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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-07-14

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.130/03 12-13-14.07.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader proposes the opening of Nicosia International airport. He is preparing a comprehensive plan.
  • [02] Erdogan and Gul support Denktas' proposal for Nicosia airport.
  • [03] Reactions of Turkish Cypriot political party leaders for Denktas' "new opening".
  • [04] Turkey's Minister of Transport announces the modernization of the harbours of occupied Kyrenia and Karavostassi.
  • [05] The pseudostate distributed property in the occupied villages of Kondea and Vatili.
  • [06] Denktas insists on his allegation that Turkish Cypriot journalists were sold out.
  • [07] Two Greek Cypriots were arrested by the occupation regime.
  • [08] The "TRNC Assembly" convened and discussed the Cyprus problem.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Sami Cohen on Denktas' proposals for Nicosia airport.
  • [10] Researcher of ASAM assesses that the US wants to redesign Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader proposes the opening on Nicosia International airport. He is preparing a comprehensive plan

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.07.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, conveyed a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to propose a comprehensive package of confidence-building measures that will form the basis of a durable agreement between the two sides on the island.

    Mr Denktas held a press conference in occupied Nicosia today. His statements are as follows:

    "Let us come to the point. I conveyed a letter to esteemed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to inform him that we believe that taking a new step in the light of the favorable atmosphere created by the opening of the border will be useful and that maintaining the confidence-building measures will contribute towards the effort made to prepare a basis for the solution of the Cyprus problem, which has remained unsolved for a long time. Even the UN Secretary-Generals linked the failure of the effort made to solve the Cyprus problem to the serious lack of confidence between the two sides on the island from time to time in the past. In view of that, we attach importance to the confidence-building measures and I want to reiterate that the atmosphere created by the opening of the border confirmed that. So, we asked esteemed Kofi Annan to place the question of confidence-building measures, which was brought up in 1993 and 1994, on the agenda. Significant work was carried out on the question at the time. The two sides agreed on it in principle. However, they failed to achieve significant progress because of difficulties encountered on details.

    What does that mean? It means that we propose the opening of the Nicosia International Airport for the two sides on the island under UN supervision and, in return, as will be seen in our package, the opening of a part of the closed sector of Varosha-again under UN supervision. We will inform you on the details later, and we will hand out the Turkish translation of the letter to you tomorrow. First, let it be delivered to him. We will hand out the translated version to you as soon as he confirms that he has received it. We may discuss the details at another press conference in the future.

    We have concluded from the talks we have had with the Turkish Government that Ankara will be able to open Turkey's airports and seaports to the Greek Cypriots if we take positive steps on the matter. That will facilitate trade between the two sides. Naturally, the Greek Cypriot Administration must say that it agrees to the initiative. That is why I informed Mr Tassos Papadopoulos on the letter I conveyed to the UN Secretary-General and urged him to adopt an approach that would encourage Mr Kofi Annan. I said in a brief letter to him that such an approach will facilitate the effort made to establish the necessary basis for the solution of the Cyprus problem. My letter to Mr Annan was attached to it."

    Question: Shall we wait for new surprises?

    Answer: Yes, wait for more. Let us act with self-confidence. We have not lost anything. On the contrary, we have gained and we will continue to gain from our approach. What have we gained? Well, we are trying to establish a basis for peace. Everyone knows why we failed to establish such a basis thus far. We hope that the Greek Cypriot side relinquishes its approach. We also hope that everyone agrees that the Greek Cypriot Administration is not the government of Cyprus as a whole. Various initiatives have to be made for the establishment of a joint government. That is what we are doing at the present time.

    Question: Are your proposals a part of the solution plan that you said the Turkish Cypriot side will disclose?

    Answer: They are aimed at establishing a basis. No matter what you disclose or no matter what plan you draw up, the matter is like constructing a building. A building is constructed on level ground. Otherwise, it cannot be constructed. In fact, we have not been able to construct our building. We have not had any level ground to do so. The foreign countries are to blame for that because they made the Greek Cypriots the focal point on that basis. The false and wrong information the Greek Cypriot Administration gave to the Greek Cypriot side about us also has to be blamed. The Greek Cypriots began to realize the truth after the border was opened. The Greek Cypriot side began to see the realities. So, what will happen now? Well, we will do more. When we say we will improve the basis, we mean that we want to inspire confidence between the two sides. How can that be achieved? It can be achieved if the two sides see each other as an equal entity. That is what we are trying to achieve. We are trying to show the Greek Cypriots and the rest of the world that we act with goodwill and we are an equal community. I hope we will achieve our objective.

