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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-02-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.33/04 18.02.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Various maps have been prepared by Turkey in order to prevent the refugees from returning to their homes and propertiesIstanbul RADIKAL newspaper (17.02.04) reports that taking into consideration probable stalemates that could occur during the negotiations, which will begin between the parties in Cyprus on Thursday, Ankara is sending a team to Cyprus with a dossier containing alternative proposals. Predicting that the talks will eventually reach an impasse due to disagreements over distribution of refugees, the Foreign Ministry team, which will monitor the talks, will try to outmaneuver the Greek Cypriot side by putting forward special proposals supported by alternative maps.
Ankara, which has been maintaining intense telephone diplomacy with a team led by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, has mapped out a strategy to be pursued during the negotiations. The strategy is based on the assumption that bi-zonality, guarantees and troops deployed on the island will come to the fore during the talks and it will be aimed at drawing the whole attention to distribution of refugees in order to strengthen the Turkish Cypriot side's position against the Greek Cypriot side.
The main highlights of the strategy, which has been devised with the objective of maintaining bi-zonality and the Turkish government's role as a guarantor, were described as follows:
"Preserving the principle of bi-zonality was the main objective pursued in all the maps we have drawn considering possible changes in the existing equilibriums on the island depending on the number of Greek Cypriots who may settle in the northern section. In that context, every settlement would have different characteristics. There would be a great difference between settlement of five Greek Cypriots in Varosha and settlement of the same number of Greek Cypriots in Morphou.
Similarly, arrival of five Greek Cypriots in Varosha in five days would have totally different effects than arrival of the same number of Greek Cypriots in Morphou during the same period. The fundamental principle in the alternative maps is that settlement of emigrants should be completed within the longest period possible and that the Greek Cypriots crossing to the north should be prevented from settling only in certain regions."
The procedure to be followed in the negotiations focusing on the Turkish military force deployed on the island will be clarified after meetings to be held between representatives of the Turkish General Staff and the Greek General Staff.
 General debate on Cyprus in the TGNA rejectedAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.02.04) reported from Ankara that the parliament has not accepted to open a general discussion about the Cyprus problem.
The request of opening a general discussion was rejected on Tuesday by the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party deputies. Acting Parliament Speaker Nevzat Pakdil who chaired the session said: ''As the discussions made the same day were found sufficient, the parliament has not accepted to open a general debate on the issue.''
During the talks True Path Party (TPP) leader Mehmet Agar asked Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul if EU law would be implemented in Cyprus or not. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul responded to that question saying that both the EU and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan accepted EU law to be the basis. Gul stressed that lawyers who knew well the EU were part of the activities in order not to make any mistake.
Responding to the speech of the Republican People´s Party deputy leader Onur Oymen who criticized the policy of the government about Cyprus, Gul said that they didn't regard the solution to the Cyprus issue as a precondition of Turkey's EU membership.
Gul stated that they took as the basis the Copenhagen criteria in the membership process of Turkey, adding that solution of Cyprus issue would have positive repercussions on the membership process.
''The negotiations will be very tough, and amendments in the Annan plan which we and the other side need will be made,'' said Gul, noting that the result to be reached at the end of the negotiations would be presented to the Turkish Cypriots and voted. Gul stated that the parliament would say the final word about the issue, adding that the parliament had also approved the 1960 Agreement.
Gul stressed that the President and the General Staff were informed every day when the talks were held in New York, adding that written documents were also presented to them. Gul said that he also visited the President during that period and took into consideration the suggestions of the President.
Gul alleged that Enosis (union with Greece) would come true if the Greek Cypriot side joined the EU unilaterally, and Greek Cypriots aimed to dissolve Turks in that way. ''We've opposed that until the end, the only thing we did not do was to declare war. If RPP were in power, would it declare war against EU? I don't know,'' Gul said.
Gul noted that the way of membership of Cyprus to the EU opened 5-6 years ago and the then governments in Turkey had accepted that implicitly.
 The Turkish Foreign Minister addressed the Turkish Grand National AssemblyAnkara TRT 2 Television broadcast live the address by Abdullah Gul, foreign minister and deputy prime minister, to the Turkish Grand National Assembly on the Cyprus problem:
Following are excerpts of the speech:
"Certain developments within the EU have rendered 2004 an important and determining year for Cyprus. As is common knowledge, the unilateral application the `Greek Cypriot administration´ in the south submitted in 1990 to accede to the EU went through various stages. They began negotiations in 1999, and finally when the Cypriot sides failed to reach a solution within the UN framework, the full membership process was accepted during the EU Copenhagen summit held on 12-13 December 2002. In other words, a decision was adopted at the Copenhagen summit that if an agreement is not reached, then the `Greek Cypriot sector´ will accede to the EU unilaterally as the representative of the entire island. Thus, a political decision envisaging the accession of `Greek Cypriot administration´ on 1 May 2004 in the name of Cyprus was adopted. Within this framework, it was also announced that the implementation of the EU acquis in Cyprus would be suspended until a second decision to be adopted by the European Council.
During all these stages, Turkey always filed its political and judicial objections to the unilateral Greek Cypriot application for membership. We have always fulfilled our obligations based on the previous international agreements and our guarantor rights. On the other hand, this was the reality we were facing. According to the Copenhagen decision, if a solution is not reached in the Cyprus problem, then the Greek Cypriot administration will de facto and unilaterally accede to the EU. Turkey announced that it does not accept the decision in question from a political and judicial aspect. Within this framework, we have always stated that we desire a political agreement directed toward a new partnership based on conciliation that ensures the continuation of peace and the existing guarantees in Cyprus, that maintains the Turkish-Greek balance, and that accepts the equality of the two sides on the island. We have also stated that we support the idea of continuing the negotiations based on the UN Secretary-General's proposals.
