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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-01-13

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.7/03 11-12-13.01.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with the political party leaders.
  • [02] Mr Alvaro de Soto held contacts in Ankara.
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Alvaro de Soto's visit to Ankara.
  • [04] Conflicting messages about Turkey's policy on Cyprus. They describe the abandonment of the integration threat as a change of policy.
  • [05] Steps for integration were published in Turkey's Official Gazette.
  • [06] Baykal confirms that Cyprus is among the bargaining between Turkey and the US over Iraq.
  • [07] Ali Talip Ozdemir was elected as the new leader of the Motherland Party.
  • [08] Blast Near `Deputy Premier's Office´.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] The Turkish side's wish not to be viewed as avoiding the negotiations is described as change of policy.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with the political party leaders

    Ankara Anatolia (10.01.03) reported from occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met with representatives of political parties having seats in the pseudoassembly.

    So-called Parliament Speaker Vehbi Zeki Serter and so-called Foreign and Defence

    Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu also attended the meeting.

    The Communal Liberation Party (CLP) did not attend the meeting.

    When asked prior to the meeting, ``do you feel uneasy about CLP`s decision not to attend the meeting? ``, Denktas said: ``The target of these meetings is to inform the political parties on developments in the Cyprus question and to reach a compromise among the political parties. We are not uneasy about the CLP`s decision not to attend the meeting. However, their decision revealed their intention not to join such an activity. No one should escape from their responsibilities. If we come to a conclusion, we should all make contributions. ``

    Stating that he understood the anxiety of the people, but they should walk on that path calmly, not with excitement, Denktas said that not every person who read Annan's document on Cyprus might understand it. He added that the document was prepared with political and legal considerations.

    Denktas said that Annan's document had word games and noted that to this end, they wanted to negotiate the document and they were getting prepared for it.

    Denktas stated that political parties had contribution to the preliminary studies and added that they also put forth their views on parts of the document which they did not agree with.

    When reminded of Prime Minister Costas Simitis` statement that unless an agreement was reached till April 16 and unless a joint signature was made on EU accession agreement, the Turkish Cypriot side would stay out of the European Union (EU), Denktas said: ``It would not stay out of everything. The EU would not strategically include the whole of Cyprus. The EU's need for us will increase. I hope that the Union will have to hold direct contacts with us and act in an equal way towards us. ``

    Stating that he did not know whether the EU under the chairmanship of Greece would enter this path or not, Denktas said: ``I hope that it would enter. If Greece wants a solution to the Cyprus problem with good intention, it should do what I said by cooperating with Turkey. First of all, we should look at what we can do till the end of February, then we will evaluate what happens in April. ``

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (10.01.03) broadcast the statements made by the Turkish Cypriot political party leaders following a two-hour meeting with Rauf Denktas on the issue of the Annan plan.

    Reformist Leap Party [RLP] Chairman Ertugrul Hasipoglu said he persuaded Rauf Denktas that it is not right for Cyprus to join the EU before Turkey does, and that all the parties agreed on the issue of an economic moratorium. Hasipoglu explained that an economic moratorium means raising the level of the Turkish Cypriot economy to that of south Cyprus. He added that an agreement was reached at the meeting that membership in the EU will come after the two economies become level. He pointed out that the results to be obtained on 28 February will be submitted to a referendum, and if the people accept the agreement, then Denktas will sign it. Once it is signed, Hasipoglu said, the agreement will be submitted to the referendum of both peoples on 30 March.

    The RLP leader noted that a UN team will be invited to discuss economic issues and establish economic criteria.

    "Republican Assembly" Speaker Vehbi Zeki Serter said the meeting was held in a positive atmosphere.

    Republican Turkish Party Chairman Mehmet Ali Talat criticized Rauf Denktas for making contradictory statements, such as "we will sign the agreement but we will freeze it until Turkey joins the EU." Talat said that the people are confused by this stand, adding: "The Turkish Cypriot people want a solution, they want the EU, and they do not want these things only for economic reasons. Our people see a dark future, and in order to change this dark future, they want a solution and they want the EU."

    Speaking on behalf of the Democratic Party, Atay Ahmet Rasit described the meeting as beneficial, and warned that "the negotiation process that will start after Alvaro de Soto arrives in the island will be very tough." He called on the people to support Rauf Denktas and said the Annan plan must be improved on the basis of two separate regions and sovereignty.

