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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-01-24
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 15/00 -- 22-23-24.1.00
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIAL
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Denktash stresses cooperation with TurkeyAnatolia Agency (19:19 hours, 17.1.00) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had a meeting yesterday with Turkish State Minister Suayip Usenmez who is illegally visiting the occupied area.
``The cooperation between the two states make other countries jealous. And this upsets our enemies a little. They are trying their best to prevent this. Some circles are working to disrupt this cooperation. These attempts have always existed,'' Denktash said during the meeting referring to the cooperation between Turkey and the pseudostate.
Usenmez assured that ``the friendship between Turkey and TRNC would continue as long as the world exists.'' ``Neither the European Union nor other unions can be as strong as our unity with TRNC. This should be known by everyone,'' he added.
Usenmez will have contacts on issues related to his ministry. So-called public works and housing ministry Mehmet Albayrak said they would exchange opinion to expedite works on title deed and land survey according to a ``protocol'' between the two sides.
Usenmez later met with ``parliament speaker'' Ertugrul Hasipoglu, prime minister'' Dervis Eroglu and ``deputy prime minister'' Mustafa Akinci.
During the visits, Usenmez said they were ready to use Turkey/s 150 years of experience in title deed and land survey to speed up related works in ``TRNC''.
Hasipoglu claimed that problems rooted from title deed constituted a major part of the Cyprus problem. He said that there was a population exchange with the Greek Cypriots in 1974 and this needed to be completed with a property exchange. Therefore, the problem is on the basic of the Cyprus problem, he said. Eroglu, on the other hand, said they wanted to make use of Turkey/s vast experience on this issue.
 EU official defends Cyprus/ EU membershipAnatolia Agency (17:33 hours, 17.1.00) reports that Francisco Seixas De Costa, Portugal/s Secretary of State, concluded his contacts in Ankara by giving a seminar titled ``the EU and Turkey'' in the Middle East Technical University (METU).
When asked why they want to see Turkey within the EU, De Costa said, ``because Turkey is already a European country and she proved this by taking role in European institutions for long years''.
Responding to a question about the EU membership of Cyprus, De Costa defended that membership of the island to the union will have an effect that will facilitate the long lasting Cyprus question. Recalling that proximity talks between the sides continued within the framework of the UN., De Costa said the existing US administration would like to find a solution to the problem.
 Ertugruloglu rejects bicommunal contactsAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 17.1.00) Tahsin Ertugruloglu, ``foreign affairs and defense minister'', has claimed that a solution in Cyprus is possible through an agreement based on the principle of ``two separate sovereign states.'' Ertugruloglu said: ``There cannot bae bicommunal contacts. Such a thing would be associated with one state and two communities''.
Ertugruloglu commented on reports that the Cyprus Government is conducting work on a package of confidence-building measures (CBM/s). Ertugruloglu stated: ``There are two separate sovereign states on this island. We are well aware of how the Greek Cypriots exploited such contacts for political purposes in the past. Our official policy consists of conducting talks from state to state.''
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side wants to conduct any contact in a way that will not be construed as recognition of the ``TRNC'', Ertugruloglu added: ``It is not possible for us to accept such contacts. There is no question of our denying the existence of our state''.
He declared that ``a solution on the island is possible through an agreement based on the existence of two separate sovereign states and through the assertion by the international community that the Greek Cypriot administration is not a state representing the entire island. There is no question of our making concessions from these main principles or taking a step back''.
``We have no cause to fear or avoid bilateral contacts as long as everyone learns to respect the Turkish Cypriot state. In my view, the Greek Cypriot side is far from this point'', he added.
Ertugruloglu also noted that there is no such package as the CBM/s, adding that the CBM/s are part of a past process which the Greek Cypriot side had rejected.
 Turkey, Jordan discuss Manavgat water projectAnatolia Agency (18:26 hours, 17.1.00) reports that Kamil Oyda Allah Mahadin, the Jordanian Water and Irrigation Minister who went to Turkey on Monday was given a briefing about the Manavgat Water Providing Project by Cumhur Ersumer, the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.
