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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-06-02

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.101/03 31.05-01-02.06.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriot artisans and craftsmen demand the opening of a crossing point in the Nicosia within the walls area.
  • [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.
  • [03] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Foreign Minister during an interview with NTV.
  • [04] Turkish Daily News: "Cyprus diplomacy picking up".
  • [05] The occupation regime granted its "citizenship" to 51.4 thousand persons within 29 years.
  • [06] "The Annan plan is coming back in a more powerful manner", argues KIBRISLI.
  • [07] Ertugruloglu alleges that Muslim countries will very soon recognize the pseudostate.
  • [08] Dirioz: The aim of Weston's visit is the resumption of the Cyprus talks.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Columnist calls on the Turkish government to rely on NGO's and not on the army and diplomats if it is to solve the Cyprus problem.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Cypriot artisans and craftsmen demand the opening of a crossing point in the Nicosia within the walls area

    Turkish Cypriot daily "ORTAM" newspaper (31.05.03) reports in its front page under banner headlines "A blow to the wall", that under the leadership of the Committee of Artisans and Craftsmen Operating within the Nicosia Walls a demonstration was held on Friday, 30.05.03.

    The demonstrators walked to the Ledra Street check-point and bearing sledge hammers symbolically tried to break down the wall dividing Nicosia from the occupied side (Lokmaci barricade).

    According to the paper, shopkeepers and people from the area joined the demonstration demanding the opening of the Lokmaci barricade, while a book opened in this regard was signed by hundreds of Turkish Cypriots in a short time.

    The demonstrators stated that Turkish Cypriots in all areas are under financial straits and the artisans and craftsmen of the Nicosia within the walls want to benefit from the Cypriots moving across the dividing line. They stressed that if the wall at this particular point is brought down the historic within the walls city of Nicosia will benefit a lot.

    [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.05.03) broadcast that responding to a question on Cyprus when he met with a delegation made up of representatives from occupied Galatia, Tavros and Vokolidha villages, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, assessed the decision made by US State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston to visit Cyprus and the US State Department's disclosure that it wants the Cyprus talks to be resumed under the UN Secretary-General's mission of good offices.

    Denktas said:

    "The Annan plan is a document that will turn half of my population into refugees, remove the principle of bizonality, which is required for an agreement, almost commit the Turkish Cypriots to the majority Greek Cypriot administration, and weaken and completely remove Turkey's guarantee in time. Those who drew up the plan cooperated with the Greek Cypriots so much that the document calls for the withdrawal of all the Turkish tanks from Cyprus and allows the Greek and Greek Cypriot tanks to remain on the island. The map that is attached to the plan calls for the transfer of our most valuable lands to the Greek Cypriots. An example is the Morphou area. The people who live there now left their plantations in the south. Their income from their plantations in the south was three times more than what they earn from their lands at the present time. The Annan plan is a document that was drawn up by those who are unaware of the Cyprus problem. If the Cyprus problem is to be solved, then it must be solved on the basis of two states. The Turkish Cypriots are not a minority among the Greek Cypriots. They have never been a minority in the past and they will not be a minority in the future. Cyprus does not belong to the Greek Cypriots. It never belonged to them in the past and will never belong to them in the future. Cyprus is the homeland of the two peoples. The Greek Cypriots undermined the opportunity the two sides had to live together by burying us in mass graves and oppressing us for 11 years. A bizonal system was accepted. Our people were deprived of their state. So, they were forced to establish their own state in the bizonal structure. The problem can be solved on the basis of two states and the partnership of two sovereign peoples. Those who disagree should not visit the island to put pressure on us on this or that plan. We cannot tolerate any pressure on the problem. We have lost our health because of the pressure that was put on us in the past. Our people became very uneasy. So, no one has the right to make us more uneasy. That is quite clear".

    Question: Mr Alvaro de Soto plans to visit Ankara. Can you comment?

    Answer: I am not concerned with where Alvaro de Soto plans to go. He can visit any country he likes. Unfortunately, he cannot act as an impartial mediator between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots anymore. We have lost our confidence in him. He accused only me and the Turkish Cypriot side on matters related to the referendum to be held on the plan, regardless of the fact that the two sides informed him that they would not be able to hold a referendum for various reasons. That was an unfair and inhuman approach. So, he can go wherever he likes.

    Question: Has Weston asked for an appointment to meet you?

    Answer: We will hold talks with Gunther Verheugen, the EU official responsible for the expansion of the organization.

    Mr Denktas recalled the disclosure that Thomas Weston will visit Cyprus and said: "We can hold talks with him if we wants to meet us. We will hear what he has to say. However, we have realized that he does not listen to what we say. In fact, the US State Department's disclosure confirmed that."

    [03] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Foreign Minister during an interview with NTV

    Istanbul NTV television (30.05.03) broadcast live an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul by NTV's Ankara representative Murat Akgun.

