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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-06-30

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.120/03 28-29-30.06.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Gul describes the Annan plan as "a satisfactory text"
  • [02] Mr Rauf Denktas and Mr Kutlay Erk's statements on the issues of the settlers and the "Green Line"
  • [03] The Council of Europe wants payment to Loizidou first
  • [04] A new political movement under the leadership of Mustafa Akinci was established
  • [05] Turkey is said to be about to take new measures in the Cyprus problem
  • [06] A new chairman of NJP has unanimously been elected
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Ilter Turkmen analyses the property problem in Cyprus with reference to the South Africa -Namibia Case

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Gul describes the Annan plan as "a satisfactory text"

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.06.03) reports that Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdullah Gul described the UN Secretary-General's plan towards finding a solution in Cyprus as "a satisfactory text".

    Speaking on the "Morning in Ankara" programme of the Turkish ATV television, Mr Gul said: "Even if Rauf Denktas says that the Annan plan is dead, the important thing is that there is a satisfactory text on the table".

    Mr Gul noted that the world is still seeing Turkey as the side, which does not want a solution in Cyprus and considers the non-solution of the problem as the solution. The Turkish Minister reiterated the position of his government that Justice and Development Party (JDP) does not see the non-solution as the solution in Cyprus. Mr Gul argued also that things, which were not done for 25 years in the island, became true within two months.

    Referring to his country's EU accession course, Mr Gul expressed the opinion that both Turkey and the EU will benefit from the Turkish accession to the Union and added: "We are not going to cry if we do not accede into the EU. The EU should cry if it loses Turkey". Responding to questions, Mr Gul said that a country with such a strong army like Turkey, would offer the EU a lot.

    [02] Mr Rauf Denktas and Mr Kutlay Erk's statements on the issues of the settlers and the "Green Line"

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (29.06.03) reports that Mr Kutlay Erk, "mayor" of occupied Nicosia, briefed French diplomats on the Cyprus problem, after an invitation by France's ambassador to Nicosia Mr Jacques Depaigne. Mr Erk's speech took place at the Classic Hotel in the free areas of Nicosia.

    Mr Erk noted that the most important conclusion from the developments after the limited freedom of movement began, is that reaching a solution in Cyprus is more necessary than ever. However, he claimed that the solution could not be achieved either by the continuation of the existing status quo or by the accession of a divided island into the EU.

    Mr Erk noted also that the existence of the Green Line in Nicosia "is the symbol of the success of the extreme nationalists and the fascist mentality in the island".

    Referring to the issue of the settlers from Turkey, Mr Erk argued that the Annan plan, which is the "most acceptable plan" submitted until today, gave the settlers the right to remain in the island if they wished. However, he added, by rejecting this plan, these people "were once again deceived". Mr Erk claimed also that the Turks who emigrates from Turkey mainly preferred going to Germany and France, but "when they could not go there they rushed into Cyprus".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.06.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas, in a statement he made to the illegal TAK news agency in Crans Montana, Switzerland, answered to Mr Erk's statements regarding the existence of the dividing line and the Turkish settlers in Cyprus. Mr Denktas reiterated the allegations of the Turkish side that the Green Line had been drawn to "save the Turks from being massacred".

    Mr Denktas noted also that if he had signed the Annan plan, a great number of Turkish settlers would have been forced to leave the island, whereas the rest of them would have been forced to abandon the Greek properties where they live in now. "These people are here because I have not signed the Annan plan", he added.

    [03] The Council of Europe wants payment to Loizidou first

    Turkish Daily News (28/06/03) reports that the President of the Council of Europe Ministers Committee, Moldavian Foreign Minister Nicolae Dadau said on Monday the Committee will decide the future of similar cases after Turkey's payment of damages to Titina Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot who couldn't access her home after the Turkish intervention on the island.

