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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-07-04

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.124/03 04.07.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Rauf Denktas gave an interview to CNN Turk's Mehmet Ali Birand
  • [02] Turkey's Foreign Minister meets with the British Foreign Secretary in London
  • [03] Dervis Eroglu stated that the issue of the Turkish Cypriots who hold passports of the Republic of Cyprus is not on the "agenda"
  • [04] Dangerous drinking water in the occupied areas
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Mehmet Ali Birnad: "Denktas is clearly indicating that he does not want a solution"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Rauf Denktas gave an interview to CNN Turk's Mehmet Ali Birand

    CNN TURK television (03.07.03) broadcast an interview by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to Mehmet Ali Birand on his "Headline" program. On the above-mentioned program Mr Denktas announced that the Turkish Cypriots are preparing their own solution plan to the Cyprus problem.

    Replying to Mehmet Ali Birand's questions Mr Denktas said that the package, which will be incorporating all issues, might be announced before the December "elections" in the occupied areas. Mr Denktas alleged that the biggest mistake committed until now was "spending so much time at the negotiating table".

    "We have an alternative. We can turn into a kind of Dubai or Hong Kong in the Middle East by declaring ourselves a free zone. The essential point is not to capitulate and not be under the yoke of the Greek Cypriots in Cyprus", he argued.

    Mr Denktas also said: "Our biggest mistake until now was our presence at the negotiating table. We were unable to act because we were engaged at the negotiating table. Any step we would have taken would have been interpreted as our not favoring an agreement or conciliation. If the Greek Cypriots really fail to come round and see reason, and if the EU which claims that it wants to admit the whole of Cyprus from a geopolitical aspect fails to come to its senses and to realize the mistake and the injustice it is committing and says that it has admitted Cyprus as a member, there are steps that we will take. A plan is being prepared on these steps".

    Asked by Mr Birand if he will announce this plan before or after the so-called "elections" which are planned to take place in December 2003 in occupied Cyprus, Mr Denktas said: "We will announce it as soon as it is ready. The 'elections' are not a milestone". Asked whether this could it be announced before the elections, Mr Denktas answered: "Yes, it could".

    Asked whether or not this would be a comprehensive package that will surprise the world, the Turkish Cypriot leader claimed: "It will incorporate everything. They are trying to seize Cyprus. We will not give it away".

    [02] Turkey's Foreign Minister meets with the British Foreign Secretary in London

    Turkish mainland CUMHURIYET newspaper (04.07.03) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met yesterday in London with the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. In statements after the meeting Mr Gul referred to Cyprus and argued that the important thing is to reach a mutually acceptable and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Following a working breakfast held at Straw's residence, a joint press conference was held. Mr Gul said that they had discussed the Cyprus problem and Turkey's relations with the EU issue. Mr Gul claimed that the so-called embargo on the occupied areas of Cyprus must be lifted if a solution is to be reached.

    Responding to a question, Gul said: ''We have always defended that the non-solution is not a solution. Our efforts in this respect continue. Reciprocal steps were taken about confidence building measures. The important thing is to find a lasting solution which will satisfy both sides.''

    In his statements, the British Foreign Secretary said that the recent positive developments in Cyprus have led to people's being optimistic of the future, particularly in view of the fact that both sides have responded positively to these developments.

    Meanwhile, invoking diplomatic sources, the Turkish TRT2 state television (03.07.03) broadcast that Mr Straw asked Turkey to "increase the pressure" on the occupation regime towards the direction of reaching a solution in Cyprus. The same sources said that the Turkish side answered that the side, which must actually be "encouraged for a solution", are the Greek Cypriots and urged Britain, as guarantor country, to exert pressure on them.

    [03] Dervis Eroglu stated that the issue of the Turkish Cypriots who hold passports of the Republic of Cyprus is not on the "agenda"

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.07.03) reports that Mr Dervis Eroglu, so-called Prime Minister and leader of the National Unity Party (NUP), commented on the issue of whether or not the Turkish Cypriots who hold passports of the Republic of Cyprus, should be allowed to vote in the forthcoming "elections".

    Commenting on yesterday's statements of Mr Rauf Denktas regarding this issue, Mr Eroglu said that this issue is neither on the "government's" nor on NUP's agenda and noted that such a decision had not been taken by anybody. Adding that the Mr Denktas' comments were only his thoughts, Mr Eroglu concluded saying that the so-called government is not considering such an issue for the time being.

