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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-03-03

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 before the seventh meeting for a solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after the seventh day of talks.
  • [03] Rauf Denktas says that he does not believe in the Annan Plan, that he participates in the talks upon Turkey's request and that he will ask the people to say no at the referendum
  • [04] Statements by Erdogan on Cyprus on Kanal-7 program
  • [05] Statements by Gul after meeting Pat Cox and Talat
  • [06] Statements by Talat after meeting Gul in Ankara
  • [07] The leader of the main opposition in Turkey conveyed his views on Cyprus to the President of the European Parliament
  • [08] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister assesses the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [09] NUP will wage a struggle against the Annan Plan
  • [10] Opinion poll on the issues on Turkey's agenda including Cyprus

  • [11] Mr Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the current phase of the negotiations for Cyprus


    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before the seventh meeting for a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.03.04) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas and President Tassos Papadopoulos met again within the framework of their face-to-face talks today. Speaking to journalists prior to his departure for the talks, Mr Denktas strongly reacted to US State Department Special Coordinator Thomas Weston's statement that the side that says no in the referendum will pay a huge cost.

    Mr Denktas said: "I regretted reading his statement that the side that says no in the referendum will pay a huge cost. As far as the referendum is concerned, it constitutes a serious threat to our people and to the Greek Cypriots. It is a serious case of pressure, which is unacceptable. Our people will be aware of the realities when they vote in the referendum. No one has the right to interfere in that. Our duty is to inform them on the realities. The cost the Turkish Cypriots will pay if the Annan plan is accepted as it is will be in the form of destruction. It has been forgotten that the Turkish Cypriots paid huge costs until they reached this point. Let them visit our martyrs' cemeteries. Let them talk with our disabled veterans. Let them address our people who have been displaced three times during the past 40 years.

    The cost has been paid. The two sides paid the cost they had to pay. The Greek Cypriot side paid the cost of the war it waged to turn Cyprus into a Greek land. We regret to say that the Greek Cypriots should not have waged such a war. However, they waged a war and paid the cost of it. What was the cost they paid? The Turkish Cypriots, who were a founding partner, saved their independence and sovereignty.

    If a partnership is to be established by the two sides, then it must be established without pressure, threats, and interference. So, we regret to say that we take similar statements as unacceptable threats and pressure. No one can tolerate them".

    [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after the seventh day of talks.

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.03.04) broadcast live the statement made by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas at his press conference after returning to the occupied areas from the talks on a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    "Strengthening the principle of bizonality is a matter Turkey insists on. Bizonality must not remain only in words. Bizonality must provide for two separate sectors, which will be under the control of the two peoples. We found it necessary to discuss this issue again. In other words, we say that we will have a founding state. However, our people must realize that it will not be a state. A founding state that will not be able to establish anything. We want it to, at least, be tangible. We want the number of Greek Cypriots who will return to be reduced. We want them to return in accordance with a quota. As I explained yesterday, what is more important is the provision that says that each of the two founding states will elect 24 members to the Senate. Our state will be known as the Turkish Cypriot Founding State. However, a mixed group might be elected to the Senate in time. That is because; we will have to recognize political rights to the Greek Cypriots who will come to settle among us. That is a serious issue. It is a basic problem for us.

    The provision says that the members of the Senate, the High Court, and other similar establishments will be elected by the founding states. It does not say that they will be elected by the Turkish and Greek Cypriot states. However, the 1960 Agreement distinguished between Turkish and Greek Cypriots. No one at the time described it as a racist agreement. It was not. Now, however, we will be accused of adopting a racist approach if we refer to the two sides as Turkish and Greek Cypriot states. So, they object.

    We asked that a majority decision be sought on various issues. That existed in 1960. We need that to protect ourselves. We have to effectively participate in decisions to be made at the highest level. We want them not to remove that through mixed Turkish and Greek Cypriot groups.

    We want the agreement to include a provision that says that the upper state will be based on the two founding states or the two peoples. That is a basic issue because the upper state will be established in accordance with the agreement to be reached by the two peoples. We want that to be registered. We want that to be registered because an agreement was reached for a partnership in 1960. We had our own administration, which was known as Communal Assembly. It took care of our communal affairs. Meanwhile, we effectively participated in the joint government. We had a veto right. But, [the Greek Cypriots] pushed them aside. You have seen the situation that has existed during the past 40 years.

