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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-04-05

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.63/04 03-04-05.04.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas says he opposes the Annan Plan and stresses that there is no schism between him and the Turkish government.
  • [02] Talat criticised Rauf Denktas for asking the so-called Attorney General's opinion on the referendum issue.
  • [03] The Turkish Cypriot Parties will decide as regards the position they will hold on the referendum.
  • [04] Denktas´ adviser Soysal describes Annan Plan as 'Terrifying Fiasco'.
  • [05] Arinc says participation of Denktas and Talat in the Turkish Assembly session is against statutes.
  • [06] Opinions of the Turkish commanders as regards the Annan plan and the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.
  • [07] Talat says a list with 45 thousand settlers is being prepared to be submitted to the UN.
  • [08] Turkish Foreign Minister assesses the Annan settlement plan: "We are in the island forever".
  • [09] Ankara's two-stage Formula.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] A research poll shows that 47% will say "yes" and 43% will say "no" to the referendum in occupied Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas says he opposes the Annan Plan and stresses that there is no schism between him and the Turkish government

    Illegal Bayrak television station (03.04.04) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, commented on the Annan plan and the referendum.

    Indicating that there will be a struggle of ideas during the referendum process, Mr Rauf Denktas called on all to act in a civilized manner and not to spoil for a fight.

    Mr Rauf Denktas said that the amendments demanded for the first Annan plan are still valid for its revised final version, adding: "My views are the same. This plan is unacceptable in its present form".

    Noting that the Switzerland talks were a diplomatic success in the sense that Turkey demonstrated its resolve to tackle the problem in the face of Greece's withdrawal from and Greek Cypriots' rejection of the peace process, Denktas said: "But what purpose are you going to use this success for? If you are going to use it to ensure the endorsement of the plan and secure a `yes´ vote at the referendum, then this is not a success for us, as we have a different opinion of this plan and ponder it in terms of sovereignty, in terms of whether the derogations are lasting or temporary and whether the Turkish troops will stay on the island or not."

    Denktas declared that the Annan plan makes no provision for the equal sovereignty they wanted, has diluted the bizonality, and lacks protective measures and a resettlement program for the would-be displaced.

    In reply to a question, Mr Denktas said that no referendum will be held if the guarantor countries do not give the pledges sought by UN Secretary-General Annan by 9 April.

    Mr Denktas declared that in view of the negative aspects in the Annan plan he will say `no´ to the plan and will explain to the people why he is saying `no´. Pointing out that he has taken an oath to protect the "state" and its "sovereignty" and is tasked with the responsibility of guiding the Turkish Cypriots, Denktas said that he is not under obligation to advise the Turkish Cypriots to accept the Annan plan.

    When reminded that the so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat has asked him to remain neutral during the referendum process, Denktas said that he is obliged to explain to the Turkish Cypriots his considered opinion on the Annan plan. He added: "I am not under any obligation to tell the people to accept a plan that relegates us to the past by creating confusion over the property issue, by eliminating the guarantees over a period of time, and by recognizing limited derogations and thus nullifying our protective measures."

    In reply to another question, Mr Denktas said that there is no schism between him and the Turkish government, only that the Turkish government's outlook on the issue is a bit different from his, adding: "The Turkish Cypriots have reached the stage of determining their own fate and they would like to see their motherland standing behind them."

    Noting that Turkey may need the parliamentary mandate to attest its signature to the plan, Mr Denktas said: "Because I do not know the Turkish laws, I cannot say for sure whether or not they can sign, without authorization from the parliament, any agreement that would change the 1960 treaties and abolish a state which Turkey has pledged to recognize, and has indeed recognized for so many years, and for the salvation of which it has sacrificed martyrs."

    Replying to another question, Mr Denktas said that if he receives a formal invitation to address the Turkish Grand National Assembly session on the Cyprus problem it would be his duty to go there.

    [02] Talat criticised Rauf Denktas for asking the so-called Attorney General's opinion on the referendum issue

    Turkish Cypriot GENC Television station (04.04.04) broadcast that the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime Mehmet Ali Talat criticized Rauf Denktas for asking the so-called Attorney General's opinion on the Referendum "Law" adopted by the pseudoassembly.

