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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-10-23

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.201/03 23.10.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader refuses to meet with Mr Thomas Weston.
  • [02] The occupation regime granted its ^”citizenship^‘ to 53.904 persons since 1974, according to its ^”Minister of Interior^‘.
  • [03] Ali Erel says that the Annan plan provides for all the illegal Turkish settlers to be legalized and remain in Cyprus.
  • [04] Turkey continues to defy the decision the European Court of Human Rights in the Loizidou case.
  • [05] Illegal settlers try to cross to the free areas misleading the police of the Cyprus Republic.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Commentary in AFRIKA describes how the arbitrary distribution of the occupation regimeīs citizenship to illegal settlers from Turkey is causing problems to the Cyprus Republicīs police.
  • [07] Commentary in RADIKAL assesses the statements made by Mr Thomas Weston during a visit to the paperīs offices.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader refuses to meet with Mr Thomas Weston

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.10.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, who left for Turkey to address a conference at the invitation of the Zonguldak Bar Association replied to reporters' questions at occupied Lefkoniko airport before his departure, as follows:

    Question: As far as we know, Weston is coming to the island tonight. Did he request any meeting with you?

    Answer: He did. But I told him I would not be here. There is no benefit at all in saying the same things and listening to the same things over and over again. Anyway, Mr Weston has lost all sense of proportion, he is showing us as a target to our own people, claiming that we are the impediment [for a solution]. Whereas, what hinders the solution of the Cyprus problem is the 1989 decision adopted by the Greek Cypriot National Council. Let everyone read it once more, make Weston read it too and then ask him how he expects an agreement at a time when the Greek Cypriot political leadership still remains loyal to that decision.

    The second question put to him should be: Does Mr Weston see one people or two peoples in Cyprus, does he see one state or two states, does he see one democracy or two democracies? Let us first clarify this matter. For, what they [the Americans and others] have been seeing is a single entity, a single state, a single people, and a single democracy. By so doing, they are the ones who are hindering the solution of the Cyprus problem. He [Weston] owes us dues accrued over the last 40 years. If this problem has not been solved over the last 40 years it is because the United States, Britain and others recognized the bloodthirsty [regime of] Makarios, who was Cyprus' Milosevich, as the legal Cyprus government. The Greek Cypriots destroyed the common state to become the Cyprus government. As if the Greek Cypriots achieved their objective, and at the time when we were still waging a life-and-death struggle and protecting our freedom and rights at the cost of suffering no other nation could endure, they wanted to impose Makarios on us as the legal government. And upon obtaining that title from the United States, Britain and the Security Council, he tried to give only minority rights to the Turkish Cypriots. And our guarantor Britain could never ask him by what right he was acting that way, for that is what suited the British interests.

    As such, we are simply protecting our rights and will continue doing so. These rights are: freedom, sovereignty, equality, and the state. It is our duty to protect these rights. Our people are already protecting them, thank God they have already endorsed these rights. Also, as you know, the Prime Minister of the motherland says that the Cyprus problem could only be solved on the basis of realities. He lists the existence of two peoples, two states, two democracies, and Turkey's effective and de facto guarantorship as being these realities. These realties simply reiterate those realities that have already been emphasized in our protocols with Turkey and in the resolutions adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. We are simply continuing to defend these realities.

    Question: Is there a possibility of Weston meeting someone else?

    Answer: I have already declared that if Weston wants he can meet Mr Olgun [Denktas' adviser Ergun Olgun]. As far as I understand they will have lunch together. I do not know who else will be at that lunch. All I know is that they will have lunch together. In this way, Mr Olgun will once again inform him about the views of the ^”Presidential Office^‘.

    2. The occupation regime granted its ^”citizenship^‘ to 53.904 persons since 1974, according to its ^”Minister of Interior^‘ Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.10.03) publishes an exclusive interview with the occupation regime^“s ^”Minister of Interior^‘, Mr Mehmet Albayrak, who said that the regime granted its ^”citizenship^‘ to 53.904 persons since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. 40.286 of them were granted the ^”citizenship^‘ after a decision by the ^”council of ministers^‘.

