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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-06-18
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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. 114/08 18.06.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat rejected UN invitation to attend dinner with Mr Lynn Pascoe and President ChristofiasUnder the title Meal Crisis, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.06.08) reports in its first page that the initiative of the United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, for a social dinner between him, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and President Demetris Christofias, had no results. The initiative for the dinner was made in the framework of Mr Pascoes visit to Cyprus.
The paper writes that Mr Talat met with the United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs at the presidential residence and after the meeting he made statements saying that he would give a negative answer to the dinner invitation, that he would not participate in the dinner and that there are many factors for this decision. Mr Pascoe, who held a meeting with President Christofias after his meeting with Mr Talat, had a second meeting with Talat prior to his dinner with President Christofias, later in the afternoon. Following this second meeting Mr Pascoe did not make any statements and refused any questions by the press. Despite the fact that Talat denied it, the paper invoking sources, writes that Mr Pascoe tried hard to persuade the Turkish Cypriot leader to participate in the dinner.
Speaking about his meeting with Mr Pascoe, the Turkish Cypriot leader stated, inter alia, that he conveyed to him the Turkish Cypriot Sides worries, concerns and views regarding the current negotiation process and their willingness and commitment towards finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem. Mr Talat also stated that the Turkish Cypriots will continue to work for a solution within the framework agreed during the May 23rd meeting. He also said that he has the impression that the UN position regarding the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots has not changed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (18.06.08) also reports on Talats decision not to attend the dinner with Pascoe and Christofias and notes that Mr Pascoe had a second meeting with Talat the same day trying to persuade him to participate in the dinner, but without success.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (18.06.08)reports in its first page about Pascoes contacts in Cyprus and especially on his meeting with Mr Talat and notes that the United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs stated that there is hope and expectation as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem.
On the same issue and under the title, The UN could not bring together Talat and Christofias, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (18.06.08) covers the visit of the UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe to Cyprus, who arrived to the island suddenly in order to help overcoming the trust crisis between the sides. However, despite the insistence of Mr Pascoe, Mr Talat did not accept the invitation of Mr Pascoe to meet with Mr Christofias over a dinner. At the meetings of March 21st and May 23rd, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat decided to meet soon to start comprehensive negotiations for a solution based on the framework of a bi-regional and bi-communal federation and the creation of two founding states, the paper writes. As the paper continues, it seemed that the two comrades would understand each other better because of their leftist perceptions, Mr Christofias as a communist and Mr Talat with origins from the left.
On the same issue illegal Bayrak television (17.06.08) broadcast that after his second meeting with Mr Pascoe today Mr Talat stated that it is necessary for him to have a meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias. "We continued to discuss the Cyprus problem, and Pascoe briefed me on his impressions of his talks in the Greek Cypriot administration," Talat said. Talat said he was still hopeful, but told reporters that Pascoe did not talk about any date set for a meeting with Christofias. Mr Talat said that Pascoe did neither bring him a clear message, and added that the two parties had to overcome the problems.
 Durduran stated that the administration is working upon Turkeys demand to impair the relations with the UN and to break the negotiationsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.06.08) reports that Mr Alpay Durduran, the Secretary for Foreign Affair of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), evaluated the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the visit of the United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe to Cyprus. In a written statement Mr Durduran noted that the administration is working upon Turkeys demand to impair the relations with the UN and to break the negotiations at a determined phase. The negotiations are in stoppage phase, he noted.
Mr Durduran also criticized Mr Talat for not accepting Mr Pascoes invitation for dinner with President Christofias. He went on and said that the AKP government in Turkey will not take any steps to win in Cyprus the battle against the deep state. Therefore, Mr Talat will also do nothing in Cyprus, he said.
 The North Cyprus Turkish Red Crescent Association participated in the 2nd Islamic Conference Organization in IstanbulTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.06.08) reports that the North Cyprus Turkish Red Crescent Association participated in the 2nd Islamic Conference Organization (IKT) hosted in Istanbul, Turkey, by the Islamic Committee of International Crescent (ICIC) and the Turkish Red Crescent. In the meeting 42 countries which are members of the IKT and two countries with the status of observer participated. Around 200 persons participated in the deliberations of the meeting.
The North Cyprus Turkish Red Crescent Association, which participated with a three-person group in the meeting, held contacts with all the international associations which also participated in the meeting and received the support of countries members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
The paper writes that the chairman of the North Cyprus Turkish Red Crescent Association, Isilay Arkan, proposed that a part of the ordinary meeting of the Executive committee of ICIC, which will be held in 2008-2009, be held in occupied Cyprus, a proposal which was received with positive reactions. The paper writes that especially the Albanian delegation was very enthusiastic with this.
 AKP supported that the Cyprus problem is a big criterion as regards the slowdown of Turkeys EU processTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.06.08) reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey supported that the Cyprus problem is a big criterion as regards the slowdown of Turkeys EU process. As the paper writes, this was mentioned in the AKPs presentation to Turkeys Constitutional Court on the issue of the partys closure case.
