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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-02-25

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 <>



  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after the end of the third day of talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Mr Talat analyses his plans of keeping the Greek Cypriot properties for ever and further Turkifying the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [03] Foreign Minister of Turkey: The EU now sees the "realities" in Cyprus very well.
  • [04] The Turkish generals are brainstorming over "what could happen" in Cyprus, a small EU member country the territory of which is occupied by the Turkish army since 1974.
  • [05] Mr Erdogan asked from Mr Verheugen to incorporate the Annan Plan into the EU Primary Law.
  • [06] The Cyprus Socialist Party has left the Peace and Democracy Movement.
  • [07] Statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas before the planned meeting on the fourth day for talks on Cyprus.


    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after the end of the third day of talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.02.04) broadcast live statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, in occupied Nicosia after attending the talks on Cyprus in the UN buffer zone:

    "Yes, we had a lengthy discussion on the Economic Committee's task and a decision was made for the establishment of the Economic Committee. Measures are needed to protect and improve the Turkish Cypriot economy during the transition period. The Annan plan does not contain a provision for that. We said that the matter should be taken up and solved in a satisfactory way. The newspapers invited the Turkish Cypriots today to participate in the elections to be held for the European Parliament, as if the Cyprus problem will not be solved and as if the Turkish Cypriots are Greek Cypriot citizens. I informed Mr Tassos Papadopoulos that the invitation does not comply with the negotiations process and that it creates suspicion in the Turkish Cypriots. The viewpoint is as follows: The people who say that they are the citizens of Cyprus are eligible to vote if they wish to do so, even if an agreement cannot be reached. We have prepared for that. We have not subjected anyone to pressure.

    Naturally, any Turkish Cypriot who complies with the Greek Cypriot invitation will be rejecting his `TRNC´ citizenship. Only the Greek Cypriots will stand to benefit from the compliance of Turkish Cypriots with the invitation before the Cyprus problem is solved. A few Turkish Cypriots might do so. However, our people must be careful. They must avoid such traps.

    Mr Papadopoulos said that the list of changes he submitted to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan included a few examples, noting that it was not a final list and that he planned to further discuss the matter. We did not object because we, too, might want to take up various issues in detail during the talks. Alvaro de Soto made an assessment some time ago. In other words, he drew up a document on what the two sides should discuss. Mr Papadopoulos found the document to be rather limited. As I said, we did not object because we, too, do not want to wear a tight jacket. There are many issues to be discussed.

    Following the amendments to be made in the main issues, our delegation wants to discuss the Annan plan's provisions one by one in order to study the other amendments that will have to be realized. That is what we considered.

    Mr Papadopoulos focused for a long time on the representation of Cyprus after it joins the EU. He expressed the view that representation cannot be undertaken by a single representative and noted that it must be broadened. Naturally, his objective is to limit the rights to be given to the Turkish Cypriots. He discussed the matter for a long time. Referring to the pertinent article in the Annan plan, we asked him to give us a written document that will explain the change he has in mind. That will allow us to add our own viewpoint or make a counterproposal. That might help us to make progress. So, the matter has been postponed until tomorrow.

    We have established that the concept of Cypriotism is gaining weight. Regarding the appointment of Turkish or Greek Cypriots, the Greek Cypriot side wants to avoid the concepts of race, language, and culture. But, where would that take us? You will quickly realize that. Each of the founding states will have 24 senators. We take that to mean that 24 Turkish Cypriot senators and 24 Greek Cypriot senators will be appointed. That is the spirit of the agreement. That is the spirit of the 1960 Agreements, which are still in effect. They want to give political rights to the Greek Cypriots they will send to settle among us by having 16 Turkish Cypriots and eight Greek Cypriots or 18 Turkish Cypriots and six Greek Cypriots elected. They seem very determined to achieve that. That is a design. We, too, are determined. The change cannot be made.

    We submitted a comprehensive document on derogations. The Annan plan makes references to derogations. Views have been outlined on how our derogations can be protected. We explained in detail how that can be legally realized. However, they objected, saying: Cyprus has been admitted into the EU. So, you cannot ask for permanent derogations. You might have provisional derogations. However, they might be taken up in the ECHR. Obstructing that will be impossible. So, we were unable to achieve progress on the matter.

    We asked about the funds they allocate for missiles. We asked how the missiles issue and the invitation for participation in the elections to be held for the European Parliament can be compatible comply with the negotiations process. That tensed the atmosphere. Mr Papadopoulos asked: How can you ask such a question when you have 25,000-30,000 Turkish troops in north Cyprus?

