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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-11-24

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.225/04 24.11.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Rauf Denktas sheds light on the death of his son Raif in the second instalment of his interview with VATAN.
  • [02] Gul held contacts in Sharm el-Sheikh. To visit the Hague and Rome. He speaks of US commitments towards Turkey regarding PKK as well.
  • [03] President Putin to visit Turkey on 5 and 6 December.
  • [04] NTV reports that the US advised Turkey to recognize the Republic of Cyprus before 17 December.
  • [05] Ilter Turkmen denies Denktasī statement that he was donated a house.
  • [06] The inhabitants of occupied Lefka area complain about the attitude of the Turkish company that leased abandoned CMC installations at Karavostasi village.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Gul declares that the Annan plan is finished. The Turkish diplomacy continues its efforts to dupe the world about the occupation of Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Rauf Denktas sheds light on the death of his son Raif in the second instalment of his interview with VATAN

    Istanbul VATAN newspaper (23.11.04) publishes the second part of an interview of Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, by Devrim Sevimay under the title: "My son died because of MIT":

    Following are Mr Denktasīs replies to the questions of VATAN in the second installement the first part of which was published yesterday:

    Question: Has Serdar Denktaš been your "soft underbelly", I wonder? Does it not bother you that he entered into cooperation with the RTP [Republican Turkish Party]?

    Answer: I do not interfere in his duties as a member of the party. He is no different from myself in terms of the national cause. Serdar reportedly voted "no" in the referendum, and he left his party free. He has not opposed me.

    Question: Is the situation of Serdar Denktas's father-in-law, Salih Boyaci [imprisoned owner of failed Cyprus Credit Bank], not disturbing?

    Answer: The only thing I regret is my inability to assist him, because he was my relative. If it were someone else, I would provide assistance, because an injustice took place. He supposedly claimed a positive balance sheet even though [the bank] made losses, and he misrepresented the deposits. This is a crime. But I say that he got such a heavy sentence because he is related to me, as the father-in-law of my son Serdar.

    Question: It is always said regarding your first son, who died in a traffic accident, that "If he had lived, things would be different..."

    Answer: Yes, he truly had a broad vision, and he was a very passionate young man who read night and day, and who was very self-reliant. Until his (Raifīs) death, Serdar had had no thought of going into politics.

    Question: It reminds one of Basil, the son of [former] Syrian leader Hafiz al-Asad. He was the one who had been groomed for politics. And he as well died in a suspicious traffic accident. Do you also still have suspicions?

    Answer: I don't even like to think about it. (He sighs a deep sigh and repeats.) I don't even like to think about it. He was someone who drove very hard, and he was under a lot of psychological pressure in those days. It all began like this: It was a few months before his death. (Rauf Raif Denktas died on 27 December 1985 in Famagusta). There suddenly appeared a headline in a major newspaper that he was involved in narcotics trafficking. Raif came crying to me and said "Dad, how can I leave something like this to my children?" I said "Son, write a denial." But they didn't publish it. Naturally I looked into this to see where it had all come from. I told General Nurettin Ersin (former Deputy Director of MIT [Turkish National Intelligence Organization] and a member of the National Security Council until 1984), may God preserve him, that "According to this newspaper, this is testimony from a certain person who provided a statement to MIT. For God's sake, can you send this statement to us, in order to satisfy the family?" He sent it to me in the form of two tape recordings. One of the tapes, from start to finish, involved this man describing his contacts; he came to Cyprus , there was a Raif in Cyprus, known as "trucker Raif", and he talked about his contact with him. Trucker Raif, trucker Raif... A tape of two or three hours. That was one tape... Then there was the information provided to that major newspaper. That is, the second tape. "You said that Raif was involved in such-and-such matters." "Yes." "Was this Denktas's son Raif?" "Yes." That was given to that major newspaper.

    Question: By MIT?

    Answer: Yes, but why? Because in those days as well, I was involved in a debate as to whether or not to say "yes".

    Question: Well, did MIT do this with the knowledge of the government at the time (when the Prime Minister was [Turgut] Ozal), or was this an operation by some internal faction?

