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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-12-21

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.244/04 21.12.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan wants a new process on Cyprus which to lead to two separate states or a United Republic as in the Annan plan.
  • [02] Erdogan asked for a meeting with the UN Secretary-General.
  • [03] Erdogan: "Had Papadopoulos used his veto right we would not get the date".
  • [04] Baykal accuses Prime Minister Erdogan of telling lies about EU giving Turkey a road map to full membership.
  • [05] Actual date for Turkey-EU talks early 2006.
  • [06] The Turkish Foreign Minister assesses the EU Summit on CNN-Turk.
  • [07] The Turkish Cypriot leader rules out recognition by Turkey and wants talks with Annan.
  • [08] Ankara and the occupation regime continue the colonization of the occupied areas by changing the demographic structure with settlers from Turkey.
  • [09] Talat and Izcan call for solution to the Cyprus problem until the 3rd of October 2005.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in MILLIYET assesses the results of the 17 December Summit and the prospects for the Cyprus problem.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan wants a new process on Cyprus which to lead to two separate states or a United Republic as in the Annan plan

    Turkish TV channel CNN Turk (20.12.04) broadcast an interview with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by the Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birand at his programme "Manset" (Headline).

    Mr Erdogan said during the programme that "a new process would start in Cyprus. This process will either be for two separate states or a United Cyprus Republic as stated in the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan plan".

    Replying to a question with whom Turkey would negotiate the extension of the protocol so that "it would include Cyprus" till October 3rd, 2005, Erdogan said: "There is nothing like an extension. We will have talks with the European Commission. We will discuss the requirements of the Ankara Agreement as a necessity of the 19th paragraph. We will debate what Turkey should do as a requirement of this agreement. We will reach a compromise with the Commission on many articles. At the same time, the Commission will naturally discuss several matters with the Greek Cypriot side."

    Asked if the "TRNC" would make use of the Customs Union as the Greek Cypriot side, Erdogan said: "The situation of the north is different than that of the south regarding Customs Union. North is a member of neither the Customs Union nor the EU. If both parties (in Cyprus) had voted 'yes' in the April 24th simultaneous referenda, this process would have been over now. But, it's not so. Now, a second process will begin. That is, the south and the north will take steps for a new peace process."

    Upon a question if he was launching a new settlement process, Erdogan said: "It can begin. This process will either be for two separate states or a United Cyprus Republic as stated in the Annan plan."

    Asked if Annan plan was still on the agenda, Erdogan said: "No, it is not. The south opposes the Annan plan. But, neither the north nor the south, nor Greece, Turkey nor Britain can say 'it's over' to the Annan plan. The plan said that it would be excluded from the agenda if both parties did not vote 'yes' in April 24th simultaneous referenda. So, it has been dropped from the agenda."

    Answering a question if the plan could be brought forward again, Erdogan said: "We think such a thing will be beneficial for resumption of the peace process."

    Erdogan said that Turkey would be pleased if the UN was involved in the process.

    Asked if non-solution of the Cyprus issue was a "disadvantage", Erdogan said: "It is politically wrong to comment. I can neither say 'yes' nor 'no'. All these are matters we will solve through negotiations. We should sit at the table with a 'win-win' understanding. We need to solve it. We need to find a fair and permanent solution. Otherwise, this won't be an island of peace."

    In replying to a question on when the solution process would begin, Mr Erdogan said: "Within 2005. There will be elections in the 'TRNC', and then the south will hold elections. The result of these elections is important. But, we don't need to wait for the results of the elections."

    Asked if Turkey wanted to solve the issue before beginning of its accession negotiations, Erdogan said: "Of course, there will be a road map. And, we will work in line with this road map."

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to the EU summit of December 17th and stated that if excitement is managed successfully, it is be possible to achieve positive results. "However, if you cannot manage your excitement, you cannot achieve anything," said Erdogan.

