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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-03-05

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.44/03 05.03.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Erdogan wants no fait accomplis in Cyprus. He does not explain his views on the faits accomplis of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of a small defenceless country.
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader is against the international legality in Cyprus. He wants to keep the booty of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation.
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister not clearly in favour of a referendum.
  • [04] Reference to Cyprus by Deniz Baykal during an interview with CUMHURIYET newspaper.
  • [05] "Why: 'An inch of land could not be given 'and why NO to Peace? The Father -in-Law's Island".
  • [06] The pseudoassembly decided to establish an ad hoc committee regarding the referendum issue.
  • [07] New action took place in front of the "assembly" in favour of holding a referendum.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Sener Levent expresses doubts whether the will of the Turkish Cypriots will be reflected in the result of a possible referendum on 30 March.
  • [09] Denktas arrives for crucial Cyprus summit.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Erdogan wants no fait accomplis in Cyprus. He does not explain his views on the faits accomplis of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of a small defenceless country

    Istanbul NTV television (04.03.03) broadcast live the address by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Justice and Development Party chairman, at JDP Assembly Group meeting.

    Following are excerpts from his speech and his reference to Cyprus:

    "Dear colleagues, it is correct that Turkey is passing through a historic period. This period is so complex that it cannot be understood properly if it is assessed only in the context of current information and out of the context of history, geography, culture, the world, and our region. The fact that JDP is in power during this difficult period is very significant in terms of the fate and future of our nation. When we said that we will not put the cart before the horse and that no alphabet in the world consists of only two words, we only tried to explain that the issue we face is not simply an issue of `yes' and `no'.

    Those who are finding it difficult to comprehend our understanding of administration have shown that they also find it difficult to understand the new Turkey because of their former habits. We are trying with our world, wisdom, experience, and realities to put into effect a political mixture. We inherited this mixture and synthesis from our history. Neither in our history, nor in the political understanding of today's JDP, do we have an approach based on ethnic roots. Furthermore, in line with our universal approach, we do not have a policy based on regional differences.

    We, therefore, are the ones who know best the sufferings of the Iraqi people near us. It is also very clear in our minds the price our country paid to soothe the pains of the Iraqi people. The whole world mobilized itself to save Kuwait after Saddam's invasion. The same world, however, did not extend a helping hand to Turkey when thousands of people poured into Turkey from northern Iraq and when Turkey gave shelter to these people. Nobody extended a helping hand, neither to Turkey nor to all those who took refuge in Turkey. We cannot, therefore, put on the same level our approach to the Iraqi issue to that of Australia and Norway because they are not aware of the history and risks of this geography. They will not be affected from the consequences of an eventual operation to be launched by the United States and Britain. We, on the other hand, will be directly affected by the developments nearby. We have to follow closely everything and make the necessary preparations.

    Turkey will not remain a spectator to the developments for its own security and for Iraq's territorial integrity. Turkey will determine, I think in the coming days, the means that it will find recourse to on how it will intervene in the issue.

    Dear colleagues, we are faced with the pressure of history in this process, which is not one of our doing and which we cannot prevent. We want Iraq's territorial integrity and peace for the Iraqi people, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. We have to think about our country's security and the well-being of our region. We have to talk with our people, neighbours, and allies. Yes, let nobody hope for help from heroism, tell us what to do, and give us lessons on government. Those who describe us as weak may long for past days full of tension, discord, and petty accounts. They may long for those days when they undermined the National Assembly's esteem by their politics; however, these efforts are to no avail.

    Past methods have been withdrawn from circulation by our nation, thanks to JDP. I am saying all this not because I am questioning the criticisms leveled against us, but because I look to the identities of those criticizing us and their contribution to the country. We have always said that we will be a government open to criticism, that our government will not have the other in our democratic understanding, that we are the party of all our citizens, and that we will serve all our citizens. We have pursued what we deem right and ended the policies conducted behind closed doors. I would like to say that those who wonder the secret of the appreciation we receive everywhere in the country can find out about it by reading correctly our open political approach. We adopted the same openness when we explained Turkey's thesis to the world leaders.

