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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-01-13

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.7/04 13.01.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Rauf Denktas stated that the plan on Cyprus Ankara is preparing aims at putting the Cyprus problem on the road desired by Turkey during Erdogan´s visit to Washington.
  • [02] Cemil Cicek: "We have been trying to display our good intention to the whole world. The NSC will assess developments in its next meeting. Later necessary steps will be taken".
  • [03] Erdogan stated that this is the most appropriate time for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [04] The so-called protocol of the pseudogovernment in occupied Cyprus.
  • [05] RADIKAL and TERCUMAN refer to Turkey's plan on Cyprus.
  • [06] Akinci stated that Ankara does not want a solution by the 1st of May but in December instead and stressed that there is no chance for a solution with Denktas.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] The Turkish government intends to get the plan on Cyprus it is preparing approved by Mr Annan and President Bush.
  • [08] Commentary in AFRIKA supports that the Turkish side is preparing a plan not for a solution but for tactical moves.
  • [09] Turkish columnist in YENI SAFAK says that Turkey will make proposals on the Cyprus problem only to get rid of the blame for the non-solution and for being the intransigent side.

  • [A] NEW ITEMS

    [01] Mr Rauf Denktas stated that the plan on Cyprus Ankara is preparing aims at putting the Cyprus problem on the road desired by Turkey during Erdogan´s visit to Washington

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (12.01.04) broadcast live the statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, at occupied Lefkoniko airport upon his return from Turkey.

    Mr Denktas said that the efforts on Cyprus in Ankara are going on, they could pass through the National Security Council and added:

    "Only then will we be able to see the real picture. At this time when work to this end is under way, naturally, the reports we sent from here and the statements we issued are being taken and will continue to be taken into consideration. The final shape will be given after another meeting is held with us on the eve of the National Security Council [NSC] meeting or immediately afterwards. My meeting with the prime minister [Erdogan] was conducted within this framework. I sincerely explained to him the issues, which we are concerned about, and what we are afraid of. There is no difference of opinion on these issues. As they have envisaged as well, preliminary work is necessary, and preparations are under way for this preliminary work. It is most essential, therefore, to resolve the Cyprus issue. There is no such idea, however, as to give up on Cyprus in order to resolve the issue. It is a national and mutual cause. Efforts are being and will be exerted in order to reach a wise and good agreement, which will ensure the interest of both sides.

    As you know, the honorable prime minister [Erdogan] will go to the United States a couple of days after the NSC meeting and after the framework of the agreement crystallizes. We hope that, within the framework of these contacts, the Cyprus issue will be put on a desirable road in a desirable manner. The work under way is to this end.

    I have returned very satisfied. In the meantime, our new government was formed. As you know, we worked vary hard to form a broad, a broader based government. This, however, was impossible. I hope that the other parties will assist the government and us during this critical period. I hope that, with their sincere criticisms and contributions, we will be able to come through this transition period without any problems. This is what we wish for and we wish success to our new government. I have, of course, not seen their protocol yet. I have not seen the names. I do not think that there will be any hitches on these issues.

    Question: Mr Denktas, for some time now, you were against a discussion of the Annan plan. The government protocol includes the Annan plan. What are your views on this?

    Answer: First of all, disregard the statements issued by Mehmet Ali Talat before the elections. They have things they said that they will do as the government now. This road will be pursued together with Turkey. This is true for all of us. I repeat once again, the Annan plan is on the table. There may be statements to the effect that we will sit and discuss the Annan plan. The real work, however, consists of preliminary efforts to render the Annan plan acceptable. For this reason, it is neither this nor that. The work should not be made more difficult by concentrating on words. I repeat. We have seen issues, holes, pits, and traps in the Annan plan that concern and frighten us. It was decided to conduct a preliminary work in order to eliminate them. This is what we wanted as well. For this reason, both sides' statements are valid.

    Question: Will the plan prepared by Turkey comb out all these concerns and fears?

