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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-05-11

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. 85/09 09 11.05.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat announces Turkish Cypriot sides timetable for the peace negotiations in Cyprus
  • [02] Orams case initiative launched
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister speaks of unfulfilled promises to the Turkish Cypriots on Europe Day
  • [04] Measures suggested by the Chairman of the Estate Agents Union to continue the plundering of the properties of European citizens in occupied Cyprus
  • [05] TPAO to widen its activities to the collection of data in the seas
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot lawyer warns that a war may break out in the Mediterranean Sea because of the application of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN for its Exclusive Economic Zone
  • [07] Davutoglu thanks his Finnish counterpart for his countrys support in Cyprus
  • [08] Turkish FM addresses EU ambassadors in Ankara and rejects the French proposal for alternative EU membership
  • [09] American- Turkish council meetings to start on May 31
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 08, 09 and 10 May 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat announces Turkish Cypriot sides timetable for the peace negotiations in Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.05.09) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Cypriot side is in favor of completing the first round of Cyprus peace negotiations by the end of June and going for simultaneous referenda towards the beginning of 2010 with the completion of the negotiations process.

    This is the time-table envisaged by the Turkish Cypriot side, President Mehmet Ali Talat has said.

    The President made the statement in a conference he gave in Istanbul yesterday.

    Mr Talat attended a Conference on Intercommunal Talks and TRNC-EU Relations organized by the Kadir Has University which marked the 9th of May-Europe Day.

    Touching upon the recent developments concerning the Orams case, President Talat said the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has thrown a bomb at the negotiations table.

    He noted that the ECJ made the judgment by taking into account the regulation which said any decision taken by a member country on commercial and civil matters should be recognized and implemented in other member countries.

    The European Union is taking up this issue in an utterly ham-handed way and it has caused a very serious problem for us. Because, such a judgment will remove the possibility for the Greek Cypriot leader to show flexibility, particularly on the issue of property, while sitting at the negotiations table, Talat said.

    Thats the EUs second mistake, Talat noted. The first mistake of the EU, which was perhaps much bigger than this one, was when it accepted the Greek Cypriot sides unilateral EU membership under the name of Cyprus as a whole, before the Cyprus problem was resolved, Mr Talat went on saying.

    However, the President still noted that the Turkish Cypriot side wants the maintenance of the solution process with good will.

    As for the time-table of talks envisaged by the Turkish Cypriot side, President Mehmet Ali Talat said that the first round of talks needs to be completed by the end of this June and the two sides should move on with the second round until the end of July.

    Then comes the give-and-take process, Talat added.

    The beginning of 2010 is envisaged as the date for simultaneous referenda on the agreement to be reached by the two sides at the end of talks.

    They keep asking me if I still have the hope for a solution under such conditions. I say Governance and Power-Sharing, the first chapter of negotiations, had been the major cause of the Cyprus problem. And, we have reached a serious level of agreement on this with the Greek Cypriot side, except the issue of the executive`, Talat stated.

    President Talat said there is no reason for losing all the hope for the solution of the Cyprus problem while such progress is there on the table.

    However, he also stressed the need for avoiding foreign interventions through court judgments or some other ways which can lead to initiatives that will harm the negotiations process.

    Reiterating the Turkish Cypriot view that the United Nations needs to gain a more active role in the solution of the Cyprus problem, the President said the UNs position as an observer is not enough.

    He finally emphasized that the Cyprus problem, which has turned into an international problem, can be resolved with international interest.Completing his contacts in Istanbul, the President returned to the TRNC last night.

    [02] Orams case initiative launched

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Cyprus Times newspaper (10.05.09) reports the following:

    The Turkish Cypriot side had announced that it has launched a series of initiatives aimed at minimizing the negative affects of the Orams judgment on the negotiations process.

    The Presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica said that it was necessary, as agreed by the two leaders, to intensify the negotiations process in order to achieve progress.