    [04] Dangerous drinking water in the occupied areas

    Under the front-page banner title "Danger in the water", Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.07.03) reports that as a result of analysis conducted to water samples from various regions of occupied Cyprus, the so-called "state laboratory" established that "the coliform bacterium is being reproduced in quantities that threaten the human health".

    The paper writes that the samples of both drinking and seawater, as well as of water for domestic use have been analyzed.

    In statements to KIBRIS Mr Hasan Oztoprak, "under secretary" at the so-called "ministry of health", confirmed the above-mentioned information and noted that they had warned the so-called "municipalities" and the "water board" to take measures on the issue as soon as possible.

    According to KIBRIS, it has been established that the drinking water in regions such as occupied Omorphita, Ayios Dometios, Gonyeli, Lefka, Famagusta, Karavas, and Kyrenia is dangerous for the human health. Furthermore, the water of a public beach in occupied Kyrenia is considered to be dangerous.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Mehmet Ali Birnad: "Denktas is clearly indicating that he does not want a solution"

    Writing in Turkish Daily News (04.07.03), the Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birand expresses the opinion that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas does not want a solution in Cyprus. In his article under the title "We do not know what we will do in Cyprus", Mr Birand, who had recently been in Cyprus and interviewed both Mr Denktas and President Papadopoulos, writes the following:

    "The last rendezvous for finding a solution in Cyprus: April 2004. Or first rendezvous was at the European Union's Copenhagen summit in December 2002. At that time Turkey had extremely strong trump cards. If it willingly accepted the Annan Plan while demanding changes in some parts of it, that would have pushed the Greek Cypriot side into a corner and, in order not to miss the chance to be a full member of the EU, Greek Cypriots would have to bow down.

    The Annan Plan -- the version we rejected -- acknowledged that the 'TRNC' had a separate identity and it embraced the entire Turkish expectations. Turkey missed that chance at the Copenhagen summit and thus it lost to Greek Cypriots part of the trump cards it had been holding in its hands. Greek Cypriots have been declared officially to be a member of the EU.

    Our second rendezvous was in March 2003. The Turkish side rejected the Annan Plan once again -- again despite the certain changes made in it. Having pocketed the EU full membership the Greek Cypriot administration took its second step on that date, signing the accession treaty. This way it grabbed from Turkey some more of the bargaining chips and then continued on its path.

    The latest rendezvous is in April 2004. On that date Cyprus' full membership will begin officially. If, until then, a solution can be found, the 'TRNC' too will be able to join the EU.

    Greek Cypriots are in haste. They will be in a difficult position if the Turkish side appears on the scene with a new package of proposals. It will be very difficult for them to reject it. If the Turkish side does not make a move they will be all too happy. They will just complete the full membership process. The Turkish side's bargaining chips will erode further while Greek Cypriots, their backs covered by the EU, will expand their advantages.

    Actually, the April 2004 rendezvous offers the last chance to the Turkish side. Beyond that date Greek Cypriots will feel no need to strive for a solution anymore since they will have gotten veto rights. They will cast aside all the advantages the Annan Plan would have given the Turkish side. They will try to keep the northern part of the island under control without giving anything in return.

    Subtitle: Well, what does Ankara want to do?

    So, April 2004 is an important date for us. Rather than striving for a continuation of the current lack of a solution, rather than trying to kill the Annan Plan at any cost, the Turkish side must put forth without any delay at all its own formula for a solution.

    Yet the 'TRNC' administration is applying the brakes fully. Denktas is clearly indicating that he does not want a solution. Well, how is the atmosphere in Ankara? The JD Party government is aware of the fact that it has missed the 'Copenhagen' chance. Now, for the first time, there is a growing conviction to the effect that 'A solution must definitely be found.' Even the well known 'NO' circles at the Foreign Ministry now tend to soften their stance.

    It is all very well but things get complicated when you ask the question, 'What kind of solution should we seek?' This is for the simple reason that Turkey does not have a policy for a Cyprus solution, not even an "acceptable enough" one let alone a 'maximalist' one. Minds are confused.

    Furthermore, the "national" circles are preparing to launch a major resistance drive since they want to use the Cyprus trump card to block the Turkish entry into the EU. The opposition Republican People's Party (RPP) too cannot stop itself from contributing to that effort. This vicious circle can be broken only if the government takes a decision and starts implementing it. Otherwise Turkey will not only lose Cyprus but also -- since it will not be able to get rid of the biggest obstacle on the EU path -- it will put undue strain on its own future. This is the time to be stirred into action".


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