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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-12-05

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.233/01 5.12.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader held a press conference in the occupied areas after meeting President Clerides
  • [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader to NTV after meeting President Clerides
  • [03] Sukru Sina Gurel assesses the meeting between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [04] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister on Cyprus
  • [05] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry
  • [06] The President of Turkey spoke with Denktash on the phone
  • [07] Eroglu alleges that the talks between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader will be held on a new and realistic ground.
  • [08] Turkish Daily News publishes the paper Rauf Denktash presented to President Clerides at their meeting yesterday
  • [09] True Path Party criticizes Cyprus policy
  • [10] Reactions to Yesterday's Meeting Between President Clerides and TurkishCypriot Leader Denktas
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [11] The fight over the European Army is on the 12-mile issue

  • [A] News Items

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader held a press conference in the occupied areas after meeting President Clerides

    Illegal BRTK Television (4/12/01) broadcast live a press conference by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in occupied Nicosia.

    Following are the opening statement and the questions and answers of Mr. Denktash:

    As you know, the Cyprus issue has embarked on its 38th year. We have experienced various stages of negotiations, which did not yield any results. We had to declare a state because we just could not have accepted the opposite side's claim that it is or will be the legitimate government of the whole of Cyprus. We fulfilled the requirements of our rights stemming from the 1960 partnership agreements. We have not withdrawn our peace offer from the Greek Cypriots. Our hands of peace were always extended to the Greek Cypriots. I can say that we have displayed the necessary flexibility in order to achieve a result.

    The EU interference in the issue and the message it gave to the Greek Cypriot side that their EU membership is safe regardless of an agreement almost closed the door to an agreement. The consequences could have been unpleasant because Turkey will never give up its rights stemming from the 1960 agreements. The Turkish Cypriot people, in turn, would not have accepted a situation, in which the Greek Cypriots claim to be the legitimate government of Cyprus. The events were not leading to a reconciliation, but rather to a separation. Our duty is to avoid those initiatives which will lead Cyprus to new adventures, and, if possible courageously search for ways of reconciliation.

    For this reason, after thinking about it long and hard, and after the EU members started to issue statements to the effect that Turkey was bluffing and that the Turkish Cypriots will most certainly give up defending their rights because of the EU, I felt the need to have a face-to-face meting with Clerides. I believe that he also loves his people and Cyprus. I believe that he is acting with an intention not to drag Greece into new adventures. I am acting with the thought that these beliefs and our love will enable us to meet on one point. As you can see, the results were for the good.

    The door to face-to-face meetings has been opened. He accepted to have the talks in Cyprus. Without any conditions and in goodwill, we will look for what to do in face-to-face meetings as of 15 January. In my opinion, this is a positive development. I hope that both sides will conduct a good assessment to determine their common points and find ways to settle their differences on grounds of those common points. This is our hope.

    Naturally, we conveyed to Clerides our views at the meeting. As he said, Mr. de Soto acted as a passive observer and did not interfere. As a result, the statement known to all was issued.

    Question: Did you give Mr. Clerides any documernts?

    Answer: I gave Clerides a written statement of one and one-half page long of my opening address. It was the summary of my address. Then Clerides told me: Now if you present your position and I present my position we will not be

    able to achieve anything. He was right. He said that no positions should be stated. Consequently, the results you know were achieved.

    Question: Will the meetings be held on the basis of the principles cited in the written statement you submitted to Clerides?

    Answer: They are our principles. Among these principles, there are articles not acceptable to Clerides. For this reason, it was decided not to put forward any positions and that they be raised at the meetings.

    Question: Is the summary of your address you referred to above similar to the 12 November letter?

    Answer: No. No. We did not delve into this detail. The written statement actually explained our intentions -- our goodwill intentions -- and the grounds of our intentions. It was an opening statement, which explained the results that can be expected from talks. I suppose that the statement will be distributed to you. I suppose, it is being translated into Turkish.

    Question: What happened after you submitted this written statement? What did Clerides say?

    Answer: I think that the following is Clerides/ approach: Let us not exceed the boundaries of a goodwill framework. The goodwill framework has, anyway, been defined in broad lines and in line with the principles we declared today. The borders of the goodwill approach is anyhow out in the open. We accepted to hold talks in line with this framework. Naturally, we talked about the past and future with Clerides. Our hope is for the way to open.

    Question: What was the atmosphere? Was it sincere?

    Answer: The atmosphere was very sincere. It was certainly very sincere.

    Question: Will there be a happy end?

    Answer: Let me tell you, now, that these words are meaningless. The important thing is to exert efforts in goodwill. I would like to say outright that my reply to the question on whether I am hopeful is as follows: The work ahead of Clerides will be difficult if the EU says that the Greek Cypriots will join the EU regardless of an agreement because those surrounding him will tell him not to make any concessions and not to budge. They will tell him that the issue is already over because the EU will anyhow let us join. Let the Turks do whatever they want, his surrounding will say. In other words, the EU is obliged to review its assessments on Cyprus. They will be assisting if they review their assessment. Otherwise, we face a situation in which we depend on Clerides initiative and goodwill.

