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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-01-09

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.5/03 09.01.03 [] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Rauf Denktas keeps rehashing the same old speeches; he accuses the UN Secretary - General of exceeding his mission of good offices
  • [02] Angolemli accused Denktas of lack of will for solving the Cyprus problem and stated that "either Denktas or his policies will change"
  • [03] KIBRIS calls on Rauf Denktas to listen to the will of the Turkish Cypriots and declare that he is determined to reach an agreement on the Cyprus problem until 28 February
  • [04] The Turkish government is criticized for its Cyprus policy
  • [05] The Turkish Army expressed its views on various issues including Cyprus
  • [06] More on the change in the Cyprus policy announced by the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday
  • [07] The platform "This Country is Ours" and the organizations "Joint Vision" will hold a new rally on 14 January for peace and EU
  • [08] Pro-Denktas VOLKAN newspaper continues the publication of a public opinion poll
  • [09] A new Turkish Cypriot platform was formed in London
  • [B] COMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Commentary in Hurriyet analyses Yasar Yakis' views on the Annan Plan

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Rauf Denktas keeps rehashing the same old speeches; he accuses the UN Secretary - General of exceeding his mission of good offices

    KIBRIS (09/01/03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met with a delegation of the Turkish War Veterans Association.

    At the meeting, Denktas said that the Greek Cypriots still sought to be the sole owners of the Cyprus Republic because of their goal to achieve enosis. Denktas continued by saying that those who are not aware of the goal of the Greek Cypriots insist on signing the Annan plan regardless of what happens, and added: "The Cyprus issue is a matter of soul searching. It is a matter of calculating the price of the freedom struggle against the difficult times we are undergoing now."

    Explaining during his address at the meeting that the Turkish Cypriots were putting their lives in danger without thinking of their interests, Denktas added: "I have spent most of my life negotiating for peace with all the Greek Cypriot leaders."

    Explaining that the views of the political parties and a written statement sent to him by the Chamber of Trade "are along the lines that numerous articles in the Annan plan should be amended," Denktas added: "Why don't they say so to the people? Why don't they tell the people that they also seek several articles to be amended? Why are they are trying to portray the 'president' as intransigent?"

    Explaining that "it is a very weak possibility to introduce all the amendments after granting such opportunities to the Greek Cypriots," Denktas called "on all those who want the UN document to be signed before 28 February. Everything is a matter of soul searching. It is just a matter of calculating. We should think of the price of the freedom struggle instead of concentrating on the present difficulties. Explaining that there should be a period of moratorium even if an agreement is reached on the Cyprus issue, Denktas said that the agreement on Turkey's membership should not be implemented until the economies of the two people are equal. When I say this, I am considered intransigent."

    In reply to a question on whether there was unity of views with the Turkish Foreign Ministry delegation, Denktas said that "there were no differences of opinions on the views expressed at the meetings."

    In reply to another question on the results of the surveys, Denktas said that the surveys conducted from Turkey said that 72 percent of the population had confidence in Denktas. Denktas continued: "I have kept silent until now because I did not want to cast a shadow over the meetings with the political parties, let alone that I was also sick. I am working for a consensus. The Communal Liberation Party withdrew from the meetings when it realized that a consensus was going to be achieved. In this way, the people understood who is in favor of a compromise and who is not."

    Denktas said that he will continue his contacts with political parties on 10 January, adding that the plan will be taken article by article and that the issues that need to be amended will come out.

    Asked to comment on the information that the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will submit to the sides a third plan with some changes, Denktas replied: "There is such a rumor. If he submits it then this will be a fact, but they are getting too much out of the mission of good offices. Exerting pressure to the sides, by saying that this is a document of the UN Secretary-General, is not in harmony with the mission of good offices. Especially binding us to timetables by saying 'take it or leave it until this or that date', is entirely contrary to the mission of good offices. It is a great pressure. It is a great injustice. The settlement of the Cyprus issue should in no way have been related to the EU".

