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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-01-22

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 <>



  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader is trying hard to persuade the Turkish Cypriots that the Anna peace plan will destroy them.
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with the islamist Felicity Party leader.
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister says Turkey should stand firm behind Denktas.
  • [04] Towards crucial Siirt by-elections. Erdogan expected to announce candidacy.
  • [05] Erdogan acquitted in fraud case.
  • [06] Mehmet Ali Talat: Denktas does not discuss the UN Plan.
  • [07] The two members of the Turkish Cypriot technical committee for Cyprus who resigned, claimed that personal reasons lead them to resign.
  • [08] The Platform "This country is ours" called on the Republican Turkish Party to get out of Denktas/ "palace".

  • [09] In-depth analysis to the Annan Plan.
  • [10] Cyprus With Clerides.


    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader is trying hard to persuade the Turkish Cypriots that the Anna peace plan will destroy them

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.01.03) reported from occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas said on Tuesday that signing the United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Kofi Annan`s plan on Cyprus in its current form meant accepting the Turkish Cypriots to be nonexistent soon and added that this was a perfect preparation to make the Turkish Cypriots rootless and inactive soon.

    Denktas met with a delegation of the so-called Association of Martyr Families and Disabled Veterans and said that they would exert efforts to change some points of the plan during negotiations, which would continue till February 28.

    Denktas said: ``When we think the Turkish Cypriots as a young tree, if it is uprooted again and again, it cannot become rooted again.``

    He stated that the biggest shortcoming of Annan`s plan was the exchange of populations, removal of the bi-zonal structure agreements and making inactive the rights of Turkey which depended on guarantorship agreements. Alleging that the current form of Annan`s plan would serve only the Greek Cypriot side, he claims that the plan was unilateral.

    Denktas also said that the property issue could be solved with compensations and reiterated his views on setting up a commission for determining compensations.

    Some persons from the delegation said that they did not want to live together with the Greek Cypriots again.

    Some institutions paid visits to Denktas separately the same day to extend support to him. Speaking during these meetings, Denktas said that when the Gali`s Set of Ideas were presented, the people had the same shock. Denktas called the people not to live in hesitation due to the plan and to claim ownership on their business and title deeds. ``If there is an agreement, it is okey, if not, it is okey too, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will go on its way,`` said Denktas and noted that the Turkish Cypriots should continue their development.

    Denktas said that the proposals to make the occupied areas a free zone is rational, adding that ``it is wise to be a free zone, to set up relations and have commerce with the whole world in such a small place.``

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side also wants peace and European Union not as the minority of the Greek Cypriots, but by protecting their own rights, Denktas said that not only his signature for the plan, but also the signature of Turkey is necessary. ``Therefore we carry out this process with Turkey, and Turkey sees the same difficulties and obstacles.``

    Stating that the puppet regime had to resort to a referendum in accordance with the "law" before signing Annan`s plan even if an agreement was reached on every part in Annan`s plan till February 28, Denktas said: ``A referendum must be held in accordance with the `law/ on resorting to referendum for agreements which will be made with international committees and foreign states on behalf of `TRNC/. It is a legal necessity. We will explain this issue to U.N. Secretary-General's special representative to Cyprus Alvaro De Soto.``

    Noting that De Soto`s attitude was that Annan`s plan was `perfect` but some parts of the plan could be changed, Denktas said that a change on basic principles of the plan was not allowed.

    Denktas quoted De Soto as saying that if an agreement was reached with the Greek Cypriot side, points on which agreement was reached could be changed and said: ``It is impossible. The thing, which the Greek Cypriot side tries to do, is to dilute rights and authorities, which were given to us. But, the thing, which we try to do, is to strengthen them. There is a difficulty there. This exercise saddens us.``

    Stating that foreign investors were coming to Cyprus, Denktas said that those people faced some difficulties. He wanted those difficulties to be lifted.

    On his part the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry Chairman Salih Tunar said that the economic view of the plan was also important. Tunar said that after a possible agreement, studies should be speeded up for economy to have a competitive structure.

    Tunar added that they wanted a joint Greek-Turkish Cypriot committee to be set up.

