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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-05-24
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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.96/04 22-23-24.05.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The Turkish Cypriot press sees the occupation army and Ankara behind the decision of the occupation regime to continue asking passports from the Greek Cypriots who want to cross over to the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.05.04) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, has said that only the Greek Cypriots who live abroad and visit Cyprus as tourists as well as the EU citizens would not have to show their passport when crossing over to the occupied areas of Cyprus.
Mr Talat noted that the decision of the so-called council of ministers was misunderstood by the Press, which reported that the decision is valid for all the EU citizens, including the Greek Cypriot citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Mr Talat said, however, that the issue of the Greek Cypriots not being forced to show their passport when crossing over to the occupied areas of Cyprus is being examined and soon a decision will be taken.
Commenting on the same issue, Serdar Denktas, so-called deputy prime minister of the regime, noted that the above-mentioned instruction totally aims at facilitating the tourists to visit the occupied areas of the island. The instructions, he added, will be implemented for the group visits organized by tour operators authorized by the so-called ministry of tourism of the regime. "The instructions have been prepared aiming at facilitating the crossings during group visits of EU citizens for one day and for spending the night", he said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the issue Hasan Hasturer writes in his daily column in KIBRIS (24.05.04) that "obviously the circles which at the time said that the Greek Cypriots will be showing passports, have not yet said that the Greek Cypriots may cross over with identity cards". Under the title "Be brave now ", Mr Hasturer refers to a conversation he had with the former so-called minister of economy and finance, Salih Cosar on Thursday regarding the backstage developments when the occupation regime was planning to partially lift the restrictions on free movement. According to Mr Hasturer, Mr Cosar said: "When the free trade between the north and the south was discussed Ankara brought onto the agenda the issue of opening the doors. They were opened because everybody, including the army, approved this. The Greek Cypriots crossing over by showing their passport was decided in order to show that the crossings were made between two states".
Mr Hasturer says: "I know very well that in spite of the statements made yesterday, very very soon not only the tourists, but the Greek Cypriots living in the island will be crossing over with their identity card".
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (24.05.04) reports that Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) criticized the so-called government of the occupation regime because "it has changed its mind before the ink on its decision got dry".
Mr Akinci said: "While we have been waiting for a mistake, a shame, to be corrected, we are face to face with a much bigger shame. 'We too have not yet been able to understand if the developments of the past few days are a comedy or a tragedy". Mr Akinci stressed that the "government" "has been forced" to make a different statement and change the decision regarding the passports. He noted that that the Turkish Cypriots expected that the status quo would have been "seriously hit" after the results of the referendum and added: "It means that the status quo is still at its place".
Commenting on the issue, Arif Hasan Tahsin in his daily column in AFRIKA (24.05.04) writes that the implementation of the decision of the "government" was prevented by the occupation army. Mr Tahsin, says, inter alia the following: "'The police, who have the duty to control the crossings did not recognize the decision of the government. And the Greek Cypriots who wanted to come without a passport to the north were not able to do so. 'Why? According to the 10th temporary article of the constitution, are the police not under the orders of the army? They are. Then what is the meaning of the word 'you cannot pass'? It means that the army said 'stop' and stopped the decision of Mehmet Ali (Talat). '".
Meanwhile, Resat Akar comments on the issue in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot HALKIN SESI newspaper (24.05.04). Mr Akar supports that only those things which Ankara wants take place in occupied Cyprus and calls on Prime Minister Erdogan "to send new instructions that will be encouraging the TRNC government" to lift the application according to which the Greek Cypriots must show their passport to cross over to the occupied areas of Cyprus.
 Mehmet Ali Talat: The Turkish troops will remain on the islandAccording to Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (23.05.04), the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, in an exclusive statement to HURRIYET referred to the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and declared that they will not retreat from the Annan plan. He said: "It is out of the question for us to re-negotiate the Annan plan. We have approved it, 65% of our people said yes. The Greek Cypriots, for security considerations, might demand the total withdrawal of the Turkish troops, however, the Annan plan is there and it is not possible for us to back off from it and to re-negotiate it. The Turkish troops will stay on the island as inscribed in the Annan plan".
Referring to Turkey's EU membership aspirations Talat said: "If until December there is no solution in Cyprus then Turkey will face difficulties. The Greek Cypriot side, which entered the EU representing the Cyprus government, will create problem to Turkey that it has taken a date, because in line with the full membership process all the parliaments of the member countries should approve Turkey's candidacy".
Assessing the developments after the referendum, Talat said: "We are heading for a nice path. We have a lot of things to do. We are waiting for the UN Secretary-General's report, which he will prepare regarding the opening of the Tymbou Airport and the sea ports. We have initiatives on this issue."
When asked whether he is thinking of putting his candidacy for the occupation regime's president's post if Denktas retires, Talat said: "If until that date there is no solution then the post of the president might be attractive, because as the Community leader he is considered as the international interlocutor. However, if there is a solution until the elections then the post will be symbolic, it would not carry any value. When the times comes we will think about it."
 The issue of holding early "elections" in the pseudostate: Talat is in favour, Gul is against and Erdogan alleges that the decision is upto the occupation regimeTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.04) writes about the issue of holding early so-called elections in the occupation regime after the resignations in the previous days of a number of so-called "deputies" of the parties of the "coalition government", which let the pseudogovernment to fall into a state of minority.