    Talat said that the Referendum Law is not unconstitutional and besides it is clear what decision the pseudocourt will make. Noting that this is not a 'constitutional' issue, Talat said: "This is a referendum, and as such it is absurd for Mr Denktas to inquire from the 'court' if he can ask for the opinion of the persons. No court would ever tell him, no you cannot ask for their opinion. This is out of question. The 'court' would certainly say he can ask for the persons' opinion. Nowhere in the world can you establish an unalterable structure. There is no such structure in the world such a structure cannot survive in the first place. What is important, therefore, is the persons´ will. If the persons decide to change the structure [the form of statehood] no one has the right to object to that", said Mr Talat.

    [03] The Turkish Cypriot Parties will decide as regards the position they will hold on the referendum

    Turkish Cypriot illegal BAYRAK television station (02and03.04.04) broadcast that the latest version of the Annan plan that emerged from the Cyprus talks in Burgenstock, as well as the latest political developments on the Cyprus problem, are being discussed at the authoritative organs of the Turkish Cypriot political parties. The parties are called to decide whether they will support or not a positive stand on the referendum that will be held on the 24th of April.

    The leader of the Republican Turkish Party Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that the pseudogovernment has not yet come up with any decision on the referendum but that the Party Assembly has now adopted a decision recommending that the Party congress on 6 April approve a `yes´ vote at the referendum. "The RTP Party Assembly has recommended to the party congress the launching of a `yes´ campaign", he said.

    In addition, Serdar Denktas the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) stated that his party will decide on the referendum after careful consideration. Serdar Denktas said that during the current process 'closely touching on the future of the people', they, as a party, would act in a responsible manner and explain the truth to the 'nation' , as he said. Asked when the DP's final decision on referendum would be announced, Serdar Denktas emphasized that as a party they want to act with responsibility. Declaring that they would not determine their vote by simply sticking to their pre-election statements, Serdar Denktas said: "This is a decision relating to our future. A wrong step might darken our future. That is why we would do a serious assessment. We want to reach a conclusion by working hard and explaining the plan".

    On its part, the National Unity Party (NUP) Party Assembly will meet at the party headquarters on Wednesday, 7 April. At that meeting, the NUP will examine the political developments and the latest version of the Annan plan. It would also clarify the party's position on the plan and referendum.

    The Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) Executive Council Administrative Board has already made its assessment and decided to launch a `yes´ campaign as of today in favour of the plan and solution.

    The Communal Liberation Party (CLP) Party Assembly and Provincial Administrative Councils held a joint meeting on Saturday night. At the end of their assessments, the CLP competent organs found the latest changes to the Annan plan as positive and tasked the Party Executive Council to launch a `yes´ campaign for the referendum.

    Moreover, speaking on GENC-TV's "The Television Newspaper" program, (04.04.04) Mr Talat said that each institution is free to adopt its own decision on the referendum, but added that he will feel a profound sadness if the DP adopts a `no´ decision. Noting that Serdar Denktas made great contributions to the improvement of the Annan plan, Talat pointed out that the DP will have a key role at the referendum and its position will determine the course of events. He said that if the DP decides for a `yes´ vote at the referendum then the referendum process would be painless.

    Arguing that the positions of Rauf Denktas and of the DP could theoretically be different, Talat said: "If, however, Mr Denktas pillories the Annan plan as death and catastrophe then the DP would find itself in a very difficult situation." Stating that Rauf Denktas' position would eventually influence the DP, Talat said that he expects the main opposition party, the National Unity Party to say `no´ at the referendum.

    [04] Denktas´ adviser Soysal describes Annan Plan as 'Terrifying Fiasco'

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.04.04) reported that Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Soysal, the adviser of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas and vice president of the Cyprus Foundation, has said that "the Annan plan about which efforts are being exerted in the press in a bid to present it as a victory is, in actual fact, a terrifying fiasco."

    Speaking at a news conference at the Cyprus Foundation, Mr Soysal said that the Turkish delegation that participated in the Cyprus negotiations in Switzerland worked with more "enthusiasm" than any other delegation present there, but that it still "could not prevent the Annan plan, which is being presented as a victory, from being transformed into a terrifying fiasco."

    Noting that the text composed of some 9,000 pages was written in English, Soysal said that not only studying the text of this plan but even its translation will be impossible until the referendum on 24 April. He claimed that the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots will not have an idea as to what they are either accepting or rejecting.

    Charging that contrary to what has been said the Annan plan does not adopt the approach of "two sovereign states," Soysal noted that "a new situation is being created in Cyprus, but that a new state is not being created."

    The issue of primary law

    Soysal noted that the text to be submitted to a referendum is not accepted as the EU Primary Law and that the EU Commission has only promised to issue an "adaptation document" with regards to this issue. He added that the derogations to be included in the text will have the status of secondary law and that, therefore, they may always be subjected to the suits of nullity to be brought before the European Court of Human Rights.