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with the islamist Felicity Party leader

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (20.01.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas met with the Turkish Felicity Party Chairman Recai Kutan and the delegation that accompanied him. The Turkish delegation arrived in occupied Cyprus to hold meetings. The illegal Turkish Ambassador to Cyprus Hayati Guven and Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Sosyal, Mr Denktas' legal and constitutional adviser, also attended the meeting. Speaking during the meeting, Mr Denktas said that the plan that has been submitted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan renders Turkey's effective and de facto presence on the island ineffective. "If we sign the agreement and if we coexist with the Greek Cypriots with a blurred status, Turkey's guarantor status on the island will be diluted. Under these conditions, Turkey's status will be rendered ineffective. The Annan plan also disregards the principles that impose limitations on freedoms such as owning property, free circulation, and the return of the migrants," he said.

    Denktas drew attention to the shortcomings of the Annan plan from the standpoint of the Turks. Denktas explained that when looking at the plan, it is possible to see that Annan has based its plan on the EU norms, as if these norms are already in effect. Alleging that the Annan plan ignores the agreement that was reached with the Greek Cypriots on population exchange and bizonality, Denktas emphasized that the plan notes that the title deeds held by the Greek Cypriot refugees are valid. Denktas said: "This means that the deeds that we -- the `TRNC/-- have given on the basis of the population exchange and the bizonality agreement are not valid. Furthermore, this means that we do not exist as the`TRNC/. In this regard, a situation, which Clerides previously defined as a situation that will be crowned with the triumph of the Greek Cypriots, has been brought about. The Turkish Cypriots cannot exist without Turkey. The existence of a strong Turkish Cypriot community in Cyprus is dependent on the protection of Turkey's geopolitical rights. One cannot be separated from the other. This is why this is a joint national cause." Drawing attention to the fact that they do not know whether or not they can make any major changes in the Annan plan, Denktas explained that they were told that it is only possible to make minor changes in the document. Denktas said: "They say that we cannot make any changes in the essence of the plan. This is why, seeing the problems that might emerge, we are calling upon our people and we are trying to explain to those who claim that we should sign the agreement on 28 February that if we sign the agreement, this will result in a disaster."

    Recalling that Turkey is also one of the signatories of the Annan plan, Denktas said: "I am certain that Turkey has already informed the United Nations and the relevant authorities on the conditions that it will sign the agreement. I am certain that Turkey has put forward demands to ensure that its guarantor status is not rendered ineffective. We will continue to walk hand-in-hand with Turkey."

    In reply to a question, Denktas underlined that they do not have any disputes with the Turkish Government. Denktas noted that during their meeting, Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul did not say: You should sign the agreement on 28 February no matter what. He explained that Prime Minister Gul noted that it is necessary to continue with the negotiations and to protect the Turkish Cypriots' fundamental rights in Cyprus and said: "We approve of your policy."

    In answer to another question on whether or not he believes that an agreement will be reached by 28 February, Denktas alleged that they are exerting utmost efforts to this end, but that the Greek Cypriot side is creating problems during the negotiations.

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister says Turkey should stand firm behind Denktas

    Turkish Daily News (22.01.03) publishes statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Yasar Yakis. The statements were made during an exclusive interview with Ilnur Cevik to be aired tonight on TRR 1 television's "Political Lanes" program.

    Following are Mr Yakis/ replies to questions with reference to Cyprus:

    Question:Lately, there are some warnings in some articles published in the U.S.. There are complaints that Turkey was late in making a decision, was after money, behaving incompatible with the notion of an ally, a strategic ally. What would you say on these?

    Answer: First of all, money was never involved. We never said, "if you give us this much money we will provide x facility, or otherwise. " Secondly, there have been reports quoting American authorities that if Turkey failed to engage in full cooperation with the U.S. they would reassess the aid to Turkey. We do not know the source of these reports but an atmosphere was created as if our friendship with the U.S. will start with the operation on Iraq and when the operation is over it would end. We have had allied relations and cooperation with the U.S. for over 50 years. We have cooperation in NATO. We cooperated in Bosnia, Kosova, Somalia and in Northern Watch. Are not these cooperation?

    We come across with statements brushing aside all we have done so far and claiming that if Turkey acts this way it would be behaving totally wrong. Such remarks cast a shadow on our cooperation with the U.S..

    People writing those articles want to downgrade Turkish-American relations to an affair that starts and ends with Iraq. That's not our approach. Our relations and cooperation with the U.S. has a long history and will continue in the long years ahead.

    We have told our American friends that our priority is not an operation on Iraq. We have other priorities. We have the Cyprus problem. We have the economic development issue. We have the European Union accession issue. Iraq is an American priority. Turkey will suffer economic losses if an operation on Iraq is launched in line with American priority and such an operation, which is not Turkish priority, will have impacts on its economy. In that economic loss of Turkey the U.S. will have a responsibility. To overcome that problem we need to cooperate with the U.S.. Rather than a monetary demand, we suggested something else, that the Americans would prefer, like an increase in textile quotas. It became apparent that there would be difficulties in Congress in expanding textile quotas.