    Question: You talked about 15 January. Is this the date of the beginning of the new process?

    Answer: Yes.

    Question: Do you envisage any other contacts until then?

    Answer: No, no. That is, this is a preparatory period for both sides.

    Question: Were you behind the statement issued?

    Answer: It was a joint statement. If I contributed one line, Clerides must have contributed another.

    Question: Were there any arguments on the wording of the statement?

    Answer: No, there were no arguments.

    Question: According to what we understand, a new process is launched. There are direct talks on the agenda of this new process.

    Answer: Yes, and the direct talks will be held in Cyprus.

    Question: Did you envisage a definite period of time for this news process?

    Answer: No. Perhaps, we decide on this issue at our first meeting. I do not know whether this is reasonable, however. What will happen when the process does not yield any results according to the fixed period of time? Will we say good-bye when the period ends? This process should also not extend over years, however. Actually, we say in our statement that the meetings will continue until results are achieved. This means more than once a month meetings. We should start and finish.

    Question: Do you envisage achieving a result before the EU meetings in June?

    Answer: If we are to conclude these meetings, they will have to end before this time.

    Question: Who will participate at the meetings? Will the UN Secretary- General or Alvaro de Soto be present at the meetings?

    Answer: De Soto will be present at the meetings. If the UN Secretary- General misses us, he can invite us for a day or two to give momentum to the talks, but it is not a good idea to neglect our business here, go into all that expense, and stay for 10, 15, or 20 days in New York with an entourage of five-10 persons. We have been saved from all this. As you know, we were trying for quite some time to avoid this.

    Question: The EU parameters changed a lot. Why do you think that the EU is more important than the United Nations now?

    Answer: When Boutros-Boutros Ghali realized that he will not be able to resolve this issue within the framework of his goodwill mission, the EU was recruited. It was Ghali who recruited the EU to action. The parameters, in turn, can be taken up after conciliation is secured. They thought that Turkey's EU membership will secure a balance. That is, they thought that Turkey will give up Cyprus for the EU membership. They thought that, in this way, they will achieve balance. The difficulties increased, instead of decreasing, once they realized that this is not working.

    [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader to NTV after meeting President Clerides

    Istanbul NTV (04/12/01) broadcast live the following interview with Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash by Mithat Bereket in occupied Nicosia.

    Question: First of all let me ask whether you are pleased with today's developments, the results?

    Answer: What were our difficulties in the meetings that were held up till now? The UN Secretary-General's representative talks with Clerides, then he talks with me, then the sides are not aware of what has been said. The result is that neither I nor he is pleased. As soon as we announce our displeasure and our rejection, the Greek Cypriot side announces its endorsement. We have been wasting time with such a game. Naturally, these games, together with the intervention of the EU, have led the Cyprus question into an impasse. The Greek Cypriots, benefiting from this impasse, have attempted to drag the entire island into the EU in a bid to protect their interests, thus creating a great crisis. Having seen that, it became imperative to hold a direct meeting with Clerides to understand whether a conciliation is possible. I wanted to tell Clerides that Turkey is not bluffing about safeguarding its legal rights and that our people are not affected by reports to the effect that the community is collapsing and that therefore it should tag along to the Greek Cypriots and accede to the EU as a minority. It was beneficial. Now we will hold direct talks. We will hold realistic talks. We will try all in our power and seek ways to resolve the issue.

    Question: How was the meeting? Can you explain a little? What did you do when you entered the room? Did you drink coffee or tea? How was the conversation conducted? You are old friends.

    Answer: We are friends. As soon as I entered the room, I told him that time is passing by and that we are not getting younger. I began with a joke saying that he does not seem to be looking younger.

    Question: What was his response?

    Answer: He told me that I was right and that I did not get any younger either. We entered the room and we sat down. Then I explained to him the reasons for wanting to hold a face-to-face meeting. Then I had a written statement which I placed on the table. Then Clerides told me: Now if you present your position and I present my position we will not be able to achieve anything. Therefore, I asked him: Do you accept to hold talks? This is the reason why I came here. His response was: Naturally, I accept it. My suggestion was: Let us hold talks, but let us hold them in Cyprus. Let us not cross oceans with delegations of tens of people for some 10-20 days in order to hold talks. Clerides accepted. Subsequently, together we dictated that short announcement. We made that announcement. Now we will begin the talks on 15 January. My wish is the following: Let there be no outside interference. Let these people not be encouraged. Let them realize that they cannot take Cyprus anywhere. Let them work sincerely with us, their old partners, in a bid to form a new partnership. Cyprus is sufficiently large for both communities. It is not large enough, however, to fight and shed blood. In that case, it is very small. We have been suffering the consequences for years now, so have they. Therefore, we have to look to the future and find the right path.