    Mr Soysal said that with the exception of the Rizokarpasso region, the envisaged maps are the same as those previously submitted, adding that the map endangers the continental shelf between north Cyprus and Turkey.

    Pointing out that the plan does not fully guarantee the principle of "bizonality," Mr Soysal said that some 33 percent of the Greek Cypriot population will settle in the Turkish Cypriot side within intervals of 6, 11, and 18 years.

    Mr Soysal leveled the following general criticism against the plan: "Turkey has managed a first that might be included in the Guinness Book of Records by agreeing to eliminate a state that it recognized and that was established on territory it liberated by winning a war it did not initiate. The Turkish Cypriot people will break another historic record by destroying their state with their own hands," he said.

    [05] Arinc says participation of Denktas and Talat in the Turkish Assembly session is against statutes

    Istanbul NTV television station (04.04.04) broadcast that Mr Bulent Arinc, speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA], has said that it will be a pleasure to grant Rauf Denktas the right to address the TGNA if he so requests.

    Replying to questions prior to the TGNA session on the Cyprus issue to be held on Tuesday 6 April, Arinc said that the proposal made by Haluk Koc, the deputy leader of the Republican People's Party (RPP) parliamentary faction, and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Chairman Emin Sirin to have Talat and Denktas participate in the National Assembly session is against the TGNA statutes. He noted that the discussions in Turkey should not influence the decision of the persons on the island. Arinc further expressed the concern that the issue might be exploited for domestic policy purposes prior to a referendum. Recalling that the people granted an equal chance to the "government" and the opposition at the recent "elections" held in occupied Cyprus, Arinc said he is confident that the persons will make the right choice in the referendum.

    [06] Opinions of the Turkish commanders as regards the Annan plan and the latest developments in the Cyprus problem

    Istanbul NTV television (04.04.04) broadcast that commanders in Turkey held a meeting on Sunday prior to the National Security Council [NSC] meeting that will convene with the special Cyprus agenda on Monday, 5th of April. At the NSC meetings held one after another on 31 March and 1 April, a decision was reached to study the details of the Annan plan prepared by the UN Secretary-General that will be submitted to a referendum on 24 April. Officials from the Planning and Principles Desk and the Cypriot-Greek Desk have been continuing their work on the plan at the Chief of Staff headquarters for the last four days.

    Prior to the NSC meeting to be held on Monday, General Hilmi Ozkok, the chief of the General Staff; the commander of the ground, air, and naval forces; as well as the commander of the Gendarmerie met Sunday afternoon. At the meeting, work conducted on the plan as well as the views to be voiced at the NSC meeting tomorrow were reviewed. It is reported that the military is concerned about not receiving strong guarantees from the EU with regards to the derogations, drawbacks to be encountered because of migration, and the map.

    In addition, as Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.04.04) reports the Aegean Army Commander Gen. Hursit Tolon has said, "those who are not aware of the state form of the eighty-year-old Republic of Turkey, will learn it now."

    General Tolon and an accompanying delegation paid a visit to Bozcayaka village in Odemis town of western province of Izmir on Saturday under activities to support social development.

    When recalled of by a journalist that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had described Turkey as an Islamic state like Pakistan and Afghanistan, General Tolon said: "Those who do not know the state form of the eighty-year-old Republic of Turkey, will learn it now. Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state of law."

    Upon a question about recent developments in Cyprus, General Tolon said: "Now, people will make a decision in the referendum. The agreement is quite comprehensive. Both the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish side have been assessing the text composing of nine thousand pages. Following the assessment, the public opinion will be informed. The results of the referendum will also be approved by Turkey.

    He went on saying: "Our parliament will decide on whether or not approving it. It is not appropriate to make a comment without having information on all details. The whole Turkish nation wants the Cyprus negotiation process to result in a lasting and fair agreement providing security for our kinsmen and taking their rights under guarantee. We do not want Cyprus to experience an endless turmoil."

    [07] Talat says a list with 45 thousand settlers is being prepared to be submitted to the UN

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (03.04.04) reports that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the Turkish Cypriot side is preparing a list with 45 thousand names of settlers from Turkey in order to be submitted to the UN officials in Cyprus.

    Mr Talat had on Saturday a four-hour meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, whom he informed regarding the changes realized in the UN Cyprus solution plan during the talks in Switzerland.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (03.04.04), some people in the occupied areas reacted against the statement of Mr Talat regarding the list with the names of the settlers and wondered whether he had the right to do such a thing given that the Annan Plan has not yet been accepted.