    When asked how long the entry talks would continue, Erdogan replied that the EU would not ask for anything else other than the fulfilment of the Copenhagen Criteria. "How long the entry talks will go on depends on our mutual performance. We want to conclude these talks successfully as soon as possible," stated Erdogan.

    In reference to the upcoming French and Austrian referenda on Turkey's membership, Erdogan said that he was not afraid of the referenda. "Many things will change till the referenda. We hope to create an atmosphere of harmony with the EU. No, the referenda do not scare us."

    [02] Erdogan asked for a meeting with the UN Secretary-General

    Local Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (21.12.04) reports under the banner headlines "Rendezvous with Annan" and says that Turkish Prime Minister (PM) Erdogan has asked for an appointment with the UN Secretary-General. The paper, quoting diplomatic sources in Ankara, reports that when Turkish PM Erdogan had met with UN Secretary-General Annan in Brussels he had asked him to arrange an appointment in order to start a new process regarding Cyprus.

    The same diplomatic sources further added that if a negotiation process starts, then the Greek Cypriots should submit their amended proposals.

    He had asked the Secretary-General, to submit his Cyprus report to the UN Security Council. Once the report is adopted by the Security Council, the Annan plan will be put on the negotiation table and with the amendments demanded by the sides the plan will be re-opened to negotiation.

    The paper then quotes Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul´s statement to the Turkish Journalists regarding the resumption of the Cyprus talks.

    According to Gul´s statement, in order to resume a new negotiation process it is necessary that the Secretary-General´s Cyprus report should be approved by the UN Security Council

    [03] Erdogan: "Had Papadopoulos used his veto right we would not get the date"

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (21.12.04) reports that Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), about Turkey´s getting a negotiation date from the EU, said: "For getting a negotiation date, 25 countries have to give their approval. Among the countries that gave its consent is south Cyprus. You cannot put aside this fact".

    He went on sand said: "Turkey´s getting a negotiation date without recognizing one of the members demonstrates our sensitivity in defending our national interests. Thus our government got the best position".

    [04] Baykal accuses Prime Minister Erdogan of telling lies about EU giving Turkey a road map to full membership

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (21.12.04) reports the following:

    "Opposition Republican People's Party (RPP) leader Deniz Baykal reacted on Monday against the government's efforts to portray the European Union summit decision on December 17 as a victory.

    Baykal said: "They are trying to create a false atmosphere of celebration. We also want to join in the celebration, but we fail to see anything to celebrate." He then asked Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to explain what all the fuss was about.

    He said the prime minister's statements after the summit were an effort to hide the facts, accusing Erdogan of telling lies about Turkey being given a road map to full EU membership. Baykal asked, "Is the prime minister doing this intentionally, or is he totally unaware of what was done in Brussels."

    He said Erdogan's statement that all the permanent derogations were removed was not true, adding that no other candidate country had been presented with the conditions Turkey needs to fulfill. Baykal said Turkey on December 17 had accepted the fact that it could agree to alternatives to full membership, adding, "Please listen to your conscience and tell me if there is really anything to celebrate."

    Baykal said the statements made by the government before they left for Brussels were confirmed with the summit decision, noting: "No matter how much you try, you cannot expect people to see a crow as a nightingale. Even if you have the support of the media, it won't change a thing."

    Baykal said the summit decision would turn Turkey into a second-class EU member.

    Baykal said: "In truth, October 3 is not really a date to start the talks. You promised to recognize Cyprus by October 3. This is a condition to recognize Greek Cyprus." He said Turkey would be faced with indirect recognition as a result".

    [05] Actual date for Turkey-EU talks early 2006

    Under the above title and subtitle: "The EU had announced last Friday that membership negotiations with Turkey would begin on October 3 next year," NTVMSNBC (21.12.04) reports the following:

    "Ankara and the European Union will not open full accession negotiations until the early part of 2006, rather than October 2005 as announced by the bloc's leaders, according to a Turkish official.