    According to Mr Albayrak, the last person took the ^”citizenship^‘ on 14 October 2003. Within the period 1974 ^÷ 1993 the occupation regime gave its ^”citizenship^‘ to 36.611 persons, after a decision by the ^”council of ministers^‘. Within the period 1993 ^÷ 14 October 2003 the regime gave its ^”citizenship^‘ to 17.293 persons. The ^”citizenship^‘ could be granted either after a decision of the ^”council of ministers^‘ or after a decision of the ^”ministry of interior^‘.

    KIBRIS reports that only within the last one and a half month, the regime gave its ^”citizenship^‘ to 574 persons.

    [03] Ali Erel says that the Annan plan provides for all the illegal Turkish settlers to be legalized and remain in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.10.03) reports that Ali Erel, leader of the Solution and European Union Party (SEUP), has said that if the numbers of the illegal Turkish settlers given by the pseudogovernment are true, then all the settlers will remain in Cyprus in case a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached on the basis of the Annan Plan.

    Addressing yesterday a meeting of his party at the occupied villages of Kythrea and Neo Chorio, where the audience consisted mainly of Turkish settlers, Mr Erel noted that from the TV screens, and especially from illegal Bayrak television, some people give false information regarding the issue of the settlers in the Annan plan.

    Calling on these people to read once more the plan, Mr Erel said that in case a solution on the basis of the Annan Plan is agreed more than 50 thousand Turkish settlers would become citizens of the United Cyprus state and the EU. In parallel to this, he added, another 20 thousand settlers will acquire the right to live in Cyprus and after some time they will also become citizens of the new state.

    Mr Erel noted, inter alia, the following:

    ^”When the establishment agreement of the Annan Plan enters into force, at the same time those who are married to people who were citizens of Cyprus in 1963 or to their children and 45 thousand persons from Turkey who will be included in a list we shall give, will directly become citizens of Cyprus. If the numbers given by the government are correct then all our citizens from Turkey will remain...^‘.

    [04] Turkey continues to defy the decision the European Court of Human Rights in the Loizidou case

    Turkish Daily News (23.10.03) reports that a committee of representatives from the Council of Europe failed once again Wednesday to reach a deal on how to resolve a major dispute between Ankara and Strasbourg and postponed discussions until a meeting next week.

    Wednesday's meeting of the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, was the third attempt this month to "strike out" a controversial verdict of the European Court of Human Rights that sentenced Turkey to pay compensation to a Greek Cypriot woman, Titina Loizidou, for blocking access to her property in ^”the Turkish section^‘ Cyprus.

    In the 1998 verdict, the court ruled that Loizidou incurred financial loss as a result of the Turkish military presence in ^”Turkish Cyprus^‘ and said Turkey should pay compensation to remedy her losses.

    With the blessing of Walter Schwimmer, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Turkey launched an initiative in May and has promoted a solution formula for the dispute, under which it would pay the $875,000 compensation to Loizidou pursuant to the emergence of an "understanding" that the 1998 verdict would not set a precedent for hundreds of "clone applications" that are currently before the court.

    The Committee of Deputy Ministers convened on Oct. 8 and 15, and most recently on Oct. 22, to discuss the Turkish initiative with the hope of formulating a final solution. Meetings failed to resolve the dispute over the verdict when the European Union decided, in a surprise move, to adopt a common position on the issue.

    During a June meeting of the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe, Turkey expressed readiness to pay the compensation by the Oct. 8 meeting and, having received positive signals, it had even transferred money to Strasbourg for immediate payment. With the emergence of the EU caucus, inevitably including EU member Greece and member-elect Greek Cyprus, both bitter opponents of the Turkish initiative, the meeting proved fruitless.

    As part of the Turkish initiative, the ^”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Parliament^‘ passed a law establishing a special court empowered to resolve property disputes on the island and make compensation necessary for any expropriation that has been carried out since 1974.

    The court is eligible to hear applications from Greek Cypriots who had to abandon their property in the ^”Turkish section^‘ of the island after Turkey's military operation in 1974, sparked by a Greek Cypriot coup that effectively put an end to the Turkish-Greek Cypriot state in Cyprus. Turkey wants the European Court of Human Rights to refer hundreds of "clone applications" to this court.

