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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-06-22

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.119/07 22.06.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Talat on France and Russias role in the UN Security Council, UNFINCYP and the forthcoming presidential elections in the Government controlled areas of Cyprus
  • [02] Emine Erk evaluates the Turkish Cypriot property issue in the Government controlled areas
  • [03] Members of the coalition government party involved in extortion over the exploitation of the Greek Cypriot properties
  • [04] Ercakica comments on the Orams case
  • [05] Turkey to retaliate in the same manner to the oil exploration methods of the Cyprus Government
  • [06] KIBRIS reports on the opening of Pyrgos crossing point
  • [07] Ekenoglu held a press conference on so-called parliamentary delegations contacts in London
  • [08] Religious lessons in schools create tension in occupied Cyprus. Accusations that AKP is directing the government through the Turkish Cypriot Head of Religious Affairs
  • [09] Flurry of meetings in Ankara amid security debates
  • [10] Five international events in Istanbul
  • [11] BSEC summit in Istanbul
  • [12] Final list of candidates for Turkish general elections released
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [13] NATO declines to support Turkeys veto over EU´s Kosovo mission

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Talat on France and Russias role in the UN Security Council, UNFINCYP and the forthcoming presidential elections in the Government controlled areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot HALKIN SESI newspaper (22.06.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, speaking to SIM Radio the other day, accused France and Russia of working for the Cyprus Government in the UN Security Council. He said: France and Russia are working like a Greek Cypriot militant in the Security Council. Russia wanted to add to the Security Council resolution the opening of the Limnitis crossing, and France extended support to this. Mr. Talat claimed that through the efforts of the Turkish side this demand was refused.

    Referring to the recent Security Council resolution Mr. Talat stated that it was not in favour of the Turkish side and that certain sections were unacceptable to the Turkish side.

    When asked to comment on the forthcoming presidential elections in the Government controlled areas in February 2008 Talat said that it would be a positive development from the point of view of the settlement of the Cyprus problem if incumbent president Papadopulos is not re-elected. On the other hand he said Christofias election will definitely create a difference. He said: We consider it strange when AKEL tries to defend Papadopoulos. We have a past with AKEL, and we know each other. We cannot accommodate this.

    When asked to comment on the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moons report to the Security Council regarding the extension of the UNFINCYP mandate in Cyprus, Talat said the report was positive. To another question regarding the construction boom in the occupied areas, Talat said that he did not agree with the UN report that the construction activities in the occupied areas could be an obstacle in the settlement of the Cyprus problem. Just the opposite, it will be helpful to the settlement. This will lead everybody to think logically and can safeguard the early settlement of the Cyprus problem hence the settlement of the property issue. So it does not preclude the solution, it encourages it.

    As for the so-called Property Compensation Committee Mr. Talat said that it is a domestic legal remedy. He said that as regards the property issue the Cyprus government is acting in a contradictory manner.

    Finally Mr. Talat said that following the yes vote in the 24 April referendum in 2004 the Turkish Cypriots today are in a better position and that the solution of the Cyprus problem is not far away.

    (MHY)

    [02] Emine Erk evaluates the Turkish Cypriot property issue in the Government controlled areas

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.06.07) broadcast the following:

    The President of the Cyprus Turkish Human Rights Foundation, Emine Erk has said that it was inevitable that the Greek Cypriot Administrations violation of Turkish Cypriot Peoples property rights will be exposed in the near future.

    Speaking to the Greek Cypriot press, Mrs. Erk said that the European Court of Human Rights was currently evaluating an application filed by a Turkish Cypriot and was seeking the views of both sides on the issue.

    Stating that the court will announce its decision on whether or not to accept the case, Mrs. Erk said that if the court does accept to take up the case, Turkish Cypriots will be able to apply directly to the European Court of Human Rights regarding their properties.

    Pointing out that the foundation is currently in possession of 70 dossiers on Turkish Cypriot properties being used by the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greek Cypriot individuals, Emine Erk said that many people had applied to the Human Rights Foundation over the past three years.

    She said that the foundation has identified a number of Turkish Cypriot owned properties in South Cyprus illegally expropriated by the Greek Cypriot Administration to build parking lots, roads, power plants, dams and industrial zones.

    [03] Members of the coalition government party involved in extortion over the exploitation of the Greek Cypriot properties

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (22.06.07) reports under banner headlines Four Million Dollar Extortion and writes that a businessman who wanted to remain anonymous, and speaking on behalf of the company Variant Ltd., has revealed that he had agreed with a high level group within the Freedom and Reform Party (OP) to pay four million USD in order to lease land in the Vokolida Tourist Investment Area in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The businessman said that in accordance with the agreement they have reached, he has already paid half of that money which is the first instalment, the day the Council of Ministers took the decision. The businessman said that the second instalment will be paid once the lease agreement is signed. He added that the lease agreement is yet to be prepared. The businessman refused to reveal the names of the OP people to whom he made the payment.

