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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-01-12

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.6/04 10-11-12.01.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] RTP and DP agree on establishing the pseudogovernment of the occupation regime.
  • [02] Information regarding the protocol of the pseudogovernment, which is expected to be announced today and comments by the Press.
  • [03] Erel notes that Ankara committed a mistake by declaring that Mr Rauf Denktas will be the negotiator of the Turkish community at the Cyprus talks.
  • [04] Statements by Erodgan and Denktas after meeting in Istanbul.
  • [05] Statements by Mustafa Akinci after returning from Ankara.
  • [06] The Turkish Prime Minister visited Germany. He met with the Croatian Prime Minister and the Latvian President.
  • [07] The Turkish Government on a foreign policy campaign.
  • [08]Turkey and US agree on Żncirlik airbase.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Columnist in HURRIYET says the new Turkish plan aims at limiting further the rights of the Greek Cypriots.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] RTP and DP agree on establishing the pseudogovernment of the occupation regime

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.01.04) broadcast live the following press conference by Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party, and Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) during which they announced their agreement to form the pseudogovernment of the occupation regime.

    Talat: "We have reached a conclusion. Naturally, we will submit this to our respective party organs. The organs of both the RTP and the DP are going to meet today. After the approval of the party organs, most probably, we will determine the Council of Ministers tomorrow and submit it to the president.

    I will now present to you the list of the Council of Ministers on which we reached an agreement:

    Foreign minister -- DP; economy and tourism minister -- DP; labor and social security minister -- DP; agriculture and forestry minister -- DP; education and culture minister -- RTP; interior minister -- RTP; public works and transportation minister -- RTP; health and social welfare minister -- RTP; youth and sports minister -- RTP; and finance minister -- RTP.

    This is the composition of our government. In other words, it is composed of six RTP ministers and four DP ministers. As I stressed a while ago, our government is one of social conciliation and solution. After our protocol is approved tonight and the government is established tomorrow, the work on the government program will begin immediately and presented to the Republican Assembly in the shortest possible time. The procedure for a vote of confidence will thus have been launched.

    This is all I want to say at this stage. We want the support of all the sectors of the community that aim to attain a solution and social conciliation especially in the aftermath of lengthy and tense periods of arguments, for the goals and aims of this government. We want all the social sectors to contribute to social conciliation and solution by supporting this government. We will act as an integrated government in determination and cooperation. In doing so, we will resolve with determination the possible hitches and problems that could arise between us. We will act with determination. This is all I want to say at this point. Mr Serdar Denktas will now address you."

    Serdar Denktas: "I must say a few words. Both parties evaluated the support as well as the opposition from their own grassroots and their voters. It is our wish and our expectation, especially with regard to those who were opposed to the establishment of this government, to be able to bring about social peace and conciliation among our people who were divided into camps, given that there is no alternative other than holding elections. We would like you to know that within the government as well, we will act on the basis of this spirit of conciliation and mutual consideration for one another's sensitivities.

    In this important process we are going through, trying another formula and stalling, and not establishing a government would not have benefited anyone in any way. We undertook this step out of this sense of responsibility and, naturally, with risks on both sides. I hope it will be auspicious. I also hope that the establishment of the government will assist in further developing our democratic culture, bringing about social conciliation, and attaining a viable and lasting solution on the island. I can see that, as two parties, we will be able to advance on this path in sincerity, understanding, and mutual consideration."

    On the protocol of the co-operation Mr Talat said: "We shall announce our protocol immediately after endorsement by our authorized organs".

    Question: Is there no deputy prime minister? Talat: Yes, there is; it is in conjunction with the foreign ministry.

    Question: Can you say anything about the 1 May deadline or the Annan plan?

    Talat: Our government will pursue a target of attaining a solution by 1 May, through negotiations based on the Annan plan.

    Question: What about a referendum?

    Talat: A referendum will be held on a date to be agreed upon by the sides. In any case this was what the Secretary-General had envisaged, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, Turkey and Greece.

    Question: Are you considering a person outside the coalition for the parliamentary speaker position?

    Talat: We have not finalized that yet. We have not discussed it yet. We will discuss it.

    Question: When will you announce the names of the ministers?

    Talat: Probably tomorrow, after the list has been submitted to the president.