    Question: Have you conveyed your letter?

    Answer: Yes, I did so this morning.

    Question: You said that you are working on a comprehensive plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem. When will you disclose it?

    Answer: Saying that the plan will be disclosed on this or that date will be useless. It will be disclosed when the time comes. We are working on it. It will probably be finalized soon.

    [02] Erdogan and Gul support Denktas' proposal for Nicosia airport

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.07.03) reported from Vienna that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, speaking at a press conference referred to Denktas' proposal and said:

    ``As you know, the permission given for passages between the two sides since April 23 was welcomed. More than 400,000 Greek Cypriots passed to the northern part of the island and more than 200,000 Turkish Cypriots visited the southern part of the island.

    Earlier in the day, `President' Denktas sent a letter to United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan. In the letter, `President' Denktas proposed the opening of Nicosia International Airport to joint use of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. Turkey supports it fully. We envisage to open our ports and airports to the use of the Greek Cypriot side, to develop our commercial relations with southern Cyprus and to develop our sea transportation,``

    Ankara Anatolia (11.07.03) reported from Ankara that Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister and Acting Prime Minister, said that Turkey welcomes the new proposals submitted by Rauf Denktas.

    Recalling that in a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan this morning, Denktas proposed that the international Nicosia airport and a portion of Varosha be opened for use by the two "peoples" under the supervision of the United Nations, Gul stated that if these proposals are accepted, Greek Cypriot planes and ships can use Turkish ports and airports.

    Gul added: "These proposals demonstrate that constructive work is being done and that there is a desire for a mutually satisfactory solution, rather than the perpetuation of the current situation."

    Gul declared that Turkey supports the steps taken within the framework of the confidence-building measures, adding that if the sides sit at the negotiating table in this way, they will encounter much better conditions.

    If the measures are accepted, Gul said, bilateral trade will increase, adding that steps are meaningful only if they are reciprocal.

    Gul explained that the letter sent to Annan stated that it will be right to adopt these measures and Annan himself was asked to make a contribution to this end.

    Asked if a timetable has been set with regard to Denktas' latest proposal, Gul said that there is no such timetable, the circumstances call for a reasonable time.

    [03] Reactions of Turkish Cypriot political party leaders for Denktas' "new opening"

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.07.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) described Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas' "new proposal" regarding the opening of the abandoned since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus Nicosia International Airport as "an effort to gain time".

    Talking last night on KIBRIS TV's news bulletin, Mr Talat noted that with these "openings" Mr Denktas is trying to "throw ashes into the eyes of the world" and pointed out that such initiatives could not contribute to finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr Talat argued that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots need and wait for the solution of the Cyprus problem and added: "Perhaps such openings give us some time. Perhaps they have a positive contribution to Turkey's relation with the EU and to the beginning of its accession talks. However, none of them could substitute the solution".

    Noting that he is not against the opening of the Nicosia International Airport and of Varosha, Mr Talat said that with such a move many of the problems of the Turkish Cypriots, such as their property rights and becoming legalized according to the international law, would not be solved.

    Mr Talat reminded that these two measures had been included in the Confidence Building Measures of 1992 and 1994 by the then UN Secretary-General Mr Boutros Ghali and pointed out that Mr Denktas refused them then. Mr Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots wanted to be integrated with the world, to have equal rights with the Greek Cypriots, not to take passports from the Greek Cypriots and have a say at all international fora where Cyprus is represented.

    Mr Talat said that after the limited freedom of movement began the people of Cyprus proved that they do not hate each other and that they are not enemies. "There is no deep lack of trust at the moment. The problem is with the Turkish leadership", he underlined.

    Meanwhile, KIBRIS (13.07.03) reports that referring to the same issue Mr Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), said that the "latest opening of Mr Denktas" was another one of his delaying tactics.

    Mr Akinci said, inter alia, the following: "This is a new element of Mr Denktas' delaying tactics. It is not the first time. Mr Denktas does this often. He is doing this after having agreed with certain circles in Turkey. However, there is something very important, which both Mr Denktas and those in Turkey who continue the delaying tactics policy, have to understand: The time is not right for delaying tactics. We have not this luxury any more".