    The delay is the result of the requirements of the EU, which has an initial screening process that must be completed before discussions formally open, the official said. This process entails a detailed study of the candidate country's laws and regulations and comparing them to those of the EU.

    "However, we are very well prepared and the process should end quickly," the Anatolian news agency quoted the unnamed official as saying.

    Despite this, the official added that the screening process would not be completed by October 3, resulting in a delay in the opening of accession negotiations.

    Turkey had pushed for membership talks to start in the first quarter of 2005, saying that it had met the requirements set down by the EU."

    [06] The Turkish Foreign Minister assesses the EU Summit on CNN-Turk

    Istanbul CNN-Turk television (19.12.04) broadcast an interview with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mr Abdullah Gul, on the "tough bargaining process" in the recent EU summit.

    Mr Gul described as unfortunate the fact that Cyprus is an EU member although it still faces the problems created by the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the consequences of Turkey´s efforts for 41 years to destroy the Republic of Cyprus.

    Asked to comment on the most critical issues taken up during the EU Brussels Summit Mr Gul said the Cyprus problem was the most serious problem. He outlined the tension between the Turkish delegation and the EU officials during the discussion of the protocol on the inclusion of the ten new EU members, including the Republic of Cyprus, in the Customs Union, he noted that the Turkish delegation refused to sign the protocol as it might have led to indirect recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, and added:

    "We thoroughly examine such protocols in order to establish their possible legal consequences. The EU is made up of some 25 partners, but Turkey has problems with one of them. No permanent solution has yet been found to the Cyprus problem regardless of the effort we have made to solve it. So, what we wanted to do was to obstruct the outbreak of a possible conflict in the future."

    Stressing that the Turkish delegation attempted to leave the negotiation table when the EU officials insisted on the signing of a specific paragraph by Turkey, he noted that the Turkish side's approach should not be seen as a bluff. Pointing out that the conflict was eliminated thanks to the goodwill of both sides, he says that on reconsidering Turkey's reservations, the EU officials agreed to rewrite the debatable paragraph in accordance with the Turkish delegation's expectations.

    Replying to a question as to whether he is satisfied with the result achieved in connection with the Cyprus issue, Gul said:

    "Unfortunately, the EU made an inappropriate decision by admitting Cyprus to membership before the solution of the problem and that it is now suffering from its decision. However, Cyprus has already become one of the 25 partners of the EU. As you know, the EU decisions are based on unanimity. This is one of the main principles of the organization. We are willing to join the 25-member organization but we have a problem with one of its partners. We do not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration. So, we informed the EU that when the talks start with the Commission, which represents the 25 partners, we have to be very careful in signing protocols on trade within the customs union system. The reason for the situation is the presence of problems between Turkey and one of the member countries. We also said that regardless of the fact that we made every effort for a solution, the Cyprus problem has remained unsolved due to the mistakes made by the EU and the Greek Cypriot administration. So, we stressed that Turkey signing a protocol with the EU should never be seen as Ankara's decision to backtrack on his stand on the Cyprus problem. The appropriate platform for the solution of the issue is the UN and that the EU should understand that Turkey will not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration until the problem is solved by the UN body."

    Reminded that in an interview to MILLIYET prior to his visit to Brussels, Gul outlined the conditions unacceptable to Turkey that in the final EU statement reference is made to permanent safeguards, and asked whether the term violates Turkey's "red lines," Mr Gul said: "There is a difference between what the EU said prior to the summit and the statement issued on 17 December. The previous term called for a privileged status for Turkey but the present one says that safeguards "may be considered if necessary." It is up to Turkey to accept the EU conditions at the end of the negotiation process. The term has been transferred from the paragraph on Turkey to the section entitled "framework for negotiations." The conditions outlined in that section will apply to all the candidate countries if the EU maintains its expansion."