    So, we said that the two peoples should form the basis of the partnership state to be established. We said that a distinction must definitely be made between Turkish and Greek Cypriots on matters related to the Senate and other issues. That is because the rights we believed we had in 1960 were removed and we remained suspended in air for 40 years. We fear that similar developments might take place. We do not want that to happen. We do not want a similar problem to be created. If one of the founding states attacks the other, we do not want those who look at the developments from outside the island to think that the attacking state is the government of the victim. We have the right to ask for all that. We said that what we ask for will not harm the Greek Cypriots. The Annan plan says that the founding states will be established by the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides. We informed the Greek Cypriot side that the establishment of durable and indestructible states will inspire confidence in the people and consolidate peace within a short time. That will not harm the Greek Cypriot side. However, they rejected all that by saying that what we ask for is not included in the plan. They insist on their approach.

    We are adopting a constructive approach on the Greek Cypriot proposals, regardless of the fact that we objected to them when we read them for the first time. We will make counter proposals. We asked them again not to turn their back by saying that this or that cannot be accepted because it is outside the framework of the plan. I hope that they will comply with our request.

    Question: Have the Greek Cypriots ever adopted a positive approach on the Turkish side's proposals thus far?

    Answer: We have not seen such an approach thus far. I hope that they will adopt a positive stand.

    Question: You said that you are adopting a positive approach on the Greek Cypriot proposals, regardless of objecting to them when you read them for the first time. Can you comment?

    Answer: You will be surprised if I go into the details of the matter. No one will be interested. They are just details.

    Question: You said yesterday that the Greek Cypriot side submitted a comprehensive document on its proposals for amendments in the Annan plan. You said that you would study it.

    Answer: Yes, we have studied it. Apparently, it has been said that it is not a comprehensive agreement. It is just literature. It outlines very intricate views particularly on ownership and property and matters related to territory. They are very much outside the framework of the plan. We will inform you on them after we assess them with Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas when they return from Ankara.

    Question: Have you not expressed your opinion today?

    Answer: No, we did not discuss these issues today.

    Question: Have Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and Mr Serdar Denktas visited Ankara to assess the situation?

    Answer: I believe that the need arose to exchange views on various issues. That is why they left for Ankara. I will depart on Thursday. That is common knowledge.

    Question: Is the Greek Cypriot side's approach on ownership and property very much different from the Turkish side's approach?

    Answer: They have based everything on the maps included in the Annan plan. They express their opinion accordingly. They want the lands that will be returned to them in accordance with the plan to be quickly placed under UN control until they are vacated. However, we said that people should be moved when rehabilitation programs can be put into effect. We have not discussed all that with the Greek Cypriots. We cannot make our people uneasy before the problem of rehabilitation is solved. No one has the right to do that. We will maintain our control over those lands until rehabilitation programs can be put into effect. However, the Greek Cypriots want us to quickly place the areas to be returned to them under UN control. Mr Papadopoulos says that we might change our mind and that might cause a dispute. So he wants us to place those areas under UN control on the day we conclude an agreement. Furthermore, the Greek Cypriot side wants the areas to be returned to them to be under the control of a civilian administration that might even be at government level. From our point of view all that is rather unacceptable. We will discuss the matter. We have not yet reached the stage where we can do so.

    Question: Can you comment on the position held by the United Nations?

    Answer: I can describe the UN approach as follows. Everything cannot be outside the plan. Naturally, issues that are discussed and those that have to be amended are within the plan. I do not want to act as a judge or as an arbitrator on the matter. However, some of the proposals the Turkish side has made call for a significant change.

    That is an approach that is in favor of the two sides.

    Question: The Turkish side's proposals have been submitted?

    Answer: No, only a part of them.

    Question: Can it be said that the talks you held today focused only on bizonality?

