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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-03-17

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] The Turkish Cypriot leader anticipates the failure of the next stage of the talks for a solution to the problems created by the Turkish invasion.
  • [02] Ercin says the Turkish Cypriots are in screening process with the EU.
  • [03] Talat stated that the referendum result will be marginal and that it is dangerous if Denktas abandons the negotiation table.
  • [04] ORTAM newspaper writes that two so-called officials of the occupation regime work against the UN Plan and support the 'no' to referendum campaign.
  • [05] Talat: "There is no map on the table for the time being".
  • [06] Turkey seems determined to examine every way of limiting the human rights of the Greek Cypriots even after its occupation of Cyprus comes to an end.
  • [07] New military controversy sparked.

  • [08] Commentary in Turkish Daily News assesses the chances for the permanent deprivation of the human rights of the Greek Cypriots through a UN Security Council resolution.


    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader anticipates the failure of the next stage of the talks for a solution to the problems created by the Turkish invasion

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.03.04) broadcast that speaking at a reception, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, assessed the point reached in the talks. He said that an effort is made to bring up the question of ownership and property when lack of trust and wounds inflicted in the past continue to exist between the two sides in Cyprus. He also said that an inclination exists for the replacement of the Turkish military units with UN troops.

    He said: "The Greek Cypriot side has rejected almost all our proposals. Statements are made for propaganda purposes to inspire an artificial hope in our people -- statements such as: Let the committee solve matters related to the joint flag and let this or that committee seem to solve a few issues. No one can touch our flags. The committees are working. They are placing the points on which we fail to agree within parentheses and transferring them to be taken up at political level in the future. However, they [UN officials] might not bring them up at political level. We believe that they might plan to leave them for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's arbitration.

    If we cannot agree with the Greek Cypriots and if a precipice exists between us, then we do not believe that it would be right for foreign circles to propose a middle way that would cause a dispute between the two peoples who would take to the streets particularly on the problem of ownership and property. We want durable peace, which our people deserve to have. That can be achieved through the continuation of Turkey's guarantee, initiatives to strengthen bizonality, and formulas that might displace only a few of our people, not all of our community. We worked on all that for a long time. However, I cannot say that we have reached a point in our endeavor. So, the indirect talks have begun. We held indirect talks yesterday. We discussed the reasons for our failure to reach an agreement once again. We outlined our views. Mr Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary-General's special envoy to Cyprus, departed after our meeting. We have not yet been informed on whether we should meet again today."

    Mr Denktas further said that the talks he had with Alvaro de Soto focused on the reasons for the failure of the two sides to reach an agreement and noted: "Everything has been prepared for the four-party conference." Stressing that he would make an assessment to the people on 22 March, Mr Denktas added: "We will disclose the realities when the time comes."

    Referring to the referendum, Mr Denktas said that he trusts the people and reiterated that he has received hundreds of messages from motherland Turkey supporting his approach. Accusing Greece of maintaining an insincere approach, Denktas urged the new Greek Government to agree to Turkey and Greece acting as guarantors of Cyprus again and to support the two `peoples´ on the island in a new partnership."

    Mr Denktas later replied to journalists' questions. Asked to comment on Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis' decision not to participate in the four-party talks, he said that Greece, considering the failure of the talks that have been held thus far, has realized that the four-party talks will not yield a result. Denktas noted that Greece might have decided against sending Karamanlis to attend the meeting that will be unsuccessful in order not to weaken him. Replying to a question as to whether or not he will participate in the four-party talks, Denktas said: "I have made a decision, which I will disclose when the time comes."

    Question: The draft constitution was drawn up for the constituent state. Can you comment?

    Answer: A constituent component state does not exist at the present time. We have to reach an agreement on basic issues before such a state can be established. I neither have the right nor the authority to draw up the constitution of what is said to be a component state, which actually seems to be more like a province. Furthermore, nor does a committee have a right to draw up such a constitution. The `Republican Assembly´ can instruct one of its committees to draw up a draft constitution. The document must, at least, be debated by the `Republican Assembly´ even if it is not endorsed. We would then be authorized to take action. That is a historic responsibility. A constitutional procedure exists in the `TRNC´ for the drawing up of a constitution. The procedure must be heeded. Otherwise, asking me to submit a draft constitution to the Greek Cypriot side would be wrong.