    "Prime Minister" Dervis Eroglu pointed out that the Annan plan "does not mention economic matters much," and added: "If the economies of the two sides are to be level, there is need for time, funds, and support. If the imbalance continues, membership in the EU will not mean much." Eroglu concluded his remarks by saying that an agreement was reached at the meeting to assign economists to look into this issue.

    [02] Mr Alvaro de Soto held contacts in Ankara

    Istanbul NTV Television (10.01.03) broadcast that, Mr Alvaro do Soto, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy to Cyprus, has arrived in Ankara. He said: "I did not bring a proposal to change the Annan plan."

    Alvaro de Soto noted that he will exchange views on how to go about the pre-28 February process and on the ways of advancing that process. Pointing out that there are still some problematic issues, de Soto said it was unfortunate that the efforts for a solution failed during the Copenhagen summit.

    The UN official stated that Kofi Annan did not make any changes in his plan, adding: "The ball is no longer in the court of the United Nations; we are waiting to hear the views of the sides on the plan."

    Asked to comment on the Foreign Ministry statement to the effect that the Cyprus policy is changing and that the idea of integration is being left behind, Alvaro de Soto said he does not have detailed information about this issue, and that he hopes to be updated on that during his talks today.

    Replying to questions by an NTV correspondent, De Soto said that UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan has made an important contribution to the solution of the Cyprus problem. Noting that the date 28 February is very important from the viewpoint of the solution of the problem, De Soto added: "We have a few weeks left to reach a solution." Charging that the plan submitted by Annan is just to both sides, De Soto said that if the sides agree then changes can be made on the plan. He added that the reservations of both sides were taken into consideration during the preparation of the plan. De Soto noted that primarily prejudices should be cast aside if the problem is to be solved. Noting that a problem will not be experienced in Cyprus in the new situation, De Soto said: "Cyprus will not become another Bosnia. The UN soldiers will remain on the island."

    Meanwhile Ankara Anatolia (10.01.03) reported from Ankara that the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro De Soto said on Friday that the sides should agree on the changes they wanted to be done in a way that would preserve the general balances on the changes they wanted to take place.

    De Soto responded to the questions of reporters following his meeting at the Turkish Foreign Ministry with Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal.

    De Soto said Annan's plan was ``honorable and considered the general balances`` for both sides, stating that the sides should agree on the changes in case they wanted to make, and that they should preserve the general balances so that steps could be taken more rapidly.

    De Soto said he could stay in Ankara for one or two days more to hold contacts, stating that he would hold contacts on the island at the beginning of the week and in Athens on January 16.

    When asked when the talks would resume on the island, De Soto said they could resume next week in case Denktas` health permits this. Describing the Copenhagen summit as a ``missed opportunity``, De Soto said Annan's plan was still on the island, but that they believed that the talks should be resulted in the possible shortest time.

    "It is possible for the sides to reach an agreement till February 28 in case both sides exert efforts to implement the U.N. plan by taking lesson from the missed opportunities," he said.

    De Soto said they preferred participation of a United Cyprus to the EU on April 16, instead of a divided Cyprus, stating that this would be for the benefit of all Cypriots. He also added that the Turkish Chief of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok´s reservations on the Cyprus issue, do not show major differences from the Annan plan, ZAMAN newspaper (11.01.03) reports.

    Reporting on Mr. Alvaro de Soto's visit to Turkey MILLIYET newspaper (13.01.03) reported from Istanbul that the leader of the Justice and Development Party, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met separately with Mr de Soto and the former US Ambassador to Ankara, Mr Mark Parris at Mr Erdogan's residence at Uskudar of Istanbul.

    Mr de Soto made no statements after the meeting. On his part, Mr Parris said: "I did not bring any message from Washington. I did not come at the request or wish of the US. When Mr Erdogan was mayor I was Ambassador. I came just for the visit".

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Alvaro de Soto's visit to Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.01.03) reported from Ankara that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday that the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy to Cyprus, Mr Alvaro de Soto, was expected to start the negotiation process in Cyprus in the coming days.

    Releasing a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled that the negotiation process had been continuing through the committees formed by the two sides as of January 7.