It is inevitable for the unilateral accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU on 1 May 2004 to have adverse affects on the Cyprus problem as well as on Turkey and its relations with the EU. Above all, once inside the EU, the Greek Cypriot leadership will seek ways to resolve the Cyprus issue in line with its own theses and to dissolve the Turkish Cypriot people within the EU pot. This is the real danger.
Dear friends, when we, as the Foreign Ministry, saw that 2004 is a critical year, in other words when we saw that the Greek Cypriot side is about to accede unilaterally to the EU and that no one has the power to prevent this development, we began to conduct serious work on the issue. We assessed the alternatives. We analyzed the structure of the Turkish Cypriot people. You have all been closely following these developments. We discussed all the negative affects this issue might create. A country which we do not recognize will become a full EU member. We will continue our relations with this country, this community. Either we will renounce all our expectations and claims concerning the EU, or we shall continue our contacts with the EU. The day will come when meetings will be chaired by a Greek Cypriot. The day will come when the EU delegations visiting Turkey will be headed by a Greek Cypriot. The day will come when Turkish and Greek Cypriot soldiers will get together within the framework of the European defense and security policy. Naturally, all these will create unimaginable problems. On the other hand, when we have a look at the Turkish Cypriot sector, there exists an irresistible situation vis-a-vis the EU appeal. You all know very well that this issue came up during the recent elections there and that it received the support of the people. Therefore, we conducted careful work, and we reached the current stage. I have said that this is where the real danger lies. The real danger is the unilateral accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU and its plans to do all that is possible in order to erode the Turkish Cypriot sector which has been left out.
Greek Prime Minister Simitis was the one who best expressed this. During a visit to the island, Simitis said the following: Enosis is being realized. Enosis would have been realized in a different form 20 years ago, it is being realized in a different form now. The current form is the accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU as though it represents the entire island. It will do all in its power to erode the Turkish Cypriot side in the name of the EU appeal. I am sure everyone is aware of the extent to which the Turkish Cypriot sector is open to this.
All these issues have been assessed. In addition to the Turkish-Greek problems, the Cyprus problem and Turkey's EU membership, whether we want it or not, have become directly linked. We have always noted and stated this point. A link has, nonetheless, been established within the line that I explained a while ago. Whereas, a Cyprus within which the Turkish Cypriot side can become an equal partner within the framework of a new partnership will be beneficial for Cyprus, Turkey, and the EU. In this manner, the support within the EU for Turkey through the Turkish Cypriots will, naturally, be strengthened. At the same time, an element that might oppose Turkey within the EU will be eliminated. This factor is of great importance from the viewpoint of Turkish-EU relations irrespective of the direction Turkey's membership in the EU will take since these relations will, anyway, continue.
Dear friends, within this framework, our government has worked toward finding a solution to the Cyprus problem in line with determined parameters and ensuring that the new partnership state to be established by the two founding states accedes to the EU before 1 May 2004, the date on which the `Greek Cypriot administration´ is to accede unilaterally to the EU. We believe that this is necessary in order to safeguard the interests of Turkey and the `TRNC´. If an agreement is reached, they will accede to the EU as the joint Cyprus republic, and two separate states, namely the Turkish Cypriot state and the Greek Cypriot state, will become sub-states.
As can be recalled, the resolution the UN Security Council adopted on 14 April 2003 following the UN Secretary-General's report on the negotiation process dated 1 April 2003 asked that the sides continue the negotiations within the framework of the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission and in line with the Annan plan with the aim of reaching a comprehensive solution. Support was extended to the UN Secretary- General to continue his good offices mission. Turkey has repeated these views after every Cyprus meeting.
We have always been saying the following: The bitter experiences of the Turkish Cypriot people should definitely be kept in mind while a solution is being reached. The solution to be reached should not open the door to new problems and tensions. An atmosphere that will enable the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to live in peace and security should be ensured. There are currently two peoples with two different languages and religions and two different democratic systems and administrations in Cyprus. Consequently, the solution to be reached should primarily be based on a new partnership that will safeguard bizonality and the equal status of the two sides. The Turkish-Greek balance on the island should be preserved.
The National Security Council [NSC] at its meeting held on 23 January 2004 adopted a decision advising the Turkish side to take initiatives to resume the negotiations. At the meeting, a unity of views was reached on the benefits and necessity of launching initiatives to revive the negotiation process in Cyprus. It was concluded that it will be beneficial for the Turkish government -- in close consultation and cooperation with Denktas and the `TRNC government´ -- to discuss the issue with the UN Secretary- General with the aim of resuming the negotiation process. It was also confirmed that Turkey continues to support the good office mission of the UN Secretary-General and reiterates its political determination to speedily reach a solution through negotiations in line with the realities on the island based on the Annan plan. Naturally, these were put forth with the intention of holding consultations and emerged as recommendations.
Our proposals for changes to the Annan plan and our views on the resumption of the negotiations were discussed at the highest level with `President´ Denktas and the new `TRNC government´ members who were on a visit in Ankara between 24-26 January 2004. A unity of views was reached between Turkey and the `TRNC´ on the necessity of resuming the negotiations. The honorable prime minister met with the UN Secretary-General in Davos on 24 January. Our views and expectations were explained to the UN Secretary-General in detail. Annan was also told that the stand of the Turkish side will not lag behind that of the Greek Cypriot one. Annan expressed his pleasure over the stand adopted by the Turkish side and reiterated the conditions necessitated to resume the negotiations. In a statement he issued after the meeting, Annan said that the meeting went extremely well and that it was extremely constructive. He said that Turkey has the political determination with regards to the issue.
