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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-02-03
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.22/03 01-02-03.02.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President CleridesIllegal Bayrak Radio (31.01.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr.Rauf Denktas, on 3 February met with President Glafcos Clerides within the framework of the direct talks initiated with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the Cypriot issue. They met at the International Conference Center situated in the buffer zone. At the meeting, Clerides continued to respond to the Turkish Cypriot proposals submitted by Denktas.
In a short statement he made prior to the meeting, Denktas said: "We are waiting for Clerides' reply." He noted that they will receive the Greek Cypriot reply and that they will proceed with the talks accordingly. Asked to comment by a reporter on the rally to be held in Istanbul on 2 February under the banner 'Turkey's defense begins in Cyprus,' Denktas said: "Turkey's sensitivity regarding Cyprus is common knowledge. They have concerns. They are staging demonstrations. The Turkish nation is expressing its views and beliefs. I hope that these rallies will not be used as a cause for internal strife and that the Cyprus issue will continue to be one that is above parties."
After the meeting, which lasted about two and a half hours, Denktas replied to reporters' questions on his return to the occupied areas. Noting that at the meeting the Greek Cypriot side responded to the changes made by the Turkish Cypriot side, Denktas continued: "They are not accepting any of them. They have made their own changes." Noting that both sides promised to bring to the 3 February meeting the issues that they believe are a must and that without them an agreement cannot be signed, Denktas said: "Therefore, we will conduct that work."
In reply to a question on whether a third plan was included on the agenda, Denktas said: "At the moment, there is no such thing on the agenda. We do not know. Will they bring a third plan after they have received all our responses? This is not something we are aware of at the moment."
In reply to a question on whether the Greek Cypriots submitted their own changes, Denktas said: "They are insisting on the changes they had previously made. They had sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General. They are insistent on that. They are, however, saying that if both sides have made changes of some 40 to 50 paragraphs, then they should not insist on them. They are asking what the prerequisites are and saying that we should concentrate on them."
Asked to detail the issues that have been rejected, Denktas said that he will made a statement on the issue later. In reply to a question on whether an agreement can be signed by 28 February, Denktas said: " We shall see."
Meanwhile, Ankara TRT 2 Television (31.01.03) carried a live 20-minute interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas in Nicosia by Nermin Tuguslu in the studio.
Tuguslu asks him about the surprise meeting he just had with Alvaro de Soto, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy to Cyprus. Denktas replies that they reviewed the situation that arose following the meeting he had with President Clerides this morning. He says that the Greek Cypriots are refusing even the most basic issues, adding: "We say that if the top official is a Greek Cypriot as in the case of the district attorney or an ambassador, then his deputy should be a Turkish Cypriot, as was the practice in 1960. Even that they refuse on the grounds that it would cause discrimination. This shows their intention. The state they want to establish is a Cyprus state with a Greek Cypriot majority. On the other hand, we envision this state as a partnership state to be established by two equal sovereign sides. Therefore the difficulties continue."
Asked what de Soto replied to him, Denktas says: "It would not be right for me to say, because the Greek Cypriot side would be up in arms. He listened to us and took notes, as he always does."
Tuguslu asks if, after today, it will be more difficult to negotiate the Annan plan. Denktas agrees and adds that on Monday, 3 February, the two sides will exchange documents listing the principles they are not willing to give up.
Tuguslu asks him what proposals were made and rejected today. Denktas replies that the Turkish Cypriot side's sine qua non principles are known to all, adding: "Equal sovereignty, the non-dilution of Turkey's guarantees, the non-dilution of bizonality, the prevention of the settlement of hordes of Greek Cypriots into the Turkish Cypriot areas." Denktas says he thinks the meeting on Monday will be a difficult one.
Asked what the current situation is regarding the differences -- as reported by the media -- between his statements and those of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Denktas says: "That is a thing of the past. The Turkish Government and we are in full agreement. We have the same views. We think alike regarding the sine qua non principles. Consequently, there are no difficulties in our relations with the Turkish Government."