    Answer: Yes, someone from within. Whether it was an official act by MIT (whose Director at the time was Burhanettin Bigali) I do not know. But it was leaked from there to the press in this way. Thereafter, I asked the editor of the newspaper in question "How can you do something like this?" The answer he gave me was very interesting. He said that "Our news chief was of Greek origin; we have since let him go." And that's how it remained. A month before this incident, the same newspaper had headlined a story reporting that Raif was hiding in his house an anarchist (Huseyin Kocabas, the killer of prosecutor Dogan Oz). At the time, I was involved in talks in New York with former Greek Cypriot leader Spyros Kyprianou. And before going there, Kyprianou's son, a commando, had reportedly disappeared, and there was an atmosphere as if [Glafcos] Clerides, preparing for elections, had caused him to disappear. When Clerides, unable to tolerate these rumours, withdrew from the election, Kyprianou's son reappeared. Meanwhile, I was waiting in New York thinking "How well I'll be able to use this against Kyprianou." But then this thing appeared in the press. I knew nothing about it. This time, on the phone, Raif told me about it and asked what to do. I told him to sue the newspaper. He did, and that newspaper was sentenced to pay 50 thousand liras in damages. But they did not publish a retraction. So Raif was going to the university and teaching in this psychological situation. That was when he had the accident. It was the greatest tragedy of my life.

    Subtitle: Thank God I'm in a better situation than Arafat

    Question: After [Palestinian leader Yasir] Arafat's death, you told a very touching anecdote: He reportedly said to you "I have no place to be buried; you have Turkey." But then shouldn't you be jealous of Arafat, rather than he being jealous of you? Have you not thought in this way when looking at his funeral service?

    Answer: What does that amount to? Throughout the man's life, there was no one who hadn't persecuted him. He was imprisoned in his house for the past four years; he couldn't even stick his nose out, and couldn't even ask "What are you doing?" of those who did this to him.

    Question: In other words, you are really in a better situation than Arafat [was]?

    Answer: I am in a much better situation, thank God.

    Question: Are you not sad that you were unable to create a resistant people like the Palestinians in Cyprus ?

    Answer: Had Arafat been in my situation, and had there been people who at least recognized his state, he would not have been able to find those children who threw stones at tanks. When the danger is gone, then everyone... Now your security is guaranteed here, there is no threat, and so there is no need.

    Subtitle: Yes, I lost half of the Cypriot young people

    Question: It will perhaps be difficult for you to accept it now, but in the end, the people said "That's enough of this struggle." Do you not have to accept that you have been unable to make a nation-state out of the Turkish Cypriots?

    Answer: I consider that we did succeed in this. But within it, there is a current that believe that, if they get into the EU by uniting with the Greek Cypriots, they will attain happiness, and who have deceived our young people as well. But these are not, as is believed, 65 percent of the population.

    Question: Is it enough just to look at the referendum results? Didn't this people also make the RTP the first party?

    Answer: What is the RTP saying now? It isn't very clear. RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat is saying "The Greek Cypriots have sunk to the point that they would cut off our air if they could." It is a big step for him to say this. Indeed, comments have begun to appear in the Greek Cypriot press that "Talat is turning into another Denktas." He is being criticized even in his own press.

    Question: Is it something else to sit down at the negotiating table?

    Answer: Naturally it's something else. A person realizes his responsibility then. Look, let me say this: I cannot see anyone who would sign something saying "We give up our independence."

    Question: If a people gives this up, and wants its per capita national income to rise from 3 thousand to 15 thousand dollars, then that signature should then be given easily...

    Answer: The people don't want this. There is no such desire. This is a myth... Ask everyone who voted "yes" [in the April 2004 referendum], and they probably all think that the guarantorship [by Turkey] would continue. If you ask them "Do you give up your state?" in the form of "Do you not want Turkey's guarantorship?", then you would be able to get the true answer. You cannot understand what a people says with a camouflaged, nonsense referendum.

    Question: Do you not think that you have at least lost the young people of Cyprus? I keep asking, and you keep rejecting this.

    Answer: At least speak in terms of fifty-fifty, and then I can accept it.

    Question: You've lost half of them, in other words?

    Answer: Certainly. The leftist opposition really went after the young people. The AKEL [Progressive Party of the Working People] party of the Greek Cypriots is more communist than our [leftists], but they are more nationalist than anyone when the issue is Cyprus . As for our party, it cooperated with AKEL, treated me as an enemy, and portrayed me in this way to young people. They portrayed me to young people as a servant of imperialism, and someone who does whatever Turkey says.

