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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-11-24
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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.222/03 22-23-24.11.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The Turkish National Security Council convened on 21.11.03. Developments in Cyprus discussedAnkara TRT 2 Television (21.11.03) broadcast that the Turkish National Security Council (NSC) convened last Friday. After the meeting the following statement was issued by the National Security Council Secretariat General: ^”The NSC held its routine meeting on 21 November 2003. Security and public order throughout the country were assessed at the meeting. Within this framework, the terror attacks in Istanbul were discussed in all their dimensions. It has once more been emphasized that in our country -- which has suffered a lot as a result of terror in the near past, which has endured bitter experiences on the issue, but which has succeeded in rendering these acts ineffective within the framework of its democratic structure and its state of law -- international terror will not achieve its goals in the face of the determination and solidarity shown by our state and our nation. These attacks that have been perpetrated have once again emphasized the need to wage a much more effective struggle against terrorism in the international field and to intensify and render more effective regional and global cooperation.
All foreign political developments, including the issues of Iraq and Cyprus, and Turkey's determination to become a full EU member have been assessed in a comprehensive manner in the light of our national interests. Moreover, the NSC Secretariat General directive prepared in line with Law no 4963 amending Law no 2945 on the NSC and the NSC Secretariat General was discussed and a decision was adopted to submit it to the Council of Ministers.^‘
 Mr Thomas Weston met with Turkish Cypriot political party leaderTurkish Cypriot HALKIN SESI newspaper (22.11.03) reports that the US State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator, Mr Thomas Weston, has said the United States insists that the Annan Plan should be debated after the so-called elections to be held in the occupied areas and that it should subsequently be put to a public referendum.
Reiterating that the parties concerned would be able to make any amendments, provided they are in agreement, Weston said there was no alternative to the Annan Plan and that no effort was being made in that direction.
He noted that particularly the Greek Cypriot side and Turkey were independently carrying out work on certain changes in the plan and stressed that the United States would make every possible effort toward the achievement of an agreement in Cyprus by 1 May 2004.
Mr Thomas Weston addressed a news conference at the end of his contacts in Cyprus.
When reminded about the views put forward that Washington had intervened in the election process in the occupied areas through his two visits to the island in three weeks and through US Ambassador to Cyprus Michael Klosson's visits to the occupied areas, Weston said: "No, we do not intervene." After stating that the United States definitely had no intention to intervene in the ^”elections^‘, Weston said: "We are not taking sides. We are merely doing our utmost to encourage the achievement of an agreement on Cyprus."
Asked about the reason why he had paid two visits to Cyprus in three weeks, Weston merely said his visits were "part of the rather active consultations and contacts aimed at achieving an agreement on the Cyprus issue."
Weston was asked: "What is your reaction to the remarks made that during your previous visit you brought a solution plan to the parties and that you have come this time to get their views and have consultations on that plan? Weston responded: "No, the Annan Plan is the only solution package. We continue to believe so. This plan is definitely the best and the most realistic one. It has no alternative. My direct answer to your question is that there is no US plan on the agenda. We continue to support the Annan Plan."
Weston was asked whether he had requested an appointment with Rauf Denktas and, if he had, whether it had been turned down. He responded: "Yes, we requested a meeting. It was not turned down, but no meeting was planned either. It is rather clear, though, that there is a big difference of views between us."
In response to another question, Weston said neither the United States nor UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan leveled any accusation against any of the parties regarding the impasse in the talks. Noting that this fact could be clearly seen in Kofi Annan's latest report to the UN Security Council, Weston described the report as "a true reflection of the situation on the island."
Asked what his assessment was of the address that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made at the 20th anniversary ceremony of the UDI, Weston said some of Erdogan's remarks were of the kind that could contribute to a solution and some raised certain questions. Weston did not elaborate on this issue, though.
Responding to a question about the so-called citizenship issue in the occupied areas, Weston said many views were expressed on the issue, but he did not want to comment on it because he did not know the details and did not have sufficient information. "We are following, and shall continue to follow, this issue," he said.
As regards his meetings in the occupied areas, Mr Thomas Weston met with NUP (National Unity Party) Secretary General Suha Turkoz and NUP deputy Ilker Nevzat. Turkoz told the members of the press after the meeting that the only point of convergence with Weston related to the efforts toward an agreement in Cyprus.
DP (Democratic Party) leader, Mr Serdar Denktas said the only method and the only solution within this method that were put before the Turkish Cypriots demanded from them to "Abandon your rights and do not protect your rights, so that the problem may be solved." He said he tried to explain that this would not be possible as the Turkish Cypriots could not abandon their rights. Serdar Denktas also said he explained that if a situation were to be created to begin negotiations after the elections, the Greek Cypriot side would have to definitely accept the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriots, and that finding any other solution would not be possible.
Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) leader Mustafa Akinci met with Weston over lunch. Akinci told the press after the meeting that he talked with Weston about the latest developments. He said that during the meeting he gave Weston the documents that the PDM had put forward at the European Parliament meetings on the granting of the so-called citizenship and the increase in the voters' numbers. Akinci added: "We see that the interest in Cyprus of the US administration continues. They too believe that Turkey's future depends on its EU membership and that a united Cyprus should join the EU after a solution. They stress that their contribution in this direction will continue."