To the question on what will happen if an agreement is not reached by 28 February, Denktas replies: "One of two things can happen. We will assess the situation. Of course we will assess it with Turkey as well. Then we will reach one of two conclusions. We may say 'it does not matter, let us go on with the talks until 16 April. We have time until then.' Or we may say 'there is no use in going on with the talks.' In that case, we would take new measures and cooperate with Turkey to improve our state. It is one of two things. We will reach our decision. In other words, it is not that we do not have alternatives. The world will not come to an end after 28 February."
Denktas goes on to say that for the Greek Cypriots, the Cyprus problem is the presence of Turkish troops on the island and the inability of the Greek Cypriot refugees to go back to their homes and properties. He points out that the Annan plan is along those lines.
Asked if he will resign in line with the calls of the opposition, Denktas replies that the opposition has started to realize that certain aspects of the Annan plan must be changed. Furthermore, he notes, innumerable delegations from villages and towns are coming to his office extending their support and urging him not to resign, so much so that, he is finding it difficult to work. He adds: "We are continuing to fulfill our duties in a democratic system. We will try to do whatever we can. We hope that we will do it well. If we do not, then we will let the people decide."
Asked if an annexation is still possible, he says not an annexation but an integration with Turkey is still possible if the Greek Cypriots join the EU on their own. He says: "In that case, until Turkey joins the EU, we will adapt our law, together with Turkey, to that of the EU. In other words, we will also get prepared to join the EU. Since the EU wants the whole of Cyprus, it will surely not turn its back on us forever."
 The Turkish National Security Council discussed Iraq and CyprusAnkara TRT 2 Television (31.01.03) broadcast the statement issued by Turkey's National Security Council after its meeting on 31 January.
The statement is as follows: "The National Security Council [NSC] held its routine monthly meeting on 31 January 2003. In light of the security reports on the past month, it reviewed the security and public order situation throughout the country. It discussed foreign policy developments that closely concern Turkey's security. Accordingly:
1. The NSC assessed the latest developments concerning Iraq. Turkey believes that Iraq must be purged of mass destruction weapons in line with Resolution 1441 of the UN Security Council. For this purpose, it is important for the Iraqi Administration to display actively and with no waste of time the cooperation it has shown until now regarding the UN arms inspectors' activities. If Iraq speedily shares with the United Nations the information and evidence that will satisfy the international community, this will be in the interests of Iraq as well as all the regional countries that do not want renewed fighting. Turkey favors the peaceful solution of this problem that is facing the international community. The continuation of efforts to reach a peaceful solution is still a priority for Turkey. There is no doubt that a resort to a military alternative will lead to dangerous consequences for the regional countries. International legitimacy and consensus on the issue of a military operation are basic principles that guide Turkey's stand. Even though it prefers a peaceful solution, Turkey will not refrain from taking measures to protect its national interests in case a military operation becomes inevitable.
In light of the views stated above, by continuing to try peaceful methods and based on the condition of international legitimacy as required by Article 92 of our Constitution, the NSC has decided to recommend to the government to take steps -- by following the developments and in line with a set schedule -- to enable the Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA] to reach decisions that will activate military measures to fully protect Turkey's national interests against undesired developments.
2. The NSC discussed the Cyprus issue. It stressed the importance of the negotiations being conducted on the plan submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the sides for the solution of the Cyprus problem, and expressed support for the efforts being made to reach a solution. It emphasized the importance of taking, with determination, the steps called for by the negotiation position formulated by our government with the contributions of the concerned authorities and following consultations with the authorities of the `TRNC'. The NSC stressed that both sides must pursue a constructive policy of goodwill, and expressed strong support for the stand displayed by `TRNC' President Rauf Denktas -- who was the side that proposed to hold direct talks in the first place -- for a solution during the negotiation process."
Reporting on the NSC meeting, Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (02.02.03) reports that the National Security Council [NSC] decided to draw up a new and comprehensive economic package with the aim of eliminating the increasing discontent among the Turkish Cypriot community. Prime Minister Abdullah Gul is expected to visit Cyprus in the coming days in order to disclose the package, which will be drawn up in the very near future.