    I would like you to tell those who long for past politics if they cannot hear me, that the politics you long for is over.

    Esteemed colleagues, at this stage, I would like to once again assess our relations with the United States.

    I reiterate that the US Administration should pursue a policy, which will understand Turkey's sensitivities in the region. The United States should adopt a political stand, which will prevent the establishment of formations that will offend Turkey. Turkey will continue its relations with the United States with all its dynamism. The relations between Turkey and the United States based on historical depth and mutual respect will be further improved and gain new dimensions in the interests of the two countries.

    In the meantime, I would like to draw your attention to the worrying and saddening developments in northern Iraq lately. It is obvious that some circles, who were encouraged from the current situation, are playing a dangerous game over the sensitivities in the region.

    I am addressing everybody from this podium: Let nobody exploit Turkey's goodwill. Let nobody be carried away by false courage. Let nobody test Turkey's sensitivities. Turkey, as always, obviously attributes importance to the well-being of all the Iraqi people with the Turkomans, Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, and all the other elements.

    Meanwhile, I would like to say something to the Iraqi leadership and administration: Those who govern in Iraq are faced with the responsibility of taking more careful steps after the decision of the Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA]. It would be a grave mistake if the Iraqi administration showed the tendency to misinterpret the TGNA decision. The Iraqi administration has limited time to convince the whole world that it seeks to enter into an active and transparent cooperation with the United Nations for the well-being of its own people and the world peace. In pretending not to understand all this and sacrificing it with a tactic will confirm that the Iraqi administration is the one that takes the strongest and vital step to undermine world peace.

    The Iraqi administration should never attempt to misinterpret the TGNA decision and slow down the cooperation process with the United Nations. The Iraqi administration should read the TGNA decision correctly and not forget that there has been no change in Turkey's determination that the Iraqi administration should actively cooperate with the United Nations.

    In addition to the United States, the EU countries should follow carefully another process under way. For example, these last developments should not adversely affect the Cyprus talks. We support the solution understanding. Producing a dead-end will not serve any country and definitely cannot benefit Turkey. We say that we can not build a future by remaining in the past. The whole world knows and should know that we will not submit to any fait accomplis, which will cast a shadow over our national interests. This situation, however, does not pose an obstacle to our will and determination pertaining to the solution."

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader is against the international legality in Cyprus. He wants to keep the booty of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation

    TRT 2 Television (04.03.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has said that it is illogical and exaggerated to impose a solution that is not acceptable either to the Turkish Cypriots or to the Greek Cypriots.

    Denktas replied to TRT occupied Nicosia correspondent Ibrahim Gurkan Sari's questions in a special program on Cyprus aired on TRT 2 Television.

    Mr Denktas said that he would be going to Ankara for talks on 5 March. He recalled that UN Secretary-General Annan's proposal for a referendum in Cyprus will be discussed in the Hague. He stressed that it is impossible for the Turkish Cypriots to accept the terms imposed by the Annan plan without making the necessary changes, and added that he would be discussing that in the Hague.

    Denktas charged that it is not right for the EU to impose conditions on them. He alleged that with the plan, the Greek Cypriots will gain advantages such as the departure of the Turkish occupation troops and the return of the refugees to their homes, while the Turkish Cypriots will be faced with more than 100,000 refugees, and added:

    "What the plan gives us is more than 100,000 refugees. Their rehabilitation will take years. Our economic life will come to an end because we will always have at the back of our minds the question of when the Greek Cypriots will come, when they will want their homes back, will they ever want their homes back, and so on. What the plan gives us in the administrative system is a status between majority vote and the few votes given to a minority placed under protection. They want us to accept all that, to accept the map. Why? Why should we? We are saying that these clauses can be rectified, and that we need time for that, we need to negotiate."

    Mr Denktas again spoke against holding a referendum, and concluded:

    "The plan has many empty pages. How can we submit that to a public referendum? What we are supposed to submit to a referendum is the entire Annan plan with all its addenda. How can the people know about all these things?"

