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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-03-11

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.47/03 08-09-10-11.03.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan shifts his policy on Cyprus from the Belgian model to two founding states and self-determination for the occupied areas.
  • [02] Erdogan alleges that he has been deceived by the UN Secretary-General.
  • [03] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader on the referendum after returning from Ankara.
  • [04] The Turks are pressing the US to recognize the puppet regime in occupied Cyprus in return for Iraq.
  • [05] Rauf Denktas left for the Hague. He is to ask for more talks.
  • [06] The talks towards finding a solution in Cyprus entered into an impasse in the Hague; Denktas reiterates his intransigent views.
  • [07] Denktas has been chosen as the "legal personality of the year".
  • [08] Non-official results of the 9 March Siirt elections.
  • [09] Separate referendum by the opposition parties.
  • [10] The outgoing Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul assesses his Government' s three months in power. He refers to Cyprus.
  • [11] Roman grave was found in the occupied village of Vassili.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Columnist in SABAH supports that Denktas opposes the Annan plan for personal reasons.
  • [13] Birand: "Cyprus solution will have to wait until 2004".
  • [14] Turkish columnist assesses "the meaning of integrity in Turkey".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan shifts his policy on Cyprus from the Belgian model to two founding states and self-determination for the occupied areas

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (09.03.03) broadcast live an interview with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of Turkey's Justice and Development Party, by Taha Akyol in "The Whole Truth" program.

    Following is the part of the interview on Cyprus: Question: The Cyprus issue has reached a very critical stage and Cankaya issued a statement, with some details and nuances, rejecting the plan of Kofi Annan and leaving the issue of a referendum with the "TRNC". It looks as though the message was conveyed that Turkey is not in favour of the Kofi Annan plan. From the beginning, you adopted the approach to pursue the Cyprus issue together with the EU. What are your views now?

    Answer: Kofi Annan paid me a visit when he was in Turkey. At the time, the main outline with regard to a Cyprus solution focused on a partnership state based on two founding states. In addition, there was the issue of Turkey's guarantee. Moreover, we sought to have a straight line drawn, without any zigzags. We had said, at the time, that the percentages of 28 and one-half or 29 and one-half are not that important. An approach, which already accepted the percentage of 29 and plus in a map, which was actually 36 percent, will probably accept the percentages of 28 and one-half or 29.

    Question: Actually, Mr Kenan Evren had already issued a statement to the effect that they will make some concessions on the negotiation table as they had gotten too much anyhow.

    Answer: We attach importance to sincerity on this issue. We have repeatedly said that we do not think that a non-solution can be considered a solution. We are still saying the same thing. It seems, however, that the United Nations is expecting a solution from the Turkish side only.

    Answer: I believe that Kofi Annan did not give you this impression during your meeting.

    Answer: No. He left a positive impression on me.

    Question: However, it did not turn out that way.

    Answer: The plan was not in our hands at the time. I even concurred it with my friends because I thought that I may have misunderstood it. I concurred with my colleagues whether we were really talking about two equal and sovereign founding states. We realized later, however, that there are shortcomings in the self-determination issue. In other words, I will not be the one to decide my fate.

    Question: I would like to ask you a question as a citizen, and not as a journalist. In other words, Kofi Annan presented you with a package wrapped in gold. Once you opened the package, however, you noticed that there was nothing to be wrapped in gold. Is this true?

    Answer: We did not talk about the whole of the package. We only talked about three, four outlines. Unfortunately, yes. There was incompatibility.

    Question: You mean between the statements of Kofi Annan and ....

    Answer: We realized in the plan submitted to us later that there were differences.

    Question: And, is this very important?

    Answer: Yes. I was really sad when I saw the differences. Let me give you some examples from the map. For example, it is said that the Rizokarpasso region is given to the Turks. It is correct that the region is physically given to the Turks. The problem is, however, that some 12,000 Greek Cypriots will settle in the Karpass region.

    Question: It is as though ..

    Answer: On the one hand the region is given physically, and on the other, Greek Cypriots are settled in the same region. In other words, you have control of the region both administratively and de facto. So, how come we were going to turn Cyprus into an island of peace? This is not turning Cyprus into a peace island. I will give you another example. A thin line is drawn toward the shores of Lefka and it is given to the Greek Cypriots. Later, however, Lefka is linked with a road to Morphou. In this way, a canton-like region is created in this region, even if it is artificial. That is, they are doing in Lefka what they were unable to do in Karpass. In the same way, by building an overpass in a joint point between the Dhekelia Base and the "TRNC", a small canton is created there as well.

    Question: Is this what Denktas meant when he said there were traps?

    Answer:I suppose that this could be one of them all. This emerged from the meetings I had with our minister and the authorized personnel in the Foreign Ministry, not from Mr Denktas.

    Question: Then, the Cankaya statement was sort of a rejection to the Kofi Annan plan.

    Answer: Let us not consider this as a rejection. I suppose, however, that the delegation, which went to the Hague and which comprises of Mr Denktas, our Foreign Ministry under secretary, and his colleagues, will ask for the negotiations to continue and not to be rushed into taking a wrong step by being told that the time has come. I think that this is how they will act.

    Question: This issue will continue for some time more, then. It is not as though a solution to the Cyprus issue is in the horizon.

    Answer: At present, efforts are exerted to link this issue to the EU, and this I find extremely wrong. There is no Cyprus issue in the Copenhagen criteria. It is extremely wrong to persistently impose the Cyprus issue on us. We explained this to all the 14 countries we visited.

    Question: Is this a political reality, even if it is wrong legally, diplomatically, and logically?