Following the briefing, Ersumer told reporters that the ``Peace Water Project'' which was discussed during the Middle East talks envisaged supplying water to the Middle East from two southern rivers, the Seyhan and the Ceyhan. Price is an important element in water sales and it would change depending on the amount purchased. Israel and Jordan will discuss a price with Turkey once they evaluate the matter.
``We are ready to ship 500,000 tons of water by tankers under any weather condition. If Jordan wants it, we can ship it through Suez Channel. They will decide about it'', he added.
Mahadin noted that Turkey had rich water resources compared to other countries in the region. Jordan is planning to drill wells but the Manavgat Project is an important alternative, he said.
``Right now, we didn/t speak anything about the prices. What is important for us is to develop cooperation and relations between Turkey and Jordan. We believe that this project will help to develop relations. Peace is very important for people right now. Getting water from the Manavgat project is very important for us and we would like to benefit from it if we agree on the price,'' Mahadin said.
The waters of the Manavgat river which has been pouring into the Mediterranean for years will start giving life to arid Mediterranean countries and provide an income of 300 million US dollars a year to Turkey. The Manavgat project whose construction began on March 29, 1992 cost a total of 122 million US dollars. EMT Aydiner company made the construction of the plant. The waters of the Manavgat will be transferred to two floating platforms 1,300 meters away from the coast, and from there it will be shipped to Israel, the ``TRNC'' and other Middle Eastern and African countries by tankers or balloons, the paper says.
Authorities said the plant could provide up to 90 million cubic meters of purified and 90 cubic meters of unpurified water annually. The water could be sold to Israel, Gaza Strip, Malta and Libya. It is planned to sell one cubic meter of water to all domestic and foreign companies for 5 to 10 cents or cheaper.
 British police attends ``trial'' in occupied areaAccording to KIBRIS (18.1.2000) British Police arrived in the occupied area yesterday and followed the ``court'' case of Nusret Guven, alleged killer of Serkan Ozcan in England.
KIBRIS says that Nusret Guven who allegedly killed Serkan Ozcan on 16 May, 1996 and was on the run for two years, on 12 May 1998 arrived in the occupied area with a forged passport issued in the name of Maurice Martin Faithfull.
When the British police was informed that Guven was in the occupied area and was being tried for using a forged passport and for entering the occupied area illegally, it sent a policeman to the occupied area.
KIBRIS reports that the British policeman yesterday just followed the proceedings at the ``Criminal court''. This is the second time in two months that British police goes to the occupied area.
 Turkish Cypriot delegation in StrasbourgAccording to KIBRIS (18.1.2000) a delegation from the so-called TRNC assembly is to leave the occupied area on 23 January for Strasbourg to follow up the deliberations of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
The so-called assembly delegation will be headed by Ertugrul Hasipoglu. The delegation will return to the occupied area on 30 January.
 Denktash meets foreign diplomatsAccording to KIBRIS (18.1.2000) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had a separate meetings with France/s Ambassador to Cyprus, Jean Bernard Devaivre and EU/s term presidency Portugal/s Special Cyprus Coordinator, Leonardo Mathias.
During the meetings the proximity talks and the Helsinki Summit results were discussed.
 Serdar Denktash against Brussels Bicommunal Contacts OfficeAccording to YENI DEMOKRAT (18.1.2000) Slovakia/s ambassador to Cyprus, Dusan Rozbora, had a meeting yesterday with Democratic Party leader Serdar Denktash at the party/s headquarters.
In a statement to reporters after the meeting which lasted almost an hour, Serdar Denktash said that he had conveyed to Ambassador Dusan Rozbora his party/s reaction and opposition to the opening of the Bicommunal Contacts Office in Brussels. He said that they thought that the opening of this office will have negative effects on the positive developments that started taking place after the Helsinki Summit.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 ``Now it/s Cyprus/s turn''Mehmet Altan writing in SABAH (15.1.2000) under the above title says that ``It is clear that it is Cyprus/s turn. The probability of settling the Cyprus problem is quite high.
