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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-10-29

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.207/04 28-29.10.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Weston describes as "dangerous" a possible veto by the Republic of Cyprus to Turkey's EU perspective.
  • [02] Erdogan is in Rome to sign the Final Act.
  • [03] Early "elections" in the occupied areas of Cyprus are expected after "coalition" attempts fail.
  • [04] Talat alleged that the Republic of Cyprus is responsible for the non opening of new crossing points and accused it of not being democratic.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Turkish columnist opposes recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Weston describes as "dangerous" a possible veto by the Republic of Cyprus to Turkey's EU perspective

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (29.10.04) reports that the former Special Coordinator of the US State Department for Cyprus, Thomas Weston has expressed the opinion that a possible veto by the Republic of Cyprus to Turkey´s European Union accession talks would have very bad results for Cyprus.

    Retired Ambassador Weston said that he could speak more openly now because he is pensioner and works as academician. Asked what would happen in Cyprus after the referendums and the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU, Mr Weston replied: "I do not think that many things will happen until the Greek Cypriots openly say what they want for a solution, as the UN Secretary - General has suggested. The world is still waiting for this".

    Mr Weston argued that it was important that the Greek Cypriots clarify what they wanted, but the question of the relations of Turkey with the EU must be answered first before the Cyprus problem is discussed.

    Noting that the accession of Turkey to the EU was extremely important for both the EU and Turkey, Mr Weston added: "The unification of Turkey with Europe is a precondition for achieving a real progress on the Cyprus issue. If Turkey proceeds on the road of becoming a member to the EU, it means that there is hope for reaching a solution in Cyprus. However, if the membership of Turkey is not developed, then many things will change in Turkey, in Europe and in Cyprus. A different road will be followed and not the one that leads to the solution".

    Asked how the possibility of the Republic of Cyprus using its right to veto Turkey's launching negotiations with the EU will influence Turkey's accession, he said: "I think that the idea of using the veto threat as a trump card might be tempting from the point of view of the Greek Cypriots. However, I think that this would be a very dangerous step for Cyprus and threatens their long term interests and the function of the EU. And I think that the other member countries see the situation in this way".

    According to the paper, Mr Weston expressed the opinion that the process of Turkey becoming a full member of the EU is very important for Cyprus and that preventing Turkey just for "short term political interests" would be "a policy with extremely narrow vision". Mr Weston said that he could not tell what policy the Republic of Cyprus will follow on 17 December.

    Commenting on the resignation of Mehmet Ali Talat's so-called government and its influence on the solution of the Cyprus problem, Mr Weston expressed the assessment that the efforts to form a new pseudo-government could not lead to a stable result and that "elections" would be conducted in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Mr Weston concluded: "If new elections are held, the possibility of having a result closer to the result of the referendum exists. That is, I think that the new elections will increase the possibility of the creation of a stance more supportive to the unification, from the point of view of the Turkish Cypriots".

    Moreover, according to Turkish Cypriot KIBRISLI newspaper (29.10.04) Mr Weston expressed the opinion that the continuation of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots after the result of the referendums was no fair. Mr Weston argued that the realization of the promises given to the Turkish Cypriots is late.

    [02] Erdogan is in Rome to sign the Final Act

    According to Turkish mainland daily MILLIYET newspaper (29.10.04), the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan went to Rome-Italy to sign together with Bulgaria and Romania the Final Act of the EU Constitution Treaty.

    MILLIYET correspondent reports that Turkey first time will sign an EU document in which, as he puts it, the Greek Cypriot side is mentioned as the Republic of Cyprus. The paper reports that the Final Act includes the Constitution, 36 Protocols, 49 Declarations, and two annexes. The Protocol 9, which is among the other protocols, includes the text of the Accession Agreement for the 10 countries signed in April 2003 where one of them is Republic of Cyprus.

    [03] Early "elections" in the occupied areas of Cyprus are expected after "coalition" attempts fail

    Istanbul NTV television (28.10.04) broadcast that the efforts of National Unity Party (NUP) leader, Mr Dervis Eroglu, to form a new so-called coalition government in the occupied areas of Cyprus have not produced any results. The way to early so-called elections in "TRNC" was cleared when Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktas also turned down farming a coalition with the NUP.

    The Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat declared that his party will not form a coalition with the NUP, had already turned down Eroglu's proposal on Tuesday.

    Mr Eroglu met with Serdar Denktas on Thursday to propose a coalition. After evaluating the proposal the party assembly of the DP decided unanimously that there was no need for such "coalition government". In a statement after the meeting Serdar Denktas said that the "government" proposed by the NUP would not have more than 26 seats in the 50-seat "Assembly", and that because this structure would not be stable it would eventually be necessary to hold elections. Mr Serdar Denktas also said: "The early election process is now under way. May the new process be auspicious for our people."