    Turkey has conditionally accepted a 1998 European court ruling to pay damages of 400,000 Cyprus pounds ($700,000) to Titina Loizidou for denying her access to her home in Kyrenia on the Turkish side of Cyprus.

    Turkish officials have said they would pay the damages only if it was not considered a precedent and if 3,000 similar cases by other Greek Cypriot refugees were withdrawn.

    Dadau, speaking at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly said Turkey guaranteed the payment at the meeting on June 19.

    "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" will establish a court specialized in similar cases, in accordance with the agreement behind close doors between Turkey and European court.

    [04] A new movement under the leadership of Mustafa Akinci was established

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS (29/06/03) reports that a new political movement under the name "Peace and Democracy Movement" (PDM) has been established. The new movement, which is under the leadership of Mr Mustafa Akinci, held a press conference on Saturday, inside KTOS Union headquarters, where the principles and aims of the Movement were announced.

    As the paper reports, three political parties, the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), the Cyprus Socialist Party (CSP) and the United Cyprus Party (UCP) support the new Movement. Various Trade Union Organizations among them the Turkish Workers' Trade Union, (TURK-SEN), the so-called Workers of Municipalities Union (BES) and the so-called Civil Servants' Trade Union (GAG-SEN), also support the new Movement. As the paper writes Mr Akinci made public a list of 67 persons who support the PDM. Between them are significant members of the parties and organizations mentioned above, along with many businessmen, artists and academicians.

    According to KIBRIS, Mr Akinci stated that the new Movement is not a leftist group but a unity of people who had gathered in the squares and had as a common denominator their will for solution and EU accession. Mr Akinci also stated that the December "elections" will not be carried out under normal and usual conditions and therefore this is not the time for parties and organizations to participate in the elections "under their own flag", as he said. He also stated that these "elections" would turn into a referendum. "These are not elections, but a referendum", he stressed. The leader of the Movement also said that the PDM is open till the end to any other organization, which wants to participate in this effort.

    Mr Akinci read at the Press Conference a declaration of 7 points, which constitute the principles and aims of the new Movement. Among others in the declaration it was stated that the new movement was established in accordance with the will of persons who gathered four times at the Inonu Square and stressed that the expectation of these persons is to achieve permanent peace in Cyprus and EU accession. He said that the objective of the new Movement is to reach a solution as foreseen in the Annan plan by 1st of May 2004 and make the membership of a united Cyprus possible. He also stressed that the PDM has been formed in order to make it possible for the pro-solution and pro-EU forces to act together, win the "elections" and reach the objectives of peace and EU with a pro-solution negotiation team.

    [05] Turkey is said to be about to take new measures in the Cyprus problem

    According to Kibrisli newspaper (29.06.03), Turkey is going to take new measures in the Cyprus problem. The newspaper characterizes these measures as a surprise.

    Kibrisli reports that the fenced area of the occupied town of Varosia will be opened and it will be under the control of the "Turkish Cypriot Authority". "However", the newspaper continues, "if the Greek Cypriot side lifts the embargo on the Turkish Cypriots, then the Turkish Cypriot Authorities will give the town back to the Greek Cypriots".

    The newspaper, also, reports that in the "surprise-measures" there is also a provision that one thousand Turkish soldiers will withdraw from the island, every three months.

    Meanwhile, mainland ZAMAN newspaper (28/06/03) publishes exclusive statements made by the Head of the Turkish Delegation of the Parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr Murat Mercan who said that Turkey is working on various formulas aiming at removing the Cyprus problem from being an obstacle on its way to the EU.

    [06] A new chairman of NJP has unanimously been elected

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.06.03) reports that Mr Ali Riza Gorgun has unanimously been elected as chairman of the Nationalist Justice Party (NJP), whose members are mainly illegal settlers from Turkey. The paper writes that Mr Gorgun was the only candidate for the post at NJP's congress that had repeatedly been postponed and finally took place on Sunday.