    He said otherwise, possible negative developments could make it harder to reach a solution.

    Speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing, the Presidential Spokesman reminded that the President had met with the US and British Ambassadors to discuss the ECJs judgment on the Orams case.

    Ercakica pointed out that it has been a busy past week for the Turkish Cypriot side with the discussions on the Orams case judgment, the formation of the new government, the new Turkish Foreign Ministers visit to the TRNC as well as the Tuesdays meeting between the two leaders.

    Reminding that the two leaders had decided at the end of this weeks meeting to intensify their efforts in line with a statement made by the UN Security Council calling on the leaders to increase momentum the Presidential Spokesman said this was important.

    Within this framework, the special aides to the two leaders have agreed in principle to meet three times a week, he added.

    We particularly would like to stress that, intensifying the process so as to achieve decisive progress in the process, is important.

    Otherwise, possible developments that will have negative effects over the process will hamper the prospects of attaining the desired result.

    Ercakica said that the European Court of Justices judgment on the Orams case was the most important recent of such possible developments that negatively affected the talks.

    The Turkish Cypriot side has taken a series of steps to make sure that the judgment does not have a negative affect on the process and will continue to do so, he added.

    The Presidential Spokesman also said that they were pleased to see that the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias had finally started to acknowledge that natural timetables were required to find an urgent solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He, however, stated that repeated statements by the Greek Cypriots leader that they are not obliged to assist Turkey in its upcoming EU progress report was perceived as the continuation of the Greek Cypriot sides efforts to manipulate Turkeys EU membership process for its own interests.

    Also touching upon the Turkish Foreign Ministers visit to the TRNC, Ercakica said that he found the chance to share the Turkish sides perspective with regard to the Cyprus problem and to reaffirm their joint objectives with Turkey.

    Responding to a question regarding a visit by the UN Special advisor to China and Tussia, the Presidential Spokesman said it was natural for the special advisor to brief permanent members of the UN Security Council on the process.

    He also said that Downer will be visiting Athens and Ankara on the 18th of May.

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister speaks of unfulfilled promises to the Turkish Cypriots on Europe Day

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.05.09) broadcast the following:

    The European Union has failed to keep its promises to Turkish Cypriots, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said.

    In a speech he delivered at a meeting to mark the Europe Day, Mr Davutoglu said: If there is a more suspicion and mistrust towards the EU in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus compared to 2004, it is because of the EUs failure to honor its promises. Its the EUs responsibility to build that trust, he stressed.

    Ahmet Davutoglu also reiterated Turkeys support to the TRNC on the Cyprus negotiations.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed the need for the Greek Cypriot Administration to stop using Turkey-EU relations as an argument tool to gain advantage for itself.

    We expect the EU to take on a balanced and fair position in such cases, he said. Turkey wants to see a positive outcome at the end of Cyprus talks and hopes that the Eastern Mediterranean will become a region of peace and stability, he noted.

    If this does not come to life, no one should put the blame on Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. All sides concerned in the problem, need to put their small-scale plans aside and face the responsibility of making use of the opportunity created for achieving peace in Cyprus, Mr Davutoglu stressed.

    Turkey will continue taking the EU as its fundamental issue of foreign policy, the Minister also said.

    Davutoglu referred to the importance of establishing a global, economic and political system that will allow Turkey and the EU to be the main actors of the international system of law and politics.

    [04] Measures suggested by the Chairman of the Estate Agents Union to continue the plundering of the properties of European citizens in occupied Cyprus

    Under the title Ban Greek Cypriots from TRNC Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (09.05.09-15.05.09) reports the following:

    A 500 million plan is on the table, aimed at boosting the property industry and preventing EU citizens coming under legal attack for buying homes in the TRNC.

    Chairman of the Estate Agents Union, Hasan Sungur, says the scheme he has presented to the new government will resurrect the construction sector in North Cyprus.

