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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-04-14
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.68/04 14.04.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Turkish Chief of Staff General Hilmi Ozkok gave a press conference on the Turkish Armed Forces' views on the Cyprus problemTRT 2 television station (13.04.04) broadcast that the Turkish Chief of Staff General Hilmi Ozkok, gave a press conference in Ankara as regards the Turkish Armed Forces' (TAF) views on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.
Ozkok opens his news conference by noting the strategic importance of Cyprus, saying that certain countries seek to change the guarantee agreements. Explaining that he sincerely believes in the necessity of these guarantees, General Ozkok stated: "To those who claim that Cyprus is not of strategic importance, I would like to recall Britain's efforts to retain its sovereign bases on the island." He said that the TAF has expressed its views and proposals regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem on legal and constitutional platforms at every opportunity, but he stressed that its cooperation should not be taken to mean that the TAF agree on every issue and every problem.
Referring to the Annan plan, General Ozkok said that it has positive and negative aspects, that some of the Turkish demands were not met and added that there is a possibility that serious problems may be encountered in the implementation of the plan. "Although the guarantee and alliance agreements are being retained as they were, it is a fact that there will be readjustments and additional responsibilities in line with the additional protocols", he said.
General Ozkok also said that the TAF believe that it is important to review the federal laws and international adjustments and to make all the changes and readjustments necessary "for a lasting and just order". He also expressed some fears about the transition period stressing that the TAF consider this period to be very short. He said that this period is not enough for a transition "which is the most sensitive stage in implementation" and added that this short period may bring big problems which may be encountered in the establishment of peace and tranquillity on the island".
The Turkish General also stressed the importance of the issue of the derogations, saying that the most important aspect of the plan is the need to make the derogations, "which aim at protecting the Turkish Cypriot component state", part of the EU's Primary Law. He said that if this will not take place the TAF believe that "great difficulties may arise in terms of the continued Turkish presence on the island and bizonality, and that ultimately, great stability and security problems may arise in the region".
Referring to the referenda to be held in the island on the 24 of April, General Ozkok said that the most important thing from now on is for all institutions inside and outside to make sure that the Turkish Cypriots can freely vote without any pressure exerted on them, and make the best decision for themselves at the referendum.
He added that the Cyprus problem also involves Turkey's security and said that Cyprus' links to Turkey's security are not as artificial as to be explained with the island's distance from Turkey. "Rather these links concern the protection of our rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean", he said.
Asked by a journalist to talk about the elements he finds positive as regards the Annan Plan, General Ozkok said that the first of the positive factors is the issue of bizonality, the second is that the Turkish Cypriots will be living under easier conditions as nothing was changed in the guarantee agreements and the third is the issue of the political equality.
Asked if he has reached the stage where he can say yes to this plan, he said that it will not be an appropriate answer for him if he says yes or no. He also refused to answer questions as regards the exchange of statements between the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Rauf Denktas.
 Talat on his way for Brussels argues that general Ozkok's statements did not give the impression that he is against the solutionTurkish NTV television (14.04.04) broadcast that the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat has said that from the statements made yesterday by Turkey's chief of General Staff, general Hilmi Ozkok, he did not get the impression that Mr Ozkok was against the solution in Cyprus.
In statements yesterday at illegal Lefkoniko airport upon his departure to Brussels in order to participate in the Donors Conference for the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat assessed also the visit he made earlier yesterday to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and met with Mr Demetris Christofias and Mr Nicos Anastasiades, the leaders of the two biggest parties of Cyprus, left-wing AKEL and right -wing DISI. Mr Talat said that the visit was not a disappointment and added: "However, naturally I cannot say that I was pleased. I was not satisfied".
Meanwhile, according to NTV, (14.04.04) the US Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell has phoned Mr Talat and thanked him "for his constructive efforts". Mr Powell has reportedly said that the US administration is continuing its efforts to ensure that progress is made on the path to a solution to the Cyprus problem and that the referenda yield positive results.
 The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the referenda must be held on timeAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.04.04) reports that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement on Tuesday as regards the issue of postponing the referenda in Cyprus
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated: "Turkey believes that the referenda should be held in Cyprus on time, and that everyone should respect the will of the two peoples in the island."
The MFA also stated that, "Turkey will be loyal to its commitment to abide by the schedule envisaged by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. We expect all relevant sides to fulfil their commitments. Turkey believes that the referenda should be held in Cyprus on time, and that everyone should respect the will of the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots in the island."
Recalling that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Annan on April 6, saying that Turkey had accepted holding referenda in Cyprus on April 24, the MFA noted that Britain and Greece, the other guarantor powers, had also agreed on the date.