    Answer: Yes. This is the policy. We are also looking for sincerity, however.

    Question: You say that you do not encounter any sincerity.

    Answer: Turkey cannot make all the concessions. Turkey is expected to make all the concessions. We ask for a date for accession talks from the EU, and it hesitantly gives us the date of December 2004. Turkey is in demand when there is an issue such as Iraq. In the Cyprus issue, in turn, they ask for settling this issue immediately. This is all very good, what is being offered to Turkey, however? Which promises given to Turkey are being kept? We are not a nomadic tribe, this is Turkey. We are a nation with an understanding and tradition of state based on hundreds of years. It is not very easy to put up with each and every view that comes along. To tell you the truth, I became very sad when I saw the shortcomings in the third Annan plan and it would not be right to go into the technical details here.

    Question: Tell me if I understand you correctly. The Europeans, mainly those who are opposing the United States on the Iraqi issue, ask us to support them. When it comes to the Cyprus issue, however, they withdraw their support. Is this true?

    Answer: Approximately.

    Question: What will happen in the Hague? Kofi Annan asks for a "yes" or "no" answer.

    Answer: I do not think they will be able to give a "yes" or "no" answer tomorrow. I believe that a solution will be found. I do not know what that will encompass. It could be that the referendum process will be delayed. This is not a sine qua non. The referendum issue can be delayed by a joint decision.

    Question: The Greek Cypriot side, however, is waiting to enter the EU.

    Answer: The issue has become tight.

    Question: You are saying that nothing will happen if this process continues for another year.

    Answer: Nothing.

    Question: Do you think that we will have lost our trump card once the Greek Cypriots become EU members?

    Answer: In my opinion, they are the ones who are in difficulty because any country that will become an EU member should not have any problems within its borders.

    Question: And, there is the Cyprus issue.

    Answer: There is a problem if the Greek Cypriot side becomes an EU member as Cyprus. There is the Cyprus issue and northern Cyprus. Once they become EU member with the Cyprus problem, this will put an indisputable blemish on them. At first, they need to resolve this issue. It will be a grave mistake for the Greek Cypriots to take the step for the EU before they resolve the Cyprus issue. They should also find a just solution to this issue. We are not against the EU. Actually, we are the ones who seek to speed up this process. We are the ones who passed the constitutional amendments one after the other. Thank God, we have a good dialogue with the opposition on this issue. At the moment, preparations are under way to pass the sixth package. This package is also expected to be adopted speedily.

    Question: I have also heard about the sixth package. There is talk about the sixth package in order to speed up our entrance to the EU.

    Answer: It has not been compiled in a draft yet.

    Question: What are the issues?

    Answer: The fight against terrorism is in the package. I think that there are articles on Kurdish broadcasts as well. There are other similar issues.

    Question: In other words, the policy of attaching importance to the EU is continuing.

    Answer: Yes. Work is under way to achieve this speedily.

    Question: Do you think that the Cyprus issue, if it continues for some time more, will adversely affect our relations with the EU at the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005? What does the Foreign Ministry foresee?

    Answer: Why should this adversely affect our relations with the EU countries? We are anyway a de facto member of the EU. There are some 2.5 million Turks in Germany.

    Question: I was talking about a full EU member.

    Answer: I was talking about de facto presence. To tell you the truth, the EU countries' approach to our full membership is not to our satisfaction. I hope that from now on, it will be to our satisfaction. They gave us the date of December 2004 for accession talks. When we asked whether we can bring this date forward, they said: of course, why not. There is the possibility to advance this date if we speedily take the necessary steps. We are determined to continue on this road. As you know, the implementation in connection with the judiciary is being put into effect. There are also some serious steps taken on the issue of torture.

    Question: Is the military opposing these steps?

    Answer: Not that I know of.

    Question: You contacted Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis during the time we carried advertisements. I see from this that you are constantly being briefed. You are following the events step by step. Do you foresee that the Greek Cypriot side will reject the Annan plan both in the Hague and in a referendum?

    Answer: We sense this, but it does not change anything.

    Question: Don't you think, however, that it would have facilitated a solution?

    Answer: It will only help to create a psychological atmosphere. That is all.

    [02] Erdogan alleges that he has been deceived by the UN Secretary-General

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (10.03.03) publishes the following artilce by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Erdogan: Annan deceived us":

    "We were able to talk on the phone with the JDP [Justice and Development Party] leader Tayyip Erdogan the day before yesterday [Saturday, 8 March] after the foreign policy meeting held at the Prime Ministry, which lasted for over five hours. It was impossible to publish the talk yesterday because the election day bans did not permit it. There were only a few hours left until the election that would make Mr Erdogan a Member of Parliament [MP] and I asked him how he felt. He said, "For me, tomorrow [Sunday, 9 March] is not more important than other days. We will also continue to work tomorrow". I asked what sort of changes he would make when he becomes the Prime Minister. He said, "These are sensitive subjects to answer at the moment. In any case, a few days should pass. Perhaps I can go into a corner for a few days and work, depending on the situation".

    I asked him about the meeting. (The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and attended by Mr Erdogan, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, Minister of Defense Vecdi Gonul, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, the new negotiator of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Deniz Bolukbasi and the other bureaucrats.) Mr Erdogan said that they talked on the subjects of Iraq and the draft permission within the framework of "chats and evaluations", but the emphasis was on Cyprus. The meeting convened with the objective of determining the policy, which would be followed in the Cyprus talks in the Hague. We asked:

    It appears that there are differences between the policy you followed previously on the subject of Cyprus and the policy followed by the `TRNC' Rauf Denktas, which is also supported in Ankara. Was it easy to determine this policy?