    Answer: Unfortunately, we focused our attention only on that subject because, seriously speaking, bizonality might remain only on paper. A large number of Greek Cypriots might move to settle among us. We might lose our sovereign rights. The people of the two sectors, the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, might not establish the higher level. How can the higher level be established? Well, it can be established in accordance with the framework of the agreement. The Greek Cypriots comment on the matter in a way that suits them.

    That is why I want to reiterate that the talks are continuing. Naturally, recommendations are made to us and to the Greek Cypriots by diplomats and our motherlands. In view of that, we will maintain a calm approach and see how far we can proceed.

    Question: Will you take up the question of territory tomorrow?

    Answer: No, I have not said that we will take up the matter tomorrow. We have other things to discuss.

    Question: Will you hold talks with UN Deputy Secretary General Kieran Prendergast?

    Answer: Yes, we will meet.

    [03] Rauf Denktas says that he does not believe in the Annan Plan, that he participates in the talks upon Turkey's request and that he will ask the people to say no at the referendum

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (03.03.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that he does not believe in the Annan Plan, that he participates in the talks upon Turkey's request and that he will ask the Turkish Cypriots to say no at the referendum in case the amendments he wanted are not made.

    In statements on the "Akis" (reflection) programme of the illegal "Bayrak" television, Mr Denktas described himself as "a person who does not believe in the Annan Plan and knows how harmful it is".

    Mr Denktas noted that he participated in the Cyprus talks upon Turkey's request and supported that the Cyprus problem could not be solved until 1 May 2004. "I am amazed at those who are saying that this issue could be finished until 1 May", he said.

    Mr Denktas argued that the EU door would not close for the Turkish Cypriots in case a solution is not reached until 1 May. "All that is needed for us is to behave firmly", he added.

    Alleging that they were trying to solve the problem in good will together with Turkey, Mr Denktas claimed that because Turkey did not know, as he does, how difficult the problem is, it "promises everybody that this issue will end until 1 May". Mr Denktas supported that this would raise the expectations and will force the Turkish side to make great compromises.

    Noting that at the negotiating table he supported the indispensable conditions they had prepared with Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot leader said that at the table they "found a plan prepared by other people who will not be living in Cyprus" and that "there is great pressure in order for this plan to be negotiated".

    Mr Denktas alleged that the Greek Cypriot side should recognize the sovereignty of the Turkish side and the bi-zonality. He also expressed his satisfaction regarding the stance of Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and Serdar Denktas at the negotiating table, noting that the expectations that Mr Talat would say "black" to everything he said "white", have not been realized.

    Mr Denktas said that on Thursday he would explain the situation and the difficulties to Prime Minister Erdogan.

    The journalist who presented the programme asked Mr Denktas the following: "There are allegations that you have entered into this process without wanting to do it, that you have entered in order to lead the process to an unsuccessful result and that when you see that this could not be done you will withdraw. Is it true?"

    The Turkish Cypriot leader answered: "Let me say this openly. I am a person that does not accept the Annan Plan. I am a person that knows how harmful this plan is. I am not a person that would accept this plan in its present form. However, Turkey said to us in a sincere manner: 'You know our indispensable conditions. It is possible to add them into the Annan Plan. We have ensured support on this'. And we have entered into this process in order to do this duty and to see whether or not we could turn the Annan Plan into a plan that will not be oppressing our people, that it will be beneficial for our people, that it will bring an agreement in Cyprus and open the door of the European Union. .".

    [04] Statements by Erdogan on Cyprus on Kanal-7 program

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (02.03.04) broadcast that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that in the event the interests of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" [TRNC} are cast aside on the Cyprus issue, then the necessary stand will be adopted.

    Participating in a program broadcast on Kanal-7 Television, Erdogan expressed his views on various issues. Stressing that they want to find a solution to the problem in Cyprus by acting positively and constructively, Erdogan said that he will meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas on Thursday [4 March] and be briefed on the developments.

    "Thirty years have passed. We cannot leave this issue pending", said Mr Erdogan.

    In reply to the question, what will this give us in the long run, Mr Erdogan said: "That is what we should think. If we see that we will gain something in the long run, and if this [solution] will bring us that, then we cannot act negatively here. We cannot adopt a negative stand. We should act positively and constructively. We should reach a solution on this issue."