    Mr Rauf Denktas confirmed a report published by the Greek Cypriot daily O PHILELEFTHEROS on Alvaro de Soto's talks with the two sides. He said that Alvaro de Soto did not submit a document and noted that he had notes on the agenda items, such as the derogations. Regarding territorial concessions, Denktas said that the necessary funds must definitely be found and a plan must definitely be drawn up for that purpose.

    Referring to the work of the joint committees, Denktas said that the Greek Cypriots try to play ticks on financial issues by arguing that they are technical issues and recalled that the structure to be established will be a partnership state, concludes illegal Bayrak.

    [02] Ercin says the Turkish Cypriots are in screening process with the EU

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.03.04) reports that Mr Erhan Ercin, the Turkish Cypriot coordinator for the harmonization with the EU has said that at the moment the Turkish Cypriot committees are in the process of "screening" with the Union and are working on draft-laws which would harmonize the "laws" of the pseudostate with the acquis communautaire.

    In statements to KIBRIS, Mr Ercin noted that within this week the committees will discuss the issues of agriculture, and afterwards the policy in the fields of justice, internal affairs, health, protection of the consumer, fisheries, energy and transport, taxation, labour and social insurances and information.

    Mr Ercin said that in case a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached, the EU would provide the Turkish Cypriots with the financial aid of 259 million euros within the period 2004-2006 and added that the necessary mechanisms for the effective use of this money should be formed. Otherwise, he pointed out, the aid would not be used in the right fields.

    Mr Ercin said that the implementation of the acquis communautaire would not begin on 1 May in northern Cyprus, even in the case of a solution, and noted that a transitional period of three years is provided for this.

    Noting that until 29 March they would have passed from the screening process more than half of the EU law, Mr Ercin expressed the opinion that this work would be useful for improving the standard of living of the Turkish Cypriots, even in case a solution to the Cyprus problem is not reached.

    Mr Ercin said that a "common position" document with the important issues for both the Turkish Cypriots and the EU would be prepared and added that the substantial work would begin from now on. He added that they work together with the Greek Cypriot side and that they conduct useful discussions.

    [03] Talat stated that the referendum result will be marginal and that it is dangerous if Denktas abandons the negotiation table

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (17.03.04) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mr Mehmet Ali Talat made statements regarding the procedure of the Cyprus talks and said that his prediction is that the referendum results will be marginal. In addition he said that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas has no right to leave the Cyprus talks because this will be "harmful and dangerous".

    Mr Talat stated that he does not expect that basic changes will be made to the Annan Plan and added that Turkey´s position regarding the referendum will play a major role. He also said that at this point, when the negotiation procedure is continuing, it is not useful to have a 'no' or 'yes' campaign as regards the referendum, because as he said: "This weakens the position of the Turkish Cypriot side". Mr Talat stated that some circles started a 'no' campaign and stressed that this shows a lack of sincerity as regards the efforts towards finding a solution. He added that personally he does not make a 'yes' campaign but he stresses the necessity of the solution and there is no doubt about this.

    Mr Talat further stated that the most negative issue regarding the Cyprus talks so far was the non submission of the constitution of the Turkish Cypriot component state to the United Nations. He said that it was necessary for the draft version of the constitution to be submitted so that an evaluation to take place and added that it is the Turkish Cypriots who will decide positively or negatively regarding this constitution in the end.

    The leader of the RTP also said that he was not approached so far as regards the four party meeting and stressed that the success of the summit depends on the level of participation.

    Finally regarding the Ankara Summit, planned for next weekend, he said that it is not definite yet because there was neither an invitation nor information regarding it.

    [04] ORTAM newspaper writes that two so-called officials of the occupation regime work against the UN Plan and support the 'no' to referendum campaign

    Turkish Cypriot ORTAM newspaper (17.03.04) under the title "Is the 'government' sleeping?" writes that Mr Ahmet Zeki Bulunc, so-called ambassador of the pseudostate in Ankara and Mr Osman Ertug so-called representative of the pseudostate to Washington work against the UN Plan and support the 'no' to the referendum campaign. The paper wonders what the pseudogovernment will do regarding this issue since these two persons are supposed to act in the name of the occupation regime while they behave as Denktas' ambassadors.