    Answer: Both you and all of us will see after the NSC passes the plan. We will see together to what extent they were combed out. Let us be aware that there is work under way. We have a new government, which I suppose will be busy with internal issues until the NSC. They will get their act together. We, therefore, have time and work is being carried out both inside and outside.

    Furthermore, NTVMSNBC (13.01.04) reports that Denktas said on Monday that he was focused on striving for a solution to the dispute on the island that did not sacrifice the safety and security of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Any negotiations on Cyprus must take into account the realities of the situation on the island, Denktas said and added: "There are two states, two nations on Cyprus. Any agreement reached should not shake the confidence of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    The Greek Cypriot side needed to enter into negotiations prepared to accept these realities and to be ready to make compromises. It was because they had failed to do so in the past that no results during previous talks had been reached."

    [02] Cemil Cicek: "We have been trying to display our good intention to the whole world. The NSC will assess developments in its next meeting. Later necessary steps will be taken"

    TRT 2 Television (12.01.04) broadcast that Turkey has once again stressed that it will continue its activities to ensure that the Cyprus problem is solved taking into consideration the realities on the island. Cemil Cicek, justice minister and government spokesman, in a statement after the Council of Ministers meeting today, expressed the hope that steps will be taken by 1 May 2004.

    "We, as Turkey, have always tried to say that we have goodwill toward the positive solution of the Cyprus problem taking into consideration the Cyprus reality and in a manner that will balance the rights and interests of Turkey and our kinsmen there. We are exerting every effort we can. Work and assessment on the issue are continuing. We, as Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, hope that by 1 May 2004 certain steps will be taken. We are trying to show to the entire world our goodwill on the issue. At this point, a good process has been initiated." Mr Cicek said.

    On the same issue Ankara Anatolia (12.01.04) reported from Ankara that Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek on Monday, held a press conference following the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, He said: ''The foreign policy was high on the agenda of the meeting. Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul informed members of the Council of Ministers on his visits to Azerbaijan and Iran. Turkey attributes great importance to its relations with neighboring countries. We have been expending efforts to base our bilateral relations with neighbouring countries on a sound, lasting and sincere ground.''

    Noting that recent developments in Cyprus were also taken up at the meeting, Cicek told reporters:

    ''We have good intentions about finding a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus question by taking into consideration the facts in the island. We have been expending efforts to this end. As Turkey and `TRNC´, we want some steps to be taken till May 1, 2004. We have been trying to display our good intention to the whole world. The National Security Council (NSC) will assess the developments at its next meeting. Later, necessary steps will be taken. Turkey's expectations were put forward earlier. The negotiation process will be maintained on the basis of the plan of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Actually, the plan does not have any unknown elements.''

    Question: ''It was claimed that negotiations over the Annan plan could take a long time. Will the negotiation process end till May 1, 2004?''

    Answer: ''We have been trying to do our utmost. We want to complete the process till May 1. However, it is a process which has been continuing for the last 40 years. We all know that it is quite difficult to take a decision.

    I want to stress once again that both Turkey and `TRNC´ are determined to find a solution to the Cyprus question. However, unilateral efforts will not be enough to solve such a long-standing question. Mutual steps should be taken.''

    [03] Erdogan stated that this is the most appropriate time for a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Mainland SABAH newspaper (13.01.04) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Mr Tayip Erdogan, stated that a more appropriate time, than the present, for a solution to the Cyprus problem cannot be found. Mr Erdogan made these statements after the Turkish Council of Ministers´ meeting yesterday in which the latest developments of the Cyprus problem were discussed.

    Mr Erdogan, who informed the Council of Minister regarding his meeting yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, stressed that a historical window has opened for a solution of the problem and added: "The whole world is focused on the Cyprus problem. There is not a more appropriate time for a solution of the problem. We agree with esteemed Denktas to do everything we can for the solution of the problem on the basis of the Annan Plan", he said.

    [04] The so-called protocol of the psuedogovernment in occupied Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.01.04) reported from occupied Nicosia that according to the RTP-DP so-called coalition protocol, the coalition pseudo- government named ''Social Compromise and Solution'' was formed under Mr Mehmet Ali Talat.