    Question: Have you ever said to yourself "If only our people would stand up for their cause the way the Greek Cypriots do"?

    Answer: I appreciate this, and I say "Our left has not been able to be what AKEL has been".

    Question: Well, then, has the end finally been reached?

    Answer: What is the end in the Cyprus issue? Are you going to give in or not? It is said "Solve the Cyprus issue." Why does it not get solved? The Greek Cypriots want the whole of Cyprus , and that is why it does not get solved. Because you do not give them this... If you give it to them, it can be solved. If you're not going to give it to them, as you have not given it to date, then learn to beat your breast saying "The Cyprus issue is still outstanding", and to live with it.

    Subtitle: My cells longing for Ayios Epifanios have died

    Question: In your view, will the Greek Cypriot administration veto Turkey on 17 December?

    Answer: If they are intelligent, they won't. For Turkey's getting a date [to begin EU membership negotiations] will be a Godīs gift for them. They will be able to set Turkey up in opposition to themselves and play with it.

    Question: Is the [Kofi] Annan Plan finally dead?

    Answer: As you know, they keep bringing Christ back to life. So one can still be afraid of it.

    Question: Are you going to give up your house in Kyrenia after your term as President ends?

    Answer: No, it's a four-room house that I bought after eight years for the equivalent amount of points.

    Question: Is the fact that your grandchild has gotten a second passport not a contradiction in terms of the name of Denktas?

    Answer: We told people who voted "'yes" in the referendum in order to get EU passports that "An EU passport is your right. You do not turn your backs on the `TRNCī by getting one." Everyone refers to these as "Greek Cypriot passports". But it is the passport of the Republic of Cyprus , which the Greek Cypriots stole. I have a right to one as well. In my view, there is no contradiction.

    Question: Has there or has there not been a flurry of distributing houses and land from Cyprus to Turkey?

    Answer: There has been no such thing. Our only gift was to one individual. We presented a house to Ilter Turkmen (the Turkish Foreign Minister at the time) on account of his contributions to the establishment of the Republic. He later sold it.

    Question: Was handing out dual citizenship intended to change the demographic structure, or was it political bribery?

    Answer: What connection is there? 90 percent of those who got such citizenship rights had no right to vote. How could it be bribery? It was a feeling of gratitude toward Turkey. But if we look into it, then were all the cases in accord with the law, or were there cases that took place on account of friendship? There could be.

    Question: Your power was not enough to impact your party on the NUP's [National Unity Party] Chairman [Dervis] Eroglu. As you know, they say of [former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan] Menderes that "He didn't take them [bribes], but he tolerated others taking them."

    Answer: I was unable to get either Eroglu or Turkey to listen... It was as if the perception were that I was competing with Eroglu. [Former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut] Yilmaz supported Eroglu a great deal... Because the people had elected me, whatever Eroglu did, they assumed it was on my behalf.

    Question: Is there nothing in the Greek Cypriot sector that you miss?

    Answer: Nothing! To allow such a longing would mean weakening your resolve.

    Question: What about Ayios Epifanios (the village in the south in which he was born)? Have you erased it from your imagination?

    Answer: That was the village there where I worked as a shepherd, hunted, wrote poems, and dreamed... But I do not miss it.

    Question: One would have to kill off some of the cells of one's body in order not to feel some longing.

    Answer: I didn't kill them off; they died of their own accord.

    Question: Is your mother's grave not in the south?

    Answer: We brought her body north. My elder sister (89 years old and now resident in Izmir) was very upset. I said to Clerides that we wanted to bring my mother's remains from Paphos... The timing was right, and he agreed. My sister brought them here ten years ago.

    Subtitle: TMT pained me deeply

    Denktas: I worked as a political expert within the Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT). I was seen as being in the leadership in order to concel the main leader. There were mistakes made that pained me greatly. But to portray me to the children as if I were the leader and I were giving the orders is wrong. Because of the mistakes that were made, we cannot disregard either the things that EOKA [National Organization of Cypriot Fighters] did or the resistance of the TMT. I prevented the mistaken actions that the TMT initially carried out as soon as I perceived them. But they have stayed as pain within me. That is my great pain. And we are still in such a situation as to be unable to write the truth. We have an oath. You do not tell, upon pain of death, the things you saw, knew, or did while in the TMT. This was the oath.

    Subtitle: I am like a dictator without authority

    Question: How many years have you been President?

