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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-07-08

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.128/04 08.07.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Desperate appeal by Alpay Durduran to Mr Talat´s party to stop selling and plundering the properties of the Greek Cypriots.
  • [02] The EU Commission has announced the measures for the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [03] Gul and the Turkish Foreign Ministry assess the EU package. Both call the occupied areas of Cyprus as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
  • [04] Turkish Cypriots see the measures announced by the EU Commission as a step for by-passing the 1994 decisions of the European Court; They support that the occupation regime should lift the obstacles on the trade between the two communities.
  • [05] Mr Erdogan assesses the economic package that the EU approved for the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Plot within plot in Talat´s early polls move.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Desperate appeal by Alpay Durduran to Mr Talat´s party to stop selling and plundering the properties of the Greek Cypriots

    Under the title "Stop selling the real estate of the Greek Cypriots", ORTAM newspaper (08.07.04) reports on a press statement released by the Secretary in Charge of Foreign Relations of the Patriotic Union Movement (PUM) Mr Alpay Durduran.

    PUM calls on the Republican Turkish Party of Mr Talat, "which started implementing this arbitrary action, to stop thinking about the votes of the Turks who are brought from Turkey and to take measures in the interest of the Turkish Cypriots if it is not controlled by Turkey".

    The press handout of the Patriotic Union Movement is the following:

    "As soon as the Annan plan was disclosed, a boom started regarding the purchase of land and dividing it into plots and constructing buildings. And for this, from time to time, for creating building plots and acquiring building permits an intensive effort is going on. So much so that the Chamber of Architects and Engineers are forced to work overtime to cover this demand. It is impossible for someone not to notice this development, not to understand and avoid speculation.

    The `government´, which showed sensitivity for not giving way to speculations as regards fuel and cigarettes, cannot turn a blind eye to the speculation on building plots and construction which will affect negatively the Cyprus problem.

    Those who allege that are in favour of peace should find a way out for the rights of the owners to be safeguarded and prevent this attack which aims at raising pre-conditions for the solution and which will make the Cyprus problem difficult. It is a must for the `government´ to put an end to the changing of ownership of the immovable properties, dividing the land into plots and getting license to build, which will be an issue in the Anna plan.

    It is necessary to establish a unit immediately so that such actions will be prohibited and subsequently to act after special permission. Otherwise new difficulties will be added when the Annan plan is put into practice.

    Those who permit these actions, which will shake our community´s reputation and credibility, at a time when there is a chance to open up to the world, will bear the responsibility. As it is known during the first RTP-DP government the Housing and Land Allocation Equal Property Law (ITEM) was amended in such a way so that it has provided property to persons without any equal property right and this way most of those who were brought from the Turkish Republic were given Greek Cypriot property although they had no such right. According to the Annan plan those who have no right at all, and they are holding this property now, they are selling it to the foreigners as owners, and they enjoy illegal profits. Also this situation has not only turned Cyprus, and especially the shores of Northern Cyprus, into building sites, it also destroyed the already limited agricultural land and forest areas.

    The Patriotic Union Movement stresses that the RTP, which created this arbitrary action has a major responsibility. We call upon the RTP, if it is not guided by Ankara, to put aside the votes of those who set off from Turkey, and take measures for the benefit of the country and the community.

    The PUM informs that unless measures are taken to stop this plundering it will take the issue to the international platforms".

    [02] The EU Commission has announced the measures for the Turkish Cypriots

    HURRIYET newspaper (08.07.04) reports that the European Union approved a decision lifting the commercial embargo imposed on the Turkish Cypriots. By this decision, "TRNC" will be able to export its products freely. Indirect taxes will not be imposed on these goods. These measures will be an effective recognition of "TRNC" commercially, if not politically.

    EU's Enlargement Commissioner Gunther Verheugen unveiled the package in a press conference on Wednesday, saying that "The objective is to free Turkish Cypriots from isolation and to facilitate the settlement of the Cyprus problem."

    Stressing that a solution in Cyprus depended on removing differences between the two sections in Cyprus and otherwise the North will remain poor and Turks will desert the island.

    "No one intends to recognize `TRNC´. Establishing a small Turkish state in the Mediterranean benefits no one" he said.

    The package includes: Extending a financial aid of 259 million Euro to the Turkish Cypriots in 3 years; export of "TRNC's" produce to EU countries from its own ports; and subjeting export licenses to the approval of the Turkish Cypriot Trade Chamber.

    [03] Gul and the Turkish Foreign Ministry assess the EU package. Both call the occupied areas of Cyprus as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.07.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) assessed the EU Commission package of proposals for Turkish Cypriots as an important step to end the isolation of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC).

