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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-06-23

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.115/03 21-22-23.06.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Foreign Minister and Mr Rauf Denktas elaborate on the Titina Loizidou case.
  • [02] The Turkish Foreign Minister met with the UN Secretary-General in Amman.
  • [03] Exclusive interview by Mr Verheugen with KIBRIS newspaper.
  • [04] Sabri Selden and his brothers have signed with AEK Larnaca.
  • [05] Angolemli: "Denktas has been put aside like Arafat".
  • [06] Hasipoglou: The "gates" were opened by Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Columnist in STAR assesses Ugur Ziyal's visit to Washington.
  • [08] US taking front seat in Cyprus diplomacy.
  • [09] Ilter Turkmen says there is a Euro-phobia in the Turkish side.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Foreign Minister and Mr Rauf Denktas elaborate on the Titina Loizidou case

    Turkish Cypriot HALKIN SESI newspaper (22.06.03) under the banner headlines "The courts of the `TRNC' are a condition for the Greek Cypriot plaintiffs", reports that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that a law will be enacted in the "TRNC" envisaging that the Greek Cypriots who appeal to the European Court of Human Rights could go to courts in the "TRNC". Gul noted that Turkey has not made a compensatory payment in the Loizidou case and added that a payment could be made once an agreement on the above-mentioned system is reached.

    The paper also publishes statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, who was the guest on the "Third Dimension" program broadcast by illegal Bayrak Television on 20.06.03.

    On Turkey's decision to pay the compensation to Titina Loizidou, Mr Denktas said that the Turkish side supported for a long time the solution of the properties issue with compensations. Mr Denktas noted that Turkey was engaged in a bargaining process for four years regarding this case and argued that Turkey's decision to pay the compensation to Mrs Loizidou has created the environment for settling the problems on the issue of the properties in a "mutual and balanced manner".

    Reminding that the payment to Mrs Loizidou remained for October, Mr Denktas said: "We have some legal work to do until October and there is also the issue of the compensation for the Turkish properties in the Greek Cypriot side".

    Asked whether Turkey said that it would pay the compensation to Mrs Loizidou in October to gain time for the authorities of the occupation regime, Mr Denktas said: "It is not an issue of gaining time. It is an issue of creating the environment to settle these matters in a mutual and balanced manner. If the European Union is satisfied, and this is happening now because the ECHR has begun to discuss what the Greek Cypriots and what the Turkish Cypriots will take, then this means that the issue is on the way (to be solved)".

    The paper writes also that Mr Denktas announced that two committees will be established, one in the Turkish Cypriot side and one in the Greek Cypriot side, aiming at defining the properties of the Greek Cypriots in northern Cyprus and the properties of the Turkish Cypriots in southern Cyprus.

    "Therefore, we hope that the EU and the ECHR will see this and they will help us", he added.

    Mr Denktas noted also that the lawyers of the EU know about the preparations on behalf of his regime to establish a "law" providing that the Greek Cypriots could appeal to the "courts" of the pseudostate for their properties.

    [02] The Turkish Foreign Minister met with the UN Secretary-General in Amman

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.06.03) reported from Amman that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently in Jordan to attend the World Economic Forum meetings, asked United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan "to exert efforts for lifting the embargo imposed on the `TRNC'".

    Diplomatic sources told the A.A correspondent on Sunday that Gul referred to mutual steps taken by the two sides in Cyprus, and stressed that "embargo imposed on the TRNC should be lifted completely."

    Meanwhile, Gul met on Sunday with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom of Israel.

    Gul and Shalom held a joint press conference following their meeting at the Marriot Hotel in Dead Sea which lasted nearly thirty minutes.

    Speaking at the press conference, Gul said: ``Turkey is one of the rare countries having good relations with both Israel and Palestine. We have been supporting the road map for settlement of peace in the Middle East. We hope that the sides will not miss such an opportunity this time.``

    Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shalom of Israel said that they had invited Gul to Israel.

    Recalling that the President of Israel would pay a visit to Turkey next week, Shalom stressed that they had been expending efforts to set up better relations with Turkey both in politics and economy.

    Noting that they also wanted to hold direct meetings with Palestinians, Shalom said that terrorism and acts of violence should come to an end in the region as soon as possible.

    ``Palestinian administration should make its preference and put an end to terrorism and acts of violence. We want Mr Gul to persuade the Palestinian administration to end terrorism and acts of violence in the region,`` he said.

    Shalom also asked Gul to persuade Arab countries to send their ambassadors to Israel and set up diplomatic ties.

