoke the participants in the seminar, but no unfortunate event happened.
Addressing the seminar Mr Talat reminded that according to the timetable set by the UN and the EU for reaching a solution in Cyprus, the first part of the agreement should have been signed until the recent EU Summit in Copenhagen and the second until 28 February 2003. Mr Talat added:
".However, the circles which want the status quo to continue and their representative in the 'TRNC', Denktas, have sabotaged the timetable by not negotiating because they consider the non-solution to be a solution. .The UN Secretary - General delayed the procedure until 28 February, which is the last date provided by the plan in order to keep the negotiations alive. However, still no negotiations are going on. .
Denktas, who knows that the Cyprus problem is the biggest obstacle on Turkey 's way towards the EU, is sabotaging Turkey's EU accession course because he knows also that Turkey would have to solve the Cyprus problem while joining the EU. Therefore, he aims at having Turkey and the EU clash in Cyprus. .In the same way, opponents of the EU are forming the team of Mr Denktas, which is not really making any negotiations. ".
 Turkish Cypriot politicians criticize the policy of illegal Bayrak radio and television; Mustafa Akinci: "Bayrak is a militarist broadcasting organ"KIBRIS (05.02.03) reports that yesterday Turkish Cypriot politicians strongly criticized the illegal Bayrak radio and television because of its policy since the day of its establishment.
Talking during the discussion for the 2003 annual budget of the so-called "Higher Broadcasting Council" at the "assembly" of the illegal regime, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), said that the programs of illegal Bayrak in the Greek language divide the Turkish Cypriots and described all the programs as "one-sided and controlled". Mr Soyer argued also that persons who oppose the Annan plan have begun making programs on illegal Bayrak, which "finds and publishes the opinion of everybody who lie and say wrong things regarding the Annan plan".
Meanwhile, Huseyin Angolemli, chairman of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), criticized the fact that illegal Bayrak has not covered both the pro-Annan plan, pro-solution and pro-EU rallies organized in occupied Nicosia and the other activities aiming at expressing support to the same course. While the TV and radio stations all over the world had covered the above-mentioned rallies, added Mr Angolemli, illegal Bayrak and the other radios controlled by the occupation army and the regime, that is the Guven and Vatan radios, broadcast nothing about the rallies. On the other hand, he continued, illegal Bayrak broadcast all the activities supporting the nono-solution, even if they take place in the most remote village.
Furthermore, talking on the same issue, Mustafa Akinci, former chairman of the CLP, described illegal Bayrak as "a militarist broadcasting organ" and supported that radical changes must be made in the above-mentioned "institution". Mr Akinci argued that Bayrak will not change as long as the circumstances in the country remain the same and noted that the Annan plan will ensure "the transition from abnormality to normality". He also noted that the provisions of the Annan plan, especially regarding the army, are "willfully misinterpreted" and exploited as if the rules concern only the moves of the Turkish army.
 Message of appreciation to Denktas from retired Turkish AmbassadorsTurkish Daily News (05.03.02) reports that the members of the General Affairs Council of the Ankara Group of Ambassadors (Rtd.) announced their support and appreciation to Rauf Denktas, yesterday.
The group said in a written statement sent to the Turkish Daily News on Tuesday, "The General Affairs Council of Ankara Group of Ambassadors (Rtd.), established in the beginning of 2002 to include all retired ambassadors, devoted the meeting on Wednesday 16 January, 2003, entirely to the deliberation of the question of Cyprus. As the question of Cyprus, which has been our common national cause, has reached a critical phase recently, we the undersigned members of the Group of Ambassadors consider it a pleasant duty to present our strong support and indeed the sentiments of gratitude for your untiring energy and great power of resistance since the beginning of the question of Cyprus, together with our sincere appreciation for your historic record and qualities as a great statesman."
The statement continued, "We the undersigned, as the members present at the above mentioned Council Meeting, wish to take this opportunity to present to your Excellency our kind regards and best wishes of success."
On behalf of the Ankara Group of Ambassadors (Rtd.): U. Haluk Bayulken (Amb. Rtd.), Ecmel Barutcu, (Amb. Rtd.), Zeki Celikkol (Amb. Rtd.), Ildeniz Divanlioglu (Amb. Rtd), Malih Ercin (Amb. Rtd), Omer Ersun (Amb. Rtd), Emin Gunduz (Amb. Rtd.), Salih Zeki Karaca (Amb. Rtd.), Selcuk Korkud (Amb. Rtd.), Turgut Serdaroglu (Amb. Rtd.), Yuksel Soylemez (Amb. Rtd.), Teoman Surenkok (Amb. Rtd.).
The Group of Ambassadors Retired is established at Devlet Konukevi Ankara Palace at Cumhuriyet Bulvari, Ulus, Ankara. The purpose of the group is to provide a means of permanent communication, professional solidarity and exchange of views among all the retired ambassadors wherever they live in Turkey, primarily in Ankara and also in Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya. The group as such is an informal civic and social gathering. The group also intends to present views to the general public at home and abroad, acting in cooperation with the relevant institutions and organizations on matters of common concern relating to foreign policy issues.