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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-02-18

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 <>



  • [01] Mr Denktas continues to make statements filled with hate for the Greek Cypriots.
  • [02] Statements by Mr Alvaro de Soto in Ankara.
  • [03]Denktas: "A little bit more territorial concession could be the last resort".
  • [04] UN Cyprus plan in doubt after Greek Cypriot vote.
  • [05] How Turkish mainland press covered the presidential elections of last Sunday in Cyprus.
  • [06] Gul: "There is a good possibility for reaching an agreement until 28 February"; The Turkish Prime Minister discusses Cyprus in Brussels.
  • [07] VATAN refers to the message of confidence sent by the EU Commission to President Papadopoulos.
  • [08] Civilian organizations and journalists note that the Cyprus talks process will not be influenced by Mr Papadopoulos' victory in the Presidential elections.
  • [09] Angolemli says that those in the Turkish side who do not want a solution in Cyprus are "trying to hide behind the results" of the Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus.

  • [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News says the new Greek Cypriot leader may provide a way out for Denktas.


    [01] Mr Denktas continues to make statements filled with hate for the Greek Cypriots

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (17.02.03) broadcast a live interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas by Ibrahim Gurkan Sari in occupied Nicosia, on the outcome of the presidential elections and Mr Tassos Papadopoulos' victory.

    In reply to a question on whether there is a possibility that Mr Papadopoulos can retract his past claims that the Turkish Cypriots' share on the island was 18 percent, Denktas says: "You said that Papadopoulos was an EOKA [National Organization of Cypriot Fighters] member, so was Clerides." Explaining that these people serve a national cause, Denktas alleges that this cause is to spread the Greek Cypriots' sovereignty all over Cyprus. Denktas continues: "De Soto and Annan do not know about this. The coordinators, who prepare documents and try to have them accepted by force, do not know about this. The issue in Cyprus is the issue of whether Cyprus will be a Greek island." Denktas noted that neither the views of Clerides nor of Papadopoulos will change, and adds: "However, the style of Clerides was different from that of Papadopoulos. Clerides introduced himself very differently to the world; Papadopoulos, however, is known as he is. Consequently, a new period has been launched. I hope that the UN Secretary-General takes advantage of this situation."

    Denktas continued: "The sine qua nons of both sides are on the table. It is clear that the Greek Cypriots do not accept our sine qua nons."

    Further alleging that there are persons who seek to get rid of the Turkish Cypriots on the island, Denktas says that the Turkish Cypriots, therefore needed security and guarantees. Noting that it is difficult to reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriots, who didn't accept that, Denktas adds that de Soto and the UN Secretary- General think that the Greek Cypriots are civilized people. Denktas continues: "As a mass, they lose their minds when the issue is Turkish Cypriot enmity." Noting that the partnership with the Greek Cypriots failed because the latter tried to poison its partner in the past, Denktas explains that the Turkish Cypriots had to be more careful in a new partnership, adding: "The Greek Cypriots have to accept our right of self-determination."

    Denktas, then, recounts that he wanted to meet face to face with Clerides in order to see if he and the Greek Cypriots really wanted an agreement, and adds that de Soto at first said that he would only watch the meetings and later tried to impose a plan on the sides. Denktas further said that the Cyprus problem could not be sorted out in that way.

    In reply to another question on how a solution can be reached if Mr Papadopoulos was tougher than Clerides, Denktas said: "Papadopoulos objects more and has a harsher stand; however, my fear is that he will try to keep us on the table until 16 April by saying to de Soto, Annan, and the Americans that they [Greek Cypriots] are ready to resume from where the talks were left off, that they are in favor of talks, and that the plan will be accepted with minor alterations."

    Denktas continues: "It is meaningless to be deceived by this ploy. Both his and AKEL's [Restorative Party of the Working People] previous statements reject everything. They do not acknowledge that we are equal and reject our sovereignty. They seek Turkey's guarantee to be diluted. They are against bizonality. It is meaningless to continue on this track by saying that everything is alright and the negotiations should continue. For this reason, let the UN Secretary-General ask both sides what they want. If both sides want the same things, than let the negotiations continue. If both sides want different things, however, Annan should prepare a new plan."

    In reply to de Soto's comments on the Cyprus issue, Denktas notes that "de Soto turned the Cyprus issue into a matter of prestige. He definitely seeks to settle this issue. He has become part of the problem. De Soto acts as if the issue is his own issue and he extends support to the Greek Cypriots in order to solve the question. He said that the of the Greek Cypriot refugees is a problem. There are Turkish Cypriot refugees as well. Did he talk about Turkish Cypriot refugees?" Upon Sari's comment that Papadopoulos considers himself the president of the whole of Cyprus, Denktas says: "He thinks that he is so. He thinks so. This is unbelievable. We should, therefore, talk openly and know the Greek Cypriots very well and act accordingly."