    The RTP-DP coalition adopted the ''solution of the Cyprus issue before May 2004 at the end of a negotiation process in which the Annan plan is taken as the basis and a referendum on a date agreed by the sides'' as its main target.

    The protocol says that the Cyprus talks will continue in harmony between the "President" and the "government".

    The coalition protocol envisages restructuring within the framework of the European Union (EU) norms in order to overcome economic, social and other problems in the occupied areas.

    The RTP-DP coalition protocol sets its economic target as ''economic integration with the whole world'' and ''market economy which doesn't permit monopolies and unjust competition.''

    It also foresees political equality and sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots on the basis of a partnership to be formed by a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    It wants continuation of Turkey's rights as guarantor state stemming from international agreements.

    The coalition "government" also foresees that a common policy will be formed by Turkey for solution for the Cyprus issue and that current economic, social and cultural relations with Turkey will be improved.

    The RTP-DP "coalition protocol" says that the "government" will attach importance to improvement of foreign relations of the Turkish Cypriot "people" and the "TRNC" and adds that the "government" will facilitate the improvement of relations of the Turkish Cypriots with Greece and relations of Greek Cypriots with Turkey.

    [05] RADIKAL and TERCUMAN refer to Turkey's plan on Cyprus

    Turkish RADIKAL newspaper (12.01.04) reports that the strategy, which the Justice and Development Party's government will follow on the Cyprus problem, has been clarified. According to the paper, the criteria, which will be put forward by the JDP government during the negotiations on the Annan Plan, are the following:

    "The preservation of the Turkish identity on the island is more important than the presence of the Turkish troops. After the accession to the EU the withdrawal of all the Turkish troops could be accepted. The solution in Cyprus could not be a condition for the accession of Turkey to the EU, but we are determined to solve this issue and enter into the EU. The EU must support the preservation of the Turkish identity in the TRNC. The plan provides for a percentage around 5 % for the achievement of the Turko-Greek balance. Bargaining could be conducted but the important thing is not to permit people to settle from the south to the north before Turkey's accession to the EU. The return from the south to the north must be in stages and the Turkish population must not be minority in the areas where Greek Cypriots will go. The number of the Greek Cypriots who could go and settle to every separate region must be calculated. Sources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said that 'flexibility is important', commented as follows on the statement of Foreign Minister Gul that 'we are like the flesh and bones ith the General Staff': 'The Foreign ministry is the flesh and the General Staff is the bone. The skeleton is comprised by bones, whereas the flesh makes it more soft''"

    Meanwhile, Turkish TERCUMAN newspaper (13.01.04) reports that the Turkish amendments to the Annan Plan have been completed. According to the paper, the biggest worry of the Turkish government is not getting a date for the beginning of Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU after the Cyprus problem is solved. Therefore, Ankara wants the solution in Cyprus to be applied in stages and in parallel with Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU.

    Turkey demands the following amendments, according to TERCUMAN: 1) The bi-zonality to be more definite than in the Annan Plan. Therefore, Turkey wants to further reduce the number of the Greek Cypriots who according to the Annan Plan will return and settle to north Cyprus and whose number is provided to be 21 % of the total population in that area. It also wants postponement of this return, to an extend.

    2) The second demand is the changing of the dividing line between the two founding states, to which the Annan Plan refers. The fact that this line is not straight worries the Turkish side, which wants a more straight line to be drawn. If is necessary for achieving such a straight line, the Turkish side could discuss giving to the Greek Cypriot side 1 % ^Ö 1.5 % more territory than the Annan Plan provides.

    3) While the Annan Plan provides for the votes of the ten out of the twenty-four Turkish senators for the approval of a law in the Federal Senate, the Turkish side put the condition of the approval of this law by thirteen Turkish senators.

    4) There are some disagreements on the issue of the guarantees and the presence of the Turkish troops in Cyprus. The Turkish side wants to further extend the 29-month period provided in the Annan Plan for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the island. Within this framework the Turkish military authorities want a thousand Turkish troops to remain in Cyprus even after Turkey's full accession to the EU.