    ``One of the committees in question has been carrying out studies on legal arrangements about the structure of the partnership to be founded while the other has been dealing with the agreements of the sides that would be included in the structure of the partnership,`` it said.

    The statement added: ``During de Soto's contacts in Ankara, the sides exchanged views about the current stage of the negotiation process. De Soto is expected to go to the island to start the negotiation process between the two leaders in the coming days. Turkey has been supporting the negotiation process aiming at finding a lasting solution to the Cyprus question, and the efforts of Rauf Denktas".

    [04] Conflicting messages about Turkey's policy on Cyprus. They describe the abandonment of the integration threat as a change of policy

    Istanbul CNN TURK television (09.01.03) broadcast that today; Foreign Ministry bureaucrats briefed the parliament speaker and deputies who will be going to Cyprus soon. The diplomats said: "There are no changes in Turkey's Cyprus policy. The Foreign Ministry statement has been misunderstood." The diplomats said that the Ministry can clarify the misunderstanding. The diplomats also warned the deputies against acts of provocation on the island.

    The parliament speaker and deputies were briefed by two diplomats from the Foreign Ministry: Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin who is responsible for Cyprus affairs, and Ertugrul Apakan who is head of the Cyprus desk.

    During the briefing session, the diplomats made a striking statement, saying: "There are no changes in Turkey's foreign policy regarding Cyprus. The statements issued in this regard have exceeded their aim. In his statement on Cyprus, the Foreign Ministry spokesman was not able to fully explain what he meant. There have been no changes in our Cyprus policy. A state policy cannot change with a news conference. If necessary, the Foreign Ministry will issue a written statement in this regard."

    The diplomats cited the points about which the deputies must be careful during their visit to Cyprus. They said: "Tension is very high in Cyprus, you must be careful about acts of provocation. You must be particularly careful when talking with nongovernmental organizations and the people. At the moment, the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ has been completely divided into two between those who support the Annan plan and those who reject it. Those who support the plan are fewer but their voices are louder."

    The diplomats briefed the deputies in detail about the Annan plan, and pointed to its negative and positive aspects. They alleged that the plan was prepared with a view to protecting the Greek Cypriots' military presence. They expressed their sensitivity about the loss of territory, migration, and political equality.

    The meeting lasted about two hours. Parliament Speaker Arinc and the deputies will go to the island on Monday, 13 January.

    Meanwhile Ankara Anatolia (10.01.03) reported from Ankara that while discussions continue on whether there has been a change in Turkey's Cyprus policy, the first change in Ankara's Cyprus policy was on the issue of integration.

    A high ranking official confirmed the change in the Cyprus policy, adding: "A concrete change of policy was noted on the issue of integration. Had there been no change, then steps that would further the integration with the `TRNC´ would have been taken in the aftermath of the Copenhagen summit."

    Turkey had earlier announced that it would advance toward integration of the occupied areas in the event that Cyprus became an EU member representing the entire island. According to information obtained, Turkey's new Cyprus policy is beginning to become clear and within this framework furthering integration is no longer on the agenda.

    The new plan envisages to reconcile the national stand adopted so far on the Cyprus issue with the Annan plan and to reflect Turkey's minimum priorities in the plan in question.

    The first official statement indicating that Turkey would change its Cyprus policy was made by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc who said: "There is a need for new adjustments and policy amendments."

    Meanwhile, Ankara has not renounced its thesis that Cyprus cannot belong to any international group of states in which Turkey is not a member. Diplomatic sources, who stated that in the aftermath of the decision adopted at the Copenhagen summit, the EU member countries were notified that the decision was judicially and politically unacceptable, have noted that this view is still valid.

    Another issue on which Ankara is insistent is Turkey's guarantor status. Turkey, which believes that the Annan plan has diluted that status, is asking that its status as a guarantor state be strengthened.

    Ankara, on the other hand, no longer views the EU timetable as invalid. Turkey, which has so far said that "it did not consider the time factor a problem," is now taking the EU timetable into consideration and views 28 February as a working goal, Ankara Anatolia concludes.

    [05] Steps for integration were published in Turkey's Official Gazette

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.01.03) reported from Ankara that the agreement on the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Commission (JPC) between Turkey and its puppet regime in occupied Cyprus was issued in the Official Gazette on Saturday.