    [05] Statements by Gul after meeting Pat Cox and Talat

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (02.03.04) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, said that there is no question of suspending the ongoing talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides in Cyprus.

    Gul made a brief statement on the subject of meeting with Turkish Cypriot politicians after meeting with European Parliament President Pat Cox. He said: "It is very normal for us to meet during the course of such a critical process. This should not be misunderstood. Such meetings will be held frequently. Today, we will meet with Mr. Talat and Mr. Serdar Denktas, and tomorrow with Rauf Denktas".

    Gul did not refer to his upcoming meeting with Rauf Denktas, but it is being reported that the current stage of the negotiation process will be discussed, and this stems from a need to conduct mutual consultations.

    Ankara Anatolia (02.03.04) reported from Ankara that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, replying to questions of journalists after his meeting with Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and Mr Serdar Denktas said: "We did not discuss the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side at the meeting. We expect the Greek Cypriot side to be more frank and determined about finding a solution to the Cyprus issue. Turkey has been acting by targeting to find a solution to the Cyprus issue before May 1, 2004. We expect the Greek Cypriot side to display the same attitude.

    It is useless to accuse anyone. The most important thing is to find a solution before May 1. The best solution will be an agreement to be reached between the two sides in the island. If they fail to reach an agreement, Turkey and Greece will participate in the negotiation process. Everyone should be realistic. Also, the solution should take the realities of the island into consideration,'' he said.

    Asked whether the welcoming of Mr Denktas with a big convoy in Ankara on

    March 4 would create a problem, Gul said that Turkey is a democratic country and any uneasiness is out of question, stressing that everybody has the right to express his opinions under the laws. Gul added that the European Union was seeking for a method about the issue of derogations.

    [06] Statements by Talat after meeting Gul in Ankara

    Istanbul NTV television (02.03.04) broadcast statements made by the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, after his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara.

    Following is Mr Talat's introductory statement and his replies to questions.

    "We, as the Turkish Cypriot side, are exerting every possible effort to ensure that the issue is resolved within the time limit. We are acting constructively. Our aim is to reach a solution by May. We have received information that the Greek Cypriot side is thinking of postponing the solution of the problem to after becoming an official member of the EU. This is unacceptable for us. We, as the Turkish Cypriot side, as we have promised in New York, as we have promised in a unity of views, want to resolve the Cyprus issue by May 2004. We, as the Turkish Cypriot side, are especially aiming to reach a result through work to be conducted in Cyprus. We want to solve the issue in Cyprus. We do not want to leave much to the UN Secretary-General or to the meeting to be attended by Turkey and Greece, because ultimately, we are the ones who will be living in Cyprus. If we resolve our problem, then we believe that we can reach a more lasting solution. This is the reason why we are exerting serious efforts. We share the same views on the issue with Turkey. I would like to underline that point. We have no differences of views. We further clarified our line through serious work conducted today. We are conducting our work within a unity of views and in harmony.

    Question: People are wondering here. Mr. Denktas will be arriving in Ankara on Thursday [4 March]. Why did you feel the need to come two days prior to Denktas' arrival?

    Answer: Now we are the government. Ultimately, our negotiating delegation is working as a single unit. In other words, we are getting together prior to each meeting. We are making an assessment, and we are reaching a common point. We are preparing a paper. Then we are going to the negotiations with those papers. On our return we are making a similar assessment. The negotiations continued today in Cyprus. We conducted our work here today. Maybe, tomorrow the honourable president will come and we will continue our work in Cyprus. This is not because there are differences [of views]. We are doing this because we want to walk while we chew gum at the same time. There is no other reason.

    Question: Are you not conveying this unease to.

    Answer: We are conveying. We are conveying it at every meeting. They are also exerting efforts. They have already requested from the Greek Cypriot side to put forth their views as soon as possible. This is the reason why we received their views yesterday.

    Question: How do you view the document they presented? You said that they rejected your proposals in their entirety. Will the Turkish side reject their document in its entirety? Or will you adopt a different approach?