According to information gathered regarding the matter, officials discussing the Cyprus issue during the NSC meeting stressed that the Greek Cypriot administration believes that it has guaranteed its EU membership and that it gives the impression that it is not inclined toward conciliation due to the presidential elections that will take place in February.
The participants in the NSC meeting reached the conclusion that under these conditions, even if the Turkish Cypriot side displays flexibility, it is extremely difficult to reach a lasting solution that can guarantee the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. Consequently, the participants decided to draw up an economic plan aimed at improving the economic conditions in north Cyprus and to raise the level of the economic situation to that prevailing in the Greek Cypriot sector.
According to the plan, the economy of the occupied areas will be improved with the help of a comprehensive economic package. Not deeming this sufficient, a comprehensive financial aid will be extended to the puppet regime and the necessary mechanisms will be set up for bringing about a sustainable economic structure.
Moreover, according to the new economic plan, facilities will be granted for exporting `TRNC' goods to Turkey and for carrying out trade activities through the occupied areas.
Meanwhile, according to ALITHIA newspaper, in remarks he made during a get-together with the "Rizokarpasso Coordination Committee" made up of Greek Cypriot refugees, Clerides said that he would not retreat even an inch with regard to the return of Karpass to the Greek Cypriots, reports CUMHURIYET.
 Low turnout reported in rallies organized in Ankara and Istanbul in support of DenktasAnkara Anatolia news agency (31.01.03) reported from Ankara that a total of 112 non-governmental organizations that met in Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) on Friday issued a joint declaration at the end of their meeting.
The declaration stressed that Iraq`s territorial integrity should be protected and Turkey should do its best for that.
On Cyprus the declaration said the puppet regime was face to face with an annihilation process due to pressure put by European Union (EU) and the U.N. under the name of ``solution`` and due to impositions.
The EU and the U.N. forced Turkey to make concessions on the Cyprus issue continuously, the declaration pointed out.
However, the declaration noted, the first article of the Treaty of Guarantee signed in 1960 envisaged that the Republic of Cyprus could not partially or totally join political and economic unity with any country. The declaration said: ``The EU obviously violates international law and agreements with its decision to admit the Greek Cypriot administration as a full member. This unilateral and unlawful decision of the EU about Cyprus` membership only binds the Greek Cypriot administration and cannot serve anything other than integration of `TRNC' with Turkey.`` ``Turkey has indispensable national security interests related with the Cyprus issue. This is the prior and important issue.
Representation of Cyprus in the EU as a whole and under the Greek Cypriot administration and the Annan plan prepared to annihilate Turkish existence in the island unfortunately don`t foresee a good future for `TRNC' and Turkish Cypriot people,`` the declaration alleged.
The declaration stated that Annan`s plan "promised" an economic, social and psychological "destruction" for Turkish Cypriot people.
Turkish Cypriots would be harmed if the plan was accepted, the declaration pointed out.
The declaration said that "TRNC" was wanted to be annihilated with the plan presented as a solution.
``Annan`s plan is a plan for `occupation` not a `compromise` in its current shape,`` the declaration read out.
The declaration stressed that the non-governmental organizations were saying "no" to Annan`s plan, the imposition made by this plan and that fait accompli.
``We extend full support to Denktas and give him civilian authority. Turkey should stand behind Denktas with all its institutions. We expect the government to clarify its Cyprus policy and to give a message to international arena determinedly and as a single voice,`` the declaration added.
Moreover Ankara TRT 2 Television (02.02.03) broadcast that a rally was held in Istanbul today to express support for the Turkey's puppet regime in occupied Cyprus and Rauf Denktas.
Participation in the rally was lower than expected. The rally, which started around 1400 ended around 15:30. Political party representatives addressed the rally. The parties in question are those that are not represented in the National Assembly. In his message to the organizers and participants of the rally, Rauf Denktas said: "I fully stand behind the Turkish Cypriots' faith in the cause. No one can separate us from one another, and no one can create strife between us."