    The paper concludes as following:

    "Before these main demands of the Turkish side the Greek side could have some demands as well. In order for the Turkish side to sit at the negotiating table in a powerful position, it has to convince first the UN Secretary - General Kofi Annan about the amendments it wants. Afterwards it is necessary that the Prime Minister Erdogan gets the support of the US president George W. Bush. The negotiations might not be concluded until 1 May. The formula in this case is noting the progress, adding it in Cyprus' membership protocol and continuing the talks after 1 May".

    [06] Akinci stated that Ankara does not want a solution by the 1st of May but in December instead and stressed that there is no chance for a solution with Denktas

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (13.01.04) reports that Mr Mustafa Akinci, the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) visited yesterday the leadership of the Platform "This Country is Ours" and informed it as regard the meetings he had in Ankara and the later developments of the Cyprus problem.

    Evaluating his trip to the capital of Turkey, Mr Akinci stated that Ankara does not want a solution to the Cyprus problem to be found by the 1st of May, but in December instead. The leader of PDM said that as Turkish Cypriots they certainly want the road of EU to open for Turkey. However, he stressed, that they are aware that the 1st of May is a very important date. "On the 1st of May a new Europe will be born and in this Europe Tassos Papadopoulos will take the place as the only owner of Cyprus", said Mr Akinci. He also added that if a United Cyprus is not going to be established by the 1st of May, the Turkish Cypriots will be left only with the minority right. "As Turkish Cypriots we are very worried regarding this issue", he said.

    Mr Akinci also stated that Mr Rauf Denktas, who in every opportunity was describing the Anan Plan as "dead and buried" cannot be convincing that he will negotiate on the basis of this Plan and added that the Turkish Cypriot leader lost all his credibility during the last 40 years. "'President' Denktas has given an oath for partition", said Mr Akinci.

    Regarding the establishment of the so-called coalition government between the Republican Turkish Party and the Democratic Party, Mr Akinci stated that he wished every success to the new "government" but added that a "success" means that the "coalition" will reach a solution to the Cyprus problem by the 1st of May. Commenting further on the coalition, he said that his party could show support to a formation that would not accept Mr Denktas as a negotiator for the Cyprus talks, that would aim for a solution by the 1st of May and which will decide to conduct a referendum. "Our conditions were clear. We will continue to support our principles", said Mr Akinci, who added that his party will support every step made by the new "government" that aims to the solution of the Cyprus problem.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] The Turkish government intends to get the plan on Cyprus it is preparing approved by Mr Annan and President Bush

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (12.01.04) publishes the following commentary by Yasemin Congar under the title : "There is not another spring":

    "John Stilides, the Chairman of the think tank organization in Washington, D.C., which concentrates on Southeastern Europe and is called the "Western Policy Center", after saying at the opening of the meeting he hosted that this year he has once again become hopeful for a solution to the Cyprus problem, refreshed our memories related to the recent past. He reminded that in recent years, whenever a new year begins, even if it is entered with the hope, "This year will be the Cyprus year, finally a solution will be provided", this hope is postponed with an unexpected incident: the Imia crisis, the S-300 missiles, 28 February and the capture of the PKK [Worker's Party of Kurdistan] leader when he was under the protection of Greece, are among the incidents, each of which left the solution on Cyprus "until another spring".

    Although the experiences force one to be cautious on the hope of a solution, there are many people in Washington, D.C. who believe that "there is no other spring left other than the spring of 2004" for Cyprus. Both the fact that the EU membership of Cyprus will start in May and the transformation of the Cyprus solution into an actual condition in order for Turkey to obtain a date for the accession negotiations, and also the fact that the Turkish Cypriots set forth a will in the 14 December [2003] elections in favour of a solution and the EU, has created significant changes in the Cyprus parameters.

    The "government" newly established under the leadership of the RTP [Republican Turkish Party] leader Mehmet Ali Talat, the solution plan prepared by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's support from the beginning for taking the Annan Plan as the basis for the negotiations, despite the strong opposition of Rauf Denktas and his supporters in Ankara, are actually the harbingers of a new situation.