During his US visit on 26-31 January, the honorable prime minister met with US President Bush on 28 January. I was also present at that meeting. The conditions that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side believe are necessary for a lasting solution were explained in detail and clearly to President Bush. Bush was explained in detail that since the goal is to coexist under the roof of a joint state, the island should be left to the two sides free of problems for a lasting peace to be achieved in Cyprus. Bush was also explained in detail the steps that will be taken to achieve that goal. At the subsequent meetings held at the Foreign Ministry, the various points were specified.
Dear friends, at its cabinet meeting our government assessed the views of the `TRNC´ officials, the recommendations of the NSC, and the stand of the UN Secretary-General and determined an action plan. While reaching this point, our government managed one more thing. After having determined our goals and the policy to be pursued by our ministry, our government explained these points to the political parties in parliament. Last year a meeting was held at the RPP headquarters with the participation of Chairman Deniz Baykal, Kemal Dervis, Inal Batu, and Onur Oymen, and the participants were briefed in detail. Prior to the New York talks, Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Ugur Ziyal briefed Oymen, former valuable diplomat and RPP spokesman, in detail on what we want to accomplish, what we shall do, and the goals we wish to achieve. In the same manner, the True Path Party [TPP] -- and I extend my thanks to them -- also requested a briefing. I sent the most authorized officials from my ministry to a TPP Administrative Council meeting attended by Chairman Mehmet Agar. My most authorized colleagues explained to them in detail what we wish to accomplish and to attain. Mr Bahceli sent various written questions to our chairman and our prime minister. The honorable prime minister replied to his letter and gave the information Bahceli requested.
Esteemed friends, what I am trying to say is this: There is no doubt that in democratic countries the political body makes the final decision. Nevertheless, while it reaches its decision, the political body makes all the necessary consultations, briefs whoever it needs to brief, and receives detailed ideas from the relevant persons and institutions. We were particularly careful about that, and we will continue to do that in the future.
The negotiation process has now been moved to the island, and during this process, we will be in close contact with the political parties and all the concerned authorities.
With the letter he sent to the two leaders in Cyprus and to the prime ministers of the guarantor states on 4 February 2004, the UN Secretary-General invited the two leaders with their delegations and the representatives of the guarantor states. In his letter, the Secretary-General proposed a schedule which will end with a referendum. He said in his letter that if the sides agree to the invitation, he will assume that they agree to the issues he posits in the letter.
Following this letter, Mr Rauf Denktas, Mr Talat, and Mr Serdar Denktas, held consultations with our government in Ankara on 5 and 6 February. After these consultations, a Turkish Cypriot delegation headed by Mr Rauf Denktas and including Talat and Serdar Denktas left for New York on 8 February. Our country was represented by a delegation headed by Mr Ugur Ziyal, my undersecretary, during the talks in New York.
The following emerged during the talks: the Greek Cypriot side tried to have the EU become a party to the negotiations. The Greek Cypriots were told that this would not happen. They were told this openly during the New York talks. In the end, it became clear that this would not happen.
We knew beforehand that the Greek Cypriots wanted to make numerous changes in the Annan plan. The Greek Cypriots had been making efforts with the EU and saying that the solution should be in line with the EU acquis and improved in that sense. The Greek Cypriots were trying to make their changes by placing the Turkish side against the EU. They also tried to make the EU a part of the negotiation process. The EU Commission, the European Parliament [EP], and the member countries did not accept this approach or efforts. The EU Commission issued a statement saying that they did not want to be involved. EP President Cox issued a statement saying that the EP is not part of this process. The EU was able to adopt an objective stand against two of its full members.
We have always stressed that the parties to the negotiations are the two sides on the island and the two guarantor states, Turkey and Greece. In the end, our view was accepted during the New York talks. In other words, since Turkey and Greece are the two motherlands, when necessary, these two countries must be able to become fully involved, assume full responsibility, come together and do whatever is necessary to solve this problem. We had been saying that from the beginning, and it was accepted in the end.
In fact, the final declaration which the UN Secretary-General submitted to the sides says that the EU will not be part of the process, but will help at the technical level, to the extent required by the UN Secretary-General. Furthermore, the declaration confirms that the EU promises to adapt itself to the settlement that will be reached in Cyprus.
Actually, the United Nations, our government, and the Turkish Cypriots have been holding technical consultations with the EU Commission regarding the implementation of the Annan plan. In a statement he made following the New York talks, the UN Secretary-General clearly said that the EU's contribution to the Cyprus negotiations will be limited and technical, and that this contribution will be made during the implementation, and not during the negotiations. Furthermore, the Secretary-General recalled once again that the Cyprus agreement must be adapted to the EU law.
We have constantly been saying to the EU Commission and other concerned sides that any agreement to be reached in Cyprus must become part of the EU's Primary Law. In this context, the plan says that the existing derogation and permanent restrictions must be adapted to the schedule of Turkey's EU membership.
Our aim is this: If the agreement to be reached in Cyprus is accepted through a referendum, and the united Cyprus republic is established, then we do not want the gains achieved in the agreement punctured by EU law. There are several courts under EU law, and these courts may change agreements. We want to prevent that and to guarantee the agreements. That is why we want the agreement to become part of EU's Primary Law. This was accepted by all the sides. Furthermore, the UN Secretary-General included this clause in the final declaration of the New York talks.
The Turkish side believes that certain changes are essential in the plan. These changes have been determined by the meticulous and detailed work carried out jointly by all the concerned institutions in Turkey and the `TRNC´. I would like to summarize them. What are the changes we want to see in this plan? What do we want to see changed? A lot of work has been done in this regard. You are aware of some of this work, and some is being conducted by the Ministry.