    Answer: No, look, we are not rejecting anything in its entirety. We are assessing every document in line with its seriousness and importance. We have not adopted a rejecting stand. Within this negotiation process there have even been instances where our alternative views on certain issues were accepted by the Greek Cypriots. Our constructive stand is continuing.

    Question: Can you give an example?

    Answer: Naturally, for example the cooperation agreement, the cooperation agreement between the EU and the constituent states. We generated various ideas following the views put forth by the Greek Cypriots. They were found worthy of an assessment, a committee was established, and the issue was assessed. Maybe a conclusion was reached today, I do not know.

    Question: What about the date of the referendum?

    Answer: As you know the date is 21. It can be moved by one day. This date cannot be brought too close to 1 May because the European Council has to take action by 1 May, and there are other additional issues to be concluded.

    [07] The leader of the main opposition in Turkey conveyed his views on Cyprus to the President of the European Parliament

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.03.04) reported from Ankara that Mr Deniz Baykal, the leader of the opposition Republican People's Party (RPP), has met with European Parliament President Pat Cox, who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey as the guest of Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc.

    Speaking after the meeting, Baykal said the Cyprus problem was also taken up at the meeting and added: "I drew the attention of Cox to our expectations from the EU about the Cyprus issue. As you know, if the negotiation process in the island results in an agreement, this agreement should be taken under guarantee towards the EU regulations. There is need for EU organs and even each EU member country to take decision on the validity of this agreement in their national assemblies. It requires great effort and time. I underlined the importance of this issue.''

    Baykal quoted Cox as saying that he considered it very important and that they would do the necessary studies on this issue.

    Stating that Cox asked them where Turkey's concern on the Cyprus problem stemmed from, Baykal said: "We said that we are expecting protection of bizonality, guarantees and making borders straight and we also said that we are expecting a result from the Cyprus negotiations that way. If those results are to come out, following developments will be more important. He noted those things.''

    [08] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister assesses the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (02.03.04) broadcast that Abdullatif Sener, state minister and deputy prime minister, has said that the negotiation process in Cyprus, when viewed as a whole, is positive. Replying to reporters' questions on the issue in Istanbul, Sener said that so long as the procedure is functioning in the Cyprus negotiations, then there is no problem.

    He said: "A negotiation process has been initiated. The fact that this process has started is important. The fact that the sides have come together is important. Certain impasses or different developments might occur. I have not been following them all. According to the statements issued by Mr. Denktas and the other officials who have been attending the negotiations, it seems that there are discussions on certain issues from time to time. The process and the procedure, however, are clear. This procedure is functioning. So long as this procedure functions, then there is no problem"

    [09] NUP will wage a struggle against the Annan Plan

    Turkish Cypriot local daily VOLKAN newspaper (03/03/04) reports under banner headlines: "Firm stance from the National Unity Party (NUP)" and claims that the NUP has decided to wage a tough struggle against the Annan plan. Within this framework, reports VOLKAN, the NUP has decided to withdraw all its representatives from the committees which will charter the new Constitution of the "artificial constituent state".

    In line with this decision, reports VOLKAN, the NUP has decided to withdraw its members at the so-called committee which is responsible to chart the constitution "of the artificial constituent state". The NUP members in this committee are Irsen Kucuk , Huseyin Ozgurgun and Ergun Serdaroglu. The paper further reports that Hasan Tacoy who is the NUP member of the Committee that will prepare harmonization laws has withdrawn from this committee as well.

    VOLKAN further reports that Irsen Kucuk member of the committee that will chart the constitution of the, as the paper brands it, "artificial constituent state" which left for Ankara for getting technical information, did not go to Ankara.

    The paper reports that NUP's decision has encouraged those people who want to wage struggle against the Annan plan. They claimed that with this action now their struggle will be more effective.

    [10] Opinion poll on the issues on Turkey's agenda including Cyprus

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (02.03.04) reports that a recent opinion poll commissioned by the Foundation for Social Economic Political Researches in Turkey (TUSES) has shown that the JDP [Justice and Development Party] would poll 56.81 percent while the RPP [Republican People's Party] would get 12.35 of the votes if an election were held today. The results of the survey also show that people regard unemployment as the most serious problem, but are generally optimistic about inflationary trends and economic growth.