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister not clearly in favour of a referendum

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.03.03) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, responded to questions from journalists prior to the meeting of the JDP [Justice and Development Party] parliamentary group.

    On Cyprus reminded by a journalist that Mr Rauf Denktas will visit Turkey, Yakis was asked: "The Cyprus issue has fallen to the bottom of the agenda, but is a solution near?"

    He replied: "There are some aspects there that we have referred to as our red lines. If responses can be found to these things, then progress could be made. We have not entered into a policy of 'solve the problem by making concessions' on Cyprus. For the referendum, a condition was placed such that, if there were a referendum, we would have accepted the referendum results in advance. For that reason, we have to do some evaluation."

    [04] Reference to Cyprus by Deniz Baykal during an interview with CUMHURIYET newspaper

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (04.03.03) publishes an interview with Republican People's Party (RPP) Chairman Deniz Baykal by Mustafa Balbay.

    Following are Mr Baykal's replies to questions:

    Question: How do you evaluate the point that has been reached?

    Answer: It was a good job. The point that has been reached is a good one. It has become evident that the policy and diagnoses that we spoke of three months ago are correct. Since December we have been saying Turkey should not be a frontline, headquarter state. We uphold this view now as well. The will of the National Assembly also developed in the same direction. Turkey should not take any steps that lack international legitimacy.

    Question: People are trying to give the impression that this decision will harm Turkey. Do you agree?

    Answer: War is what will really have a negative effect on Turkey. The partitioning of Iraq would also cause harm to Turkey. Turkey should not take part in the process. The views we have been upholding are being assessed at the levels of the National Security Council and the Presidency as well. The RPP saw everything beforehand and determined its approaches accordingly. The same is valid for Cyprus.

    Question: Could there be a difference in opinion between the JDP group in the government and Erdogan on that issue as well?

    Answer: While calling upon JDP deputies, we are voicing the exigencies of state interests. They are also aware of this. On the issue of Cyprus, we had warned against being too keen on the Annan Plan right from the start. However, everyone had advocated signing it. We had said that the concept of bi-zonality could not be eliminated. They accused us of having outmoded ideas. What happened? The first plan was followed by a second, then a third.

    Question: Rumour has it that the RPP has an influence on the JDP and that the RPP's recent speeches have affected certain deputies.

    Answer: That is possible. They also thought our attitude was positive. We did not conduct cheap politics. With deep concern we spoke of what would be to the state's advantage. We strengthened hesitant JDP members. This was the picture that was painted. The TGNA was empowered to act in accordance with the will of the people. We proved that the will of the National Assembly could not be sold behind closed doors. This brought esteem to Turkey.

    Answer: How do you perceive the future?

    Question: We are at a new point. Of course, the stage we have reached does not make up for past mistakes. On the one hand the motion was rejected but on the other, the US Navy and its combat forces arrived at our harbors. This is a contradiction. This is the outcome of faulty administration. We would not have faced such a situation had the government acted openly and honestly at the beginning and frankly spoke of what it would and would not do and had it not given the impression that we would do what the United States wanted. Now the United States will feel cheated. This is serious inconsistency. Everyone saw that decisions concerning Turkey could not be made with mutual flattery and by depending on certain people.

    Answer: What do you think the government and Erdogan will do?

    Question: I listened to Mr Erdogan. His approach is one of "Let us wait and see what will happen, how much the United States will pressure us." In other words, their attitude is one of "We will act according to developments." They are making a mistake once again. This situation could spark off other problems.

    Question: The fact that the two motions were combined into one also prevented Turkish troops from going to northern Iraq. Comments that Turkey can no longer be influential there are being made. Do you agree?

    Answer: That is a different issue. Turkey adopted measures there with the understanding of legitimate defense. It is continuing to do so as well. We have troops there. Northern Iraq is a region that cannot be controlled by the Baghdad administration due to Northern Watch. Our troops will remain in northern Iraq just as planes taking off from Incirlik will fly over the region. Who did Iran get permission from when sending 5,000 troops there? As a part of the status quo in northern Iraq, Turkey will adopt all sorts of measures.

