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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-03-31

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.60/03 29-30-31.03.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Rauf Denktas agrees with Erdogan/s proposal for a five party meeting on Cyprus.
  • [02] The Turkish National Security Council discussed Cyprus.
  • [03] Mr Serdar Denktas wants confidence-building measures before a solution.
  • [04] Reference to Cyprus by Erdogan during the budget discussion in the TGNA.
  • [05] Mehmet Ali Talat criticizes the behaviour of the occupation regime in Kyrenia and talks about a "despotic administration".
  • [06] The puppet regime has paid 129.600 US dollars only for one reportage.
  • [07] The Traffic Control Centre of illegal Tymbou airport is reportedly offering its services to military aircraft participating in the war in Iraq.
  • [08] The "ombudsman" of the puppet regime has reportedly become member of the European Ombudsmen Institute.
  • [09] ICFTU calls on Denktas to respect the rights of trade unionists.
  • [10] Four thousand persons gathered in Kyrenia in favor of solution and EU accession-eight persons were arrested by the "police".
  • [11] Turkey and the pseudostate sign a 36.5 million dollars loan agreement.
  • [12] An illegal bank, which operated in the pseudostate, was shut down.
  • [13] The so-called "TRNC" tries to present itself as an "Education Island".
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] Ilter Turkmen: The strategic balance in Cyprus will shift against Turkey.
  • [15] The Cyprus Knot and the Political Will.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Rauf Denktas agrees with Erdogan/s proposal for a five party meeting on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak Television (28.03.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, received a TMT [Turkish Cypriot Fighters Association] delegation headed by Yilmaz Bora today.

    Speaking during the meeting Mr Denktas said:

    "An effort is made to create a state of anarchy in the country. The tolerant situation is gradually being disrupted by acts of violence. Naturally, that cannot be tolerated anymore. Let me recall the incidents in Elia a few days ago. Who would have said anything if they [activists] refrained from saying that they planned to hold a referendum? Who would have said anything if they claimed that they planned to collect signatures or light a fire? You [activists] could do what you wanted. You are living in a free country. You even use the opportunities created by the state to swear at people. However, you said that you planned to hold a referendum. And, you received the go ahead from foreign diplomats. In fact, the ambassador of the Czech Republic approved your action by saying: Do it because it will be useful.

    Well, it would be useful because they would inform the world that they held a referendum. Naturally, we would object and say that their referendum is a farce and an unlawful action. However, the world would only listen to them, not us. That is a kind of propaganda. That is what you planned to achieve through your action. That is why it had to be obstructed. Your action violated the laws. It would harm the country. That is unacceptable.

    Reports said that US Ambassador M. Klosson criticized the measures the police took to obstruct the initiative and the decision the government made to ban such activities. He claimed that the people were prevented from expressing their opinion. God is great! Some 100 anti-war demonstrators were molested and detained by the American police in front of the White House on the day the ambassador's statement was disclosed. So, freedom exists when such an incident occurs in the United States. That can be done to maintain law and order in that country. However, you criticize us when we ban unlawful activities. That is very strange. Two of those detained and taken away in handcuffs in the United States were winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. That showed to us how harmful a double-standard policy can be. We are grieved by the US ambassador's remarks. On behalf of my people and state, I will convey a personal letter to him to express regret over the development. The interference of foreign ambassadors in our internal affairs has assumed an unacceptable dimension. Nowhere in the world can ambassadors interfere in the internal affairs of the countries they are accredited to.

    We have not only held talks with the Greek Cypriot side in the negotiations. Alvaro de Soto acted in a way that created the impression that the Annan plan belonged to him. He was upset with us because he believed that we rejected his plan. He tried to put pressure on us. Some of the other coordinators behaved in a similar way because they cooperated to draw up the plan. They ignored our objections and criticism, believing that what we said was directed against them. They tried to solve the problem by accusing us of maintaining an intransigent approach.

    We outlined our criteria. We said that the Turkish and Greek Cypriots are two equal peoples, the principle that calls for the establishment of a bizonal state cannot be weakened, the problem of refugees cannot be solved through creating more refugees, and the problem of property and ownership must be solved in accordance with global norms. No one can be deprived of his property. The fact that the Turkish Cypriot people were forced to move to the north leaving all their property in the south cannot be forgotten. That must be considered. That is one of our criteria.