The TRNC continues its existence, despite the `heroic/ speeches and ovations made in Turkey, as a `Pirate Island/ that no state recognizes.
This `Pirate Island Identity/ which enables it to stay out of any control has been very favourable for a lot of people. A lot of mysterious things have happened in Cyprus and continue to happen, as in the case of the woman who was caught with narcotics and then all of a sudden she disappeared''.
Mehmet Altan goes on to say that it is very normal that those who have vested interests in such dealings insist on non-solution in Cyprus. ``However'', he notes, ``it seems that in Cyprus as well there will be an end to this kind of dealings.''
Altan then explains the reasons why the USA is resolute on solving all the conflicts presently existing in the world, and says that this is a must for the interest of the US/s new world order. ``As a result of this'' notes Altan, ``it is not possible for the TRNC to stay an unending problem in the Mediterranean.''
Criticizing Denktash and Turkey/s Cyprus policy for the economic difficulties facing the occupied area as well as for ``destroying the Turkish Cypriot identity'', Altan stresses that those Turkish Cypriots who criticized Turkey were branded as traitors.
Altan concludes by saying: ``To make these people, whom we claim that we have saved, repent in order to be saved, serves nobody/s interest except that of a handful of people who are after obscure and sinister affairs''.
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Arif Hasan Tahsin a ``presidential'' candidate.
 Talat wants Turkish Cypriots to be at centre of EU accession process.
 Turkish Cypriots buy foreign currency.
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Arif Hasan Tahsin a ``presidential'' candidateAnatolia Agency (14:46 hours, 18.1.00) reports that the number of candidates who will run for the ``presidential elections'' in April 2000 in the occupied area increased to six.
Following Rauf Denktash, Dervis Eroglu, Mustafa Akinci, Mehmet Ali Talat, and Ramadan Guney, a businessman living in London, the Patriotic Unity Movement (YBH) announced that it would nominate Arif Hasan Tahsin Desem for the elections.
 Talat wants Turkish Cypriots to be at centre of EU accession processAccording to YENIDUZEN (19.1.2000) Portugal/s Special Cyprus Coordinator Leonardo Mathias had a meeting yesterday with Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Present at the meeting was France/s Ambassador to Cyprus, Jean Bernard Devaivre.
During the meeting Talat said that Turkish Cypriots should be at the centre of the EU accession process and he urged for the creation of the necessary atmosphere so that Turkish Cypriots be included in this process.
Talat further claimed that he had the impression that the Cyprus government, ``fearing that the TRNC might gain recognition is trying to keep the Turkish Cypriots outside the system''.
``This is very dangerous, it does not conform with the present process, it is necessary to give up this action'', he said.
Talat said that similar activities were taking place in the occupied area as well.
Talat strongly criticized the occupation regime/s attempt to prohibit the intercommunal contacts.
 Turkish Cypriots buy foreign currencyAccording to YENIDUZEN (19.1.2000) Turkish Cypriots, following the recent crisis in the banking sector, have lost their trust in the banks and have started buying foreign currency and keeping it home.
The paper says that there was a shortage of foreign currency and banks were unable to meet the demands of the buyers.
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Denktash comments on Greek Cypriot letters to EU members.
 FYROM move to recognize the Republic of Cyprus upsets Turks.
 Cem, Papandreou pledge to improve relations.
 Denktash to visit Germany after Geneva talks.
 Papandreou on Cyprus.
 Turkish Foreign Ministry on invitation to Foreign Minister Kasoulides.
 Economic situation examined.
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Denktash comments on Greek Cypriot letters to EU membersAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 19.1.00), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, replying to a correspondent/s questions on the Cyprus issue, claimed that the letters the Cyprus Government has been sending to the EU member countries show that it is afraid.
He added:``They saw and understood that unless the Turkish side says yes, the Cyprus problem cannot be solved. For the Turkish side to say yes, the Turkish Cypriots/ equality and sovereignty must be recognized. We have been saying this and we will continue to say it. That is what they are afraid of''. He further added that unless the Turkish Cypriots gain a status equal to that of the Greek Cypriots, the Cyprus problem cannot be resolved.