    Look, we have not asked for money, but we asked for increased trade. If Turkish cooperation in Iraq is important for the U.S., selling Turkish textile products in American markets is important for us. Let's cooperate in that area. I cannot say we received the response we were expecting.

    Question: That is, here we have mutual interests. For example, if in the future a crisis erupts in the Caucasus, there will be a recourse to ally Turkey. As far as I know, the tenure of Turkish command of the Afghan force is completed but it is still continuing because other countries did not take over the command.

    Answer: Yes, the Turkish command of the Afghan Force was to end at the year end. Now, we will hand over the command on February 8. We were to hand over the duty, that we assumed despite all the problems we have, to a prosperous country, like Germany. Germany could hardly accept to assume the duty a month after the date it ought to have assumed it, and only jointly with the Netherlands. The delay in these two prosperous countries assuming the duty caused the delay in Turkey handing over the command. Two prosperous countries could only fill in for the duty Turkey successfully undertook. This example itself demonstrates how important a role Turkey could play and how precious Turkey's cooperation with the U.S. is.

    Question: Turkey has concentrated on these, but as you rightly said, it has some other priorities, like the European Union process. Has that slowed down?

    Answer: Not at all. We are progressing full speed. Nowadays we will be passing through Parliament a new adaptation package. This package is adjusting the right for a "retrial." We have lined all our deficiencies and one by one achieving them. At the EU summit to be held at the end of 2004, we will get a decision to open accession talks. Deliberately, we are doing our best to complete everything by the end of 2003. In order to attain those targets by the Commission report to be released this October, we are doing our best to eradicate all our deficiencies. In August, the Commission will start gathering data for the development report. Thus, we want to be ready by August in a manner that the Commission would not be able to point at any deficiency. By the end of the year, the Commission must produce a report stating Turkey has fully complied with the Copenhagen criteria. We shall do our best to speedily complete our deficient points. We shall do our best to bring forward to December 2003 from December 2004 the date for the EU to decide on opening accession talks with us. If they still insist on seeing the application, we then would tell them, to see the application in the year ahead. But, we shall definitely prevent a further delay in Turkey's EU accession process.

    Question: Are you happy with the Greek term presidency?

    Answer: We are quite happy with it. We have very good cooperation. The other night Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou telephoned me. He asked information about our latest initiative (on Iraq). Soon, the EU Troika will come to Turkey, together with some Commission members for a meeting. This is a routine meeting of the EU Troika with candidate countries. They will see what we have done for EU adaptation and listen to our Iraq analysis.

    Papandreou has told me that as the EU they would be as well visiting the countries of the region and asked for information about the contacts of Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

    Question: You said you are extremely happy with Greek EU term presidency. What do you mean?

    Answer: So far Greece has not spared any effort for Turkey's adaptation to the EU. Before Greece assumed term presidency, some cooperation channels had started. Those channels are operating smoothly. They are passing on their own experience in adopting the EU. This mechanism is working well. For some time we have seen Greece acting with the awareness that it is in its interests as well as to have Turkey in the EU. There are certain indicators of that and they are making sincere contributions. We want Greece to continue on that policy which will also have a positive contribution to our bilateral ties. I attach great importance to the maintenance of the dialogue channels opened during my predecessor Ismail Cem's term. He and Papandreou launched a good initiative and I do approve as well the methodology to start from the easiest issues and handle in stages the difficult subjects in our relations. I have told Papandreou that I am ready to implement those mechanisms.

    Question: One issue that we cannot agree with Greece has been the Cyprus problem. Discussions continue in northern Cyprus also on the Cyprus problem. While opposition groups want the Annan plan be signed, ruling groups defend that serious amendments need to be made in the text before it could be signed. What is Turkey's approach on this issue?

    Answer: There is a legitimately elected president in northern Cyprus who at the same time was appointed by the "Republican Assembly" as chief negotiator. That is, "President" Denktas has come to office in the same fashion as such duties are assigned in a democratic country. For reasons stemming from his historical personality and personal ability, he has been fulfilling the requirements of the task excellently and continuing the talks very well. Turkey has no intention of touching this mechanism because it would be wrong to intervene in how a chief negotiator appointed in full compliance with established rules should continue his work.