Weston also met with RTP [Republican Turkish Party] Secretary General Ferdi Sabit Soyer and RTP Foreign Relations Officer Kutlay Erk. Soyer emphasized during the meeting that the United States and the European Union should be more serious and more determined regarding the policy they follow on Turkey's EU process, and that they should take more tangible steps. He also expressed the view that the United States should encourage the EU on this issue.
Following Mr Weston's meeting with NPP [Nationalist Peace Party] co-chairmen Ertugrul Hasipoglu and Ali Riza Gorgun. Hasipoglu and Gorgun quoted Weston as stating that the Annan Plan could be debated without any conditions, and that changes could be made on any point of the plan. Speaking first to the press after the meeting, Hasipoglu said he told Weston that his party was prepared to discuss, without any conditions, the Annan Plan or any other solution plan. Quoting Weston as telling them that the Annan Plan could be debated without any conditions, Hasipoglu described Weston's remark as "a positive development." Speaking to newsmen after Hasipoglu, Ali Riza Gorgun said the NPP called Weston's attention to the fact that it would not abandon its principles in support of bizonality and of the need to negotiate the Annan Plan without any conditions. "We told Weston that these are our sine qua non principles," Gorgun said. He quoted Thomas Weston as asking them whether they would agree to a public referendum if the talks to be held on the Annan Plan after the ^”elections^‘ proved to be a failure. Gorgun said his reply was that "It is not the time and it is too early to ask this question," and that one should primarily wait for the ^”election^‘ results.
Mr Thomas Weston held his final meeting in the occupied areas with SEUP [Solution and EU Party] leader Ali Erel and deputy leader Mustafa Damdelen. Erel stated after the meeting that they had a good meeting, during which they talked, as usual, about the stage the Cyprus problem was going through.
 Erel suggests to the Greek Cypriots to start getting used to the pseudo state^“s ^”flag^‘ and ^”national anthem^‘Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (24.11.03) reports that Mr Ali Erel, the chairman of the Solution and EU Party (SEUP) made a speech yesterday in the framework of his election campaign.
Addressing the President of the Cyprus Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, Mr Erel defined what kind of a solution the Turkish Cypriots want, according to his opinion. ^”We are coming with our separate religion, culture and the separate state that we will administer, to get our rights like it or not^‘, said Mr Erel. He added that he suggests to the Greek Cypriots to start getting used to the pseudostateīs flag and national anthem.
In addition, addressing the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mr Erel stated that the Turkish Prime Minister knows that the Accession of Turkey to the EU will be speeded up if a solution to the Cyprus problem is found. Mr Erel called on Mr Erdogan to take into consideration the Turkish Cypriotsī experience regarding Mr Denktas and stressed: ^”President Denktas will not sign an agreement for a solution to the Cyprus problem. It is contrary to his oath. There is no possibility with Denktas^‘, he said.
 The new administrative committee of the Settlers^“ Association will support the Democratic Party of Serdar Denktas for the December ^”elections^‘Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET North Cyprus newspaper (24.11.03) reports that the new administrative committee of the illegal Settlers^“ Association, headed by its new chairman Mr Hakan Yozcu, visited yesterday the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Mr Serdar Denktas.
Speaking during the meeting, Mr Yozcu expressed his support to the DP for the forthcoming December ^”elections^‘ of the pseudostate. He stated that the illegal Settlers^“ Association supports all the political parties which are in favour of the flag, the soil, the motherland and the sovereignty and added: ^”We want to see you defending the Turkish Cypriot on the morning of the 15th of December^‘.
Mr Yozcu also stated that the Settlers^“ Association wants the pseudostate to become member of the European Union as a dominant state, with Turkey^“s guarantees to be accepted. He also criticised the special US State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston for trying to influence the free will of the Turkish Cypriots by visiting Cyprus.
 Rauf Denktas: ^”If we resist until May 2004 we will be the winner then^‘Turkish Daily MILLIYET newspaper (24.11.03) publishes statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, to the paperīs journalist, Mr Derya Sazak.
In his statements the Turkish Cypriot leader, inter alia, reiterated his intransigent stance regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem and the Annan Plan.
Following are the replies by Mr Denktas to some of the questions of MILLIYET.
Question: On May 2004 Cyprus will be member of the EU. Do you think that it would be the right thing if the north had taken part in this process as a ^—partner state^“ ?
Answer: The EU is taking Cyprus but it is aware that it is taking ^—half of Cyprus^“. With it they are taking a great trouble. Until the last day the USA will pressure Turkey, and we will sign a plan similar to the Annan plan. They believe in this. On the other hand if they see that the Turkish Cypriots do not give up the rights stipulated by the 1960 agreements , in that case they will come and would say; ^—we want the whole island^“ and they will sit around the negotiating table .
Question: When would this happen?