The following slogans were heard in the rally in support of Denktas: 'Turkey stands shoulder to shoulder with Cyprus' and 'Giving Cyprus away is like giving Turkey away.' Other than this, messages were also issued in connection with the US policy on Iraq. The demonstrators and the organizing committee conveyed the message that efforts are under way to pressure Turkey with the aim of supporting the US policy on Iraq and weakening Turkey's hand.
The unfavourable weather conditions set the tone of this rally, and there was a low turnout here in the square today, reported TRT 2 television.
 The DP made known the points it wants changed in the Annan PlanIllegal Bayrak Radio (31.01.03) broadcast that the Democratic Party [DP] today announced to the public the points which it wants changed in the Annan plan submitted to the sides in the Cyprus issue. DP Chairman Serdar Denktas said that the changes which the DP wants in the plan were conveyed to Rauf Denktas at a meeting held with him. Serdar Denktas further called on the other political parties to announce to the public the shortcomings of the plan and the points which they want changed.
In a written statement he issued today, Serdar Denktas enumerated the many amendment proposals of the DP ranging from the map, to the property arrangements, the guarantor countries, and the issue of citizenship. The statement noted that the border adjustments should, to a great extent, follow a straight line to avoid administrative and public security problems and that the concept of cantons be eliminated.
The statement further asked that economic factors be taken into consideration while making the adjustments. Proposing a global property exchange that will rectify past injustices, the statement added that the guarantor countries should guarantee the constitutional order of the state to be established. The statement further noted that instead of the proposal made in the plan regarding the settlement of some 28 percent of Greek Cypriots in the north, an arrangement could be made whereby the number of returning refugees would not exceed 15 percent of the Turkish Cypriot electorate. The statement proposed that the moratorium period be fixed as five years. The statement proposed that citizenship be granted to those who have resided in the north for over a year prior to the signing of the agreement. Noting that the plan should be submitted to a referendum in its final form, the statement added that if it is endorsed then the negotiators should sign the agreement on the founding of the state as the two heads of the founding state.
 Statements by Rauf Denktas on the issue of the troops and guarantee rightsAnkara Anatolia news agency (01.02.03) reported from occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas said on Saturday that Turkey would bargain for the Turkish soldiers who would remain on the island in case of a possible solution.
Issuing a statement during a meeting the same day, Denktas said that Turkey didn`t accept the military figures that were proposed to them, it didn`t want dilution of its guarantorship on the island and that it didn`t accept the map that was put forward.
``Turkey has a great power, I don`t know how Turkey will talk to Greece, but what we tell is that we don`t accept the security programme that was presented to us. Turkey has to work on it and Turkey has to accept it,`` said Denktas.
``In this plan the existence of `TRNC' is not taken into consideration, even the title deeds it gives are not even taken into consideration. Therefore by recognition of the Greek Cypriot title deeds, a big uncertainty and chaos will be created,`` Denktas said. He added that there are many dimensions of the Annan plan which can`t be accepted, noting that although they tried to change the negative parts of the plan, the Greek Cypriot side does not have such an intention.
Denktas stressed that if there is no agreement in Cyprus on February 28, Turkish Cypriots won`t lose power and that necessary preparations were made both in the occupied areas and in Turkey. ``There won`t be a disaster after February 28 and the chance of the Turkish Cypriots to join the EU won`t end...We must be patient, we must know the bargaining power of the state and we should not wear out the bargaining power of our state. We carry out a bargaining, and if persons behind the negotiator urges him to sign whatever put on the table, the negotiator loses his bargaining power. This has been done to me. However our people started to realize slowly the advantages and disadvantages of the plan and they want us to carry out the bargaining process in a wise manner. I believe that we will have better days with patience as long as we claim ownership on our state,`` he said.
Denktas noted that the biggest problem is the situation of the people who will migrate whichever map is accepted, adding that there is no project about it.
 Rauf Denktas calls on Turkish Cypriots to have faith in the puppet regime and not in an agreementIllegal Bayrak Television (31.01.03) carried a three-hour program, the "Third Dimension," presented by Ozer Kanli. The studio guests were Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and young representatives of the political parties.