    The officials in Washington, D.C. are interpreting this new situation in the form, "A will in favor of a solution in Turkey and Northern Cyprus has become strengthened to this extent for the first time". Thanks to the optimism created by this observation, Michael Klosson, the US Ambassador to Nicosia, who gave a speech at the meeting opened with the statements of Mr Stilides, whom we mentioned above, also agreed with this view.

    Amb Klosson defended that the provision of a solution in 2004 would be to the benefit of all the sides, but primarily it would be essential for the interests of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey and said, "My greatest wish this New Year is that the solution will not be postponed once again, that is, that 2005 will not be the Year of Cyprus".

    Subtitle: The increasing interest of the United States

    The US ambassadors in the European capital cities were in Washington, D.C. last week for the regular annual meetings at the US Department of State. A diplomat conveyed to me the atmosphere of the talks by saying, "When discussing the Europe of 2004, the cities, which were mentioned the most frequently, were Ankara, Istanbul, Athens and Nicosia".

    The reason for the interest is known. There are the EU timetables of Turkey and Cyprus. There are general elections on 7 March in Greece and local elections on 28 March in Turkey. In the summer, there is the NATO Summit in Istanbul and the Olympics in Athens. Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, which are monitored by the "same desk" within the structure of many units of the US administration, are being kept in the forefront on the radar screen of Washington, D.C. Within this overall picture, Cyprus, which is of direct interest to Turkey and to the fate of the Turkish-Greek relations, and consequently, in the opinion of the United States, is in a position, which transforms it into the key for stability in the Southeastern European wing of the NATO.

    On the other hand, the new balances formed in the alliance relations hold an important place in the lessons learned by the United States from the Iraqi War. Washington, D.C. can make close cooperation with the important countries of coastal Europe, such as Portugal, Spain and Italy, and with its new allies in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, besides Great Britain. But it has the impression that in the Eastern Mediterranean (that is, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus) the opposition against its own policies and the anti-American feelings are strong.

    Whereas, the US officials considered the Iraqi War as a part of an "Expanding Middle East" project where democracies would take the place of oppressive regimes in the region and where peace would take the place of quarrels. For that reason, they attach great importance on the roles of Ankara and Athens, which are the main centers of transatlantic cooperation in this region.

    Washington, D.C. thinks that Greece, under the leadership of Costas Simitis, who left the PASOK leadership last week, has abandoned its isolation and has become one of the successful countries of Europe and believes that Ankara now has a similar chance as well. Could the fact that the IMF supported economic reforms started to produce results and that the process of negotiation with the EU has started to bring Turkey into the threshold of a leap forward? The US officials who say "yes" to this question, immediately remind of the attribute of the "absolute necessity" of the solution on Cyprus. In their opinion, from now on Cyprus is one of the symbols of Turkey's shedding its old skin.

    On the other hand, Washington, D.C. considers the EU membership of Cyprus as a step of this island, which is a "non-aligned" inheritance and on the axis of Great Britain, Greece and Turkey, for entering into a brand new process of cooperation with the United States. The following words of the Amb Klosson, the US Ambassador to Nicosia, are meaningful: "A Cyprus, which has joined the EU, will become a part of the transatlantic cooperation and within this scope, it will be transformed into a new partner for us".

    Thus, the fact that Cyprus will be one of the most important subjects of the agenda when Prime Minister Erdogan meets with President George W. Bush at the White House on 28 January, is not only a persistent demand of the EU timetable, but at the same time, it is the result of the United States re-evaluating the place of Cyprus in its interests related to our region.

    Subtitle: Annan is the first address

    This perception in Washington, D.C. could also produce the result of the United States getting more involved in encouraging the "will for a solution on Cyprus", which it believes exists in the Erdogan government. You never know, President Bush, who started the New Year by sending Cyprus letters to Prime Ministers Simitis and Erdogan, could send a representative to Ankara without even waiting for 28 January, and could continue to make pressure for the Cyprus solution.