First of all: We want to see the existence of two equal and separate sides on the island confirmed, and we want bizonality reinforced. In other words, we want to have fewer Greek Cypriots return to the north than foreseen in the plan. We want the fact that the solution is based on two peoples and two sectors reflected in the political structure of the partnership to be established and in the decision-making mechanisms. In other words, we want the bizonality confirmed.
We want the restrictions on the Turkish military presence on the island reduced, and Turkey's guarantor rights to actively continue in a lasting manner.
The third change we find important is to have the map proposed by the United Nations redrawn so that the heavily zigzagged border becomes straight and thus enables the relocation of fewer Turkish Cypriots.
Our government has repeatedly said that a lack of solution cannot be a solution in Cyprus. Nevertheless, this does not mean we want a solution at all cost. While working on its move to have the Cyprus talks resume, our government acted with the awareness that the Cyprus issue is a national cause for our country, and carefully determined the issues that need to be cited in the plan by receiving the consensus of all our institutions. While doing that, our government protected the interests of the lofty Turkish nation and of the Turkish Cypriot people at the highest level.
At the meetings the UN Secretary-General, the UN delegation, and the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides, the Greek Cypriot leader tried to make the Turkish Cypriot side leave the negotiation table. The Greek Cypriot side expected Mr Rauf Denktas to play into their hands, and to object to the schedule and negotiation method proposed by the Secretary-General. Mr Denktas, however, constructively explained to the Secretary-General the changes the Turkish Cypriot side would like to see in the plan. The Turkish Cypriot side accepted the proposal to have the UN Secretary- General bring proposals on the method to be followed in case the two sides cannot reach an agreement. The Turkish Cypriot side also posited proposals regarding this issue to the Secretary-General. The Greek Cypriot side did not posit any proposals in this regard.
According to the proposal posited by the Turkish Cypriot side which was accepted by the UN Secretary-General and the concerned countries, if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on certain issues, then these issues will be discussed in a quadripartite meeting to include the guarantor states Turkey and Greece. If this meeting fails to produce results, then the UN Secretary-General will give the plan its final form in line with the views expressed during the meeting.
Our proposal drew attention because it was effective and because it remained within the UN parameters. It was also praised in the international community because it was proof of our desire to reach a solution.
The final responsibility will lie with the referendums which will determine whether or not the two founding states will or will not set up the new state.
Esteemed friends, if the two sides fail to agree, the four sides will hold a meeting. If the four sides fail to reach an agreement too, then the UN Secretary-General will be told to finalize the document. After that, all the sides will study the document. That is how the democratic order works. If we believe in democracy, that is how it should work. We will study the document. The people of the `TRNC´ will study the document. If they are not satisfied with the plan, they will reject it at the referendum. If the people of the `TRNC´ will see changes that satisfy them in the plan, then they will say yes. The same thing goes for the Greek Cypriot side. That will not be all. The TGNA and the Greek parliament will naturally have the last word. In line with our Constitution, our lofty nation will have the last word on the agreements. The TGNA has always reached historic decisions in connection with the Cyprus issue. Our government is acting with the same awareness and responsibility displayed by the republican governments on the Cyprus issue until today.
A lasting peace and solution in Cyprus will be in the form of a viable partnership where both sides gain. The Turkish Cypriot people will retain their existence and identity under the roof of a Turkish Cypriot state which will be one of the two founding stones of this new partnership. Negotiations will be held to that end. A final document will emerge at the end of these negotiations.
Esteemed friends, I would like to conclude my remarks as follows: This is a national issue. It was the Greek Cypriot side's unilateral accession to the EU this year and the great problems that this would usher that made us assume the political will to settle this issue this year. A unilateral accession would have led to a reduced number of Turkish Cypriot citizens in the `TRNC´ -- and Simitis referred to this as the realization of Enosis -- and it would also have created problems in the relations between Turkey and the EU. Furthermore, while working on this issue, our Ministry was in constant consultation, as I told you before. While the negotiations were going on in New York, and important decisions being made, we were in constant contact and consultation with the honorable president and of course with the honorable chief of the general staff -- since this issue has a security aspect and concerns our armed forces. Information was constantly relayed to them from New York, and their views were heard. At the end of these consultations, the government gave instructions to our delegation in New York. That is the way things were concluded. Of course, this is not the end. Actually, the more difficult part is to begin on the island soon. I mean the negotiation process. We will know during this process whether acceptable changes will be made on the plan. Patient, responsible, knowledgeable, and determined work will be conducted during this process.
While this work was being conducted, Rauf Denktas played a historic role. He was the leader in all the meetings. He played a historic role. He kept the interests of the `TRNC´ and those of Turkey in mind. He acted with a great sense of responsibility. Actually, Mr Denktas' behavior in New York surprised the Greek Cypriot sector and the international community.
The same meticulousness and the joint work of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot delegations will continue on the island. What we desire on the island is this: One, that bizonality should become definite and that it should be guaranteed so that it will not be undermined in the future. Two, that the guarantees should be reinforced. Three, that the heavily zigzagged border should become straighter.
If these things happen, then a lasting peace will be established. We must all desire a lasting peace with goodwill. Ultimately, a joint state will be established. For a joint state to be established, an honorable agreement must be signed that will satisfy both sides. And this agreement must be accepted by both `peoples´. Our intention and our desire is to have the two sides agree on a document and for the two `peoples´ to accept it. That would be the ideal situation. If that happens, our region will be not one of hostility and confrontation, but to the contrary, one of cooperation, solidarity, and common interests. The eastern Mediterranean will be a region of cooperation.