    That is what we say. An effort was made to persuade us to agree to a weakened guarantee agreement. Furthermore, pressure was put on us to force us to agree to such an agreement even before Turkey expressed its opinion on guarantees. That was unacceptable. We are sure that 100,000 people would have demonstrated in the streets if I agreed to sign an agreement. They would ask: Who are you to move us from our property. Who gave you the right to do that to us? What kind of peace have you agreed to establish?

    The people would be forced to live in the streets because they would be forced to move from their homes and property and because they would be deprived of their state."

    Mr Denktas also replied to reporters/ questions as follows:

    Question: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was interviewed by one of the television networks last night. He described the Annan plan as one that is full of impositions and, as such, cannot be accepted. He called for a joint meeting by the three guarantor powers and the representatives of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot administrations. We understand that the United Nations will not participate in the convocation. Can you comment?

    Answer: A rule that says that the United Nations must participate in every meeting does not exist. The Cyprus problem can be easily solved between the five sides if they agree that the Turkish and Greek Cypriots are equal communities. The problem can be easily solved if all the sides agree that the establishment of a bizonal structure is essential because of the incidents. Naturally, contacts will be maintained on the matter. An effort will be made to establish a basis. Such a meeting will be useful. An initiative has been made. I hope that it will yield a result.

    Question: Was it Prime Minister Erdogan's idea?

    Answer: It was probably considered by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. I will recall what I said many times in the past. I urged Turkey and Greece to take up the matter between them. I defended the view that the two sides in Cyprus should act with responsibility and hold talks. So, what Mr Erdogan said is not a new proposal.

    A journalist asked Denktas whether various circles are trying to draw up an artificial agenda by continuing to support the Annan plan, regardless of the new initiative the Turkish side has made for a solution. Denktas said that the Annan plan has been supported by those who claimed that he should either agree to sign the document even before he had an opportunity to read it or resign, by those who claimed that the outcome of the Turkish side's failure to sign the plan will be catastrophic, by those who encouraged the people to take to the streets, and by those who maintained close links with foreign diplomats and ignored the views of the Turkish officials. Stressing that the foreign diplomats are supporting the effort that is made to keep the Annan plan on the negotiation table, Denktas recalled that Alvaro de Soto will submit a report to the UN Security Council at the end of March and noted: "Let us see how Alvaro de Soto will reflect the realities in his report. Obviously, he uses his weight in favor of the Greek Cypriots. I hope that he will refrain from doing that in his report. He made a significant effort to persuade us to agree to the plan. Obviously, he was very upset when we objected to it. I hope that he will not draw up his report in anger. I also hope that he will not treat us unjustly. The Greek Cypriot side, the `TRNC/, and Turkey have not accepted the plan. Greece only seemed to accept it. However, some of our colleagues are trying to keep the plan alive through a UN Security Council resolution. They are trying to have the EU include it in the agreements that have been concluded for the accession of Cyprus to the organization. That has created a significant problem for us. No one has the right to do that."

    [02] The Turkish National Security Council discussed Cyprus

    Istanbul NTV television (28.03.03) broadcast the statement issued by the Secretariat General of Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) at the end of its regular monthly meeting on 28 March. Following is the paragraph on Cyprus from the NSC statement.

    "The NSC also assessed the Cyprus issue. Turkey continues to support the goal of attaining a comprehensive solution in Cyprus through negotiations. The Turkish side has also made constructive contribution to the UN Secretary-General's mission of good offices. The fact that the Greek Cypriot administration of south Cyprus reached the stage of EU accession before the solution of the Cyprus problem, in contravention of international agreements, constituted a basic factor preventing the successful conclusion of the negotiating process. Turkey will continue to support the ¨TRNC/ and the Turkish Cypriot people in every field."

