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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-07-28
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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.140/03 26-27-28.07.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Rauf Denktas back from Turkey. Statements at Istanbul and occupied Lefkoniko airportAnkara TRT 2 Television (25.07.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, replied to reporters' questions at Istanbul Ataturk Airport before returning to occupied Cyprus after delivering a speech on the Lausanne Treaty at Istanbul University.
Mr Denktas first referred to the clearing of mines as follows: "This is the first time that they have accepted one of our proposals. I hope that they will assess our previous proposals in the same spirit and accept them."
Question: Will you make other proposals?
Answer: Yes, there will be. We make frequent proposals. Naturally, the assessment is continuing.
Question: When will concrete steps be taken?
Answer: On which issue?
Question: On sweeping the mines.
Answer: Since they have accepted it, on my return contacts will be held between the two sides. The mines are the ones around Nicosia.
Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (25.07.03) broadcast that Mr Rauf Denktas made the following statements upon arrival at occupied Lefkoniko airport:
"The media organs continue to claim that Cyprus is an obstacle against Turkey's accession to the EU and that we can facilitate Turkey's effort to join the organization if we accept the Annan plan. That is untrue and wrong. No promise has been made to that effect. The Cyprus problem has been intentionally brought up against Turkey. We have explained all that and we will continue to do so. Naturally, reacting to such claims must be the duty of everyone who can write articles. That is my opinion. I found an opportunity to hold talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer during the conference. I conveyed the loyalty of our people to him and informed him that we appreciate the initiatives he makes."
Question: Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos positively responded to your proposal for the removal of mines in and around Nicosia. Can you comment?
Answer: I was informed in Istanbul that he positively responded to my proposal. I appreciate that. I hope he realizes that he should positively respond to the proposals we made earlier. In other words, I hope he realizes that he would not lose anything by accepting our proposals. I hope he realizes that Cyprus would gain from such an approach. I believe that the officials of the two sides will now be able to get together to work on the removal of mines.
Question: Tassos Papadopoulos claimed that the Greek Cypriot side made a similar proposal two months ago. He said that you responded to it by making a new proposal.
Answer: The Greek Cypriot side's proposal was related to the entire border. We prefer a step-by-step approach. Crossings through the border take place mostly in and around Nicosia. So, let us first remove the mines from that area to ease everyone and allow them to move around without fear. Naturally, many other problems will have to be taken up after that. Regarding the problem of mines along the entire border, the matter can be discussed in the future.
Question: An appeal has been made in connection with the Turkish Cypriot side's decision to establish a committee. Answer: The decision we made to establish a committee was the result of the talks the Turkish officials held with the EU representatives. Naturally, they might study the measures we take if they want to do so.
Question: Has the Turkish Cypriot side made an appeal?
Answer: No, we have not done so. The Turkish officials informed the pertinent EU officials on our measures. So, they have started to study the situation.
Question: Have the committee members been appointed?
Answer: We established who should be appointed to the committee. I expected a disclosure by the "Government" yesterday. I believe that the "Council of Ministers" will disclose their names when it meets.
 The occupation regime prevents a bi-communal group from organizing a ceremony at Maratha village at the graves of Turkish victims of the 1974 invasionTurkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (27.07.03) reports that the occupation regime prevented on Saturday the members of the "Bi-communal Initiative against War and Nationalism" from organizing a ceremony at occupied Maratha village, at the graves of the Turkish victims of the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The so-called Famagusta district administrator, Erden Ozaskin, accompanied by a group of "policemen", did not permit the members of the bi-communal group to enter into the village, claiming that "the foreigners had not acquired permission" for such an activity.
Talking to the press, the Turkish Cypriot member of the "Bi-communal Initiative against War and Nationalism", Mr Murat Kanatli said that the nationalists gained unearned income from the existing status quo and therefore they strongly support the regime. A Greek Cypriot representative of the organization said he could not understand why they should have acquired permission in advance, as the only thing they wanted to do was to share the pain of the past.
The members of the "Bi-communal Initiative against War and Nationalism" placed the flowers they were currying under an olive tree outside occupied Maratha and crossed over to the free areas where they placed flowers at the grave of Greek Cypriot victims of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
ORTAM reports also that from the early morning hours some families of the Turkish Cypriot victims, holding Turkish flags in their hands, gathered at the cemetery at Maratha and protested against the act of the "Bi-communal Initiative against War and Nationalism", shouting that they would never permit this to happen.
