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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-10-10

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.195/06 10.10.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat met Barroso in Brussels. He asked Barroso to take initiative regarding the solution process.
  • [02] Olli Rehn calls on EU countries to support the Finnish proposal.
  • [03] Screening process on Chapter 22 has started in Brussels.
  • [04] Babacan starts a tour of EU member countries today.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Does anybody know what the 'Finnish Plan' is really about?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat met Barroso in Brussels. He asked Barroso to take initiative regarding the solution process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.06) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, has met EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels. The meeting was originally planned for 30 minutes. However, it lasted for nearly one hour. Replying to the persistent questions put to him by the journalists later, Talat said that they had a "very positive meeting."

    Asked why the meeting lasted longer than it was planned, Talat said: "We discussed everything." He also said that he will inform the press on his talks during his press conference tomorrow.

    During his three-day visit to Brussels, Talat will meet European Parliament President Josep Borrell and Olli Rehn, EU Commission member responsible for enlargement, tomorrow.

    Mr Talat will meet with the EU High Representative Javier Solana on Wednesday, 11 October.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.10.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat met yesterday in Brussels with the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. During the meeting, which had been programmed to last for half an hour and lasted about one hour, Mr Talat noted that even if the EU is not the platform for the solution of the Cyprus problem, it could contribute to reaching a solution. Mr Talat asked from Mr Barroso to undertake an initiative regarding the solution process in which there is a deadlock. He also said that the EU should stop looking at the Cyprus problem from the Greek Cypriots point of view. According to the paper, during the meeting Mr Talat put forward in a clear manner the positions of the Turkish side and informed his interlocutor about the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the solution process which is congested. He expressed his views on what can be done so that the sides are not harmed and a dynamic solution process is launched. Mr Talat told Mr Barroso that the Greek Cypriot side does not allow the Turkish Cypriots to breathe and stops all the positive initiatives for the Turkish Cypriot community. Mr Talat asked also for the lifting of the so-called isolations allegedly imposed on the Turkish Cypriots. He stated that they had a very positive meeting with Mr Barroso and that the meeting lasted long because they discussed everything.

    (I.Ts)

    [02] Olli Rehn calls on EU countries to support the Finnish proposal

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.06) reported the following from Brussels:

    EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, called for support for EU acting President Finland's proposal aiming to save the Turkish Cypriot community from isolation.

    Expressing his views to the press, Rehn said he found encouraging the fact that "none of the parties had rejected the proposal" (details of which have not yet been divulged).

    He said the proposal was a good one and "it could help to end the current dilemma by arranging direct trade between Europe and Northern Cyprus with special formulations''.

    Stating that the EU Presidency was exerting efforts to unblock the situation, Rehn pointed out that if successful it could bring forth positive political effects and therefore asked all EU member countries to support the proposal.

    Rehn, warning that this could be the "last chance", said "if the problem was not resolved by the end of this fall, the world would have to wait for years for another opportunity to come up." He asked all the relevant parties to act responsibly and not to reject the proposal.

    "At a time when Europe's relations with the Islamic world are tense, to halt the EU-Turkey relationship or to drive it to a dead-end will make no sense", said Rehn. Rehn, is to meet Mr Mehmet Ali Talat tomorrow in Brussels.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (10.10.06) reports that Mr Rehn said that no side has until now rejected the Finnish proposal and noted that this is an encouraging sign which increases the possibility of success. He said that this could be a last chance and that it could take many years for other chances to be given in case there is no result this autumn.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot ORTAM newspaper (10.10.06) refers to Mr Rehns statements on its front page and notes that the details of the Finnish proposal have not been revealed until now. It wonders how much those who cooperate and try to open the way of Turkey are thinking of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot CUMHUR0YET newspaper (10.10.06) reports that Ertugrul Hasipoglu, General Secretary of the Democratic Party, has described the Finnish proposal as one of the Lydian stones for annihilating the Turkish Cypriots through osmosis. In statements during a meeting yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot Teachers´ Association, Mr Hasipoglu noted that the Turkish Cypriots must evaluate well the fact that the closed fenced city of Varosha will be given to the Greek Cypriots and the occupied port of Famagusta to the EU and that the illegal Tymbou airport is left outside the proposal in which the TRNC is also ignored. Referring to the boycott of the parliament, he argued that this is an act to save the injured democracy.

    (I/Ts)

    [03] Screening process on Chapter 22 has started in Brussels

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.06) reported the following from Brussels:

    The detailed screening meeting on Chapter 22 "Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments" of the EU accession negotiations has begun in Brussels.