    Mr Akinci said also that the proposal "is ten years late" and added that he had nothing against its being applied. Under this thought, he supported, there is Mr Denktas' wish to put aside the Annan Plan. Akinci added the following: "Because Mr Denktas came to a point where he accepts what he had been rejecting ten years ago. In the letter he has sent to Kofi Annan he refers to some things in the name of the government of Turkey. He says that the government of Turkey would open its ports to the Greek Cypriots and begin the free trade with them. The fact that after 1st May 2004, Turkey, like it or not, will have to begin free trade with the Greek Cypriots, should not be forgotten.".

    Meanwhile, KIBRIS (13.07.03) reports that Mr Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party (NUP) and so-called prime minister, claimed that with these proposals the Turkish Cypriot side has shown its good will for a solution and added that they expected the same approach by the Greek Cypriot side.

    "As a Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey, we are making a sacrifice. We hope this will be taken into consideration", he added and concluded that they support a solution on the basis of the existence of two states in Cyprus.

    [04] Turkey's Minister of Transport announces the modernization of the harbours of occupied Kyrenia and Karavostassi

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.07.03) reports that Mr Binali Yildirim, Turkey's Minister of Transport, who has illegally visited the occupied areas of Cyprus, said before his departure that they had decided to begin a new effort towards the modernization of the occupied Kyrenia harbour.

    The Turkish Minister, who inspected the harbours in Kyrenia and Karavostassi together with Mr Salih Miroglu so-called minister of transport, noted also that he would personally show interest in the shipyard project at occupied Karavostassi, adding that the area has "significant potential". Mr Yildirim left the occupied areas last night.

    [05] The pseudostate distributed property in the occupied villages of Kondea and Vatili

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper KIBRIS (12.07.03) reports that the pseudostate distributed building plots to 32 young persons in the occupied villages of Kondea and Vatili during a ceremony on Thursday.

    As the paper reports the 32 young persons were handed out so-called title deeds of 23 building plots at Vatili village and 9 building plots at Kondea village. According to the paper the building plots were given to young persons who do not own property, in order to construct their houses.

    Speaking at the ceremony Mr Mehmet Albayrak, the so-called Minister of Interior, Village Affairs and Housing, commenting on criticism regarding who owns the property that was handed by the pseudostate, he alleged: "All the soil which is inside the 'borders' of the `TRNC is TRNC property'". In addition, Mr Albayrak stated that the current effort of distributing building plots started on the 3rd of June and will be completed on the 17th of July and said that until now the pseudostate distributed building plots to 3,070 young persons. He added that there are spare building plots at Vatili and Kondea and that persons who were not given building plots yet or persons who will complete their military service soon, will be able to benefit from this.

    [06] Denktas insists on his allegation that Turkish Cypriot journalists were sold out

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper HALKIN SESI (12.07.03) reports that Mr Rauf Denktas repeated that there are Turkish Cypriot newspapers and journalists in the pseudostate that received money from foreign sources.

    Mr Denktas, who made similar accusations a few days ago, causing the sharp reaction of the Turkish Cypriot Journalists' Union, insisted on his claims and stressed that he considered it his duty to inform everyone about the existence of journalists who "sold their pencils", as he alleged.

    [07] Two Greek Cypriots were arrested by the occupation regime

    According to KIBRIS (13.07.03), the occupation regime arrested two Greek Cypriots, who wanted to find their jewellery buried in a field since 1974, and two Turkish Cypriots, who were helping them.

    The two Greek Cypriots, Petros Hajipieris (49) and Yiannakis Papantoniou (42), yesterday morning together with two Turkish Cypriots, Cahit Keskinel and Mehmet Keskinel, went to the occupied village of Koma Yialou. They were going to dig out in a field 3 km out of the village, in order to find the family jewelleries that their parents buried during the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    The police of the occupation regime arrested them before the excavation with the charge of "conducting illegal excavations in search for buried treasure and using detector without permission".

    The four arrested persons were taken before the illegal court in Famagusta, where they were ordered to remain under custody for two days.

    [08] The "TRNC Assembly" convened and discussed the Cyprus problem

    KIBRISLI (12.07.03) reports, that the so-called TRNC Assembly convened and discussed the Cyprus problem on Friday. The proposal for convening the so-called Assembly, which was submitted by the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), was accepted unanimously. And during yesterday's session, the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, the Annan plan and the accession to the EU were discussed.