    Later in the interview when pressed by the journalist Dogan Harman to reveal the names, the businessman said that he will do so if a brave fellow comes up and demands the names then he will reveal them.

    (MHY)

    [04] Ercakica comments on the Orams case

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.06.07) broadcast the following:

    Britains Court of Appeal has decided to refer certain points of the Orams case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

    The Court of Appeal is expected to announce its final verdict on the case.

    In a written statement today, the Presidential spokesman said the British Courts ruling meant that the case- filed by Greek Cypriot Meletis Apostolides, who claims that the land on which the Orams property had been built was his, was not accepted.

    The property case involved a British couple, David and Linda Orams and Greek Cypriot Meletis Apostolides.

    The case was brought to the court by Apostolides who claims that a land in Lapta (occupied Lapithos) on which the Orams property had been built was his.

    Last year, British High Court said it could not enforce an earlier ruling by a court in South Cyprus which ordered the demolition of the couples home in Lapta and seizure of the couples assets in Britain, as the EU acquis communitaire is not being implemented in North Cyprus.

    In a written statement today, the Presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica pointed out that the Court of Appeal has decided to refer certain points of the Orams case to the Court of Justice of the European Communities, which is also known as European Court of Justice.

    The spokesman said that the Court did not reverse the decision of an earlier ruling by British High Court who said it could not enforce an earlier ruling by a court in South Cyprus which ordered the demolition of the couples home in Lapta and seizure of the couples assets in Britain, as the EU acquis communitaire is not being implemented in North Cyprus.

    He said that the Courts decision meant that an earlier ruling by a Greek Cypriot Court on the case cannot be enforced.

    `The Court decided to refer certain points of the Orams case to the European Court of Justice. Its expected to take two years for the ECJ to prepare its view regarding the case. During this period, an earlier decision by the British High Court will be valid`, he said.

    Pointing out that the decision was taken after the two sides agreed to refer the case to the ECJ, the spokesman said `the important point is that last years ruling by British High Court on the case is still valid and this means that the rightfulness of the Orams case has once again been approved.

    Complaining that the Greek Cypriot officials have been trying to reflect the British Appeal Courts decision as a `triumph` for themselves, he said `it is very clear that their statements are not reflecting the realities`.

    Referring to the Greek Cypriot Government Spokesmans statement calling the Court of Appeals decision as `positive`, he said that the Greek Cypriot Administration has been trying to mislead the public opinion.

    [05] Turkey to retaliate in the same manner to the oil exploration methods of the Cyprus Government

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (22.06.07) reports that Turkey is getting ready to retaliate in the same way to the oil exploration methods of the Cyprus Government. To this effect, reports the paper, soon tenders will be issued for oil explorations. The paper writes that one of the exploration fields coincides with the field that the Cyprus government as well will conduct exploration.

    HALKIN SESI reports that the National Security Council of Turkey which convened the other day had reacted to the oil exploration activities of the Cyprus government. The oil exploration tenders will close in July. Explorations will be carried out in seven fields licensed by TPAO, Turkish Petroleum Company.

    (MHY)

    [06] KIBRIS reports on the opening of Pyrgos crossing point

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (22.06.07) reports that the Greek Cypriots with a unilateral action have opened the crossing at Pyrgos. Turkish and Greek Cypriots who are working for the opening of this crossing were present and with their speeches they said that with this action they have just won a half victory and they pledged to continue their joint struggle for a final victory.

    (MHY)

    [07] Ekenoglu held a press conference on so-called parliamentary delegations contacts in London

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (21.06.07) reports the following:

    If isolation of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is ended and TRNC is economically developed, the Greek Cypriots will sit at a negotiation table more easily and a solution will be easier, TRNC Parliament Speaker Fatma Ekenoglu said on Thursday.

    Ekenoglu is in British capital of London upon invitation of Lord Maginnis, Lord Ahmed and Lord Harrison, the members of the House of Lords. Besides members of the House of Lords, she had meetings with local administrators of Turkish Cypriot origin, representatives of NGOs and businessmen. Efforts are under way to overcome problems in implementation of Green Line, financial assistance and direct trade regulations, approved by the EU, Ekenoglu told reporters.