    Question: How was it inside? You are probably one of the persons who know Clerides best. You have been holding talks since 1968. Was he optimistic and willing? What is your opinion?

    Answer: Had he not been willing he would not have come. Maybe, he came in order to advance the Greek Cypriot cause, but he was sincere and willing. He was at ease. So was I.

    Question: I would like to ask a few things about the announcement that has been made. The date of the meeting is set for 15 January. There are certain interesting points. The face-to-face talks will continue until a comprehensive agreement is reached. Nothing will be agreed until an agreement is reached on all issues. What does this mean? Can you explain

    Answer: Each time the talks begin, these two principles are accepted? Why? Because, for example let us say that an agreement is reached on the judicial issue but no agreement is reached on the other issues. Then no one can claim that there is an agreement on the judicial issue. Only if an agreement is reached on all the issues, can the agreements on individual issues be valid. This is normal. In other words, there is nothing strange about it.

    Question: Are you optimistic about the future? How should today's atmosphere be interpreted?

    Answer: Let me repeat. For us to be optimistic the outside world should renounce those attitudes that prevented the solution of the Cyprus problem so far. This means that the two sides should be treated equally. They should realize that one side is not the government of the other side. Equal treatment is a prerequisite if justice and equity are to prevail. One of the sides cannot be told that it owns the other side. Otherwise, the side that wants to own you will never give in. Therefore, the outside world, those who presumably are trying to help and especially the British, should be very careful with regards to this issue.

    Question: We were covering the meeting live. We arrived there before you, Clerides, and de Soto did. There, I said that as soon as Denktas arrives and enters the room, he will ask Clerides: Are we partners, or are we a minority? Was this issue raised?

    Answer: Naturally, this was an old partnership. A new partnership will be established. There is nothing to think or discuss with regards to this issue.

    Question: What did Clerides have to say to this? Is he still talking about a single state, a minority?

    Answer: We did not discuss such issues. As I have said, we presented our document, there was a short conversation. Then once he agreed to the talks, the issue was solved.

    Question: There is something interesting. Such press releases usually begin with standard sentences as to those attending the meeting and the agreement reached. There is a similar beginning in your statement but there is also a point for which you have struggled a lot. It refers to Greek Cypriot leader Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas. In other words, it does not say the Greek Cypriot President. Should that not be considered an achievement? What is your opinion?

    Answer: No, for years our titles have not mentioned at the negotiating process because we do not accept one another's titles. There were times when we had arguments with the UN Secretariat General in New York

    because of a reference to President Clerides and leader Denktas. This happened twice during Boutros-Ghali's time. I refused to participate in the meeting until the titles in the program were changed. They have learned this already.

    Question: What will your future priorities be? What are the messages that you want to convey?

    Answer: If we are going to resume the talks, then there is no point in declaring these issues now. We will get prepared. We will be well prepared. This is the reason why we postponed it to 15 January. We will begin these talks in goodwill.

    Question: There have been endless talks. Is there hope this time? This is what we are all curious about, what we want to hear. Is this a new process?

    Answer: It is a new process. It is definitely a new process. It is an important one. Maybe, as some say, it is the last tango. We would, however, make the most of this opportunity. We should not waste it. This depends on the two sides approaching the issue seriously, on replying to the question of why we reached the current point in Cyprus, and on realistically studying what can be done in the future. I hope that this is what will happen.

    [03] Sukru Sina Gurel assesses the meeting between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader

    Istanbul NTV (04/12/01) broadcast the following interview with Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish State Minister in charge of Cyprus affairs, by Murat Akgun in Ankara.

    Question: Mr. Denktas met with Clerides today. What is the assessment of the Turkish side on the issue?

    Answer: Mr. Denktas has already said whatever had to be said. The truth is that, these talks are, in a way, the acceptance of certain realities which Mr.

    Denktas and we have been advocating. We have always said that it was unnecessary for Mr. Denktas and the leader of the other side to go to other countries to be imprisoned within frameworks introduced by others and to hold talks under the supervision of others. As a matter of fact, it led to unhealthy results. Now Mr. Denktas has pointed this out and has said that if others accept the reality that there are two nations and two states in Cyprus and that the Greek Cypriot side does not represent the Turkish Cypriots and if they do not intervene in the issue, then the two sides can solve the problem among themselves. Denktas said that at least they can discuss the issue in a realistic manner. This is the initial step. I hope that the talks to begin on 15 January will continue within the framework of the same understanding.

    Question: This is not the first time that Denktas and Clerides are holding a face-to face meeting. Actually, they are two leaders who have known one another for over 30 years. There have been either indirect or face-to-face meetings in the past. What has changed to make us hopeful of these talks?

    Answer: I believe that all the sides involved in the Cyprus issue have understood that the expectations of the Greek Cypriot side and the so-called solutions which the EU is trying to impose on the sides will not be realized. We have reached a point where either the issue will be realistically assessed and the wishes of the Turkish Cypriot side will be borne in mind or no solution will be reached. Therefore, either every party will continue on its own path and will either reach or not reach its goal, or the two sides will reach a goal together through a realistic assessment. Everyone is more hopeful because that point has been reached and the possibility of making a realistic assessment has emerged.