    The agreement aims at ensuring a closer cooperation between the parliaments of the two "countries" under the decision on improvement of cooperation which was taken in joint statements of the two "countries" in January and July 1997.

    The JPC, in which seven representatives each from the two parliaments will participate, will convene twice a year in the occupied areas and Turkey.

    The offices of co-chairman of the JPC will rotate between the two sides.

    The JPC is foreseen to take up harmonization of legal regulations and all issues related to integration and partnership relations.

    [06] Baykal confirms that Cyprus is among the bargaining between Turkey and the US over Iraq

    Turkish mainland HURRIYET (11.01.03) reports that Republican People's Party (RPP) leader, Deniz Baykal has supported that Turkey should demand from the United States the recognition of the puppet regime in occupied northern Cyprus as an equivalent for its support to an operation against Iraq. "If the US recognize the TRNC, it (the TRNC) will be recognized by many countries", claimed Mr Baykal adding that "there is a great possibility for the US to recognize the TRNC in case Turkey demands it at this stage".

    The paper notes that Mr Baykal got in action right after the statement of the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yusuf Bulunc that "some changes and adjustments should be made and have been made" on Turkey's policy for Cyprus according to the new situation.

    Reminding that Turkey's current policy for Cyprus was defined in a common declaration by Turkey and the pseudostate after being formed with a decision taken by Turkey's Grand National Assembly and National Security Council, Mr Baykal argued that the government had no authority to change this policy and added that he conveyed to President Sezer this view. Mr Baykal met with President Sezer and the Speaker of the Assembly, Bulent Arinc and he is expected to meet also with the chief of the General Staff, General Hilmi Ozkok.

    According to the paper, the RPP leader expressed the following views to the high ranking officials he met with:

    "Our policy for rabid development of the relations between Turkey and the TRNC, including integration, in case the Greek Cypriots accede to the EU, is based on the 1997 declaration of the presidents of the two countries, Suleyman Demirel and Rauf Denktas and afterwards to the 1999 unanimous decision of the Grand National Assembly. Furthermore there are decisions of the National Security Council approving this policy. Of course this policy could change, but a state policy could change only by the manner it had been formed and by decisions at the same level. A state policy cannot change only by a statement at as press conference of the Foreign Ministry, or if a Minister or the government simply says 'I have changed it'.".

    HURRIYET notes that Mr Baykal told President Sezer that the pseudostate "should go on its own way" in case an agreement on the Cyprus problem is not reached until the 28th of February. The RPP leader argued that in case a campaign for lifting the so-called embargoes allegedly imposed onto the Turkish Cypriots starts, the puppet regime in occupied Cyprus will be accepted as "a separate state" and the EU could invite it for membership.

    Meanwhile, according to TRT television (10.01.03) Mr Baykal said that Turkey does not have a new approach to the Cyprus problem, adding that he has observed that the national policy on the issue is being pursued with determination. Talking after his meeting with National Assembly Speaker Bulent Arinc Mr Baykal said:

    "Especially in recent times we have observed that certain circles have been exerting efforts to spread the understanding that Turkey's policy on the Cyprus policy has changed. The Foreign Ministry spokesman issued a statement a few days ago saying that Turkey's Cyprus policy is being changed. Naturally, we were all amazed, because Turkey's foreign policy regarding the Cyprus issue has been formulated with the contributions of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the government, the National Security Council, and all the concerned institutions in Turkey. When was this policy changed? What part of this policy was changed? Why was this policy changed? What is the current policy on the issue? Who has decided on that policy? What kinds of changes does this statement reflect? All these questions have suddenly emerged. The contacts we have held so far have revealed that there is no such policy change".

    [07] Ali Talip Ozdemir was elected as the new leader of the Motherland Party

    ZAMAN (12.01.03) reports that Motherland Party (MP) elected, during its 3rd Extraordinary Congress on Sunday, Mr Ali Talip Ozdemir as the new leader of the party. Mr Ozdemir is the forth leader of MP after Turgut Ozal, Yildirim Akbulut and Mesut Yilmaz.

