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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-01-30

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.20/03 30.01.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides under UN auspices.
  • [02] Statements by Mr Alvaro de Soto after meeting Mr Erdogan, Mr Gul and Ugur Ziyal in Ankara.
  • [03] The spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry comments on Alvaro de Soto/s contacts in Ankara.
  • [04] Denktas will work on a new map only if sovereignty is accepted for his puppet regime.
  • [05] Rauf Denktas met with Turkish Cypriots who moved to the occupied areas after the Turkish invasion of 1974.
  • [06] Radikal publishes a public opinion poll regarding the political parties in the occupied areas.
  • [07] Erdogan to stand at Siirt by-elections. [08. Talat met with Erdogan and Gul-Akinci held contacts in Ankara as well. [09. Denktas wants separate sport federations for the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [10] A campaign against Ali Erel has started in the occupied areas. [B.COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
  • [11] The Cyprus problem first priority for Erdogan.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides under UN auspices

    KIBRIS (30.01.03) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said that the Greek Cypriot side responded to part of the amendments, asked for by the Turkish side on the UN peace plan for Cyprus.

    Speaking yesterday after meeting President Clerides at Ledra Palace Hotel in the UN - controlled buffer zone, Mr Denktas noted: "They (the Greek Cypriots) have responded to a part of them (the amendments asked by the Turkish side). Of course we cannot reveal those things. They (the Greek Cypriots) believe again that they (the amendments asked by the Turkish side) do not fit into the plan. On Friday they will respond to the points, which have remained. We shall make an evaluation when we have the whole answer".

    Meanwhile, speaking before the meeting, which lasted one hour, he said that from now on the meetings would be taking place in the morning. Mr Denktas described as "shameful event" the fact that someone has sent an envelope with powder, which was thought to be anthrax to Mr Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary - General Special advisor for Cyprus.

    [02] Statements by Mr Alvaro de Soto after meeting Mr Erdogan, Mr Gul and Ugur Ziyal in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.01.03) reported from Ankara that the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan`s Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto said on Tuesday that Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and he had discussed the issue of the map, one of the most controversial issues of the plan which was presented to the sides in Cyprus by Annan.

    Speaking at a program which will be broadcast by private TV8 Channel on Wednesday, de Soto said that there was only one map in the plan.

    Responding to a question, de Soto said that it was correct that they had been discussing possibilities and making some changes in the map that could be accepted by the Greek Cypriot side.

    Mr de Soto noted that a possible military operation against Iraq would not cause any delay in the date, which was set as February 28, to find a solution to the Cyprus question.

    On Tuesday Mr Alvaro de Soto, responding to questions of journalists after meeting with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, said that they took up many problems with Ziyal

    De Soto said that he conveyed the message to Ziyal that the concerned sides should act urgently regarding the Cyprus issue, adding that signing an agreement until the end of February was important.

    Noting that an agreement was possible, de Soto said that both sides should have political will and they should work hard to this end. All sides have an interest from an agreement, de Soto said, adding this was an opportunity that should not be missed. He stressed that if the sides on the island and Turkey and Greece reach an agreement, the Annan plan can be amended, adding: ``Yet we must see if an agreement will be reached or not.``

    Speaking to the press after meeting Prime Minister Gul, de Soto said that he had a productive meeting with Gul, adding: ``We took up the urgency of the solution of the Cyprus problem.``

    Mr de Soto further said that he was pleased with the encouraging impression he got from Prime Minister Gul for the solution of the problem, adding that Prime Minister Gul mentioned the strong commitment of Turkey for a solution.

    Upon a question, de Soto said that the Prime Minister also shared his views about the urgency of the problem. De Soto said that Prime Minister Gul also believed that the problem had to be solved before February 28.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia (29.01.03) reported from Ankara that on Wednesday, addressing journalists following his meeting with Mr Erdogan, de Soto said that they had taken up the Cyprus question in general.

    Noting that he had not presented any maps to Erdogan, de Soto said that they discussed the issue in detail.

    De Soto told reporters that Erdogan was willing to find a solution to the Cyprus question.