    The above-mentioned persons, adds VATAN, said that they would appeal on the issue to the "constitutional court" of the regime and called on the "attorney general" to give explanations on the issue.

    [08] The Turkish Foreign Minister assesses the Annan settlement plan: "We are in the island forever"

    According to Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (05.04.04), the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on his way to Maastricht, Holland for a lecture told the paper's Brussels correspondent Zeynel Lule on the plane that in case the Turkish side says "yes" to the Annan Plan and the Greek Cypriot side "no" to it then he will happily start a campaign abroad for the recognition of the occupation regime and he will travel around the world to this end. He further claimed that under these conditions the EU has no other choice but to recognize the north. Gul went on and alleged that until now the Greek Cypriots, as he put it, were always favourably treated by the world and in the face of not getting this favorable support they would be disillusioned.

    Gul said that with the final Annan plan the Turkish side won major gains and he listed these gains as follows:

    * Turkey as guarantor state will deploy troops forever in the island.

    * The Turkish side was unable to get sovereignty but in return the sovereignty of the Greek Cypriots was taken away.

    * If the Greek Cypriots reject this plan then we proudly ask the world to extend recognition to the "TRNC"

    * If we did not leave the negotiation table in Burgenstock Denktas played a part in that.

    Finally Mr Gul said that on critical issues, such as the property issue, Mr Denktas has given his written consent.

    [09] Ankara's two-stage Formula

    According to Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (05.04.04), Ankara, prior to holding a referendum in Cyprus on the Annan settlement plan, demands that the EU Council convenes and adopts the "Harmonization Act". Although the adoption of the "harmonization act" will not make the derogations permanent, it would be more effective than the Secondary law and acceptance by the EU Council will pave the way for the derogations to become permanent.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] A research poll shows that 47% will say "yes" and 43% will say "no" to the referendum in occupied Cyprus

    Mainland VATAN columnist Mr Metin Munir (02.04.04) writes that according to a research poll, 47% of the persons who live in occupied Cyprus will say "yes" to the referendum, while 43% will answer "no". Mr Munir writes the following under the title "Turkish Cypriots will say `yes´ to the referendum":

    "The result of the referendum to be held on the occupied part of Cyprus this month will be Yes. A poll conducted 20 days ago by the public opinion research company belonging to my friend Muharrem Faiz showed 47% favouring Yes and 43% favouring No. Of course, 20 days is a long time. However, the trend is towards Yes.

    An increase is shown among those most opposed to a settlement: Cypriots from mainland Turkey, the right wing National Union Party (NUP) and Democratic Party (DP). What bothers them is the property issue. The No vote is high among those who do not want to abandon houses and property left behind by the Greek Cypriots.

    In the same poll Faiz asked who were the most influential leaders when making a decision. Here are the replies:

        Rauf Denktas:     21%
        Tayyip Erdogan: 19%
        Mehmet Ali Talat: 8%
        Nobody impresses me: 43%
    
    The remaining values are split in very small ways.

    The people of mainland Turkey living in Cyprus are always responsive to signals coming from Turkey. Some 50-60% of them say that were they living in Turkey then they would vote for the Justice and Development Party (JDP). Therefore, some of those mainland Turks on Cyprus in the No camp can be expected to vote Yes with Erdogan's signal.

    This is the first and greatest impetus for a Yes vote. The second is the lifting of the right's control over radio and television. Before the latest elections the regime-run Bayrak Radio and Television Board acted as the "government's" propaganda machine and influenced the votes. The government's pro-settlement left wing now runs Bayrak. Apart from these are people who do not want to live alongside the Greek Cypriots but are saying, "I will vote Yes. Let the world recognize us." These are the people who calculate that the Greek Cypriots are going to say No in the referendum but the world will be on the Turkish side if it says Yes and thus recognize the `TRNC´.

    Mr Faiz says: "My guess is that the Yes votes will increase further. The forces on the left are more organized. The right has together with the Greek Cypriots gotten too involved in the real estate business. They are not organized. The TV and radio factor has changed much. Erdogan is going to have a major influence."

    Those wanting to calculate what will happen on Cyprus I think are assuming that the Turks will say Yes while the Greek Cypriots will say No. The most important aspect of this assumption concerns not Cyprus but Turkey. If a Yes emerges in the "TRNC" this will remove the Cyprus element from Turkey's road to the EU.

    Perhaps this is the true reason why Denktas' anger has begun to turn into hysteria."

    /SK


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