    [02] Angolemli accused Denktas of lack of will for solving the Cyprus problem and stated that "either Denktas or his policies will change"

    HALKIN SESI (09/01/03) reports that the chairman of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Huseyin Angolemli said that there is lack of will by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to reach an agreement for the Cyprus problem until the 28th of February and stated that either Denktas or his policies will change. Mr Angolemli was commenting on Denktas/ latest statements about the developments on the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Angolemli said that Denktas stated that even if a solution is found "he will shelve it", that he will not allow the Northern Cyprus to become member of the EU before Turkey and that he wants a solution within this framework. The chairman of CLP noted that the party's sole object is the solution and the EU.

    Meanwhile, as the paper reports, Rauf Denktas is meeting tomorrow Friday, with the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot parties prior to the resumption of the Cyprus talks next week. This is the fourth meeting taking place between him and the Turkish Cypriot parties. Denktas, who is going to inform the leaders about the UN Plan and the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem, will not meet with Mr Angolemli. The CTP, which was attending in the previous meetings, decided not to participate in them any more.

    [03] KIBRIS calls on Rauf Denktas to listen to the will of the Turkish Cypriots and declare that he is determined to reach an agreement on the

    Cyprus problem until 28 February

    On its whole front page, KIBRIS (09.01.03) publishes an open letter to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, calling on him to listen to the will of the Turkish Cypriots, to declare that he is determined to reach an agreement on the Cyprus problem until 28 February and to submit this agreement to referendum on 30 March.

    Supporting that in the past Mr Denktas' views were the same as the views of the Turkish Cypriots, the paper notes that today Mr Denktas "is saying one thing and the people say another". Addressing Mr Denktas KIBRIS writes, inter alia, the following:

    ".Your people want a solution to the Cyprus problem and the accession to the European Union as soon as possible. Your people expect you to ensure the best possible agreement until the 28th of February and submit it to referendum on 30 March. .

    Your people expect you to exert sincere efforts in the direction of reaching a solution and make steps so that their worries are cleared. .You have to respect the will of the people. You have to meet to the expectations of the people. Your people expect courageous steps and decisions from you.

    .This is the time for listening to the voice of the people. .This is the time for putting a successful end to our national cause. This is the time for opening the way of Motherland Turkey towards the modern civilization. And you are the one who must do this and gain a place in the heart of your people. If you cannot do this you must make the steps, which will open the way of the people. People have no time to loose".

    [04] The Turkish government is criticized for its Cyprus policy

    KIBRIS (09.01.03) reports that Mehmet Agar, leader of the True Path Party (TPP) and Recai Kutan, leader of Felicity Party (FP), have criticized the policy of the current Turkish government on Cyprus.

    Talking yesterday at a press conference, Mr Agar said that the government's Cyprus policy is "confusing" and added that there are contradictory statements by government officials and officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party. Mr Agar claimed that these statements are "a master card in the hands of Greece" and "weaken the hand of Denktas" before sitting at the negotiating table.

    Meanwhile, speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Mr Kutan said that the government should "behave in a clear manner" on the issues of Cyprus and Iraq.

    [05] The Turkish Army expressed its views on various issues including Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08/01/03) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Chief of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok said on Wednesday that oil resources are the joint property of all Iraqi people and they should be under the control of Iraqi central authority. Chief of General Staff Secretary General Aslan Guner held a reception for press members in Gazi Officers' Club. Ozkok said that he has never heard that any institution in Turkey has the view of having war against Iraq.

    Noting that the Turkish Republic never makes concessions from its secular, democratic and unitary structure and Ataturk`s principles and reforms, Ozkok said that those are sentences which are included in Constitution.

    Ozkok said that they respect the religious beliefs of everybody, their expressing style in their private life, and never exclude them because of their beliefs, unbeliefs and worshipping. He added: ``However, nobody should expect use of headscarf as a political imposition contrary to the regulations, Constitutional Court and Council of State decisions and as a symbol and act for deteriorating the traditions of the Republic to be tolerated.``

    Noting that important problems which appear in the region and concerning Turkey closely are being experienced together, Ozkok said that European Union (EU), Iraq and Cyprus are the main problems.

