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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-06-24
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.116/03 24.06.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister on the Annan Plan for CyprusIstanbul NTV television (23.06.03) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, who has returned from the World Economic Forum meetings in Jordan, said that his visit to the United States might take place in July. Commenting on proposals that the Cyprus talks continue based on the Annan plan, Gul said: "If satisfactory amendments are made to the Annan plan, then why not?"
On his return from the World Economic Forum meetings in Jordan, Gul assessed his contacts at Esenboga Airport. Explaining that within the framework of the forum meetings mainly the reconstruction of Iraq and the Middle East road map were discussed, Gul announced that a decision was reached on the foreign ministers of Palestine, Switzerland, and Greece arriving for a visit in Turkey in the coming days. He also clarified the issue of his visit to the United States.
He said: "As you know, they extended an invitation while our Under Secretary was on a visit in Washington. We will plan it without delay. I believe that it will be realized in the coming month."
Gul, who also met with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was asked: "How do you view the resumption of the Cyprus talks based on the Annan plan?"
He replied: "The important thing is not whether this is the Annan plan or any other plan. You can call it whatever you wish. The important thing is to reach an agreement on a satisfactory plan. It is impossible to leave the United Nations totally out of the picture. As a matter of fact, we appreciate the UN activities and efforts. The plan that emerged, however, was unsatisfactory. We clearly explained our views at the time. If acceptable amendments are made to this plan, then why not?"
 The Turkish Cypriot leader is leaving for Crans MontanaTurkish Cypriot VATAN newspaper (24.06.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, will leave for Switzerland tomorrow in order to attend the Crans Montana Forum, to be held between 25-29 June.
Mr Denktas will fly to Switzerland by way of Istanbul and will return to the occupied areas on Sunday evening.
 ORTAM newspaper: It is time to redress the mistakes made and not to agitate.Under the front page banner headlines "Well, and what did we do?" ORTAM newspaper (24.06.03) criticizes the so-called Turkish Cypriot News Agency (TAK), which yesterday distributed to the Turkish Cypriot press a news item with 68 photographs from Turkish Cypriot villages in the free areas of Cyprus.
"Being the official news agency of Northern Cyprus, and while the opening of the borders is considered one step towards solution, TAK launched a `continuous' news distribution explaining how bad the situation of the Turkish Cypriot villages in the South are." writes ORTAM and adds:
"TAK yesterday distributed a news item with 68 photographs and with the indication `to be continued tomorrow', presenting the saddening condition of the Turkish Cypriot properties left in south Cyprus, but it opted not to mention the situation of the properties, the graveyards and the sanctuaries left by the Greek Cypriots in North Cyprus, which causes inner grief".
And the paper goes on: "Yes, it is true that both in the South and in the North some of the respected places left behind suffered very badly. houses, graveyards, holy places were demolished, turned into rains, properties inherited from the parents changed title deeds and owners. however, it is not the time to bring these to the surface and agitating people, it is high time to redress the mistakes of the past".
It is worth noting that ORTAM publishes also in its front page a photograph of the mosque at Timi village of Paphos, which is in an excellent condition since it was restored, but according to the news given by TAK it was presented as strange that there is a place where Greek Cypriots place offerings, and asks: "Well, what have we done to the Greek churches?".
 Talat wants elections as soon as possibleYENIDUZEN (24.06.03) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, in a written statement issued yesterday, proposes that they must bring into the agenda in the so-called Assembly the elections issue.
"The team that consists of Denktas, NUP (National Unity Party), and DP (Democratic Party), by refusing to discuss the Annan plan has dynamited the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and the ground for being a side for a solution acknowledged by this international law", Talat concluded.
 Military service for Turkish conscripts to be reducedTurkish NTV Channel (24.06.03) broadcast that the Turkish cabinet approved on Monday a proposal by the General Staff to reduce the terms conscripts will serve in uniform, in the framework of a major restructuring of the Turkish armed forces.
Under the new arrangement, the statement said that it had been decided to decrease the time privates spent in the military from 18 month to 15 months, while reserve officers would serve for 12 months rather than the present 16-month term. Those soldiers serving eight-month short service terms would now only be in the armed forces for six months. "The draft aiming at shortening military service was signed at the Council of Ministers today without making any changes in the proposal of the General Staff," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after the five and a half-hour cabinet meeting.
The change to the terms under which conscripts would serve is part of a plan by the General Staff to reduce the number of men in uniform by 17 percent. The decision will come into effect as of July 15, 2003.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 What does the Loizidou decision mean for Turkey?Turkish Daily News (24.06.03) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Ulsever:
"The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had decided on October 28, 1998, that the Greek-Cypriot lady by the name of Titina Loizidou is right in her allegations that her land in northern Cyprus has been confiscated by the Turkish Army and thus Turkey has to pay the lady around $650,000 as compensation for confiscation and the land be promptly returned to the lady.
The Turkish response until last week, following the advice of hawks such as Professor Mumtaz Soysal, was not to implement the court decision.
Their reasoning was:
1) The Turkish army has been there on the island for the last 30 years to bring peace to the island.
2) Conquered land cannot be given back as Turkey cannot accept enemy-Greeks among Turkish any more.
3) The UN and ECHR decisions are purely political.
4) Turkey will not settle the "Cyprus problem" until the `TRNC' is recognized worldwide.
Based on the above logic, Turkey had refused to make the payment until recently. Thus, approximately another $350,000 in interest-fines was added to the bill and the compensation is now around $1,000,000!
The Turkish government, last week, suddenly decided that it is ready to pay the compensation money at last to Mrs Loizidou by October 8, 2003. The government still carries some provisions around the decision that it made before, but nevertheless the acceptance of the ECHR verdict means that the Turkish policy towards Cyprus has drastically changed.
By accepting the verdict, Turkey has also accepted the grounds for the decision.
The grounds are:
1) Following the international norms and the UN decisions, `TRNC¨ cannot be an independent state at any time of history. The Republic of Cyprus represents the whole island.
2) The Constitution of `TRNC' including Article 159 that talks about the "land ownership right of the state" is totally denied.
3) The plaintiff, besides winning compensation, still owns her land in northern Cyprus.
4) The plaintiff's right of using her land has been denied by the Turkish Army who has occupied northern Cyprus.
5) Turkey keeps too many active soldiers on the Island, keeps the total control at the north and thus it is totally responsible for the decisions of `TRNC'.
6) Thus, the allegation of the Turkish government that she is only responsible at the ECHR for the cases that have arisen from within her borders is not acceptable. Turkey is also responsible for the cases arising out of lands she has occupied (i.e. Cyprus).
7) The court believes that her power to look at cases against Turkey started with Turkey's declaration that she will abide by ECHR decisions (Article 46) on January 22, 1990.
I had announced after the November 3 elections that the real winner of the struggle between the status quo and the reformers would depend on who wins on Cyprus.
So far, the reformers are doing fine!"