 The ferry services from occupied Cyprus to Latakia continue A Turkish Cypriot was left behind in Syria and was helped by two Greek Cypriots to return to CyprusUnder the title Greek Cypriots bought his ticket, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.06.08) reports in its first page about the story of a Turkish Cypriot who was left behind in Syria without any money. The ferry boat he went to Syria with, left four hours before its schedule and some Greek Cypriots he met in Syria helped him return to Cyprus.
According to the paper, Mr Bulent Aykut went to Latakia the previous week with the ferry boat that belongs to the Akgunler Denicilik Firm. When he went to the port to take the ferry boat to return to occupied Cyprus, he was informed that the boat left four hours earlier. Bulent Aykut returned to the hotel and called the Akgunler Denicilik Firm in Cyprus on the phone and an official there informed him that the next boat he could get on was due next week and that the only thing they could give him was a free ticket to return to Cyprus, if he could go to the Turkish city of Tasucu where there are ferry services to (occupied) Keryneia. Two Greek Cypriots from Limassol helped Mr Bulent Aykut, who was left only with two dollars in his pocket, to take a bus and go to Tasucu.
 Israeli President: I will talk about Turkey with SarkozyUnder the front page title, I will talk about Turkey with Sarkozy, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (18.06.08) publishes an exclusive interview of the Israeli President Shimon Peres. Mr Peres said that he would talk about Turkey with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, who is set to pay a visit to Israel next week. Mr Peres said he fully supported Turkeys membership in the European Union. Mr Peres will give Mr Sarkozy this message: If you are not helping Turkey, it means you are helping Iran.
 Another law suit filed against former Democracy Party deputy, Leyla ZanaTurkish daily Vatan newspaper (17.06.08) reports that another law suit has been filed against former Democracy Party Deputy, Leyla Zana, who has been sentenced to two years in prison for engaging in PKK propaganda in a speech she delivered during the Nevruz celebrations in Diyarbakir last year.
The current law suit has been filed in connection with the defense she submitted during the trial pertaining to her Nevruz speech. The indictment accuses Zana of increasing the tension in the region and asks for a five-year prison term.
 AKP deputies on the verge of resignationTurkish Daily News newspaper (18.06.08) reports that four deputies in the country's governing coalition made signals regarding their possible resignation from the ruling party, currently facing a closure case against it at the country's top court, daily Milliyet reported yesterday.
Deputies Ulku Gokalp Guney, Vahit Erdem, Yasar Eryilmaz and Feyzi Isbasaran, all originally from the Motherland Party, or ANAVATAN, expressed their uneasiness over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement, The one who gets off this train, can't get on again.
We joined the AKP (Justice and Development Party) by invitation, not by force. We part from the party the same as we have come. However, Erdogan's threatening words disturbed us, the four AKP deputies said, according to Milliyet. Deputies also claimed that they backed out of resigning only on the insistence of another AKP deputy of ANAVATAN origin.
But Erdem and Eryilmaz, speaking to the Turkish Daily News yesterday, did not confirm the story. I would be the last person that would leave this ship. This is just speculation, Erdem said.
Daily Milliyet argued that having learned of the annoyance of four AKP deputies, Erdogan softened the harshness of his original warning, stressing that the resignation of even a single deputy during the closure case is not good and will be perceived by the public as the disintegration of the AKP. I will talk with the deputies and tell them my words are misunderstood, if necessary, Erdogan noted.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Cyprus on the brink?Under the above title Turkish Daily News newspaper (17.06.08) publishes the following commentary by Clement Dodd:
For the Turkish Cypriots the difficult Cyprus problem has recently taken a turn that many in the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus, or TRNC, including President Talat, see as a very worrying turn for the worse.
After the meeting of presidents Christofias and Talat on May 23, a joint statement was read out for them by the U.N. permanent representative, Taye-Brook Zerihoun. He said that the two leaders during the meeting reaffirmed their commitment for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as defined by relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. The partnership will have a federal government with a single international personality, as well as a Turkish Cypriot constituent state and a Greek Cypriot constituent state, which will be of equal status. The outcome would be a United Federal Republic of Cyprus. Christofias was careful neither to affirm nor deny that it would be a new state or evolve from the Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot representative said that for the first time in history the two sides were speaking the same language and were both very pleased with the outcome so far.
Revival of the Annan Plan?:
It sounded like a revival of the Annan Plan, which former President Papadopoulos had rejected in 2004, as had Christofias at the time. The Turkish Government welcomed the new development, though before the talks, in a routine meeting, the Turkish National Security Council had stated that a solution had to be based on the political equality of the two sides and that the equal status of the two founding states had to be recognized, a form of political equality never accepted by the U.N. Security Council. In the Christofias/Talat agreement, the single international personality seems to imply that the constituent states would not be able to argue their own case, as might be necessary, in Brussels, or to make any international agreements. This would be a step down from the Annan Plan. They are in reality component not constituent states, since they do not constitute, in the sense of form anything.