    There are charges that we were not exchanging opinions. On the contrary we have been in constant exchange of opinions. When there is a conflict between the interests of Turkey of 70 million people and the "TRNC" of 200,000 people, Denktas has never said, "I am not bothered with the interests of Turkey, I am concerned with the interests of my people." Sometimes it was very hard for him to accept but every time he underlined that he would abide with the interests of Turkey. I believe he would continue on that line.

    February 28 appears to be a final date, but it does not correspond to anything. It is an artificial date. The aim is to reach a settlement before April 16. Mr Denktas has clearly stated that whatever is the final date to make a decision, if at that date he was not of the opinion to sign a deal the Turkish Cypriots would find someone else to sign the agreement. No one can insist that he should sign the U.N. plan but within the notion of cooperation we tell him from what issues we feel irritated and he tells us issues that irritate him. Our cooperation continues in an excellent fashion and I believe we should stand firm behind Denktas.

    Question: Are signals coming from the United Nations that the Annan plan could be revised again?

    Answer: Let me explain, as the Greek Cypriot side is unhappy with the plan as well, when you suggest something, they would ask what you would offer in return. As described by Mr Denktas, a result will be obtained in a give-and-take fashion. Mr Denktas will tell Mr Clerides you show me flexibility in this area and I will show you flexibility in that area. Neither of the two sides on Cyprus are prepared to accept the U.N. plan as it is.

    [04] Towards crucial Siirt by-elections. Erdogan expected to announce candidacy

    Turkish Daily News (22.01.03) reports that uncertainty about deputy candidates that will run at the upcoming Siirt by-elections set for March 9 continues, while the time is running out for the official lists. According to the by-elections timetable, the list of candidates that will run for Parliament at the poll should be completed by January 23. The Supreme Elections Board (SEB) will publish the list on January 24 in the Official Gazette.

    Earlier this month, SEB cancelled election results in the Siirt province after finding evidence that a ballot box there had been opened and that a polling station in the province had not been properly supervised.

    Siirt's three seats were equally divided among the Justice Party, the Republicans, and an independent.

    Meanwhile, the SEB on Monday banned Fadil Akgunduz from entering the Siirt by-elections.

    Controversial businessman Akgunduz was elected as an independent deputy from Siirt. Akgunduz was being sought by Interpol on a red bulletin on the grounds that he was involved in corruption when he was elected to Parliament in Turkey. After winning in the November 3 elections, Akgunduz gained legislative immunity but the electoral board decision to cancel elections in this province lifted his immunity.

    Akgunduz, whose parliamentary immunity has been lifted, was summoned to an Istanbul court and was arrested on fraud charges in December 2002.

    He applied to SEB to run for Parliament again but the top court rejected his application as he was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

    According to Turkish Constitution and Deputy Eligibility Law, those who are sentenced to imprisonment for more than a year cannot be elected as deputies.

    Meanwhile, three deputy candidates, Parliament's sole opposition Republican People's Party's Gul Mehmet Bektas, Young Party's Alpaslan Sarikaya and Labor Party's Miktat Ozcan, sent petitions withdrawing their candidacy application to the SEB.

    Subtitle: JDP leader yet to announce his candidacy As the countdown started for deputy candidates to apply to the SEB, Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was yet to make any move signalling that he will stand at the upcoming Siirt by-elections.

    According to the Anatolia news agency, Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Mervan Gul who was elected as JDP Siirt deputy during the cancelled polls.

    It was rumoured that Gul told Erdogan that the people of Siirt wanted the JDP leader to stand at the polls, while Erdogan seemed still hesitant to announce his candidacy.

    Meanwhile, JDP officials have signalled that Erdogan plans to run.

    Erdogan was banned from holding political office because of a conviction for reading a poem that a court said incited religious hatred in the scope of the same article of the Penal Code.

    Earlier, Parliament passed changes that would allow Erdogan to run for parliament in the by-elections. But President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed a draft law postponing the cases and sentences related with the crimes committed by way of the media and sent it back to Parliament.

    The law stipulated the erasure of the sentences of those who were convicted of the Turkish Penal Code's Article 312 from official records, which also paved the way for Erdogan to become a deputy and prime minister.

    The party's vice president Abdullah Gul is serving as premier in Erdogan's absence.

    [05] Erdogan acquitted in fraud case

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (22.01.03) reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday was acquitted on charges of irregularities regarding his earnings and assets.

    The Ankara Court of General Jurisdiction Judge Ibrahim Kozan said there were no reliable or sufficient evidence against Erdogan.