    Releasing a statement, the MFA recalled on Wednesday that the package facilitating trade between the "TRNC" and EU countries was approved by the EU Commission earlier in the day.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry stressed that the package should be approved by the EU-member countries before being operational, and added:

    ''We consider the package as an important step in the process of putting into practice the political will which was put forward during the meeting of the EU foreign ministers on April 26, 2004 to end the isolation of `TRNC´. Also, the EU-member countries and the EU Commission should create the necessary conditions, especially in the transports sector, as soon as possible to implement provisions of the package. Turkey will monitor closely all developments related to the implementation of the package''.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia (07.07.04) reported again from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday that the package of proposals for the Turkish Cypriots, which the EU Commission approved the same day is an ''important step'' but ''there is much work to do''.

    Evaluating the Commission's package of proposals, Gul stressed that the trade between the "TRNC" and the EU was liberalized with the approval of the package and the "TRNC's" products would enter the EU market with no customs duty.

    Noting that he believed it was a significant progress, Gul said that everybody should contribute to this job, act with feelings of great responsibility and facilitate the efforts.

    ''There is still much work to do but it is an important step. At least the EU has kept its promise at this stage. I hope that also the EU Council would approve this report,'' he concluded.

    [04] Turkish Cypriot politicians see the measures announced by the EU Commission as a step for by-passing the 1994 decisions of the European Court; they support that the occupation regime should lift the obstacles on the trade between the two communities

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.07.04) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, has said that the measures, which the EU Commission announced for the Turkish Cypriots, are "a good opening and a form of customs union".

    In statements he made yesterday in Istanbul, which he visited upon an invitation by the Association of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSIAD), Mr Talat noted: "This is an opening. The EU will be considering Northern Cyprus as a third country, but it will be taking preferential products from it within the framework of some quotas. That is, there will be a kind of customs union between the two sides. This means that the restrictions on the trade are lifted. The fact that the decisions of the European Court of Justice were eliminated was important. I think this is what these regulations will do. This is progress".

    Commenting on the internal matters of the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Talat reiterated that his "government" would not resign, because in such a case the efforts the Turkish Cypriots are exerting in the international field would be harmed. He said that he would not be able to visit Holland and France if he resigned.

    Meanwhile, in statements to KIBRIS, Mr Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), said that the measures announced yesterday by the Commissioner Verheugen eliminate the obstacles in front of the exports from the occupied areas of Cyprus. "With this practice the 1994 decisions of the European Court of Justice, which forbade goods produced in the occupied areas of Cyprus to be exported to the EU member - countries, are not eliminated but they are by-passed," he noted.

    Mr Erel said that after the announcement by the EU all the eyes are turned to the "government" of the occupation regime. The expectation from the "government" is to mainly decide the free movement of goods between the free and the occupied areas of the island. When asked how the relations between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots will be from now on, Mr Erel said: "The Green Line Regulations are already ensuring our being able to sell goods to the South. The important thing here is, will we be able to buy goods from the South? If we are not able to buy goods from the South, will we find someone who would want to buy from us? Our Council of Ministers must quickly let free the flow of goods from the South to the North. It has already approved the flow of goods from the North to the South. I think that this is wrong. Trade is made between people and institutions. Could we say: 'You can buy goods from me, but I will not buy from you?' The Council of Ministers must decide at its first meeting before 12 July to let free the flow of goods from the south to the north. Otherwise, selling goods to the south will be a dream".

    Meanwhile, commenting on the same issue, Basaran Duzgun, the editor-in-chief of KIBRIS, writes, inter alia, the following: "'And there is another important step expected from the government. The government, which in the recent past took a decision which meant that every king of goods can be exported from the north to the south, but nothing can be exported from the south to the north, must reexamine this decision and lift the obstacles from trade. The EU tried to break all the obstacles in order to open the way of the trade with the Turkish Cypriots and a result was reached. We have to behave according to the logic of the EU and immediately lift the obstacles in front of the free trade. And in parallel to this we must create conditions in which our local producers would be able to compete. '".

    Furthermore, KIBRIS reports also that according to some information, the EU officials, in order to overcome the concerns of the Greek Cypriot and Greek side that the occupation regime in northern Cyprus would be recognized with the measures of the EU towards the Turkish Cypriots, promised that the "TRNC" would not be recognized and this is the reason why Commissioner Verheugen stressed this many times during his statements yesterday. During the preparation of the package, the EU officials told the Greek Cypriot and the Greek side that their concerns are groundless and that they would not be realized, continues KIBRIS.