    Erdogan: First of all, one thing should be set forth clearly. I have always been in favour of a solution and have said that it is necessary to be in favour of a solution. I said that it is impossible to reach a solution with the concessions of one side and it can be reached with the concessions of both sides, that is, both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides. I said this to everyone, even from my first contact with the Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis up until the talk I held most recently with the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs was with me. The Greek Cypriot side has the comfort of the finalization of EU membership, even if it does not give concessions. But we always said that the Greek Cypriot side should also be convinced on the subject of Karpass, on the subject of the map being separated with a straight line representing the two regions, and most importantly on the subject of sovereignty. Consequently, we have been insistent on the subject of not only the Turkish Cypriot side, but the Greek Cypriot side as well should make concessions, otherwise a solution could not be found. But this position of ours was wrongly reflected to the public.

    Question: All right, have you determined a policy in the meeting?

    Answer: Yes, we have. We evaluated the subject from all aspects. We made comparisons between the former situation and the new situation and reached a conclusion. We formed the negotiation team and appointed them to carry out the policy determined at the meeting. Question: What is that policy?

    Answer: It does not seem to be possible for the Annan Plan to be accepted in its present form. Actually, at the beginning we were very hopeful for this 'third plan'. The reason for this was that some things had been said to us, on some subjects, such as the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot side, the map and immigrants. These were also talked about in our discussions with Mr Annan. When the plan came to us, however, we saw that the situation was not as we had been told. For example, it appears as though Karpass is being left to the Turkish Cypriot side, but it is effectively being transformed into a Greek Cypriot region, by accepting 10-12 thousand Greek Cypriot immigrants. Furthermore, actual cantons are being formed in the Lefka shoreline strip and the Morphou regions divided by roads. The same subject is also valid in the southern section. There are subjects, which are actually impossible to make workable, such as the borders formed of overpasses. There is almost no progress on the subject of sovereignty. In other words, we saw that what was promised on the subject of the plan was not kept.

    Question: In other words, are you saying that you have been deceived by Mr Annan?

    Answer: I am saying that what Mr Annan said did not turn out to be the case. The promises made were not kept.

    Question: What will happen now?

    Answer: Our delegation will go and talk. We cannot accept the plan in this form. We will explain our views without burning bridges.

    In summary, Turkey's response to the Annan Plan is not "No, period", but it is "No, but..."

    It is as though Ankara has accepted an EU structure in which Southern Cyprus is a full member and Ankara has started to establish a new game plan accordingly."

    [03] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader on the referendum after returning from Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak Television (07.03.03)) broadcast the statements the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas made on his talks in Ankara when he arrived at the occupied Lefkoniko Airport.

    The statement and his replies to questions are as follows:

    Our talks were very positive. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Prime Minister Gul, Foreign Minister Yakis, Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, True Path Party (TPP) leader Mehmet Agar, and Speaker of Parliament Arinc created an opportunity for us to address the National Assemmbly. You have heard the unanimous disclosure made by the Turkish parliament. We drew strength from our visit, which strengthened our position. We will now prepare to visit the Hague.

    Question: Can you comment on the referendum?

    Answer: I will meet with the political party leaders today. Considering the decisions made in Ankara, I believe that such a display is unnecessary because a decision to be made by the Republican Assembly will be inapplicable. In order that a decision might be made by the Republican Assembly, the government has to adopt a positive approach on the Annan plan and agree that it will be in the country's interest. The government has to adopt a decision and submit it to the Republican Assembly. The Republican Assembly will then pass the necessary law or make the necessary decision. The government will initiate the necessary process after the law or decision is published in the official gazette. It will then move to hold a referendum. So, adopting an inapplicable decision will only show the Republican Assembly's inclination. It would be a sign. But, considering the decisions we brought from Ankara today, the deputies will have to decide whether not maintaining the process will be right or wrong. I will hold talks with the political party leaders if I find an opportunity to do so. I will inform them on my views.

    Question: Will you ask for more time from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan when you visit the Hague?

    Answer: Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos asked for changes in the Annan plan. What are the changes he wants? The changes we demanded are common knowledge. We have indispensable demands. So, let us first visit the Hague. We will consider our approach in accordance with the situation. As you have observed, I have almost lost my voice. I have been informed that an esteemed political party leader commented on that by claiming that I cried in the parliament in Ankara. It seems that exaggerating everything has become his duty. All we can say is let him continue.

    [04] The Turks are pressing the US to recognize the puppet regime in occupied Cyprus in return for Iraq

    Istanbul STAR newspaper (07.03.03) publishes a report by Duzgun Karadas under the title : "Motion Siege".

    Following is part of the report:

    Justice and Development Party [JDP] deputies who opposed the bill [to authorize Turkish troops to deploy and to allow foreign troops into Turkey] are being covered one-on-one by 20 American officials and are being told the following: A Kurdish state will be formed unless the bill is passed. We have winter uniforms made up for our troops. This is why we cannot wait for Tayyip. We will suffer great losses unless a northern front is opened.

    Chief of Staff General Hilmi Ozkok's statement heightened the Americans' hopes for a new motion. Some 20 political officers working at the US Embassy in Ankara have started to spend all their days at the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly]. The United States did what the JDP had trouble doing and identified the defectors. The Americans, who are mainly approaching the deputies who voted against the bill, are trying to determine the deputies' reasons for rejecting the motion and what they want from the United States.