Answer : If we actually do not enter the EU on 1st May. Question: Until that day will you not sign the Annan Plan or a similar paper?
Answer: I only put my signature on a paper that saves my people, that provides our rights, and that safeguards Turkey^“s rights^Ň
Question: They say that it is not possible to reach an agreement with Denktas.
Answer: I have been presented that way by the British and the USA, as well as by Greek Cypriots and Greece, even by our opposition. And Esteemed Erdogan was in contact with those people prior to becoming the Prime Minister.
Question: To what do you relate this change in Esteemed Erdogan? General Ozkok `the Turkish Armed forces Chief of Staff, made a statement repeating the geo- strategic importance of the island as regards the security arrangements in the East Mediterranean.
Answer: This is the basis of Turkey^“s national cause. Turkey will not leave Cyprus. It has rights of a quarantor under the 1960 Agreements and this is an obstacle against Cyprus^“s becoming member to a body where Turkey is absent. Esteemed Erdogan had already admitted that on the Annan plan he was mislead.
Question: For Cyprus what is the solution plan in your mind?
Answer: We have presented the formula. The UN had accepted it. The two separate units in Cyprus will cede powers from their sovereignty to the central administration, thus creating a new Cyprus. And they call this Confederation, this is the formula.
 After distributing the properties of the Greek Cypriots, the occupation regime started to distribute to the illegal settlers properties that belong to the Turkish CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (24.11.03) accuses the occupation regime that after distributing all the properties which belong to the Greek Cypriots, it started now to distribute properties that belong to the Turkish Cypriots.
ORTAM stresses that Denktas and the ^”government^‘ of the status quo that were searching for properties to distribute, started now to give away to the settlers who came from Turkey, pieces of land which the Turkish Cypriots inherited from their ancestors and for which they have title deeds.
The paper refers to the case of a Turkish Cypriot named Huseyin Kara Salih, who is from occupied Elia village and owns a piece of land at occupied Petra village. The occupation regime took the property away of Mr Salih^“s grandchildren who were using the piece of land and gave it to someone else. Mr Salih showed to the pseudogovernment the title deed of the field, but the occupation regime did not accept it because it was dated from the British administration.
Subsequently Mr Salih visited the free areas and received by the Department of Land and Surveys of the Cyprus Republic a document which shows that the piece of land belongs to him. However, a so-called court at the pseudostate wanted the director of the Department of Land and Surveys to go to the ^”court^‘ in person and to take an oath regarding the document. The paper writes that Mr Salih^“s grandchildren strongly reacted against the situation.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in VATAN supports that the proposal package being prepared by the Turkish side will be rejected because it calls for radical changes to the Annan PlanIstanbul VATAN newspaper (19.11.03) publishes the following commentary by Metin Munir under the title: "Cyprus: do not give away, do not get rid of it":
^”I will make two predictions despite the fact that I am not a good fortune-teller:
1. Expectations that the Cyprus problem will be solved by May will not be realized.
2. The EU will not establish a date for the commencement of talks on Turkey's accession to the organization in 2004.
My predictions stem from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's fears. He fears that he might lose power if he is regarded as the man who solved the problem and "sold the island" without obtaining a date for the talks from the EU.
Many influential groups like the Army, the Republican People's Party, and the Foreign Ministry bureaucrats are against the solution of the Cyprus problem. They might be persuaded to make concessions on the island if the EU establishes a definite date for the talks. Maybe...
Erdogan is not sure that he will secure a date from the EU. He does not trust the Europeans. Besides, they are not willing to bargain with Turkey for "a date in return for Cyprus."
Uncertainty weakens Erdogan's hands against the groups that resist a solution in Cyprus. That is why he will refrain from taking a risk to solve the problem. According to him, remaining in power is more important than Cyprus and the EU.
The proposal package drawn up by the Foreign Ministry and Rauf Denktas will be rejected because it calls for radical changes to the Annan plan. Actually, preparing such a package is a tactful mistake. The proposals in the package, which might be regarded as the rejection of the Annan plan, will give the Greek Cypriots the opportunity to act like a "good boy" in the international arena regardless of the fact that they are against the essence of the plan.
The EU will not start talks on Turkey's accession to the organization as long as Turkish military troops remain on the island. We will continue to be left out in the cold.
That will be a situation in line with the expectations of radical nationalists and narrow-minded people who are willing to keep Cyprus as a part of Turkey's strategic and economic wealth forever. Additionally, they will prevent Turkey from promoting its second-class Middle Eastern type democracy.
The pro-solution parties achieving an election victory might be seen as a factor that might change the present situation. However, according to public opinion polls, they have little chance of winning the elections. Besides, Turkey is the boss and nothing can be done in Cyprus without its approval regardless of whether or not they [pro-solution parties] win the elections.
I believe that the EU will not establish a date for the commencement of talks regardless of whether or not Ankara solves the Cyprus problem because Turkey is presently far from complying with the organization's democratic and economic criteria.
Cyprus seems to be an obstacle to Turkey's accession to the EU. However, the main obstacle is Turkey itself. The island is merely a pretext for the current situation.^‘