    [03] Exclusive interview by Mr Verheugen with KIBRIS newspaper

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (19.06.03), publishes an exclusive interview with EU Commissioner Responsible for Enlargement, Mr Gunter Verheugen, by Suleyman Erguclu.

    The interview is as follows:

    Question: First of all, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to have an interview with you. Do you think it will be possible to find a solution to the Cyprus problem before 1 May 2004?

    Answer: As you too might guess, seeing what lies ahead is rather difficult. I shall, however, tell you this much: We would like to see a solution before 1 May 2004, and we feel this is possible. We think that there is an open window for the reassessment of the opportunities. I would like to convey two separate messages to the Turkish Cypriots. The door is open for the Turkish Cypriots. We want them. We would like to see them in the European Union. My second message is in support of the resumption of the peace process, and finding mutually acceptable solution to the problem. This is the responsibility of the two communities.

    Question: What kind of a solution do you envision for Cyprus?

    Answer: In my opinion, there is no alternative other than the Kofi Annan plan. The UN Secretary-General has already stated that the plan is currently on the negotiating table. Everyone accepts that the plan forms a basis for future negotiations. You may discuss certain issues within the framework of the parameters of the Annan plan. I know that problems exist for the Greek Cypriot side. There are many problems for the Turkish Cypriot side as well, but the framework should be open for negotiations.

    My other message to the Turkish Cypriots: They should not believe that there would be a better proposal in the future. This is the best proposal made to them until now. There will not be a better one.

    Question: Do you think the package that the EU prepared for the Turkish Cypriots a short time ago would contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem?

    Answer:Yes, this was our aim for two reasons. The first reason relates to our wish to show our loyalty to the people in the northern part of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots have been the victims of the absence of a result-oriented policy. We do not think this was fair. For this reason, we wanted to show that we are prepared to help to ensure that they catch up with us economically and benefit from the advantages of cooperating with the EU. This is only the beginning. As for the second reason, we are doing this out of our desire to maintain the political momentum, which came about as a result of the talks that started under the auspices of the United Nations, and which was rendered possible because of the EU accession talks. The momentum seems to have lost some pace nowadays. I am not able to see any initiative and any new ideas for moving forward. If everyone wants a solution before 1 May 2004, we should be aware that we have to be open to new ideas. This is indeed our contribution. If I may repeat, organizing the membership in the EU of a united Cyprus is an option we prefer. Producing a result that would satisfy political and economic interests would be better for everyone, the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots, and the entire international community. It is for this reason that we want a united Cyprus to join the EU, but there is need for will for this to be possible politically.

    The decision for Cyprus' accession to the EU has been made, and there is no way to change this. Cyprus will join the EU on 1 May 2004. The only question is whether a united Cyprus or Cyprus as it is today would join.

    Question: If we refer to the relations with Turkey, what would be your comment about the effect that Cyprus' present position would have on Turkey's EU membership process?

    Answer: I must admit that Turkey is engaged in serious cooperation to join the EU. The progress made in Turkey is impressive, but naturally there are certain deficiencies and problems. I must say that the present government indeed makes much effort toward the solution of the problems. The EU feels much satisfaction with this progress. We, on our part, shall do our utmost to support.

    Bearing Cyprus in mind, We hope that Turkey will play a constructive role on the solution of the Cyprus problem. I do not think this is a problem for those in Ankara, who at the moment keep busy day and night making reforms. I presume, though, that our Turkish colleagues are aware that the situation in the island will serve as an obstacle for them in the event that it does not change. This naturally constitutes a reason for them to support a sound future. At least I hope so.

    [04] Sabri Selden and his brothers have signed with AEK Larnaca

    Turkish Cypriot YENIDUZEN newspaper (22.06.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot footballer brothers, Sabri, Raif and Muzaffer Selden, the night before met with officials of AEK Larnaca football club and signed a contract after shaking hands.

    The paper reports that according to the agreement Sabri and Raif Selden will each receive 6,000 Cyprus pounds, a house and a brand new car, but details were not made known regarding the contract of Muzaffer.

    The paper stresses that Mr Xenis, last year's President of AEK had the biggest share in efforts for reaching the agreement because he spent 70,000 Cyprus pounds last year for the transfer of Sabri to AEK, but due to pressure from Denktas' regime, Sabri was forced to move to the occupied areas.

    The paper concludes that more Turkish Cypriot football and volleyball players, who prefer anonymity are in touch with clubs in the free areas and their transfer is a matter of time.