    Subtitle: Kurdish State Threat

    The Americans are threatening the deputies during meetings and are emphasizing that developments that Ankara does not desire could take place in northern Iraq during the post-Saddam era unless Turkey sides with the United States. American Embassy Political Affairs Under Secretary Nicholas Kaas visited JDP Istanbul Deputy Emin Sirin, who had harshly criticized the motion and voted against it. Kaas asked Sirin why he had objected and received shocking replies:

    Subtitle: Let the United States Recognize Cyprus

    Emin Sirin, who was bitter toward the Americans, issued the following warning: "The United States thought it could get the bill passed with threats and pressure. It is making the same mistake again.

    Demonstrations have begun in northern Iraq. A Turkish flag was burned. We believe the United States had something to do with this incident. A second motion will not get the approval of the National Assembly with such threats." Sirin, who also requested that the economic program be revised for him to vote in favor of the motion, said they expected US ships waiting in the Mediterranean to visit Cyprus as a gesture to Turkey. Sirin, who conveyed his requests in written form, said, "I will vote in favor if you carry out my requests."

    [05] Rauf Denktas left for the Hague. He is to ask for more talks

    Illegal Bayrak Teleivsion (08.03.03) broadcast the statements Mr Rauf Denktas made at occupied Lefkoniko airport prior to his departure to Istanbul on his way to the Hague today.

    Following are his statements:

    We are going to the Hague to discuss the Annan plan. The word discuss has a broad meaning. We are going to the Hague to disclose that we cannot accept the plan if various parts of the document remain unchanged. New points come to light as we study the plan. Naturally, we will discuss them with Kofi Annan in a sincere way.

    We will try to establish whether or not changes can be made in the plan. The Greek Cypriot side called for changes. We will ask to be informed on them and whether it will insist on its demands. Will the Greek Cypriot side adopt the tactic of saying "no" to what we say "yes" and "yes" to what we say "no"? We will see. We do not intend to adopt tactics. We have never done anything for tactical reasons. We always outlined the truth and the realities. We have already informed our people on the realities related to the plan. Naturally, we will adopt a different approach if we can improve the plan to make it acceptable and prevent it from harming the Turkish Cypriot people.

    I will remain in Istanbul for two days before I return to north Cyprus. I have to attend a conference that was arranged earlier. So, God willing, I will return to the island by Thursday. A significant conference will be held at the War Academies Command.

    Question: How long will you stay in the Hague?

    Answer: The invitation we received was for the meeting that will be held on 10 March. Our visit will last for two days. We will return to Istanbul on 11 March to attend an important conference at the War Academies Command. I will participate in it and then return to the island.

    Question: Will a three-party meeting be held in the Hague?

    Answer: A three-party meeting will probably be held. The two leaders will also hold talks with Kofi Annan separately.

    Meanwhile Ankara TRT 2 Television (09.03.03) broadcast the following news conference by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before leaving for the Netherlands.

    "There are shortcomings in the document. For example, the constitutions of the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriots are not ready yet. The constitutions should be ready with all the amendments. There are thousands of pages of amendments. All these amendments should be prepared by the committees. Some of them are ready, but we have not yet reviewed the others from the political aspect. There are some sections in the legislation and agreements made with other countries that interest Turkey as well. All these sections have to be examined thoroughly. We are being rushed and issued orders along the lines of an EU timetable as though we are smuggling goods from customs. This rush is unacceptable. We are in favor of thoroughly examining the agreements and plans when the issues concern the Turkish Cypriots, the whole of Cyprus, and Turkey's rights over Cyprus. We think the plans and agreements should be thoroughly examined because, hopefully, they will lay the grounds for a lasting agreement. This was not done. There are efforts to rush everything. We will, consequently, see when we are in the Hague whether these amendments can be introduced. We all know that the Greek Cypriot side is also interested in certain amendments. They may say, out of tactics, that they have accepted the plan and that they are no longer interested in amendments because they know very well that they have nothing to lose by agreeing to the plan. The EU has already opened its gates to them and told them that they will become an EU member as the Cyprus Republic. They can sign everything because they know very well that nobody will give up the title of the Cyprus Republic. Consequently, this is a plan, which seemingly gives constitutional rights to the Turkish Cypriots within a fake republic. We want this plan to be negotiated in detail and the fundamental rights of the Turkish Cypriots to be protected. It will be an interesting meeting in the Hague. We will brief you on the results when we come back.

    Question: Several demonstrations were staged on the island after you returned to the `TRNC'. What are your views on a referendum?

    Answer: We are not saying that a referendum cannot be held because we are afraid of our people. This plan is not ready to be put to a referendum. Neither the Turkish nor the Greek Cypriot side have said they agree to this plan, which means order and regulations, for the whole of Cyprus. It is unreasonable, therefore, to put it to the people's vote a plan, on which the two sides have not agreed upon and which both sides say has to be amended. It is not right in principle. A referendum means that the government in power believes a plan is good and beneficial for the people and, therefore, should be put to the vote as there are differences of opinion within the public. We have not reached this stage yet. The government has also not reached this stage. A group among the public, however, insists on an immediate referendum and agreement. A demonstration three times more than the demonstrations you talked about was staged two days ago in Cyprus. It is very regrettable that this demonstration was not reflected in the media in the same way as the other demonstrations staged by the opposition. We regret the fact that only the negative, unfavorable, and the pro-EU side of the Turkish Cypriots are reflected in the media. We regret that the Turkish nation is forming the wrong impression about the Turkish Cypriots. I repeat: There were not more than 25,000 people in this demonstration who were against the plan and called for an urgent referendum. It is wrong to reflect this demonstration in the press as though it was staged by 70,000 persons. On the other hand, however, the demonstrations staged by some 70,000-80,000 saying that the plan is unacceptable and that it should be amended was ignored. The Turkish Cypriots are made of good stuff. The Turkish Cypriots are loyal to their motherland. The Turkish Cypriots have wasted months and years in order to secure an agreement, which defends the sovereignty of the `TRNC', which the motherland recognizes, and which is signed between two equal sides. The reason for not having achieved such an agreement is because the world recognizes the Greek Cypriot side as the legitimate government of Cyprus. We are not to blame. The Greek Cypriot side is playing the game to seize the whole of Cyprus under this title and with the help of the EU. This should not be forgotten. It will be a pity to incorporate 200,000 Turkish Cypriots into a population of 700,000 Greek Cypriots under false promises of a constitution and then leave them be.