    In other words, he meant that they had the right to buy arms. I insisted to be informed whether the reports that they allocated 30 million Cyprus pounds for arms were correct. He said that he was not able to discuss the matter at the conference center. The meeting had ended at the time. He left without shaking hands. He was the first to leave.

    So, we reached a stage where we can discuss the main issues. However, we have not reached the point where we can find a way out. The work will continue. We will resume the talks at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

    Question: You significantly focus on the question of derogations. Why is the matter important? Do you want to create a problem or is there another reason for your approach?

    Answer: Derogations are of vital importance for us. That is because we want to safeguard our identity and bizonality. Bizonality conflicts with the EU norms to a certain extent. If the EU norms will apply, all the Greek Cypriots will have the right to return to their former places. Mr Papadopoulos believes that that should be the case. So, we call for measures to obstruct that. There are measures to be taken to that effect. Bizonality has been accepted in the agreements we concluded after 1975. We have now been confronted with an effort to undermine that state of affairs. The accession to the EU has probably been taken as an opportunity for that purpose. Many small countries in Europe demanded permanent derogations to safeguard their territory and economic and individual existence. For example, the German people have the right to acquire a summer house in a neighboring small country. However, they cannot permanently acquire such a place. There are derogations that protect Malta. It is a small island. So, people cannot go there to settle and to buy land. That will change the island. We need derogations. As far as I can recall, the Greek Cypriot Church maintains a policy that is aimed at depriving the Turkish Cypriots of their lands. We suffered from the policy that prevented the Turkish Cypriots from buying lands for many years. In view of that, we have the right to seek protection. We insist on that.

    All the countries will agree that the Greek Cypriots represent Cyprus as a whole in the EU. However, that will not change the situation. According to an agreement between the EU and the Greek Cypriot side, all the agreements concluded with the Greek Cypriots will be reconsidered one by one if an agreement is reached between the two sides on the island. A study will be carried out to see whether they harm the Turkish Cypriots. Considering that, we will make an initiative to start that process. The matter must be quickly taken up. However, as you see, we are still confronted with problems when we discuss the existence of two peoples in Cyprus, the separate rights they have, and the measures that are required to protect those rights. We hope that these problems will be solved in time.

    Question: Can you comment on the funds the Greek Cypriots allocate for defense while the two sides maintain their talks on the Cyprus problem?

    Answer: We asked them to explain that. However, they failed to respond to our question. They said that they will continue to buy arms as long as Turkish troops exist on the island.

    Question: According to the Annan plan, supplement 9, paragraph 6, the derogations can be valid if the EU members approve them. Considering that, the problem seems to be between the EU and the UN. Can you comment on the arrangement that can be made?

    Answer: The Annan plan refers to the matter in a realistic way. We discussed that today. We explained in detail that that is how the problem should be solved. That is how we can be satisfied. However, the Greek Cypriot side responded by saying: We have joined the EU. So, the governments cannot be asked again. In other words, an official to give you the guarantee you ask for does not exist.

    That is wrong. Cyprus will join the EU. A new Cyprus will emerge if an agreement is reached. A partnership will be established. What are the arrangements to be made to change the agreement the Greek Cypriots reached with the EU on Cyprus to make it comply with the conditions that will exist in new Cyprus? Those are matters to be discussed. Naturally, Turkey will take them up with the EU and the United Nations.

    Question: What has Alvaro de Soto said in connection with the derogations?

    Answer: Alvaro de Soto is neither a judge nor an arbitrator in the talks. We have submitted our document to him. He will assess it.

    Question: Has the EU adopted a new approach on guarantees since last Thursday?

    Answer: Have you understood what I said? I said that we are making an effort for a new approach.

    Question: Can we describe the talks that were held today as a negative process?

    Answer: I will not describe any round of talks as a negative process. We hold talks. We explained what went on in the talks today. We will agree to how you describe them.

    Question: What will you discuss tomorrow?

    Answer: He will respond to us. In other words, Mr Papadopoulos will submit a written document in the form of a bill on the amendment he has proposed.

    [02] Mr Talat analyses his plans of keeping the Greek Cypriot properties for ever and further Turkifying the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Istanbul ZAMAN newspaper (24.02.04) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat spoke with ZAMAN ahead of the talks that are due to resume on Cyprus today.