    It was claimed that Erdogan was involved in irregularities while he was serving as the Istanbul Mayor.

    In the indictment, it was stated that Erdogan declared his assets twice, first when he was the Mayor and then in 2001, but there was a huge difference between these two declarations.

    Public Prosecutor Ali Ozdemir said Erdogan has the right to earn money. Meanwhile, the popular leader of JDP will face another trial today at the Constitutional Court.

    The top court will debate the demand of preventing Erdogan from using the powers of being the chairman of his party.

    Earlier, Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu asked the top court to urge Erdogan to step down as leader of JDP. He also filed with the Constitutional Court to shut down the ruling JDP on grounds that the party didn't completely obey the decision of the top court.

    Turkey's top court had ordered the JDP leader to step down as a founding member and gave six-months for Erdogan to quit.

    On October 17, Erdogan stepped down as founding member of his party but remained its chairman. It could take the Constitutional Court up to a year to reach a verdict.

    The JDP was founded last year by lawmakers who belonged to the Virtue Party (FP), which was banned by the top court on charges of being the center of Islamist movements.

    However, the new party has sought to distance itself from its Islamic past and emphasizes social welfare for the poor.

    Erdogan was excluded from last year's election because of a political ban stemming from a 1998 conviction for inciting religious hatred. Parliament has since changed the constitution to lift his ban, opening the way for him to stand for Parliament.

    He is expected to take over the job of prime minister from his close ally Abdullah Gul soon after the Siirt by-election, where he is almost certain to win one of three seats on offer.

    Erdogan, suspected by Turkey's secular establishment of secretly nursing an Islamic agenda, has been treated as the country's de facto leader during trips to European Union countries and the United States. JDP rejects the Islamist label and has made EU membership one of its top priorities.

    [06] Mehmet Ali Talat: Denktas does not discuss the UN Plan

    YENI DUZEN (22.01.03) reports that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party, Mehmet Ali Talat said that Rauf Denktas does not discuss the Cyprus problem but he tries to create a chaos.

    Mr Talat stated that the Turkish Cypriot leader is not discussing the Annan/s Plan but repeats previous known positions regarding the Cyprus problem. He also criticized Denktas for his recent statement that he will not sign the UN plan despite the decision of the Turkish Cypriots if this issue will be put in a referendum. He stressed that Denktas tries to make steps backwards and to bring the whole matter in such a position that he will be able to refuse the results of a referendum.

    Pointing out that Denktas is playing a dangerous game, Mr Talat once more called Denktas to an open discussion in front of the Turkish Cypriots.

    [07] The two members of the Turkish Cypriot technical committee for Cyprus who resigned, claimed that personal reasons lead them to resign

    The two members of the Turkish Cypriot technical committee for Cyprus Oktay Feridun and Salih Dayioglu who resigned, claimed that personal reasons lead them to this decision. The two men made statements to Mr Basaran Duzgun of KIBRIS who had addressed questions to them from his column KULIS (backstage) in the paper, related to this issue. The explanations of the two men are published today (22.01.03) at Mr Duzgun/s column KULIS (backstage).

    In a letter send to KIBRIS, Mr Oktay Feridun writes that he resigned the committee for personal reasons and denies that his resignation is connected with Mr Soysal/s statements. He also denies that Mr Soysal told him to "Be like a Turk", as Mr Duzgun wrote. On his part, Salih Dayioglu called Mr Duzgun and told him that what he wrote was not true. Mr Dayioglu said that he was not a regular member of the Committee and that simply he had to participate in the hearings. But as he stressed he did not participate continuously in the meetings.

    [08] The Platform "This country is ours" called on the Republican Turkish Party to get out of Denktas/ "palace"

    AFRIKA (22.01.03) under the title "Get out of Denktas/ Palace" writes that the platform "This country is ours" warned the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) to stop participating in Denktas/ meetings, or it will take measures against it.

    According to the paper the organizations and the parties that consist the Platform had a meeting last nigh and decided that the participation of the RTP in Denktas/ meetings is harmful for the organization. The platform also decided to give a note to the RTP calling on it to stop participating in these meetings and warned that if the party does not agree, the members of the platform will withdraw and create a new movement.


    [09] In-depth analysis to the Annan Plan

    HURRIYET (22.01.03) publishes an article by columnist Enis Berberoglu in which he says that the "in-depth analysis" of the Annan Plan has been completed and an 18-page report regarding the legal and political aspect of the plan has been prepared and submitted to the top echelon of the state in Ankara for debate.