    According to the Annan plan, Turkey's effective and active guarantee, which stems from the 1960 agreements and which means the deployment of soldiers in Cyprus, will be lifted in a short time. In other words, Turkey's guarantee will be on paper only. We can see from what we read in the press that ploys are being played on the issue of weapons. The armament -- tanks and armored vehicles -- of the Greek Cypriot side will remain, while the Turkish side's tanks and armored vehicles will leave because they do not comply with the envisaged measures. In this way, Turkey will be obliged to order new tanks in line with the new measures. Nothing will be achieved with such approaches. In our opinion, the plans were drawn by the Greek General Staff and turns 50,000 Turkish Cypriots into refugees. In some years, some 60,000 Greek Cypriots will settle among us. This situation will bring us back to the past and lay the grounds for past quarrels. This is the reason why we want all this eliminated. This is the reason why we seek and will continue to seek a sound agreement.

    Question: How many days do you plan to stay in the Hague?

    Answer: We are not planning anything. We just learned now from a statement issued by de Soto that the UN Secretary-General said that the sides were not invited for talks, but for them to give their "yes" or "no" replies. De Soto had said that he has to return to Cyprus or New York on Tuesday [11 March] and that the UN Secretary-General has other plans. We, therefore, are planning to return on Tuesday.

    Question: Is your reply negative in advance?

    Answer: You must have understood from all my statements that I am not going with a ready answer and that I will ask for more negotiations.

    [06] The talks towards finding a solution in Cyprus entered into an impasse in the Hague; Denktas reiterates his intransigent views

    Under the front-page banner title "The rope has been broken off", KIBRIS (11.03.03) reports that yesterday in The Hague the UN Secretary - General Kofi Annan met with President Papadopoulos and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas for 17 hours behind closed doors. "The sides were able to begin the three-party high level meeting only today at 02:00 o'clock", writes KIBRIS adding that "at 04:15 the negotiations entered into an impasse and the high level meeting ended".

    KIBRIS notes that at 04:15 President Papadopoulos got out of the meeting and stated: "No result has been achieved because Denktas rejects the plan and the referendum. The negotiations were unsuccessful".

    According to the paper, the UN Secretary-General had earlier proposed a new timetable to the sides in order to overcome the impasse and reach an agreement. The above-mentioned timetable provided that the negotiations should be completed on 28 March, the three guarantor states should reach an agreement on the guarantees issue until 31 March and on 6 April a referendum should be conducted. However, this proposal has not been accepted, continues KIBRIS.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (11.03.03) broadcast that addressing in Turkish the Turkish correspondents in the Hague, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas said, inter alia, the following:

    "The UN Secretary - General knew that this plan in its present form could not be submitted to a referendum. We came here to explain again to him the reasons for this. .We gave him both orally and in writing the points on which we want changes and why we want these. .And while there is a plan, which has not the form to be submitted to referendum, (Mr Papadopoulos) wanted in advance a guarantee, especially from Turkey. It has been explained to him that this issue should be discussed at the Assembly. This issue should be decided by the Assembly. This guarantee could only be given by the Assembly and no one else. He wanted the Assembly to give in advance a guarantee to a plan, which has not been shaped and submitted to referendum. He wanted it to provide a concrete guarantee. Of course, this is not possible. .".

    Furthermore, NTV television (11.03.03) broadcast that in a statement read out by Kofi Annan's special advisor for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, the UN Secretary - General acknowledged that the reunification process had hit the rocks. "Regrettably these efforts were not a success. We have reached the end of the road," the statement said, adding that the Secretary-General was saddened by the failure of the talks.

    "I share tonight with all peace-loving Greek and Turkish Cypriots, as well as Greeks and Turks a deep sense of sadness," he said, adding that he was not sure there would be another opportunity to bring about reunification, despite Mr Denktas and President Papadopoulos saying they were willing to hold further negotiations.

    "The two leaders have expressed their willingness to continue talks, but without a firm commitment to proceed energetically to a conclusion it will clearly not be possible to achieve a comprehensive settlement before the accession of Cyprus to the EU on April 16," he concluded.

    [07] Denktas has been chosen as the "legal personality of the year"

    KIBRIS (11.03.03) reports that Turkey's Bar Union has decided to grand the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas the prize of the "legal personality of the year". In a written statement issued by Ozdemir Ozok, chairman of the Union, it is said that the reason for the decision was the "fifty years of struggle of Mr Denktas for justice".