Kanli opens the program by welcoming Denktas and lamenting the failure of the Republican Turkish Party representatives to participate in the studio debate. He asks Denktas to comment on the Cyprus problem before he replies to the questions of the young party representatives. Denktas thanks him and outlines the history of the Cyprus problem since the establishment of the Cyprus Republic after the signing of the 1959 and 1960 London and Zurich Agreements.
He repeats the things he is saying for years and alleges that the main objective of the Greek Cypriot side is to force the Turkish occupation army to withdraw from Cyprus to be able to suppress the Turkish Cypriot community and establish a Greek Cypriot administration on the island.
At that point, Kanli says that the representatives of the political parties should be given an opportunity to ask questions. He invites the representative of the National Unity Party, (NUP) Serap Destegul, to take the floor. She draws attention to the Annan plan and asks Denktas how the two sides can find a way to reconcile their differences. Denktas recalls the controversies between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots on the Cyprus problem and says: "Insisting on our rights and explaining that we will not give in to the injustice done to the Turkish Cypriot community is the only way. Will the Greek Cypriot side be willing to reach an agreement with us if it joins the EU as the Government of the Cyprus Republic?"
Kanli asks Communal Liberation Party representative Ibrahim Karabardak to take the floor. Karabardak recalls the importance of the Turkish Cypriot rights and asks why the Annan plan is rejected. He also asks why Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides failed to call for the removal of the British bases when Cyprus will be disarmed and how the Turkish Cypriot side can insist on the Treaty of Guarantees and Treaty of Alliance when it informed the United Nations on 4 March 1964 that it renounced the rights given to it in the Cyprus Republic.
Denktas responds by saying that he is trying to defend the Turkish Cypriot side's rights in the talks. Noting that the Greek Cypriot side rejected all the proposals he submitted when he met Glafcos Clerides today, he asserts: "We have asked experts to study the Annan plan. The information they conveyed to us made us very uneasy. Radical changes have to be made in the plan. What a provision gives to the Turkish side is nullified by another. Regarding the Treaty of Guarantees, Treaty of Alliance, and the British bases, I must inform you that Britain is definitely behind the plan that has been drawn up by Alvaro de Soto. Britain, the United States, UN S ecretary-General Kofi Annan, and Alvaro de Soto cooperate to maintain the process. Obviously, Britain takes all the measures that are necessary to maintain the existence of its bases on the island, saying that they are British territory. How can we wage a struggle against Britain while we struggle against the Greek Cypriot side? If we have to wage a struggle, we must wage it when Cyprus is united again. Of course, that will depend on whether or not the Greek Cypriots will agree to do so. However, the British bases are not on the agenda."
Kanli intervenes to inform Denktas that the participants want to establish whether the Treaty of Guarantees can be upheld while the other agreements on Cyprus are rejected. Denktas responds: "The Treaty of Guarantees and the Treaty of Alliance will be given a new form to comply with the new partnership state. We are saying that we want those guarantees. However, that should not be taken to mean that they should be adopted in their present form. We want what the guarantees call for to be included in the agreement."
Kanli invites Democratic Party representative Sinan Yildiz to ask his questions. He recalls the statement the Democratic Party issued today and asks whether Denktas will agree to sign the Annan Plan if its provisions on property, the number of Greek Cypriots to settle in the Turkish Cypriots side, the payment of the debts of the component states, and the sovereignty of the two sides are amended. Denktas says: "A situation that would allow the signing of the plan will be created if they are amended. We submitted a proposal on the payment of debts. However, the Greek Cypriot side rejected it. We said that the Greek Cypriot side's debts total $6 billion. It used the amount to buy arms or other things. It used it only for the needs of south Cyprus. So, why should the Turkish Cypriot side, which has a population of 200,000 people, be forced to contribute toward the payment of that amount?"
Kanli asks New Initiative Party representative Oguzhan Hasipoglu to take the floor. He asks Denktas to explain what might happen to the Turkish Cypriot community if a solution cannot be found. Denktas says that everyone is obliged to maintain the existence of the "TRNC" and recalls his effort to establish a presidential system, believing that it would be more successful from the present parliamentary system. Lamenting the failure of the political parties to support his initiatives, he asserts: "You have a state. You are young people. You can work to improve your state. You can outline your views and work in and outside the framework of your political parties to achieve better results."