Turkey is close to Cyprus, of course, and it has great potential. Turkey's great potential will be used in the interests of the whole of Cyprus. The rights of both sides in Cyprus will be protected, and there will lasting peace within the EU in the future. That is our desire. If the document that will emerge in the end is satisfactory, that is what will happen.
Also, the agreements will go into full force only after Turkey joins the EU as a full member. Several parts of this plan foresee Turkey's full membership in the EU. If Turkey is not a full EU member, several parts of this plan will not work. In other words, there is a connection between the two.
You may think that everyone must be careful regarding such an issue. We are aware of the constructive criticism. Nevertheless, if there are people who consider a lack of solution to be a solution, then they must consider this: If an agreement cannot be reached, will the schedule work in favor of or against Turkey and the `TRNC¨ citizens? We must make a projection and look. If the Turkish Cypriots in the `TRNC´ will become stronger and Turkey's position will improve greatly in five or 10 years, then we will prefer a lack of solution. Nevertheless, if you look at history, you will see that this is not what happens. Nevertheless, as I said earlier, my remarks should not be interpreted to mean that we will say yes to things that we will never accept.
In reply to a remark by an opposition member Mr Gul said:
No, no. I said all that. I am saying that you should not forget the following fact: The Greek Cypriots are on the way to becoming EU members on their own. I am saying that you should study the Turkish Cypriot community well. We must all study our community well. We must look at what is lacking. We must think if the governments of the past 30 years -- we were also part of the government at times -- did what they were supposed to do. Did we or did we not create a community that could resist like a rock till the end? We must look at all that and then make the proper decision.
If, despite all that, the plan that will emerge is not satisfactory, we must trust our community there. It can reject the plan through a referendum. The TGNA can also reject the plan."
 The Turkish Foreign Minister implies that the military occupation of Cyprus will end after Turkey becomes full EU memberAnkara TRT 2 Television (17.02.04) broadcast that Abdullah Gul, foreign minister and deputy prime minister, has assessed reports to the effect that Gunther Verheugen, the EU commissioner in charge of expansion, will be participating in the Cyprus negotiations to begin on 19 February by saying: The United Nations might receive technical help from the EU. This, however, should not be understood as the EU's participation in the negotiations.
After his meeting with his Georgian counterpart Japaridze, Gul replied to reporters' questions on the Cyprus issue.
He said: "While the talks were continuing at the United Nations, the UN Secretary- General was in close contact with the EU. As you know, many articles of the current Annan plan are related to the EU. In other words, this agreement is related to Turkey's ties with the EU, Turkey's EU accession, and finally Turkey's full membership in the EU. From that point of view, naturally, the need might arise for technical information at various stages. This, however, should not be understood as the EU's participation in the negotiations. This issue was clarified sufficiently by the EU, the EU Commission, and the speaker of the European Parliament."
 The Turkish Prime Minister wants founding state status for the occupied areas of the Republic of CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.02.04) reported from Ankara that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that what they thought at the moment was whether or not the occupied area of Cyprus could get founding state identity in a United Cyprus Republic. He said both sides should be equally expressed in the United Cyprus Republic.
Mr Erdogan said that they should be careful about their words and expressions while speaking about the Cyprus issue, stressing: "I do not favour the 'give and take' mentality. There is a different account lying under this. What will I take and give? This is also valid for the other side. Then, it is difficult for you to obtain a result. I said, 'let us put forward this with 'win and win' understanding so that both I and you will win", and added:
"A United Cyprus Republic will occur. Think of the situation of `TRNC´ at the moment. It is under embargo. How long this embargo will last? We should think of the time after May 1. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and all the other bureaucrats examined the issues in details. The point which we should reach here is that a United Cyprus Republic, having a flag and national anthem, recognized by the whole world will emerge. We should evaluate this well."
He explained that the United Cyprus Republic would be formed by two founding states, adding that the two sides should be represented equally.
Replying to a question if he had confidence in Annan, Erdogan said they knew the plan and that there was nothing to feel concern as Annan could not go beyond the plan, and added:
"The two sides should agree on the text about referendum. Greece and Turkey would intervene and work on the agreement in case the sides fail to agree. We will invite Annan to the table if they can not reach an agreement. May be there will not be any need for this. This has two valves. One is the referendum and the other is the Parliament. The same thing is valid for Greece."
When asked if he believed that Turkey would be given a date in December if the Cyprus question is solved till May 1, Erdogan said a solution to the Cyprus question would facilitate Turkey's full membership process. He said: "Turkey will not be a burden in the EU; it will help to ease the burden."
Asked what had been discussed during the dinner which he hosted in honour of German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel, Erdogan said: "They talk about privileged partnership. We have told them that we did not hear such an expression in the 40-year process. We don't have anything like this in our agenda. Our speed gives them a sudden fright. They are afraid that we will start negotiations and get ready for membership immediately."
 The Turkish Cypriot leader wants to impose on 300 million Europeans the faits accomplis of the Turkish invasion as EU primary lawIstanbul NTV television (17.02.04) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has said that he will sit at the negotiating table with demands for changes that will protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. He was discussing the latest situation with NTV's Mithat Bereket. Denktas said that as a result of the world's pressure, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides will try to reach an agreement on the Annan plan in a very limited time.
Denktas stressed that the derogations, that is, exceptions, in the agreement should be included in the EU's Primary Law. Otherwise, he asserted, all our gains may be lost in international courts, and went on:
"The special rights we want -- bizonality, the issue of the settlement of Greek Cypriots in the north, the guarantees etc -- would be discussed to see whether they are possible under EU norms, and they could be revoked at the Court of Human Rights or by means of EU decisions. That is why we want the derogations to be cited in the agreement to be included in the EU's Primary Law. We insist on that, because without that, the rights seemingly given to us would not be valid. In a short time, they would all be revoked. We want an answer to that. It would be quite risky, dangerous, and even naive to hold a referendum before receiving a positive answer from the EU."