    [05] Angolemli: "Denktas has been put aside like Arafat"

    Turkish Cypriot HALKIN SESI (21.06.03) reports that Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) has expressed the opinion that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has been put aside like Arafat and that will be permanent after the so-called elections in December.

    Talking after a meeting with a delegation of the German Social Democratic Party (SDP), which had arrived in the occupied areas' illegal Lefkoniko airport via Istanbul, said that reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework of the Annan plan until May 2004 would be in the benefit of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Angolemli argued that waiting after May 2004 to reach a solution in Cyprus would be wrong, because the ground will change under the influence of the EU laws and norms. Then, he continued, the situation for the Turkish side would be worse than the Annan plan and the 1960 agreements.

    The German delegation consisted of the parliamentarians Uta Zapf and Lale Akgun, the party's advisor on foreign affairs, Martin Weiss, the member of Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Hans Schumacher and the translator Nilay Gulerser. Talking on behalf of the delegation Mr Zapf argued that reaching a solution in Cyprus would be facilitated by the island's accession into the EU in May 2004 and a date to Turkey for the beginning of its accession negotiations with the EU. Mr Zapf expressed their support to reaching a solution within the framework of the Annan plan until May 2004 and added that the aim of their visit to the occupied areas was to exchange views with the Turkish Cypriot political parties.

    [06] Hasipoglou: The "gates" were opened by Turkey

    YENI DUZEN (23.06.03) reports that Mr Ertugrul Hasipoglou, the leader of the Renewal Progressive Party (RPP) gave an interview to the paper and made comments on the recent developments in Cyprus and on the forthcoming "elections" of the pseudostate.

    As the paper reports, Mr Hasipoglou said that Turkey opened the "gates" which allowed the limited freedom of movement of the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots. "The opening of the doors was made by Turkey.She did very well", said the leader of RPP. He also said that according to him the Cyprus problem will be solved with the mediation of Turkey, Greece and other related parties and stressed that the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots cannot solve the problem on their own.

    Speaking about the forthcoming so-called elections, Mr Hasipoglou stated that according to some opinion polls which were conducted recently, the power of his party is close to 10%. He also said that the opinion polls showed that nearly 50% of the "electors" are undecided and added that his party will address them to support the RPP.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Columnist in STAR assesses Ugur Ziyal's visit to Washington

    Istanbul STAR newspaper (20.06.03) publishes the following commentary by Zeynep Gurcanli, under the title: "US 'Touch-Up' to foreign policy":

    "There is no room for emotionalism in international relations. There exist only the national interests of countries."

    This saying, which has been borne out thousands of times, has now demonstrated its truth once again in Turkish-US relations.

    All of those who, following the crisis of the [military authorization] motion in the National Assembly, have been characterizing the relations between Ankara and Washington with emotional expressions like "anger", "disappointment", and "resentment" and have been looking toward the future based on feelings of this type, have been wrong.

    For it has emerged with the visit to Washington of Ambassador Ugur Ziyal, the Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, that the policy of "disappointment and anger" that the United States has been following was but a tactic in the full sense of the word.

    And the interesting aspect is that this visit has also shown that the tactic of the United States has worked.

    All of the messages that Ziyal conveyed to the United States made it plain that Ankara, which wants to re-establish a "strategic alliance" with the United States, has "readjusted" its foreign policy in line with the views of Washington.

    Let us first begin with Iraq:

    During his visit, Ziyal hardly touched upon the "red lines" that Turkey had earlier underscored time and time again. There is in any event no difference in views between the United States and Turkey in terms of Iraq's territorial integrity. And with Ziyal's abandoning Ankara's insistence, in terms of Iraq's future administrative structure, that "There can be no federation", agreement was reached to a great extent.

    Ziyal also was not insistent in terms of Turkey's desire to send troops into Iraq, and he stressed the topic of "economic and logistical support". Thus there remain next to no "differences of opinion" between Ankara and Washington on the topic of Iraq. Turkey plans to resolve the remaining snags in terms of its view of Iraq after going into Iraq economically and beginning to work with the United States.

    In almost every discussion held in Washington, US officials told Ugur Ziyal how sensitive they are on the topic of Turkey's membership in the EU. They stressed that Washington supports rapprochement between the EU and Turkey "in the strongest possible way." In this way, they simply dumped onto the European Union accession process the expectations that had arisen from the earlier message of [Deputy Defense Secretary] Paul Wolfowitz that "The stance of the military in Turkey on the Iraq issue has disappointed us".

