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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-07-02
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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.122/03 02.07.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The so-called "attorney general" says that they prepared the "law" regarding the occupied Greek Cypriot properties having the support of the Council of EuropeTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.07.03) reports that the so-called "attorney general" of the pseudostate, Mr Akin Sait, said yesterday that they prepared the "law" regarding granting compensations to the Greek Cypriots, who have properties in the occupied areas of the island, having the support and following the advices of the Council of Europe.
Noting that this "law" was the result of common efforts exerted together with Turkey and the General Directorate for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Mr Sait said that Turkey and Europe have been for years searching a formula on the properties issue, because of the "thousands of appeals" made by Greek Cypriots against Turkey at the Council of Europe.
After "the end of the Annan plan", he added, new efforts came onto the agenda. Mr Sait said that at a meeting, which took place at Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas' residence, he had been given the duty to prepare a "draft law" on the issue, which was finally formed at meetings in Strasbourg, with the participation of Ankara as well.
"That is, the views of Turkey and Europe have been taken on the issue. This law was formulated with the support and the suggestions of the Council of Europe. .We have prepared the law in the direction of the views and the suggestions of the General Directorate for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, as a result of efforts which lasted for months", he noted.
According to KIBRIS, Mr Sait expressed the belief that a lot of Greek Cypriots would appeal to the pseudostate to get compensations.
The so-called "law" was adopted yesterday under the name "Compensation of properties which remained within the borders of the TRNC and come under the 4th paragraph of the 159th article of the constitution". According to the "law", all the occupied Greek Cypriot properties are "nationalized". A commission or commissions consisting of seven or nine members will be formed. The members of the commissions will be "experts and neutral persons" who will accept testimonies in writing or orally.
The Greek Cypriots could appeal to the illegal commissions within one year after the "law" is published in the "official gazette". This period could be extended for one more year. The applicant will have to pay 100 million Turkish liras for the expenses of the case.
According to the "law", the money which will be given as compensation is going to be equal to the value of the property in 1974, plus the compensation for the loss of use of the property and possible income from it until the day of payment. The increase of the value of the property will also be taken into consideration. The commission will also examine whether or not the applicant is using Turkish property abandoned in the free areas of Cyprus, whether or not he or she is earning any income from the above-mentioned property or is paying rent for it.
The applicant Greek Cypriot could also demand to be given Turkish Cypriot property in the free areas, in exchange for his property in the occupied areas. A precondition for this is for the demanded Turkish Cypriot property to have been "renounced" by its Turkish Cypriot owner and transformed to the authorities of the pseudostate.
According to the "law", after the decision of the commission and if the applicant Greek Cypriot is not satisfied with it, he or she could appeal to the "courts" of the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus. If after the decision of the "court" the applicant is still not satisfied, he or she could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. However, the application will be made in order to complain for the decision of the illegal Turkish Cypriot "court" and not to demand the occupied Greek Cypriot property.
Those Greek Cypriots who accept the compensation given to them by the commission or the "courts" will not be able to demand the right of using their occupied property, which they will renounce from the moment they file the application to the commission. The Greek Cypriots who do not appeal to the commission will be compensated after a political solution to the Cyprus problem is reached.
Meanwhile, referring to the same issue, Turkish mainland daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (02.07.03 internet version) quodes Turkish and Turkish Cypriot official sources to have told the TDN on Tuesday that in line with the acknowledged principle that all domestic legal channels must be exhausted before a case could be handled by the ECHR, now they expect the European court to refer all pending Greek Cypriot property claims cases to the Turkish Cypriot "courts".
 Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister after meeting the so-called Association of Turkish Cypriot Martyrs' FamiliesAnatolia news agency (01/07/03) reported from Ankara that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday, ''peace will be settled in Cyprus one day. However, it should be based on sound grounds to be permanent.''
Gul received members of the so-called Association of Turkish Cypriot Relatives of Martyrs and Disabled Veterans.