    Mr. Talat said:

    "There are calculations being made to the effect that two Greek Cypriots will settle for every Turkish Cypriot that is displaced. This calculation comes from this idea: In 1974 around 160,000 Greek Cypriots abandoned their houses and properties and moved south. The number of Turkish Cypriots coming north was less. Many houses in the north remained empty. Afterwards, people were brought from Turkey, but still residences remained vacant. That is why it was calculated that two Greek Cypriots would come over for every Turkish Cypriot that left. The dividing region is already empty, plus there is land to be ceded. Thus the calculation is right. In other words two Greek Cypriots for every one Turkish Cypriot is coming over. According to the Annan Plan 65-66,000 people will change locations. When you double this figure you get 115,000. However, 115,000 Greek Cypriots are not returning to their homes in the Turkish component state. Some 95,000 are going to settle in the dividing region and on land we are going to cede to the Greek Cypriots. This means that around 20,000 Greek Cypriots are going to come among us."

    Disclosing that the concern of the Turkish side is to make sure that derogations depriving the rights usurped by the Turkish army since 1974 will be permanent against the Greek Cypriot vast majority, Mr Talat added:

    "The EU gave not an assurance but assurances. We are studying them to see how valid they are. The European Court of Human Rights has already overruled at least one EU Primary Law, the law that the EU is founded on. It was in connection with the elections on Gibraltar. The ECHR even overruled primary law. Therefore, we have to study these assurances closely and make an agreement that the courts will be unable to overrule. It is important that the agreement not be broken. But the derogations we are going to get are also important. A region with a national income of $4,000 is about to unify with a region whose national income is $17,000. How is this going to adapt? The amount of assistance that EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen announced was not negligible by EU standards but it is silly when compared to the donations made by Turkey. There is a problem in the ratification process. The Council says it is enough. We though do not see it as enough assurance. Its method, for example, will take how much time? It took two years for the Copenhagen Decisions to get passed by member countries. There are now 25 countries. The process will take longer. I am not saying that the only method is to pass it all through member countries' parliaments. We are trying to find other ways. This is not a straightforward business. The issue is plain in the Annan Plan but it was made under the assumption that this business would be settled on 16 April. That has changed now, so now what? Now we are dealing with that. The most important issue is that the resultant agreement not be shot to pieces by the EU courts."

    Further disclosing that the Turkish side´s aim is to Turkify the areas inhabited by Greek Cypriots for over 3,000 years, Mr Talat went on:

    "The notion that no Turk will remain on the island after 15 years if a settlement is reached is nonsense. Illogical. The exact opposite will happen. A settlement will strengthen the Turkish identity here. It was the conditions of stalemate that eroded us. What other country in the world has a diaspora larger than the country's own population? Our people are working as small time tradesmen in England. These people will return. Many have already packed their bags. The most important factor that a settlement will gain for us is that the Turkish identity will take root on the island. Why should citizens of Cyprus sell their property to Greek Cypriots and leave when they are EU citizens? No Greek Cypriot can buy property until he or she has been living in the north for three years. There is a six-year moratorium. According to this logic the Turks will stay poor for 10 years and the Greek Cypriots will print money and buy up property. This is extremely illogical."

    On the issue of the referendum Mr Talat said:

    "It is not certain that the Turkish side is going to say yes but there is no going back on the referendum process. No turning back is possible. We shall get those assurances from the EU. The EU will give those assurances. It has to. This is why former Greek Cypriot chief prosecutor Markides said 115,000 Greek Cypriots would return. Those wanting a settlement emphasize those parts of the plan that are acceptable and present them. If the Greek Cypriots do not accept this it would be to their detriment, but the `TRNC´ also is not recognized. Nobody should harbor such dreams. It is a very slim possibility. I am telling the truth. The business is not about wanting or not wanting recognition. The UN Security Council ruled, "Do not recognize it." You cannot change its rulings easily. But, the Greek Cypriots will lose out in the EU. They will become the naughty child in the EU and will become politically isolated. The EU will bring pressure to bear on them. The embargo will be lifted."

    Finally, disclosing that Cyprus will continue to be held prisoner of the occupation army until Turkey achieves its EU aspiration, Mr Talat concluded:

    "Turkey will definitely get a date for accession talks from the EU. I have not been given any promises by the EU but I am saying this because of this: Turkey's circumstances will be evaluated when the agreement is put into effect. Which country would dare make a decision that would sever the agreement. According to the Annan Plan the Turkish army will withdraw over 15 months. This is open to negotiation but if you say 15 months then this is a period long enough for us to see whether or not Turkey will be given a date. The land that will be ceded to the Greek Cypriots will be operated by Turkish Cypriots for three years. The first return of property will not take place until the end of the fifth year at the earliest. If talks with Turkey do not start within this time the agreement will not be easy to implement."