    Question: About a month ago Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, and the leaders of the coalition partners, including the prime minister, said that Turkey is ready to pay every price with regard to the Cyprus issue. Subsequently it was said that Turkey will renounce neither Cyprus nor the EU. If the price Turkey will pay is not the EU, then what is that price? What are we renouncing, on what are we insistent?

    Answer: Only one of the officials you mentioned used the word price. The honorable prime minister did not make such a statement, nor did he make any similar statements in other governmental problems. I, however, do not think that we have to pay a price on the issue. None of us think that we have to pay a price. A price has already been paid by the Turkish Cypriots, by Turkey. Why was this price paid? Actually a price was not paid to hold on to Cyprus. On the contrary, it was paid in a bid to ensure the security of the Turkish Cypriot people, and to guarantee the vital interests of Turkey. Turkey has no price to pay in the future because if you consider exchanging something in return for something else, then you have to be holding on to both of those things or you have to be receiving something. The EU membership is not in our hands, neither does it seem to be in the horizon. Therefore, equations on renouncing Cyprus in exchange of EU membership, or holding

    on to Cyprus by renouncing EU membership are not valid. Therefore, Turkey has no price to pay. Turkey's vital interests necessitate that Turkey ensure the security of Cyprus. This is what Turkey will be doing.

    Question: Now let us come back to the talks. The two leaders will meet again in mid-January. There are the intercommunal talks. Turkey, however, also has certain conditions. When the negotiation process begins, both sides will make compromises given that both sides have goodwill and both sides desire a solution. As a result, we shall make certain compromises, and we will receive something in return. What are the things the Turkish side can give at this stage? Over which issues can the Turkish side compromise? What are the issues the Turkish side will insist upon?

    Answer: The issue should be considered from the very beginning. A solution should be based on the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriot people. This is the first issue. In other words, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people will never agree to reduce the Turkish Cypriots to the status of a minority. This is the first issue. The second one is that Turkey will never renounce its rights and obligations over Cyprus. In other words, Turkey has the right of speech on the whole of Cyprus. This means that Turkey has the right of speech on Cyprus' membership in another international entity be it under a single roof or any other model. This right has been granted through international agreements and statutes. No one can ignore this.

    Question: Can Turkey have a right of speech over a Cyprus that accedes to the EU under a single roof?

    Answer: No, I am talking about the process that leads to that accession. The right thing is for Turkey to accede to the EU together with Cyprus after a political solution acceptable to both sides is reached in Cyprus. In that case,

    the Aegean problems will become easier. It would also be easy for Turkey and Greece to reach an agreement on the Cyprus issue. Everything will become easier. If Turkey is left outside the EU and Cyprus accedes prior to a solution -- in other words, the Greek Cypriot side will accede -- then this means that the island will be divided. Then Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people will be freer than ever to take certain steps in unison. Another possibility is that a political solution is reached and meanwhile, Turkey is given EU perspective -- in other words talks might start for full membership -- and is guaranteed that its rights and obligations over Cyprus will continue during the transition period until Turkey becomes a full member. In this manner, European law does not suddenly become effective over Cyprus. The special ties between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are preserved for the duration of the transition period. Then maybe Turkey can agree to such a transition.

    Question: Let me ask you a last question. We have discussed positive issues. I do not want to be pessimistic. If, however, these talks do not yield any results either, what will happen then given the fact that the unilateral EU membership of the Greek Cypriot side seems to be imminent?

    Answer: I would like to clearly state that, given these conditions, I do not believe that the EU will accept the Greek Cypriot side as a member.

    [04] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister on Cyprus

    TRT 2 Television (04/12/01) broadcast statements by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Cyprus and the situation in Palestine.

    Mr. Ecevit/s statements and his replies to questions are the following:

    This morning, there were two important positive and negative developments. The positive development is the one in Cyprus. For the first time, two leaders who are next-door neighbors, Mr. Denktas and Mr. Clerides, met directly in their own country as two neighbors, rather than hiding from one another, thousands of miles from their country. This is a pleasing development. Naturally, we cannot foresee the outcome, but a dialogue to be brought about in this way could open certain doors. I hope that this will yield a positive outcome.

    On the subject of the Palestine-Israel issue, as you know, I spoke to Mr. Yaser Arafat last night, and I conducted a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon early this morning. Unfortunately, there is a hopeless situation. Mr. Sharon seems to be determined to impose very extensive unjust sanctions on the Palestinian Authority and territories. The pressure on the Palestinians and on Arafat is mounting all the time. As you know, Israel destroyed the Gaza airport. This airport was Mr. Arafat's main outlet to the world. Now, it has become difficult for them to reach the world.

