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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-05-20
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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.94/04 20.05.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Turkish Cypriot media reports about the so-called early elections in the occupied areasThe local Turkish Cypriot dailies today (20/05/04), report about holding the so-called early elections in the pseudostate and carry the statement of the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, who stated during a meeting that it would not be proper for its pseudogovernment to tender its resignation. "The best way is to hold the early elections", he said. The newspapers, under banner headlines write about these comments, as follows:
* VATAN: "We will not resign" Subtitle: Talat: "If the NUP finds 26 votes let it bring down the government"
* KIBRIS: "Talat: It would not be right if we resign"
* ORTAM: "There is no resignation' there is election!"
* KIBRISLI: "The RTP's stance became clear: Early elections as soon as possible"
* CUMHURIYET: "Talat: "At this stage it would not be proper if the government resigns"
* YENIDUZEN: "The most right thing is early elections as soon as possible"
* AFRIKA: "Find 26 and bring down the government"
 Turkey was asked to proceed with implementation of its legislative reforms. Gul thinks the military occupation of Cyprus is not Ankara´s problem anymoreNTV television station (19.05.04) broadcast that Turkey's progress in meeting the requirements for membership of the European Union were assessed on Tuesday at a meeting of the EU-Turkey Partnership Council in Brussels.
The Commissioner responsible for the EU's expansion process, Günter Verheugen, praised the legislative reforms passed by Ankara but warned that there are deficiencies in implementing them. According to Verheugen, among the issues that still were troubling the EU were broadcasting in mother tongues, combating torture, freedom of expression and the continued imprisonment of four pro-Kurdish parliamentary deputies. Verheugen said that the report that would detail Ankara's process would be issued in the first week of October.
Speaking at a press conference following the meeting, the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said that recently passed constitutional changes were historic for Turkey. He underlined that the package of amendments introduced accountability to the parliament of the defence budget and the ending of capital punishment, both seen as sweeping measures in Turkey.
Gül alleged that Ankara had done its best regarding the Cyprus problem by seeking reconciliation between the two "states" on the island. He said that Cyprus was not Ankara's problem anymore. The crucial issue of Turkey's starting the membership negotiations will depend on the October report by the EU on the progress made in Ankara.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in Radikal assesses the gains for the Turkish side after the referendaMainland Radikal newspaper (19/05/04) publishes a commentary by former Ambassador, Mr Gunduz Aktan, in which he assesses the gains for the Turkish side after the 24 April referenda on the Annan plan. It appears from the commentary that the Turks believe that all the violations of the human rights against the Greek and Turkish Cypriots by the Turkish army for 30 years have been written off because the Greek Cypriots voted "No" in the referendum.
The commentary under the title: "Thoughts from Cyprus", is as follows: "We say the referendum produced the best result for Turkey, but the situation is very complex. I hope this article will resolve some of these complications. The European Union was very angry at Greek Cypriots for voting no in the referendum and preventing a solution. It eventually approved a set of regulations. The decision on economic assistance will come later. We will see whether this economic assistance will be made directly to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) or not.
The regulations say that the border dividing the two communities is not the EU's border and adds that this is the reason behind this special arrangement. As a result, the EU expectedly is eliminating the option of recognizing the TRNC. It defines the north as "the region not under effective control of" Greek Cypriots. Additionally, the fourth paragraph notes that this region is outside the area of "freedom, justice and security." In short, the legal hole in the north continues.
For goods and products going from the north to the south, EU Commission authorizes "Cypriot Turkish Chamber of Commerce to hand out official documents in consultation with Greek Cypriots." This was also proposed in the past and was rejected by the TRNC. Now, the chamber is accepted to work as a department of the Southern Cyprus Greek Cypriot government. On the other hand, for goods and products coming from the south to the north, they won't be considered exports as EU products.
Cypriots crossing the border between the sides will be treated as foreigners by the south and be charged customs duties, when it comes to the goods and products they carry. In other words, Turks will be accepted as the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and the EU, while being treated as foreigners when they enter the south. While the practical considerations are yet to be considered, the only positive portion in the regulations in terms of tourism receipts is allowing of citizens of third countries to enter the south from the north.
This situation supports Radikal's Ozlem Sanderk's definition of "a nation under siege." (Radikal, May 14, 2004). Despite all its optimistic declarations, the steps the U.S. will take to lift the embargoes or what will happen if the Islamic Conference Organization recognizes the TRNC is yet to be determined. The last hope is United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report to the U.N. Security Council. We might also have to face Russia's incomprehensible opposition to Turkey at the Council.
As the Turkish side, we reached the current stage despite doing everything the EU wanted. The Annan plan was composed by those who effectively, not legally, pursued this result in the name of the EU. The method of the referendum was also their idea. They initiated a campaign, beyond ethical standards, in order to ensure a "yes" vote by Turkish Cypriots. It was the EU that said a solution on the island would boost Turkey's membership chances. However, turning a blind eye to irresponsible actions of Greek Cypriots resulted in such an outcome. Now its hands are tied on the matter of Turkish Cypriots by the Greek Cyprus that was made a full member. It will also be unable to prevent Greek Cypriot rejection to our membership in the future.
By accepting the referendum method outlined by Annan at a press conference in New York on February 13 and by approving the plan being put to a referendum with a signature on April 7, we lost an important portion of the rights granted to us by the 1960 treaties. Our right to file complaints to legal bodies based on bans imposed on Cyprus not becoming a member of an international organization we were not a part of and establishing a political or economic unity with a state, were removed almost entirely.
However, the validity of cases filed by Greek Cypriots for the return of their properties in the north was also eliminated. The Turkish troops being seen as occupiers, as claimed by the European Court of Human Rights during the Loizidou case, will come to an end with the affirmative vote by Turkish Cypriots.
The "liberal" commentators carry a heavy responsibility in supporting the acceptance of the Annan plan in the referendum without thinking of its consequences, which also influenced the government's policies, in the current grave situation we are facing. If there had been a solution, the implementations in the next few years would have created significant problems for the government. If it doesn't save itself from the current situation, it may face different, but still serious, problems.