    [03] Mr Serdar Denktas wants confidence-building measures before a solution

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (29.03.03) publishes the following report by Resat Akar under the title: "Shocking statements from Serdar Denktas":

    "Serdar Denktas, the `Deputy Prime Minister of the TRNC/ leader of the DP [Democratic Party], declared that confidence-building measures are necessary between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots prior to the solution of the Cyprus problem. Denktas noted that though it would not be possible to solve the Cyprus problem by 16 April, the day for the announcement of South Cyprus' EU membership, free movement and trade should be initiated to seize the opportunity for a solution in the future. Thus, Denktas added, the Turkish Cypriots could cross into the south and the Greek Cypriots into the north."

    [04] Reference to Cyprus by Erdogan during the budget discussion in the TGNA

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.03.03) reported from Ankara that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to Cyprus while responding to criticisms of the 2003 Budget Law under discussion in the General Assembly of the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly].

    On the issue of Cyprus alleging that an understanding based on two sovereign founding states, consistent with the realities of the island, has been accepted, Erdogan added that the Annan Plan had initially been considered to be negotiable, but that later, because it fell short of a perspective that would satisfy Turkey's sensitivities, it was not accepted.

    Further alleging that Turkey is continuing its search for ways to resolve the problem, Erdogan said: "There is no change whatsoever in our resolve on this. Even so, we also must not forget that the Cyprus question has entered into a difficult period. To be a government means not just managing today, but also determining the future. Those who seek only to manage the present can neither achieve success for the present nor be prepared for the difficulties that may be encountered in the future."

    [05] Mehmet Ali Talat criticizes the behaviour of the occupation regime in Kyrenia and talks about a "despotic administration"

    KIBRIS (31.03.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has strongly criticized the behaviour of the puppet regime, accusing it of trying to terrify and oppress the Turkish Cypriots.

    In a written statement issued yesterday regarding the behaviour of the "police" of the occupation regime during the rally on Friday night in Kyrenia, Mr Talat described the situation in occupied Cyprus as "a despotic administration", which will definitely collapse.

    "Let no one try in vain. This despotic state administration, this status quo will collapse and those who will remain under it shall become history", noted Mr Talat accusing the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas of shelving the Annan plan and of not tolerating any kind of initiative or statement, which could endanger "his isolated from the world sultanate".

    Responding to Mr Denktas' accusations regarding the Turkish Cypriots, who participate in rallies supporting the solution on the basis of the Annan plan being "anarchists", Mr Talat said, inter alia, the following:

    "Anarchy serves those who have the despotic state mentality and those who are keen on the police state. That is why describing the peace-loving Turkish Cypriots who are struggling against those who have violated their right to determine their own future as anarchists is not logical. Anarchy serves the enemies of Democracy, like Denktas and his dictatorial dreams. .

    The illegal arrest and the ridiculous accusations against the trade union leaders at Elia have been repeated now against individuals in Kyrenia. Even if the limits of the tolerance of our people have been violated by the concentration of the police in Kyrenia within the framework of the psychological war to terrify the individuals who participated in the rally, by the control conducted on each one of them and by taking people to the police station the other day for testimony setting forward ridiculous allegations, these things will not help to the continuation of the status quo.".

    [06] The puppet regime has paid 129.600 US dollars only for one reportage

    Under the banner front - page title "Reportage for 226 billion liras", YENI DUZEN (31.03.03) reports that the puppet regime's so-called "ministerial council" has approved paying to "Global Vision", a French Media institution, the amount of 129 thousand and 600 US dollars just to publish a reportage on occupied Cyprus.

    The paper protests because the amount approved on 16 October 2002, would be given on condition that it should not be published in the so-called "official" gazette of the regime. The money would have been paid from a fund "considered suitable" by the so-called "ministry of finance".

    YENI DUZEN wonders the following: "With whom this 'valuable' reportage has been made? What is the cause of such a 'valuable' reportage? Why is it not published in the 'official gazette'? Is this 'state' so rich that it could afford 129.600 dollars for a reportage?"

    [07] The Traffic Control Centre of illegal Tymbou airport is reportedly offering its services to military aircraft participating in the war in Iraq

    KIBRIS (29.03.03) reports that the Traffic Control Centre of the illegal Tymbou airport is offering its services to all the military aircraft, which fly in the area because of the war in Iraq, in spite of the fact that the illegal airport is out of use at the moment.