    The survey has also revealed increased trust in politicians and political parties. Seventy percent of the respondents said that they were in favor of joining the EU. The proponents and opponents of headscarf are equally divided, which was the most interesting finding of the poll.

    TUSES commissioned the fifth of its opinion polls entitled "Survey on Ethnic/Religious Identities and Political Orientations of Supporters and Voters of Political Parties in Turkey," which followed four surveys conducted after 1994, ahead of the local elections scheduled for 28 March. A total of 1,806 respondents were interviewed face to face between 22 December 2003 and 7 January 2004 and its results were made public by TUSES President Burhan Senatalar and Sezgin Tuzun, the chairman of Veri Arastirma, the company that conducted the poll. The results of the survey are as follows:

    Unemployment is the number-one issue

    -Unemployment is the most important problem assuming a gradually increasing gravity.

    -Inflation ranks first among the problems with steadily declining importance with 34.6 percent. It is followed by terror and security with 2.4 percent, and the running of the country with 1.3 percent.

    -Sixty-three percent of the people responding to questions shared the view that the quality of governance of the country improved in the past one year while 64 percent of the respondents expressed pessimistic views in terms of prospects for the national economy.

    -According to 70 percent of the respondents, the economic situation will further improve next year and 64 percent of them said that the social/political situation will continue to ameliorate during the same period.

    Undeserved income

    -Capitalists are atop the list of people in Turkey, earning substantial income that, the respondents believe, they do not deserve. Politicians and the Mafia are other groups included in this list.

    According to 36.3 percent of the respondents, capitalists earn undeserved income while 31.3 percent said that politicians were doing the same as compared with 59.7 percent in 2002. A part of the respondents, representing 22.8 percent of the total, share the opinion that income earned by the Mafia is illegitimate.

    -Sixty-eight point nine percent of the respondents said that they would not want to live in a country ruled according to sharia as opposed to 11.4 percent

    -Sixty-one percent of the JDP's constituency oppose a pro-sharia rule whereas 15 percent are in favor. Only one percent of the RPP's supporters want to live under a pro-sharia regime.

    -Sixty-four percent of the people, who were interviewed in the poll, said that female MPs should be allowed to wear headscarf in the National Assembly. Other figures showing a breakdown of the respondents, who are in favor of permitting different categories of women to wear headscarf, are as follows: female judges in courtrooms: 65 percent; female scholars in universities: 67 percent; female civil servants at government offices: 68 percent; female doctors in hospitals: 70 percent, and female students in universities: 71 percent.

    -Eighty-two percent of the respondents said that they were supporting a political party while 61 percent shared the view that existing problems would eventually be resolved by political parties, up from 45 percent recorded in a poll conducted in 1998.

    -According to the results of the survey, the JDP is the only party in which more than half of its supporters place their confidence. Seventy-seven percent of the JDP's constituency trust their party.

    -The percentage of the respondents inclined to vote for one of the opposition parties fell from 2002's 49.9 percent to 28.5 percent. Similarly, support for the sole opposition party controlling seats in the National Assembly fell to 12 percent for the first time since 1994.

    -If elections were held today, votes would be distributed among the parties as follows (the figures include undecided voters and those who declined to respond or only said that they would vote for the party they support): JDP: 56.81 percent; RPP: 12.35 percent; Nationalist Action Party: 3.93 percent; True Path Party: 3.38 percent; Young Party: 3.46 percent; Democratic People's Party: 2.55 percent.

    -Ninety-three percent of the respondents, who supported the JDP in the general election in 2002, said that they would vote for the same party in the forthcoming election while the corresponding figure among the RPP 's supporters remained at 73 percent.

    -According to the results, 56 percent of the respondents will make their decision in the local elections depending on the identity of candidates while the political party they support will be more important than its candidates for 17 percent. Twenty-six percent of the persons interviewed said they would take both the identity of the candidates and political parties into account while casting their votes.

    -Fifty-six percent of the respondents believe that candidates nominated by the ruling party should be preferred.

    -Sixty-seven percent of the voters oppose the idea to authorize local governments to run schools and 68 percent believe that health care services should not be provided by local governments.