    He told Cyprus Today one precaution would be to issue title deeds to the bearer so the name of the owner could be kept secret within the Land Registry. Transactions would be made via the title deed number, thus preventing the Greek Cypriots from getting hold of the person owning a particular property, he said.

    The second precaution proposed is to punish anyone attempting to present a summons issued by a Greek Cypriot court.

    We proposed that the government draws up legislation which will punish anyone caught trying to present these summonses with two years of imprisonment.

    As a third precaution, Mr Sungur suggests Greek Cypriots be banned from entering the TRNC so they cannot harass foreign homebuyers.

    The borders could be closed to all citizens of the Greek Cypriot administration but open to nationals of other EU countries, said Mr Sungur.

    He said the precautions should not be permanent and could be implemented until the Cyprus problem ends with a solution.

    As well as those plans, Mr Sungur said foreigners waiting in line for permission to purchase (PTP) which he puts at 5,600 should be provided with their PTPs immediately.

    And for future applications, the government should set up a deadline for PTPs and issue title deeds within a month.

    According to Mr Sungur, the PTP procedure could be streamlined by drawing up maps showing areas where it is unsuitable to sell property to foreigners. Selling properties from these areas to foreigners should be banned.

    Mr Sungur also proposes providing 500 million of credit for the local population to purchase homes a move aimed at shifting an estimated 10,000 unfinished and unsold homes.

    It is also seen as helping to resolve the problems facing some 8,000 foreign purchasers whose properties are either yet to be completed or have title deed problems.

    Mr Sungur said a House Provision Fund Administration (Kefi) should be established to administer the completion and sale of unfinished homes.

    Kefi, which will be composed of representatives from the government, the sector and the banks, will take over the unfinished homes on application by the contractor. Projects will be promoted through the estate agents. Then Kefi will provide sufficient money to the contractor in three phases for the completion of the construction. After the constructions are completed, Kefi will sell the homes, not the contractor. With the sale proceeds Kefi will first pay off the contractors bank debt and then hand over what is left of the money.

    He added: The legislation which would be drawn up within the framework of this scheme would provide tax subsidies to the contractor but also impose a price ceiling in order to prevent inflated prices. It will benefit the sector because local supply will be exhausted, prices will start to rise and TRNC citizens Turkish Cypriots will be homeowners. It will indirectly benefit the foreigners because their existing problems regarding construction or title deeds will be resolved.

    [05] TPAO to widen its activities to the collection of data in the seas

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (11.05.09) under the title in its economic news pages, TPAO will collect data in the seas as well, reports that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation Directorate General (TPAO), in addition to the in-land data collection, is widening its project works to the collection of data in the seas, as well.

    According to TPAOs statement, a tender will be opened to collect data in the seas within the scope of its activities to explore for oil and natural gas. The tender will be made on May 12 in the offices of the TPAO Directorate General.

    (EA)

    [06] Turkish Cypriot lawyer warns that a war may break out in the Mediterranean Sea because of the application of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN for its Exclusive Economic Zone

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (11.05.09) under the title Continental shelf might turn to crisis reports on statements made by Mrs Ozen Hursen, Lawyer and specialist on EU and International Trade issues who participated in a programme broadcast by the Ada TV. As the paper writes, the Greek Cypriot side which created a petroleum crisis in the Mediterranean Sea, is expected to apply to the UN on May 13 for its Exclusive Economic Zones, in spite of the calls made from Turkey and the TRNC. The lawyer, Ozen Hursen states, inter alia, that it is possible that a war may break out in the Mediterranean Sea due to the stance of the Greek Cypriot side, the tenders which were made and the explorations for oil.

    (AK)

    [07] Davutoglu thanks his Finnish counterpart for his countrys support in Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.05.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Finland's top diplomat said on Friday Turkey's accession to the European Union would be the biggest project for Union's future, expressing support for the country's European aspirations.