    Talking to correspondents of illegal TAK news agency and illegal Bayrak television, Feray Ileri, director of the "civil aviation department", and Hasan Topaloglu, head of the "air traffic control department", said that the military aircraft contact the Traffic Control Centre of the illegal Tymbou airport and are served within the framework of international rules.

    [08] The "ombudsman" of the puppet regime has reportedly become member of the European Ombudsmen Institute

    According to KIBRIS (29.03.03) the European Ombudsmen Institute (EOI) has accepted the membership application of the ombudsman of the puppet regime. The application was made in Austria's Innsbruck - Tyrol city and it was accepted on 17 January 2003. According to the decision the Turkish Cypriot "ombudsman" is an "associate member" of the Institute as of 2003.

    The paper notes that the "ombudsman" of the puppet regime has achieved since its foundation in 1997 to participate as a full member in the International Ombudsmen Institute (IOI), the headquarters of which are in Edmonton - Alberta Canada.

    [09] ICFTU calls on Denktas to respect the rights of trade unionists

    Turkish Cypriot ORTAM newspaper (29.03.03) reports that the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has expressed its shock over the arrest by the so-called police of Turkish Cypriot trade union leaders who were participating in the occupied Elia Morphou plebiscite for solution to the Cyprus problem and accession of Cyprus to the EU.

    In a statement he made last Friday the General Secretary of ICFTU, Mr Guy Ryder, called for the immediate release of the arrested trade unionists and asked the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, to respect the basic rights of the Turkish Cypriot trade unionists to promote peace, democracy and solidarity as the representatives of the workers.

    [10] Four thousand persons gathered in Kyrenia in favor of solution and EU accession-eight persons were arrested by the "police"

    Under the title "A peace feast at Kyrenia", KIBRIS (29.03.03) writes about the symbolic plebiscite which took place on Friday 28th of March in occupied Kyrenia and stresses that it was transformed into a feast in favor of peace. The event was organized by the Platform "This country is ours", and other civilian organizations.

    As the paper reports around four thousand persons gathered in front of the "municipality" of occupied Kyrenia showing their determination for the solution of the Cyprus problem and EU accession. The paper writes that the persons who gathered around the "fire of peace", which was lit in front of the so-called municipality, carried symbolic ballot boxes with them while black ballot boxes were placed symbolically in the area.

    The paper also writes that the participants in the event sung songs in favour of peace sending a message to the world and shouted slogans in favor of a solution and against the Turkish Cypriot leadership and against Rauf Denktas. The participants in the events shouted slogans like: "Do not Block peace in Cyprus", "Yes to the solution, yes to the EU", "The referendum is our right", "Denktas resign". KIBRIS also reports that many members of the opposition parties and the civil organizations that organized the gathering made speeches criticizing Rauf Denktas and stressing that he does not represent the Turkish Cypriots.

    The paper writes that despite fears that the pseudopolice could have reacted in the same manner as in the incident at the occupied Elia village, the event in Kyrenia was peaceful. However, as KIBRIS stresses, the pseudopolice took very strict measures at the event. The paper writes that many "policemen" were gathered in the area where the event took place and the persons who participated in the event were subjected to close scrutiny.

    However, as KIBRIS (30.03.03) reports, the pseudopolice "filed charges" against eight persons who participated in the event in Kyrenia. These persons are: Afun Girgen, Murat Girgen, Murat Senkul, Salih Taskin, Yaradana Kul, Hasan Obali, Metin Koralp and Melek Ozyuksel. The eight persons were "accused" for inappropriate public behavior because they shouted insulting slogans against Rauf Denktas and Dervis Eroglu. As the paper writes the police claimed that among other slogans, the persons shouted, "Denktas is a traitor".

    Commenting on the arrest of the eight persons, Mehmet Ali Talat, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party, Huseyin Angolemli, chairman of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) and Ahmet Barcin, chairman of the Platform "This country is ours and chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS) said that these arrests were made in order for the "state" to terrorize the persons who participate in similar events.

    [11] Turkey and the pseudostate sign a 36.5 million dollars loan agreement

    KIBRIS (30/03/03) reports that Turkey and the puppet regime signed a 36.586 million dollars loan agreement in Ankara.