Kanli intervenes to recall the claims that Denktas is opposed to Cyprus' accession to the EU and that he even tries to obstruct Turkey's chances of joining the organization. Refuting the claims, Denktas asserts: "Those who make such claims are unaware that they actually harm the Turkish side's cause by attacking me. I do not draw up the Turkish side's policy on Cyprus by myself. I cooperate with Turkey to do so. Cyprus is a national cause. Turkey has the right to join the EU. Why should I oppose that? We expect the EU to focus more on the Turkish Cypriot side's problems because the Greek Cypriot side is using the organization against us. And, Europe condones that."
Kanli asks Communal Liberation Party (CLP) representative Evrim Hincal to take the floor. He asks Denktas whether the Annan plan is filled with traps and expediencies and whether he has discussed it in detail with the political parties. He also asks Denktas whether he has considered the consequences of a decision to reject the plan and the harm they might do to Turkey's interests. Denktas responds by saying that he discusses the Annan plan with the political party leaders from time to time and reiterates that he cooperates with Turkey to contribute towards the solution of the Cyprus problem. He says that no one should worry about Turkey's position because it is capable of safeguarding its interests.
National Unity Party (NUP) representative Tolga Tabak asks Denktas to comment on the claims that Turkey will become a country that occupies EU territory if the Annan plan is not signed on 28 February. Denktas responds: "Claims have been made that Turkey will be seen as a country that occupies EU territory if the plan is not signed on 28 February. Well, so what? What will happen if they do so? Will Turkey be an occupying country? No, it will not. The Turkish military forces will maintain their presence in Cyprus as a guarantor force in accordance with the 1960 Agreements. According to EU decisions, the Treaty of Guarantees continues to be valid. So, as long as those decisions exist and as long as the Greek Cypriot side continues to buy arms, reducing the number of the Turkish troops on the island is impossible. Do you follow the arms the Greek Cypriots buy? You must follow the way the Greek Cypriot side arms itself. What is it preparing for? I fear that the Greek Cypriots might make a foolish decision if they join the EU, believing that the organization will support them."
Kanli asks Democratic Party (DP) representative Gokturk Otuken to take the floor. He asks Denktas to explain how the Annan plan might weaken Turkey's guarantee and what has to be done to improve the Turkish Cypriot side's economic situation to help it integrate with the EU. He also asks Denktas to comment on the measures the puppet regime and Turkey might take to remove the existing status quo.
Denktas says that he wants to discuss what can be done to improve the situation of the Turkish Cypriots if an agreement cannot be reached. He asserts that many measures are contemplated and preparations are made to that effect. He notes that the Turkish Prime Minister will visit the occupied areas when the time comes to disclose the measures to be put into effect. He asserts: "From our point of view, the EU has to help us attain the economic level of the Greek Cypriot side if all the aspects of an agreement that will be reached will be put into effect. We will ask for many measures to defend ourselves against the Greek Cypriots. How long should those measures remain in effect. All that has to be considered. Allow me to reiterate that the "TRNC" will continue to be a potential EU candidate if an agreement cannot be reached. We will not turn our back to the EU. We are determined to join the organization. However, we are unable to agree with the Greek Cypriots. The EU recognizes the Greek Cypriot side as the Government of Cyprus. That was a wrong decision. So, we will have to adopt a policy that will encourage them to contact us under equal conditions."
Regarding Turkey's guarantee, Denktas asserts: "Turkey intervening in Cyprus after it joins the EU will be very difficult. That weakens its guarantee. A leading Greek Cypriot official, Markides, said that the UNFICYP units will be based in Cyprus as long as the Turkish troops remain on the island. The UN troops will be viewed as a super guarantor that will be responsible for everything. We are struggling to obstruct that in the talks. I will reiterate that Turkey acting as a guarantor power for Cyprus from outside the organization will be very difficult."