Meanwhile, the youth organization of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) issued a written statement clarifying that it had nothing to do with the "Bi-communal Initiative against War and Nationalism" and protested against those nationalists who had criticized RTP accusing it of participating in the event.
 Gul says the Turkish positions were appreciated in the USTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.07.03) reports that Mr Abdullah Gul, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said that the Turkish positions he had explained during his visit in the United States "were appreciated".
Talking upon his return from the US, Mr Gul noted that during his contacts he explained the confidence building measures in Cyprus and added that this issue "is very much appreciated" in Washington. "We hope that all these will contribute to lasting peace", Gul said adding that unilateral steps should not be made and that both sides should make steps.
 Turkish Cypriot relatives of missing persons accuse Mr Denktas of applying delaying tactics on the issue of missing personsThe Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (28.07.03), in its front page under the banner headlines "Let's open all the graves", reports that the missing persons' issue is again on the agenda of both sides.
"'The opening of the graves in both sides' has been for years now on the agenda of the 'Committee on Missing Persons' and the sides could not reach any agreement on the issue of defining the identities of the dead people by doing DNA tests. For this reason, we (the Turkish Cypriots) have taken new individual initiatives", adds the paper.
While the families of the Greek Cypriot missing persons were looking for the graves of their relatives in the occupied areas, the families of the Turkish Cypriot missing persons are making applications at the Greek Cypriots hospitals for DNA tests. According to the paper approximately 200 Turkish Cypriots have already applied at the Greek Cypriot hospitals for DNA tests.
The strong interest, especially by the Turkish Cypriots of the occupied village of Vouno, in the list of the Turkish Cypriot missing persons published by the Government of Cyprus, motivated also the "regime" of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.
As a result of that, Rauf Denktas stated the other day that an institution for DNA tests will be established in the occupied areas in order to ascertain the identity of the dead persons by taking blood from the families of the "martyrs".
The Turkish Cypriots of the occupied village Vouno, who had a meeting with ORTAM paper, wondered: "Where have they been until now? Why have they not given permission to open the graves and find our 'martyrs'?"
The Turkish Cypriots from Vouno village also added that the Turkish Cypriot side was delaying this issued and left them with no other choice than to apply to the Greek Cypriot side. They have criticised Mr Denktas' statement that "the families of the 'martyrs' will file lawsuits against the Greek Cypriot side", noting that in the past some persons provoked them and added that they do not want to exploit a humanitarian issue by opening old wounds.
The Turkish Cypriots also reminded that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas did not want to carry out any investigation regarding the graves in the occupied area of Cyprus.
 The new political alliance, which was formed under the name "Justice and Peace Party" announced its aimsTurkish Cypriot daily newspaper KIBRIS (26.07.03) reports that the new political alliance, which was formed under the name "Justice and Peace Party" (JPP) announced its aims on Friday during a press conference. The JPP consists of the Renewal Progressive Party (RPP), the National Revival Party (NPP) and the "New Solidarity and Reconciliation" platform.
During the press conference the unification protocol of the JPP was announced. According to this protocol, the JPP believes, inter alia, that there are two "people" in Cyprus that have "political equality and legal status". Therefore a solution must be based on these principles in order to be lasting and permanent. The JPP also believes that in this effort the guarantee of Turkey is essential and supports EU accession along with the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Moreover, the Party believes that the pseudostate must take measures to improve its economy. It also supports that whether there is a solution or not the pseudostate must ensure with Turkey that the economy of the pseudostate will reach the best level and to re-examine the political and social needs of the Turkish Cypriots. The Party also believes that the "customs barriers" between Turkey and the pseudostate must be lifted and therefore the transportation will be diversified, faster and cheaper.
Speaking during the press conference, the leader of RPP Ertugrul Hasipoglu said that his voice is the voice of the "people". He also accused the Greek Cypriot side of working for the continuation of the status quo and stated that initiatives for the solution must be taken. As the paper reports, the three parties will be united on the 17th of August in a common general assembly. The JPP will use the emblem of the RPP for the elections.