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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-02-06

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.25/04 06.02.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader on the UN invitation for talks on Cyprus.
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader and Mr Talat have extended their stay in Ankara.
  • [03] Denktas confirms reception of Annanīs invitation.
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with Erdogan.
  • [05] The EU could assist the talks on Cyprus on legal matters. Verheugen and Grossman will not be attending the talks.
  • [06] MILLIYET reports that the EU Commission has given replies to Erdoganīs questions given in writing to Prodi.
  • [07] NTV television reports that the White House began applying pressure on the Greek and Greek Cypriot sides.
  • [08] Press reports on the reaction of the Turkish side to UN Secretary-General's invitation; Rauf Denktas: "We could certainly go to New York".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader on the UN invitation for talks on Cyprus

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (05.02.04) broadcast the following interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas at his hotel room in Ankara:

    Question: Is it possible for you to be in New York on 10 February?

    Answer: For the past few days, the Greek Cypriot press has been reporting that an invitation will be extended for 10 February, but we have not received anything yet. If we receive anything, we will evaluate it.

    Question: Is it technically possible to go to New York on 10 February?

    Answer: If this is an invitation to come to New York for talks, technically it is possible. If, however, we are asked to come to New York to start the negotiations, then we need to make preparations. Today, it is 5 February.

    Question: How long do you need for the preparations?

    Answer: If they let us know, and if a decision is made to go to New York, we will probably need five-six days or one week to prepare. First, we must see what the invitation consists of, what its purpose is. We must establish a team.

    Question: Earlier, the UN Secretary-General said that he spoke with all the sides, except with you. Do you think he is somewhat late in speaking with you?

    Answer: You know that a big operation was launched in Cyprus to get rid of me. When that failed, they resumed contact with us. First, they waited for me to disappear, but this proved to be difficult. Now, it appears that they want to start contacts. In diplomacy, in politics, there is no such thing as taking offense. Question: It looks as though the process is starting. The invitation has not reached you yet, but do you have any hope that an agreement can be reached by 1 May, at least on basic points?

    Answer: This is like a tango. The two sides must dance to the same tune, without stepping on one another's feet. Does the other side have such an intention? Does it need this? That is the crux of the matter. The other side was not left with any need to dance with us. They gave it control over the entire dance floor. They told the other side it is the sovereign power, it is the legitimate government, and it has acceded to the EU. Now, they do not even need to negotiate with us. They may, however, make a show of negotiating with us. We will see all that.

    Question: It is being reported that Verheugen from the EU and Grossman from the United States will attend the talks as observers.

    Answer: Until now, observers did not contribute positively to the process in any way; they did nothing other than complicate matters. Observers come and go, and they make our business more difficult. They report from one side to the other, and sometimes they report erroneously or deliberately. We do not need observers. In our view, if the other side wants to re-establish the partnership they destroyed between two equal parts, under new conditions that have been agreed upon, on the basis of a bizonal foundation, and as two equal sovereign peoples; if it needs to do this, then this can be done easily. We do not need observers or other such people. Alvaro de Soto presented himself as an observer. He said he will only record things on paper, then he issued a 150-page report. Therefore, one has to be careful in such matters. If you do not do your own work, if you assign it to others, then others will do it the way they see fit.

    Question: There are also reports to the effect that the United States wants to maintain a presence in Cyprus and to become a guarantor in Cyprus.

    Answer: You seem to have many reports. This is the first time I hear of this. If the United States wants to station troops in the "TRNC", it can talk to the authorities of the "TRNC", reach an agreement, and if their bid is accepted, it can naturally do so. The presence of the "TRNC" must be accepted. If it is to station troops in the south of Cyprus, then it should reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriots.

    Question: Sources are saying that the United States wants to station troops in a bid to dispel the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Answer: The Turkish soldiers have dispelled and are dispelling our concerns. We do not need foreign soldiers for that. Our concern would be an attack by the Greek Cypriots. Would US soldiers die for us, in the event of such an attack? This has not been the case until now. Why would a foreign soldier die in the name of a foreign cause? It would be regrettable. For Turkey, however, this is a national cause. The Turkish soldiers are part of us, we share the same blood, and Turkey is our guarantor. Until now, they saved us and they dispelled our concerns. If Turkey discussed such matters with the United States, we are now aware of it. Therefore, we cannot say anything sound in reaction to these reports.

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader and Mr Talat have extended their stay in Ankara

    Istanbul NTV television (05.02.04) broadcast that Rauf Denktas and Mehmet Ali Talat will stay in Ankara for another day. There is now talk of a new summit meeting in Ankara to discuss the Cyprus issue. Denktas and Talat postponed their return to Cyprus "because of the developments, in order to conduct assessments." They will stay in Ankara for at least another 24 hours, and that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's invitation letter for the negotiations "played a role in this decision, even if Denktas said that he did not receive this letter, reported from Ankara NTV correspondent Didem Tuncay.

    [03] Denktas confirms reception of Annanīs invitation

    Ankara Anatolia (05.02.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas said on Thursday that he had received United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Kofi Annan's letter inviting him to New York on February 10.

    Denktas told reporters that he was evaluating the invitation.