    In reply to a question on the Greek Cypriot reports that US Secretary of State Powell will be active in the Cyprus issue if Annan's initiatives are unsuccessful, Denktas says: "Actually, the United States is anyhow involved in this issue." "The United States has already taken sides in this issue because of the Greek lobby. The United States has to please the Greek lobby. In its policies during the 1950s, the United States committed a mistake of considering Cyprus a Greek Cypriot island and republic. They act as though the issue of Turkey's geopolitical rights came after."

    [02] Statements by Mr Alvaro de Soto in Ankara

    KIBRIS (18.02.03) reported from Ankara that Alvaro de Soto, U.N. Secretary-General`s special envoy for Cyprus visited Ankara on Monday.

    Speaking at Esenboga Airport, de Soto said that he visited Ankara to hold consultations with Turkish government officials.

    Asked whether the winning of the elections by Mr Tassos Papadopoulos would affect the Cyprus process, de Soto said that he met with both Glafcos Clerides and Papadopoulos this morning. Recalling that Papadopoulos would take over the mission of carrying out the Cyprus talks from Clerides, de Soto said that Papadopoulos told him that he would start the talks with a positive spirit.

    De Soto said: ``Papadopoulos told me that he would be ready to participate in talks in a few days, because he also does not want the talks to be interrupted. He is aware of the time limitation.`` De Soto also referred to the importance of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan`s visits to Athens and Ankara next week.

    Invited to express his view about criticisms by Rauf Denktas, who said that de Soto put pressure on the sides during the talks, de Soto said: ``I don`t want to make comment without knowing fully what Denktas said, but I suppose he exaggerates my power a little bit.``

    Mr Alvaro de Soto stressed that negotiations had to reach a result until February 28 for a `united Cyprus` to join the EU on April 16. When reminded about the statements of Papadopoulos who said that ``I am the president of the whole Cyprus,`` De Soto said that ``we meet with him as the leader of the Greek Cypriot side and with Denktas as the Turkish Cypriot leader."

    De Soto met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal at the Foreign Ministry.

    After the meeting, which lasted five and a half hours, Mr de Soto said he was hopeful on the issue of reaching a result on Cyprus during the tour of the UN Secretary-General in Athens, Ankara and the island next week.

    Mr de Soto expressed the opinion that the Cyprus problem could be solved until 28 February.

    Asked about a possible third Annan plan he said: "I do not exclude this possibility. However, we shall wait and see. We must be patient"

    Responding to a question Mr de Soto noted that the UN watched closely the developments in Cyprus and added that the international organization hoped to participate in the negotiations process.

    [03]Denktas: "A little bit more territorial concession could be the last resort"

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas in an exclusive interview to Turkish daily ZAMAN newspaper (17.02.03) alleged that the Greek Cypriot side's strategy is based on the assumption that the Turkish side would reject the Annan plan.

    In the extensive interview Denktas repeated his known views regarding the Annan Plan, Turkish guarantees, territorial issues, EU membership etc.

    When asked to comment on the view that gains ground among the Turkish Cypriots that 'let us make a little bit more territorial concessions and not let the Greet Cypriots come and live among us', Denktas said: "As the last resort. We do live as two separate states."

    When asked why the occupied area was not integrated into Turkey after the unilateral decision in Copenhagen, despite the fact that there was such a decision taken by the Turkish government, Denktas replied: "Because the government has changed". When asked whether the integration was postponed to 16 April, when the accession agreement will be signed in Athens, Denktas said: "We are of the view that unless the decisions taken by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) are not changed, then they continue to be valid. If this decision is changed at the TGNA then we shall act accordingly."

    [04] UN Cyprus plan in doubt after Greek Cypriot vote

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (18.02.03) publishes the following report:

    "The unexpectedly strong election victory of opposition leader Tassos Papadopoulos, who is cool towards a United Nations blueprint for a settlement on the island, raised fears that plans to reunify Cyprus might fall apart.

    The U.N. blueprint has set February 28 as the last possible date for a deal between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots before the eastern Mediterranean island signs a treaty on April 16 to join the European Union.