    Asked if Turkey should take new steps at this stage, or pursue a wait-and-see policy on Cyprus, Mr Gul first said that the recent steps were taken by the "TRNC" and by Mr Denktas, and Turkey is supporting them. Asked if additional steps are in line, Gul says this is possible, noting: "We also took steps. We opened our doors to the Greek Cypriots." "These steps are meaningful if they are reciprocal. We are now waiting for the embargo imposed on the `TRNC' to be lifted. After this embargo is lifted, I am sure that certain positive steps will be taken. When these steps are taken, the other side will be obliged to adopt measures of its own, and a certain point can be reached in this way. These constitute confidence-building measures."

    Asked if a Cyprus solution is possible in 2004, Gul declared: "We are exerting efforts to this end, and I believe that it can be solved." Referring to the recent tension with Greece regarding the incident between the Turkish and Greek planes, Akgun asked if this tension can affect the Cyprus issue. Gul replied: "It should not affect the Cyprus issue. These issues can be resolved in mutual understanding. There are problems in this regard. A look at the map shows the proximity of Greek islands to Turkey. There are some technical problems stemming from this situation. When I was in Crete, Mr Papandreou and I signed a confidence-building document pertaining to mutual visits between the armed forces of the two countries. In other words, things are moving forward, not backward." "These are not matters that will set our relations back at this stage."

    [04] Turkish Daily News: "Cyprus diplomacy picking up"

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (31.05.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has declared it "dead and buried" but a United Nations blue print for a settlement to the almost four-decade-old Cyprus problem has started to re-emerge on the agenda once again as the "framework" of peacemaking on the eastern Mediterranean island.

    According to well-placed sources, in recent contacts, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos has pledged to Alvaro de Soto, the U.N. envoy for Cyprus, that he would accept to submit the U.N. blueprint to a referendum "as it is", although he wanted to see some substantial changes made in it, provided Denktas agreed to submit it to referendum in northern Cyprus. De Soto and British special envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hanney were accused by Denktas of writing the U.N. plan for a Cyprus settlement in collaboration with the Greek Cypriot side and thus of losing their reliability as peace brokers.

    The U.N. envoy, in remarks to a group of visiting Turkish businessmen this week reiterated that the U.N. blueprint, often referred to as the Annan plan, as it was formally suggested by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in November last year, was still hopeful that the document could still be revived and the Cyprus peacemaking efforts could resume soon within that framework.

    "We are hopeful that the Annan plan could be revived. But, the decision on this issue depends to the related parties. Despite that, I expect some movement on Cyprus in the near future," de Soto told a visiting Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) team. The U.N. envoy stressed that he was not "optimistic" but "realistic."

    TUSIAD has been supportive of the Annan plan. Talking at the meeting with de Soto, Cem Duna, an executive of TUSIAD and a former ambassador, stressed that the businessmen's group believed the Annan plan was an acceptable framework for a Cyprus settlement.

    The remarks of de Soto, that coincided with a statement from the U.S. State Department that U.S. special coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston would be visiting Turkey, Greece and the two parts of Cyprus after June 19 in a bid to revive the Cyprus peacemaking process, angered Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader reiterated that the Annan plan was written by people unaware of the Cyprus problem and underlined that the Cyprus issue could be resolved only on the basis of two states through partnership of the two peoples of the island.

    "Those who do not accept this should not come here to pressure us to accept plan X or plan Z. Our patience has exhausted," Denktas said.

    Denktas said the statement of the State Department that Cyprus talks should be resumed within the framework of the Annan plan indicated that the person who made that statement was unaware of the Annan plan.

    Guenther Verheugen, the EU commissioner for enlargement, meanwhile, will be meeting with Mr Denktas on June 19, the Turkish Cypriot leader disclosed. Denktas had earlier complained that Verheugen, who will be visiting Cyprus in June, did not ask for an appointment with him.

    [05] The occupation regime granted its "citizenship" to 51.4 thousand persons within 29 years

    Under the front-page banner title "52 thousand citizens in 29 years", KIBRIS (02.06.03) reports that the occupation regime granted its "citizenship" to 51.400 persons since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The paper notes this number equals to the one forth of the total population of the occupied areas, which is around 200 thousands.

    Invoking a seven-page report prepared by a special "parliamentary committee", KIBRIS writes that within the period 1974 - January 2003, 40.333 persons were granted the "citizenship" as a result of a decision of the "ministerial council". It is estimated that the occupation regime granted "citizenship", to 1,793 persons every year, every month to 150 persons, and every day to five persons.

    [06] "The Annan plan is coming back in a more powerful manner", argues KIBRISLI

    Under the front-page banner title "20 thousand houses!" KIBRISLI (02.06.03) argues that the Annan plan "is coming back in a more powerful manner". According to KIBRISLI, the plan is being put into force by the Americans, who "are beginning to make serious steps".

    KIBRISLI reports that 20 thousand houses will be built, in which 60 thousand persons will be housed. The project will start immediately and its cost is estimated to be about 350 million US dollars, the source of which is not known yet.