    But no matter what level the Cyprus suggestions of the United States reaches these weeks, the first address that Washington, D.C. will continue to show to Ankara will be that of the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Amb Klosson gave an extremely clear message when answering my question on this subject: "We do not know the details of the plan prepared by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. But no plan, which does not meet the minimum conditions set forth by Annan, would have a chance of success. Our recommendation to Ankara is first of all to convince the UN Secretary-General".

    In short, Washington, D.C.'s expectation is that the plan prepared in Ankara should be discussed with Mr Annan before discussing it with President Bush at the White House. Even if Prime Minister Erdogan's intention to meet in New York with the UN Secretary-General before coming to Washington, D.C. is not realized due to Mr Annan's schedule, it is absolutely necessary for Ankara to convey its proposals in some manner to Mr Annan and to get the "green light" from him.

    To be able to get such a green light from the UN Secretary-General is dependent on the real formation on the Turkish side of a will to restart the negotiations with good intentions and for Mr Denktas to yield to this. Mr Annan had connected these good intentions to the determination of a date that would indicate a definite commitment of both sides on the subject of bringing the agreement to a referendum, not on an abstract criterion. Washington, D.C. is also supporting this condition of Mr Annan".

    [08] Commentary in AFRIKA supports that the Turkish side is preparing a plan not for a solution but for tactical moves

    Under the title "Here is the ditch, here is the camel'" AFRIKA newspaper (13.01.04) publishes a commentary in its column "Letter from AFRIKA" by which it criticizes the Turkish side for trying to show that it is working on the Annan Plan on its own not for a solution to the Cyprus problem but to appear having good will.

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "How useful will the Turkish side´s bringing its demands to the negotiating table be without taking into consideration the Greek Cypriot side´s position?

    Ankara and Denktas are proceeding as if only they have the right to bring about changes to the Annan plan. And as if after their changes are made the plan will be on a take it or leave it basis. The fact that the Greek Cypriot side has asked for changes to the Annan plan and that they too have their sine qua non is in nobody´s mind.

    Indeed all that the Turkish side wants is not to be the intransigent party on the negotiation table.

    What does Erdogan say? "We shall not be the party to abandon the table' While in fact the real issue is to reach to an agreement and not whether you abandon the table or not. To achieve a solution.

    Is it a clever diplomacy to put on the negotiating table demands the other side can never accept and say `I have exhibited good will, I did what I should have done but the other side is not taking any steps, I am clear of any blame´?

    Is there anybody who will take this seriously?

    In the talks which are about to resume the Greek Cypriot side will be more relaxed than the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiating table. For us it can be a matter of life or death. For them it is not so. Because if these negotiations enter into a deadlock the accession of Cyprus to the EU on May 1st will not be affected.

    Nobody will say that the accession of Cyprus is postponed because no solution was reached. Whether there is a solution or not the 1st May EU timetable does not change.

    In other words the situation is very different from the process during the Copenhagen and the Hague summits. If the Turkish side adopted a positive approach during those processes the Greek Cypriots would not be relaxed now.

    As regards the changes the Turkish side will demand to the Annan plan it is not clear yet what they will be. On this issue many things are written and said, but there is no official document yet.

    Yesterday´s RADIKAL newspaper (12.01.04) dedicated its leading article to this issue. It published the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government´s `Cyprus Criteria´. Among those criteria the most interesting is the following:

    - The settlement of Greek Cypriots from the South to the North cannot take place before Turkey accedes to the EU.

    Here is the ditch, here is the camel'"

    What is the use of putting forth on the table such a condition which the Greek Cypriot side will definitely reject?

    Let us say that the talks reached a deadlock at this point. Who will be considered responsible?

    Yesterday Mehmet Ali Talat together with the army commanders and Serdar rushed into receiving Denktas who was returning to the country. Yet he is not officially prime minister' why this haste? What is the sin he wants to expiate'

    No sooner had Denktas got off the plane than he said: "In the Annan plan there are ditches and potholes". The same as in the past' What is important is not to fall into these ditches and potholes'

    However, after his contacts in Istanbul he was appeased'

    The reports he wrote were taken into consideration in Ankara and the demands in the plan were formulated according to his views'

    Denktas is relaxed'

    Talat is relaxed'

    Are you relaxed as well?"