    Underlining the importance of a decision made by the German parliament regarding Cyprus last month, Ekenoglu said, "even though we do not give 100 percent consent to this decision, we attach great importance to end of isolation of Turkish Cypriots. We also think it is important as it calls for implementation of direct trade regulation."

    The Greek Cypriot administration tried to make the Cyprus problem an issue concerning the EU, however it could not get any support from the UN, Ekenoglu noted.

    Ekenoglu said that the Greek Cypriot administration has not supported any solution particularly after it became an EU member.

    "Depending on its EU membership, the Greek Cypriot administration tries to squeeze concessions with blackmail and threatens to veto Turkey's EU membership bid. They want to push Turkish Cypriots into a position in which we cannot even breathe, instead of sharing the legislative power under a political equality with us," she emphasized.

    Ekenoglu said that in this context, isolation should be ended and Turkish Cypriots should integrate to entire world, and added that Turkish Cypriots will continue to exert efforts to reach a settlement and peace under the banner of the UN, and to reunify under a federal structure.

    [08] Religious lessons in schools create tension in occupied Cyprus. Accusations that AKP is directing the government through the Turkish Cypriot Head of Religious Affairs

    Main news in Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (22.06.07) is the report by the papers correspondent in occupied Lefkosia, Sefa Karahasan, published under the title Revolution with imam courses in the island.

    According to the paper the so-called ministry of Education has printed a circular according to which imams will offer religious lessons to the students in schools during summer time. The lessons will be offered in all the public and private schools in occupied Cyprus and this circular has created confusion in the island and drew the reaction of the school principals. On its part, the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union (KTOS) claims that Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has a finger to this decision.

    In his statements, the permanent secretary of the so-called ministry of Education, Erdogan Sorakin, said that the religious lessons will be offered by specialists, while the ministrys Director of the Primary Schools, Hatice Duzgun, said that already imams from the Office of Religious Affairs have paid a visit to some schools.

    On its part, KTOS called on school principals: Do not open your schools to the imams, while its General Secretary Senel Elcil said that AKP is trying to destroy secular education through Ahmet Yonluer, who is the Head of the Religious Affairs of the TRNC.

    The TRNC Premier got instructions from this mufti. We will fight. The Turkish Cypriot people are secular and will protect Ataturks education. They wish to create the legal ground for the Koran lessons by stealing the summer vacation from our children. The bureaucrats of AKP in Cyprus are working to create a stain in secular education by supporting Koran lessons in schools, Senel Elcil inter alia stated.

    On their part, the educators objecting to the implementation of the ministry of Educations decision have, inter alia, stated:

    We are working in order for the legal ground of the religious lessons not to be created. We have a secular education; we will fight for protecting Ataturks education.

    On his part, Ahmet Yonluer stated that the mosques are not places for education. This year therefore, the religious lessons will be offered in schools. The lessons are organized by the ministry of education. During the past year it was stated that religious education is given in the mosques; this year this will be offered in schools. The legal ground for this is set, he stated.

    The paper also notes that Ahmet Yonluer is a close friend of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Last year the Office of Religious Affairs in occupied Cyprus offered religious lesson to the students in 100 mosques.

    (ML)

    [09] Flurry of meetings in Ankara amid security debates

    Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (22.06.07) under the above title, reports the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a two-hour closed door meeting Thursday with Gen. Yasar Buyukan1t, a day after a National Security Council (MGK) gathering, bringing together top government and military officials as well as President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

    Erdogan's meeting with Buyukanit at the General Staff headquarters, which officials said was a briefing for Erdogan about the terrorist threat stemming from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), was followed by 20-minute talks between the prime minister and Emre Taner, secretary-general of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT). Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also accompanied Erdogan at the briefing at General Staff headquarters.

    Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener met with US Ambassador Ross Wilson at the Prime Ministry and visited President Sezer at the latters office. US Embassy officials said the meeting was scheduled a couple of weeks ago and added that it tackled a range of issues, including Armenian resolutions pending in the US Congress and the issue of Cyprus. Asked about the issue of the PKK presence in northern Iraq and reported plans by the Turkish military to set up a buffer zone in Iraq, an embassy official said it was possible that the meeting tackled that issue, too. Erdogan and Sezer were expected to have a regular weekly meeting, but the two met in the MGK meeting on Wednesday, making the regular weekly meeting unnecessary, according to a statement from the presidential palace.

    A statement released after Wednesdays MGK meeting said all the necessary measures would be taken no matter what the circumstances are, but fell short of mentioning a cross-border operation. In remarks earlier in the day he made to Reuters, Erdogan did say, however, that a cross-border operation in Iraqi territory was an option on the table in the fight against terrorism. The US opposes a cross-border operation by the Turkish military, saying this would destabilize northern Iraq, one of the most relatively stable regions in Iraq.