    The EU has developed on projects. It was first a project of coal and steel ... and the next biggest project for strategic purposes and the future of the Union is Turkey's full membership in the EU, Alexander Stubb told a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

    Stubb also urged the Turkish government to continue with the EU reforms which he said would eventually bring Turkey in to the European Union.

    As a politician who experienced membership negotiations, I know very well that the talks are never easy. But reforms should continue and I believe that in the end we will see Turkey as a full member in the EU, Stubb said.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu thanked for the Finnish support for Turkey's EU membership bid and for the negotiations in Cyprus.

    Finland has always stood by our side since the time of former President Martti Ahtisaari, and we are confident that it would remain by our side in the future, Davutoglu said.

    [08] Turkish FM addresses EU ambassadors in Ankara and rejects the French proposal for alternative EU membership

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.05.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish foreign minister rejected on Friday any alternative which would rule out his country's full membership in the European Union.

    All we ask of the EU is to respect its own values and keep its promises. Proposing alternative memberships is disrespect not to us, but to the European culture itself, Ahmet Davutoglu told a luncheon for EU ambassadors in Ankara to mark May 9, the Europe Day.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday the EU should create a common economic and security space between Turkey and the Union as an alternative to country's full membership.

    We are aware of our duties in the accession process and we know very well that it is not the EU that will integrate with Turkey, it is Turkey that will integrate with the EU. We are ready to do our homework, but we are expecting from our European friends to act in line with the basic moral principles of Europe, Davutoglu said.

    The Turkish foreign minister also rejected the idea that letting Turkey in the EU would make the Union open to threats from the most risky regions of the world. Over the last five years, Turkey has never brought instability or insecurity to the places it engaged but peace to the global system, he said.

    Turkey started accession negotiations with the EU in October 2005 in a bid to become the first Muslim member of the Union.

    [09] American- Turkish council meetings to start on May 31

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.05.09) reported from Washington that American-Turkish Council (ATC) meetings will take place between May 31 and June 3 in Washington with high level participation from Turkey.

    ATC stated on Saturday that Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim were expected to attend the meetings.

    ATC meetings are held every year, and officials discuss Turkey-U.S. relations in the meetings.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 08, 09 and 10 May 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 08, 09 and 10 May 2009:

    a) Turkeys EU course:

    In Hurriyet (08.05.09) Ferai Tinc dedicates her column to the "change of tone in Brussels" regarding the approach to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Tinc argues that Olli Rehn's statements on Turkish democracy signal that "the AKP spring in Brussels will not continue." Tinc recounts that Rehn referred to the operations against the DTP, the Ergenekon case, and the government's measures against freedom of the press. According to Rehn, three factors -- namely, "basic freedoms, the state of the law, and democratic secularism" -- will determine the pace of the accession negotiations with Turkey. Tinc judges that "this emphasis, which had not been highlighted in the past two years, is a sign that Brussels has begun to reassess the credit it extended to the AKP."

    In an article under the title "Davutoglu officially becomes FM," Hurriyet Daily News (09.05.09) columnist Cengiz Aktar points out that "Turkey has alienated itself from Europe while at home the EU accession works have systematically been loosened up" because of the approach taken by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to regional issues and relations with the EU during his tenure as adviser to Erdogan. He cautions: "If Davutoglu adopts the policy of becoming more of a Middle Eastern Muslim country, which he managed to achieve in the last four years as the chief adviser, and having pipe dreams about "Grand Turkey" Turkey will continue to lose time."