    [05] Mr Erdogan assesses the economic package that the EU approved for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.07.04) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated that the economic package that the European Union approved for the Turkish Cypriots is a vote for lifting the 'isolation' imposed to the Turkish Cypriot community. Mr Erdogan made these statements upon his arrival to Turkey from Bulgaria, where he paid a short visit.

    Stressing that "this is definitely not recognition of the 'TRNC'" the Turkish Prime Minister stated that for once both the Turkish state and the pseudostate fulfil their goal.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Plot within plot in Talat´s early polls move

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (08.07.04) publishes the following analysis by Mine Cevik on the internal political situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus:

    "The Speakership Council of the Turkish Cypriot Republican Assembly decided to treat with urgency an appeal by Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat to go to fresh polls on Sept. 26 and referred the issue to a parliamentary committee, but the possibility of early elections in northern Cyprus is impossible, if not nil, according to well-placed political analysts.

    The premier of the `TRNC´ in the face of mounting pressure for his resignation, has moved to kill an opposition bid to topple his minority administration by calling for early polls, confident that the seven-month-old `TRNC´ legislature would not agree to fresh polls four years ahead of schedule.

    The two-party ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Talat, which barely secured a 26-seat majority in the 50-seat `TRNC´ legislature after the December elections produced an evenly split parliament between pro-settlement and anti-settlement parties, has since become a minority government because of the resignation of one parliamentarian from his Republican Turks' Party (RTP) and two MPs from his partner, the Democrat Party (DP) of Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas, son of President Rauf Denktas.

    Announcing the early elections decision earlier this week, Talat said fresh polls have become unavoidable because efforts to establish a majority government by luring the support of a small leftist party, the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) led by Mustafa Akinci, and establish a three-way coalition collapsed in failure.

    Talat's early polls petition came immediately before the release of a statement from the main opposition National Unity Party (NUP) that it would file a petition with Parliament demanding a vote of no-confidence against the RTP-DP minority coalition.

    Speaking to the TDN before the Speakership Council of Parliament referred the early polls issue to a commission and tentatively agreed to take it to parliamentary debate next week, while the NUP filed the no-confidence motion (which according to established rules must be debated no later than the third parliamentary session after the date it was submitted), political analysts said both the premier and the main opposition party were engaged in calculated political maneuvers with both sides, well aware that an early elections decision could not be adopted by Parliament nor could 26 votes be garnered to bring down the minority government with a no-confidence vote.

    Analysts said, confident that the early polls petition would be rejected, that Talat was trying to provide legitimacy to his minority coalition and evade pressure for his resignation, while NUP leader former Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu was engaged in an attempt to demonstrate the volatility of the Talat government and force a "broad-based coalition" led by himself.

    After the resignations, the RTP and the NUP each now has 18 seats in the 50-member legislature. The DP now has five seats, while the PDM has four, and the newly established United Cyprus Party and the Communal Liberation Party has one deputy each. There are three independents.

    As for a majority government, the support of at least 26 deputies is required to form a new majority government led by either the RTP or the NUP. The support of either both the DP and the PDM or either of these two parties and the independent deputies has become a must for a majority government to take shape.

    Analysts say neither government nor opposition parties truly want to go to early polls. The main opposition NUP tabled the motion to bring down Talat under pressure from its grassroots, analysts said, stressing that the conservative party might even be trying to force Talat to reconsider a NUP-RTP coalition headed by someone "acceptable" to both parties. So far, both the RTP and the NUP have been staunchly opposed to even considering coalition membership led by the leader of the other party.

    Indeed, according to some analysts, the highest possibility was the continuation of the Talat government until the presidential elections that are to be held in late May of next year.

    "All these political moves are aimed at bargaining over presidential polls as Talat has his eye on the presidential seat, and the other party leaders are seeking influential positions in the next government," a senior analyst told the TDN.

    Another senior analyst commented that Talat's early election move might be a tool to force Akinci to abandon his "intransigent position" and "ultra-high demands" and agree to becoming a coalition partner. "We may see discussions between Talat and Akinci along the lines of a 'Talat president, Akinci prime minister' sort of election alliance."

    Turkey wants 'stability in the north'

    In the meantime, Ankara, although it has been trying to stay out of domestic politics in northern Cyprus, has been advising all political actors that the last thing the Turkish Cypriots need now is political instability.

    At a time when efforts to end the international community's isolation of the north are gaining momentum, Turkish government sources said it would be a "great mistake" if senior policymakers in northern Cyprus were to engage in "political backbiting" rather than uniting their forces to secure the maximum the Turkish Cypriots can get at this very important juncture."

    /SK


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