Communal Liberation Party representative Saygin Genc asks Denktas: "How many years do you need to conclude an agreement that will safeguard the interests of the Turkish Cypriots and the geopolitical interests of Turkey? My grandfather died before an agreement was reached. My father still waits for an agreement. Will I be able to see the conclusion of an agreement before I die?"
Denktas says that the young generation should vest its hopes in their state, not in the agreement. He notes: "The main objective of the Annan plan is to place us under the control of the Greek Cypriot side, which claims that our state does not exist and describes us as a minority which separated from the Cyprus Republic." Recalling the problems the Turkish Cypriots had to deal with in the past, he asserts: "It is true that we failed to help 200,000 Turkish Cypriots to achieve economic development. But, thanks to God that we have brought up many young men. We have many universities. You must seek their support. Turkey has never abandoned our people, regardless of its problems. You are asking when our economic problems will end. Have Turkey, Greece, and the other countries solved all their economic problems? The struggle will continue as long as we live."
Kanli asks National Unity Party representative Ozker Ozatay to take the floor. He asks Denktas to comment on the Annan plan's political structure and disclose whether or not it recognizes the Turkish Cypriot community's political equality. Denktas explains that the plan outlines provisions for very complicated election and administrative systems. Denktas wonders how the complicated election and administrative systems called for by the plan will be successfully applied. Inequality is obvious in every party of the plan, he says.
Democratic Party representative Tigin Kismir asks Denktas to explain why plans were not drawn up for development 28 years ago and why he disclosed that he will withdraw from the talks if the Turkish Cypriots support the Annan plan in a referendum. Denktas says that several development plans were drawn up in the past and notes that an initiative has been made to draw up a more radical one to quickly improve the situation. Regarding the referendum, he asserts: "Accepting the people's will is a duty. But, I do not have the right to comply with the will of the people on something that my conscience rejects."
Communal Liberation Party representative Ercan Afsaroglu asks Denktas why he wasted time in replying to Annan's plan, which was submitted to the sides on 11 November. Denktas explains that he was sick in hospital. However, he says he did not waste time because his assistants carried out the necessary work. Afsaroglu also asks why he and Glafcos Clerides failed to object to the presence of the British Bases on the island in their proposals. Denktas asserts: "The British bases are not on the agenda. We are discussing the Cyprus Republic. Allow me to say again that we should avoid opening a new front while we struggle against the Greek Cypriots."
Kanli asks Denktas whether he has recommendations to the young generations before he leaves. Denktas urges the young generations to peacefully debate the problems and find ways to cooperate. He notes: "You must realize that the present confusion in the community is not only due to internal factors. Our people are provoked by foreign forces. Serious designs have been drawn up to weaken Turkey, which has achieved success in Cyprus. Be proud of being a Turk and support your homeland. You might complain that you have been isolated. But you must realize that walking under a foreign flag is not easy. You must realize that you should join an organization as a member of a state. Being dragged into a partnership or an organization by someone else is quite different."
 Erdogan: "Solution will safeguard the existence of the Turkish Cypriots"According to HURRIYET (02.02.03), the leader of the ruling Justice and Development (JDP) party in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, answering indirect criticisms launched against him by the Turkish National Security Council said: "We are aware of our steps that we are taking in Cyprus, as we do, regarding the EU and Iraq. Those who, with their vain efforts try to cast a shadow on our efforts, in fact they are casting shadows on Turkey's interests."
Speaking at the meeting of the Council of Founders of his party, JDP leader Erdogan said that they do not support the "give and get rid" policy but, "solve and keep alive" policy. He went on and said: "Asking for a solution does not mean to right off the sovereignty rights of the Turkish Cypriots, just the opposite, it is an effort to safeguard the existence of the Turkish Cypriots. Demanding settlement does not mean to weaken the Security ring of Turkey".
 Statements by Mr Verheugen in AnkaraIstanbul NTV television (31.01.03) broadcast that EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen made important statements in Ankara, where he arrived last night to attend the Turkey-EU Troika meeting. He declared: "Cyprus will become an EU member in May 2004. Nothing can change this." Verheugen also said that the plan submitted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the sides in Cyprus is the best plan put forth to date. Verheugen also expressed support for JDP [Justice and Development Party] leader Erdogan on the Cyprus issue.