    Berberoglu does not mention who carried out the analysis.

    He says that in the conclusion section of the report it was mentioned that "the document with its latest form could not be accepted and it could not be even open for negotiation."

    He then quotes the headings of the "in-depth analysis" and writes: "It is possible to consider the maps mentioned in the plan as being the efforts of a good intention, because it only leaves two choices, the Karpass peninsula and Morphou. Naturally Turkey will oppose the Karpass map because of the security considerations. On the other hand the Turkish Cypriots will oppose to the Morphou map because it includes fertile land and water resources. It seems that both alternatives were proposed on purpose to bring the Turkish Cypriots face to face with Turkey".

    Subtitle: "Two out of seven will be Greek Cypriots"

    Berberoglu goes on and says that the report notes that at first sight the document appears to be taking into account the structure of bizonality and bicommunality, however, it says: "The plan which envisages settlement of Greek Cypriots in the Turkish Cypriot component state, whose total number will reach 28% of the total Turkish Cypriots living in the Turkish Cypriot component state, will do away the bizonality and bicommunality structure. The report says that in the Turkish Component state two out of seven people will be Greek Cypriots".

    Sub title: "Our seriousness is being questioned"

    Berberoglu then writes that in the conclusion section of the report, Turkey' s giving up its official policy of "if the Greek Cypriot administration is admitted into the EU then Turkey and the TRNC will enter into integration", was criticized.

    The report says that following the Copenhagen Summit, Turkey, by not taking the declared measures with the occupied area, has shaken the trust people harboured towards it and as its seriousness is being questioned. Within this framework, writes Berberoglu, one has to admit that Turkey's slow action in fulfilling its pledges towards the Turkish Cypriots had a share in the present division among the Turkish Cypriots.

    [10] Cyprus With Clerides.

    Columnist Oktay Eksi writing under the above title in his column in Hurriyet (22/01/03) gives his impression regarding his meeting with President Clerides.

    He says: "Yesterday we had separate meetings with the two actors in the Cyprus problem who are famous for not giving in for so many years, in their positions in the Cyprus problem.

    As you guessed one of them is the President of the south Cyprus Republic Glafcos Clerides and the other the `president of the TRNC/ Rauf Denktas. We have met both leaders in their official residences. Both of them put their cause in a very firm manner before us. . And, we, at least the author of these lines, are forced to say that if they do not change their approach they cannot agree with each other. Because although they speak about the same cause they do not speak the same "language".

    Another interesting point is that Clerides says that he prefers to discuss the Cyprus problem with Rauf Denktas.He says that "if Denktas resigns and another interlocutor is appointed, then it would be necessary to start everything from the beginning".

    And when we mentioned this thing to Denktas we had the impression that he too prefers Clerides to another interlocutor.

    First let us start with Glafcos Clerides.

    We were of the impression that it was only Rauf Denktas who is saying that it was not possible to reach a quick settlement on Cyprus on the basis of the Plan submitted to the sides on 11 November 2002 by the UN Secretary - General Koffi Annan. As a matter of fact Clerides too says that " There are a lot of issues in the plan, such as the property issue, that we did not have the chance to discuss. So, for this reason it is not possible to conclude the talks until 28 February.

    Second point.Clerides was very pleased with the rallies organized against Denktas.He said: "To be fair we did not expect such a big reaction" and stressing that the Greek Cypriot side had nothing to do with those rallies.

    He had another welcoming issue: He said: "Tayyip Erdogan has said that he had found past policies regarding Cyprus wrong. However, he did not say which new policies he would apply in place of the policies he called wrong. He stayed short there."

    According to Clerides: "If no solution is reached in Cyprus the prosperity gap between the sides will be deepened so much that in future a settlement would be very dear. For this reason it is good to hurry up".

    However, despite the fact that he says this there is a clear reality: Clerides is relaxed. It is clearly seen that he is looking into the issue with the approach: "We have entered into the EU. It is their problem to worry".

    In fact a few days ago when he met with Denktas he put forward demands that they have never been put on the negotiation table before.such as "Six separate cantons for the Greek Cypriots that will settle in north Cyprus" and further more for the guarantorship he demanded "The number of the Turkish troops envisaged in the Annan plan to be stationed in Cyprus should gradually be reduced and eventually be zeroed".

    Just imagine! "What Denktas considers vitally important, Clerides comes and demands it to be zeroed.

    Please tell me. Could they agree?


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