    As it happens, it is very important for the entire Middle East that Israel and Palestine reach a conciliation and a just agreement. If the situation in Palestine and Israel turns into an actual war, this could create a situation that is even more dangerous than the one in Afghanistan, especially in terms of our region. Therefore, I am saddened and concerned. I hope that the two leaders, Mr. Sharon and Mr. Arafat, come together in a constructive approach as soon as possible. I also conveyed this hope to the two leaders during our conversations. I believe that it will be very beneficial, even essential, for the United States to become involved in a more effective and active manner.

    Question: The question of a European army is one of the most important items of the agenda. Turkey declared that it will support this army, but Greece was extremely uneasy over the assurances given to Turkey with regard to its participation in the decisionmaking mechanism. Some messages began emanating that Greece will exercise its veto right in NATO. Can you comment on this?

    Answer: If so, Greece would probably be alone on this matter.

    Question: Have you spoken to Mr. Denktas on the telephone?

    Answer: Yes, I did.

    Question: Is there any hope for the future?

    Answer: They have not gone into detail yet. As you know, they made a concrete decision to meet again in mid-January in Nicosia. During that meeting, they will probably discuss some concrete items on the agenda. For now, this was a beginning to reestablish a dialogue. In that respect, it is a pleasing development.

    Question: You stress that external forces such as the EU should not intervene in the Cyprus issue. Now that the talks have begun, do you have a message to the EU and to the other international circles?

    Answer: The Clerides-Denktas meeting constitutes a message in itself. They are meeting directly through their own will, not under the supervision or the shadow of other people or organizations, taking into consideration the good offices of the United Nations. When the existence of two separate states and nations in Cyprus is accepted, a solution to satisfy both sides can easily be implemented.

    Question: The Greeks acknowledged 14 September as the Asia Minor genocide day. It is being reported that the Turkish Government will retaliate in kind, by declaring 15 May as the genocide day of the Turks of western Anatolia. It is also being said that a similar initiative will be undertaken with regard to the Armenians. Can you comment on these developments?

    Answer: Greece's decision regarding Asia Minor is so illogical and such a ridiculous allegation that Greek officials tried to conceal this decision for a long time. They were practically ashamed of it. In the end, of course, the decision was revealed. As you noted, we are also doing whatever is necessary, and we will continue to do so in the future as well.

    [05] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry

    Ankara Anatolia (04/12/01) reported that the Turkish Foreign Ministry

    released a statement, on the meeting between President Clerides and Rauf Denktas. The statement said: "The meeting is considered a further and positive step on the path for a comprehensive solution which aims at a new partnership on basis of equal status on Cyprus``.

    Alleging that Turkey had always supported the ``constructive initiative`` of Denktas since the beginning, it said: ``We wish that the face-to-face meetings which are expected to start on the island in mid-January would create the opportunity and basis of bringing the common understanding and positive atmosphere which has been formed between the two leaders today, to a further level with concrete steps.``

    [06] The President of Turkey spoke with Denktash on the phone

    Ankara Anatolia (04/12/01) reported that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer talked on Tuesday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas on the phone.

    A statement of the Presidential Press Center quoted Sezer as saying during the phone talk with Denktas that Turkey considered Denktas` face-to-face meeting with President Glafcos Clerides as a positive development.

    The statement noted that Sezer expressed Turkey's pleasure that this constructive approach of Denktas would continue by a second meeting scheduled for January.

    Sezer expressed Turkey's wish that that process would contribute to a fair and permanent solution in Cyprus on the basis of a new partnership understanding, the statement added.

    [07] Eroglu alleges that the talks between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader will be held on a new and realistic ground.

    Ankara Anatolia (04/12/01) reported that the so-called Prime Minister of the pseudostate Dervis Eroglu said on Tuesday that the meeting between Rauf Denktas and Glafcos Clerides served its purpose.

    Pointing out that the sides decided to start negotiations in January 2002 without any preconditions, Eroglu said that the sides would continue the talks in their own "countries" on a new and more realistic ground and without any mediators.

    Eroglu said thus, the new and realistic ground which they stressed on following the verbal statements of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on November 8, 2000 was laid and noted that it was very important that talks on that new and realistic ground would be held in Cyprus, not abroad, and without any mediators.

    Eroglu went on: ``As the mediated talks concept has ended, other organizations will not overshadow such meetings and the sides will express their views clearly and try to lay the groundwork for an agreement.``

    If the Greek Cypriot administration had goodwill as the Turkish side does, and if ways to reach an agreement were searched sincerely, in light of the realities and without denying the realities in the island, they believed that an agreement could be reached, Eroglu pointed out.

    Eroglu stated that they wished that the talks started with goodwill would continue in the same course and that an agreement which would not deny the current realities and the vested interest of the Turkish Cypriots which were gained in the end of the struggle, would be made.

    `This will become definite in time,`` Eroglu said and noted that people should not think that an agreement would be signed the following day.