    Ozkok said that every institution in Turkey firstly fulfills its own duty and responsibility and so related institutions of state make the appropriate, outstanding and beneficial cooperation on EU, Iraq and Cyprus issues. He added that firstly as being the security dimension, their contribution is being and will be conveyed to the related institutions appropriately.

    Noting that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) had always been the leader of modernization, Ozkok said that accession to the EU will be the most effective tool for fulfilling that aim. He added that the Turkish army has already been in Europe through NATO for 50 years, so it is a great injustice to claim that the TAF is against accession to the EU.

    He said that they would like to join the EU not at any cost but with equal conditions and by protecting national and geographic integrity.

    On Iraq the Chief of General Staff Ozkok said that the state policy was obvious and continued: ``Iraq`s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political unity are considered as the basis for us. Oil resources are the joint property of all Iraqi people and they should be under the control of Iraqi central authority. Iraq is obliged to fully abide by United Nations (U.N.) resolutions like every other country. All regional countries expect confirmation that there are not any mass destruction weapons and production capabilities and facilities in Iraq. This issue should be solved through peaceful means. Peace efforts should be continued till the very end.`` The United States had stated that it would solve the issue by using weapons if the issue could not be solved despite all the efforts and it seemed determined, Ozkok noted.

    He added that the TAF had to be prepared for every mission and that they continued their preparations to this end. ``However, TAF has stationed neither in Iraq nor around Iraq as some media organs said. Media organs should not forget the damages such news can give to our national interests``

    On Cyprus Hilmi Ozkok said that Cyprus is very important for Turkey`s security and presence of a friendly force will protect Turkey against possible dangers. Ozkok added that ``process of `Turkey`s imprisonment to Anatolia` will almost be completed with a Cyprus solution which threatens Turkey`s security and does not meet security need.``

    Ozkok released a speech in the reception and said that the geographical location of Cyprus is very important for Turkey`s security and he added that if a hostile force takes place in Cyprus, it will have the opportunity and capability to influence the south and southeast of Anatolia.

    Alleging that the security need is also important for the Turkish Cypriots, Ozkok said that history is the witness for what Turkey suffered due to solutions which did not depend on strong sanctions.

    [06] More on the change in the Cyprus policy announced by the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday

    In a follow up to yesterday's statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Bulunc (see Turkish Press No 4/03 News item 15),regarding the Turkish government's change of policy in Cyprus, Hurriyet (09/01/03), dwells upon the aforesaid statement regarding the Cyprus problem and is quoting an unnamed Turkish Foreign Ministry senior diplomat who said: "The Turkish Foreign Ministry delegation who is in Cyprus has conveyed the policy change to Denktas. The same diplomat further said: "Turkey's integration and annexation threats were put into the bag".

    Hurriyet further reports that the first indication about the Turkish Government's change of policy regarding the Cyprus problem came from the Turkish Foreign Ministry's deputy under secretary Baki Ilkin who in a testimony the other day at the Turkish Grand National Assembly's Foreign Relations Committee said: "The Cyprus policy based on the annexation threat is not a priority issue of the new government".

    Moreover, columnist Oktay Eksi in his article in Hurriyet(09/01/03) strongly criticizes the Turkish Government's new decision on Cyprus and says that this is tantamount to throwing into the dustbin and saying that the views that until now the Turkish side has defended such as Turkey's effective guarantorship, equal sovereignty, the "TRNC's" founding partnership etc should be forgotten.

    He goes on and says that Turkey's Cyprus policy was charted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly and it is a national policy. What would happen now? Asks Eksi and says: "Does this statement, made in the name of the government, mean that this decision would be changed or a new policy would be adopted without taking into account that decision? If that is the case did the Grand National Assembly lie to us when it declared that the Cyprus policy was our national policy?"

    [07] The platform "This Country is Ours" and the organizations "Joint Vision" will hold a new rally on 14 January for peace and EU

    The "Joint Vision" committee of the Turkish Cypriot Civil organizations and the platform "This Country is Ours" held yesterday a press conference at the building of KTOEOS (Turkish Cypriot Secondary Teachers/ Trade Union), YENIDUZEN (09/01/03) reports.