    Answer: I have forgotten. (You should have seen the expression on his face as he said this. Both teasing and embarrassed. And then, with a great laugh, he began to count on his fingers.) When did I become President after all? Is this the third time?

    Question: The fourth!

    Answer: Well, what are you so shocked at? You should be really impressed! (He continues to laugh.)

    Question: You have been President for the past 21 years. Does this not finally become dictatorship?

    Answer: I guess it does, and that is the crisis I'm in... And a dictator without authority at that... This is impossible. It has to change.

    Question: Just think of all the people who have come and gone in that 21 years. Have none of them resisted as much as you?

    Answer: If I were to write about them all, it would be a great novel.

    [02] Gul held contacts in Sharm el-Sheikh. To visit the Hague and Rome. He speaks of US commitments towards Turkey regarding PKK as well

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.11.04) reported from Sharm el-Sheikh that the

    Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Tuesday conveyed to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Turkey's expectations regarding the fight against PKK terrorism, the Cyprus problem and the safety of Turkish truck drivers in Iraq.

    Gul, currently in Sharm el-Sheikh to attend the Conference on Iraq, held bilateral meetings with Secretary Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Gul thanked Powell, whose term in office will expire soon, for his cooperation.

    On the other hand the two ministers stated that all ethnic groups living in Iraq should participate in the elections to be held on January 30, 2005 in this country.

    It was reported that Gul reminded Powell that several groups adopted attitudes contradicting the election process and stressed that these attitudes had the risk of paving the way in the future to ethnical clashes.

    Powell, in response to Gul's warning, stated that they were in permanent contact with those groups and were making necessary suggestions. He said no weakness should be shown in election process.

    Gul also conveyed to Secretary Powell the concerns of Turkey regarding PKK/KADEK terrorism and its expectations from the United States on this issue.

    Pointing out that this was a serious problem for Turkey and that the United States have made several commitments, Gul said the Turkish people expected a concrete struggle (against PKK terrorists) from now on.

    Expressing the sorrow and concern Turkey felt over the attacks on Turkish truck drivers in Iraq, Gul urged that the problem be solved.

    Powell on his part said together with the Iraqi administration they did their best to provide security and noted that the efforts will continue.

    Another issue which Gul put on the table was Turkey's expectations concerning the Cyprus issue. Gul said Turkey expected steps to be made by the United States and Britain regarding direct flights to the occupied areas of Cyprus , and recalled that he got the support of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on this issue.

    Powell in reply said studies are continuing on this matter.

    Gul and Powell also discussed the developments in the region following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Both ministers stressed that a new window of opportunity was opened in front of the parties in the region, and that this should be used in an appropriate manner.

    Gul also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the margin of the Iraq Conference.

    Diplomatic sources said that the main topic of the meeting was Iraq, stating that Lavrov advocated Turkey's view that elections in Iraq should cover all the groups living in Iraq.

    Gul told Lavrov that all groups in Iraq should be urged to participate in the elections, and that Russia should play an important role on this issue.

    As regards the safety of Turkish truck drivers in Iraq, Gul said it was impossible to understand that Turkish drivers were attacked although they were in a humanitarian mission to meet the basic requirements of Iraqi people.

    The Middle East problem was also discussed at the meeting.

    On Mr Gulīs contacts in Sharm el-Sheikh local KIBRIS (24.11.04) reports that during the dinner given in honour of the Foreign Ministers attending the Iraq Conference, Mr Gul held a conversation with the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan, with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem and the situation after the referendums. Mr Gul stressed the importance of direct flights to the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    According to the paper diplomatic sources said Mr Annan shares Mr Gulīs views and he expressed support for the direct flights.

    Furthermore Ankara Anatolia (23.11.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will travel to the Hague and Rome to have several meetings.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement that Gul will attend the Turkey -EU Troika Meting in The Hague, and later proceed to Italy to attend the Turkish-Italian Forum to be held in Rome.

    Within the framework of his meetings in Italy, Gul is scheduled to meet Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini and discuss the political, economic and cultural dimensions of Turkish-Italian relations; Turkey 's EU membership process; UN Security Council reform and the conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh.

    Gul will also deliver a speech on " Turkey 's EU membership Process" in the Turkish-Italian Forum.

    Gul will also attend the Democracy Assistance Dialogue Initiative ministersī meeting and will address the Italian Senate.