    [05] "Why: 'An inch of land could not be given 'and why NO to Peace? The Father -in-Law's Island"

    Under the above title YENIDUZEN newspaper (05.03.03) continues to publish the immovable property that belong to the Greek Cypriot refugees which were usurped by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and his immediate family circle.

    YENIDUZEN today publishes the photocopy of the so-called title deeds of the land usurped by Denktas' son Serdar's Father-in-law and director of the now bankrupt 'Kredi Bank' Mr Salih Boyaci. The paper reports that the area between the occupied Kapouti, Kyra and Chrysilou villages that belong to Salih Boyaci is about 705 donums which amounts to 1500 plots of land to build houses. YENIDUZEN further reports that the property that Boyaci acquired in occupied Morphou is about 233 football pitches.

    The paper reports that in the first Annan plan, the first map envisaged returning of the Karpass Peninsula to the Greek Cypriot side, and that the new Morphou was going to be built in the area between the occupied Kapouti, Kyra and Chrysilou villages.

    However, the paper adds, when it was decided that the 'Karpass peninsula' will be kept, then, as a result of this decision, the land where the 'father-in-law's island' is situated should be returned to the Greek Cypriot side.

    YENIDUZEN reports that it will continue to publish such title deeds.

    [06] The pseudoassembly decided to establish an ad hoc committee regarding the referendum issue

    KIBRIS (05.03.03) reports that the so-called assembly of the puppet regime, which held a meeting yesterday to discus the issue of the referendum concerning the UN plan for Cyprus, decided the establishment of an adhoc committee.

    According to the paper the ad hoc committee, which will have a meeting tomorrow Thursday, will work with promptness in order to reach a conclusion regarding the issue of the referendum. The decision taken by this committee will be discussed on the 7th of March, that is Friday afternoon, where the "assembly" will have a meeting for taking the final decision for the submission or not of the referendum.

    Moreover, as the paper reports, three Turkish Cypriot parties, the Republican Turkish Party, the Communal Liberation Party and the Progressive Renewal Party presented a so-called "draft-law" in the "assembly" for the submission of the referendum. This "draft-law" is expected to be discussed at the "assembly" on Friday. However the two parties of the coalition "government" of the puppet regime, the Democratic Party and the National Unity Party, have not decided yet, but parties' organs will convene and discuss the issue and will take their decision before the "assembly's" meeting on Friday.

    [07] New action took place in front of the "assembly" in favour of holding a referendum

    KIBRIS (05.03.03) reports that three organizations which are in favour of holding a referendum regarding the UN plan for Cyprus, gathered yesterday morning in front of the pseudoassembly where the issue was discussed by the Turkish Cypriot political parties.

    According to the paper, around two thousand members of the Turkish Cypriot Civilian Society Organization, the Committee of the Common Vision and the Platform "This country is ours" went on a strike that started at 9:30 am till 1:30 pm. The crowd gathered at Kugulu Park in occupied Nicosia and marched to the "assembly" where it stayed till the end of the "parliament's" meeting.

    The marchers carried placards with slogans "Referendum is the 'assembly's'' duty", and "You will bring the peace in our country". They also shouted slogans like "Denktas resign", "Representatives listen to our moans", "Denktas will give explanations to the youth", "Eroglu resign", "You cannot put obstacles in Cyprus' peace", "Down with the fascism" and others. As the paper reports the so-called police of the pseudostate closed down two roads near the "assembly" in order to prevent the rally and took hard measures in front of the pseudoparliament.