    The NUP leader will reportedly return his assignment to form a "government" to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas without delay. At this point, Mr Rauf Denktas is expected to call for early so-called elections without designating anyone else as would traditionally be required. Early "elections" are expected to be held in the "TRNC" in January.

    [04] Talat alleged that the Republic of Cyprus is responsible for the non opening of new crossing points and accused it of not being democratic

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (28.10.04) reports that the so-called care taker Prime Minister of the occupation regime Mr Mehmet Ali Talat accused the Republic of Cyprus of being responsible as regards the non opening of new crossings.

    Mr Talat made these statements during a meeting he had with the Turkish Cypriot chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, which asked for the opening of the checkpoint at the end of the Ledra Street.

    Mr Talat, who blamed the Greek Cypriot side for the non opening of the new crossing alleged that the Greek Cypriots put conditions before everything. He accused the Greek Cypriot side of telling lies and of being impudence and not being serious.

    "There is no democracy and transparency in the Greek Cypriot side", alleged the pseudo prime minister and went on saying that the Republic of Cyprus is member of the EU, but not European.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Turkish columnist opposes recognition of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (28.10.04), under the title "Is Cyprus an Obstacle?" publishes the following commentary by Gunduz Aktan:

    "Greek Cypriot officials and Greek President Costis Stefanopulos want us to recognize the Republic of Cyprus before we get a date to start membership negotiations at the Dec. 17 European Union summit, and threaten a veto if it's not done.

    According to reliable sources, Greek Cypriots and their supporters in the commission worked very hard to include Turkey's recognition before December 17 as a condition in the EU Commission report, but failed to do so. The Greek Cypriots were told that they could use their veto right in 2007 instead, when the negotiations truly start and a vote on the first of the 31 sections of the negotiation topics will take place.

    On the third page of the recommendations made by the commission to the Council, there is a roundabout way of citing this matter. In the same paragraph, Turkey is asked to sign a protocol prepared by the Commission in order for all new members, including the Greek Cypriots, to harmonize with the Ankara Treaty. If Turkey signs the protocol, it will have officially recognized the Republic of Cyprus.

    There is no set implementation process for the countries that became members before to adhere to the Ankara Treaty. Some are yet to sign the harmonization protocol. That's why the ten new members have no obligation to sign it.

    Under these conditions, it is very hard for the Greek Cypriots to create trouble until 2007, or veto the start of the negotiations on Dec. 17. However, Greek Cypriot officials constantly mentioning their veto right shows that they want to obtain certain favours from us before December 17. This way, they will be able to increase the favours they get once the negotiations start.

    Additionally, their constant emphasis on their veto right both creates expectations in the Greek Cypriot public, and gives us the impression that they are trying to prepare us for the worst. Still, if they don't do as they say, they may damage their credibility and face a serious political crisis at home.

    Some people in Turkey have started to say that we cannot avoid recognizing the Greek Cypriots. The EU also seems quite committed on this issue.

    If we recognize the Greek Cypriot administration, we will be both accepting being seen as the occupiers of the north of the island and the Republic of Cyprus that toppled the 1960 system in 1963 and dominated the island by force until Turkey's intervention in 1974. This way, the Cyprus problem will be solved "by itself." And then the turn comes for Turkey and the settlers to withdraw from the island. Turkish Cypriots will become a minority and the EU will make all the promises in the world to assure us that they will protect the Turks on the island.

    Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots should start thinking about whether they are ready for such an arrangement.

    In resolving such disagreements, there is a concept called historical timing. This timing for Cyprus presented itself at the 1999 Helsinki EU summit decision, despite being unfavourable to us. Before that, there was neither the opportunity nor a reason for resolving the problem. For one to accuse Rauf Denktas of being responsible for the failure to resolve the issue, one should be quite fixated.

    There is a cost of ignoring and damaging the authority and the weight of the chief negotiator when the time comes to resolve the matter. This cost increased even further when Turkish Cypriots became divided and a "submissive" government was put in charge. Everybody, naturally, expected us to make boundless sacrifices. When we accepted a solution that no sovereign state could, we failed to persuade the Greek Cypriots, despite the fact that the fourth version of the plan, in U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's words, was amended in favour of them.

    At the root of this problem lies the fact that the EU accepted one side as a member, while keeping the other out. The second version of the Annan plan, presented on November 11, 2002, was hastily discussed for a month, before being released on December 10. At the Brussels summit held two days later decided to accept the Greek Cypriots as members, claiming that the Turkish side had rejected the plan. Despite the fact that the Turkish side argued that they would accept the plan, if the economic embargo was lifted, the EU, which wanted to continue 'TRNC' isolation, rejected the Turkish offer. In short, responsibility entirely lies with the EU and the Greek Cypriots. Under such circumstances, why shouldn't Greek Cypriots use the veto right the EU gave them?"

    /SK


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