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

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.125/03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ali Erel wants the Turkish Cypriot opposition to participate in the December ^”elections^‘ with a joint list.
  • [02] Zulfu Livaneli criticizes JDP^“s stance on Cyprus.
  • [03] Cypriot parties to meet Schwimmer to discuss ^”TRNC^‘ property court.
  • [04] The emblem of the Peace and Democracy Movement was announced.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] The Turkish side aims at a step by step solution after the partial lifting of restrictions.
  • [06] Denktas insists on sovereignty for the occupied areas of Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ali Erel wants the Turkish Cypriot opposition to participate in the December ^”elections^‘ with a joint list

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.07.03) reports that Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade has expressed the opinion that the Turkish Cypriot opposition should participate in the December ^”elections^‘ with a joint list.

    In a written statement he issued yesterday, Mr Erel notes the following on this matter: ^”^ŇEvery political party could take its own decisions. However, in abnormal periods, exceptional decisions must be taken. ^Ň In case a joint list could not be formed, in spite of all our efforts, all the lists should be considered as ours. We could together ask for votes for all of them. We want and shall want votes not for the persons but for the ideas and the aims. As persons, or as Chamber, we shall not worry about the issue of who among those who are within the peace political spectrum will take more votes. ^Ň^‘.

    Mr Erel argued that the thousands of people who had gathered in the huge rallies organized by the supporters of reaching a solution in Cyprus and the accession to the EU demand from the opposition parties to act together. The will of these people must be reflected in the ^”election^‘ eresult, he added.

    Noting that what should be changed is the regime in the occupied areas, Mr Erel added, inter alia, the following: ^”^ŇThe front of those who oppose to Turkey^“s accession to the EU is united with those who use the Cyprus issue for this purpose and oppose to the solution in Cyprus and its accession to the EU. ^ŇThose who have unjustly taken Greek Cypriot property (translator^“s note: in the occupied areas of Cyprus) insist on the global exchange of properties.

    The great majority of the Turkish Cypriot community considers as its first priority the accession to the EU and holds above all the political and ideological differences the solution and the accession to the EU, as a way to get rid of a system, which is collapsing. ^ŇThe rejection of the Annan plan led to the ^—TRNC^“ citizens from Turkey being unjustly treated. A solution on the basis of the Annan plan would register the rights of these Turkish Cypriots who have been settled in Cyprus from Turkey many years ago and consider this place as their country. With the solution they would become citizens of the EU and of one of the two politically equal Constituent Cypriot States, which would be established. ^Ň^‘.

    [02] Zulfu Livaneli criticizes JDP^“s stance on Cyprus

    In an exclusive interview with Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (07.07.03) Zulfu Livaneli, MP with the Turkish mainland Republican People^“s Party (RPP) and famous composer and singer, has criticized the policy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) on Cyprus.

    Mr Livaneli said, inter alia, the following on the issue: ^”JDP does not have a clear stance. They are expressing some wishes and behave in a concrete manner. Afterwards they make a step backwards. I do not know the reason for this. I do not know whether or not this is because they are warned by circles. Afterwards they want to go a little bit further and after a while they once more make a step backwards. ^Ň^‘.

    [03] Cypriot parties to meet Schwimmer to discuss ^”TRNC^‘ property court

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (07.07.03) reports the following:

    ^”Leaders of Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties are to meet today with the head of the Council of Europe to discuss a recent move of the Turkish Cypriot Parliament to pay compensation to Greek Cypriots who have been denied access to their abandoned properties in the Turkish section of the island since the 1974 military operation of Turkey.

    Leaders of the Turkish Cypriot government and opposition parties left for Istanbul Sunday en route to Strasbourg, France, where they will be received by Council of Europe's Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer.

    The Turkish Cypriot Parliament's decision is expected to pave the way for a court that will hear complaints from Greek Cypriots that have not been able to use their properties in Turkish Cyprus since 1974.

    Turkish officials expect that this court will block dozens of applications from Greek Cypriots that demand compensation from Turkey in the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that the Turkish military presence in the island denied access to their property.