    Eroglu stated that theTurkish side gave the signals that talks could be continued with goodwill and that an agreement could be reached if that goodwill was reciprocated.

    Some messages were given not only to the EU but also to the United States and U.N. Security Council by today`s meeting, Eroglu said.

    Eroglu pointed out that the message was ``provided that nobody overshadows, we are around the table with goodwill. We have met around the table with goodwill and we will continue the talks with goodwill.``

    ``We hope that the other side will stay at the table with good will. I wish that the negotiations will be continued in a way that an agreement will be reached in the end,`` Eroglu added.

    [08] Turkish Daily News publishes the paper Rauf Denktash presented to President Clerides at their meeting yesterday

    Turkish Daily News (5/12/01) publishes the following report on yesterday/s meeting between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktas.

    "The leaders of the two sides of Cyprus agreed at a summit meeting Tuesday to launch a new and invigorated direct talks process.

    Emerging from a 75-minute meeting Rauf Denktas, Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides and Alvaro de Soto, the special envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, declared that the U.N. chief would invite the two leaders to the January talks. He did not spell out a date.

    However, briefing the Turkish Daily News about the meeting, Denktas said the new process would be launched on Jan. 15, and would continue to negotiate in good faith until a comprehensive settlement was achieved.

    A brief statement issued after the meeting by the U.N. mission on Cyprus also stressed that point, besides underlining that there would be no preconditions.

    The statement also underlined that the January invigorated talks process of the two leaders would be held with an open agenda and that "All issues will be on the table" and will be conducted with the principle that "Nothing will be agreed until everything is agreed."

    The statement, as anticipated, referred to the two leaders without their respective official titles.

    Denktas, appearing relaxed, said he has extended a hand in peace in good faith to Clerides, and that he was happy that a "good result" was obtained.

    Denktas said his latest initiative was a courageous search for an avenue for resolution of the Cyprus problem. He said he believed that Clerides was loving Cyprus also.

    "I can say that we have opened a door for direct talks. This is a new and invigorated process and we have committed ourselves to continue the talks in good faith until a settlement is reached," Denktash said.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader, acknowledging that despite the existence of political will in northern Cyprus and his belief that Clerides would do his best as well to reach a solution, search for a settlement would be an uphill task particularly for the Greek Cypriot leader.

    Denktas said as long as the EU kept the doors open for Greek Cypriot accession with or without a settlement on the island, he was sure that the Greek Cypriot leader would face serious opposition and obstructions.

    "He will have great difficulty," he said.

    Clerides to attend Denktas dinner The Turkish Cypriot leader also disclosed that he has invited Clerides to dinner and the Greek Cypriot leader has accepted the invitation.

    The last time Clerides was in northern Cyprus was in 1980.

    Denktas said the dinner will be held today and will also be attended by de Soto.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said Clerides, in return, invited him to a dinner in southern Cyprus on Jan. 15, and that he would attend that dinner.

    "We will meet first at the U.N. mansion at the Nicosia Airport region -- in the buffer zone -- and then attend a dinner hosted by Clerides in southern Cyprus," Denktas said.

    The Denktas visit to southern Cyprus will be the first such official trip since 1974 Turkish intervention in the island.

    Denktas presents position paper He added that at the meeting he presented Clerides a position paper, but the Greek Cypriot leader, stressing that it would be inappropriate to trade at that meeting" did not present a paper. "He said he will present me a position paper in January," Denktas said.

    In his position paper Denktas underlined that the Cyprus problem has come to a critical point and at that juncture the Turkish Cypriot side has the political will and readiness to start a new process "based on the political equality of the two parties for negotiating the establishment of a new partnership."

    "We have a major role to play in reaching a comprehensive settlement and in creating a desired environment of confidence, cooperation and partnership. I believe the time has come for Clerides and myself to move ahead and to take the necessary initiatives so that future generations do not go through the bitter experiences we have endured," the position paper presented by Denktas to Clerides and a copy of which was obtained by the TDN, said.

    The paper continued:

    A few facts need to be reiterated at this juncture. The Turkish Cypriot people and the Greek Cypriot people are the co-owners of Cyprus and this Island is the common home of both peoples. The independence and the sovereignty of the Partnership Republic of Cyprus were entrusted In '1960 to these co-founding partners with equal status upon explicit recognition of their separate rights to self-determination, while establishing a balanced status between the two guarantor motherlands and their rights over Cyprus. Today there exist functioning democratic Institutions on both sides, which reflect the political will of their respective peoples.

    In shaping our future the basic requirement is realism. This realism must be solidified with an atmosphere of mutual respect, reconciliation and a working relationship between the two parties.

    We took notes of the recent statements by EU officials that EU will accommodate itself to the terms of the political settlement to be agreed by both parties. In this respect, we will support the membership of the Cyprus Partnership on the EU within the terms of a political settlement. The balance established between Turkey and Greece with regard to Cyprus by the 1960 Treaties is also crucial and has to be maintained in every respect.