    The effort now appears to be at a critical stage as the Turkish side feels it has acted as flexibly as it can and is convinced that further concession is out of the question because no solution should come "at all costs."

    [05] Illegal settlers try to cross to the free areas misleading the police of the Cyprus Republic

    Under the title ^”Mardin district was transferred to Pafos^‘, Turkish Cypriot YENI DUZEN paper (23.10.03) refers to the case of Seyithan Tunc, an illegal settler of Turkish origin living in the occupied areas, who tried to mislead the police of the Cyprus Republic by showing an ^”identity card^‘ with false information.

    As the paper writes, the settler tried to pass from the Ledra Palace check point to the free areas, showing an ^”identity card^‘ of the pseudostate with the number 207284, in which it was written that he was born in the village of Akoursos in Pafos. (Tr. Note: Akarsu in the text). However in the so-called election papers with number 03-05-2000 of the same person, Akarsu: Mardin was written as birth place. The paper writes that the information of both the papers regarding the names of the parents, the date of birth, the address and other information are the same with the exception of the place of birth. On the one it is written Pafos and on the other Mardin.

    The paper also writes that the settler was asked by the police of the Cyprus Republic at the Ledra Palace check-point where Pafos is^‘ and he answered: ^”It is in Mardin^‘.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Commentary in AFRIKA describes how the arbitrary distribution of the occupation regimeīs citizenship to illegal settlers from Turkey is causing problems to the Cyprus Republicīs police

    Under the title ^”Is there Pafos in Mardin?^‘ Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA (22.10.03) publishes the following commentary in the column ^”Letter from AFRIKA^‘:

    ^”The distribution at random of citizenship in North Cyprus has become a headache for the Greek Cypriot police at the check-points as well. Those who received identity card from the `TRNCī authorities started to rush to South Cyprus.

    The trouble for the Greek Cypriot police is great. They are working to distinguish who are genuinely Cypriots and who are Cypriots by falsified documents. Like separating grits from rice. Their job is not easy^Ň.

    In the past days they got hold of the identity card of a person called Bahri Onsal at Ledra check-point.

    They did not give permission to the man to cross over and sent him back to the North. Because according to their findings this person is not really Cypriot, this person is from Turkey. And identity card with number 22732 was filled with false information^Ň

    That is, the facts contained in the identity card are different from the reality.

    The manīs surname on the identity card is Onsal^Ň
    But according to the Greek Cypriot police it is Bayraca^Ň
    According to our people his birth place is Nicosia.
    According to them Salor^Ň
    Date of Birth 1.1.1970^Ň
    According to them 1.1.1966^Ň
    Fatherīs name Cemal^Ň
    According to them Halil^Ň
    Motherīs name Hatice^Ň
    According to them Nuriye^Ň
    
    The address of the holder of the identity card in the ^”TRNC^‘ is shown to be: ^”Sixth Street, No. 20, Marmara area, Nicosia^‘.

    When was the identity card given? On 14.3.2003^Ň.

    The Greek Cypriot police got suspicious and when asking him, he admitted that he was a person from Turkey.

    -You are from Mardin, said the police.

    -Yes, I am from Mardin, he said.

    -Where is Akoursos, asked the police.

    -In Mardin.

    -How about Pafos? Is it in Mardin as well?

    -Yes, it is in Mardin too, said Seyithan.

    The Greek Cypriot police was really amazed. And it looks like it started having doubts. Is there really a place named Pafos in Mardin?

    We searched and found out that Seyithan from Mardin lives at Kurucesme Road in Nicosia.

    He lives in Nicosia for 18 years.

    He is married and has a family.

    Despite the fact that he lives here for so long, for some reason he has recently become citizen.

    His fade was to become a citizen today.

    Because he considers himself to be an old Cypriot he is against the new granting of citizenship.

    This was not his first crossing over to the Greek Cypriot side^Ň He has even worked for some time there. He was complaining because of the situation.

