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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-01-26

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.16/04 24-25-26.01.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey´s National Security Council discussed Cyprus.
  • [02] The occupation regime´s so-called government got a vote of confidence.
  • [03] Mr Erdogan met with Kofi Annan. After years of intransigence since the Turkish invasion Turkey tries to appear with goodwill.
  • [04] Turkey is trying to blame Mr Alvaro de Soto for Denktas and the Turkish side´s years of intransigence.
  • [05] Serdar Denktas does not trust the UN envoy on Cyprus.
  • [06] Talat assesses Erdogan´s proposal to dismiss Alvaro de Soto.
  • [07] Statements by Erdogan before leaving for the United States.
  • [08] Erdogan says he wants a solution in Cyprus on "shorter text" than the Annan Plan.
  • [09] Denktas argues he knew nothing about Erdogan's proposal for "neutral mediator".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey´s National Security Council discussed Cyprus

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (24.01.04) publishes the following report by Barkin Sik under the title: "The 20 'Indispensable' articles at the NSC meeting":

    It was decided to reach a solution appropriate to the realities on the island, by also taking the Annan Plan as a "reference", at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting, which had a historical importance on the subject of the solution of the Cyprus problem. The realities of the island were collected under "20 indispensable articles" at the NSC meeting. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the military wing wanted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to convey the request for resuming the talks about Cyprus to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he talks with him at Davos and to convey the drawbacks of an automatic referendum and wanted him to get the answer to the question, "What would happen if the desired results do not emerge from the referendum?" The need to make the following changes in the plan was emphasized at the meeting:

    Political Rights: Political rights at the federal level should be used according to the principle of the founding state citizenship from where the person comes from. The political rights at the local level should be used at the place of the person's permanent residence.

    Relocation: The percentage of persons relocating should not exceed ten percent of the local population.

    Border Adjustments: The border should be drawn on a straight line. The military and strategic regions and the natural resources should be taken into consideration.

    Ownership: The basic 1960 values should be taken as the reference in the calculations of the present value and the expression "similar region" should be removed.

    Deployment of Soldiers: Since the existence of the British bases on the island will continue, then after Turkey's EU membership, the deployment of Turkish soldiers on the island should be continued unless an agreement is reached to the contrary.

    Putting into Practice: In case the text to be agreed upon is presented for a referendum, then it should be known in advance what would be the attitudes of the EU and the UN for the different results, which could emerge.

    The following was said in the written statement: "A consensus of opinion was reached at the meeting on the subject of reviving the negotiations on Cyprus. Turkey repeats its determination on the subject of reaching a solution based on the realities of the island by also taking the Annan Plan as a reference. Within this scope, the conclusion was reached that it would be beneficial to discuss the subject with Mr Annan with the objective of resuming the process of negotiations with `President´ Rauf Denktas and the `TRNC´ government".

    [02] The occupation regime´s so-called government got a vote of confidence

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.01.04) reported from occupied Nicosia that the so-called coalition government of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and Democratic Party (DP) in the occupied by Turkish troops part of Cyprus won the vote of confidence on Saturday.

    A total of 26 votes were in favour while 18 of them cast their votes against. Meanwhile, 6 "deputies" abstained.

    [03] Mr Erdogan met with Kofi Annan. After years of intransigence since the Turkish invasion Turkey tries to appear with goodwill

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (24.01.04) broadcast live the following statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Davos:

    "Esteemed friends, the meeting I held with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was extremely productive. As you know and as was noted in the press release after the National Security Council meeting yesterday [23 January], we openly express support to the UN Secretary-Generals' good offices mission as long as the Annan plan is taken as a point of reference. Within this framework, we also said openly that Turkey will continue to display goodwill until the end, that we never believe that insolubility can be considered a solution, that the Turkish side should most definitely participate in the negotiation process, and that Turkey as a guarantor state will make the necessary suggestion to the Turks of northern Cyprus. On this issue, in turn, the `TRNC´ is displaying all the goodwill it can.