    As the paper reports the money will be used for the support of the public and private sector. The paper also writes that the loan will be transferred from Turkey to the pseudostate today.

    [12] An illegal bank, which operated in the pseudostate, was shut down

    KIBRIS (30/03/03) reports that Cyprus Euro Bank, which operated in the puppet regime, was shut down.

    A written statement issued by the so-called Turkish Cypriot Central Bank noted that after inspections it was discovered that the Cyprus Euro Bank carried out practices, which were contrary to the normal procedures. As the paper writes, warnings were addressed to the Bank previously regarding its irregular actions.

    [13] The so-called "TRNC" tries to present itself as an "Education Island"

    According to KIBRIS newspaper (30.03.03), the five most important "Universities" of the so-called "TRNC" organized a press conference in Antalya of Turkey in order to present the so-called "state" as an "Education Island".

    The newspaper reports that the five Universities are the following:

    - Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU)
    - European University of Lefka (EUL)
    - Kyrenia American University (KAU)
    - Middle East University (MEU)
    - International University of Cyprus (IUC)
    

    The so-called Honourary Counsul of "TRNC" in Antalya, Mr Binnaz Altinok, said that it is estimated that students from more than 150 countries attend these Universities and that the student population is estimated at around 38.000.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] Ilter Turkmen: The strategic balance in Cyprus will shift against Turkey

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (29.03.03) publishes the following commentary by former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen under the title : "Three great dilemmas":

    "Turkey is currently confronting three dilemmas at the same time: The economic crisis looming on the horizon, the dilemma over Cyprus and the EU, and the serious crisis in relations with the United States.

    If we look briefly at the economy, repayment of debt during the year 2003 will under the most optimistic predictions amount to 75 to 80 billion dollars - a figure equal to the supplementary budget allocation for the war that the United States, which has a gross national product exceeding 9 trillion dollars, has asked for from the Congress! There exists the likelihood that the loss of income and higher interest rates caused by the lengthening war, as well as the difficulties that we will have in rolling over debt, will force us into yet another economic crisis. Had the second [military authorization] motion passed in the National Assembly on 1 March, the urgent needs of our Armed Forces would have been met to a degree, and, in addition, the low-interest credits of 26 billion dollars would have given the economy some breathing space not just this year, but for years to come as well. It's true that the US attack on Iraq is a great mistake, but this perception should not have prevented us from [providing] support that would leave us out of the war itself, assuage in large measure the concerns that we have had regarding Northern Iraq, ease the economy, and above all would never have damaged our other foreign-policy priorities.

    The positive approach of both the General Staff Command and the [civilian] bureaucracy regarding the second [authorization] motion, which was based on understandings with the United States, was both realistic and consistent with the country's interests. The behavior of the President [Ahmet Necdet Sezer] and the weakness and clumsiness of the 58th government [the previous government headed by Abdullah Gul] led to its being blocked. But on the Cyprus issue, however, the exact opposite occurred. In that instance, the initial approach of the JDP [Justice and Development Party] was realistic, but the bureaucracy, in the broad sense of the term, thwarted the solution. This all means that, in general, there exists an equation in Ankara that blocks bold and creative policies. This is a state of affairs that will be very dangerous over the long term.

    Our relations with the United States are being debated greatly from our own point of view, but it would be useful as well to understand a bit just how the matter is seen from the United States. Even our closest friends in Washington consider that relations have currently reached rock bottom. Since Turkey has not given permission for the transit of American forces, the United States will only be able to carry out a limited operation in Northern Iraq, with the help of the Kurds, against Mosul and Kirkuk. Since the plan of forcing the Iraqi troops to fight on two fronts by attacking Baghdad from the north has fallen through, the war will go on longer, and the casualties among US forces will probably be greater. One should only expect that, as a result, the Americans would feel resentment towards Turkey. The United States is also worried that an independent military operation by Turkey in Northern Iraq could cause clashes as a result of lack of coordination between Turkish and US forces, and could spark a war within the war between Turks and Kurds. Fortunately, despite all the big talk by our politicians, one can see that the Armed Forces have not abandoned their traditional approach of avoiding any adventurism in Northern Iraq. For, a unilateral military intervention in Northern Iraq would seriously damage not only our ties with the United States but also our relations with the EU and the Arab countries. It would cause the UN Security Council to go into action. As long as there is no absolute necessity, it makes no sense to get caught in a quagmire in Northern Iraq and deal yet another serious blow to our economy.