    [03] Foreign Minister of Turkey: The EU now sees the "realities" in Cyprus very well

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.02.04) reported from Moscow that Mr Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, in a statement to reporters aboard the plane en route to Moscow remarked that those who are not aware of Turkey's capacity think that "when Turkey joins the EU, it will take a share of the cake, and the cake will be reduced." He said:

    "No. Turkey will naturally take a share of the cake, but the cake will grow. Turkey's economic power, its manpower, and its young population are all important advantages for the EU. Naturally, there is also the political advantage. Everyone knows very well how Turkey and the EU will become a strategic power. The EU now sees the realities in Cyprus very well. They take the realities on the island into consideration."

    Asked if Turkey was satisfied with Guenter Verheugen's, EU commissioner in charge of enlargement, statement on whether a possible settlement in Cyprus will be accepted as EU's Primary Law, Gul said:

    "This is a matter of goodwill. It shows that they have understood the issue. There are things that must be done, however, if the settlement is to gain legal status. They are working to this end. We believe it is essential for any settlement to be reached in Cyprus to become part of the EU Primary Law. If the agreement to be reached in Cyprus is pierced or changed within the framework of the EU law in a few years, it will be rendered meaningless. Everyone knows this, all the sides are aware of this. All the technical work is being done to guarantee this."

    [04] The Turkish generals are brainstorming over "what could happen" in Cyprus, a small EU member country the territory of which is occupied by the Turkish army since 1974

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (24.02.04) publishes the following report by Serpil Cevikcan under the title: "The brainstorming by the generals":

    "Yesterday afternoon [Monday, 23 February] an important meeting was realized at the General Staff headquarters where critical subjects were discussed. One of the interesting aspects of the meeting, which started at 2:00 p.m. and lasted for more than three hours, was the list of participants. The Chief of General Staff Gen Hilmi Ozkok presided at the meeting where the force commanders, the Gendarmerie General Commander and all of the generals on duty in Ankara attended. The National Security Council [NSC] General Secretary Gen Sukru Sariisik was also among the participants.

    Reliable sources described the character and objective of the meeting briefly as "brainstorming". The information reflected to the backstages showed that the General Staff discussed some internal and external developments with an analytical approach by seeking the answer to the question, "What could happen?"

    Subtitle: Great Middle East

    The reflections on the internal dynamics of Turkey of the diplomatic developments, the results that would be created on a regional and national basis of the Great Middle East Project of the United States and the probable function that the United States would have Turkey assume within the framework of this project were in the lead of the subjects discussed by the military at the meeting.

    The "presentation" prepared by the Strategy Department of the General Staff, Directorate of Plans and Principles was among the information reflected as a source for the evaluations.

    It was stated that in this presentation the NATO's new period duties and the determinations related to the developments and trends in the Middle East and the Caucasus, led by Cyprus, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Israel, were included.

    It is definite that the brainstorming included the developments on Cyprus. Cyprus and Iraq were the files in the first place on the agenda with the title of "external developments".

    [05] Mr Erdogan asked from Mr Verheugen to incorporate the Annan Plan into the EU Primary Law

    Istanbul NTV television (25.02.04) broadcast that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Guenter Verheugen, EU Commissioner in charge of enlargement. The Cyprus issue in particular was discussed during the conversation, which lasted approximately 20 minutes.

    Diplomatic sources noted that Erdogan expressed Turkey's sensitivities in connection with the Cyprus negotiations, recalling that the Annan plan should be incorporated into the EU Primary Law. The same sources explained that Verheugen, in turn, told the prime minister that legal experts are working to align the Annan plan with the EU acquis and the EU foreign ministers are ready to display all the necessary flexibility in this regard. Verheugen further noted that he will pay a visit to Turkey in March. The latest developments in Turkish-EU relations were also discussed during the Erdogan-Verheugen conversation.

    [06] The Cyprus Socialist Party has left the Peace and Democracy Movement

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (25.02.04) reports that the Cyprus Socialist Party (CSP) decided to leave the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM).

    According to a statement by the General Secretary of CSP, Mr Kazim Ongen, the party did not agree with the latest statements of the BDM leader Mustafa Akinci that the BDM "will be united until the 'elections'", instead of being united "until the solution", which was the philosophy of the BDM's founding. The CSP will explain further its decision during a press conference later today.

    [07] Statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas before the planned meeting on the fourth day for talks on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.02.04, at 11.00 hours) broadcast the following statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas:

    "'(The Annan Plan) says that 24 persons from each founding state wil be elected to the Senate, but because the Greek Cypriots will be having the right to elect and be elected in our state as well, we want this to be clarified. We want it to be clarified as 24 Turkish Cypriot and 24 Greek Cypriot senators. And we want in all parts of the Annan plan to be clearly specified that if two or five persons from the founding states are asked (to participate somewhere), these should be Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, because there are two peoples in Cyprus. We do not want these two peoples to be shadowed and mixed up. And there are some percentages in the Annan Plan. We want them to be reduced, because if they remain as they are, with time our founding state will not be a Turkish state and dangers are evident.