Denktash noted that the Greek Cypriots are disturbed by the fact that he will be paying a visit to Germany. He said that Germany/s invitation was very normal.
Denktash pointed out that the Greek Cypriots proposed to open a joint bureau with the Turkish Cypriots in Europe. He claimed that this is a ploy. He alleged that the Greek Cypriots want to have the Turkish Cypriots contact the EU as individuals so that the ``TRNC'' can be ignored.
Asked to comment on reports that Cypriot Foreign Minister Kasoulides is ready to go to Ankara, Denktash said that Mr. Kasoulides cannot go as representing the Cyprus republic. Denktash charged that ``unless the two equal sides in Cyprus jointly set up a legitimate government, Kasoulides cannot go to Turkey.'' He added: ``When Athens will accept me as the president of the TRNC and our foreign minister as the foreign minister of the TRNC, then Turkey will receive Kasoulides as the foreign minister of the Greek Cypriot republic''.
Repeating his known views about property exchange and compensation Denktash added: ``Sovereignty is fundamental. Our rights must be based on sovereignty. Rights not based on sovereignty can be abolished as in the case of the 1960 agreement''.
 FYROM move to recognize the Republic of Cyprus upsets TurksAnatolia Agency (18:57 hours, 19.1.00) reports that FYROM/s Foreign Ministry/s initiative to set up diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cyprus gave rise to harsh discussions.
Addressing a television program on Sitel channel, Fazli Kesmir, the Turkish Ambassador to FYROM, said on Tuesday night that ``such a decision would upset the Turkish people''.
When asked whether or not Turkey/s attitude towards FYROM would change if it sets up diplomatic relations with the Greek Cypriot side, Kesmir noted that Turkey/s foreign policy was obvious, and added that such a decision would upset the Turkish people.
 Cem, Papandreou pledge to improve relationsAnatolia Agency (17:42 hours, 19.1.00) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Wednesday that the visit of his Greek counterpart George Papandreou was the first by a Greek foreign minister since 1962, adding they would discuss the relations between Turkey and Greece.
Speaking to reporters at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Cem said there were positive developments between Turkey and Greece recalling that Turkey and Greece rushed aid to each other following the devastating quakes last summer.
Cem said also the relations between Turkish and Greek peoples had steadily improved during this process.
Noting that he hoped the positive development in relations would continue in the future, Cem expressed his pleasure over the visit of his Greek counterpart.
Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou said in his part that he was paying a ``historical'' visit, adding that there were great expectations from the improving relations between the two countries.
Noting that the first steps in the relations had been taken earlier, Papandreou said he considered the developments as a new born optimism.
Pointing out that they would sign a series of agreements during his visit, Papandreou said they were obliged to improve the relations.
``I believe this visit will be successful'', he added.
 Denktash to visit Germany after Geneva talksAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 19.1.00) the second round of the Cyprus proximity talks will begin in Geneva on 31 January. Rauf Denktash will leave the occupied are on 28 January to attend the talks.
Denktash said that after the Geneva talks he will be going to Germany. He will be the guest of the German Foreign Ministry and he will meet with the German foreign minister and other officials.
 Papandreou on CyprusAnatolia Agency (12:08 hours, 19.1.00) reports that Greek Foreign Minister Georghios Papandreou has announced that during his visit to Turkey he will propose to renew the ``wise men'' process which was set up in the past in a bid to discuss the Aegean problems.
In a special statement to Anatolia before his departure for Ankara, Papandreou called for friendship, peace, and cooperation.
Noting that he has a different approach to the Cyprus issue, Papandreou expressed the view that Turkey and Greece should view Cyprus not as ``a problem that needs to be solved but as an opportunity to show the world an example of coexistence''.