    [09] Turkish columnist in YENI SAFAK says that Turkey will make proposals on the Cyprus problem only to get rid of the blame for the non-solution and for being the intransigent side

    Columnist Koray Duzgoren writing in Turkish YENI SAFAK newspaper (Internet version 12.01.04) reports that Turkey will sit at the negotiating table and make its proposals regarding Cyprus, without taking into consideration whether or not the Greek Cypriot side could accept these proposals. Under the title "The 'let us sit at the table and the rest is easy' policy", Mr Duzgoren writes, inter alia, the following:

    "The state and the government agreed in the end on the Cyprus issue. The government spokesmen are saying it since a long time: 'Let us sit on the table and make our proposals to the Greek Cypriots. It is something that concerns them whether they will accept them or not'. That is, the attitude seems to be something like 'let us get rid of the blame'. This is the summary of the new Cyprus policy.

    The Justice and Development Party (JDP) government accepted that within the framework of this policy Denktas should not be removed from the post of the negotiator. After the recent developments, JDP realized very well that this issue is one of the indispensable conditions of the army.

    Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, who has been given the duty to form a government in northern Cyprus, was forced to adopt the view that 'no negotiations could be conducted without Denktas'.

    Talat accepted this paying the price of the first leftist government in northern Cyprus, even with the permission of Turkey. Furthermore, Talat abandoned his opinion even though before the elections he was saying that he would remove Denktas from the duties of the negotiator if he won the elections. He began saying: 'we shall conduct the negotiations together with Denktas'. Afterwards Talat, who got from Ankara the message 'agree and form a government as soon as possible', agreed without delay with Denktas' son, Serdar. It is understood that the same suggestions have been also made to Serdar Denktas. In this sense, Talat has agreed with father Denktas as well.

    Now the two parties, RTP and DP are forming the government in the direction of Ankara's wish. Perhaps the government is announced by the time you are reading these lines.

    The two parties are waiting for the details of the agreement Turkey prepared within the framework of the approach 'sit at the table and it is ok if you do not reach an agreement'.

    In the same way, Talat said when the journalists asked him on this issue, while the efforts of forming a government were still going on: 'We are not going to call for the beginning of the talks right after the government is formed. The work regarding the details of the plan is still going on. Furthermore, it would mean nothing if we make a call on this issue'.

    Talat knows that he has no function on this issue, in spite of the fact that he is the prime minister of northern Cyprus. As a Cypriot writer said, the Turkish Cypriots have always been 'crowd artists' on this issue. They did what Ankara said. Now they are those who will be applying the plan of Ankara, which says: 'let us sit at the table and if we are not able to reach an agreement we shall throw the responsibility onto the Greek Cypriots'.

    We know why things are like this. First of all, because Denktas could not be removed from the post of the negotiator. Let us suppose that a politician, who says 'I could not even discuss the Annan Plan', sits at the table upon the pressure and the requests of Ankara. The timetable is working so fast, the time is so limited, there is such a lot of work to be done until May, that with only a small maneuver he could extend the issue until May and prevent the settlement. Denktas knows very well these issues. Furthermore, many of my northern Cypriot friends express their pessimism noting this point.

    The second thing is that if we take a look at the plan, which was leaked to the newspapers, it seems very difficult for this to be accepted by the Greek Cypriots. It almost gives the impression that it has been prepared so that the Greek Cypriots do not accept it.

    Especially, when someone looks at the principles, which prevent the return of the Greek Cypriots, it is understood that there is an effort to create an 'ethnic island' clean from Greek Cypriots and any foreigners in the areas where Turks will be living.

    Acceptance of this approach, which is contrary to the spirit of the European Union which is a model of organization based on the freedom of movement and was created aiming at eliminating any from of borders and ethnic discrimination, could not be expected.

    Therefore, such developments, which give the impression that aim at a solution in Cyprus, are not convincing me. They give the impression that they aim at misleading the world public opinion and getting a date for full EU membership. '".

    /SK


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