Mr Denktas alleged that the New York talks were almost suspended when the Greek Cypriots proposed that the EU become part of the negotiations.
He said: "A crisis occurred when we rejected the Greek Cypriot offer to turn the EU into a referee and the crisis lasted about 11 to 12 hours. We thought about what they really wanted and we concluded that they wanted night to come in New York which would mean morning in Greece. In other words, they waited for Simitis to get up, to have breakfast, and to shave. Finally, they got their OK from Simitis and that was the end of it. In other words, if Greece had said that it was insistent on this issue, the talks would have been suspended."
 Nationalist organizations in occupied Cyprus are coordinating their action against the Annan PlanUnder the banner front - page title "We shall not let the TRNC to be abolished", Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (18.02.04) reports that four nationalist parties and more than a hundred civilian organizations met yesterday and formed a "Common Action Committee" against the Annan Plan. The organizations decided that they should act together "against the pressure".
The meeting was realized on the initiative of the "main opposition" National Unity Party (NUP). In addition to NUP, smaller parties and organizations such as the Nationalist Justice Party (MJP), the Cyprus Justice Party (CJP), Our party (OP), Hur-Is trade union, the Farmers Trade Union, the Fighters' Association, the National People's Movement (NPM), the Association for Mutual Aid with Anatolia, the Citrus Fruit Producers Union and the Youth Hand by Hand Initiative participated in the meeting.
The participants in the meeting noted that they are strongly against reaching an agreement on the basis of the Annan Plan, expressed the opinion that the indispensable conditions of the Turkish side could not be added in this plan and called on the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas to keep the promises he had given to "the people" and withdraw from the talks.
 Turkish General threatens with bloodshed if a solution based on ethnic grounds is implemented in IraqTurkish Daily News (18.02.04) publishes the following report: "Turkish Third Army Commander General Oktar Ataman said on Tuesday the developments in northern Iraq were very important for Turkey and that any solution based on ethnicity would draw in Iraq's neighbors and lead to a bloodbath.
Ataman, speaking at Tekederesi, Erzurum during the "Avalanche Maneuvers," addressed the people who came to watch the military maneuver. He said some saw the army as the only obstacle preventing the establishment of a religious government and were trying to cause a split between the nation and its army. The Turkish army was a product of the nation and was the nation's army, said General Ataman.
No matter what happened, all the institutions of the state and the people would unite to protect the founding principles of the republic, said Ataman.
He said no one should think the war against separatism had ended, adding that even if these separatist forces, through changing their name or international support, were trying to evade justice, they still were active in the country and the region.
Those who refused to utilize the amnesties granted by Turkey continued to exist and were increasing their power, ready to strike at the most opportune moment, said Ataman.
He said the political extensions of this separatism were trying to utilize the democratic atmosphere of Turkey and were using the financial backing provided by so-called friendly countries.
"However, we believe the nation will not accept separatism in the name of democracy," said Ataman."
 Rauf Denktas: Our efforts to get rid of the Annan plan failedTurkish Daily News (18.02.04) publishes the following report by Yusuf Kanli from occupied Nicosia:
"Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas promised to expend sincere efforts to end the more than 40-year-old problem of power sharing between the two `peoples´ of the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus when peace talks with rival Greek Cypriots resume on Thursday.
"We think that we can achieve a result if both sides work with good will," the veteran Turkish Cypriot leader told the Turkish Daily News in an exclusive interview.
Speaking with the TDN in advance of the Thursday start of the new round of talks slated to cover "huge ground in a short period of time," Denktas said the Turkish Cypriot side would work in good faith and with a determination to work out together with the Greek Cypriot interlocutors a "just and lasting" settlement that would become a part of basic European Union law and thus would be immune to attempts at amendment under various pretexts in the years ahead.
"We decided that we can work with good will, and we guaranteed it. We will work in that fashion, and we will be happy if we achieve a positive outcome," Denktas said.
"We reconsidered our position and, having obtained the support of the Turkish government on the main issues that both Turkey and we deemed absolute principles in any future settlement, we agreed to resume negotiations," the veteran Turkish Cypriot leader said in explaining how he decided to return to the talks, agreeing to the stringent negotiating conditions set by the U.N. Secretary-General.
A Cyprus deal would be based on a largely decentralized, bi-zonal federation, with one area populated largely by Greek Cypriots and the other by Turkish Cypriots.
The far wealthier Greek Cypriots, who make up 80 percent of the island's population of less than 1 million and control approximately 60 percent of its territory -- an area smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut -- will join the EU whatever the outcome.
Failure to reach a deal could mean that an economic embargo on the Turkish Cypriot state, recognized only by Ankara, remains in place and could also dash Turkey's own hopes of starting EU entry talks.
The toughest negotiations will be over the size of refugee and territory exchanges and on how many troops from Greece and Turkey will be allowed to remain.
Ankara's Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, fearing that failure to resolve the Cyprus conflict in time to allow a reunited island to join the EU on May 1 will undermine Turkey's own bid to join the pan-European club, was instrumental in convincing the 80-year-old Turkish Cypriot leader to return to the U.N.-sponsored talks.
The glossy Annan plan, which stretches to over 3,000 pages together with its annexes, envisages territorial adjustments in favor of the majority of Greek Cypriots and the return of some of the displaced Greek Cypriots to the north, which would in turn require the displacement of thousands of Turkish Cypriots. The plan also requires the withdrawal of most of the 30,000 Turkish troops stationed in Northern Cyprus.
Denktas had rejected the blueprint last March when Annan first asked the parties to agree on it and put it to simultaneous referenda in their sectors.