    "The bureaucrats are getting ready to build 20 thousand houses for the Turkish Cypriots who will change the place they live in", continues the paper adding that the US will ask for Turkey's help "to overcome the efforts of Denktas to prevent" this from taking place.

    Invoking "reliable sources", KIBRIS writes that President George W. Bush is very angry with Denktas because he prevented the settlement of the issue of properties.

    [07] Ertugruloglu alleges that Muslim countries will very soon recognize the pseudostate

    KIBRIS (02.06.03) reports that the so-called "foreign affairs and defense minister", Tahsin Ertugruloglu has alleged that Muslim countries will very soon recognize the pseudostate.

    Talking yesterday at the illegal Lefkoniko airport upon his return from the 30th Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Conference Organization, which took place in Tehran, Mr Ertugruloglu said, inter alia, the following: ".During the initiatives we have undertaken in Tehran we have received positive signals that soon we shall be recognized as a state. This is our expectation".

    Mr Ertugruloglu described as "positive" the decision taken at the meeting regarding Cyprus and added that in this decision the Muslim states call on everybody "to recognize the equality of the Turkish Cypriot people". Mr Ertugruloglu expressed his satisfaction that the next meeting of the Muslim Ministers of Foreign Affairs will take place in Istanbul.

    [08] Dirioz: The aim of Weston's visit is the resumption of the Cyprus talks

    AFRIKA (31.05.03) reports that the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Spokesman, Mr Huseyin Dirioz, replying to a question during a press conference yesterday regarding US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tomas Weston's visit in the area, said that the visit of Weston in the area is the resumption of the talks on the Cyprus problem within the framework of the Annan plan. He also added that some activities are going on between the two sides and the continuation of those activities will be more beneficial. "The important thing is that the two sides reach a viable solution", Dirioz concluded.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Columnist calls on the Turkish government to rely on NGO's and not on the army and diplomats if it is to solve the Cyprus problem

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (31.05.03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Barlas under the title: "Minister Abdullah Gul becoming more like Bulent Arinc":

    Statements by TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association] leaders after their talks in Washington and New York have reportedly upset Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    TUSIAD President Tuncay Ozilhan said after this talks in Washington that "the United States is not ready for Gul's visit."

    Responding to this observation, Gul reportedly said: "We have a highly respected ambassador and diplomats over there. I am astonished to see such things surface as if Turkey does not have any representatives there."

    If you did not know Turkey at all, judging from these remarks you would conclude that the JDP [Justice and Development Party] is a "state party" and that Gul is the Secretary-General of the National Security Council.

    Where should we begin shaking down Gul's logic?

    First, the TUSIAD administration has directly or indirectly supported the views of the JDP government on every basic issue and has, as a result, upset certain circles. Consequently Gul's reaction to the TUSIAD President's remarks is very unfair and ungrateful.

    TUSIAD has pursued a resolute and consistent policy on the settlement of the Cyprus problem and the EU process. Consequently it should be considered the JDP's most serious base of support.

    Yet, the JDP members have opted to take the same path as those diplomats they like so much, the "deep state," Denktas, and Mumtaz Soysal.

    [National Assembly Speaker] Bulent Arinc, the No. 3 man in the JDP, went so far as to accuse Turkish Cypriot NGOs demanding a solution of treason.

    Did we not see the same situation in Turkish-American relations and the "authorization bill" crisis over Iraq? Did not Gul hand over the negotiations with the United States to the "highly respected" diplomats and bureaucrats and turn the entire affair into "horse trading"? When the affair ended in fiasco were not the "highly respected" ambassadors bypassed and JDP consultants sent to Washington to fix the outcome? In this country every politician who manages to stay alive and on his feet becomes prime minister or minister and every party that manages not to be shut down becomes government.

    However what matters is to have a vision, to win the support of different segments of society, and to succeed.

    Had the "authorization bill fiasco" not occurred under the leadership of then Prime Minister Gul, Turkey would not be arguing about the "legitimacy of the government" and engaging in absurd speculations about coups six months after the 3 November elections.

    Had Gul set his ears and eyes on Washington instead of shuttling amongst Riyadh, Tehran, Damascus, and Amman he would know what the "Iraq affair" is about and what would happen.

    However he concluded that "the United States cannot attack Iraq if Turkey does not allow it" thanks to his advisers and the information supplied by the "respected" diplomats.

    Now the strongest trump cards the JDP has to restore Turkish-American relations to their former state are the NGOs, chiefly the TUSIAD.

    If the JDP government really wants a solution in Cyprus and membership in the EU it should win the support of respected individuals like [former Foreign Minister] Ilter Turkmen and Cem Duna who are regarded highly by all segments of society.

    If the JDP government wants to restore relations with the United States to their former state NGO's must participate in the process of rebuilding Iraq outside official channels.

    If you leave everything to only the soldiers and the diplomats you cannot have a "vision in Iraq," you will get stuck in northern Iraq, you will see the EU as a threat, and you can waste another hundred years on your "Cyprus position."

    /SK


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