Responding to questions of journalists following the meeting, Gul said: ''Serious clashes and disagreements were experienced in the world in the past. However, some of them did not continue for a long time. Therefore, peace will be settled in Cyprus one day. However, it should be based on sound grounds to be permanent. Everyone in the island should respect each other.''
''Turkey hopes that the international public opinion will understand the positive steps taken by the 'TRNC' to settle peace. I hope that the two sides will sit at the negotiation table again and find a solution on the basis of equal sovereignty. I also hope that the European Union (EU) will lift the embargo on 'TRNC'. In that case, negotiations can be resumed under much better conditions,'' he stressed. Mr Gul alleged: ''This is not the cause of only Cyprus. It is also the cause of everyone in the Republic of Turkey. Peace, the future and security of the Turkish Cypriots is our future and security. In order to settle a lasting peace in the island, a solution should be found to satisfy both sides. Both sides need a new partnership system based on equal sovereignty.''
Noting that they appreciated the recent steps Gul added: ''We have been expending intense efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus question. We do not consider the non-solution as a solution.''
Anatolia news agency also reported that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday that an image should not be created by making comparison between Mr Rauf Denktas and Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat.
When he was recalled about the news on comparison between Denktas and Arafat, Gul said that ''such comparisons were wrong.'' Gul alleged that every foreign delegation, which went to Cyprus, visited Denktas and that Denktas was the "elected President of the TRNC", adding: ''Such comparisons are not right.''
 Rauf Denktas: "No one can exert pressure on us"Under the title "Denktas: No one can tell us 'Sit immediately on the negotiation table!", VATAN (02/07/03), in its front page, reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said: "In order for the Greek Cypriot side to make any amendments to the Constitution of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus, the majority of two thirds of the Turkish Cypriots must say "yes", and this is impossible".
Expressing the view that the Cyprus problem will not be an issue that will spoil the relations between the U.S.A and Turkey, Rauf Denktas, who was the guest at the AKIS programme of illegal BAYRAK television broadcast last night, said that the U.S.A cannot get anywhere by exerting pressure and added: "No one can tell us 'sit immediately at the negotiation table'.It can 't be like that. However, our openings will continue, the world expects from us to make changes, we expect from the Greek Cypriots to change. The Greek Cypriots won't go anywhere in the Cyprus problem without changing their positions."
 The Lefka Peace Initiative Organization calls on all the Cypriots to participate in a demonstration in favor of solution and EU accessionTurkish Cypriot daily ORTAM (02/07/03) reports that the Lefka Peace Initiative Organization is organizing a demonstration at the occupied Lefka Village.
The paper writes that the demonstration will be held in favor of peace, solution in Cyprus and EU accession. In addition the Organization asks for the opening of all the gates of the so-called borders. The Organization calls on all the Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites and Latins to participate in this action.
The demonstration will be held on the 9th of July 2003 at the occupied Lefka village at 20:00. The paper stresses that this gathering is a historic one since it brings to mind a mass demonstration that took place 55 years ago at Lefka village by Turkish and Greek Cypriot mine workers.
 Reports about a dispute between Russia and Turkey over gas pricesTurkish Daily News (02/07/03) publishes the following report by Ilnur Cevik: "The Russian government is angry because of the failure of "Blue Stream" natural gas price talks between the Turkish government and Gazprom and may be moving to retaliate by cutting down economic ties with Turkey, sources close to the Moscow administration reported on Tuesday.
Turkish officials have said the gas to be sold to Turkey by privately owned Gazprom of Russia through the newly built Blue Stream pipeline is too expensive and should be reduced. There was talk that the Russian government also supported the Turkish view and encouraged Gazprom to reduce the prices. In return Gazprom agreed to a reduction of a few dollars in the price but ruled out any substantial cut. The talks failed and Gazprom announced it will seek international arbitration.
The sources said there were rumors in Moscow that President Vladimir Putin was angered with the failure of price talks and felt Gazprom had done all it could to satisfy Turkish officials. They said there was talk in Moscow that Putin had ordered a freeze in economic relations with Turkey. There was talk that Russia would increase import duties on Turkish imports, scrap some of the contracts with Turkish companies and shelve its economic and trade agreements with Turkey. They claimed major Turkish companies like Koc, which operates supermarket chains in Russia, and Enka involved in construction and real estate would be hurt.