Papandreou continued: ``We are living in a period where new opportunities are being created. Turkey has become a EU candidate country and Cyprus is in the process of accession. I understand the insecurity felt by the Turkish Cypriots. It should be known, however, that within the EU family they will have various guarantees, will be part of decision making mechanism, and their religious and cultural values will be secured. My wish is that we reach the point where we can show Cyprus as a model, a prototype, to the world.''
 Turkish Foreign Ministry on invitation to Foreign Minister KasoulidesAnatolia Agency (12:07 hours, 19.1.00) reports that Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli, when reminded during a weekly press briefing that Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr. Kasoulides waits for the invitation of Ankara, said ``he should wait for a long time''.
``The Cyprus question is not an issue of Turkey and Greece'', claimed Atacanli and noted that the softening of Turkish-Greek relations can also have a positive effect on this question.
Upon the news that FYROM will recognize the Cyprus Government Atacanli said they/ve taken up this issue with FYROM officials seriously and that ``Turkey can/t accept the claims saying that the Greek Cypriot side represents the whole island''.
 Economic situation examinedAccording to KIBRIS (20.1.00), an economic ``summit'' was held behind closed doors yesterday at Denktash/s office, where the occupied area/s state of economic situation was examined.
Speaking to KIBRIS, Denktash said that there was difficulty in finding resources and as a result of this they decided that investors who are facing difficulties and problems should not be brought before a ``court''.
In his turn, Eroglu said that at the meeting they discussed the problems facing the various sectors and they came to the conclusion that there is no need to declare ``an emergency situation''.
He said that as a so-called government they are aware of the problems and that Rauf Denktash wanted to be briefed on these problems.
------------------------------------------------------------- TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Cem: We do not believe that there is a Cyprus problem.
 Denktash meets Turkish diplomats.
 Ecevit dialogue with Papandreou reported.
 Turks illegally detain Greek Cypriot.
 Gurel on a ``private visit'' to the occupied area.
 Nicosia market place proposed for bicommunal centre.
 Denktash meets US Ambassador.
 Talat/s contacts in Turkey.
 Turkey/s reaction to Standard and Poor/s analysis.Akinci officially a ``presidential candidate''.
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Cem: We do not believe that there is a Cyprus problemCNN TURK Television (10:30 hours, 23.1.00) carries a 26-minute interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, broadcast live from the Ankara studio with anchor Ahmet Sever.
On the Greek foreign minister/s visit, Cem expresses surprise that the US and European press paid so much attention to the visit. In reply to a question, Cem says that mutual suspicions between the two nations have been reduced. He adds: ``I do not know what can happen tomorrow or the next day, or if we will be faced with an unexpected problem. Speaking of today, however, I can say that the problems with Greece have been resolved to a large extent. I know I am speaking very confidently. What has been resolved? Sometimes I am asked if something concrete was achieved. I believe that the concrete issues have been resolved. What do we mean by concrete, or by concrete developments? First of all, there was great tension in the Aegean. We all know that. This tension has disappeared. There are still difficulties, they still protest us, or may be we still send them notes. However, these have been numerically very much reduced. Also, they have stopped being as important as they were in the past. The most important fact involves the two borders we had with Greece. The border that went through the Aegean was not only a Turkish-Greek border but an EU- Turkey border. This has been eliminated. After Helsinki, the EU border stopped passing through the Aegean and the Balkans. It moved to the east of Turkey. This is a major change, a strategic change. We have already started to enjoy its benefits. If I had told you six months ago or a year ago that this is how our relations with Greece would be like, probably very few would have believed me. Our greatest obstacle on the way to the EU has been turned into a substantial support. What can be more concrete than that? This is the most important concrete issue''.
