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Turkish Press Review, 04-04-02
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> e-mail : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
02.04.2004FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NSC FULLY SUPPORTS EFFORTS FOR RESOLUTION ON CYPRUSJust one day after the conclusion of landmark Cyprus talks in Switzerland, the National Security Council (NSC) said yesterday that it fully supports efforts to reach a settlement on the island. A statement said that an NSC meeting had taken up the latest developments, with members of the Turkey’s delegation to the Swiss talks briefing it on the final version of the UN’s Cyprus plan. The NSC is set to meet again on Monday for a comprehensive evaluation of the plan, which is scheduled to face referendums on the island on April 24. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN URGES “CONSTRUCTIVE STANCE” ON CYPRUS PLANPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday traveled to Ukraine to pay an official visit at the invitation of his counterpart Victor Yanukovich. Before his departure, Erdogan said that Turkey wanted to strengthen bilateral relations with Ukraine in all areas. Commenting on this week’s landmark developments concerning Cyprus, Erdogan called on all parties to act constructively and positively, not as a hindrance, in the runup to referendums on the island set for April 24. Erdogan further stressed that if the Cyprus plan goes forward, this would resolve a decades-long issue and usher in an era of peace in the eastern Mediterranean. /Turkiye/
 GUL TO BRIEF PARLIAMENT ON CYPRUS PLAN NEXT WEEKForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday traveled to Brussels to attend a NATO meeting. Speaking to reporters at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, Gul said that in the final version of the Cyprus plan reached this week, the Turkish sides’ objections had mostly been taken into consideration and the plan had been revised in line with them. Commenting on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas’s negative statements on the plan, Gul said that after Denktas is fully briefed on the revisions, he hoped that the longtime TRNC leader would see it more positively. He added that next Tuesday, he would give a comprehensive briefing to both Parliament and the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group on the matter. /Star/
 ANNAN AWAITS SIDES’ RESPONSE TO CYPRUS PLANAfter submitting a final version his of Cyprus plan to negotiators in Switzerland late Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is now waiting a written commitment from them by April 9. Both the Turkish and Greek Cyprus are expected to make commitments to hold simultaneous April 24 referendums on the plan, while the three guarantor countries, Turkey, Greece and Britain, are expected to approve this move. In addition, if the referendums endorse the plan, the countries will then present it to their respective Parliaments to be adopted. /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS: “I HAVE YET TO FIND ANYTHING PRAISEWORTHY IN THE CYPRUS PLAN”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said yesterday that he had yet to find anything praiseworthy in the UN Cyprus plan, adding however that his fellow countrymen’s decision was more important than his. But he said he wanted to read the plan in more detail. Pointing out that negotiators this week had not come to terms on the UN plan, Denktas said that he didn’t know what referendums on a plan never agreed upon could mean. He further warned that while some improvements had been made to the plan through the Turkish delegation’s efforts, the lack of agreement could later put the Turkish and Greek nations on the island at odds. /Cumhuriyet/
 BUSH TELEPHONES ERDOGAN, EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR CYPRUS PEACE EFFORTSUS President George W. Bush yesterday telephoned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to praise his positive stance at this week’s landmark Cyprus negotiations, adding that the US would continue to support and contribute to peace efforts for the island. Later, Bush called Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to say that he was disappointed by Athens’ and the Greek Cypriots’ lack of cooperation in the negotiations. /Milliyet/
 UN PRAISES TURKISH SIDE’S POSITIVE STANCE AT CYPRUS TALKSUnited Nations officials yesterday praised the positive stance of both Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) at the landmark Cyprus talks in Switzerland, which ended Wednesday. Diplomatic sources stated that the UN welcomed the positive and constructive stance of the Turkish side during this week’s negotiations, adding that the same could not be said of Greece and Greek Cyprus. In related news, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos claimed yesterday that Turkey had worked to block a deal on the Cyprus issue. /Milliyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “TURKEY PLAYED A CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE AT THE CYPRUS TALKS”European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen yesterday praised Ankara’s constructive role at the just-concluded Cyprus talks in Switzerland, adding that calling the talks unsuccessful because no agreement was reached would be inaccurate. Now the governments of both sides should "do all that they can to try to persuade the population of the island that the present plan represents the best solution that can possibly be achieved," added Verheugen, referring to simultaneous referendums set for April 24 on the UN Cyprus plan. "The alternative is not this plan or some other plan," said the commissioner. “The alternative is this plan or nothing. I don't think that in the near future, we'll have another opportunity to arrive at a solution to this issue." While Verheugen said the EU ensured derogations granted to the Turkish Cypriots would be temporary, he charged that the Greek Cypriots had worked to block an agreement though their stubborn insistence over property rights. /Cumhuriyet/
 DE SOTO: “IF THE TURKISH AND GREEK CYPRIOTS ACCEPT THE UN CYPRUS PLAN, THE EMBARGO ON THE TRNC WILL BE LIFTED”Special UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto said yesterday that if both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots accept the UN Cyprus plan at referendums to be held April 24, then the economic embargo on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will be lifted. “Getting another such opportunity for a resolution would be difficult,” he said, adding that the Turkish and Greek leaders should promote the plan’s acceptance, as there was no other alternative. /Aksam/
 INTERNATIONAL CRACKDOWN CARRIED OUT ON DHKP_C TERRORIST GROUPIn coordinated operations in five countries – Turkey, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany – police yesterday detained more than 50 members of the DHKP_C terrorist group. A total of 37 of the detentions were made in Turkey, with 16 detentions in other European countries. Fehriye Erdal, a fugitive wanted for the murder of leading Turkish businessmen Ozdemir Sabanci, was among those detained for questioning in Belgium, where she has evaded extradition to Turkey for several years. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 MISTAKES AND DECEPTION BY MUMTAZ SOYSAL (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Mumtaz Soysal comments on the UN Cyprus plan. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Turkish delegates returned from Buergenstock singing songs of glory. What’s being called a win is actually an exaggeration. The dangers and gaps aren’t being mentioned, as if the promises are certain and the solutions absolute. This is actually a return full of mistakes and deception.
The following issues are mistakes: First of all there’s no clear agreement. The final version of the plan isn’t a package on which the parties ever agreed. It is a mass of coercions written by aides to the UN secretary- general saying, ‘this meets you halfway’ and then communicated to the parties. Secondly, there’s no precedent in international law of bringing such a blueprint to a referendum. A referendum should be based on a definite text prepared by an authority, or it should be a text on which the parties are agreed so that the people know that the agreement will be accepted if they vote in its favor. None of these conditions now exists. The UN General Secretariat, whose authority is controversial, exercised its ‘goodwill mission’ granted by the Security Council and made the parties accept it through threats and deception. The text is devoid of compromise. Thirdly, setting aside judicial disagreements on various issues, this ‘map of zones’ is a map being presented to those who’ll live there without any discussion.
The deceptive issue is as follows: The exceptions (derogations) brought to the plan to protect the rights of the Turks on the island lack strong guarantees and can be invalidated by the courts of the European Union or the European Council. These exceptions should be guaranteed. In addition, reservations should be added to guarantee the exceptions in the European Convention of Human Rights, while ending the European Council membership of the Republic of Cyprus and admitting a united republic of Cyprus as a new state. More importantly, an absolutely justified Turkey is being made to hand over land and a country, forced to reach an agreement, as if it’s paying the price for being the party which started a war and then lost it. In all of world history there is only one other example of this: The Ottoman Empire, which had to grant Crete to Greece after a victory against a massacre by the island’s Greeks.”
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