Sources also said the Italians are concerned that their interests are also being harmed. Eni, an Italian company built the high-tech pipeline that passes across the Black Sea and the loans for the construction would be paid back to Italian and American financiers through the gas sold to Turkey over the years."
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Mehmet Ali Birand calls on Turkey to work for a solution in Cyprus until May 2004Turkish Daily News (01/07/03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:
"I had met Tassos Papadopoulos, Greek Cypriots' current president, for the first time in the 1970s. At that time he was one of the assistants Archbishop Makarios considered to be closest to him in the EOKA organization, one of the persons Makarios trusted most. I was a young journalist. This time I have taken a look and seen that we have both changed (!)
In the past, he had a belligerent look -- partly because of the recklessness that comes from being young. He did not mince his words at all. He is more mature now. He thinks before he speaks out. He is visibly self-confident. He is quite persuasive.
In general Greek Cypriots are quite happy about the developments. How can they not be?
Thanks to the Turkish side's attitude they have gotten rid of the Annan Plan and they have become a full member of the European Union. The attitude Denktas took in the Haque last February made them all the more happy. We can say in this respect that Denktas is Papadopoulos's closest ally. The more the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) president avoids a solution the more Papadopoulos wins. What they have in common is that they both hate the Annan Plan.
Now, Greek Cypriots, at least a significant part of them, expect a final "goodwill gesture" from Denktas. They expect him to maintain his current stance without any change till May 2004, to make no effort at all for a solution, to continue on the "lack of a solution" path.
Under the circumstances, without giving anything in return they will have gotten rid of the Annan Plan, attaining in the EU a position that will allow them to have a say.
This advantageous position has come as a great relief to the Greek Cypriot political circles. They feel more secure. They have shed their old fears,
Now they take this even further, saying, "We have reached the point where we are now in a position to invoke the EU rules against the Turks rather than the Annan Plan. Even if a solution was to be reached in May 2004, the Annan Plan should be amended and adjusted to the EU rules."
They believe that they have won the chess game. That is, free circulation, freedom to buy property, etc...
Subtitle: Papadopoulos, meanwhile, says exactly the opposite
In reality, Turkish Cypriot people's minds too are confused.
Not everybody says that the Turkish Cypriot side has lost the game, that the Greek Cypriots have secured their own position by joining the EU. Some believe exactly the opposite.
Papadopoulos drew attention to the fact that Cyprus joining the EU without finding a solution to the Cyprus problem would be a major hazard. He clearly pointed out that he is wary of the possibility of the current borders remaining unchanged and the division of the island thus becoming permanent.
He said, "...I think there are those who think in this vein. However, I don't share those views." Well, what is going to happen? Is it going to be the Annan Plan once again?
Denktas says, "I will not have talks on the basis of that plan." A new plan?
But then the U.N. Secretary-General may not sit down for talks.
I could not reach any conclusions on the basis of the answer Papadopoulos gave to that question. We had a discussion with both YESSes and NOs and lots of BUTs.
As far as I can discern, in Northern Cyprus all eyes are now on the Turkish side or, to put it more correctly, on Ankara. They all are curious to know whether Ankara has reached a decision.
Their guess is that by May Turkey will put forth a new proposal. No one wants to reveal his hand before the details emerge.
Subtitle: Papadopoulos would make up for the time lost
When Papadopoulos became President Clerides's successor, some observers in both the TRNC and Turkey said, "Unlike Clerides, Papadopoulos is not charismatic. Besides, he is not known or liked by the West. This is an advantage for us."
Don't let us make a mistake.
The West supports "policies" rather than "charisma". Besides, Greek Cypriots' new President is not the kind of person that would let himself be easily bypassed.
Therefore, we should stop engagining in empty talk and decide without any delay what we should do. May 2004 will be the last chance regarding the Cyprus issue. Our chances have paled out a lot by now. Don't let us miss whatever chance we are left with."