    I cannot pass by without stating a fact. We said that northern Cyprus is ready to hold a referendum in order to secure an understanding between the sides and that the Turks of northern Cyprus will not lag behind the Greek Cypriots and will always take the lead to this end. In this regard, we also said to appoint a mediator from those countries which do not take sides politically. This mediator, which will pursue the issue from beginning to end, should inspire confidence in both sides. The honorable Annan, in turn, said that he will handle this issue with courage, that our statement encouraged him, and that reaching a conclusion will be facilitated if both sides pursue the same approach. My wish is that, by speeding up this process, a solution to the Cyprus issue will be secured before 1 May because we do not want to exceed this date by any obstacles that can be posed and new reasons put forward. We seek to have this issue concluded before 1 May.

    Question: Are you saying that the Turkish Cypriots will accept to hold a referendum if the Greek Cypriots hold a referendum on the plan regardless of whether there is a conciliation?

    Answer: First a referendum is out of the question if there is no conciliation.

    Question: It is said that the UN Secretary-General has a precondition to this end.

    Answer: No. There is no such a precondition for a referendum. The referendum will, of course, be held on the memorandum of understanding [MOU]. That is, there will be an agreed upon document. We wish, therefore, that a MOU will be secured after the positive meetings between the two leaders. We hope that this MOU will be submitted to a referendum before 1 May. I say once again on this point that the Turks of northern Cyprus will always take the lead to this end.

    Question: Do you have a name for a mediator?

    Answer: No. No name was proposed for a mediator. This issue will be assessed by the honorable Secretary-General.

    Question: Did the UN Secretary-General pose any conditions for the talks?

    Answer: He found our statements extremely positive. He openly said that he will assess and work on them.

    Question: What about the meeting you will hold with Annan in the United States?

    Answer: That is a different meeting. We will also have a meeting with Mr Denktas on Sunday [25 January].

    [04] Turkey is trying to blame Mr Alvaro de Soto for Denktas and the Turkish side´s years of intransigence

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (24.01.04) broadcast the following interview with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Mehmet Ali Birand in Davos:

    Erdogan: Turkey which is a guarantor state has made a reassessment of the process so far and has, indeed, turned a new page. The steps taken today, especially the last summit, the process that went on from the summit until the National Security Council [NSC] meeting, and the process that began with the NSC meeting, constitute the steps of this new page. We hope that this new page will help us achieve a solution by 1 May.

    Birand: We all know that Kofi Annan had three or four conditions for the resumption of the negotiations. If Annan had asked you at the beginning of the meeting if you accept the framework and essence of the Annan plan, how would you have answered?

    Erdogan: We were not asked such a question, but when we began to speak we said that we accept the Annan plan as a reference, and that we believe in and accept the honorable Secretary-General's good offices mission.

    Birand: In other words, this means the acceptance of the framework and essence of the plan. The second point is as follows. The Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have certain proposals to change the plan. Now the two sides will sit down and try to find a solution. If they do not reach an agreement, Kofi Annan will have to draw up a new and final plan after hearing the views of the two sides. What is your stand? Did you tell him that the Turkish side agrees to this?

    Erdogan: Our only hope, expectation, and desire is for the leaders of the south Cyprus Administration and the "TRNC" come together and reach an agreement. Say an agreement cannot be reached; but if we know the positive answers to be given or the formulation of the Greek Cypriot side at the end of talks with Mr Kofi Annan, then we can approach this positively too. I believe that the "TRNC" will approach this issue positively. That is the atmosphere I discern.

    Birand: Are you saying the following: If the Greek Cypriots accept, we will also accept?

    Erdogan: We would not lag behind them.

    Birand: You are saying that we will always be a step ahead of them.

    Erdogan: Yes. Is this not a good development?

    Birand: Very good, of course. We are telling Kofi Annan: you ask the Greek Cypriots; if they agree that you draw up the final plan, then the Turkish side will accept this, even ahead of them. The other question concerns the referendum. There are two issues: the acceptance of the referendum in principle and its date. That was one of Annan's conditions for the resumption of the talks. What is your approach to that?

    Erdogan: The only thing here is an agreement. In other words, if the sides reach an agreement, a referendum will be held. We want this referendum to be held before 1 May. That is what we want. We want an agreement to be reached so that a referendum can be held.

    Birand: In other words, you accept to hold a referendum in principle, but you are not giving a date.

    Erdogan: If an agreement is not reached, what will the referendum be held on? An agreement must be reached first, a document must emerge, since that document is what the referendum will be on. The reality that lies in your question just now must be reflected in the document. The document must crystallize and it must be accepted by the two sides. It must then be submitted to a referendum. We want that to happen before 1 May.