    At a December 12 summit in Copenhagen last year, Cyprus was accepted as a new member of the European Union in 2004, but Turkish Cypriots will be left out unless the U.N. settlement plan succeeds. Cyprus is expected to sign the membership deal with the 15-nation bloc on April 16.

    Immediately after conceding his defeat in the vote, outgoing leader Glafcos Clerides congratulated Papadopoulos and invited him to take over the control of the Greek Cypriot team in talks with veteran Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. Papadopoulos will not take office officially until February 28. Papadopoulos also asked Clerides in the telephone conversation to be his close adviser to the U.N. negotiations. Yesterday's session of the U.N. brokered talks, however, was called off, Denktas said, at the request of Clerides who traveled to Brussels to attend an EU summit on Iraq.

    However, not only Denktas, but Cyprus observers as well, were skeptical Monday whether there could be any move towards a settlement on the island within the next few days before the February 28 deadline particularly with an opponent of the U.N. plan holding the helms of the Greek Cypriot side.

    Papadopoulos, a conservative backed by communists and other leftist groups, won Sunday's election with 51.55 percent of the vote after running a campaign criticizing 83-year-old Glafcos Clerides for giving too much away in the U.N.-sponsored talks with Denktas.

    Clerides, the right-wing leader who wanted a third but limited 16-month term to help steer the island through the talks, garnered 38.8 percent of the vote.

    Doubts have risen over whether Greek Cypriots will still have any incentive to make the concessions the U.N. plan demands once they have clinched the prize of EU membership, which is virtually assured after the April treaty.

    "The plan will stay on the table. Whether or not it can be accepted after the deadline lapses remains to be seen," one foreign observer close to the talks told Reuters.

    "After electing as they did, will they accept to make more concessions required by the plan if they get EU membership? I don't think so."

    Papadopoulos, 69, wants improvements to the plan, despite blunt warnings by mediators that little can be changed.

    He will now have to take on Denktas, the formidable Turkish Cypriot leader who enjoys good rapport with 83-year-old Clerides and who expressed pessimism after the result.

    Denktas said Papadopoulos' victory in southern Cyprus presidential elections showed that Greek Cypriots did not want a solution to the island's division.

    "As a person who knows him (Clerides) well as a person appearing to accept the Annan document, I am saddened the will of the Greek Cypriot people not desiring an agreement claimed victory," Denktas told a press conference in his northern Nicosia office.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader, recalling that Papadopoulos won the vote after leading a campaign accusing Clerides of compromising too much in the talks, said he was unaware, if there were any compromises Clerides made, but the statements of the new Greek Cypriot leader demonstrated his mentality while his election showed the strong opposition to the U.N. plan among Greek Cypriots.

    "As long as Papadopoulos does not draw himself a realistic plan and abandon his imaginary solutions, there is no reason to continue with this dead-end process," Denktas said.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader insists that a solution has to be based on two separate and sovereign states.

    Papadopoulos' victory over incumbent Clerides comes ahead of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's visit to the island next week in a last-ditch bid to win Greek and Turkish Cypriot acceptance of his plan before a February 28 deadline to allow a united Cyprus enter the European Union. Annan is scheduled to visit Ankara and Athens also.

    U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy Alvaro de Soto, who paid a visit to Ankara Monday for consultations before the Annan trip to the region, said he conferred on the phone with Papadopoulos and the Greek Cypriot president-elect reaffirmed his commitment to the talks. He also underlined that the Annan trip was still on schedule.

    Denktas was not that optimistic. "We will wait and see whether he will come," he said.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader also disclosed that he did not call Papadopoulos to congratulate him because in his victory speech the Greek Cypriot president-elect claimed that he was elected president of the entire island.

    "As the president of the Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus, we consider him elected as the new Greek Cypriot president, not the president of entire Cyprus," Denktas said and in Ankara de Soto said Papadopoulos would participate in the Cyprus talks as the new leader of the Greek Cypriot people.

    De Soto warned that if the plan is not accepted by February 28, "the opportunity (for a settlement) disappears until something happens, and that is totally uncertain."

    Papadopoulos, also, committed himself to the talks Monday.

    "It is our duty to continue the (U.N.) negotiations with flexibility and goodwill to bring about the improvements ... necessary to change the Annan plan into a viable and lasting solution," Papadopoulos said.

    "We want to negotiate not in order to take away rights from our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, but in order to have a viable settlement respecting the rights of both communities," he said.

    He said key changes he wanted were the return of all Greek Cypriot refugees forced from the Turkish-occupied north of this Mediterranean island and full respect of the European Convention of Human Rights.