    When asked whether or not he observed any contradiction between the views of Rauf Denktas and Erdogan, de Soto said that Erdogan`s views had already been clear, and added that this question should be posed to Mr Erdogan.

    [03] The spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry comments on Alvaro de Soto/s contacts in Ankara

    TRT 2 Television (29.01.03) broadcast that commenting on UN envoy Alvaro de Soto's contacts in Ankara, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yusuf Buluc said that Turkey has objections to the Annan plan on Cyprus, and the main point of disagreement is the territorial distribution. Referring to de Soto's contacts, Buluc noted that it is natural to conduct work on a new map, and this work is continuing.

    [04] Denktas will work on a new map only if sovereignty is accepted for his puppet regime

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (29.01.03) reported on various statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas on the same day. Accordingly, Denktas pointed out that the Greek Cypriots will submit their proposals on the Annan plan today. Asked if amendments on the map were part of the proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriots, Denktas said: "We have said that we do not accept the map and that we are ready to work on a new map. We did not submit a new proposal, however. We need to reach an agreement on our sovereignty if we are to submit a map."

    Denktas went on to say that submitting a map would mean giving up on land and on sovereignty. "They must first accept our sovereignty, and then we shall see," he said.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader charged that the EU is encouraging the Greek Cypriots not to reach an agreement by promising it membership. He called on the Turkish Cypriots to have patience, and asked: "Had I announced on the first day that I would sign the document what kind of negotiation could I have conducted?"

    Denktas pointed out that certain circles wanted to create the impression that there are differences between his policy and that of Turkey. "With the arrival of the officials from Turkey," he added, "this impression has been eliminated." He stressed that Turkey and the puppet regime are moving together regarding the Cyprus issue, and affirmed that Turkey's support and wishes are behind every change proposed by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Noting that Turkish Prime Minister Gul may be visiting Cyprus, Denktas said: "It is wrong to think that everything will be over on 28 February. The Turkish Cypriots are not without alternatives. If an agreement is not reached, thanks to the preparations being made jointly with Turkey, the necessary steps will be taken to advance the `TRNC/. These steps include practical ones. Extensive work is being done to improve the lot of our youth and give them a new life." Denktas said that he is not concerned about the economy at all.

    Later on Denktas indicated that Turkey has started to plan the new aid package it will extend to the occupied areas in case the Annan plan is not signed by 28 February. He also said that if the document is not signed by that date, the Turkish side will continue to make efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. He added: "We would not want to disappoint the Turkish world by signing a bad agreement."

    [05] Rauf Denktas met with Turkish Cypriots who moved to the occupied areas after the Turkish invasion of 1974

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (29.01.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, today met with members of the society of Turkish Cypriots from the south who crossed to the occupied areas after the Turkish invasion of 1974. The head of the delegation, Oztekin Oztekiner, expressed the society/s confidence and support for Denktas.

    Speaking during the meeting Denktas said that certain circles want him to sign the Annan plan, that they think 28 February is a very important date, and that they believe disaster will strike on 1 March if the plan is not signed by 28 February. He said: "The real disaster will strike if I sign the agreement with my eyes closed. The people will then come to me and ask if I was blind when I signed it."

    Denktas said that the insistence that he immediately sign the Annan plan with his eyes closed is incompatible with the method of negotiations and with goodwill. He alleged that the Turkish Cypriots were refugees once and must realize what they have achieved today.

    Denktas pointed out that those who want to join the EU and travel abroad can go wherever they want by getting a Turkish passport. People must realize, he said, that their land and freedom are too precious to exchange for other things.

    Denktas asserted: "It is true that there are economic problems in the country. Those who think that the problems will be solved if I sign the Annan plan are wrong."

    He warned that the Annan plan, if signed, will reduce many things in the Turkish Cypriot economy, and that Turkey will have to extend three times as much aid as it does today. He asked: "Those circles that want Turkey to keep away -- what will they do when that happens?"

    Denktas further stated that the Annan plan must be explained very well to the Turkish Cypriots, and that it is the duty of jurists and not the political parties to do that.