    Question: After you receive the approval of the president, will you immediately inform the UN Secretary-General that you are ready for negotiations?

    Talat: No. Like we said, a stand is being formulated in Turkey. We will contribute to the formulation of this stand, in cooperation. We will reach a common stand with Turkey, and those steps will be taken in line with the common stand. We have not yet reached that stage. Anyway, our call does not mean anything.

    NTV television (11.01.04) broadcast that the DP Party Assembly approved with a majority of votes the establishment of a coalition with the RTP. The meeting of the RTP authorized organ is still continuing. DP Chairman Serdar Denktas said that he will meet with RTP Chairman Mehmet Ali Talat tomorrow and discuss the composition of the Council of Ministers. Serdar Denktas remarked that the list of the Council of Ministers may be submitted to President Rauf Denktas on 13 January."

    [02] Information regarding the protocol of the pseudogovernment, which is expected to be announced today and comments by the Press

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (12.01.04) reports that the aim of the protocol of the two parties, which have decided to participate in the pseudogovernment of the occupation regime, could be summarized in the following sentences:

    "The competent organs of the Republican Turkish Party and the Democratic Party have decided to form a coalition government the goal of which will be reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem before May 2004 as a result of a negotiation process on the basis of the Annan plan conducted in harmony by the government and the president within the framework of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General taking into consideration and developing the rights, the interests and the security of the Turkish Cypriot people deriving from international agreements. The aim of the coalition government is to simultaneously present this solution to referendum on a date on which the sides will agree, to lead the Turkish Cypriot people to a democratic modern state, harmonized with the EU norms and having high level of social prosperity and well-arranged economy".

    The protocol is expected to be announced today, according to the paper.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (12.11.04) the protocol will also include the following two points:

    "1. Together with the sovereignty which will be equally shared with the Greek Cypriots in the whole of New Cyprus, it is accepted that the TRNC has its own separate sovereignty.

    2. In parallel with the negotiations procedure, systematic preparations will also be conducted for the target of the community joining the EU."

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (11.01.04) reports that the protocol will include also a provision regarding the continuation of the active guarantees of Turkey in Cyprus. Commenting on the issue Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (12.01.04), writes that after Serdar Denktas' becoming the so-called "deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs", the father and son Denktas will be conducting the Cyprus negotiations as they like.

    The paper also accuses Mr Mehmet Ali Talat of changing his stance on the issue of the referendum and writes: "Despite the fact that he was setting forward that the referendum right of the people has been violated and said that he would return this right to the people in case he came to the government, Talat changed his tune. Noting that the referendum condition was not in the hands of the parties participating in the coalition government, Talat said that the referendum could be conducted in case the sides agree".

    [03] Erel notes that Ankara committed a mistake by declaring that Mr Rauf Denktas will be the negotiator of the Turkish community at the Cyprus talks

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (11.01.04) reports that Ali Erel, leader of the Solution and EU Party (SEUP), has said that Turkey committed a mistake by declaring that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas will be the negotiator at the Cyprus talks.

    Mr Erel met on Saturday with Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), who informed him about the visit of the four Turkish Cypriot party leaders to Ankara.

    In his statements after the meeting, Mr Erel described as a "great deficiency" the fact that the Turkish Cypriots are not informed about Ankara's preparations on the Annan Plan.

    Noting that they are following the developments through the press, Mr Erel pointed out that they did not believe that a process with Mr Rauf Denktas being the negotiator would lead the Turkish Cypriots to their target of achieving a solution until 1 May 2004.

    "I think that declaring Mr Denktas as the negotiator was a mistake on the part of Ankara", said Mr Erel and added that in spite of the expressions used by the Turkish side that Ankara wanted a solution "on the basis of the Annan plan", the press reports that there are some very serious differences on behalf of the army.

    Furthermore, Mr Akinci noted that the "government" formula was not important for his party. The important thing, he said, is the target of the "government". Mr Akinci pointed out that reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem could not be achieved with Mr Rauf Denktas conducting the negotiations for the Turkish community.

    [04] Statements by Erodgan and Denktas after meeting in Istanbul

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (11.01.04) broadcast live the joint press conference by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas after their meeting in Istanbul.