    Again in the Annan Plan we want changes on the issue of the properties. And because this is an issue taken up in the Annan Plan, discussing or making proposals on the changes we want here could not mean that we are outside of the plan.

    We said it yesterday as well, just like it has been in the 1960 agreements, we want the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots to exercise their right to vote in their own founding state irrespective of the place they live. This should be so in order for the existence of the two peoples in Cyprus to be protected. And we want this to be clarified as well.

    As I said, we want some percentages to be reduced to a more reasonable proportion. We want the Greek Cypriot people and the Turkish Cypriot people to exercise their founding or constituting rights and powers to establish and create the new formation. We want it to be clarified that there will not be an establishment that will be created all of a sudden, but it will be established with the authorities given by the two peoples, the two old partners. This has been left very unspecified in the Annan Plan and they were saying that 'this is a parthenogenesis'. If you like you can say this and if somebody else wants he says 'no, this is the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus'. Afterwards, that is after we agree, we shall quarrel over this. However, we want us to enter into an establishment without quarreling. Therefore, we want clarity. And because in the Annan Plan there is a provision for a new partnership between two peoples, in any case there is nothing in that to be offended with. The issue is how (the new establishment) will be established. If there are other changes that the Greek Cypriots want, we want to take a quick look page by page at the Annan Plan and restore them without wasting time. These are the things we want.

    The most important issue is the derogations. We definitely want the derogations to be permanent, at least a part of them and we want them to continue until Turkey becomes a member of the EU, but on the basic issues, on the issues that will be constituting the basis of the agreement, we want them to be incorporated in the basic law, the founding law of the EU and to remain unchanged (for ever). Because yesterday when we were discussing this we were face to face with a situation that everything could be changed if the Court of Human Rights does not accept it. If we accept this, it means that the rights, which seem to have been given to us, could be eliminated with a decision of a court in Europe or a decision taken in Europe. This will leave us with rights only on the paper and we shall be in a position more difficult than in 1960. This is a very vital issue and Turkey also gives it a lot of attention and importance and insists on it. Everybody says that we could reach nowhere without having distinct guarantees on this issue. Therefore, we must be patient on this issue and the Greek Cypriots should not raise objections against it. If they want a lasting and valid agreement with us, then they should not object very much. We shall see tomorrow against which issues they object and why they object. We shall evaluate these with cold blood and inform you".

    When asked to comment on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's statement about "news blackout", Denktas said:

    "Mr Erdogan has stated nothing about me. The day I undertook this duty, I began working by saying that I would inform the people every day about everything. Ankara knows this as well. Why? Because there is shortage of time. Our people have recently begun to understand what the Annan Plan will bring. When tomorrow the maps are brought into light they will fully understand it. Therefore, it is our most important duty and responsibility to tell our people every day what happened, what are the difficulties, what we achieved and what we were not able to achieve. This is our duty of conscience. I think that Mr Prime Minister has not made a statement because he wants to prevent this. If we begin to say lies and things which are not true about the negotiations, if we begin to make propaganda, then everybody will have the right to say to us 'what are you doing, why are you doing this'? We are saying the realities and nothing else. I repeat, because the time is limited and the people do not know that, for example, after this Annan Plan passes and we join the EU 24 out of our 26 banks will be closed down and thousands of our people will remain without a job. Is it not our right to ask for time, a transition period to be given to us for the economy, for all these? Is it not our people's right to be informed that we are facing this danger? Should these things not be known?

    According to the Annan Plan and if we are not able to change it, if we do not acquire an interim period, if we do not acquire special economic rights and protective measures, hundreds and thousands of people will be destroyed financially. We have a very strong position at the negotiations to prevent this. There are things we are trying to get. Otherwise, when we say that we have become a member of the EU on this or that date, tens of thousands of people, businessmen will close their workplace down and many people will remain unemployed. An interim period is needed to prevent this. These are the derogations. This is the agreement. We hope that the Greek Cypriots will see this situation. As a matter of fact, they are seeing the imbalance between the sides. This, is a situation created, to a great extend, because of the embargos. These embargos must be rabidly lifted.

    If there is good will and they want an agreement, they must stop the armaments. They must understand that calling the Turkish Cypriots 'our citizens' and inviting them to participate in elections before there is an agreement, is wrong. Both the Turkish people and our people should hear and know all these. And they should evaluate the future accordingly. I think what we are doing is a service to the people, to our cause and to peace".


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