Subtitle: Confession: We failed to get rid of the Annan plan
"Our efforts to get rid of the Annan plan failed. So now we will try to achieve the necessary changes, to improve it in our favor as much as possible ... and present it for our people's approval," Denktas said.
He described the deal in New York as "the best we could have done."
Denktas said the Annan plan, in its original form, was unacceptable for the Turkish Cypriot side because it did not take care of the "realities of Cyprus."
He said in its original form the plan gave the right of restitution to Greek Cypriot claimants in complete disregard of the fact that for political and security reasons the Turkish Cypriots would not settle in the south. "And the gaping fact is that the Greek Cypriots have either completely destroyed Turkish Cypriot residences or have hijacked the land to a great extent under the excuse of compulsory acquisition without paying any compensation or informing the owners involved," he said.
Denktas said if the original Annan plan was applied, about half of the Turkish Cypriot population would have to be removed from their residences and become refugees for the fourth time in 40 years without any worked-out rehabilitation plan and without any substantial funds having been made available except loose promises that it would happen in the future.
Subtitle: Turkish guarantee
In addition, Denktas said the 1960 guarantee system would be rendered ineffective.
"The guarantee system of 1960, which provided security for Turkish Cypriots and upheld the Greco-Turkish balance over Cyprus as the foundation of the settlement, was rendered ineffective and treated as a temporary measure that would not be needed after Turkey entered the EU," he said.
He said the state machinery provided in the original Annan plan was more complicated than the 1960 agreement and that it took away the rights of Turkish Cypriots which would prevent Greek Cypriot domination in the future.
"All in all, in the words of Mr Clerides, it gave the Greek Cypriots all that they had set out to obtain, namely, getting rid of the Turkish forces and giving the right to all Greek Cypriots to return to the north in complete disregard of the reasons for the bi-zonality and bi-communality of any feature settlement," he said.
Subtitle: Derogations are necessary
He explained that derogations were necessary for the security of the Turkish Cypriots. Complaining about the uncompromising stand of the Greek Cypriot side, Denktas said, "Although these have yet to be agreed upon, the Greek Cypriot side rejected the idea that these derogations would be treated as and would become the primary law of the EU so that they could not be taken away under various pretexts in the future."
"The essence of any agreement, past or future, was that the two `peoples´ had equal rights and the right of self-determination to enter into mutual agreements. That is how they had established the 1960 partnership republic, and that is how they will enter into a new partnership -- by deciding freely as two separate `peoples´ to do so by giving certain of their existing rights to a certain authority while retaining the rest of their rights for their own states," he stressed.
Subtitle: Unacceptable demands
The insistence that the two sides on the island should put "a plan that had not yet been agreed upon by the two sides -- while both sides wanted amendments to it but with neither side knowing what the other side wanted to amend" to a referendum of the two sides was unacceptable, he said.
He said that also unacceptable for both sides was the demand that the Secretary-General should have the right to fill in the gaps "in complete disregard of the views of the two sides," or act as an arbitrator.
Subtitle: Conceding failure
"Through our objections and resistance to the plan, several amendments were made, but we were still told that we could not amend the plan substantially and that the Secretary-General should still have the right to fill in the gaps and to act as an arbitrator," he conceded.
Stressing that as the May 1 date approached and "we did not give in to these uncompromising and unusual demands," statements began to be made that the plan was open to amendments and that there would be flexibility. "It soon became clear that the Secretary-General, the Americans, the British and the EU had jointly decided not to allow free negotiation between the two sides and that the Annan plan was the plan and that there was going to be no other," he said.
"Then, the new Turkish government agreed that the plan was negotiable, and our people were divided on the issue during the elections. We reconsidered our position and, having obtained the support of the Turkish government on the main issues that both Turkey and we deemed absolute principles in any future settlement, we agreed to resume negotiations," he said, explaining how he had decided to go to New York and return to the talks.
On the question of filling in the gaps and the arbitrator status of Annan, Denktas said he insisted that Turkey and Greece should also participate and take responsibility in matters on which the two sides could not agree. "So we are now to cover a very large ground in a very short time. We have to take care that the results achieved, including derogations, will become [part of] basic EU law," he said.
Appealing to the Greek Cypriots to stop claiming to be the government of the entire island, Denktas said, "We hope the Greek Cypriot side will abandon the idea that they are the government of Turkish Cypriots, or that Turkish Cypriots are their minority, an idea that has blocked the way to settlement over the years."
Concluding his remarks, Denktas said, "The two peoples, in their respective zones, having settled all thorny property problems through exchange and compensation, should be able to agree to share Cyprus on a bi-zonal basis as their joint homeland, again, avoiding the curse of the Hellenistic aspiration to convert Cyprus into a Greek land."
Subtitle: Hope: UN may extend May 1 deadline
Denktas expressed hope that the United Nations would extend the May 1 settlement deadline if it becomes convinced that the parties are earnestly working to compromise. "It is our duty to sincerely comply with the timetable. But if an agreement does not become possible by that date, even if both parties are sincerely striving for it ... naturally, they will not jump down our throats. They will find a formula for that as well."
"The whole issue is to work sincerely," he said."
 Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader to MILLIYET newspaperTurkish mainland daily MILLIYET newspaper (18.02.04) publishes under banner headlines "I am very worried" an exclusive interview given to MILLIYET columnist Fikret Bila by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.
Bila said that Denktas has started to express his "great worries" as follows: "I do think that in case ours and the Turkish government´s indispensable conditions -Sine qua non -are accepted, the Annan plan will be rendered safe and a viable condition could be created.