    I believe that this face-to-face interaction provides a new and significant opportunity for both parties in reaching a common understanding on how we can move forward.

    Our vision is a peaceful Cyprus where our two peoples live in harmony and cooperation under a new partnership structure based on the equal status and sovereign equality of the two Partner States. The new Partnership will have

    single international personality in its areas of competence. We believe this vision is within reach.

    We should focus on what our common interests are and how we can serve them by mutual efforts. What needs to be done now is to lay down the objectives and elements of a comprehensive settlement addressing the legitimate concerns of both parties.

    Efforts for a viable settlement in Cyprus could yield desired results only in an environment of mutual trust. The way to a Cyprus settlement is through

    positive relations between the two parties on the Island. Therefore, if we are to initiate a process for settlement with the expectation of a successful outcome, the issue of trust and confidence must also be addressed.

    With this understanding, I propose, the setting up of a Bilateral Committee under our Co-Chairmanship. Such a Bilateral Committee could take up and discuss:

    I) All major Issues of the Cyprus Question

    II) The steps to be taken for generating a climate of mutual respect and confidence.

    We should continue to discuss all aspects of the Cyprus Question. I suggest that we start to take up the core issues in a detailed manner in our next meeting. As we proceed, we may seek the support of our respective experts and the U.N.

    We may not have a common understanding on all issues but the process of consultation has to continue so that through dialogue and interaction we may be able to tackle the content and find a way forward.

    The ideas I have put forward constitute a new pattern of relationship. I believe that our objective is to leave to future generations a Cyprus on which the two peoples could live in prosperity, security and cooperate on the basis of equality.

    [09] True Path Party criticizes Cyprus policy

    Turkish Daily News (5/12/01) reports that opposition True Path Party (DYP) group deputy leader Nevzat Ercan, said at a press conference in Parliament that the government was in a weak position over Cyprus and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and that it was unable to formulate national policy to counter impositions. "This government stood by and watched as provisions over Cyprus were included in the Helsinki Final Declaration. It can only oppose impositions to make a present of Cyprus to Greece via the EU with jingoism and crocodile tears," he said.

    Ercan said this 'government of weakness' was a long way from representing a national political will and from developing policies. He said the 1960 agreements prohibited the Republic of Cyprus as it was known then from entering a union which both Greece and Turkey were not members of. "In this situation, we have to ask the EU the following question: Does it recognize the agreements as a necessity of international law, or doesn't it? If it does, then it must not make Cyprus a member. If it does not, then international law has to be questioned," he said and added it was impossible for the DYP to accept TUSIAD's views on Cyprus, which ran counter to all traditional politics.

    Ercan said Turkey had been left in the position of having to give concessions over the ESDP and added: "The government has never used the opportunities properly when they presented themselves. It has had to let the European Army be formed without Turkey being a part of it. This is very much counter to our country's interests. This government is weak and pitiful." He called on the government to resign.

    10. Reactions to Yesterday's Meeting Between President Clerides and TurkishCypriot Leader Denktas

    All the local Turkish Cypriot newspapers (5/12/01) report about yesterday's

    face-to-face meeting between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, as follows:

    KIBRIS: "Historical Step"

    ORTAM: "A Good Start"

    VATAN: "Clerides is coming to TRNC for a dinner"

    YENI DEMOKRAT: "Historical Step"

    YENIDUZEN: "At Last!"

    AVRUPA: "To your honour"

    BIRLIK: "Denktas: A New Process is starting"

    KIBRISLI :"Garniyarik" (An eggplant food well known to Greek and Turkish cuisine''

    HALKIN SESI :'' Hope Evil Eye Will Not Affect''

    All the papers report the meeting in a reserved optimism and quote what Denktas said during the press conference. Yeniduzen reports the protest

    march organised by the'' This Country Is Ours Platform'', where the marchers demanded a solution and accession to the EU.

    The papers also report about the dinner to be hosted by Denktas and President Clerides' acceptance to attend the dinner.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [11] The fight over the European Army is on the 12-mile issue

    Under the above title Mehmet Ali Birand, writing in his regular column "Opinion" of Turkish Daily News (05/12/01) says the following:

    "I am sure that no one has properly understood the "fight" taking place on the issue of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) commonly called the European Army.

    Since we talk by using slogans, for a long time we failed to understand exactly what the bargaining was about.

    In this article I will try to explain the meaning of the talks being held in Ankara with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell today and the bargaining process that will continue between Athens, Brussels and Ankara during the coming days.

    The European Union (EU) in founding its own army which will become operative as of 2003. The final decision on this issue will be taken at a summit meeting on Dec. 14-15 in Laeken, Belgium.

    The decision has been delayed until now because of the objections raised by Turkey.

    The EU army will function in two ways:

    1. If and when the EU takes a decision to intervene in a certain spot and if that decision gets approved by the nonmember NATO countries such as the

    United States, Canada and Turkey, the EU army will make use of all NATO facilities, benefiting from NATO planning, intelligence-gathering satellites, bases and troops.