    Birand: Excuse me, I am not as great an expert on this issue as you are, I get confused. Let us put it simply: If the two sides fail to agree, then Kofi Annan will take their proposals and he will draw up a final plan. The two sides will then agree to that.

    Erdogan: Let me point out that this is not part of the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission. The two sides must first agree on that. The UN Secretary- General is not a side to this issue. It will be the two sides that would have to pay the cost. That is why I said to Mr Annan earlier that if we know of the Greek Cypriot approach to the document, then we will always be a step ahead of them. We want you to know that. What is this? It is a blank check.

    Birand: Did you tell Kofi Annan...

    Erdogan interrupts: We told him that. We told him that we are ready to help him because we want a solution. We told him that. Nevertheless, if the other side insists on issues that can lead to a nonsolution, then our Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA] would not approve that. We must not forget that under the Constitution, this document must eventually be approved by the TGNA.

    Birand: You were probably asked if Rauf Denktas thinks like you?

    Erdogan: I am going to meet with Mr Denktas tomorrow [25 January]. After that, the honorable president is going to meet Mr Denktas. We are going to make another assessment following these meetings, and we will reach our decision. I believe that Mr Denktas' thinking is along the lines of what we have been talking. In other words, he too wants a solution now. That is how I see it. We will determine the framework after reviewing the latest NSC meeting, and the meetings we held before that. Let me tell you that I see a very different line of thought. You must have followed all that. All these points are part of the government protocol.

    Birand: Various circles are dwelling on the comparison made by Mr Denktas between this document and the Treaty of Sevres.

    Erdogan interrupts: That is a thing of the past. It would be wrong to keep this on our agenda. If we do that, we cannot get results. We need to get results. If we occupy ourselves with what was said in the past, that means we fail to grasp the structure and process of politics. In politics, things change together with the weather. That is how I see the process today.

    Birand: Are you going to submit the agreement to the TGNA's approval?

    Erdogan: It will naturally be debated in the TGNA.

    Birand: You mean you will seek the TGNA's approval?

    Erdogan: Yes, yes.

    Birand: Won't the acceptance of the Annan plan by a referendum be enough?

    Erdogan: If we take the document to be submitted to a referendum to the Assembly, the process will be speeded up.

    Birand: You mean you plan to have it approved by the TGNA before the referendum?

    Erdogan: Yes, it would speed up the process.

    Birand: Do you mean that you will have the document approved by the TGNA in the coming month or something?

    Erdogan: There is no document at the moment.

    Birand: After the document emerges then. We understood from your remarks earlier today that we do not want Alvaro de Soto. We are saying that he was not very useful as a mediator. You did not utter his name, but it is understood. Why do we not want him?

    Erdogan: Had the process been successful until today, then we would not have discussed the role of a mediator. Since the process was not successful, the situation must be reassessed. In making this reassessment, we cannot make radical changes because persons who have been following the process must be involved in mediation. We know that the person most closely linked to this issue is Mr Annan, but it is impossible for him to follow this particular process constantly. I believe that it would be beneficial for the process if a politically influential but impartial mediator, acceptable to both sides, can follow this issue whenever Mr Annan cannot follow it.

    Birand: In other words, we want another UN representative appointed instead of Alvaro de Soto.

    Erdogan: Mr Annan should decide on that.

    Birand: How did he react? He seems to be generally very pleased with Alvaro de Soto's approach.

    Erdogan: He said that he will think about our suggestion. I do not know what he will decide.

    Birand: What was his general stand?

    Erdogan: I found it positive. His last sentence was very important, as far as I am concerned. He said: If the current goodwill is displayed by the concerned sides, this issue can be solved.

    We are going to display our goodwill. If hopefully the other side shows the same goodwill too, then I believe the issue will be solved.

    Birand: Did we give Kofi Annan our full support and confidence?

    Erdogan: I told him that. I said: We are on your side with all our goodwill.

    Birand: So there is no doubt about this issue. Let us talk about the NSC meeting. Was it an easy meeting or did it go on for too long for a reason?

    Erdogan: Of course; we discussed Cyprus in all its aspects, in detail.

    Birand: Were there very different views?

    Erdogan: The statement issued at the end is clear. It was a joint statement, a crystallized statement. During the discussions, people can debate the procedure and express various views. The statement issued at the end, however, is our common statement. It was formulated with the common view of us all, and we unanimously accepted that it be issued as the NSC statement.