    The three organizations decided on the 1st of March to have an action every day of the week ahead calling on the Turkish Cypriot "officials" and Rauf Denktas to accept the submission of a referendum. Today members of the organization will make a car tour around occupied Nicosia in favour of referendum and peace. As the paper reports all the Turkish Cypriots are invited to participate in this and other actions.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Sener Levent expresses doubts whether the will of the Turkish Cypriots will be reflected in the result of a possible referendum on 30 March

    Under the title "The passion of the minority for referendum", Sener Levent writes in AFRIKA (05.03.03), inter alia, the following:

    "What else than treason to ourselves could demanding a referendum without defining the mass of the voters be? For a long time we were getting angry with those who have been saying: 'Turk goes, Turk comes'. We said that they had annihilated us. We have been turned into a minority in our own country. Since 1976 we won no election and we were not able to ensure the majority in the parliament. We have not been able to change Denktas. After every election we lost we have been complaining without anyone listening to us.

    Our will is mortgaged. We said that the votes brought from outside decide the result of elections, not our votes. We do not even know how many of us have remained here. However, our annihilation is obvious only by walking around in the streets. Despite that the situation is as described, now we wholeheartedly demand referendum.

    If going to referendum without defining who the voters will be is not a suicide, then what else could it be? How could we come out as winners from this election on territories where we have become minority?

    Does demanding a referendum with the current voter masses not mean that we knowingly abandoning our own will? Whose will is going to be reflected in this election? Is it going to be our will or the will of those who came from Turkey?

    Where is this referendum, which we demand with such enthusiasm in the streets without having any objections regarding the voter masses, leading us? .

    Do we officially register that we have no political will and we 'voluntarily ' leave our brothers from Turkey, whom we trust so much, to say the last word. .

    If the voters are the same and if to these voters new citizens have been added, then is accepting this situation and going to referendum not like leaving the last word to those who came from Turkey?

    Think for a while. We are the minority and we shall not be able to take this most important decision in our history. Our 'new citizens' will take this decision. And as after every election, which is conducted for the show, our experienced officials will tell us: This is your will.

    What has happened to us? Why are we deceiving ourselves? .Why are we not demanding a settlement in which the Turkish Cypriots will be the majority before we demand a referendum? .".

    [09] Denktas arrives for crucial Cyprus summit

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (05.03.03) carries the following analysis on Mr Denktas' visit to Ankara by Yusuf Kanli and Mete Belovacikli:

    "Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas will travel to Ankara today to attend a crucial summit at the Cankaya Presidential Palace on Thursday before he travels to The Hague to deliver a "yes" or "no" answer to a proposal of the U.N. chief to submit the U.N. plan for a comprehensive settlement on the island to separate referenda on March 30.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader is expected to complain during the Ankara talks that statements delivered publicly and remarks made in closed-door meetings by some "decision-makers" in Turkey were creating handicaps for him in the Cyprus talks process and ask the establishment for a firmer coordination mechanism.

    According to well-placed sources in Ankara, the Turkish Cypriot leader was particularly irritated with the claims that before he travelled to Cyprus, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan discussed the "referendum proposal" with some senior Turks and received their approval while he was not informed of any such development in the briefing papers sent to northern Cyprus on Annan's Ankara contacts.

    The sources said the Turkish Cypriot leader was expected to stress that the Cyprus problem was not his own personal problem or the problem of the Turkish Cypriot people alone, but rather is a national issue that also concerns the interests of Turkey and therefore should be handled in full coordination between northern Cyprus and Turkey and with an "above domestic politics" consideration.

    However, diplomatic observers in Ankara said despite the request of Denktas, the disharmony in the Turkish capital between the "official policy making mechanism" and the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) headquarters would most likely continue until after JDP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumed the Prime Ministry following his election to Parliament in the forthcoming March 9 Siirt elections. Well-placed sources said Denktas will be assured at the Cankaya meeting on Thursday of the continued full support of Turkey for his policies and will be told that only the government could speak on behalf of the country.

    Currently, there is disharmony between the government and the JDP headquarters on a variety of issues, including the Cyprus problem. The JDP headquarters, the views of which have been voiced by party leader Erdogan, is of the opinion that time is up for a Cyprus settlement, the ground covered in the talks should be considered sufficient enough and the problem should be solved immediately and without any conditions. The JDP headquarters is basing its Cyprus strategies on two assumptions; the Cyprus problem has long been on the agenda of the country, and the demonstrations in northern Cyprus in favor of the U.N. plan and against Denktas demonstrate that the power of veteran Turkish Cypriot leader has eroded.