    Mr Denktas, recounted that he and Turkish Foreign Minister Yakis reviewed the principles in the plan once again, and that Turkey too wants the changes the Turkish Cypriots want made.

    [06] Radikal publishes a public opinion poll regarding the political parties in the occupied areas

    Murat Yetkin of Turkish mainland RADIKAL (29.01.03) publishes a public opinion poll conducted between 16 and 19 January by the Eurasian Strategic Researches Centre regarding the strength of the Turkish Cypriot political parties. The poll was conducted in 11 settlement places with the participation of 1212 persons.

    According to the results of the poll, if there were "elections" today the Republican Turkish Party of Mehmet Ali Talat would take the 35.5 % of the votes. This means that RTP has become the most powerful party in the occupied areas.

    The percentages of the other parties are as follows: National Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu 33.7 %, Democratic Party of Serdar Denktas 19.1 %, Communal Liberation Party of Huseyin Angolemli 3.1 %.

    RTP is mostly supported by young people between the age of 18 and 45, while people older than 45 years of age support the NUP.

    [07] Erdogan to stand at Siirt by-elections

    Turkish Daily News (30.01.03) reports that sources close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) said on Wednesday that popular leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has finally decided to announce his candidacy for the upcoming Siirt by-elections.

    The decision is not a surprise for Turkey. It has been expected that Erdogan would stand at the Siirt elections, which will pave his way to become the prime minister of Turkey.

    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 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.

    Earlier this month, SEB (Supreme Election Board) 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.

    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.

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

    [08] Talat met with Erdogan and Gul-Akinci held contacts in Ankara as well

    KIBRIS (30.01.03) reports that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party, Mehmet Ali Talat, had separate meetings yesterday in Ankara with the leader of the Justice and Development Party, Recep Tayip Erdogan, and the Turkish Prime Minister, Abdullah Gull.

    Mr Talat met for an hour with Mr Erdogan and informed him about his party's positions for the Cyprus talks and the UN Plan. He also said to Mr Erdogan that the solution of the Cyprus problem is essential for the success of Turkey's progress towards the EU. Mr Talat met for an hour with Mr Gul as well. During the meeting, the two men discussed the Cyprus problem and the necessity of an urgent solution. Mr Talat, who returned to Cyprus yesterday, also had meetings with various Trade Union organizations in Ankara where he discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    In a statement after the meetings with the two Turkish politicians, Mr Talat said that he was pleased with the talks and stressed that the Turkish government is determined for a solution to the Cyprus problem. "The non-solution cannot be a solution." The Cyprus problem must be solved urgently. The Turkish government has the same opinion", he said.

    Moreover, ORTAM (30.01.03) reports that Mustafa Akinci, former leader of the Communal Liberation Party had a meeting in Ankara with the member of the parliament of the Republican People's Party, Mustafa Ozyurek. Mr Akinci went to Ankara with a group of representatives of the platform "This country is ours" where they held discussions and exchanged views regarding the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    According to the paper, Mr Akinci informed the Turkish politician about the platform's actions and the latest developments on Cyprus. Commenting on Mr Denktas/ latest statements, Mr Akinci said to Mr Ozyurek that North Cyprus is not only Rauf Denktas. He also said that Rauf Denktas himself has weakened his negotiating power because of his position during the Copenhagen summit.

    [09] Denktas wants separate sport federations for the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots

    VOLKAN (30.01.03), under the title "Sports are not Cyprus National sports but must be belong to two separated states", reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, had a meeting yesterday with the president of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, Sinan Erdem where he expressed his views regarding the sport issue after a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    According to the paper, Mr Denktas alleged that since two separate nations live in Cyprus, in case of an agreement sports must be separated as well. He also said that due to the Cyprus agreements of 1960 there were two authorities for the sport sectors of the two sides and stressed, "Cyprus National sports have never existed in Cyprus".

    Rauf Denktas also said that the National Olympic Committee of Turkey must help the pseudostate to lift the "embargo" in sports that the Turkish Cypriots face for 40 years, as he claims, so that the Turkish Cypriot youth may be able to participate in sporting events.

    On his part, Mr Erdem said that "sports must go parallel with politics" and that efforts are made for lifting the embargo. He also stated that he will expect for Mr Denktas/ instructions towards this direction.