    In his letter, Annan called on the sides to resume the Cyprus talks in New York on February 10, Denktas said.

    Denktas told reporters that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and Mr Serdar Denktas evaluated the developments in the Cyprus issue among themselves when explaining the reason of his decision to prolong their visit to Ankara for one more day.

    Mr Denktas said that he could make a statement about Annan's conditions after their evaluation and replied positively to the question if Annan's invitation was made to resume the talks and added: ''We have just heard about the invitation although the Greek Cypriot press wrote about it a week ago. There is always an intimate traffic with the Greek Cypriot press. This really saddens us.''

    Asked if he had expressed that uneasiness to Annan, Denktas said: ''We have expressed it right now.''

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with Erdogan

    Istanbul NTV television (05.02.04) broadcast that the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a surprise meeting with Rauf Denktas and the delegation accompanying him. In a statement after this meeting, Erdogan said: "Our assessment will continue". This led to speculation that Erdogan failed to convince Denktas.

    Denktas, however, issued an extremely important message a while ago. He said: "One can probably go to New York." In this way, he gave the sign that the invitation extended by the UN Secretary-General might be accepted. He said: "There are no problems. It seems that way." He further noted that a final decision has not yet been made in connection with the invitation. Denktas said: " We, however, made an assessment here. After making an assessment on the island as well, we will make our final decisions," concludes NTVīs report.

    This statement by Denktas was important. It might be beneficial to repeat it once again. He said: "One can probably go to New York. There are no problems. It seems that way", concludes NTVīs report.

    [05] The EU could assist the talks on Cyprus on legal matters. Verheugen and Grossman will not be attending the talks

    Istanbul NTV television (05.02.04) broadcast that the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Verheugen denied reports that he may attend the Cyprus negotiations as an observer representing the EU. If the sides or the United Nations submit a request, however, the EU Commission's legal advisers could assist the sides outside the negotiating table especially on technical matters.

    Meanwhile, local KIBRIS newspaper (06.02.04) publishes statements made by the Spokesman of the US State Department, Mr Richard Boucher who denied the allegation that the US Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Marc Grossman, will be in New York during the talks on Cyprus.

    [06] MILLIYET reports that the EU Commission has given replies to Erdoganīs questions given in writing to Prodi

    MILLIYET newspaper(03.02.04) publishes the following report under the title "Turkish to become official language in the EU".

    The agreement that would be reached on the solution of the Cyprus problem will be harmonized with the EU norms. According to a report broadcast by CNN Turk, Turkey received the answers to the questions that it conveyed to the EU Commission on the EU dimension of the solution process of the Cyprus problem. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan conveyed these questions in writing to EU Commission President Romano Prodi in January 2004.

    In reply to Erdogan's question on whether or not the agreement that would be reached on the Cyprus issue should be harmonized with the EU norms, the EU Commission pointed out that this agreement will be harmonized with the EU norms. This answer eased Ankara, which was earlier worried that the Greek Cypriots would object to an agreement that would be reached within the framework of the Annan plan with the pretext that this agreement does not agree with the EU norms.

    The EU Commission also assured that Turkish would become an official language within the EU in the event that the Turkish Cypriot side also becomes an EU member after the solution of the Cyprus problem. This point carries importance from the perspective of the acceptance of the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot side. Meanwhile, objections were earlier raised to the acceptance of Maltese as an official language within the EU on financial pretexts. Ankara was concerned in the face of these objections.

    Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan earlier said that the embargo placed on the occupied areas of Cyprus would be lifted in the event that the Greek Cypriots do not accept the agreement that would be reached on the Cyprus problem and that he has received impressions from the EU and the United States to this end. Officials say that the lifting of the so-called embargo, which may be tantamount to the recognition of the occupation regime would create a major dilemma for the EU strategy of accepting the EU membership of Cyprus.

    [07] NTV television reports that the White House began applying pressure on the Greek and Greek Cypriot sides

    Istanbul NTV television (05.02.04) broadcast the following report:

    "The US Administration, which has recently made its weight felt with regard to the solution of the Cyprus problem, wants to maintain a military presence in Cyprus. Washington regards Cyprus as strategically important because of its proximity to the energy basins in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Africa; its importance in terms of the security of energy corridors such as the Baku-Ceyhan line; and its position vis-a-vis the Middle East.

    The United States, which is exerting influence for the solution of the Cyprus issue, wants to maintain a military presence in Cyprus. Within the framework of the intensifying Cyprus activity in the wake of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Davos last month, President Bush wrote letters to the sides and the White House began applying pressure on the Greek and Greek Cypriot sides.

    US National Security Council officials recalled that there is grave concern and fear over security in the Turkish Cypriot side, adding: We can dispel this security concern and fear by displaying military presence in Cyprus. We can provide extra guarantees. The same officials remarked that in this way Washington will try to strengthen its geopolitical and geostrategic position in the Mediterranean.

    The United States views Cyprus as strategically important because of its proximity to the energy basins in the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Africa; its importance in terms of the security of energy corridors such as the Baku-Ceyhan line; and its position vis-a-vis the Middle East, in which the United States has launched a great transformation move.