    Asked whether the Justice and Development Party government has a unification plan for Cyprus, one that can be implemented during the negotiation process, Mr Gul said: "The effort for a permanent solution will be maintained. The EU summit might have displayed the need for a solution in Cyprus. I hope that the accession process will urge the international community to step up its efforts for a settlement that will satisfy both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots".

    Replying to another question as to whether the Annan Plan is still valid, Gul said: "Yes. Prime Minister Erdogan informed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Brussels that he is expected to submit his report to the UN Security Council and take action for a permanent solution".

    Responding to another question on whether Turkey might agree to a Greek Cypriot proposal to review the Annan Plan and make some changes to it, Gul said: "Both sides have the right to put forward new demands. There are two types of approach. One of them is to disregard everyone and refuse to recognize anyone. You can decide to freeze the problem. That approach might be considered if its consequences serve the interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. But you may take the issue from a broader angle. If you consider the future of the Turkish Cypriots and the obstacles Turkey is occasionally confronted with, you decide to make every effort to achieve a permanent solution that will satisfy your expectations. As I read in one of your newspapers, the `President's´ grandson had to appeal to the authorities in south Cyprus to obtain a Greek Cypriot passport. Please do not misunderstand me, I am not blaming anyone. But if this is the current state of affairs on the island, I believe that finding a permanent solution will be useful for the future of the Turkish Cypriots. We have to be realistic."

    Finally, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that as Turkey has become a part of the European structure it should, henceforth, be expected to raise its democratic and economic standards to the level of the other European countries.

    Recalling that some 270 Arab journalists followed the summit for the first time, Gul asserted that the Arab countries' interest in Turkey's accession to the EU indicates Turkey's strategic importance for the organization.

    [07] The Turkish Cypriot leader rules out recognition by Turkey and wants talks with Annan

    Istanbul NTV (21.12.04) broadcast that Mr Rauf Denktas, the Turkish Cypriot leader, has said that the Turkish Government promised not to recognize the Republic of Cyprus until a solution is found to the Cyprus problem, and that the Turkish Cypriots view this promise as a voucher.

    Commenting on press reports that Turkey is going to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriots ignore these reports and heed instead the promise made by Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul.

    "Turkey does not and will not recognize the Greek Cypriot side as the Cyprus government until Cyprus is reunited. This was a promise. The details are in the statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on 1 May. You can see there how Turkey views Cyprus. The honorable prime minister and honorable Gul told me on the telephone that they have not moved away from this policy and that they will not move away from it. They confirmed that they know what it will cost to recognize the Greek Cypriots. Consequently, we consider this promise that was made to us and to the Turkish nation as a voucher", said Mr Denktas.

    Furthermore, according to local HALKIN SESI newspaper (21.12.04), Mr Denktas yesterday made the following statements.

    "We need to talk to the Secretary-General about the conditions for our return to the [negotiation] table," Anatolian news agency quoted Denktas as saying. "There is no way other than accepting our independence," he added.

    Mr Denktas argued that a United Nations blueprint prepared by the Secretary-General that aimed at reuniting the island under a federal umbrella would root out Turkey from Cyprus.

    [08] Ankara and the occupation regime continue the colonization of the occupied areas by changing the demographic structure with settlers from Turkey

    According to AFRIKA newspaper (21.12.04) the so-called Assembly of the occupation regime, convened yesterday and adopted the so-called Draft law that regulates the "residence, employment and social rights of the Turkish citizens" who have illegally entered in the occupied area.

    The Republican Turkish Party (RTP), the National Unity Party (NUP) and the Democratic Party (DP) voted for the adoption of the so-called "Law", United Cyprus Party (UCP), Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) and Communal Liberation Party (CLP) voted against the "Law".

    Meanwhile, ORTAM newspaper (21.12.04) reports under banner headlines, "they are massing up people to secure parity among the population" and says that the aim is to bring the population of the occupied area to half a million mark, and change the demographic structure of the occupied area.