    Birand: We always wonder why we did not do this earlier? Why didn't Turkey turn this page earlier? In Copenhagen or in Vienna?

    Erdogan: I am not in a position to judge what happened a year ago or before that. Developments can lead you to assess the situation differently. The same question should be asked the Greek side and the Greek Cypriot Administration as well. Maybe I will be a little rude when I say that it is not fair to see the "TRNC" or Turkey as the sinful party all the time. The embargo against the "TRNC" has been in effect for 40 years. There is no embargo like that against any other country in the world. These people have been suffering the embargo for the past 40 years. We should not disregard that. It is a matter that concerns human rights.

    Birand: I know you have no time and you will be leaving soon. Let me ask you a final question. Are you leaving here happy?

    Erdogan: We are leaving the meeting happy, but that is not enough. We have other things to do.

    Birand: The UN Secretary-General will go to the Greek Cypriots and ask them, and then he will come to you.

    Erdogan: We will also be holding talks with Mr Bush in the United States. The Foreign Ministry will hold talks. We will continue to conduct this diplomacy with goodwill.

    [05] Serdar Denktas does not trust the UN envoy on Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia (25.01.04) reported from occupied Nicosia that the so-called Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas said on Saturday that the Turkish Cypriot side had a lack of confidence in the U.N. Secretary-General's special envoy to Cyprus Alvaro De Soto, stressing they had earlier announced that they did not trust De Soto and they would not accept his mediation in talks.

    Speaking on the Eurasia Radio and Television (ART) about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal for a new mediator trusted by both sides to resolve the Cyprus issue, Denktas said that he considered the matter as a method to seek a new name instead of De Soto.

    Serdar Denktas said he would go to Ankara on Sunday and he would understand the situation better.

    Stressing that they did not trust De Soto as there had been a difference between his statements to the Turkish Cypriot side and Greek Cypriot side in latest talks, Denktas said, "we have announced that we won't accept De Soto's mediation due to lack of confidence."

    [06] Talat assesses Erdogan´s proposal to dismiss Alvaro de Soto

    Ankara Anatolia (25.01.04) reports from occupied Nicosia that the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime Mr Mehmet Ali Talat said on Saturday about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan about appointment of an impartial mediator trusted by both sides to resolve the Cyprus issue, that Erdogan had made a proposal by evaluating Annan's attitude and under recent preparations.

    Speaking to the A.A correspondent, Talat said that it was wrong to say something about the matter before getting detailed information.

    ''It is impossible and even wrong to comment on this matter before getting information that whether this mediation is about Alvaro de Soto or there will be another function,'' he said.

    ''But the important point is that Mr Erdogan has made a proposal by definitely evaluating Annan's attitude there and under recent preparations. It is impossible to say much about it before having detailed information as it may lead to misunderstandings. First of all, I have to learn the meaning of it. However, every kind of proposal can be made as contribution to solution of the Cyprus issue. Every step for solution should be supported,'' Talat said.

    [07] Statements by Erodgan before leaving for the United States

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (25.01.04) broadcast live the statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before departing for the United States:

    Erdogan: Dear members of the press, we will depart for the United States in a short while at the invitation of US President Bush. The relevant ministers, deputies, high-level bureaucrats, some businessmen representing private sector organizations, and members of the press will accompany me on this visit with a view to discussing all the aspects of the multidimensional relations between the United States and our country in as much detail as possible.

    During this visit, we will be in New York on 26 January, and in Washington on 27, 28, and 29 January. On 30 and 31 January, I will participate in meetings and activities planned in Boston. In Washington, I will hold contacts with Mr Bush as well as with the prominent officials of the US Administration. In this context, I will have the opportunity to meet with Vice President Cheney, National Security Advisor Rice, Secretary of State Powell, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Treasury Secretary Snow, and Secretary of Commerce Evans. We will also meet with the World Bank president and the IMF executive director.

    In addition to the official meetings, I will deliver speeches at the Foreign Relations Council in New York, at the Strategic and International Studies Center in Washington, and at the Harvard University in Boston. We will also have the opportunity to meet with Turkish and US businessmen as well as with the representatives of the Turkish community in the United States. In this framework, I will attend the opening of the American-Turkish Associations Assembly.