    Annan's plan envisages Cyprus' reunification as a single state consisting of two separate Greek and Turkish Cypriot "component states" linked through a weak central government.

    The plan, however, rejects the right of all Greek Cypriot refugees from returning to the proposed Turkish Cypriot north, a provision that has deeply split Greek Cypriots."

    [05] How Turkish mainland press covered the presidential elections of last Sunday in Cyprus

    The main national newspapers in Turkey report about the presidential elections in the free areas of Cyprus and the victory of Mr Tassos Papadopoulos. All the papers in their reports stress Papadopoulos' past ties with the EOKA in small front-page titles, as follows:

    MILLIYET (18.02.03), (centrist mass appeal daily): "Papadopoulos' Knot". The election of nationalist politician Papadopoulos put the future of the negotiations that already advance with slow pace in doubt.

    His first statement: "I will work for the return of the Greek Cypriot refugees".

    Denktas: "I am unable to congratulate him".

    HURRIYET (18.02.03), (center -right mass appeal daily): "Ballot box rendered difficult the solution in Cyprus".

    "The Greek Cypriots Elected Papadopoulos who rejected the Annan Plan".

    "Denktas feels at Ease".

    CUMHURIYET (17.02.03), (left wing Kemalist daily):

    "South Cyprus elects an EOKAist president".

    RADIKAL (17.02.03), (centre-left daily): "Clerides went, Papadopoulos is the new leader". "Clerides' Era Ended". "Makarios' Fist".

    VATAN (17.02.03), (centre- right daily): "The solution in Cyprus is more difficult now". "Papadopoulos is the new leader of the Greek Cypriots".

    ZAMAN (17.02.03), (Islamist daily): "Clerides lost the elections, Papadopoulos is the new actor of the negotiations".

    [06] Gul: "There is a good possibility for reaching an agreement until 28 February"; The Turkish Prime Minister discusses Cyprus in Brussels

    KIBRIS (18.02.03) reports that Turkey's Prime Minister, Abdullah Gul has expressed the opinion that there is "a good possibility" for reaching an agreement on the Cyprus problem until 28 February.

    Talking yesterday during a press conference in Brussels, Mr Gul said that he had met earlier yesterday with the UN Secretary-General in the Belgian capital and promised him to contribute in the direction of the solution to the Cyprus problem during the next few days.

    Commenting on the victory of Mr Tassos Papadopoulos in Sunday's Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Gul said that Turkey wanted a solution, which will satisfy both sides on the island. "We are working very hard on this issue and we are optimistic", he concluded.

    Elsewhere, KIBRIS reports that Mr Gul met with Mr Annan in Brussels and discussed the Cyprus problem and the developments regarding Iraq. Furthermore, Mr Gul discussed Cyprus with Javier Solana, High Representative for Europe's Common Foreign Policy and Security and with the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder.

    Finally, invoking diplomatic sources, the paper writes that on Friday 21 February in Ankara Greece and Turkey will launch the talks about the security and the guarantees in case a solution is reached in Cyprus. These issues will be discussed by technical committees, continues KIBRIS noting that it is expected that undersecretary and ambassador, Baki Ilkin will be heading the Turkish committee.

    [07] VATAN refers to the message of confidence sent by the EU Commission to President Papadopoulos

    Under the title "Message of confidence to Papadopoulos from the EU Commission", VATAN (18.02.03) reports that Mr Romano Prodi, chairman of the EU Commission has sent a message to the newly elected President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, stressing that Mr Papadopoulos' victory does not influence negatively the hopes for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The paper writes that Mr Prodi describes President Papadopoulos as "experienced" politician, who knows the EU and expressed his faith that under Mr Papadopoulos' leadership "Cyprus will continue to prepare successfully for membership of the European Union by 1 May 2004". He also expressed the hope that President Clerides will continue his contribution to the process towards reaching an overall agreement to the Cyprus problem.

    [08] Civilian organizations and journalists note that the Cyprus talks process will not be influenced by Mr Papadopoulos' victory in the Presidential elections

    YENI DUZEN (18.02.03) publishes a two-page reportage with the views of Turkish Cypriot trade union and other civilian organization leaders regarding the victory of the chairman of the Democratic Party, Tassos Papadopoulos, in last Sunday's Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus.

    Ahmet Barchin, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Erdogan Sorakin, chairman of Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), Ozdil Nami, chairman of the Businessmen's Association and the chairmen of TURK - SEN, KTAMS and DEV-IS trade unions, Onder Konuloglu, Ali Seylani and Ali Gulle, respectively, have expressed the opinion that the negotiation process will not be influenced by President Papadopoulos' victory, because the important thing is the will to solve the problem and the policy applied on the negotiating table.