    Approval and application of structural funds and cohesion fund which will be available upon accession will be discussed in the meeting which will last 2 days at the European Commission.

    Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund which make up one-third of the EU budget (for this year 39.8 billion euro of the 121.2 billion euro budget) is used to diminish the inter-regional differences in terms of development between member countries or between regions within countries.

    Turkey is not required to make an overall change in legislation but is expected to improve the quality of statistics on regions, cities and municipalities, to modify the over-centralized structure with reforms in public administration and to complete the legislative infrastructure of the regional development agencies.

    Turkey has completed the detailed screening of 31 chapters of the total 35 chapters of the screening process.

    The last of these detailed screening meetings will be on Chapter 23 "Judiciary and Fundamental Rights" and will be held on the 12th-13th of October.

    [04] Babacan starts a tour of EU member countries today

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan will embark on a four-day tour of the EU-member countries Spain, Belgium and Germany.

    Babacan will leave for Spain tomorrow. He is scheduled to meet Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, Second Vice President and Economy and Finance Minister Pedro Solbes on Wednesday.

    Babacan will proceed to Brussels the same day after a meeting with Spanish Secretary of State for EU Affairs Alberto Navorro Gonzales.

    On Thursday, Babacan will attend a round-table meeting on "Friends of Europe" in Brussels.

    Babacan will also meet EU Commissioner for Justice and Internal Affairs Franco Frattini, EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik and EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer-Boel.

    He will leave Brussels for Germany on Friday.

    During his stay in Berlin, Babacan will hold talks with German State Minister for European Affairs Guenter Gloser, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Economics and Technology Minister Michael Glos.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Does anybody know what the 'Finnish Plan' is really about?

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (09.10.06) publishes the following commentary by Ariana Ferentinou, under the above title:

    Finland may not have been a country expected to attract the immediate interest of Greeks, Turks or Cypriots. It is not as colourful as Sweden and has always been the more obscure of its other two Scandinavian partners, Sweden and Norway. But these days Turks, Greeks and Cypriots are called upon to learn more about Finland and its way of thinking for the simple reason that the EU's wheel of fortune has brought Finland currently to the helm of the EU and the Finnish government has conjured a new plan to accommodate -- not solve -- one of the most perplexing issues in the EU -- the Cyprus issue.

    The so-called Finnish Formula on Cyprus has been on the lips of everyone who has recently been involved with the Cyprus issue. It was also included in the statements by Olli Rehn, the Finnish Commissioner for EU Enlargement, last week as well as in the statements of Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. Both Rehn and Merkel expressed their support for the Finnish model, which they qualified as more restricted than the Annan plan, involving arrangements between Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. Ankara finds the plan negotiable. The Greek side is not very hopeful for its effectiveness yet it does not want to appear completely negative. Dora Bakoyiannis, the Greek Foreign Minister, speaking to Greek state television a few days ago, pointed out that one cannot link unequal and diverse issues under a plan while the government of Tassos Papadopoulos has already rejected it or at least remains very cautious about it. George Lillikas, the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister, has called the Finnish initiative one dimensional, while the Greek Cypriot government spokesman Christos Pasiardes has pointed out that the position of the Cypriot government is that it does not accept any formula that excludes the return of Varosha to the refugees.

    What is interesting about this plan of the Finnish presidency is that, as far as we know, it is not written. It is a verbal package. So nobody is sure of its full content. Characteristically the politicians' comments are equally vaguely positive or vaguely negative. Information, which comes from no specified sources, claims that the Formula provides, among other things, for the opening of the port of Famagusta under the administration of the EU for 24 months with a simultaneous opening of the Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot ships and the transfer of the ghost town of Varosha to the U.N. Another interesting element is that the Finnish presidency talked to Turkish Cypriots only recently.

    When I tried to find out how the Greek Cypriots view the Finnish Formula I received this clear answer: They are not happy with it. They do not want to give any opportunity to the other side to have any direct economic dealings with EU. The operation of the Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport is out of the question. They would discuss a limited option of export trade to the EU but only under a strict discipline of some Greek Cypriot body like the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce.

    Rehn and Merkel were very happy because so far, nobody has objected to the Finnish Plan. Is it because it is good or is because nobody knows for sure what it contains? I tend to believe that the relative quite among the two fronts in Cyprus as well as in Greece and Turkey is due to lack of full knowledge rather than a willingness to negotiate.


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