    In an article under the title "How it is and what ought to be" in Sunday's Zaman (10.05.09) columnist Dogu Ergil analyzes a report about the "main contributions of Turkey's membership to the EU" put on the web site of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association. Pointing out that Turkey faces various problems preventing it from using her advantages listed in the report, Ergil says: "Only when Turkey topples undemocratic trends inherent in its institutions will it demonstrate the ability to end the terrorism that has so far led to internal hemorrhage. Then, and only then, will the EU knock on Turkey's door with a gold-gilded invitation while the latter ponders whether it should join the club or not."

    b) Kurdish problem:

    In an article entitled "Kurdish problem must be settled," in Milliyet (09.05.09) columnist Kadri Gursel quotes President Gul as saying that the Kurdish question which he described as Turkey's most important problem should definitely be settled. Speaking with a group of journalists during his return flight from Prague, Gul said: "There must and may be encouraging developments because everybody is more aware of the situation than before. There should have been such an approach before. Everything can be discussed more clearly within the government, including the military, civilians, and intelligence. Good things may happen in this atmosphere. I, therefore, believe that encouraging events will take place. There is an opportunity which should not be missed."

    Under the headline, "The Kurdish issue is the most important of all," Yeni Safak (09.05.09) publishes a front-page report which highlights "important messages" by President Gul following his return from Prague. The report quotes Gul as saying, "Terrorism is Turkey's number one problem. Regardless of whether you call it terrorism or the southeast issue or the Kurdish issue, this is a most important problem that must definitely be solved."

    In the last installment of his series of articles from Qandil mountain in Northern Iraq on the PKK, in Milliyet (10.05.09) Hasan Cemal reaches the following conclusion on the terrorist organization and the Kurdish problem: "If Turkey is going to solve its Kurdish problem peacefully, it cannot afford to ignore either the PKK or the DTP [Democratic Society Party]." He recalls that the army refrained from carrying out operations against the PKK in the southeast for a period up to the 29 March local elections, in order to ensure a higher vote for the Justice and Development Party, AKP. That would have been the first part of the scenario, he says, and the second part would have involved finishing the PKK off in northern Iraq. "The DTP did not lose any votes, however," Cemal asserts, wondering how effective the second part of the scenario could be. He goes on: "My choice is clear. The weapons must be silenced... Cleverly and behind the scenes, a serious dialogue mechanism must be set up and put to work, while being alert to the possible provocations by the hawks from both sides."

    "We are very close to a solution," Derya Sazak writes in an article in Milliyet (10.05.09) "and we are at a historic threshold." The columnist recalls President Gul's recent remarks that good things are going to happen and that the current opportunities must not be missed either in domestic politics or in foreign politics. Referring to Hasan Cemal's interview with PKK's Karayilan in Qandil, Sazak writes: "If the state wants, the Kurdish problem can be resolved and terrorism can come to an end. The PKK, too, wants to lay down its arms. We are closer than ever to a political solution." According to the columnist, Turkey cannot solve other countries' problems and disputes without first solving its own problems. "If the PKK wants to lay down its arms, we must make sure that it does so today. We must fully resolve the Kurdish problem in democracy. We are very close to a solution. Yes, we can!"

    In an article in Sabah (10.05.09), Emre Akoz argues that the village guard system is part of the problem and not of the solution. It was set up against the PKK, Akoz recalls, "and not only has it been unable to eliminate the terrorist organization, but it has helped perpetuate the fighting." The columnist argues that many village guards are engaged in all kinds of illegal acts so that they could to continue to receive their salaries; some, disguised as the PKK, murdered their adversaries and then blamed the PKK for the murders, which led to their adversaries joining the PKK; the village guard system depends on the feudal tribal system, whereby the tribal leaders and head guards receive most of the money; and last but not least, "we know for at least 15 years that the village guard system is an important vehicle in drug trafficking." Akoz maintains that many circles have been benefiting from the conflict, and concludes: "Times have changed: the Kurdish problem will be resolved and the PKK will come down from the mountains. For this, the old mentality must be eliminated: JITEM [alleged intelligence unit with the Gendarmerie] members who torture and execute without trial must be punished, and the village guard system must be eliminated. Nevertheless, the authorities do not know how to put back into the cage the monster they released in the first place."