    President Bush's request to the Congress for aid to Turkey is proof that relations have not reached the point of breaking off completely. Even so, it is clear that the United States is not going to ascribe as much strategic importance to Turkey as it did before. The strategic focus will shift to Iraq, our neighbors in both the east and west, and Southern Cyprus. The strategic balance on Cyprus will shift against us.

    As for our relations with the EU, the accession process is for the time being continuing on its methodical course. The Commission is about to present a revised accession partnership document, but Cyprus continues to be the greatest obstacle on the path to actual membership. Southern Cyprus will sign its own accession treaty with the EU on 16 April. There is a new initiative to have the Annan Plan remain valid even after that date: for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution prior to 16 April that accepts the parameters of the Plan, and for the EU Council to support this resolution. But Southern Cyprus, which wants the Annan Plan to be shelved entirely, is trying, with support from Russia, to thwart the initiative in the Security Council. As for Turkey, it is remaining silent for the time being. What is clear is that we cannot manage with the Annan Plan, or without it. Our basic instinct, once again, is to postpone anything difficult.

    I fear that, unless some miracle occurs, the balance of the year 2003 will be very sad indeed."

    [15] The Cyprus Knot and the Political Will

    Under the above title, Hasan Cemal, in his column in MILLIYET newspaper (29.03.03) writes that there is for some time now the question of how Turkey 's relations with the EU could be normalized. This is going on within the government, because, he says, the advisors of Prime Minister Erdogan and the Foreign Minister Gul consider rightly Turkey's relations with the EU very important. They consider that derailing Turkey's relations with the EU is contrary to Ankara's interests.

    Hasan Cemal goes on and writes: "The critical point is well known: It is the Cyprus knot.

    In order to normalize the relations with the EU this knot should be untied first. This reality of course is not a secret for the Tayyip-Gul duo. As a result of this at present something is being cooked in the government's kitchen regarding Cyprus.

    The Prime Minister favours to untie this knot between Ankara and Athens. The Foreign Minister Gul during his recent visit to Brussels had discussed this issue with his Greek counterpart Papandreou .They had agreed on two points first;

    · Meeting of Undersecretaries of both foreign ministries

    · Meeting of the Speakers of the Greek and Turkish parliaments.

    Thus paving the ground which would lead to a summit between Simits and Erdogan.

    Very good, hoping it would bear fruit. What is missing here?

    The RADIKAL newspaper journalist Erdal Guven has given the answer to this question in his recent book (From Helsinki to Copenhagen- CYPRUS OM press) 'Since 1960, the domestic and foreign factors from the point of view of settlement are incomparably very favourable. Well what is missing then? The lacking thing is the political will.Especially on behalf of the Turkish side . The bad thing is that we do not have another 40 years to wait to create this will . Especially for the Turkish side".

    Yes, the last time too there was no political will!

    At the last National Security Council meeting regarding Cyprus the military wing together with President Sezer weighed heavier than Prime Minister Gul.

    Why? Is it possible that in the end Mr.Gul was convinced as well? That is, he too was convinced that a solution within the framework of the Annan plan 'would imprison the Turks within the Asia Minor?'

    Or was he lacking political will and firmness to convince his interlocutors regarding the untying of the Cyprus knot despite the fact the he thought differently than his interlocutors at the Cankaya Mansion and the Generals? Is it possible that he was concerned about not being branded as the man who 'sold out Cyprus'? Or, did he think that the public opinion and the Justice and Development Party's grassroots were not ready for a Cyprus settlement?

    Most probably the second part is valid. But the time is getting shorter by every passing day. If this chance is missed completely then a day might come when one would long for the Annan plan? Then a time might come when Turkey has to part its road with the EU. If Turkey does not want to be an isolated, introvert and backward Middle Eastern country then it must solve the Cyprus problem and continue its EU course. However, to do this it needs political will and firmness. Are you ready for it this time?"

    /SK


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