    During the opening speech of the session the leader of RTP, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat said: "The concern of Denktas is not the Turkish Cypriots. The only thing he cares about is the continuation of his sultanate. He says, 'Go and get passport, but do not disagree with me'".

    Talat also said that the price of the non-solution to the Cyprus problem is being paid by the Turkish Cypriots and added that there is nowhere in the world a situation resembling that of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Commenting on the decision of Rauf Denktas to empower Vakif to take steps regarding their property in the free areas, Talat said: "This is a very dangerous game, and we will lose if we turn the Cyprus problem into a political problem."

    The leader of Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Mr Huseyin Angolemli, during his speech, said that Rauf Denktas, without informing the "Assembly", surprised them for the future of their country by proposing the opening of the closed area of Varosha. "We didn't know. Nobody informed us!" Angolemli said. He also added that it is necessary that the talks be resumed on the basis of the Annan plan and the Annan plan to be accepted with some amendments.

    The "TRNC Assembly" will continue its meeting on Monday.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Sami Cohen on Denktas' proposals for Nicosia airport

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (12.07.03) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "Another initiative":

    "The `TRNC' `President' Rauf Denktas has taken another new step in the direction of the solution desired by the Turkish Cypriot side with the new proposal he has presented to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday [Friday, 11 July].

    This proposal has the attribute of a kind of continuation of the initiative last April [2003] for opening the gates for free circulation on the island.

    In our article last Saturday, by referring to a source close to `President' Denktas, we stated that this proposal would include the subjects of transportation, trade and the Varosha region. In fact, yesterday, in the statement made by the `TRNC' leader, he set forth the idea of opening the international airport in Nicosia and opening the Varosha region under UN supervision.

    Actually, this is not a new idea. Almost 10 years ago, this subject had been discussed within the framework of the "confidence-building measures", but could not be materialized.

    Now, this proposal of `President' Denktas is nothing but the renewal of an old idea within changing conditions. But the thought behind this is to be helpful "for preparing a foundation for solving the Cyprus issue with reciprocal confidence-building measures", in his own words.

    Would this proposal really provide for eliminating the impasse observed in the Cyprus problem after `President' Denktas rejected the Annan Plan and for the formation of a new environment of negotiations?

    This is the hope of `President' Denktas and Ankara as well.

    It is also a fact that when making this proposal, `President' Denktas also aimed to provide some tactical gains for the Turkish Cypriot position, as he did in the free circulation decision. First of all, he is inviting the UN Secretary-General to support his proposal and method, and gave a message that he has set aside the Annan Plan, that is, `President' Denktas did not want to make the Annan Plan a subject for negotiation. Furthermore, `President' Denktas, by emphasizing the concept of "equality" in his statement yesterday, reminded that his proposal is based on this principle. Finally, the Turkish Cypriot side, by making another new initiative, has shown that it is not remaining idle and that it holds the initiative in its hand for an agreement.

    An important aspect of this new initiative is the fact that Turkey is included in this. In fact, in `President' Denktas' letter to Mr Annan, he stated that Turkey is also prepared to open its ports and airports to the Greek Cypriots and that this would provide for the commencement of reciprocal free trade. This is a new and meaningful element in this initiative.

    By doing this, the message is also being given that `President' Denktas and Ankara are acting together, that is, that they are following a joint policy. In fact, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's statement yesterday is also a clear indication of this.

    What is the chance of success of this initiative?

    The probability of the Greek Cypriot administration, which is acting within the ease of the EU schedule that is operating and that is seeking the solution within the framework of the Annan Plan, paying attention to proposals, such as "confidence-building measures", is slight. Clearly, it may not appear to be very attractive to the Greek Cypriot side for the Nicosia Airport and even the Varosha region to be opened at the expense of setting aside the Annan Plan, which was the envisaged solution form, and which has the support of the EU.

    What is important in this is how Mr Annan personally will respond to this proposal. If he himself would support the initiative of the Turkish Cypriot side, then at the same time, this could also influence the EU, not only the UN. Nevertheless, even if Mr Annan adopts the "confidence-building measures", this would not have the meaning that he himself and the international community have given up on the solution plan."