    Erdogan: Today, we exchanged views with Mr Denktas, with regard to the current stage of the Cyprus issue. During this tete-a-tete meeting, I conveyed to him information on the work that is being conducted in Turkey regarding the Cyprus negotiation process. I was pleased to hear Mr Denktas' valuable views. Our joint goal is to contribute to a just and lasting solution in Cyprus within the framework of the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission and on the basis of the realities on the island.

    We will maintain close contact and consultations with Mr Denktas and the "government of the TRNC". During the meeting, we also had the opportunity to assess the political developments in the "TRNC", and we discussed the latest stage in these developments.

    In conclusion, we are in full agreement with regard to conducting the efforts for a lasting peace and solution in Cyprus within the framework of the existing close solidarity and cooperation between Turkey and the "TRNC" in the future as well. I also thank you [the media] very much for the interest you have been displaying.

    Denktas: I thank the honorable prime minister with the most heartfelt feelings for according me this opportunity. As he also stated, the Cyprus issue is a common national cause. The goal is to attain lasting peace and conciliation, not to allow a repetition of past events, and to ensure the prosperity and security of our people. We discussed all these matters. We do not hold different views. This pleased me very much. God willing, this beautiful cooperation will continue, and serve our national cause. Once again, I thank him with the most heartfelt feelings, and I wish him continued success.

    [05] Statements by Mustafa Akinci after returning from Ankara

    Local daily ORTAM newspaper (10.01.04) publishes the following report under the title: "Impossible with Denktas":

    "Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) Chairman Mustafa Akinci, upon his return from Ankara [yesterday], briefed the PDM Central Decision-making and Executive Committee on the talks he and PDM Kyrenia deputy Halil Sadrazam held with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Akinci issued the following written statement on behalf of the Executive Committee in light of the assessment made:

    1. The PDM has been emphasizing just one objective right from the very first day. This objective calls for the realization of a solution and EU membership of a united Cyprus prior to 1 May. We believe in the need to undertake to hold a public referendum before May for this to materialize, as also demanded by UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan.

    2. We are clearly stating that achieving a positive result, with Mr Rauf Denktas acting as the interlocutor, will not be possible since Denktas describes the Annan Plan as dead and buried and considers it as a document of suicide.

    3. All these views were conveyed, on behalf of the PDM, to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at the meeting held in Ankara at the invitation of Mr Erdogan.

    4. While conveying the views of the PDM during our visit on behalf of the party, we also tried to get information about the document that reportedly suggests changes in the Annan Plan. It was stated that the work has not yet been concluded and that detailed information could not be provided. It was stressed that, despite this fact, the Turkish Government wants the negotiations to begin on the basis of the Annan Plan and stresses the negotiating table should not be abandoned.

    5. The PDM is not in a position to know what shape the document, which is referred to as a "Position Document," will take. The question as to whether a public referendum is to be carried out before May is not very clear either. Therefore, we cannot say at this moment whether the UN Secretary-General will be able to have the talks resumed. A solution by May is vitally important for the Turkish Cypriot people, though. The parameters will change after 1 May. The Turkish Cypriots will face the risk of losing its gains under the Annan Plan. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that the talks are concluded and a public referendum is held prior to May. It is very difficult to say whether Ankara realizes the importance of May as much as the Turkish Cypriots.

    6. The PDM has often repeated its readiness to commit itself, in awareness of its historic responsibility, in the event that the objectives we have set are taken into account in the formation of a government. Due to the fact that we are not able to foresee at this moment a three-party coalition that would share these objectives, the PDM is not engaged in a government partnership work or effort.

    7. We would like to inform our people that we shall keep up our efforts with all our power, without hiding the realities from our people, to ensure that the 1 May target is not missed like the other dates."

    [06] The Turkish Prime Minister visited Germany. He met with the Croatian Prime Minister and the Latvian President

    Ankara Anatolia (09.01.04) reported from Berlin that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that beginning of full membership talks between Turkey and the European Union (EU) would show that Turkey and the EU was a family.

    Erdogan attended a breakfast hosted in the European Academy Berlin Chairman Joerg Klein's house by Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD).