Commenting on the issue the leader of the major partner of the "coalition government", the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat stated that calling early "elections" is the best road. Mr Talat stated that it is not possible for his party to form a "government" with the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu and added that all the other formulas, besides this alliance, are short-lived. Therefore, the most proper way to solve this issue is to go to early elections.
These statements of Mr Talat came after the statements of the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Tayyip Erdogan, who alleged that the issue of holding early election in the pseudostate, "it is not a decision for the Turkish government to make".
"At the moment, it seems that the number of the 'TRNC' government members' decreased and the 'TRNC parliament' would make such a decision. There is nothing to do under democracy when the 'TRNC parliament' makes such a decision. Decision on early 'elections' is totally up to the 'TRNC parliament'", he said.
On the contrary, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Abdullah Gul stated that holding early "election" in the pseudostate "is not a good idea". According to the NTV television (21.05.04) Mr Gul said that the pseudostate was going through a critical stage and changes would not be appropriate. "You do not change a horse whilst you are crossing the river," he said and added that Turkish Cypriots should concentrate their energy on more critical issues than domestic politics.
 Interview by the Turkish Cypriot who run for the European Parliament elections in CyprusTurkish Daily News (22.05.04) reports that a Turkish Cypriot is a candidate for the coming elections of the European Parliament (EP) in Cyprus. Mehmet Hassan Hasguler, a professor from Istanbul University, will run in the polls which will be held in the Cyprus Republic on June 13.
Following is the interview:
"Question: How did the Greek and Turkish sides react to your application to the EP?
Answer: I received some very positive impressions. For the first time in 40 years, since 1964, a Turkish Cypriot has become a candidate. On April 2, 2004, the Turkish Cypriots were asked to register for the elections. An advertisement had been put in Turkish newspapers in March. But because the Annan plan had not yet been approved, the Turkish Cypriots thought the problems would be solved on April 24. But those who registered for the elections by April 2, just in case, became electors and were eligible to become candidates on May 20. Those who became electors were also eligible to become candidates. I think a big mistake was made here. It should have been postponed until after April 24. They prevented a majority of Turkish Cypriots from becoming electors and candidates in the elections. So a joint election was also prevented. As a result, I am the only candidate.
Question: What do you think about subsequent developments?
Answer: As a person who has been living in Turkey for 21 years, who has an academic knowledge of Turkish-Greek relations and 'Greek Cypriotism,' who offered an alternative to the Annan plan at the end of 2002 and made determinations within this scope, I want to use all these things in the implementation. I want to be a peace bridge between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots, between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots and between Turkey and Greece. Additionally, I want to open a debate on the status of the British bases in Cyprus. There was an incident in 1931 in which the British governor's mansion was burned down. This incident was revealed in 1981. The British government postponed revealing it until 50 years after the fact. The event in 1931 is very important in Cyprus in that Britain can postpone it to 2031. To make this incident clear, I want to discuss why Britain decided to ban and postpone disclosure of the incident. That is to say, Britain had interests in Cyprus and that it didn't want this event to be revealed.
Secondly, the basis of the Annan plan was presented as a British and American plan. When we think of Britain and the United States' war in Iraq, we can see it would be difficult for them to contribute to Cyprus. I became a candidate because I needed to examine the attitudes of Britain and the United States in Cyprus and to explain them to society. In addition to all this, I think my initiative will yield more positive results than the Annan plan in the establishment of a Cyprus union in the future. The Annan plan may not be remembered 10-20 years from now, but my initiative will be very important in the hearts of Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
Question: What do you think will change in the Annan plan?
Answer: The Annan plan states that it will be removed if one side rejects it, but I don't know whether or not it will change. But it cannot continue like this in Cyprus. A local initiative between Turkey, Greece, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots is needed. This is another reason for my candidacy. We have the ability to create a solution belonging to the Anatolians and the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, and I see my candidacy as a step in this direction. We don't need the United States and Britain to establish peace. The Turkish and Greek Cypriots can establish peace together. I firmly believe this.
Question: How would you evaluate your candidacy from Turkey's point of view?
Answer: I am a Turkish Cypriot who knows Turkey very well. I have been in Turkey for 21 years. We can improve our relations by looking at the historical positivity of Turkey and Greece. There are politicians and intellectuals in Turkey who see it. We should have a process that will reveal such positivity and common memories. We should see that very positive events occurred over the course of history to improve our friendship. I am a candidate representing myself, not to get one of the two seats allocated to the Turkish Cypriots. I am a candidate because I believe that both societies need such an intellectual initiative. So I am going to give my heart and request their hearts. I don't want votes. I want Cyprus to be discussed in truer parameters. I hope my step will be a factor in the establishment of Cyprus in the future."
 The Turkish side´s joint strategy on Cyprus to be discussed in AnkaraNTV television (22.05.04) broadcast that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime will visit Ankara with Serdar Denktas, the so-called Foreign Minister in the coming days. The latest developments on the Cyprus issue will be put on table in Ankara.
According to information obtained by NTV, Talat and Denktas will be in Ankara on 25 May. Talat will address a dinner organized within the framework of the panel at the Middle East Technical University. Comprehensive meetings are expected to be held in Ankara with Denktas and Talat. The meetings will also asses the joint strategy to be pursued in the future. This is the first visit of Talat to Ankara after his visit to the United States.