    As the paper writes, Mr Ahmet Zeki Bulunc has said the Annan plan aims to put an end to the Turkish existence in Cyprus. Speaking at a panel discussion on `National Unity and Cyprus`, in Turkey, Mr Bulunc said the plan had been designed around the basis that the Republic of Cyprus still exists, something, which he said was "unacceptable". He added that an important drawback of the document was that it would bring an international peace force as a replacement of Turkey's guarantees in the island. He added that the Annan plan would leave the Turkish Army no role at the island at all.

    In addition, Mr Osman Ertug in a letter he sent to the Washington Times Newspaper stated that the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots who live in the island are enemies. Mr Ertug wrote the letter to reply to an article by Andrew Borowiec which was published earlier in the newspaper. Mr Ertug wrote in his letter that although the article calls Turkey an "occupation force" and the Turkish Cypriots "minority", it was objective and comprehensive" since he also wrote that the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' was only recognised by Turkey, while he referred to Rauf Denktas as the 'President'.

    Contrary to the above, as ORTAM writes, the organisation "Common Vision" and the Platform "This Country is ours" called on the Turkish Cypriots for struggle in favour of "solution, EU and peace". The two organisations have placed placards in crossroads in occupied Nicosia and other occupied villages, in which it was written "You cannot prevent peace in Cyprus". They also distributed leaflets with their positions.

    [05] Talat: "There is no map on the table for the time being"

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (17.03.04) publishes an exclusive interview with the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mr Mehmet Ali Talat who said that there is no map at the negotiation table for the time being.

    Asked about speculations that a new map was placed on the negotiation table, Mr Talat stated that this is not true and no map of any kind was presented at the talks' table. Asked if a map is on the agenda and if any preparations are made regarding this issue from Turkey's part as well, Mr Talat stated that the map issue is certainly on the agenda and that preparations have been done as regards this. He said that the United Nations asked from the two parties to present a map, but, as he stressed, this is a sensitive issue and therefore it will come into the agenda in the last days of the negotiations.

    "A map will definitely be presented, but the alternatives will be elaborated until the last minute. However, until now there is no a common map. It has not been brought to the table, neither from our side, nor from the Greek Cypriot side, nor from the guarantor countries, nor from the United Nations, I can very clearly say this", Mr Talat stated.

    [06] Turkey seems determined to examine every way of limiting the human rights of the Greek Cypriots even after its occupation of Cyprus comes to an end

    Turkish Daily News (17.03.04) publishes the following report:

    "The provisions of a settlement on the divided island of Cyprus may be subject to legal challenges in the future on the basis of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, in addition to the treaties forming the primary law of the European Union, if these provisions are not incorporated into this agreement as well.

    Currently 15 EU countries and three other states, namely Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, are members of the EEA and the group will expand to include 10 new EU countries, including Cyprus, on May 1.

    U.N.-brokered reunification talks are continuing between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides of the island with the aim of reaching a settlement before Cyprus joins the EU on May 1.

    The Turkish side insists that provisions of the Foundation Agreement of the United Cyprus Republic which would emerge from ongoing talks on the basis of the Annan plan and a referendum in late April be part of the EU's primary law, which comprises the Treaty on the European Union, the Treaty Establishing the European Community and the European Convention on Human Rights. In this way, certain provisions of the Foundation Agreement that are contrary to the EU primary law, known as derogations, will be saved from being challenged through legal action in the future on the basis of any of the agreements that form the primary law.

    But observers note that the EEA Agreement would be another legal ground on which to challenge the terms of the Cyprus settlement in the post-May 1 era if these terms are not incorporated into the EEA Agreement as well.

    Aimed at creating a homogenous European economic zone, the EEA Agreement commits the signatory countries to maintain free movement of goods, persons and capital, principles similar to those that are enshrined in treaties forming the primary law of the EU and which are difficult to maintain under a Cyprus deal.

    But incorporation into the EEA Agreement would require negotiations with EEA members, which include, in addition to EU members, non-EU countries Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

    So far, none of these countries has been contacted for such a negotiation, sources told the Turkish Daily News. In the recent past, Liechtenstein has blocked accession of the EU to include 10 new members for three months, because of a property dispute with one of the new entrants.