    Speaking in the meeting, Erdogan said that Turkey was discussing EU membership, not Customs Union at the moment.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Mr Erdogan said: ''Although the settlement of the Cyprus issue isn't a criterion on the road to EU membership, we want to solve it till May 1. We are good willed, but good will can't be one-sided. If it is one-sided, problems will occur. We will do our best. The Cyprus issue will be on agenda during my visit to the United States.''

    Erdogan thanked German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for his support to Turkey's EU membership process.

    Prime Minister Erdogan later met with the Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sander.

    Erdogan then went to the German Foreign Ministry and met with Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga in luncheon, reports Ankara Anatolia.

    [07] The Turkish Government on a foreign policy campaign

    Turkish Daily News (11.01.04) reports that the Turkish government, immediately after the state summit called by Sezer, begun its dizzying overseas campaign. The summit resulted in giving the government a certain amount of time to watch and see what it could do about the three crucial issues of Cyprus, Kurdish state and developments in the Caucasus. When we decipher the sentences of the summit statement, we see that they supported the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan without mentioning the Annan plan and backed the new "TRNC government" without ignoring Rauf Denktas. This way the JDP government will be supported for a short period of time without committing the Republic of Turkey to anything.

    This foreign policy campaign started immediately after the State-Government summit on Thursday. Leaders of the four political parties represented in the new "TRNC parliament" were called to Ankara and briefed on Turkey's expectation personally by Erdogan. Erdogan flew to Berlin the next day. This visit, which includes a meeting with Germany's Prime Minister Gerhard Schroder, was a disappointment from the start due to the reluctance of the Germans. Because postponing the final decision making of the State-Government summit to the National Security Council (NSC) meeting on January 23, made the meeting with Erdogan meaningless.

    Erdogan will fly to Switzerland the day after the NSC meeting to attend the Davos meeting. In reality, this meeting, just like the one in Berlin, is a screen to hide the official meeting. Erdogan will meet Annan to brief him on the Turkish proposals.

    Erdogan will go to the U.S. on January 26, right after the Davos meeting, to meet U.S. President George W. Bush. While the time of the meeting was scheduled for early in the morning, limiting Turkey's expectations, but still Erdogan will explain to the president the issues of Cyprus, the threat the possibility of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq posses to the region and the damage that might be caused due to increasing instability in the Caucasus.

    The government has scheduled many important meetings before the meeting with Bush. The progress achieved in Turkey-Syria relations during Syria's President Bashar Assad's visit, shows that Turkey will pursue a hard hitting "active diplomacy" against dangerous developments in northern Iraq. Turkey continued its push by inviting the leader of the most populous Shiite grouping in Iraq. A strong message was sent to those in power in northern Iraq by ignoring the visitation requests made by Kurdish leaders strongly supported by the U.S. and the Kurdish ministers serving in Iraq's Provisional Governing Council, at a time when a Shiite leader was invited to Turkey.

    Meanwhile, Gul went to Baku, Azerbaijani and then to Iran's capital Tehran to get Iran's support, after Syria, against the possibility of the formation of a Kurdish state. Turkey, with this offensive, is trying to be very influential in the region in near terms, by getting the support of a large Shiite population and regional countries. Such broad support might make Turkey's hand stronger in Erdogan's meeting with Bush. Especially, if Turkey achieves to be an intermediary between Israel and Syria in a peace process, it will receive full support from the pro-Jewish lobby in the U.S., making its hand considerably stronger.

    The government will host a meeting in Ankara in mid-January with European Union Commission President Romano Prodi and Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verhaugen. This meeting will be a very important stop on the government's foreign policy campaign in January.

    [08] Turkey and US agree on Żncirlik airbase

    NTV MSNBC (09.01.04) reports that sources close to American Force Command Stuttgard have said that Ankara and Washington have reached an agreement over the Żncirlik airbase being reopened to US forces to assist in operations in Iraq.

    The sources said that negotiations had been conducted over a period of three months between the senior military commands of both countries.

    Under the agreement the Żncirlik airbase, located in southern Turkey near the city of Adana, is to be used for logistical support and the transfer of ammunition to US forces stationed in Iraq.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Columnist in HURRIYET says the new Turkish plan aims at limiting further the rights of the Greek Cypriots

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (09.01.04) publishes the following commentary by Sedat Ergin under the title: "Ankara's new Cyprus Plan":

    "The General Staff's Cyprus study document disclosed by Cumhuriyet columnist Mustafa Balbay contains important clues as to the new diplomatic moves Turkey is preparing to take on.