    During the press conference, the Chairman of KTOEOS, Mr Ahmet Barcin, announced their thoughts and views regarding the action plan that they have prepared. Stressing that the Turkish Cypriots want solution of the Cyprus problem, to join the EU, peace and democracy, Barcin said that Annan's plan created a historical opportunity to the Turkish Cypriots. He also reminded that thousands of Turkish Cypriots gathered at Inonu Square in occupied Nicosia on 26 December 2002 chanting slogans for peace and to join the EU, adding that nobody has the right to deny their just demand.

    The platform "This Country is Ours" and the Turkish Cypriot civil organizations "Joint Vision" will hold a new rally for "Peace and EU" on 14 January 2003 at Inonu Square at 11.00 a.m. . They call on the Turkish Cypriots to attend the rally not just 40,000 but 80,000 this time.

    The paper also reports that a demonstration is going to be held today at 11.00 a.m. in front of the so-called presidential palace demanding the resignation of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    [08] Pro-Denktas VOLKAN newspaper continues the publication of a public opinion poll

    Pro-Denktas VOLKAN newspaper (09/01/03) continues to publish a public opinion poll carried out by Akdeniz News Agency on 25 December in five occupied districts of Cyprus.

    VOLKAN reports that the 92,5% of the participants in the poll of the occupied area of Kyrenia do not approve Annan's plan, adding that the 70% of the participants support the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas/ policy on the Cyprus problem.

    [09] A new Turkish Cypriot platform was formed in London

    According to KIBRIS (09/01/03) a new "Peace Platform for Cyprus" was formed in London for supporting the rally that took place on 26 December 2002 in the occupied area of Cyprus. The platform consists of 13 Turkish Cypriot organizations, which carry out activities in London.

    [B] COMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Commentary in Hurriyet analyses Yasar Yakis' views on the Annan Plan

    Hurriyet newspaper (07/01/03) publishes the following commentary by Sedat Ergin under the title: "Yakis' View of the Annan Plan" :

    Everyone in Ankara is saying something else about the Cyprus issue. This, in turn, leads to confusion.

    When we told him about our views, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis intervened by saying: "I am not confused" and he began to clarify the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government's Cyprus policy:

    "As a government, we are not in favour of continuing with non-solution. In this regard, we do not adopt the approach of 'let us continue with non-solution as long as we can and God will help us later.' This is the approach that has been adopted so far with regard to Cyprus. We want to find a solution. When doing this, however, we are not saying: 'We will find a solution at any cost and we will give up our rights.'"

    Later, Yakis assessed the solution plan that has been put forward by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Interestingly, Yakis felt the need to draw attention to the contribution of Lord David Hannay, Britain's special envoy for Cyprus, to the preparation of the plan.

    The Foreign Minister criticized the general balances of the plan as follows:

    "The Annan plan is based on all the issues that have appeared on the agenda until now. Furthermore, it tries to present a middle course. We should not forget however, that the Greek side had put forward excessive demands in the past and that the Greek thesis had received more support in the international arena. This is why the balances of the Annan plan are not exactly equal. These balances are in favor of the Greeks."

    According to Yakis, the solution proposal with regard to the property problem that was created by the immovable property that the Turks and the Greeks left behind in 1974 mostly meets the Greek Cypriots' expectations.

    In 1992 former UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali approached the Turkish thesis and accepted the "collective compensation" or "offsetting one against the other [sifirlama]" method. According to this, the inventories of the immovable properties that were left behind by both sides would be made, indemnities would be paid in line with the inventories, and this would pave the way for a solution.

    Annan's plan, on the other hand, enables tens of thousands of Greeks to individually come to the north in order to claim their rights over their immovable properties. Furthermore, Annan's plan opens the door for the return of these properties.

    Yakis criticized this method as follows:

    "The fact that Annan left the 1992 Ghali plan aside and he proposed a new plan proves that the Greeks were able to convince the international community on their thesis. This means that the Greeks were able to influence those who prepared this plan. This is what I mean when I say that the plan has not been able to find the middle course."