    [08] Non-official results of the 9 March Siirt elections

    Istanbul NTV television (09.03.03) broadcast that according to a statement issued by Siirt Governor Nuri Okutan the "final unofficial results" of the elections in Siirt are the following:
    Total number of ballot boxes:              568
    Total number of voters:                119,191
    No. of opened ballot boxes:                568
    No. of votes cast                       74,265
    No. of valid votes:                     65,706
    

    Turkish Communist Party 423 votes, 0,63 percent Labour Party 494 votes, 0,76 percent Republican People's Party 9,102 votes, 13,79 percent Justice and Developemnt Party (JDP) 55,687 votes, 84.82 percent

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (09.03.03) announced that according to the unofficial final results of the Parliaemntary by-elections in Siirt, the participation rate was 61 percent. "The three parliamentary posts in Siirt were won by the Justice and Development Party (JDP). Those who won the elections and were elected deputies are Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Oner Gulysesil, and Oner Ergenc, all from the JDP."

    After the elections the distribution of seats at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) is the following:

    JDP              365
    RPP              177
    TPP                2
    Independent        6
    Total            550
    

    Moreover, the Turkish mainland papers (10.03.03) report under the folloiwng banner headlines Erdogan's election from Siirt.

    HURRIYET : Erdogan is prime minister, JDP won 3-0 in Siirt

    TERCUMAN: And Erdogan is prime minister. Tayyip Erdogan has won a crushing victory in Siirt and was elected deputy

    YENI SAFAK: He has gone by a poem. He returned like a poem.

    SABAH : He is prime minister. New page in the JDP. Erdogan: "I am not angry with the State".

    VATAN: Four days later he is prime minister .Four years later he is President.

    RADIKAL: Siirt has elected its Prime Minister

    CUMHURIYET: Siirt has carried Erdogan to the Parliament

    ZAMAN: No surprise in Siirt, ten days later Erdogan will be prime minister.

    [09] The organisations, which are in favour of solution in Cyprus decided to submit a referendum for the acceptance or not of the UN Plan - the Republican Turkish Party and the Communal Liberation Party decided to boycott the pseudoassembly

    KIBRIS (10.03.03) reports that after the failure of the so-called assembly of the puppet regime to take a decision upon the submission or not of a referendum, the Turkish Cypriot organizations which are in favor of solution in Cyprus decided to submit a referendum for the acceptance or not of the UN Plan. At the same time the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) decided to boycott the works of the "assembly".

    According to the paper the leaderships of the two parties of the coalition "government" of the puppet regime, the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Unity Party (NUP) prevented their deputies from participating in two meeting held by the pseudoassembly on Friday and Sunday where the submission or not of a referendum was to be discussed. Despite the fact that some "deputies" of the two parties defied their parties' decision and participated in the meetings, the number of "deputies" was not the one needed and the "assembly" was not able to convene. Therefore a decision could not be made regarding the issue of the referendum.

    As a result of this development the Platform "This Country is ours", the "Turkish Cypriot Civilian Society Organization" and the "Committee of the Common Vision" decided to hold a referendum on the 30th of March so that the Turkish Cypriots may decide whatever they accept or not the UN Plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem. The organizations stressed that they will ask the United Nations and the European Union to supervise the referendum.

    Moreover the two "opposition" parties, the RTP and the CLP decided to boycott the pseudoassembly until the 30th of March. According to the paper the parties decided not to participate in any of the "assembly's" meeting and works with the exception of the meetings concerned with the Cyprus problem.

    According to KIBRIS, after the failure of the pseudoparliament to convene, the leaders of the two parties, Mehmet Ali Talat and Huseyin Angolemli went to a park in occupied Nicosia where four thousand persons had gathered waiting for the "assembly's" decision. Addressing the gathering, Mr Talat said that despite that Rauf Denktas went to the Hague he does not represent the Turkish Cypriots. On his part Angolemli said that the Turkish Cypriots are like "a single fist" in front of the solution and nobody will be able to stop them.

    Subtitle: Talat: Denktas does not represent the Turkish Cypriots

    In addition YENI DUZEN (11.03.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat met with the Finnish Special Representative to Cyprus Corven Heymo and discussed with him the latest stage of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking during the meeting, Mr Talat stressed that Rauf Denktas does not represent the views of the Turkish Cypriots who want "solution in the framework of the UN Plan and are in favour of EU accession". Mehmet Ali Talat also said that the Cyprus problem had become a European Union problem. The RTP leader also expressed the view that positive steps will be taken on the solution of the Cyprus problem following the leader of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (JDP) Recep Tayyip Erdogan's becoming Prime Minister.

    On his part the Finnish Envoy said that he wishes Cyprus will become united again. However he stressed that he is optimistic about a solution being found to the Cyprus problem.

    Subtitle: "The halvah of status quo was eaten"

    Under the above title YENI DUZEN (11.03.03) reports that the members of the Platform "This Country is ours", the "Turkish Cypriot Civilian Society Organization" and the "Committee of the Common Vision" gathered at the Kugulu park in occupied Nicosia and in a symbolic gesture ate the "halvah of the status quo". According to the paper the members of the organizations gathered at the park yesterday evening and while waiting the results of the Hague meeting ate the sweets that were called "halvah of status quo" which were either prepared at the park or brought from home.

    [10] The outgoing Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul assesses his Government' s three months in power. He refers to Cyprus

    The outgoing Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul held a press conference today (11.03.03) during which he made an assessment of his government's three months in power. The private TV cannel CNN TURK carried the press conference live.

    Referring to Cyprus Gul said: "This month the UN Secretary-General has brought his third plan. There were meetings; we have conveyed to him our worries. Of course the Greek Cypriot side has put forward their own points. During this time I was sincerely for a solution and our government from the beginning has expressed the view that non-solution is not a solution. We still maintain this view .With a view to solving this problem we have demonstrated a positive approach and we will continue to exhibit this positive approach, however, our worries are that we do not want to experience the crimes that were committed in 60s and 70s and we want arrangement so that these events would not be repeated. We had meetings with the "TRNC" government as well as with Mr Denktas and we have conveyed our government's view to them.