    The document contains the General Staff's technical evaluation of proposals prepared by the Foreign Ministry to amend UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Plan.

    The document allows us to read the Foreign Ministry's new bargaining position easily. Taking this as the starting point we can make the following analysis as to what the Foreign Ministry's demands for improvement and the flexibility it has shown all mean:

    Subtitle: Turks Dominate Federal Parliament One of the correction demands concerns the election of representatives that the Turkish Component State (TCS) is going to send to the joint federal legislative organ.

    The Annan Plan does not stipulate that TCS representatives who will go both to the lower and upper houses of parliament must be elected from among Turkish Cypriots. This creates the following objection as far as the Turkish Cypriots are concerned:

    According to the plan, after a 15-year transition period a number of Greek Cypriots amounting to 21 percent of the total Turkish Cypriot population will be accepted as TCS citizens and will thus gain the right to be elected to the federal parliament.

    In this situation, when Greek Cypriots enter the federal parliament as representatives of the Turkish region the Turkish weight in parliament will decrease in the long term.

    For instance, the 24-24 equal seat distribution in the Senate will over time change in favor of the Greek Cypriots.

    The Foreign Ministry's new demand is that it be made compulsory for parliamentarians elected from the north to be Turkish Cypriots. Thus, what the ministry wants is to prevent the Turkish weight in the federal parliament being eroded over time.

    There is a further demand for alteration concerning critical votes in the Senate that require a special majority. While the Annan Plan requires that at least 10 Turkish Cypriot members support any bill in this kind of vote the new position raises this figure to 13 (one more than half of the 24 seats).

    Thus it is made harder for instances to occur whereby several Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriot ones and vote in favor of bills that the Turkish Cypriot side has objections to.

    Subtitle: Number of Greek Cypriots returning north limited

    The Annan Plan limits the number of Greek Cypriots moving north at the end of a 15-year transition period to 21 percent.

    The Foreign Ministry's new position envisages this figure being reduced further to 15 percent. In this situation, if one assumes that the Turkish Cypriot population will number 200,000 after 15 years then the number of Greek Cypriots migrating north will not be able to exceed 35,000.

    There is one more interesting detail: The plan allows

    1. Greek Cypriots living in the Karpass region prior to 1974 and,

    2. all Greek Cypriots aged over 65 who were living in the north prior to 1974 to return automatically to the TCS.

    Furthermore, none of the Greek Cypriots in those two categories are included in the plan's 21 percent quota. No matter how you look at it this amounts to an extra quota of at least 50,000 being added to the 21 percent quota.

    Yet, the Foreign Ministry's calculations include the Greek Cypriots aged over 65 and those aged over 65 in its 15 percent quota. Thus, any crowded Greek Cypriot migration into the Turkish region will be blocked.

    All the headlines thus far concern demands for alterations. However, the Foreign Ministry is demonstrating great flexibility with regard to one very critical point in the Annan Plan.

    This point concerns the property regime for immovable property left behind after 1974.

    The Turkish side has long been proposing for the regime the "total swap" method by which all property is written off.

    This method envisages

    1. the value of all property left behind by both sides to be valued,

    2. a process of mutual rebate being actualized,

    3. any discrepancy to the detriment of the Greek Cypriots being made good by a third party (the EU or the United States for example).

    The Annan Plan rejected this approach and introduced the principle whereby the Greek Cypriots' property rights over their property were either reinstated or compensated.

    This principle means thousands of applications and property cases that could last decades plus a large number of Turkish Cypriots having to leave the former Greek Cypriot property they are now settled in.

    In order to balance out these sticking points the Foreign Ministry is limiting the amount of TCS surface area to be occupied by the property of Greek Cypriots returning north to 5 percent. The Annan Plan has this figure at 10 percent.

    In the end, while the Foreign Ministry is "taking a step backwards" in the property regime is it introducing "further demands" that aim to limit both the number of Greek Cypriots returning north and the total surface area of the property they are going to own."

    /SK


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