    Claiming that the "collective compensation" method is more suitable, Yakis referred to the 1928 Turkish-Greek exchange agreement and said:

    "The collective settlement was tried in another incident where one side was Greek and the other side was Turkish. The 1928 exchange agreement was successful. If the two peoples had coexisted in the aftermath of the tension created in the 1920's, this could have led to developments that resembled the developments in Bosnia. This was prevented."

    The foreign minister said the following regarding the various shortcomings of the method proposed by Annan:

    "If the new method is put to practice, the following might occur: The people will want to individually claim their properties. Under those conditions, someone will come from the south to the north, he will knock on someone's door, and he will say: 'This is my house.' What will the man in the house do? If he has a gun, he will probably draw his gun and shoot him. Or he will fight with the other man. This is not nice. This will lead to undesired new incidents."

    Within this framework, Yakis noted that he believes that the necessary lessons should be drawn from the incidents that occurred in Bosnia.

    "We saw in the Bosnia example exactly what happened when the Serbians or the Muslims wanted to claim their properties. These incidents have not merely proven that the 1928 exchange agreement was successful, but they have also proven that the method that enables people to individually claim back their properties is not successful. A model that has already achieved positive results is not being put to practice. On the other hand, however, they are trying to put a model whose failure has been proven to practice. This is very erroneous. We favor the 'collective compensation' method."

    Yakis also criticized the fact that the quota that has been granted to the Greeks who want to settle in the north is very high.

    Also recalling that there are certain improvements in the second and corrected plan that was submitted by Annan, Yakis noted that despite this, it is erroneous to confuse the property right and the sovereignty right.

    The foreign minister's statements showed that compared to the property right issue, he is more flexible with regard to the sovereignty right issue.

    Recalling that after a 20-year transition period the Greeks will be granted a quota of "28 percent of the Turkish population," Yakis said: "This is very high. It should not be so high."

    The minister also referred to the veto mechanism issue that is directly related to the political equality of the sides. Yakis noted that compared to the 1960 agreement, the veto mechanism that the Turks will be able to use in the legislative and executive organs have been "diluted."

    Once again "referring" to Lord Hannay, Yakis said the following:

    "In 1963 Makarios destroyed the state that was established with the 1960 agreement because he acted with the understanding of 'this state cannot continue to exist in this manner and it is impossible to give such authorities to a minority.' With time efforts were made to sell this understanding to the world public. It seems that Lord Hannay was convinced in this regard. We do not adopt this understanding."

    The Foreign Minister also noted that he believes that the public has not fully understood the contents of the Annan plan.

    We asked Yakis: "Discussions have been held on this issue for the past two months. Do you not believe that these people held these discussions without actually understanding the contents of this plan?" In answer Yakis said:

    "I do not believe that they understand the contents. As a matter of fact, there are rumours to the effect that the EU, Greece, and the Greek Cypriot Administration have allocated millions of dollars in order to explain the plan to the Turkish public. Pay attention, I did not say to the Greek public. Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent such things in modern societies."

    With these words, the Foreign Minister openly stated that the EU, Athens, and the Greek Cypriot Administration are trying to direct the Turkish public opinion.

    Despite all his criticism, Yakis stressed that the Turkish side should not withdraw from the negotiation table:

    "During the Cankaya summit we decided to continue with the negotiations. It is of utmost importance to avoid blocking the negotiation routes."

    Meanwhile, the minister underlined that his reservations regarding the Annan plan should not be viewed as "red lines."

    Noting that it is possible to adopt a flexible stand with regard to the aforementioned issues in return for gains in other fields, Yakis continued as follows:

    "If, during the negotiations honorable Denktas feels that he has achieved positive results in very important issues and if as a result he chooses to make concessions on other issues, no one has the right to tell him that he cannot make these concessions. Everything depends on the course of the negotiations. I believe that we should not draw thick red lines."

    Despite the fact that there are rumours to the effect that there are disputes between the government and Denktas, Yakis referred to Rauf Denktas with warmth and said the following:

    "I have always believed that honorable Denktas is a very soft person. He has always said: 'I will never insist on anything that will harm Turkey and the 70 million Turkish people.'"

    EG/


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