    The US Strategic Planning Department attached to the command in Europe believes that the Mediterranean is now under EU control and Cyprus is important in terms of Washington's strengthening its political and strategic presence in this region.

    The Pentagon is planning to transfer the troops in its existing bases in Western Europe to Eastern European countries such as Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania in small units which have a higher capacity for mobility. Washington is continuing to hold talks with Ankara with a view to using the Incirlik base and maybe an additional base for this purpose. The aim is to increase the capacity for rapid deployment especially in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and in the Middle East, to be able to undertake preemptive strikes, and to form a security belt.

    A possible military base to be acquired by the United States in Cyprus is, in turn, being assessed within the framework of this greater military reorganization. Washington also wants to obtain the status of guarantor in Cyprus. In this way, the United States will have created a political foundation, and it will have the opportunity to act as one of the owners of the table in possible future disagreements."

    Meanwhile, local KIBRIS newspaper (06.02.04) publishes statements made by the Spokesman of the US State Department, Mr Richard Boucher, who replying to a question whether the USA wants to create a military base in Cyprus said: "This question was not posed to me in the past, but I say `noī."

    [08] Press reports on the reaction of the Turkish side to UN Secretary-General's invitation; Rauf Denktas: "We could certainly go to New York"

    Under the banner title "Crisis and Bargain", Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.02.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas wants to make "a bargain" with the United Nations before the resumption of the Cyprus talks.

    The paper supports that the fact that the UN Secretary - General has not changed his conditions in the letter he had sent to the sides, caused a disagreement between the government in Ankara and Mr Rauf Denktas.

    However, in statements after a meeting with Prime Minster Erdogan at the hotel that Mr Denktas was staying in Ankara, the Turkish Cypriot leader said: "We could certainly go to New York".

    According to KIBRIS, the developments at the back stage of the visit of Mr Rauf Denktas, Mr Serdar Denktas and Mr Mehmer Ali Talat to Ankara are giving some indications for "a new crisis". Mr Rauf Denktas has reportedly said: "They want me to accept what I have rejected in the Hague. I could not accept this". Mr Denktas is reportedly demanding a re-evaluation of the situation with the UN and wants to bargain with the Secretary - General before the talks begin.

    Mr Denktas has reportedly said that he had some objections on the solution timetable set forward by the UN. During his meeting with Mr Erdogan at the Sheraton Hotel in Ankara, those objections have reportedly been conveyed to the UN in New York. According to KIBRIS, if Mr Denktas decides to go to New York, he will carry with him a letter with his objections and he will submit it at his meeting with the Secretary - General.

    Basaran Duzgun, the editor - in - chief of KIBRIS, writes in his regular column that a high ranking official with whom he discussed the situation last night told him that Mr Denktas could do two things: The first possibility is to reject going to New York and the second to accept the invitation of the Secretary – General, go to New York and try to create problems there.

    The correspondent of KIBRIS in Ankara, Huseyin Ekmekci writes that political commentators said that with his last night visit to Mr Denktas' hotel, Mr Erdogan aimed at "convincing Denktas".

    According to Mr Ekmekci, Mr Denktas' advisor on legal issues, Mr Mumtaz Soysal was all day long yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader. Mr Soysal left the hotel only during the resting hours. Mr Ekmekci notes that Mr Denktas had long meetings with Mr Soysal just to do the opposite of what Mr Erdogan warned him to do when he said: "Mr Denktas should change his advisors".

    According to the information acquired by Mr Ekmekci, the Turkish side decided not to convey its clear and final answer yesterday "because of the silence at the Greek Cypriot side". However, the statement of Mr Denktas that they could certainly go to New York was considered to be "a very important statement".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (06.02.04) reports that Mr Erdogan was not able to convince Mr Denktas. The paper publishes also a statement by Mr Serdar Denktas who denied information published by Reuters News Agency that "Mr Talat who accepted the conditions of Annan would go to New York". Mr Serdar Denktas said: "There is no such thing".

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily HALIKN SESI newspaper (06.02.04) writes that Mr Rauf Denktas "has given the message that he could go to New York".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Daily News (06.02.04, internet version) reports that according to well-placed diplomatic sources, after his meeting with Mr Annan at Davos earlier this month, Prime Minister Erdogan had the impression that the Secretary-General might show some flexibility particularly on his demand that the two sides on Cyprus must agree before his call for the resumption of the talks to commit themselves to submit to separate referenda on a UN plan "irrespective of the outcome" of the talks "by a certain date" in April.

    The paper notes, inter alia, the following: "Well-placed Turkish Cypriot political sources, on the other hand, said it was very unlikely for Rauf Denktas to step down as negotiator because of the domestic political implications such a move would create in Turkey as well as back at home in northern Cyprus. While Prime Minister Erdogan would suffer a serious political setback with Denktas stepping down, such a move would mean collapse of the Turkish Cypriot coalition government and a government crisis in northern Cyprus.

    The junior partner of the Turkish Cypriot coalition, the Democrat Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas, the son of President Denktas, had declared back at the formation of the two-way government that continuation of the veteran leader as negotiator was 'unquestionable'."

    /SK


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