    Moreover, ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (21.06.07) reports that Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer received the Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit at the Cankaya Palace on Thursday.

    The weekly meeting between Sezer and Gen. Buyukanit lasted about 50 minutes and was closed to press corps.

    President Sezer also received on Thursday State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener at the Cankaya Palace.

    Sezer-Sener meeting lasted 15 minutes.

    Sources said that the meeting took place upon a request by Sener.

    [10] Five international events in Istanbul

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (21.06.07) reports the following:

    Istanbul will host five international events in the next 10 days, starting on Friday, said sources on Thursday.

    On Friday, the "Turkish-German Economic Congress 2007" will kick off. On Monday, June 25th, "15th Summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation" will take place in the city.

    On Tuesday, Istanbul will host the international energy conference of the Foreign Economic Relations Board. On the same day, Istanbul will also host a conference of the International Investments Insurers Union.

    On Wednesday, June 27th, Istanbul will be the home for a forum of the OECD. According to sources, Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will attend the energy conference, Black Sea Economic Cooperation summit and the OECD forum. Hundreds of foreign representatives of the business sector, bureaucrats and scholars will meet in Istanbul during the next 10 days.

    [11] BSEC summit in Istanbul

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (21.06.07) reports the following:

    The Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) heads of state and government summit will be held in Turkish metropolis of Istanbul on June 25th (Monday) under the auspices of Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

    Sezer, who will travel to Istanbul on Friday, will have bilateral talks with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Serbian President Boris Tadic, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on the margin of the BSEC summit.

    President Sezer is to host a dinner in honour of his guests at the Dolmabahce Palace on Monday.

    On the other hand, President Sezer will participate in the 10th Energy Conference on Tuesday (June 26th), and host a luncheon in honour of Jorge Sampaio, the High Representative (of the UN Secretary General) for the Alliance of Civilizations and former president of Portugal.

    Sezer is also scheduled to have a meeting with Icelands President Olafur Grimsson, who will be in Istanbul to participate in OECD World Forum on "Statistics, Knowledge and Policy" which will focus on measuring and fostering the progress of societies.

    [12] Final list of candidates for Turkish general elections released

    Istanbul NTV television (20.06.07) broadcast that the process of printing the ballot papers for the July 22 general election has begun.

    Turkeys Higher Board of Election (YSK) has finalised the list of candidates for the countrys forthcoming general elections, with more than 7000 candidates standing for the 550 seat legislature.

    The YSK culled a number of potential candidates from the preliminary list of nominees after assessing that they were not eligible to stand in the July 22 ballot. These included former Prime Minister Necemttin Erbakan, and former parliamentary deputies from a now banned pro-Kurdish party.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [13] NATO declines to support Turkeys veto over EU´s Kosovo mission

    Under the above title, Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (22.06.07) publishes the following analysis:

    A difference of opinion regarding the interpretation of the Berlin Plus arrangements has once again sparked a crisis between Turkey and its NATO allies, this time with regards to the possible European Union administrative mission in Kosovo after the UN Security Council resolution is approved.

    "Many NATO countries do not believe that the EU's possible Kosovo mission fully falls under the Berlin Plus mission," said Ankara-based Western diplomats.

    After several years of negotiations, Turkey and NATO members, a majority of which are also EU members, signed a declaration in December 2002 on the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) that has enabled the use of NATO assets and capabilities by the EU as part of the ESDP operations, known as the Berlin Plus arrangements. This has become possible under the Ankara agreement of 2001, which stipulated that Turkey automatically participate in EU-led military operations in the event that NATO assets and capabilities are used. But in a situation where NATO assets and capabilities are not used, Turkey can only participate if the European Council invites it.

    The aim of the ESDP has been to deal effectively with crisis management, including the use of force on the European continent, when necessary using NATOs operational capabilities. But at the time of the declaration neither the Greek Cypriot administration --recognized by the UN, with the exception of Turkey, representing all of Cyprus-- nor Malta were members of the EU, as they joined in May 2004.

    The latest crisis between Turkey and NATO occurred during ongoing negotiations to sort out the modalities of an EU administrative mission including EU police force to enable the smooth transition of Kosovo to independence, pending a UN Security Council decision and provided the Russian veto is overcome. There is already a NATO military mission in Kosovo codenamed Kfor and the EU administrative mission, which has also sought to include a Greek Cypriot police force, will be linked with the former.