    The European court has already sentenced Turkey to pay compensation to a Greek Cypriot woman but the payment has not been made yet as Turkey says the complaint should be made to the `TRNCī government.

    Officials from the European Court of Human Rights are also expected to attend the talks with Turkish and Greek Cypriot party leaders in Strasbourg.

    Turkish Cypriot party leaders, including `TRNC Prime Ministerī Dervis Eroglu, are expected to return to the island on Tuesday.^‘

    [04] The emblem of the Peace and Democracy Movement was announced

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper KIBRIS (05.07.03), reports that the newly established Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) announced its emblem. As the paper writes the particular emblem was decided during a large meeting of the Movementīs members on Friday evening.

    The emblem consists of 12 stars in a navy blue background, which creates a circle. Inside this circle there is a dove, which holds a branch of olive tree in its mouth. As the paper reports, the emblem symbolizes the struggle for peace and democracy, along with the determination for solution of the Cyprus problem and EU accession, which are the Movementīs targets.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] The Turkish side aims at a step by step solution after the partial lifting of restrictions

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (05.07.03) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "New initiatives in the `TRNCī":

    ^”Every date determined from time to time in the Cyprus issue is considered to be a "turning point" or a "last chance".

    Although it is stated that the Annan plan is still on the negotiation table, there is no fixed date at this stage because the negotiation process is at a "dead point".

    There is a date on the calendar, which appears to be definite: That is 1 May 2004. At that date, "Cyprus" will officially and actually become an EU member along with nine other countries. If there is a solution by that time, then the Turkish Cypriot section will also be included in this. Otherwise, only the membership of the Greek Cypriot section will become definite.

    But this does not mean that there will not be new important dates and new "turning points" on the subject of Cyprus until that date. You never know, unexpected initiatives could occur, attitudes could change, the negotiations could restart in some manner and it could pave the way to a solution.

    In fact, at present, some signals are coming in this direction, at least from the `TRNCī [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]. One of these is elections, for which the date is known (December 2003) and the other is related to a new solution package, which is expected to be set forth in the near future by the Denktas administration.

    The international community, from the UN to the United States and the EU, are already placing great importance on the elections in the `TRNCī.

    In the words of a diplomat from a neutral, but influential EU country, "these elections will change many things and will facilitate the solution". It appears that the foreign diplomats have tied their hopes to the elections in December.

    This week, there was an important development in the domestic politics of the `TRNCī. A "Peace and Democracy Movement" was established under the administration of Mustafa Akinci, the experienced politician. This movement, which wants a solution in the direction of the Annan plan and which opposes President Denktas, aims to receive the support of the masses of people. Mr Akinci spoke to us as follows, "Our door is open to all of those who want a solution. The elections will have the attribute of a referendum and will be an answer to the proponents of the status quo".

    The RTP [Republican Turkish Party], the main opposition party, is not included in this new movement. Its leader, Mehmet Ali Talat reminded that his party got 34 percent of the votes in the main cities in the last municipal elections and said that for the moment he does not think of uniting with marginal groups. He said, "But, if necessary, we will join forces with them, because the objective is to change the present administration and to open the course for a solution".

    President Denktas and the NUP [National Unity Party] circles, which think like him, do not think that the opposition has a chance. The government already is trying to gain the support of the people with "gestures", such as making early payments to the farmers and distributing plots of land to the children of martyrs. In case the party in power loses, then the Denktas period will come to an end, even if President Denktas remains as the President.

    December will be a determining month, but in the meantime, President Denktas is also preparing some new initiatives. After also getting the support of Ankara for these, they are likely to be announced "in the near future".

    The Denktas administration, which was encouraged by the positive developments after opening the borders last April, is now preparing a package containing new proposals also in this direction, on subjects such as transportation, trade, goods and property. It is also possible to have the proposal related to the Varosha region repeated and added to the proposal.

    With the expression of a source close to President Denktas, the practical solutions (such as the recent free circulation), which are wanted to be adopted by the Turkish Cypriot side in the specific issues on which agreement had not been reached in the past, "could start a new give and take process and could lead to a solution step by step".