    Turkey does not have a problem in this respect. This is because, as a NATO member, it has veto rights. It can block the path of the EU army any time it wants.

    2. Problems arise on the issue of what happens when the EU decides to stage an autonomous military operation on its own without making NATO join the loop.

    In such a case, the EU would be able to stage an operation without seeking NATO's approval and without making use of the NATO facilities. In other words, Turkey would have no tool to block any such thing.

    Why is Ankara upset? Turkey is trying to place this issue on a sound basis with misgivings of the following kind: "You can never tell. The situation may change in the future."

    Ankara's misgivings stem from a certain scenario:

    One day Greece may decide to expand to 12 miles its territorial waters in the Aegean and considering this a cause for war, Turkey may stage an operation against that. In such a case Greece may ask the EU to intervene and thus confront Turkey in the Aegean with the EU on its side. Or, in the future, the Southern Cyprus may start making an excessive military buildup. It may buy weapons systems -- such as S-300s -- capable of hitting Anatolia. In that case too Turkey may decide to intervene. Since Southern Cyprus would have become a full member of the EU, it can mobilize the EU against Turkey, confronting Turkey with the EU army.

    Ankara is, mainly, trying to kill these two possibilities though it has some other concerns as well.

    And, to achieve that, it has, to date, focused on two potential measures:

    1. If the European Army decides to stage an "autonomous" intervention in a place situated in the region where Turkey is, Turkey should be able to take part in that operation. And this point should be accepted as early as now.

    2. It must be guaranteed that the EU Army would not intervene in the disputes among the NATO members, meaning the Aegean and Cyprus without exactly saying so.

    The latest agreement reached in Ankara will now be reviewed in Athens and Brussels and then finalized at the EU's Laeken summit.

    And the Greeks are refusing to budge from their decision to veto that agreement.

    If there was a 'package' involving both the Aegean and Cyprus...

    The only trump card Turkey has in its hands is the current opportunity to veto the EU's "intra-NATO" operations now, and thus force the EU to create its own army itself by undertaking the enormous cost that would entail.

    However, the United States opposes that.

    The United States does not want the European Army to be in a position where it would be able to act on its own. It wants the European Army to remain within the NATO framework. It wants to maintain a certain control over that army.

    Now you may ask:

    a.. Why should Greece take the 12-mile decision in the current climate, knowing very well that this would be a cause for war?

    * Would not the EU countries prevent Greece from expanding its territorial waters in the Aegean to 12 miles rather than going to war with Turkey?

    * Would not the EU bring to a halt -- before we would -- any folly in which Cyprus might engage?

    * Assuming that Greece and Cyprus really engaged in such a folly and Turkey decided to give an armed response. What purpose would the agreement to be signed now would serve in that case? If the EU intends to confront Turkey, would an agreement cause it to change its mind?

    Frankly, these are extremely justified questions.

    However, the answers to be given to these questions would be as theoretical as the scenarios on the Aegean and Cyprus.

    And states feel the need to take measures in advance against "assumptions" however illogical these may be.

    The U.S. must now join the loop and bring about a 'package agreement' At this moment there is a major opportunity to bring long-term tranquillity to the region.

    A solution is called for in Cyprus. This is because the EU had decided to admit Cyprus as a full member and thus solve the problem.

    The European Army issue has to be resolved. This is because the EU had changed its mind, deciding against giving Turkey the position agreed upon in Washington.

    All these issues have formed a knot -- which can be untied at the EU.

    And the resolution of both issues is related to the "12 miles in the Aegean" issue, that is, on future developments in the Turkey-Greece-Cyprus triangle.

    Ankara believes that the EU will take Cyprus as well under its protective wing by making it a full member -- just as it has done in the case of Greece -- and that afterwards it would protect Greece and Cyprus with its own army.

    And these worries must be taken into consideration.

    Be it in on the Cyprus problem, the European Army issue or the Aegean disputes, why not think big and put forth a "package" that would bring peace and tranquillity to the region rather than engaging in an exasperating bargaining process?

    The most important factor that would give Turkey relief, would be for the EU to announce a definite date on which it would start accession talks with Turkey -- provided that Turkey complies with the EU's Copenhagen criteria. That would ease Ankara's worries regarding Cyprus and the Aegean. Then Turkey would view the developments in a new light.

    Such a "package agreement" would give relief to everyone, especially to the region in question.

    And only the United States can ensure that.

    It must not be forgotten that as long as Turkey is not a full member of the EU, tranquillity can hardly be achieved in the region. The more Cyprus and Greece, having become EU members, put pressure on Ankara with the EU support, the more Turkey would give hell not only to those two countries but to the EU as well.

    Since it is obvious that it is not possible to force Ankara to accept anything through economic-political blackmail, would it not be better to adopt a new approach without losing time?

    This is what we expect from the United States which, unlike the EU, does not think small or in a disorganized manner".

    KV/M.Pat.


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