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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-09-10

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.171/03 10.09.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Foreign Minister during an interview with NTV television.
  • [02] Denktas says the Turkish side is preparing a new alternative to the Annan Plan and speaks about surprises.
  • [03] Talat promises a new Cyprus after the ^”elections^‘ in the occupied areas and argues that no agreement could be achieved without Turkey.
  • [04] Justice and Development Party deputy resigns over the dispatch of Turkish troops to Iraq.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriots can apply for the Turkish citizenship starting from tomorrow.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in MILLIYET: Surprises might be in the offing with regard to Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Foreign Minister during an interview with NTV television

    Istanbul NTV television (09.09.03) broadcast a live interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul by NTV's Ankara representative Murat Akgun at the Foreign Ministry.

    In reply to a question on the Cyprus problem Gul stated: "First, the elections must be held in northern Cyprus. As you know, we are proud of the democratic structure of the `TRNCī^‘. Efforts will be exerted for a solution after the ^”elections^‘, Gul added, noting that the Turkish side is in favour of a solution. He continued: "A solution, however, cannot cede all our rights. It must be a satisfactory one. It should guarantee an atmosphere that will not allow a return to past events. The biggest issue is the issue of security. We are hoping that such a consensus will be reached and efforts will be exerted to this end." Mr Gul referred to the partial lifting of restrictions on movement by Denktas and said: "Some new confidence-building measures will be announced by the Turkish Cypriot side in the coming days." He asked that the Greek Cypriot side be receptive as well. Prompted by Akgun, Gul ruled out any "chill" between Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    [02] Denktas says the Turkish side is preparing a new alternative to the Annan Plan and speaks about surprises

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (10.09.03) the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has said that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey are preparing a new formula on the Cyprus problem as an alternative to the Annan Plan.

    Responding to a question last night during the illegal Bayrak television^“s ^”Akis^‘ programme, Mr Denktas said that their work on the above-mentioned alternative plan is in its final stage. On this ^”opening^‘, he added, a new model is provided on the basis of some ^”principles^‘. ^”This will be a big surprise, just like the 23 April decision. Wait^‘, said Mr Denktas.

    Noting that some Turkish Cypriot opposition leaders argue that they have the support of Turkey, Mr Denktas said: ^”There is no such thing. They accept the Annan Plan, but Turkey says ^—no this plan must change^“. They say that they will walk together with Turkey. Very well, are we not walking together with Turkey? Then why are they not coming with us?^‘

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said he had thanked Prime Minister Erdogan for his statement that the Annan Plan must change and that nothing could be achieved with the plan^“s present form.

    Commenting on the US Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus, Mr Tomas Weston^“s statements, Mr Denktas argued that nowhere else in the world the USA supported the opposition against the majority of a country, which supports its state.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.09.03) reports that during one of his meetings yesterday, Mr Denktas said that negotiations on the Cyprus problem before the illegal elections in the occupied areas are not on the agenda. Mr Denktas claimed, inter alia, the following: ^”Let us wait for the elections. Let the world listen to the voice of the people and say ^—these people have created a state and they are the Turkish people who do not accept the dishonour of eliminating their state^“^‘

    Commenting on information according to which he would visit New York for a medical check-up and within this framework he would meet with the UN Secretary ^÷ General Kofi Annan, Mr Denktas said: ^”Thanks God, my health is very good. If I go for a check-up I will go to my own doctor in Ankara. There is no need to go to New York^‘.

    Asked whether or not he will meet with Mr Weston, Mr Denktas said: ^”Mr Weston meets with the opposition. He said that he cooperates with them. He believes that he could reach nowhere with me. Therefore, he in all probability, will not be asking for a meeting with me^‘.

    [03] Talat promises a new Cyprus after the ^”elections^‘ in the occupied areas and argues that no agreement could be achieved without Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.09.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has promised an overall solution to the Cyprus problem and the creation of ^”a new Cyprus^‘ after the December ^”elections^‘ in the occupied areas.

    Talking yesterday during a press conference, Mr Talat said that the supporters of the status quo on both sides resist to reaching a solution and described the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas as ^”the head of the supporters of the status quo^‘ in the occupied areas.

    Asked whether or not he would sign an agreement without Turkey, Mr Talat said: ^”In the Annan Plan there is space for five signatures. One of them is Turkey^“s signature. That is, there could be no agreement without Turkey. The agreement will be with the agreement of the five sides^‘.

    Responding to a question, Mr Talat argued that they would be able to form a so-called government when they win the ^”elections^‘ and supported, inter alia, the following: ^”There is no other force which will be able to create a government. Will they form a minority government? Will they abolish the parliament? Will they carry out a military coup d'ťtat? The only alternative is the creation of a government and the cooperation with it. Our alternative is to cooperate with Turkey. We have no other option. In the same way that we shall cooperate with the Greek Cypriot side we shall cooperate with Turkey as well. ^ŇTurkey also is obliged to cooperate with us^‘.

    [04] Justice and Development Party deputy resigns over the dispatch of Turkish troops to Iraq

    Mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (10.09.03) reports that due mainly to the issue of sending Turkish troops to Iraq, Istanbul deputy Emin Sirin, of the Justice and Development Party (JDP), yesterday resigned from the party.