On the Cyprus issue, Cem says that they kept it out of their talks on Turkish-Greek relations, and did not discuss it at all. He points out that the amelioration of Turkish-Greek relations will positively affect the entire region, including Cyprus. He adds: ``We are not going to solve the Cyprus problem with Mr. Papandreou. Anyway, we do not believe that there is a Cyprus problem. Only if a joint solution is sought, we may join in, but then the sides in Cyprus are the primary parties, we are only the guarantor states. As for the Aegean issues, to tell you the truth I am not very pessimistic about them. With a more understanding approach. (pauses) the EU may have a positive influence on that, Turkey and Greece may set on a more positive course. This can happen. These problems must not be turned into major conflict issues. There are many deep-rooted negative ideas and concerns in Turkish-Greek relations. Therefore, the issues should not be turned into a public debate where the sides accuse each other, but tackled quietly and with understanding. I believe that they will also be resolved in time. We have made great progress. Turkey, Greece, and a wide area will significantly benefit from that''.
 Denktash meets Turkish diplomatsAnatolia Agency (09:25 hours, 22.1.00) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash met with the visiting diplomats of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday.
Mentioning about the stages of the Cyprus question, Denktash claimed that now they reached the principle of ``two states'' on Cyprus and that Turkey supports them.
Denktash stated that the opening of the European Union (EU) door to Turkey has brought an opportunity for ``TRNC'' to express its matter.
Denktash stressed that the continuation of the present guarantorship system is obligatory to reach an agreement on the island.
He said that an agreement can be signed in an atmosphere in which the world does not accept the Cyprus question as the internal problem of the Greek Cypriot side.
This can only be possible if the ``TRNC'' is recognized by the whole world, Denktash claimed.
Denktash added that they are in favour of reaching an agreement within the framework of the same guarantorship system, which cannot be violated by the Greek Cypriot side.
 Ecevit dialogue with Papandreou reportedTurkish daily MILLIYET (21.1.00) reports that an interesting dialogue took place between Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou when they met. Their meeting lasted 20 minutes. The dialogue between them was as follows, the paper says:
``Papandreou: We attach importance to the relations between Greece and Turkey.
Ecevit: The recent positive atmosphere between Turkey and Greece might form a basis for the solution of the long-standing problems between the two sides in the near future.
Papandreou: Greece will do everything it can for that purpose. The peoples of the two countries have deep friendly roots in history.
Ecevit: The Turkish and Greek peoples have had friendly relations for a long time. Basically, the interests of the two peoples do not clash. Turkey does not covet any party of Greece/s territory. The dialogue during the Ataturk-Venizelos era and the relations I established with Karamanlis contributed toward the improvement of our friendly ties. However, our relations have been interrupted from time to time. A number of problems came up. Nevertheless, we have recently observed that a favourable atmosphere has been created.
Papandreou: Yes, that is right. Our cooperation is increasing in many fields. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will visit Greece to participate in a media conference during the next few days.
Ecevit: The improvement of our relations in the cultural and media domains is rather important. The solution of our bilateral disputes might have positive effects on the Cyprus problem.
Papandreou: Resolving the disputes between Greece and Turkey will be easier if the Cyprus problem is settled. The solution of the Cyprus problem might be an important step in the effort made to improve the relations between Greece and Turkey. The pressure on the two countries will be directed on the experts if they are instructed to work on the problem. That will reduce the intensive pressure on the two Governments. The experts might be instructed to take up the issues that cause problems between the two countries. That will create an opportunity for our Governments to work in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Ecevit: The basis for a direct dialogue between turkey and Greece has been established. The question of experts also came up after the crisis on the Kardak islets. However, it failed to contribute toward the solution of the problems. Nevertheless, the matter can still be considered and progress can be achieved through our direct dialogue.
Papandreou: I will convey your views to Prime Minister Simitis.
Ecevit: I will be happy to see Prime Minister Simitis visit Turkey in the very near future. I thank him very much for the olive tree (symbol of peace) he sent to me. I had it planted in Bursa.
Papandreou: The Greek public opinion has welcomed the disclosure you have made.''
 Turks illegally detain Greek CypriotAnatolia Agency (13:01 hours, 22.1.00) reports that Greek Cypriot Panayiotis Ekonomou, 39, who entered the occupied area last Saturday is illegally detained by the occupation regime.
``Police'' said ``legal procedures are underway''.
 Gurel on a ``private visit'' to the occupied areaKIBRIS (24.1.00) reports that the Turkey/s State Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Sukru Sina Gurel, come to the occupied area on Saturday for a private visit.