    Ziyal's visit demonstrated that the Americans prefer to dump the Cyprus issue as well, just like that of democratization, onto the EU, and to stay in a "supportive" role themselves.

    Apart from all of this, it has emerged that the greatest "US touch-up" that Turkey has carried out regarding its foreign policy was on the issue of the Middle East.

    The first indicators of a "US touch-up" of Middle East policy had emerged even prior to Ziyal's departure for the United States. The message, aimed at the Arab countries and Iran, to "democratize and make the regimes transparent", which Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had conveyed at the OIC [Organization of the Islamic Conference], was the first such indicator. After that came telephone calls from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Prime Ministers of Israel and Palestine, in which he gave the message that "Turkey, too, supports the road map" and proposed Turkey as a host in order to facilitate the contact.

    As for the final indicator, Ambassador Ziyal himself provided this while in Washington.

    Ziyal conveyed the message that "We are together with Washington in policy towards Iran and Syria."

    In short, Ziyal's visit turned into a "visit for reconciliation with the United States" in the full sense of the word. And with the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government having softened the foreign policy it has followed since coming to power and then carried out this "US touch-up", the path has thus been cleared for a Washington visit by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul."

    [08] US taking front seat in Cyprus diplomacy

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News' Sunday Edition, Turkish Probe, (22.06.03) publishes the following article:

    "With a rather short but comprehensive trip to the two sides on Cyprus, Athens and Ankara, American State Department Cyprus special coordinator Thomas Weston revealed the intention of Washington to take the first seat in Cyprus diplomacy once again.

    According to diplomatic sources, Washington anticipates that the Cyprus talks which collapsed last March over Turkish Cypriots publicly rejecting and Greek Cypriots conditionally approving of a United Nations sponsored blueprint for a comprehensive settlement, will resume in early September.

    Washington, sources said, expects that a Cyprus settlement could be reached "by December 2003 or the latest by March 2004" and the reunited eastern Mediterranean island could join the European Union in May 2004.

    In remarks, both on the island and elsewhere, Weston underlined on and on, as if he wanted Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to "hear it clearly" that Washington believed the U.N. blueprint, first presented by the two sides in November last year by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was the "sole basis" for a comprehensive Cyprus agreement. Denktas, however, continued defending that acceptance of the Annan plan as a basis of talks would land his people in a disastrous situation because it was written in collaboration with the Greek Cypriot side and was serving to the Greek Cypriot positions.

    The Greek Cypriot leadership, on the other hand, though equally unhappy with the Annan plan, counting on the opposition to it from Denktas, has told Weston, as well as EU's enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen in last week's talks that it accepted the controversial document as a framework for talks.

    This summer, already very hot in Cyprus, will be too sweaty for Denktas as it appears that Washington has some sort of an "understanding" with the Justice and development Party (JDP) government in Ankara, despite continued strong objections of some sections of the Foreign Ministry to the Annan plan, that a settlement must be reached on Cyprus by the May 2004 EU accession of the eastern Mediterranean island.

    The JDP government, despite its professed political will for a Cyprus settlement, had come under intense pressure of the "corporate Turkey" last March and had to take a step back and reconcile with the establishment. Now, it appears that it is determined not only to push through Parliament this summer some daring reforms demanded by the EU but will try to revamp the traditional Cyprus policy of Ankara and make some new openings.

    There are already signs that these new openings, like opening the buffer zone border gates between the two sides or accepting the verdict of the European Court of Justice on a Greek Cypriot case in exchange of recognition of jurisdiction of Turkish Cypriot courts -- the so-called Loizidiu case -- will be supplemented in the months ahead with some further substantial goodwill measures that could help the creation of a better atmosphere for the talks.

    There has already been some talk in some quarters of northern Nicosia and Ankara of introducing a provisional settlement for the Varosha suburb of Famagusta. According to some suggestions, under provisional Turkish Cypriot rule Varosha could be opened for Greek Cypriot settlement and the hotels of the once-splendid touristic resort area could be given back to their former owners-mostly international companies. Would such a proposal please Greek Cypriots or would they demand a provisional U.N. administration for the area, as was suggested in some previous good-will measures suggested by the U.N., will be seen when and if such a proposal comes to life.

    Withdrawal or reduction of Turkish troops is not on the agenda for the time being, but demilitarization of the areas adjacent to the buffer zone could be considered as well.