    The paper stresses that with the resignation of Sirin the number of JDPīs deputies in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) has fallen to 367 and thus the majority needed to change the constitution has been lost.

    Reporting on the same issue, MILLIYET newspaper (10.09.03) reports that the actual voting power of JDP in the TGNA is 366 since the Speaker, Mr Bulent Arinc, has no voting right.

    In his letter of resignation, Mr Sirin, thanking Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and JDP for making him actively engage in politics, said: ^”I am not against the partyīs general views and principles, but I think that JDP hasnīt kept its promises it gave to the public before the elections. The JDP, won the elections with promises to fight corruption and poverty and to improve democracy, but it has not achieved these yet. Besides they donīt put into practice what they say about democracy and participation within the party and collective mind^‘.

    Sirin, expressing the view that todayīs government was the most successful since the 1970s, said: ^”However, the government is far from finding solutions to public problems when we think about the tensions between the government and institutions, and that no synergy is valid between the deputies and the government^‘.

    The distribution of seats in the parliament is now as follows: Justice and Development Party (JDP), 367, Republican Peopleīs Party (RPP), 175, True Path Party (TPP), 3, and five independents.

    [05] Turkish Cypriots can apply for the Turkish citizenship starting from tomorrow

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI CIZGI newspaper (10.09.03) reports that Turkish Cypriots can apply for the Turkish citizenship starting from tomorrow, 11th of September 2003.

    According to an announcement made by the so-called Turkish Embassy in occupied Cyprus, all the Turkish Cypriots who want to take the citizenship of the Turkish Republic must apply to the ^”embassy^‘ bringing along with them all the necessary certificates.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in MILLIYET: Surprises might be in the offing with regard to Cyprus

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (08.09.03) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: ^”Decision will be easier if military says yes^‘:

    ^”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul gave clear messages throughout his tour of Italy. Just as in his chats with journalists, Gul's contacts lied along an axis of Iraq, the Middle East, Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership process. Let us look first at the issue of sending troops to Iraq.

    Gul frequently maintained that when it came to dispatching soldiers to Iraq they would take the General Staff's views and decisions as a basis. Recalling that the final decision would be a political one Gul clearly said the following:

    "We will take the General Staff's evaluation as a basis. If the General Staff says, 'Yes' then this will make it easier for us to take a decision. But just think. If the General Staff says, 'No' do you think we could honestly say, "Let us go anyway" in spite of this? Of course not. The General Staff is working. Talks are continuing. They are working to minimize the risks. If the military says it can do it we can then say yes or no accordingly."

    Subtitle: Responsibility lies with government

    Does Gul's approach of `we will decide depending on what the military saysī amount to shifting the responsibility as was debated during the rejected [1 March] Troops Motion process?

    The Foreign Minister unequivocally rejected this idea. "Absolutely it does not mean that," he said and added: "This is not shifting responsibility. Everybody is doing the job they are meant to do. That is how it has always been. Of course responsibility lies with the government, no doubt. The decision will be a political one. However, it would be wrong to take a decision without first seeing what the General Staff has to say."

    Subtitle: Until April 2004

    One important announcement made by Gul with respect to EU membership concerned the implementation of the legal reforms so far carried out. Gul reportedly told the EU foreign ministers that they no longer had anything to hold against Turkey in the light of the reforms made. He reportedly said this to those with reservations about their implementation:

    "You will see within the first four months of 2004 that these reforms are being implemented. We are first going to satisfy ourselves here. When we are happy then we will come knocking at your door."

    Subtitle: Israel Factor

    Another factor that Gul dwelt on in Italy was the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Gul strongly opposes the policy being followed against Arafat and the Palestinians. He announced that he had written a strongly worded letter to Israel's foreign minister drawing his attention to this.

    Gul warns that if and when you want peace you have to be strong. This is why he is advising his EU counterparts to strengthen the position of former Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas, who just resigned.

    Another issue that Turkey is trying to resolve is the Azerbaijan-Armenian problem. Gul is going to New York on 21 September. The Foreign Ministry is planning to hold a three-way summit between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia during this visit. If this cannot happen then Turkey is considering bilateral summits with both Azerbaijan and Armenia.

    The Middle East and the Caucasus continue to boil. Being stuck in the middle of these two boiling cauldrons Turkey is having a hard time.

    Subtitle: Surprise signals on Cyprus

    During Gul's chats with journalists and his other contacts one approach that caught the attention and contained something new was the connection between Cyprus and EU membership.

    It is clear that this matter is what constituted the axis for talks with Greece's Foreign Minister Papandreou. Gul reportedly told his counterpart not to exaggerate the customs union between Turkey and northern Cyprus. Gul also gave the message that a solution could be reached in the Cyprus problem. He spoke about the Cyprus elections. While saying that the elections would be conducted honestly and that Turkey would not interfere Gul also warned, "But, nobody should interfere." Talk was also made of how to look at the post-election picture. Gul refused to go into detail. However, he did point out his official visit to Greece scheduled for October and said, "We might announce new decisions in October" hinting that there might be surprises in the offing with respect to Cyprus. Of course, while giving this message, he made it felt as if a connection could be made between the Cyprus issue, Turkey's EU membership and the accession talks timetable. Consequently, he made us think that there would be some reciprocity between a solution on Cyprus and an accession talks timetable for Turkey.

    /SK


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