    Cengiz Candar, too, covers the village guard system, noting that their number may be as high as 85,000. In other words, Candar says in his column in Hurriyet (10.05.09), "10 village guards for each PKK member." He wonders how the large numbers of soldiers and village guards have been unable to solve the terrorist problem in the southeast. He goes on: "The village guard system is nothing more than the reinforcement of the archaic feudal system by the state itself. Since we know that President Gul was very upset by the incident, do we think that the state will draw the necessary lesson from it? No, it will not. For it to be able to do that, the state mentality must change. At the moment, it does not look like it is changing." According to Candar, the official language used for the developments in the area is also wrong: "Those from the neighboring or even same village who go up to the mountains 'are caught dead,' while others -- who are no different in sociological, ethnic, or religious terms -- become 'martyrs' only for political reasons," he notes.

    In an article entitled "The sun should no longer rise over blood," in Vakit (10.05.09) columnist Ayhan Bilgin says that conciliatory remarks made by the PKK's Murat Karayilan in a recent interview with Milliyet columnist Hasan Cemal actually reflected opinions expressed by PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan after his apprehension. Bilgin says: "If my separatist Kurdish brothers believe that Ocalan and Karayilan were sincere in what they have said, they should ponder over those remarks. If they actually endorse them, I think that they should take steps in order to translate words into action. They can, for example, unconditionally lay down their arms. I am sure that such a shocking step would create a very positive effect on the Turkish nation and provide a serious opportunity to settle the problem for the first time in the past 28 years."

    c) Erdogan Buyukanit Meeting in 2007:

    In an article entitled "I will make it public in due time," in Hurriyet (10.05.09) columnist Tufan Turenc highlights comments made by retired General Yasar Buyukanit, former Chief of the General Staff, about a meeting he had with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May 2007. Turenc quotes Buyukanit as saying in a private conversation they had several months ago that he and Erdogan mostly discussed issues highlighted in a statement issued by the General Staff on 27 April 2007. Buyukanit notes: "You must read the statement issued on 27 April very carefully and particularly try to read between the lines. Issues mentioned in the statement were discussed at Dolmabahce. You should read it again and again while paying attention to issues emphasized and warnings issued in the statement. If you consider what we are witnessing today, you would understand why the 27 April statement was so important. You would also see that we were right because the statement contained everything that should be said."

    Commenting on Buyukanit's remark in a recent interview that the General Staff did the right thing by issuing a statement in order to warn the government on 27 April 2007 in his article under the title: "Questions not put to Yasar Buyukanit," in Vatan (09.05.09) columnist Mustafa Mutlu criticizes Buyukanit for remaining silent after the statement was issued. He says: "He said that he had not been threatened by the Prime Minister during the 'mysterious meeting' at Dolmabahce [Palace]. Then, what prompted him to change his stance?" Pointing out that Buyukanit should provide answers to questions about the change in his attitude toward the government prior to his retirement, Mutlu concludes by saying: "Your existence will have no meaning for many people until you sincerely respond to those questions because people like me who were eager to maintain the secular and democratic system upholding the rule of law paid a high price for that 'statement' which you said you personally wrote. The AKP unjustifiably presented itself as a victim after your statement and achieved a landslide victory in the general elections. But, you could or did not even stand behind your own statement."

    Finally, in an article under the title "The banner headline on military coup," in Zaman (10.05.09) columnist Mustafa Unal says that the reasons cited by Buyukanit for issuing the General Staff's statement on 27 April 2007 were not convincing. Unal says: "He could have said what he wanted to say behind closed doors. He speaks the same language as Prime Minister Erdogan. There could be no justification for the statement of 27 April although he said that he did not regret it. This was the hardest part of the interview for Buyukanit. The statement issued at midnight was recorded in history as a stain on democracy despite his attempts to defend it. It represented the military's attempt to interfere in the presidential election because of its old habits. Interestingly, the military could not realize that Turkey had changed."

    EG/


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