    He rebelled against the fact that the Greek Police got hold of his identity card and he will even appeal to the authorities of the Peace Forces.

    He told us too that Pafos is in Mardin. We also got curious about this.^‘

    [07] Commentary in RADIKAL assesses the statements made by Mr Thomas Weston during a visit to the paperīs offices

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (22.10.03) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "The United States: The Government is sincere about Cyprus" :

    "All the articles in the Annan plan can be changed," said Thomas Weston, US State Department special coordinator for Cyprus, adding: "All the articles can be changed with the mutual agreement of the sides. I do not know whether or not the disputes between the sides will allow this, but it is possible to make changes. It is primarily necessary to start holding talks."

    These words uttered by Weston, who visited the Ankara office of RADIKAL after holding meetings with government officials, are in line with the following statement issued by a high-level state official, to whom I spoke two hours ago:

    "It is necessary to start with the Annan plan. Let us start with the Annan plan. Later, we can finish with the George or the Ahmet plan." The official's words lead those, who have suspicions about Ankara's intentions regarding Cyprus, to say: "First, they said that they will not discuss the Annan plan and now they want to kill the solution by claiming that they were not able to reach an agreement on the Annan plan."

    Weston does not think so: "I believe that the Turkish Government is sincere in its desire to find a solution in Cyprus prior to 1 May 2004. I also believe that the government understands that the only route to a solution passes through the Annan plan."

    What does the US envoy think about Chief of Staff Ozkok's remarks that appeared in the Greece-based ELEFTHEROTYPIA newspaper? Despite the fact that, unlike Denktas, he did not totally reject the Annan plan, Ozkok said in an interview: "We have put forward the five objections that we have on the plan."

    In answer, Weston said: "From our standpoint, his remarks about the EU were more striking than his remarks on Cyprus. The most authorized person in the Turkish Army clearly has stated that Turkey is determined to achieve its EU goal. We believe that this is very important."

    Despite the fact that certain people claim that Turkey's EU membership and the solution of the Cyprus issue are independent from each other, Weston underlined that there is a direct link between them: "If steps are not taken for a solution in Cyprus, the membership negotiations with the EU will not begin. The opposite is also true. If the membership negotiations begin or if a negotiation date is given to Turkey, this will facilitate the solution of the Cyprus problem. However, according to the EU regulation, the earliest date is December 2004. On the other hand, the EU membership of Cyprus will be finalized in May 2004. Turkey might suddenly be in a position that it does recognize a member of a Union that it wants to become a member of."

    Weston avoided referring to remarks to the effect that under such circumstances, the Turkish troops on the island will be viewed as a force that occupies EU territory.

    Weston is aware that Ankara is mostly afraid of what might happen "if Cyprus is given away and if the EU does not approve Turkey's membership." As a matter of fact, this fear was reportedly expressed to him in these exact words during one of his meetings. The US diplomat said: "There are arrangements that will ease Turkey's concerns. In fact, according to the plan, Turkey will be able to maintain its military force on the island until it becomes a full member in the EU."

    Let us go back to the beginning: "Everything is negotiable in the plan. The negotiators might demand changes in all the issues. The first step they should take, however, is to officially announce that they are ready to hold talks on the plan that was prepared by the UN Secretary-General for the solution of the Cyprus issue. This is how the process will begin." The US coordinator for Cyprus therefore believes that the elections that will be held in Northern Cyprus constitute a turning point. He notes that if the three-party opposition bloc, which is in favour of immediately holding talks on the Annan plan as well as a referendum, wins the election, this will facilitate a solution. As a matter of fact, he noted that arrangements might be made to enable RTP [Republican Turkish Party] leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who will reportedly be invited to Washington by a think tank in the days ahead, to hold meetings with officials from the US Department of State. In answer to our question on whether or not "this will be considered inference in the elections that will be held in Cyprus^‘ Weston answered: "No, it will not, because we are constantly holding meetings with all the sides, anyway."

    What will happen if the Turkish side announces that it is ready to hold talks and if the Greek Cypriot side, which will become an EU member on 1 May anyway, refuses to hold talks?

    There is no convincing answer to this question.^‘

    /SK


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