    What would the attitude of Ankara be in response to all of these developments? Mr. Akinci said that this is dependent on which part of Ankara you are referring to. We will once again discuss this.^‘

    [06] Denktas insists on sovereignty for the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Daily News (05.07.03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    ^”After a long break Rauf Denktas and I had a talk. I had criticized him frequently in this column. Denktas has shown how different he is from the politicians in Turkey, making it all too clear that he is not angered by criticism. The more he keeps up the fight, the stronger and more determined he becomes.

    More importantly, he announced that he will not wait any longer, that the Turkish side will climb onto the scene with its own proposals package. Naturally the important thing is the contents of the package and, on this issue, the confusion in Ankara must come to an end.

    Denktas was quite clear. He is saying, "Give me my sovereignty, get the solution." In this respect there has been no change in his stance. According to Mr Denktas the Turkish Cypriot side will not back down on this issue.

    I reminded him that everybody was waiting for the Turkish side to be stirred into action. He said, "No. They are waiting not for the package but for the outcome of the December election."

    Who will win the election? According to Denktas the opposition is becoming divided. The outcome can go either way. He says, "Europe is doing all it can to win over the opposition."

    Noting that no incidents have occurred since the "gates" were opened, Denktas says this is thanks to the extraordinary efforts the Turkish side's administrators have made. He says that many an incident have been covered up.

    He is quite confident.

    Stressing that they have plans for the `TRNC'sī future even if no solution were to be found by May 2004, he said, "We will declare the north to be a free zone just like Dubai."

    Well, why was that step not taken in the past?

    Denktas said that that had been the biggest mistake, that the Turkish side remained at the negotiating table too long and "lost" because of that.

    A new leaf is being turned in Cyprus. We will see what comes out of the package.

    Subtitle: What is happening regarding Cyprus?

    Is the UN or the U.S. or the EU making any preparations? Are we going to be faced with a new Annan Plan? No, everybody is waiting.

    Attention focuses on Turkey for the obvious reason. If a solution were to be found by May 2004 -- the date on which Greek Cypriots will take their place in the EU's decision-making mechanisms -- the Turkish side would benefit from that more than anybody else would.

    That is the deadline for them to produce a solution and to take their place in the EU together with Greek Cypriots. If no solution can be found Greek Cypriots will win.

    If the `TRNCī waits for Turkey to seek full membership in the EU then the `TRNCī will have to accept the EU rules. In other words it will get nothing beyond minority rights.

    The advantages the Annan Plan offered to the Turkish side would no longer be available. Greek Cypriots' only hope is that Ankara will not make a move, that this lack of a solution will continue, that Denktas will keep up this "lack of a solution" position.

    To sum up, Ankara holds the key and it will not be possible to get rid of the Cyprus obstacle unless the Turkish government reaches a decision.

    To avoid this trap Turkey must put forth a new proposal, one that would envisage certain changes in the Annan Plan.

    If preparations are being made -- Denktas has given the message, "We are getting prepared," -- that would be the best possible news. In Cyprus we are approaching the last bend on the road. If we fail to take the bend this time too our losses will grow. There is such a little time left until May 2004.

    Subtitle: TAF approach to Cyprus changing

    In the past, the generally held conviction was that the military had a more hardline stance on Cyprus. During the debates on the Annan Plan, the commanders had kept saying that reaching a solution in Cyprus would not be easy at all and certain columnists that are seen as kinds of spokesmen for the military had reflected a similar line.

    Yet, in recent weeks those who have talked with General Staff officials have reflected a different approach.

    According to that, contrary to the generally held conviction, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) does not have a totally rigid stance on Cyprus. In fact these latest reports give the impression that the TAF embraces a bizonal, bicommunal formula rather than a solution that would be aimed at defending the Turkish Cypriot community against Greek Cypriots.

    It is not clear to what extent the General Staff cadres think in that vein. However, one feels clearly that the military do not want to be the symbol of a lack of a solution in Cyprus.

    If the Turkish side manages to come up with a new plan this will be a sign indicating that this impression reflects the truth.^‘


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