    As you are following for the last two days there are critical negotiations going on in the Hague. The meetings lasted until this morning. Both sides have conveyed to the UN Secretary-General their objections regarding the Third Annan Plan. Within this framework the negotiation went on until 06 hours this morning. Around 07-08 hours this morning the Secretary-General made a statement. Although they did not reach a reconciliation they did not close the doors completely. As a matter of fact in order to solve this difficult problem we will all do what we could do. We are of the conviction that one has to understand Turkey's and the north Cyprus' worries. We will do everything necessary to solve this problem; however, we will not turn a blind eye to the future problems that might arise by saying: "we have settled the issue".

    So, in order to reach a lasting settlement in Cyprus the efforts will continue to the very end".

    [11] Roman grave was found in the occupied village of Vassili

    KIBRIS newspaper (11.03.03) reports that a Roman grave was found in the occupied Vassili village.

    According to the paper, the head of the Famagusta area of the pseudo Department of Ancient Art and Museums, archaeologist Reyhan Katirci, announced that excavations are under way in the ancient graves of the village. In one of the graves they found two sarcophagus which are estimated to belong to the Roman era.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Columnist in SABAH supports that Denktas opposes the Annan plan for personal reasons

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (07.03.03) publishes the following column by Erdal Safak under the title: "Sadness in Cyprus" :

    "I do not want to insult our Turkish Cypriot brothers and those who admire Denktas, but there is great resemblance between the `TRNC' Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and Iraqi leader Saddam.

    No, I am not talking about their personalities. Instead, I am talking about their policies and tactics.

    Both leaders are very cunning and they both view "misleading people" as a skill.

    When Saddam feels in danger he destroys one or two missiles, but he does not change the essence of the problem that the United States views as a reason for war.

    When Denktas feels under pressure he acts as if he is sitting at the negotiation table, but he is not ready to move one millimeter from the non-solution policy that he has been defending like a tiger for the past 30 years.

    He has repeated the reasons for this "glorious resistance" so many times -- sometimes with threats and blackmail -- that we have already learned these reasons by heart.

    "We cannot accept the Annan plan. Some 60,000 to 70,000 Greek Cypriots will live among us within the framework of the plan. They want to get rid of 50 percent of the Turkish Cypriots. The guarantor status is being diluted. All the gains of the `Peace Operation' are being taken away by this plan. Under these circumstances why are we in such a hurry? Haste leads to disasters."

    Does Denktas really oppose the peace plan just because he does not want to return a few acres of land and because he does not want the Greek Cypriots to return to northern Cyprus?

    If we look at the reports that have recently been published by the Turkish Cypriot press, we see that Denktas' opposition does not stem from this. Denktas is concerned with the property issue that is mentioned in the plan. Let us clarify.

    After the 1974 `Peace Operation' the Turkish Cypriots deserted their properties in the south and the Greek Cypriots deserted their properties in the north. The Greek Cypriot Administration preserved the deeds of the Turkish Cypriots' properties. It merely rented these properties and it included the phrase "with the conditions that it will be evacuated if the owner of the property returns in the future" in the lease agreement. The `TRNC', on the other hand, ignored international law and gave out deeds when distributing the Greek Cypriots' properties among the Turkish Cypriots.

    This is the real problem. If a peace agreement is signed, the `TRNC' will have to return the Greek Cypriots' properties. As a matter of fact, Denktas has recently begun to spit it out: "The plan does not include global exchange of property. The Greek Cypriot deed is acknowledged, but the Turkish Cypriot deed is not acknowledged."

    If the global exchange of property is accepted, property right, which is one of the vital principles of capitalist world, will be ignored and the Greek Cypriots will not be able to claim their properties.

    Subtitle: There Are Serious Allegations

    Do you know who will mostly benefit from global exchange? According to the reports that were featured by the Turkish Cypriot press organs, Denktas, his wife, and his son's father-in-law will mostly benefit from this. The reports claim that in return for his property in south Cyprus, Denktas has claimed a glorious house with a swimming pool that belongs to a Greek Cypriot. The house is located on 165,000 square meters in the region known as the Snake Island in Kyrenia. His wife Aydin Denktas has also reportedly claimed a house belonging to a Greek Cypriot in return for her property in south Cyprus.

    With regard to Denktas' son's father-in-law Salih Boyaci: There is no limit to the amount of land that was given to him in return for his property in the south. The reports note that he has claimed 1,500 pieces of land only in Morphou and that, being very large, it is possible to establish a new Morphou on these lands, instead of the Morphou that will be returned to the Greek Cypriots within the framework of the Annan plan. The reports say the following:

    "It is because of these lands that Denktas says: 'It is impossible to return a centimeter of land.' This is because if he signs the agreement, his houses and his son's father-in-law's lands will primarily be returned." It is so unfortunate that a person who has been the leader of the Turkish Cypriots for the past 30 years is in such a pathetic position".

    [13] Birand: "Cyprus solution will have to wait until 2004"

    Turkish Daily News (11.03.03) publishes the following column by Ali Birand under the title: "Cyprus solution will have to wait until 2004".

    "Rauf Denktas, has proved that he is one of the most successful politicians Turkey has seen.

    He has managed to stir into action the conservative circles that rule in Turkey, creating, in the end, the climate he wanted. In a way he has worked a miracle.