Pointing out that a multilateral agreement was in question, the MFA stressed that it was impossible to deviate or postpone the agreement with any ground and emphasized that "the sides had reached an important stage in their efforts to find a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue after United Nations Secretary-General Annan submitted his final text to them in Switzerland on March 31."
 The Turkish Foreign Minister stated that postponing the referenda will reinforce the position of the Greek Cypriot sideAnkara Anatolia news agency (13.04.04) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Tuesday delivered a speech at the Justice and Development Party (JDP) group meeting. Mr Gul evaluated the developments in the Cyprus problem. Noting that they tried to solve the Cyprus question, which was considered as "national cause", in favour of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, Gul said that the governments carried on this policy by showing the non-solution as solution.
Noting that this policy which had been carried on until today would not continue similarly and the JDP government did not consider the non-solution as solution, Gul said that the Greek Cypriot side's expected entrance to EU as the only representative of the island set the Turkish government in action.
Gul said that referenda would be held on the island on April 24 and the people would take its decision, adding that they would respect the decision of the persons who live in the island..
Noting that in recent days the Greek Cypriot side was trying to delay and hold the referenda after April 24, Gul said: "It is an initiative far away from good will. Delaying the referenda means the Greek Cypriot side's being member of EU as of May 1 by representing the whole island. This situation will reinforce the position of the Greek Cypriot side and also will mortgage Turkey's membership to EU. We, as Turkey, will be loyal to the agreement. We call the U.N. Secretary-General and the EU for mission."
Gul also added that regardless of the decision which will be taken, Turkey will continue to support "TRNC". "We will continue to provide every type of support both economic and political," he said.
 Turkey launches initiatives at UN "to protect Turkish Cypriot interests". Alvaro de Soto in action in BrusselsAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.04.04) invoking diplomatic sources reports that Turkey had launched initiatives in the United Nations (U.N.) in order to protect the interests of Turkish Cypriots in case the Greek Cypriots voted ''no'' to U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan's plan for Cyprus in the simultaneous referenda to be held in the island on April 24. Ankara's initiative aimed to protect the interests of Turkish Cypriots in case the Turkish Cypriot side voted ''yes'' and the Greek Cypriot side voted ''no'' to the referenda.
The diplomatic sources pointed out that in case the Turkish Cypriot side said ''yes'' to the plan, it should not be kept responsible for non-solution which would emerge as the Greek Cypriot side joined the European Union (EU) although they voted ''no'' to the plan. The same sources stated that therefore, Turkey had launched initiatives in the U.N. and the U.N. Security Council asked U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto to inform EU members about this issue during his meetings which would begin in Brussels later in the day and last for three days.
The diplomatic sources stated that statements including Turkey's views on the issue were distributed to the members of the Security Council. U.N. sources said that Annan was expected to present his report on the recent situation in Cyprus to the Security Council this or the following week. The U.N. sources noted that the Security Council was then expected to adopt a resolution on the new U.N. peace force to be stationed on the island.
 Erdogan says that he will be unable to attend the Assembly Session when Denktas will address the Turkish ParliamentAnkara Anatolia news agency (13.04.04) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Mr Recept Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that he could not attend a Parliamentary session on Thursday 15th of April during which Mr Rauf Denktas would deliver a speech. Mr Erdogan answered questions of Japanese reporters at the Japan National Press Club.
Replying to questions of Turkish reporters that Mr Denktas would deliver a speech at the Parliament on Thursday, Mr Erdogan said he was informed about the development. Noting that the Parliamentary Advisory Committee had made such a decision, Erdogan said that he would not be attending the parliamentary session as he would have a weekly meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer during the scheduled session.
 JPP will vote for "yes" at the referendumTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.04.04) reports that Justice and Peace Party (JPP) has announced that it would vote for "yes" at the 24 April referendum.
JPP chairman, Ertugrul Hasipoglu said yesterday that the decision of the council of the party has been taken with majority and expressed the opinion that the plan would bring a lot of gains to the Turkish Cypriots.
Explaining the reasons of their decision, Mr Hasipoglu noted that the Annan Plan gives the Turkish Cypriots their sovereign rights, increases the guarantees of Turkey, gives Turkey the right to guarantee the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and includes the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots. "The only problem is on the property issue. We shall live with that", he added.
 The majority of the members of the DP are against the Annan PlanTurkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (14.04.04) reports that 64 % of the participants in the mini referendum conducted by the Democratic Party (DP) have voted for "no" to the Annan Plan.
The paper notes that 2.600 persons out of the six thousand members of the party have participated in the mini referendum. 34 % of the participants voted for "yes". The party will take its official decision for the 24 April referendum on Friday.