    Turkey has argued that the EUs pending mission in Kosovo falls under the Berlin Plus arrangements, under which NATO assets and capabilities will be used by the EU, and thus a Greek Cypriot police force could not participate in the mission. Many NATO allies have disputed the Turkish view, arguing that the EU mission would not be a security operation using NATO military assets and thus does not fully fall under the Berlin Plus arrangements.

    NATO allies are also contradicting themselves by rejecting the Turkish position, stressed a Turkish diplomat, recalling that if the EUs Kosovo mission did not fall under the Berlin Plus arrangements then there would not have been any problem. The EU then could have gone ahead with its mission without NATO help and with no Turkish veto, said the same diplomat.

    The Turkish veto will be a blow to the grand project of helping Kosovo for a smooth transition toward independence, said the NATO officials. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was also unable to convince Turkey during his visit to Ankara on June 12 to lift its veto over the EUs cooperation with NATO in Kosovo. According to Western diplomats, the Russian veto on a UN Security Council resolution to pave the way for an independent Kosovo could be overcome by convincing Moscow to absent itself from the voting.

    Meanwhile, as the chances of a UN resolution on Kosovo recede, Brussels is weighing the fate of its long-planned mission to the territory.

    While some analysts say the EU can find alternatives to a UN resolution to secure its mandate, European diplomats have been hinting that the problem might be solved through a minimum resolution that would give a green light to the EU but would not regulate the final status.

    The EU is quietly starting strategic preparations to begin its supervisory mission in Kosovo, even without an international agreement on Kosovos final status.

    The plan, recommending independence for Kosovo, but supervised by the international community, came after Serbian and Kosovan negotiating teams failed to reach an agreement during several months of talks in Vienna.

    The main reason behind Turkeys disagreements with NATO and the EU over the past few years was Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish peace operation staged to prevent a Greek supported coup seizing the whole island, the northern part of which is inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. In December of last year, when Turkey refused to open its ports to EU member state Greek Cyprus, the EU suspended entry discussions with Ankara in eight of the 35 accession negotiation chapters. Turkey refused to open its ports when the EU failed to pass a decision from the European Council to lift an economic embargo imposed over Turkish Cypriots upon the Greek Cypriot veto.

    The EU has also so far failed to implement its decisions to include Turkey in the European Defence Agency (EDA) under a certain arrangement as well as a security agreement that would have allowed more say to non-EU member Turkey in the decision making process of the union on operations being held independent of NATO.

    Turkey agreed back in 2002 to EUs offer to take part in enlarged consultation mechanism. Under the 2002 deal, if Turkey takes part in an EU-led operation with a force of 15 percent or more of the total, the voting will be a qualified majority to which Turkey will also take part. In return the planned EU army will have assured access to NATOs planning facilities at NATOs Supreme Headquarters Allied Power Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. But as has been agreed in Washington as well as at the EUs Nice summits, NATOs collective capabilities, which are mainly the assets of national governments that include intelligence and other vital assets, case-by-case criteria will be applied under which decisions will be taken by consensus at NATO when the EU seeks those assets for autonomous operations.

    Under the so-called Helsinki Headline Goal, the EU has been developing the necessary military capabilities to be able to deploy, within 60 days, a force of up to 60,000 troops for humanitarian and rescue missions, peacekeeping and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking, and to sustain that force in the field for at least a year.

    Turkey has pledged 6,000 troops, aircraft and ships to the force, making it the fifth-largest contributor to the EU force of 60,000.

    Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, however, has confirmed local media reports on June 7 that Turkey has decided to withdraw the commitment to provide a battalion that it had prepared for the independent EU missions when the union failed to place this Turkish force among the main military elements of the headline goal plans, recognizing it instead as an auxiliary unit.

    NATO diplomats, speaking to Todays Zaman, also agreed with the Turkish position on the EU operations that did not require NATO assets and capabilities in which Turkey has been participating, blaming the EU for not meeting its pledges. The EU has so far failed to offer enough consultation on EU missions to Turkey, said a Western diplomat. Turkey has, meanwhile, contributed to EU-led operations including operations in Congo, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. It signed a letter of intent in May 2005 with Italy and Romania to form a Battle Group to be offered to the EU in the second half of 2010.

    But according to the Western military officials, behind the latest crisis between Turkey and NATO, as well as the EU, lies the Turkish militarys fear of the EU getting stronger in the military field, weakening NATO --the only international organization in which Turkey has a veto power. Furthermore, Turkey did not like being treated like a second-class citizen by the EU, said a Turkish diplomat. However the current Turkish position could encourage the EU to establish its own planning cell in the long term, duplicating the alliances planning capabilities, eventually resulting in the weakening of NATO, stressed the same diplomat.

    EG/


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