    Gul is expected to return to Turkey on November 25th.

    [03] President Putin to visit Turkey on 5 and 6 December

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.11.04) reported the following from Moscow:

    "President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation will pay a state visit to Turkey between December 5th and 6th.

    During his two-day visit to Turkey , President Putin will meet President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Turkish businessmen.

    President Sezer and President Putin will sign four agreements and joint political declaration.

    Putin was scheduled to visit Turkey between September 2nd and 3rd. However, his visit was postponed when a group of armed militants held hostage more than a thousand people, mostly children, in a school in Beslan, North Ossetia.

    President Putin will become the first Russian president paying a state visit to Turkey after 32 years. Nikolay Podgorny, who served as titular head of former state of the Soviet Union, paid the highest level of visit to Turkey in 1973. A proposed Turkish pipeline for Russian oil and energy cooperation between the two countries are the topics likely to be high on the agenda of President Putin's meetings in Ankara.

    Mutual trade volume between Turkey and Russia, which had been just 200 million U.S. dollars 15 years ago, currently reached to 8 billion U.S. dollars.

    "Blue Stream" natural gas pipeline has further strengthened economic and commercial relations between the two countries. Moscow also aims to extend the pipeline to Israel.

    On the other hand, Russia is the second country sending most tourists to Turkey after Germany.

    Issues such as Chechen separatists and terrorist organization of PKK/KADEK are also expected to be taken up during President Putin's talks in Ankara".

    [04] NTV reports that the US advised Turkey to recognize the Republic of Cyprus before 17 December

    Istanbul NTV television (24.11.04) reports the following by Umit Enginsoy from Washington:

    "The US Administration is recommending to Turkey to recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration before the critical date of 17 December. US sources believe that if Turkey recognizes the Greek Cypriot Administration, or at least gives a strong signal that it soon will, then this will greatly help in getting a positive reply from the EU on 17 December. Our correspondent in Washington, Umit Enginsoy, reports:

    Due to the recent presidential elections, the Washington leadership has been focusing on domestic politics, except for Iraq. Nevertheless, Turkey's EU process heads the priority items that are being discussed in the Turkish-US contacts being held through various channels. US officials are saying that Washington continues to fully support Turkey's EU membership. The Cyprus issue is very much on the agenda in this context.

    According to information received from US sources, Washington is recommending to Turkey to recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration before the critical date of 17 December. The same sources believe that if Turkey recognizes the Greek Cypriot Administration, or at least gives a strong signal that it soon will, then this will greatly help in getting a positive reply from the EU on 17 December.

    Turkish sources have confirmed that Washington is indeed recommending this course of action.

    Observers in Washington point to the results of the 30 April referenda in Cyprus . They recall that a great majority of the Turkish Cypriots voted yes at the referendum, and say that Turkey has done more than its share in Cyprus . They state that Turkey is not looking warmly to the idea of recognizing the Greek Cypriot Administration before 17 December".

    [05] Ilter Turkmen denies Denktasī statement that he was donated a house

    Former Turkish Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen, commenting on the statement made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to Turkish Mainland daily (VATAN 23.11.04) that "we have given a house as a gift to Mr Turkmen", said that the aforementioned house was not donated to him but he had bought it.

    Speaking to Turkish Mainland daily MILLIYET newspaper (24.11.04) Ilter Turkmen said: Denktasīs memory betrayed him. The statement made by later Yasser Arafat `I have no land even to be burriedī was made to me and I told this to Mr Denktas. When Denktas was asked in (VATAN) whether land and houses were distributed in the occupied area to Turks from Turkey, Denktas replied: "There is no such thing. We have once made a donation as gift. We have given a house as a gift, to the then Turkish Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen for his contribution for the establishment of the Republic, later on he has sold it".

    Turkmen said that what Denktas is saying is not true, that he went to the occupied area in 1985 when he was no more foreign minister.

    Turkmen said: "We have seen a house west of Kyrenia, in the area called `Karavan Koyī and we have decided to buy it. I do not remember for how much we have bought it. It was a semi-detached two-room house, in a dilapidated state. We have spent some money for the interior, but not a single night had we stayed in it".