    [10] Researcher of ASAM assesses that the US wants to redesign Turkey

    Turkish Daily News (14.07.03) publishes the following analysis by Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, Researcher at the Central Asia Research Desk of the Eurasian Strategic Research Center (ASAM):

    "September 11 has marked a new era in Turco-U.S. relations as it did for the entire world. The alliance between the two countries, which could not be defined properly in the aftermath of the Cold War, is now going through a new defining period.

    The fundamental problem is that this relation is being defined unilaterally. The U.S. has insisted on defining its relations with Turkey from its own perspective since the Cold War and tried to assign a role to Turkey that fits its own perception of interest. The role it has specified for Turkey is that of a security officer and nothing more: just like it was in the Cold War era. Besides, the U.S. wants to use Turkey, the frontliner of the Cold War, to reshape the region by making it more active in regional policies. The new mandating power wants to create a new India to pursue its Middle East Caucasus and Central Asia policies, just like the India of Great Britain on which the sun never sets.

    It's understood that the U.S. hasn't got rid of its Cold War habits and intends to continue them in bilateral relations.

    Whereas Turkey is not what it was in the Cold War era. The U.S. refuses to see that a lot has changed. It's either not aware of the implications of the 13 years that have passed since the Cold War on Turco-U.S relations or it's very good at feigning ignorance!

    Recent developments are very important in that they are giving away serious clues about the role the U.S. has assigned to Turkey and its plans towards Turkey. Therefore it's from this angle that the events should be evaluated.

    Above all one has to make note of this fact: under the current conditions, the U.S. doesn't want to assign a role to Turkey in its regional policies; moreover it views Turkey as an obstacle. More openly the U.S. is disturbed by Turkey's existence in the region and it shows it only indirectly.

    Whereas the U.S. will need ever more support for its regional policies to be successful. As a matter of fact the U.S. decision-makers are aware of this reality. But from the aspect of U.S. decision-makers there's one problem in terms of executing these policies in the region, which is Turkey. Therefore Turkey needs to be restructured and redesigned in line with the U.S.' new interests and goals. But they are facing an unexpected resistance from Turkey. That's the reason for their anger. That's why the U.S. wants to isolate the resisting Turkey first from Iraq and from the region as a whole.

    The U.S. is also aware of this: Turkey has deep-rooted relations in the region. What it deliberately ignores is Turkey's vital interests in the region. The region is equally important for Turkey's integrity. Therefore it's not easy to kick Turkey out of the region. Trying to exclude Turkey from the region would only destabilize the region further. The history is clearly before us. It's uncertain how the U.S. could comprehend this with its 300-year history but we can be sure that mastermind Britain would have a lot to say about it.

    As can be seen, the U.S. deems it as success if it can fit Turkey in its new description of an ally. The primary target is Turkey for an Iran, Syria or Caucasus issue that could come to the agenda in the future. It looks therefore inevitable for the U.S. to trap Turkey both in view of the domestic policy and foreign policy. This is evidenced by the fact that it presses the buttons that make Turkey.

    What could Turkey do despite the U.S. in view of the current developments?

    Subtitle:Turkey must pursue a multi-directional strategy in its foreign policy

    It appears that Turkey, which has indexed its foreign policy to a single power and balance in line with the developments in the international arena after the Cold War, now faces a higher perception of risks and threats both from within and outside. Therefore Turkey must indispensably restructure its foreign policy and stay on the lookout.

    In the period after the collapse of the USSR, Turkey tried to balance the relative decline in its strategic importance through the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus. However it now looks inevitable for national interests to do longer term planning and set long-term goals. In that sense Eurasia, the most important, dynamic and unstable region in a dramatically changing world, appears as the most likely alternative in that it will provide a new momentum, a new opening and room for maneuver for the Turkish foreign policy. The narrowing Balkan area and a Middle East that has closed its doors to Turkey are directing Turkey towards Eurasia. In that sense Turkey has the chance to become a key player in Eurasia due to the clandestine power struggle engineered by the U.S.

    To reach a conclusion, the recent developments show us that it's inevitable for Turkey to pursue a multi-directional and diversified foreign policy. The developments that occur on our immediate borders seem to have increased the perception of threat towards our country. Therefore Turkey should stay calm and develop a more active and multi-dimensional foreign policy understanding. In that sense the Caucasus-Central Asia regions will furnish Turkey with significant power, comfort and ability to maneuver. Considering the similar perceptions of threat and concerns of the EU and Eurasian countries we could say that the psychological environment is mature for this kind of alliance."

    /SK


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