Verheugen replied to journalists' questions at Ankara's Esenboga Airport. If there is goodwill, a solution can be attained in Cyprus by 28 February, Verheugen remarked, and spoke in no uncertain terms with regard to Cyprus' EU membership: "The window of opportunity is still open. It is open until February, and then it will close. The decision has been made. The negotiations with Cyprus were concluded successfully. Cyprus will become an EU member in May 2004. Nothing can change this. What is under discussion here is whether this will be a united Cyprus."
Pointing out that he shares the views of Erdogan, who said that the officials of the Turkish Cypriots should heed the voices emanating from the people, Verheugen said that the plan submitted by Annan to the sides is the best plan proposed so far.
Verheugen declared that the political dialogue between Turkey and the EU launched by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, the EU term president, incorporates issues such as the Middle East peace and Cyprus as well. Noting that he does not believe that there are differences of views between the EU members concerning the Iraqi issue, Verheugen further expressed the conviction that peace must be given a chance. Asked if an active role to be assumed by Turkey in a possible Iraq operation would affect its relations with the EU, Verheugen remarked that the EU is aware that Turkey is in a sensitive position and has very special conditions
Moreover Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.01.03) reported from Ankara that the Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on Friday with European Union (EU) Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen.
No statement was made following the meeting held at JDP Headquarters.
JDP sources said Verheugen called for support from Erdogan for the solution of the Cyprus question, and gave the message that solution of the problem would also facilitate relations between Turkey and the EU.
Verheugen said they would increase financial aid, and move this aid from the budget of foreign relations to pre-accession budget.
Verheugen also gave assurances that an additional criterion would not be put in the Accession Partnership Accord.
 Lord Hannay in Ankara. He called on Turkey to make a decision on CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (02.02.03) reported from Ankara that Britain`s Special Representative to Cyprus Lord David Hannay said on Sunday that it was time to take a decision about the Cyprus problem.
Hannay, who went to Ankara to have contacts, said at Esenboga Airport that he didn`t bring a special message from the British government and that he wanted to exchange views with Turkish government officials about the Cyprus problem.
Hannay said that the Cyprus process entered a very critical period, adding that a very difficult and complicated process went on and that it was time to take a decision.
Upon a question about the proposal of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who proposed Turkey and Greece to take up the issues of guarantorship and some other issues at their bilateral talks, Hannay said that the number and mandate term of Turkish and Greek soldiers who will remain on the island had to be determined in some way. Hannay said that Turkey and Greece would decide the method of doing that and the sides can take up this issue by bilateral talks or under the auspices of U.N.
When asked if he believed an agreement could be signed until February 28, Hannay said, ``yes.``
Hannay will have contacts in Ankara on Monday.
 The speaker of the TGNA denies difference with Erdogan on CyprusAnkara TRT 2 Television (31.01.03) reports that Bulent Arinc, speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA], has said that there is no difference between what he says and what Recep Tayyip Erdogan says about the Cyprus issue.
The TGNA speaker paid a return visit to Erdogan, leader of the Justice and Development Party [JDP]. Following the one-hour meeting, the two spoke to the press. Arinc was asked if he had made any recommendations to the JDP in connection with the Cyprus issue. He said:
"I do not accept the term recommendation. Cyprus is a very important issue for us. It is a national issue. Essentially, there is no difference between what I say and what Mr Erdogan says about the Cyprus issue. In the speeches he has made until today, and during our meetings, Mr Erdogan views the issue the same way I do."
Arinc pointed out that Erdogan thinks that efforts must be made to solve the issue.
"It is impossible to say, as the media claims, that our opinions are different. We are persons who have been in politics together. We have looked at things in the same way. We believe that, even during the current process, it is the common wish of us all to reach a solution that will guarantee the future of the Turkish Cypriots and that will enable them to live in tranquillity, happiness, and prosperity," he concluded.