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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-08-20
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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.156/03 20.08.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Denktas: Prior to resuming the talks we have to hold ^Ñoff the negotiation table^Ò meetingsAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.08.03), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas speaking at a reception claimed that with a view to resuming the Cyprus negotiations first the principles should be determined .He said: ^ÓPrior to the meetings we have to hold ^Ñoff the negotiation table^Ò bargaining^Ô.
When asked to comment on press reports that there are efforts to resume the talks in September, Denktas said: ^ÓThe issue is not whether the talks will start in September or in October .Which negotiations ^Å In order to settle the Cyprus problem first off the negotiation table talks should be held. We have to enter into bargaining about which principles we will discuss ^ÅDo the Greek Cypriots accept our equal sovereignty? If not, there is no meaning in talking. Do they accept the continuation of our state? If not, there is no meaning in talking.^Ô
 Rauf Denktas met with the Egyptian Ambassador in NicosiaTurkish Cypriot daily YENI CIZGI newspaper (20.08.03), reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas had a meeting yesterday in occupied Nicosia with the Egyptian Ambassador to Cyprus Mr Omar Metwally. No statements were made after the meeting.
 General Kosaner takes over command of ^ÓTurkish Occupation Forces^ÔAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.08.03) the Commander of the ^ÓTurkish Occupation Force^Ô in Cyprus Lt. Gen. Ahmet Ozteker transferred his duties to Lt. Gen. Isik Kosaner the other day. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Denktas alleged that the Turkish Cypriots wage a struggle for sovereignty on the island and noted: ^ÓAtaturk said that sovereignty is the corner stone of freedom, justice, and equality. What we defend now is our sovereignty, which we have neither lost nor surrendered to the Greek Cypriots, regardless of the many martyrs we have had.^Ô
The change of command ceremony was held at the Army Corps Headquarters.
 Occupation regime tries to put the blame on the Cyprus government for its intransigent stanceAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.08.03), the so-called Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the pseudostate in a written statement yesterday alleged that the Cyprus Government is not ^Ósincere^Ô as regards the trade relations between the occupied and free areas. It specifically mentions the case where Cyprus Government expressed its readiness to buy barley, produced by the Turkish Cypriot farmers of occupied Louroudjina area. The statement does not mention that it was the so-called Minister of Agriculture Irsen Kucuk, who actually interfered and forbade the Turkish Cypriot farmers to sell their produce to the Cyprus Grain Commission at the last moment. The statement alleges that the Cyprus Government is not sincere in its trade dealings with the occupation regime, because it ^Órefuses to enter into direct contact with the authorities^Ô of the occupation regime.
 The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce may establish a new party for the pseudo-electionsTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (20.08.03) reports about press speculations that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce may establish, in the next few days, a new party for the forthcoming December ^Óelections^Ô of the pseudo-state.
According to the paper, the new party will be established under the leadership of the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Mr Ali Erel and his immediate circle. The name of the new party will be ^ÓSolution and EU^Ô. The paper also writes that the Chamber of Commerce will also try to establish a new television station.
 The illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines of the pseudostate will charter two planesTurkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (20.08.03) reports that the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines of the pseudostate will charter two planes in the coming days.
The so-called Minister of Public Works and Transportation of the pseudostate, Mr Salih Miroglu said that one plane will be chartered today or tomorrow, in order the illegal airlines to overcome the difficulties that the company is facing and that another plane will be added to the illegal fleet, during the coming weeks.
The pseudo-minister also stated that he will ask the help of the Turkish Transportation Minister and that he is in close co-operation with Turkey so that the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines to overcome their difficulties.
The paper does not mention from where the planes will be chartered.
 KIBRIS claims that it acquired text of the so-called ^ÓCustom Union Framework^Ô agreement signed between the occupied area and Turkey recentlyAccording to the Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.08.03), the paper was able to acquire the text of the so-called ^ÓCustom Union Framework^Ô agreement signed between Turkey and the occupied area recently.
The paper publishes the text of the so-called agreement which, according to the paper, is 12 pages. The so-called agreement was signed on 8th August 2003 but its content was not made public.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Ilter Turkmen: ^ÓTRNC-Turkey customs union mystery^ÔIlter Turkmen writing in the Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (16.08.03) criticizes the recently signed so-called ^Ócustoms union framework^Ô agreement between Turkey and the occupied area. He says:
^ÓI called it a mystery, because I, like many other people, am having trouble understanding the reason for the `Customs Union Framework Agreement´ that was signed with the `TRNC´ and which completely contradicts Turkey's official EU policy.
The events unfolded in a mysterious manner anyway. First, a `Customs Union Agreement´ was to be signed, but the word `framework´ was squeezed in as a last-minute change and, therefore, an exit was provided. The agreement's text was not revealed either. As far as I know, however, the agreement is very comprehensive and it is said that it should be ratified by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA). The `TRNC´ has already commenced the ratification procedure.
Actually, the idea is not new. During the early 1990's, Turkey and the `TRNC´ had decided to establish a Customs Union if the membership application lodged by Southern Cyprus were to be accepted by the EU. The Greek Cypriot application was accepted, membership talks commenced, membership took place, but nothing was done. We can recall that other sanctions had also gained currency in the meantime. The foreign minister of the 57th government had said, `Our reaction will have no limits,´ on the issue of Southern Cyprus becoming an EU member.
Another minister had taken the hawkish attitude even further and had implied at the European Council that we would not only annex Northern Cyprus, but Southern Cyprus too. Pointless rhetoric that is not good for anything but producing flashy headlines that boost the ego but which cause diplomacy to lose its credibility. None of it happened.
There was a reason for having kept the Customs Union project with the `TRNC´ on the shelf up to this point. Turkey has been part of a Customs Union with the EU since 1996. Customs taxes and quantity limitations were mutually lifted for industrial products. A common customs tariff is being applied to third countries. Efforts are under way for the union to encompass tenders for agriculture, services, and the public sector. Turkey cannot even conclude free trade agreements, let alone establish a customs union, with countries that have not signed agreements with the EU. Products that arrive in Turkey from third countries cannot be exported to EU countries without presenting a `circulation document´ showing that taxes have been paid. Collecting taxes that are lower than the common customs tariff is against the Customs Union Agreement. Besides, a customs union will automatically emerge between Southern Cyprus and Turkey when the former becomes a full EU member in May 2004. This is the real problem. Unless a solution is found in Cyprus by that date, free trade with the `TRNC´ will only be possible with the approval of Southern Cyprus and over the harbors in the South.
The matter is quite simple. Never mind EU membership, a customs union cannot be brought to life with the `TRNC´ due to our current institutional relations with the EU. Well, how was such a grave mistake made? I believe we are facing an unfortunate bureaucratic initiative that is an amalgam of stubbornness and officiousness. We had witnessed similar examples in the past. Even more grave is the fact that people with political responsibility are not aware of the mistake that has been made. This is what we call deep state: producing and implementing policies despite the political administration, or by drawing on its weakness, inexperience, hesitancies, or perhaps its lack of awareness. Then this becomes `state policy´ in bold letters. This is not it. Once it is too late the thought `we cannot retreat now´ settles in. Sometimes, mistakes are not corrected so as not to be `rude´ or not to `offend´ people. Is this not the main reason we are faltering in our Cyprus policy?^Ô