    -Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said that they were in favor of accession to the EU while 15 percent believe that Turkey should not join the Union.

    -According to 35 percent of the respondents, Turkey should pursue a foreign policy aimed at cementing ties with the EU as opposed to 11 percent, who said that there should be closer cooperation with the United States.

    There are no friends and the United States is dangerous

    -Forty-seven percent of the respondents believe that Turkey actually has no allies.

    -From the viewpoint of 52.6 percent of the respondents, the United States constitutes a danger for the rest of the world.

    -The US military intervention in Iraq was unjustified according to 86 percent of the people interviewed while 79 percent said that they were pleased with the Turkish government's decision not to send troops into Iraq.

    Opinions on Cyprus

    -Fifty-one point one percent of the interviewees expressed their views about the Cyprus question while 49.9 percent declined to comment.

    -The Cyprus question was regarded as a "territorial dispute between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots" by 12.8 percent of the respondents and 12.5 percent described it as a "campaign designed to sever Turkey's ties with Cyprus." According to 19.1 percent, a settlement can be reached if both sides respect each other.


    [11] Mr Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the current phase of the negotiations for Cyprus

    Under the title "When will Denktas start an argument?", Turkish Daily News (03.03.04) publishes the following article by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "Ankara is watching the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas's attitude with great interest and uncertainty. The question asked is this: When will Denktas start an argument? Everybody knows Denktas is against a solution based on the Annan plan. He doesn't hide what he thinks. Of course, the number of those who ask, "Why did he then approve the New York agreement," is constantly increasing.

    Those involved in the decision-making process in Ankara (from the government to the Office of Chief of Staff and the relevant portions of the bureaucracy) are divided in the middle.

    One section (especially the military and the Office of Presidency) want the agreement to be signed by Denktas. They believe, this way, everything will become easier and there will be no arguments.

    The other portion believes Denktas's absence won't cause too much trouble. They even claim that the resignation of the Turkish Cypriot leader would make the process smoother.

    The government also want Denktas on board, but they don't think he is vital. "He can continue as long as he wants and afterwards we'll wait and see," they say. However, everyone is wondering about Denktas's game-plan. When will he turn his back? When will he start an argument?

    Those who are watching the negotiations in Cyprus closely from Ankara don't expect Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Tasos Papadopoulos to reach an agreement. Public statements from the leaders make the situation obvious. They are just wasting time.

    What will happen later?

    Twenty days from now, a four-way meeting between the sides on Cyprus, Turkey and Greece will start. Turkey and Greece will be represented at least at the foreign minister level. However, no one expects too much from these meetings.

    Ankara is ready, but most think that Athens, even after the national elections, will not be willing to sign such a document.

    It looks hard for Greece to cooperate with Turkey in trying to convince Papadopoulos and Greek Cypriots to accept an agreement.

    Then, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan comes in and fills in the blanks. Annan is ready to do exactly that. No one doubts his commitment.

    He will decide on all of the unresolved issues, even the national flag and the anthem. He will need to consult with no one.

    According to the information coming from the U.N., Washington and Brussels are both committed to end the affairs this time around. Under these conditions, Annan, with the support he is getting from both the U.S. and the EU, will fill in the blanks.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas is expected to rally support through activities like the one he is holding tomorrow at Ankara's Trade Association.

    According to Ankara's theory, Denktas will resign as the referenda approach and will launch a strong anti-agreement attack. Information received says that Denktas believes this process can only be stopped at the ballot box. People are under the impression that Denktas believes a "No" vote from the referenda is a great possibility.

    However, some people in Ankara still believe Denktas will not launch a strong attack and will not oppose the agreement.

    It is known that Denktas is organizing his supporters in Turkey and on the island. Irrespective of these moves, many believe Denktas will first see the general air in Ankara before lunching an attack.

    In other words, the current thinking is that the real arguments will start during the referenda process.

    The government is comfortable with this. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, noting the Cyprus process was settled in New York and that the solution will be resolved after the meeting with Annan, are very self-confident. They openly say that they are committed to resolving the issue.

    In conclusion, it is obvious that there is nothing interesting to look forward to in the Cyprus negotiations."

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