    While both Prime Minister Gul and Erdogan have been stressing that they wanted a settlement on the island, as he declared in Tuesday's JDP parliamentary group, the former Istanbul mayor has been repeatedly declaring that "no settlement is not a settlement."

    Erdogan declared on Tuesday that the Cyprus talks should not end in failure. "Creating dead-end roads will not be in the interest of any country, and surely not in Turkey's interests. Such a move won't be a service to Turkey. We support a settlement on Cyprus. We are saying 'You cannot build a future while staying in the past.' The entire world knows well, should know well, that we won't accept fait accomplis that could cast a shadow on our national interests on Cyprus. But, this situation is not an obstacle for our will and determination for a settlement," he said.

    The JDP leader wants a settlement on the island, particularly for the EU membership of the country.

    Guenter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for enlargement, warned Turkey on Tuesday that the EU had a clear message to Turkey on the Cyprus settlement and that was if Cyprus settlement efforts failed, it would be very difficult to start accession talks with Turkey.

    Turkey, however, has been officially defending that Greek Cypriot EU accession would contravene the 1960 founding agreements of the Cyprus Republic and thus would lack legality.

    In government circles and in the corridors of Parliament there is talk that the JDP leader, first in talks with some American officials, pledged, "We will solve the Cyprus problem", and later, in talks with Annan during the U.N. Secretary-General's trip to Ankara, stressed, "The problem cannot be solved with the leaders, but with the people. Having referenda on the island will mean going directly to the peoples of the two sides and asking them whether they wanted a settlement. Such an approach will finish off the Cyprus problem."

    This and similar differences of approach between the ruling party's headquarters and the government are reportedly, among some senior cabinet members, leading to increased criticism of Erdogan and his "close aides."

    "Seeing Cyprus as a handicap for Turkey is not a line to be pursued by our party. Whatever has happened, for the past eight months Erdogan has been placing Cyprus on the table as a handicap. Our sensitivities are clear. We want to finish off the Cyprus problem in a fashion suggested by other organs of the state also and in a manner that would satisfy all parties, including Turkey and Greece. Mind you, we are not talking of a settlement, we are talking of finishing of this issue," circles close to Prime Minister Abdullah Gul commented.

    The presidency, the military and the opposition Republican People's Party constitute another front in Ankara regarding Cyprus. This second front, while united in opposing the approach of the JDP headquarters' approach to the Cyprus problem, have differences in details.

    The military no longer considers the Cyprus problem as an issue, which should be considered with an approach considering only the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Some military analysts defend that whatever the strategy the JDP headquarters could produce, as was laid down clearly at the latest February 28 National Security Council (NSC) meeting, Turkey must be ready for new possible tensions in the entire southern front from Cyprus to Iraq, and must act with the awareness that every stone in that front is linked with each other. "We must know that the loss of one playing piece may bring about a total defeat," a leading source commented, stressing that a "retreat" from the Cyprus position could land Turkey in a position to "retreat" in all fronts, including the EU.

    The presidential palace, however, is reportedly defending the view that the Cyprus problem ought to be solved in a manner answering "common interests of both the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey". Sources stressed that the presidential palace considers the struggle of Denktas not a product of his so-called intransigence, but rather based on his firm commitment to defend the rights of his people as well as Turkey's interests on the island.

    The opposition RPP, on the other hand, is reportedly approaching the Cyprus problem with a view of the Aegean problem with Greece. At a recent evaluation meeting at the RPP headquarters it was stressed that a flare-up in the Aegean would become unavoidable as the end of 2004 review date of Turkey comes closer. The party fears that at a time when Turkey's EU relations will gradually worsen, it would become easier for Greece to attain a result in the Aegean against Turkey. Under such conditions, Cyprus will become more important than ever, speakers of that meeting reportedly stressed."

    /SK


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