    Furthermore, we will continue our work within the framework of the multidimensional relations between Turkey and the United States based on historical depth and mutual respect.

    As you know, despite ups and downs in the past year because of the Iraqi crisis, our bilateral relations maintained their stability thanks to the sensible attitudes displayed by the leaders and parliaments of both countries. At this satisfactory point, the friendship and partnership between Turkey and the United States are growing on a strong foundation, and developing on the basis of mutual understanding and interests. Our bilateral relations, which are being equipped with new agendas as a result of the developments occurring in the world and in our region, are gaining further importance and prominence. I believe that the efforts exerted with the aim of further advancing our relations with our friend and ally the United States in every field should be continued and intensified.

    My visit will constitute a good opportunity to conduct an exchange of views at the highest level on matters that closely concern the two countries on the eve of the NATO summit meeting to be held in Istanbul. In this respect, all the aspects of bilateral relations will be discussed in relation to the main topics on the agendas of Iraq, Cyprus, Afghanistan, and the Middle East peace process. As you know, in addition to our existing relations in the bilateral and international levels, in the wake of the 11 September attacks, counter terrorism has emerged as an important area of cooperation between Turkey and the United States.

    In this framework, apart from our bilateral relations in the political, defense, and security areas, I would like to stress that we attach great importance to developing the quality and quantity of our economic and commercial ties, which are far from reflecting the existing potential. In addition to our official meetings, during the contacts we will conduct with Turkish and US businessmen, we will also find the opportunity to inform them on the state of our economy and the investment possibilities in Turkey.

    With these thoughts, I would like to express the conviction that this visit to the United States will yield beneficial results in terms of affirming the desire and will to expand the existing unity of understanding, solidarity, and cooperation between the two countries within the framework of our bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments. I thank you all for our participation.

    Question: Important meetings were held today with regard to one of the main topics you will discuss in the United States. Rauf Denktas had reservations on this subject, but the statement issued at the end of the meeting with President Sezer noted the existence of a unity of understanding. Have the reservations been eliminated?

    Answer: The same unity of understanding was apparent in the meeting held with Abdullah Gul; Mehmet Ali Talat, "Prime Minister of the TRNC"; and "TRNC Foreign Minister" Serdar Denktas. The unity of understanding continues. There is no problem in this regard. Our work is continuing within the framework of the statement issued at the end of the National Security Council meeting.

    Question: You made a proposal with regard to a mediator for the Cyprus issue. Did you reach an agreement on a particular name in this regard?

    Answer: At this point, it is important that Mr Kofi Annan first assess this matter. If such a request is made, a name to be proposed by us or a counter offer by the other side will not bring a solution to the problem. This could be achieved through mutual talks; or, I believe, a person who is acceptable to both sides, who does not belong to the countries that are party to the problem, and who has political weight could render this process trustworthy and also accelerate it.

    [08] Erdogan says he wants a solution in Cyprus on "shorter text" than the Annan Plan

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.01.04) reports that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan during their meeting in Davos, that trying to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem "would be more appropriate with a shorter text" than the Annan Plan.

    Responding to reporters' questions on the airplane on his way to the USA and asked whether or not a solution would be reached in Cyprus as there are thousands of pages to be examined, Mr Erdogan said:

    "Yes, there are thousands of pages. ... It would be much more appropriate to conclude this with a much more short text. Of course they want to finish everything at the negotiations. Of course with a shorter text such a step could be made. We said this to Mr Annan, but now they should examine this. 'On this point, the more detailed is the issue the more lengthened it will be. '".

    [09] Denktas argues he knew nothing about Erdogan's proposal for "neutral mediator"

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (25.01.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has said that he was not informed about the proposal made by Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan to the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, regarding appointing a "neutral mediator" at the Cyprus talks.

    Responding to questions the day before at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Mr Denktas noted:

    "If a mediator will be found, then the issues of what his mandate will be and what he will be taking into consideration when he mediates, should be agreed. All methods are allowed as long as these methods are leading to a conclusion, which will be taking our existence and equality into consideration and will not allow the past to be repeated. And the mediator should be acting with his conscience and seeing the realities of Cyprus, he should not act based on the commands he had taken. However, I could not say that I accepted the mediation in Cyprus. I heard this thing from you. We shall surely discuss this with the Prime Minister. '".

    /SK


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