    According to KIBRIS, a delegation of Turkey's Nationalist Action Party (NAP) headed by its general secretary, Faruk Bal attended NJP's congress.

    In his speech after he was elected, Mr Gorgun said that the aim of the party is to win the December 2003 "elections" in the occupied areas and come to power.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Ilter Turkmen analyses the property problem in Cyprus with reference to the South Africa -Namibia Case

    Mainland Hurriyet newspaper (28/06/03) publishes the following commentary by Ilter Turkmen under the title: "Property problem in Cyprus":

    "Due to the intercommunal fighting and the military intervention of 1974 almost half the population on Cyprus was forced to abandon their property.

    For this reason property is without doubt the toughest and most complex problem of the Cyprus issue. The matter has two aspects to it: Cases taken up by the European Court of Human Rights and the solution formulas in the Annan Plan. There is an unavoidable interaction between them.

    Titina Loizidou applied to the European Court in 1998 claiming she had been unable to use her property in northern Cyprus and the Court ruled that Turkey should pay compensation. Turkey though has insisted to date that it is not responsible for what goes on in northern Cyprus and has refused to comply with the European Court's ruling. However, by announcing to the Council of Europe Ministerial Committee recently that it will pay via the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] the $1 million including interest in October, Turkey has made a radical change in its policy. One of the reasons prompting Turkey to make such a change is the matter of around 3,000 applications made to the European Court based on the Loizidou case. A second reason is that the Parliamentary Assembly, of the Council of Europe is closely watching Turkey along with countries like Ukraine and Albania and that this situation could adversely affect the EU membership process.

    The payment Turkey is to make is part of the consensus arrived at with the Council of Europe. The 3,000 cases before the European Court will from now on be transferred to a local committee set up by "TRNC" ruling. Those who apply to the committee will renounce their rights to their property in exchange for compensation. Furthermore, just as with the Loizidou case compensation for all the years they were not able to use their property will be paid. Interest will not be worked out with effect in 1974 but in 1990, when Turkey was obliged to accept the European Court rulings. By its very nature the ability to implement this process is dependent on the European Court adopting the consensus arrived at. On the other hand, that the cases will be seen in "TRNC" will not amount to recognition of the north. In an application made to the European Court in May 2000 this was the conclusion arrived at after looking at the consultative view pertaining to the authority of local courts in Namibia, which was under South African rule. It is not easy to calculate today the total amount in compensation that Turkey will have to pay. The European Court ordered that Loizidou be paid $700,000 simply because she had been unable to use her property. Added to this now is the cost of the property itself. All properties are not of the same size. All the same if we assume that every case will see an average payment of half a million dollars, then 3,000 applicants will require the payment of $1.5 billion. Seeing that some 20-30,000 cases are being mentioned this amount could rise to $20-30 billion. Almost what we owe to the IMF! Not a brilliant prospect but at least the new method will gain us a few years. It is hoped that a solution will be arrived at in this time. It must not be forgotten that had the Annan plan been accepted then all the cases at the European Court would have been dropped.

    The key points in the Annan Plan for the solution of the property problem are: The return of property in those areas not to be left to southern Cyprus is subject to restrictions. No more than 10 percent of the land and houses in the north will be returned. As part of this provision the Turks living there will have to move out within five years. Any Turk with property in the south will preserve his or her property if its value is worth at least 50 percent of his or her property in the north. If their property in the north has undergone extensive repair or renovation then they will stay put. Greek Cypriots will be able to rent their homes in the north to the Turkish Cypriots for periods no less than 20 years. There will be incentives, such as tax exemption, so that the Greek Cypriots might renounce their rights to property in the north in return for compensation. As for the problem of financing, UN General-Secretary Annan envisaged an international participation conference before his plan was rejected. Yet, unless and until the problem on Cyprus is resolved then Turkey will have to make all the compensation payments to the Greek Cypriots alone.

    Turkey must choose which option to take without delay. There is not much time."


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