Our indispensable conditions should not annoy the Greek side. If they are not to repeat 1963 then they should not object to our demands. We do want safeguards against the new 1963. The bizonality and Turkey's guarantees which are accepted by both sides since 1975 heads these safeguards. Bizonality also means equal sovereignty rights that we are one of the equal peoples that the Greek Cypriots have no right to hegemony on us and that we have the right to take part in an effective manner in the partnership government. The aim should have been a simpler institution than 1960 .They put before us a non-functional, impractical, complex thing. The Greek Cypriots as well have their complaints. When we think about the lies they have resorted to in order to render the 1960 agreements that the Constitution was not functional, we are very worried what they could do in order to render null and void this more complex mechanism. I am very worried. We should have discussed these things sincerely with the Greek Cypriots; however, we have a solid plan before us"
Denktas went on and said that "in order for the derogations to be lasting the agreement should be embodied in the EU Aquis Communautere. We have received assurances from everywhere. We have informed the UN Secretary -General that this is vital to us. So it is not possible for us to accept the Greek Cypriots´ demand that everything would be in accordance with the EU norms. Among the EU members there are such derogations accepted in order to maintain their identity. We do expect that the Turkish government will support us on this issue to the very end. We are entering into a difficult period, we are aware of this"
As regards the Annan plan's present form, Denktas said: "The Annan plan definitely should be changed. As a matter of fact it was accepted in New York that it would be changed. If the plan is not changed and it is accepted as it is then this would be the surrender of the Turkish Cypriots. We can not accept this. The majority of the Turkish Cypriots as well think this way .To accept the plan in its present form is tantamount to letting the Turkish Cypriot to be drifted away by currents. As I said, the plan should be modified .It can not be accepted in its present form. In the negotiation stage signing of something is not on the agenda. If we do not agree, then Annan will be involved and will take it to the referendum without our signature .Had the plan, in its present form been approved in the referendum then my signature will be on the agenda. At that stage I will take my decision as regards the signing of the agreement".
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Former Turkish ambassador explains how the Turkish side understands the EU acquis with regard to CyprusTurkish Daily News (18.02.04) publishes the following commentary by former Ambassador Gunduz Aktan under the title: "The EU acquis and the Annan plan":
"Around a week ago, as the Greek Parliament was approving the "accession treaty" of the ten new European Union members, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that the Cyprus solution would be solved through the EU acquis. When they received U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's invitation on Feb. 4, Greek Cypriot leader Tasos Papadopoulos also said that they would hold the negotiations based on the Annan plan and the EU acquis.
What does the Greek/Greek Cypriot side mean by citing the EU acquis?
As you might remember, a few months ago in a strategic research journal called Pacis that was distributed at a meeting I attended in Athens, it was noted that any special protection privileges, described as "derogation", granted to Turkish Cypriots in the Annan plan would be eliminated by the EU acquis and that the entire island of Cyprus would be controlled by the Greek Cypriots.
These "derogations" are, in summary, the limit placed on the maximum number of Greek Cypriots to move to the north, the limitation of the percentage of lands to be returned to Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots who move to the north to participate in elections in the south and the need for a minimum number of Turkish members in the Senate and in the government approve important decisions. These articles which aim to protect Turkish Cypriots actually violate the EU acquis that seeks unlimited freedoms.
When Greek/Greek Cypriots insist on the Annan plan to conform to the EU acquis, what they really want is no limitations put in the number of Greek Cypriots moving to north, Greek Cypriots being able to recover all their properties, Greek Cypriots, who move to north, being able to practice their political rights there and legislative and executive powers being under the dominance of the Greek Cypriot majority. In other words, they want to obtain what they failed to achieve through force in 1963 by adapting the Annan plan to the EU acquis. And they call this participating in the negotiations with good will.
And our media, with its enormous intellect, translates the word "accommodate" that appears in a sentence in the Annan plan, as "to adapt the Annan plan to the EU acquis" and, without knowing, is helping this policy.
Actually, the legal mechanisms that prevent the removal of the few relatively modest clauses in the Annan plan that protect the Turkish Cypriots are weak. The Greek/Greek Cypriot side might be even getting its courage from this fact.
Firstly, in the Annan plan, there is a statement saying the solution not being contrary to the, "principles that the EU is built on." This statement alone can provide enough ground for the protective clauses to be taken to Luxemburg Council of Justice for annulment. This statement has to be removed from the plan in order to eliminate that possibility.
Secondly, the protocol attached to the Annan plan for the approval of the EU, does not include all of the clauses that protect the Turkish Cypriots. This protocol should be amended in order to make these exceptions more binding.
However, most importantly, the Annan plan should be included in the EU acquis as a primary law after it is accepted at the referenda. For this, the "founding agreement" and its attachments -- Federal Constitution, federal laws, cooperation agreements, the map and the property section after its acceptance at the referenda -- should have been approved by the parliaments of the 15 members of the EU, as attached to the "accession treaty."
However, the delay in reaching a solution caused the parliaments of the EU member countries to approve the "accession treaty" without the "founding agreement."
The EU, in the protocol approved at the Thessaloniki summit, sees the "founding agreement" being included in the EU acquis by a EU council decision as a possible solution. Under these conditions, the "founding agreement" will not be a primary law and it will be possible for it to be annulled by the acquis in the future.
Now, the only way is for the parliaments of the EU member countries to approve the "founding agreement" after it is accepted at the referenda. This will take approximately two years. In other words, even if everything is completed by May 1, Turkish Cypriots will not immediately become members.
People might say, "If we had solved the issue last year, we would not be facing this problem right now." That is right. If Annan had not forced the two sides to accept the latest version of the plan without any negotiations, we would not be facing this problem.
Maybe the EU lawyers will fid a miracle solution to this problem."