    Responding to the allegation set forward by pro-Denktas circles, both in the occupied areas and Turkey, that President Papadopoulos will be intransigent because he had been a member of EOKA back in 1950's, some of the Turkish Cypriot trade union leaders reminded that Mr Rauf Denktas had also been a member of the terrorist TMT organization during the same period.

    Elsewhere, YENI DUZEN publishes the opinion of journalists regarding the issue. Basaran Duzgun, editor-in-chief of KIBRIS, expresses the opinion that President Papadopoulos will not change the policy applied until now by the Greek Cypriot side.

    Mehmet Ali Birand of CNN-TURK describes the victory of President Papadopoulos as "a present to those who say `no' to the Annan plan".

    Erdal Guven, of Turkish mainland RADIKAL says that the victory of President Papadopoulos will not influence the efforts towards finding a solution in Cyprus and reminds that if someone describes Mr Papadopoulos as "a member of EOKA", then Mr Denktas could be described as "a member of TMT".

    Hasan Kahvecioglu of ORTAM says that he does not expect any serious changes after President Papadopoulos' victory and argues that the newly elected President will not be able to abandon the negotiating table.

    Mustafa Dogrusoz of KIBRIS says that putting pressure on President Papadopoulos from now, accusing him of being intransigent because he used to be a member of EOKA, is a mistake.

    [09] Angolemli says that those in the Turkish side who do not want a solution in Cyprus are "trying to hide behind the results" of the Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus

    ORTAM (18.02.03) reports that Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), has accused those in the Turkish side who do not want a solution in Cyprus, of trying to hide behind the results of the Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus. In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Angolemli pointed out that the important thing on the solution process is the behaviour of the Turkish side towards the solution and the accession to the EU.

    He also said that there is no need to worry about the results of the Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus before seeing negative results in the negotiations process.

    The CLP leader sent the following message to those in the Turkish side who are against a solution to the Cyprus problem: "The opponents of the solution will achieve nothing by trying to hide behind the results of the elections in the Greek Cypriot side, instead of showing determination to ensure a solution within the framework of the Annan plan", he underlined.


    [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News says the new Greek Cypriot leader may provide a way out for Denktas

    Under the title: "More woes on Cyprus", Turkish Daily News (18.02.03), publishes the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik:

    "The election victory of opposition candidate as the new Greek Cypriot president comes as a shock to Annan, to the US and to all the critics of Denktas...

    The situation on Cyprus was as complicated as ever as the Turkish and Greek Cypriots raced against a deadline of February 28 to reach a solution...

    The Greeks were silently against the United Nations plan for Cyprus but they were not saying this loudly. Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides was keeping as quiet as possible not to create a negative atmosphere that would jeopardize the accession of the Greek Cypriots to the European Union...

    But now a new situation has developed as opposition candidate Tassos Papadopoulos won the presidential elections beating Clerides and promptly vowing to try to improve the United Nations plan... Papadopoulos has said during the elections campaign that there should be no limits on the Greek Cypriot refugees returning to their homes in the north and has thus shot down the plan.

    His victory comes as a pleasant suprise for Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas who is also very unhappy with the U.N. plan but has been forced by some power circles in Ankara to agree to the terms. Now the new Greek Cypriot leader may well provide a way out for Denktas.

    The election of a new Greek Cypriot president who is regarded as a hardliner may well come as a blow to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan who will soon be visiting the island and to the United States which has been working behind the scenes to secure a solution.

    Yes, Papadopoulos is saying he will be flexible at the talks and will display goodwill but this is very hard after all those election promises. The fact that he got more than 50 percent of the votes and was elected in the first round means the majority of the Greek Cypriot people are completely against the U.N. plan.

    So the race against time is turning into an anti-climax. Now Annan will have to come up with a new and revised plan and tell the two sides "take it or leave it."

    Can Papadopoulos bring himself to accept this plan? This is the key question. If the plan addresses the serious reservations of the Greek Cypriots then he may well accept it but we feel this is something like mission impossible. On the other hand the revisions may well satisfy Denktas despite some of his strong objections and leave the Greek Cypriots in a difficult position.

    What is now clear is that a brand new situation has arisen on Cyprus and much to the distaste of the U.N., the U.S. and the British.

    Denktas who was accused as being intransigent has been saved by the bell. Now those who opposed him will be doing some deep thinking both on the island and in Ankara..."


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