Also Christofias has subsequently made it clear that what would emerge would not be a new state, implying that the existing Republic of Cyprus would be altered to allow the inclusion of the Turkish Cypriots constituent state. This would again be similar to the Annan Plan, which only spoke of a new state of affairs. It will be recalled that the constituent states mentioned in that plan did not constitute or authorize the new state of affairs. The federation was authorized by the electorate on each side, a neat device by the United Nations to bypass and avoid any recognition of the TRNC. It was assumed that the requirements of democracy could be adequately met by a referendum!
In a democracy all important decisions should be decided by the government, supported by elected representatives in parliament, and with all issues carefully argued and considered, public opinion being one significant, but by no means the single, consideration, and then not only, or necessarily, expressed through a referendum. It is generally agreed that in 2004 in the referendum most Turkish Cypriots voted for the Annan Plan not because they understood it but because joining the European Union was part of the deal. They had been forcibly impoverished for decades so why not seize the opportunity to trust the EU, join in with the world, and become better off?
Alarm bells in the TRNC:
The Chritofias/Talat statement, and subsequent comments on it, rang alarm bells in the TRNC. They rang again, with even more clamour, when on June 5 President Christofias and the British prime minister, Gordon Brown signed an agreement in London to develop a stronger relationship between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Cyprus. Christofias said that, like the UK, the Greek Cypriots support Turkey's accession to the EU, but he added significantly subject to conditions concerning the Greek Cypriots.
In the Joint Declaration the two sides committed themselves to working together to reunify the island, their aim being a settlement based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and political quality as defined by the relevant UN resolutions, and the principles on which the EU is founded, a significant addition. The settlement must also be based on a single sovereign international personality and a single citizenship (dual citizenship was allowed under the Annan Plan). Respecting U.N. resolutions, the UK will not support any moves towards the partition of the island or the recognition or upgrading of any separate political entity on the island.
By the Greeks, for the Greeks:
The statement continues with both sides reaffirming their support for measures aimed at the economic integration of the island in accordance with EU Council conclusions. Gratuitously it adds, The United Kingdom commends the measures taken and proposed by the Republic of Cyprus for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriot community! This really enraged the Turkish Cypriots. It indicates approval of the Greek Cypriot policy of osmosis that is so much resented in the TRNC, a policy that seeks to draw the Turkish Cypriots into the Greek Cypriot state by providing among other things passports and medical care. Gordon Brown oddly declared, It is right to seek a solution by Greek Cypriots for Greek Cypriots. What about the Turkish Cypriots? The Declaration is said to constitute a program of action to be delivered through six monthly reviews, so it is to be followed up.
The United Kingdom has clearly come down on the Greek Cypriot side in this critical time, as in fact has always been the case. A plum paragraph in the Declaration states that, The two countries reiterate their commitment to their respective obligations under the treaties signed in 1960. In 1964, the UK, despite being a guarantor power of the 1960 treaties, conveniently forgot them by recognizing the Greek Cypriot rump government, illegally devoid of Turkish Cypriot members, as required under the 1960 agreements, as the government of the Republic of Cyprus.
Protest in the TRNC has reached outrage. President Talat has denounced the Declaration as completely unacceptable. The Turkish Cypriot opposition parties also needed a jolt, and this may be it. Support for Talat's belief in the possibility of a just solution with his fellow socialists in the notionally communist party AKEL has been seriously undermined. The Turkish Cypriots are now aware that in the negotiations with the south they are heading towards minority status. One Turkish Cypriot commentator remarked that Christofias is trying to hang Talat with an English rope. Another commentator has observed that the UK is trying to push the Turkish Cypriots under at a time when political turmoil in Turkey will weaken Turkish resolve to support the Turkish Cypriots. The basic British aims, it is asserted, are to remove Cyprus as an obstacle to Turkey's membership of the European Union, and to head off resentment of its sovereign military bases, and non-sovereign listening posts, in the south.
How the Turkish Cypriots will respond to further negotiations will depend a good deal on the nature of their support from Ankara. Predictable Turkish attempts to modify the Anglo-Greek Cypriot Declaration in favor of the Turkish Cypriots are unlikely to bear much fruit. Prompted by the Cyprus dispute, and in a rapidly changing world, Ankara ought perhaps to reassess the whole subject of its relations with the European Union. The United States and the United Kingdom may badly want Turkey in the EU, but does it not need to be asked afresh if EU membership is still for Turkey the only, or necessarily the best, option?
Time for a complete re-think:
As for Cyprus, the best solution since 1974 has always been for two states, possibly in a confederal relationship, with substantial surrender of territory by the Turkish Cypriots. Polls show that the majority of Turkish Cypriots, including the young, believe this is the best solution. It has always surely been the best way to reunify the island. Even a two-state federation would probably not work, as two-state federations rarely do, especially if one is much larger than the other. The allegedly federal solution at present in prospect seems sure to put the Turkish Cypriots in a subordinate position to the Greek Cypriots, which the latter have always wanted. It seems to be time for a complete re-think.
Professor Emeritus Clement Dodd teaches as the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.