    In Cyprus, however, Denktas continues demanding that a new framework other than the Annan plan is needed for the resumption of the talks. Sources said if Washington fails to convene the Cyprus talks by September, a new diplomatic push to restart the peace effort will probably be launched in mid-September, when leaders of interested countries will be in New York for the U.N. General Assembly.

    Subtitle: Denktas seeks a new base for talks

    While Denktas was pinpointed by Weston and Verheugen in remarks to the press last week as an obstacle for peace on the island, the Turkish Cypriot leader has been stressing his commitment to a "just and lasting" settlement that would safeguard not only Turkish Cypriot rights, but also the interests of Turkey on Cyprus.

    Sources said Denktas explained in consecutive separate meetings with Weston and Verheugen that pressuring him to return to the Cyprus peacemaking process that a new base other than the "dead" United Nations blueprint was needed for the resumption of talks, diplomatic sources said.

    The sources stressed that Denktas explained to Weston and Verheugen that he would not accept the blueprint as a framework of the talks because that document was scissored in collaboration with Greek Cypriots and acceptance of it would land the Turkish Cypriot people in devastation. "A new framework based on the realities of Cyprus is needed," Denktas has reportedly told the envoys, stressing that the Cyprus problem has an almost four-decade-old background and it cannot be resolved with an understanding that it started in 1974 with the Turkish intervention following an Athens-engineered coup on the island by Greek Cypriot supporters of union with Greece. "The starting point ought to be the foundation agreements of the 1960 Cyprus Republic, which was an effective federation of the two equal peoples of Cyprus. Apart from that, since they were expelled from the partnership administration by use of force in 1963, the Turkish Cypriot people have been a self-governing people. For years they struggled to have a lasting settlement on Cyprus but all their efforts failed because Greek Cypriots never wanted to share power and insisted on their uncompromising attitude of considering themselves as the 'sole legitimate government' -- a by-product of the wrong Cyprus approach of the international community, particularly of the EU -- and us as a minority to be patched up to that government. Seeing that, Turkish Cypriots established in 1983 their own state, but kept open the door for a settlement. It's because of this wrong approach that a settlement could not be achieved in the past four decades. If a settlement is wanted now, talks must be based on these realities of Cyprus... Particularly on the reality that there are two self-governing peoples on Cyprus who have two equal and sovereign states," the Turkish Cypriot leader reportedly told the American and EU envoys. The sources said Denktas complained to the envoys that the Annan plan carried fingerprints of former Greek Cypriot Attorney General Alekos Markides and the ex-special envoy of Britain for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, a business partner of George Vassiliou, a former Greek Cypriot president. He reportedly underlined that not only the document failed to meet Turkish Cypriot key demands regarding political equality and sovereignty matters, and rendered the 1960 guarantee scheme obselete, but would render refugee status to almost half of the Turkish Cypriot population due to the "disastrous" territorial adjustments and unacceptable high number of Greek Cypriots it stipulated to be resettled in northern Cyprus.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader, diplomatic sources said, instead offered resumption of direct talks between him and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos under U.N. auspices and reiterated his commitment to the good offices mission of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan."

    [9] Ilter Turkmen says there is a Euro-phobia in the Turkish side

    Writing in Turkish mainland HURRIYET newspaper (21.06.03) former ambassador and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ilter Turkmen expresses the opinion that the Turkish side sees many dangers in reaching a solution in Cyprus within the framework of the EU and is not seriously taking into consideration Turkey's EU accession. Mr Turkmen writes, inter alia, the following in his column under the title "Impressions from Cyprus":

    ".The real problem is the timetable. In May 2004 Southern Cyprus will take its place in the institutions of the EU as the 'Republic of Cyprus'. Many people believe that the solution will be very difficult, if not impossible, after this date. The TRNC is hardly pressed with its own timetable. In December parliamentary elections will be taking place. If the opposition wins, they will have a disagreement with the president on the issue of the Annan plan. How insistent could they be on their negotiating position, without the president? What will the stance of Turkey be? Ankara and Nicosia will be doing the right thing if they reach a joint decision on the issue of the solution before December.

    The government of the TRNC insists on Northern Cyprus' joining the EU only together with Turkey. However, not only (Turkey's) accession to the EU but also the possibility of beginning its accession negotiations without a solution to the Cyprus problem seems very unlikely. The government of the TRNC cannot explain how this deadlock could be overcome. It considers finding a solution under the EU umbrella to be a great danger, not a plus. It has developed an EU - phobia. It is not seriously taking into consideration the case of Turkey's EU accession".

    /SK


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