    [10] Campaign against Ali Erel has started in the occupied areas

    Pro-Denktas VOLKAN newspaper, mouthpiece of the National People/s Movement, (NPM) has started a campaign against the President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade, Mr. Ali Erel.

    Under the title "Ali Erel resign", VOLKAN (30.01.03) reports that reactions against Mr Ali Erel, who has turned the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade as headquarters of the pro-EU and Annan Plan lobby, are increasing every passing day.

    The paper writes that a large number of the Chamber/s members are against Mr. Erel, they are preparing to withdraw from it and stopped paying their contributions to the Chamber.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] The Cyprus problem first priority for Erdogan

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (28.01.03) publishes the following commentary by Muharrem Sarikaya under the title: "Powell's support for Erdogan":

    "It seems that the disagreement, which arose between `TRNC/ and JDP [Justice and Development Party] leadership over the solution of the Cyprus question, will persist.

    The JDP leadership has decided to launch a diplomatic offensive in the coming weeks, which will spotlight the current juncture reached in Cyprus and the new policy the JDP intends to unveil.

    Party Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dedicated much of his time to visiting various countries in the past two months, has also decided to stay in Turkey until mid-March, according to sources.

    He is quoted as saying that the Cyprus question will be his first priority.

    Erdogan believes that if the Cyprus question is not resolved, a great opportunity would be missed and it could even undermine the process of Turkey's accession to the EU. He wants the dispute to be settled before 17 April, when Southern Cyprus will join the EU alone if no agreement is reached until then.

    The comments made by JDP sources yesterday indicate that Erdogan has no intention of backing down on the policy he has formulated regarding Cyprus.

    Subtitle: Powell's comments

    He feels that he has built up a strong position with the support he commanded from both the EU-member countries and the United States. He believes that those countries, especially the United States, share his views about how the dispute in the island should be resolved.

    Thus, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who met with Erdogan in Davos recently, is said to have emphasized his country's support for Erdogan's stand on this matter.

    According to sources, Powell turned to Erdogan during the meeting and said: "We are completely supporting your policy aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus issue and we are standing by you."

    The JDP was further encouraged by the opinion poll recently conducted in the `TRNC/ by a polling company hired by daily newspaper Kibris."

    According to JDP sources, 75 percent of the respondents said that they were in favour of Erdogan's policy.

    Delighted by this support, JDP officials have already rolled up their sleeves with a view to putting a plan, which they have devised a while ago, into practice.

    What they are intending to do is to initiate a public debate in Turkey about the plan, which, according to latest signals, will be revised by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan by means of a shuttle diplomacy.

    An expert, who is in charge of the scheme, intends to create a forum for debate, where a group of wise men familiar with the Annan plan, could explain it to the public using a simple language.

    Erdogan also believes that both Clerides and Denktas are able to remain in power by pursuing a policy which is based on the assumption that the longstanding impasse is the best solution.

    Subtitle: Vacuum can be filled

    In spite of the fact that the JDP has devised a specific plan, finding a quick solution to the Cyprus question by means of such debates seems highly unlikely.

    Thus, Turkey's legitimate concerns about the Annan plan were yesterday reiterated by Army Commander Aytac Yalman during his visit to the island.

    Yalman cautioned that the island is facing the risk of returning to the civil strife witnessed in 1963, underscoring that the Turkish Armed Forces would not allow any attempt designed to undermine peace and stability in Eastern Mediterranean.

    His remarks and stand clearly demonstrated that the Turkish Army was standing by Denktas.

    The messages given by Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, who went to the island two days ago, were also in line with Yalman's comments.

    Yakis said: "Our government is lending full support to the policy being followed by the Cypriot leadership regarding the Cyprus question."

    Yakis' remarks clearly show that his opinions differ from those of Erdogan, his leader.

    This picture leads us to two conclusions:

    1. The Foreign Ministry disagrees with the JDP leadership on the way to be followed for resolving the Cyprus issue.

    2. As personally pointed out by Erdogan, the vacuum that has emerged in politics is being filled by the military."

    /SK


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