    Turkmen went on and said that in 1991 he had sold the house to a German couple for 60-90 thousand USD. Denktas remembers wrongly. It is possible that at that period it was not allowed to the Turkish citizens to acquire immovable property. Maybe he meant this. They have done an exception for me. It is possible that oneīs memory could betray him. There is no bad intention in this. Both of us have reached to a certain age, and our memory could betray us, one has to excuse us".

    [06] The inhabitants of occupied Lefka area complain about the attitude of the Turkish company that leased abandoned CMC installations at Karavostasi village

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.11.04) reports that the chairman of the Association for Lefka's Environment and Advertisement, Hakan Oran has expressed the opinion that the pollution in the area of the abandoned installations of the Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC) at the occupied Karavostasi village was not cleaned and that the inhabitants of the area were once more deceived.

    In a written statement issued yesterday Mr Oran said that the Doba Investment Ltd company that had leased the area for 49 years and promised to clean it and make a port there, has not kept its promises and that the "officials" of the occupation regime do not conduct the necessary control on the company.

    "It seems that the pollution has unfortunately remained to our area and our country", he noted and pointed out that the measures taken by Doba Investment Ltd "were nothing else than waste of time and some actions aimed at gaining time".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Gul declares that the Annan plan is finished. The Turkish diplomacy continues its efforts to dupe the world about the occupation of Cyprus

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (23.11.04) publishes the following column by Sedat Ergin under the title: "Gul: Annan Plan finished":

    "Might the Greek Cypriot administration veto the EU's decision to begin full accession talks with Turkey at the crucial meeting on 17 December?

    The signs are that Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos will try to get several improvements made to the Annan Plan in the Greek Cypriots' favour by playing the veto card.

    We asked Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul: "If the EU comes along saying, 'We could not convince the Greek Cypriots; let us relax the plan here and there a bit' what kind of response will you give?"

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul replied saying, "If there is such a thing then in fact the Greek Cypriots should pay the price for rejecting this plan."

    Fine, but what might that price be?

    Gul replies:

    "There has to be a price for duping the EU. The EU bent over backwards to take on a unified Cyprus, and it officially announced it had been duped. The EU's voice was censored during the referenda. The EU should first make the Greek Cypriots pay the price for this."

    Subtitle: We did what was required of us

    We asked: "Alright, the EU did not make them pay but ask for some changes all the same. Is the Annan Plan an immutable text now as far as Ankara is concerned?" Gul replied:

    "We did what was required of us. The Annan Plan did not meet our expectations 100 percent but sometimes you cannot always get all your expectations met. Compromise is a way of life in today's civilized world. However you make this compromise the opposing side must do the same. We made a compromise and said Yes. The ball is now in the Greek Cypriot court."

    We took up Gul's reply:

    "All the same, if they say let us make some changes what might Turkey's attitude be to this?"

    The foreign minister's reply is short and concise:

    "As far as we are concerned the Annan Plan is finished."

    Subtitle: New target: UN Security Council Resolution

    Indeed, it is no secret that `TRNCī Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat "caught Ankara's attention" when he issued a statement in the past to the effect that the Annan Plan could be reopened to negotiation.

    Talat then withdrew his statement and noted that the Annan Plan was closed to renegotiation.

    As will be seen the Annan Plan, which once divided the decisionmakers and public opinion in Turkey and brought relations between Ankara and Denktas to breaking point, is perceived in Ankara as immutable holy writ today.

    Gul explains that the target of Turkish diplomacy from this point onwards is for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution that will endorse the result of the 24 April referenda.

    Our expectations are to do with the reports that Kofi Annan submitted to the Security Council. A resolution concerning these reports must be passed."

    Subtitle: Process unfortunately slow

    "However, despite the passing of seven months Turkish diplomacy has been unable to get this resolution out of the UN Security Council," we interjected. Gul continued:

    "If it has not happened it is because not all of the UN Security Council members are under Turkey's command. Turkey's head at all international platforms is currently high. This is a gain too large to put a price tag on. Secondly, both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots always appeared to be intransigent. Now, everything has changed. We and they now occupy different positions."

    Gul then said: "Of course, we need to secure the gains we made from this. Unfortunately, this is a slow process" and concedes that the goal has not yet been reached.

    The foreign minister sends this message to the `TRNCī:

    "By saying Yes the Turkish Cypriots paid their debt to Turkey. With the referendum they paid whatever was done to them by Turkey as the motherland."

    The foreign minister's views on Cyprus ahead of the EU summit can be summarized thus".


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