    Given the lack of incorporation into the EEA Agreement, an applicant from an EU country could challenge provisions of the Cyprus settlement that are not in line with this agreement at the European Court of Human Rights, while applicants from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein would go to the EFTA court.

    The issue of legal guarantees for the Cyprus derogations came to be a highly complicated issue between Turkey and the EU, whose resolution apparently requires a magic formula. In response to Turkish insistence that the Cyprus settlement be part of the EU primary law, EU officials say this is not a practical option because of time pressures.

    The ideal solution would have been the case in which Cyprus' Treaty of Accession into the EU includes provisions of the Cyprus settlement, but this option is no longer available because the Accession Treaty has already been ratified in the parliaments of all EU countries.

    The Aaland Islands of Finland and the Canary Islands of Spain enjoy similar exemptions from EU law because these exemptions were part of Finland and Spain's accession treaties.

    The Turkish side's proposal requires ratification of the accession treaty in each and every parliaments of the EU member countries, a process that the EU says will not be completed for at least two-and-a-half years and will be full of many unforeseen difficulties, which makes it virtually impossible to accomplish under the tight May 1 timetable.

    Such a legal guarantee of exemption from EU law is critical because otherwise some points of the Cyprus agreement may be challenged through legal action in the future.

    One such exemption, or derogation, for instance, could be a limitation on the number of Greek Cypriots who could return to the Turkish north following an agreement. Any such limitation would be against the EU principle of freedom of movement and could be subject to a future legal action, thus jeopardizing the entire settlement.

    And the option that the EU appears to be suggesting, which falls short of inclusion of the derogations in EU primary law, is seen insufficient as a legal guarantee by the Turkish side.

    If the Turkish and EU sides agree to pursue a solution outside the EU framework, which appears to be offering no plausible formula, the way out of deadlock may rapidly become apparent, and a resolution by the U.N. Security Council attributed to Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which deals with threats to international security, could provide an express solution with respect to both the primary law and the EEA Agreement.

    Article 25 of the U.N. Charter commits all members of the United Nations to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council, and according to Article 103 of the same charter, obligations of the member countries under the U.N. Charter shall prevail over "their obligations under any other international agreement" in the event of a conflict between the two.

    Hence, the following sentence in a U.N. Security Council resolution attributed to Chapter VII would prevail over other obligations stemming from any international agreement, including the EU's primary law and the EEA Agreement, and thus open up a way out of the derogations deadlock between Brussels and Ankara:

    "The Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, decides that in the event of a conflict between the provisions of the Foundation Agreement of the United Cyprus Republic and the obligations of the United Cyprus Republic under any international agreement other than the Charter of the United Nations, including the Treaty on the European Union, the Treaty Establishing the European Community, the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Economic Area Agreement, the provisions of the Foundation Agreement shall prevail."

    [07] New military controversy sparked

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (17.03.04) publishes the following report:

    "A branch of the Gendarmerie recently issued an order requiring its ranks to read the anti-Western Yeni Hayat (New Life) magazine, stated Cuneyt Ulsever yesterday in his column in daily HURRIYET.

    The Gendarmerie's Procurement Central Command sent a directive to the No. 1 Inspection Commission on January 8, 2004 ordering that members of the Gendarmerie read the magazine, known to be anti-European Union and anti-United States. Numerous copies of the publication were also sent to the commission to be distributed and read by the soldiers.

    Included in the magazine's contents were such topics as "The target is first to eliminate Turks in Cyprus and then in Turkey; Cyprus joining the EU is against the law; and what the United States is and is not," according to the newspaper report.

    Ulsever went further and asked the Gendarmerie General Command whether its Procurement Central Command has the legal power to issue a written order for solders to read such magazines and whether or not such traditions exist in the command.

    Although Ulsever agreed that private magazine publishers can write on any issue they want, he asked the Gendarmerie Command why it had chosen a magazine that opposes the official policy of the government, the National Security Council (NSC) and the chief of general staff. Ulsever concluded by asking the Gendarmerie Command whether it was aware of the issuance of the order.