    On the other hand, despite all his resistance, he has not been able to get what he wanted in full. He has only obtained a postponement.

    He has resisted the pressure, the calls for a solution, managing to keep up the "lack of a solution" thanks mainly to the following factors:

    1. The IRAQ CRISIS created a somewhat chaotic climate and the public riveted its attention on the bargaining process with the USA. This served Denktas well.

    This way he managed to avoid, to some extent, the pressure exerted by those who wanted a solution. His job became easier to a great extent when the Turkish government and the public could not devote an equal amount of time and attention to these two crises.

    2. Though the GUL GOVERNMENT did want a solution in Cyprus, the fact that it lost control in general during the quarrel over the troop deployment motion, was the biggest factor.

    Gul was surrounded by "No to a solution" front that has been "orchestrated" in an excellent manner by Denktas. The prime minister was so preoccupied with the Iraq issue that he could not support adequately those who wanted a solution.

    He could not persuade the undecided. He could not resist the commanders, President Sezer and those diplomats that want the Turkish side to "sit" on Cyprus.

    When, on top of that, Republican People's Party (RPP) launched the "Not a pebble of it will be given away," campaign, Gul was wary, thinking that, on top of the loss of prestige he suffered on the Iraq issue he might now be accused of high treason.

    In the end, Gul was left all alone and Denktas won.

    3. WASHINGTON and LONDON were so preoccupied with the Iraq crisis that they could not intervene at the highest level to persuade Denktas.

    If the Iraq issue had not dominated the agenda it would be quite likely for Denktas to be invited to meetings at the level of Powell, even at the level of Bush and Blair. And a great effort would be made to persuade him.

    4. Denktas's job was made easier also because TAYYIP ERDOGAN remained ineffective despite the fact that he is definitely, extremely determined to bring about a solution in the framework of the Annan Plan.

    This list can go on and on. To cut a long story short, what has been done, has been done. Denktas managed to muster in Ankara the support needed for him to block the Annan Plan.

    However, this is not over, it is just that the solution has been postponed However, regardless of how intense the resistance may have been, it seems that the quests for a solution in Cyprus are not going to end even if though United Nations Secretary-General may remain outside the loop.

    A new date is being put before Turkey: December 2004.

    For a simple reason: In December 2004 the date for the start of Turkey's accession talks with the European Union will be determined.

    This is a date from which there can be no escape.

    Furthermore, that will be Turkey's last rendezvous with the EU. In other words, either the talks will be started or there will be a 10-15 year postponement. Either Turkey's path will be cleared or the EU door will be closed.

    We will find ourselves faced with a surprise member: Greek Cypriot negotiators.

    Those circles who, from their own standpoint, believe that they have saved the `TRNC', will either be forced, one-and-a-half years from now, to cede the North -- by making concessions incomparably greater than the ones currently being sought -- or Turkey will probably be prevented from passing through the EU door.

    There are two other small details that should not be overlooked:

    M. Ali Talat, who is quite likely to sweep away all the other parties in this year's election in the `TRNC' will be prime minister. Meanwhile, in Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan will be at the steering wheel.

    So, this story is not over. This book is soon going to be reopened. Let it be auspicious..."

    [14] Turkish columnist assesses "the meaning of integrity in Turkey"

    Turkish Daily News (11.03.03) publishes the following column by Cuneyt Ulsever under the title: "The meaning of integrity in Turkey":

    "In my mind, some people in Turkey do not know what "integrity" really means.

    This is especially true when we discuss the stands Turkey is taking in the both the "Iraqi War" and the "Cyprus conflict."

    In many cases, Turkey does not understand that integrity means all the following without allowing even one point to be discarded:

    a) Internal consistency

    b) Making decisions on time

    c) Fully calculating the pros and cons before making the final decision

    d) Insistence on the decision once it is made

    e) Others' respecting or are urged to respect the final decision.

    Let us look at some examples:

    1) The ex-government has brought the bill "a licence for allowing the U.S. army to enter Iraq through Turkey and the Turkish Army to enter northern Iraq" without discussing the bill fully within the JDP.

    2) Once, the bill was voted out, it did not do what it had to do and did not resign. In parliamentary democracy, the government stands on the confidence of Parliament. Once this confidence is gone, the government has to go. Obviously, the negation of this very important bill meant "lack of confidence" in the government, even if those JDP members who voted "No!" to the bill did not mean the "lack of confidence" to the government.

    3) The positive announcement on the "Iraqi issue" of the Chief of General Staff that came after the negation of the bill was wrong timed and gave the impression that he was urged to make it by some international forces.

    4) It is not possible to understand why the National Security Council (NSC) did not even discuss -- let alone not make any statement on -- the possible war in Iraq and the possible developments in northern Iraq.

    5) The deployment of U.S. soldiers and war equipment in Turkey only after the announcement of the Chief of General Staff clearly means that the U.S. does not care about the decision of the Turkish Parliament.

    6) It is also impossible to grasp why Parliament is completely silent. This is "disrespect to the Parliament."

    I do not especially understand why JDP members and government members who voted "No" do not react to the government that does not oversee the decision carried out.

    7) Those who said about the Iraqi war, "We should wait for the U.N. decision on war and seek international legality" are also the same people who tell us, "We should respect neither U.N. or European Court's decisions that condemn Turkey on the Cyprus problem."

    8) Turkey says, "If we give up northern Cyprus, we will let rival elements come too close to Turkey."

    Northern Cyprus will be a piece of EU land as of April 16. Is the EU our rival or is she a Union we hope to be member of?"

    /SK


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