    According to the paper, Mr Ozdemir received 640 votes, while his rival for the party's leadership, Lutfullah Kayalar, received only 426 votes. In the speech he delivered after his election victory, Mr Ozdemir said that now is the time for unity for the party and stressed that he will work day and night for the political power of the party.

    [08] Blast Near `Deputy Premier's Office´

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (13.01.03) broadcast that an explosion occurred in occupied Nicosia early this morning. It happened in the parking place next to the buildings housing the so-called Finance Ministry and the Office of the so-called Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Economic Affairs. Police believe it was a timed concussion bomb. An investigation is under way into the explosion which was heard in a very wide area.

    Meanwhile KIBRIS (12.01.03) reports that unknown person or persons caused damage to the tyres of the vehicle of Ahmet Barcin, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers´ Trade Union (KTOEOS).

    Mr Barcin said that the attack against him had been carried out by persons who oppose peace. "They cannot terrorise either us or the people", Barcin added.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] The Turkish side's wish not to be viewed as avoiding the negotiations is described as change of policy

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (09.01.03) publishes the following commentary

    from the "Direction" column by Fikret Bila under the title: "Cyprus and Change":

    "Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis announced that certain changes will be made in Turkey's Cyprus policy. Yesterday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ambassador Yusuf Buluc also stated that studies in this regard are being conducted with the "contribution of other relevant institutions."

    What are the changes that Turkey and the Turkish side intend to make in their Cyprus policy? What are the dimensions of these changes? What is the stand adopted by Rauf Denktas with regard to these changes?

    We talked to diplomatic and military sources yesterday in order to find the answers to these questions. They answered as follows:

    "The stand that will be adopted by Turkey and the TRNC will be in line with the decisions that were made during the NSC [National Security Council] meeting in December. These decisions have already been announced to the public. Within this framework, negotiations will be held on the Annan plan and efforts will be made to ensure that the Turkish side is granted the rights that it views as sine qua non."

    According to the policy change, the Turkish side will no longer insist on maintaining the existing status. Within this framework, the Turkish side will primarily aim at reaching a solution after making the necessary changes in the Annan plan. Under these conditions, Rauf Denktas will sit at the negotiation table next week and he will inform the Greek side on the changes that the Turkish side intends to make in the Annan plan. The Turkish side does not want to be the side that avoids sitting at the negotiation table.

    Turkey and the TRNC believe that the Annan plan is unacceptable in its current state. The Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Chief of the General Staff continue to conduct technical studies on what kind of changes can be made in this plan in order to come up with an acceptable text.

    There are reports to the effect that, after thorough studies, the Office of the Chief of the General Staff has developed map proposals that constitute alternatives to the maps presented with the Annan plan. These proposals mainly focus on the security of the Turkish side and Turkey. The Annan plan envisaged giving the Greeks territories that formed pockets in the Turkish region. Furthermore, the Annan plan also aimed at giving the Greeks the Karpass Cape. The maps prepared by the Office of the Chief of the General Staff however, aim to leave a straight line along the border. This plan aims to give the Greeks the deserted lands that are used by the military and the lands that are being used by the Peace Force. These maps have already been sent to Rauf Denktas. Denktas will submit these alternative maps to the Greek side during the negotiations and he will demand that negotiations be held on these maps, rather than the maps that were enclosed to the Annan plan.

    Ankara also drew attention to the fact that it is necessary to avoid issuing statements that will weaken the position of Rauf Denktas, who will conduct the negotiations. The statements issued by JDP [Justice and Development Party] Chairman Tayyip Erdogan, Erdogan's political adviser, and JDP deputy Omer Celik are viewed as factors that adversely affect Denktas´ bargaining strength. The fact that these statements claimed that Denktas constitutes an obstacles before a solution in Cyprus is reportedly being used by the Greek side.

    It is therefore underlined that at a time when technical studies that constitute the infrastructure of the negotiations that will be held on the Annan plan and that aim at finding a solution that is in line with the Turkish thesis continue, such statements create problems in terms of Rauf Denktas, the Foreign Ministry, and the Office of the Chief of the General Staff.

    It is stressed that if within the framework of the decisions made during the NSC meeting, Turkey and the TRNC make changes in the Annan plan, the Turkish side aims at finding a solution on the basis of the Annan plan and that radical changes that will surmount this framework should not be expected.


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