Gurel didn/t make any statement to the journalists for his visit to the island. He returned to Ankara with his family yesterday.
 Nicosia market place proposed for bicommunal centreKIBRIS (24.1.00) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Architects and Engineers and the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Architects and Engineers have proposed the creation of a Nicosia market place that will serve as a bicommunal centre.
Although the so-called Nicosia mayor Semi Bora saw with a positive eye this proposal, he said that ``this matter must be discussed at a higher level. It must be discussed within the framework of political developments. This matter is related to decisions at the highest level of the Cyprus problem.''
Bora pointed out that he will support the peaceful activities that will be accepted by both communities, adding ``it is too soon today to talk about this proposal because it is depended on completely political situations''.
 Denktash meets US AmbassadorKIBRIS (22.1.2000) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had a meeting yesterday with the US Ambassador to Cyprus Donald Bandler.
Speaking to reporters before the meeting Denktash said: ``On the Cyprus issue there are new opportunities. I hope we will use these opportunities in the right direction. The road to solution should not be precluded in any way''.
In his turn US Ambassador Donald Bandler said that he shares Denktash/s view that there exist new opportunities in the Cyprus problem. ``We will continue to work with the sides on the path to a settlement''. After the meeting Ambassador Bandler said that in Geneva the core issues will be discussed in detail. ``We are ardently awaiting to go to the talks that are to be continued in Geneva.''
Ambassador Bandler went on and said that President Clinton/s special Cyprus envoy Alfred Moses, USA State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston as well as himself will be in Geneva during the talks.
 Talat/s contacts in TurkeyAccording to KIBRIS (22.1.2000) the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat, who is currently in Ankara, had a meeting the other day with Turkey/s state minister responsible for Cyprus affairs Sukru Sina Gurel.
During the meeting Talat conveyed his party/s views on the Cyprus problem, EU, relations with Turkey and the economic situation in the occupied area. He noted that both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey should make use, in the best possible way, of the process created following the Helsinki Summit.
The RTP leader stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side should take part in the EU process.
Later on in a statement to the press, Talat declared that a new process has started with the Helsinki Summit, and in making use of this opportunity Turkish Cypriot interests should be protected. He added that the RTP was very happy with these developments.
Talat will be received this afternoon by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel.
 Turkey/s reaction to Standard and Poor/s analysisTurkey/s daily MILLIYET (Internet version, 23.1.00) reports that the Turkish Treasury and Central Bank have reacted strongly to remarks made in an analysis prepared by the international rating firm Standard and Poor/s to the effect that Turkey is an occupying country and that an internal war is going on in the country.
In an economic and political analysis published in the January issue of its monthly International Finance Bulletin, Standard and Poor/s accuses Turkey of occupying Cyprus and of violating the human rights of the Kurdish minority living in the southeastern Anatolia region by waging a war against these people.
Also drawing an unfavourable picture about the Turkish economy, Standard and Poor/s says that the Turkish lira will lose its value by more than the Central Bank/s 20-percent target. Noting that the 1999 earthquake will have a negative impact on inflation in 2000, the rating firm says that prices will rise by 55 percent, which is much higher than the 25-percent increase targeted by the government.
The Treasury, which is preparing a written message in reply to the firm/s economic and political analysis, plans to inquire about the facts behind the views that Standard and Poor/s has expressed in its analysis. The letter, which will be signed by Treasury Undersecretary Selcuk Demiral, aims at proving with documentation that the firm/s economic and political analysis ``does not reflect the reality.
 Akinci officially a ``presidential candidate''According to KIBRIS (24.1.00) the Communal Liberation Party has officially announced that party leader Mustafa Akinci was unanimously declared a ``presidential candidate'' by the party/s committee.
The relevant committee statement also added that ``The Communal Liberation Party is in favour of entering EU after the solution of the Cyprus problem which will be based on equality, sovereignty, security and will take into consideration the interests and rights of the two existing sides''. (DP)
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/