    At a time when Turkey is pushing hard to join the EU and is in efforts to fully implement the democratic reforms its Parliament has passed, the appearance of such news reports in papers continue to shock many circles in Turkey.

    The Turkish military's secret operation of "listing certain people" who carry out "divisive and destructive activities" in Turkey was the event of last week. The initiative by the Turkish military to monitor and collect intelligence on a multitude of minorities and groups attracted huge criticisms at a time when Turkey is engaged in efforts to harmonize with the EU criteria.

    The Justice and Development Party (JDP) government avoids getting into controversies with the secular establishment, which has serious concerns over the Islamic roots of the party. Analysts cite this as the reason of government's remaining silent on the issue.

    The secular establishment, which the JDP is trying to convince that it has no secret agenda to change Turkey's regime, also has a critical stance on the recent EU-inspired democratic reforms undertaken by the JDP government. These democratic reforms include some curbs on the political power of the military in Turkey, as well. The chief of general staff clarified the listing controversies yesterday. The chief of general staff stated that the issue known as listing of high society by the public has been diverted from its aim and that no one has been listed so far.

    The chief of general staff also stated that such an order of listing certain people has not been given to any military center and that people should remain in harmony and peace. The chief of general staff further stressed that this issue is considered as an interior issue of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and that further investigations have been carried out to finalize the issue."


    [08] Commentary in Turkish Daily News assesses the chances for the permanent deprivation of the human rights of the Greek Cypriots through a UN Security Council resolution

    Turkish Daily News (17.03.04) publishes a commentary by Ilnur Cevik under the title "The UN holds many keys on Cyprus". Mr Cevik examines the possibilities of the UN, through its Security Council, imposing on the EU changes to its whole structure of legislation and principles in order for Turkey to be able to continue its violation of the human rights of the Greek Cypriots for ever.

    For 30 years Turkey threw into the trash can numerous repeated decisions of the UN Security Council calling for the immediate withdrawal of its occupation forces from Cyprus, but now it wants the UN as a tool to perpetuate the military occupation of a small defenceless island member of the EU.

    The commentary is as follows:

    "The United Nations has been involved in trying to solve the Cyprus problem for decades. The U.N. Security Council is charged with closely monitoring the situation on the island and helping to find a solution. Up until now, other than renewing the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force, the world body has hardly been successful in taking positive steps in Cyprus.

    Yet, we feel a golden opportunity has now arisen for the United Nations to prove itself. There are two sensitive issues that the U.N. Security Council could well take up and present the key to the sides on Cyprus for solving the current impasse.

    One is the problem of derogations. It is clear that once a solution on Cyprus is reached, the provisions of the deal have to be integrated into the basic laws of the European Union. If this is not done, people could challenge them in European courts, and some very awkward rulings and results could arise. Some of the safeguards embedded in the provisions could well be challenged by European citizens in court and could go into the trash can, thus hurting the Turkish Cypriots and voiding some of their gains. So to avert all this, the provisions of the agreement have to become a part of EU law, and that means they must be ratified by the respective parliaments of the member states.

    The derogations, or exemptions, have to be part of EU law. But there seems to be a way out that could be to the satisfaction of all those involved.

    Experts tell us that if the U.N. Security Council passes a resolution approving the Cyprus solution and saying that its decision will prevail against all other agreements and treaties, then all the avenues for legal action by EU citizens challenging the Cyprus deal will be blocked. Isn't this a golden opportunity for the United Nations to demonstrate its clout?

    In addition to this, there is the issue of the referenda in Cyprus in which a solution will be presented to the Turkish Cypriots and the Greeks for approval. The Cypriot sides should not be given any chance to sabotage the referenda process. Here again the U.N. Security Council could pass a resolution stressing that any side that goes back on its word of holding a referendum will face international sanctions.

    All this is easier said than done. While the United States, Britain and France support a solution on Cyprus, the positions of Russia and China remain vague. At least the Russians seem to be encouraging the Greek Cypriots to stall the current process. Whether or not they would approve any U.N. resolution allowing a solution on Cyprus remains to be seen.

    Despite the obstacles, we still feel the world body has a good opportunity to prove itself and make a real impact on the peace process in Cyprus. It should rise to the occasion and shoulder its historical responsibilities."


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