    Communal Liberation Party leader Huseyin Angolemli strongly criticized the "Law" and said that the aim is to mass more people and thus change the demographic structure of the occupied area. He said that the RTP unfortunately became a tool in adopting this "Law". Angolemli noted that by turning tens of thousands of the illegal workers into "legal residents" the RTP was committing a big mistake.

    [09] Talat and Izcan call for solution to the Cyprus problem until the 3rd of October 2005

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (21.12.04) writes that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime and Mr Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party stated that the Cyprus problem must be solved before the 3rd of October.

    Speaking on illegal BAYRAK radio station, Mr Talat stated that a solution is absolutely necessary to be found until the 3rd of October and added that the lifting of the "embargo" imposed on the Turkish Cypriots is a key point which will ensure the solution, although it cannot replace it, as he said. He also said the results of the 17 December EU Summit in Brussels, were positive and alleged that it is not possible for Turkey to recognise the Republic of Cyprus in its present condition, because this would mean the acceptance of the Republic of Cyprus "as legal and legitimate". He also said that if there is no solution until the 3rd of October the situation as regards Cyprus will become even more complicated.

    In addition, Mr Izcan noted in a written statement that the two sides in Cyprus must start again negotiations based on the Annan Plan and in the framework of the UN, for the solution of the Cyprus problem. He also said that Turkey, which got a date for starting negotiations with the EU, is obliged to recognise the Republic of Cyprus in its current condition, both de facto and de jure, or it must abandon the EU membership negotiations before it even starts them. He also said that by the 3rd of October, the Cyprus problem must be solved and the Turkish Cypriots to be represented in the EU under the "United Cyprus Republic" which, if it is established by then, it will be the one that Turkey will have to recognise and not the Republic of Cyprus.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in MILLIYET assesses the results of the 17 December Summit and the prospects for the Cyprus problem

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (20.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Yasemin Congar under the title: "The Universal importance of 17 December and Cyprus":

    "Scott McClellan, the White House Spokesman, is one of the persons who expressed the best that the 17 December decision of the EU is in response to a historical turning point, whose effects actually exceed both Turkey and the EU.

    A few hours after the decision of the EU Council became official, Mr McClellan, upon a question, read a written statement in front of him and said, "Turkey is a society in which a great majority of the population is Muslim. It constitutes an example, with its 150 years of experience of making reforms having the attribute of being avant-garde in order to be able to build secular democracy, and for everyone who has the yearning for affluence and justice in the Middle East and beyond." He congratulated both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government as well as the EU Council for showing "visionary leadership."

    Actually, perhaps the most important of the three basic reasons for the applause by the Bush administration for the 17 December decision and for its doing whatever it could for this decision to come out, is this situation of "being an example."

    Yes, for a long time, the United States has considered it to be much more suitable for its cross-Atlantic interests for there to be an EU with Turkey and for a Turkey to be integrated in its full meaning with the EU.

    But Washington, D.C. also places importance on the 17 December decision, in which it has been closely interested for a long time, from the aspect of the transformation of the Muslim world. Especially since the international equations were rewritten after 11 September, it has been more at the center and its view has been renewed with a serious revision.

    With the eyes of the United States

    The 17 December picture Washington, D.C. saw can be defined as follows:

    On the one hand, there is Turkey with its 99 percent Muslim population and that has a government in power, which is known for its Islamic identity. On the other hand, there is Europe, with a great majority of its population being Christian and whose history, culture and philosophy have been kneaded and shaped with Christianity. This Turkey and this Europe have the intention of sharing political sovereignty in the direction of the same principles and rules under the roof of the same union. The necessary steps are now being taken rapidly and with tremendous determination after the lost years.

    As for Europe, it is giving acceptable parameters in return, perhaps not completely heartily and definitely not without reservations and concern, for the point reached by Turkey with these steps, even if it is not ideal for Ankara. It is not saying, "You are different" and closing the door to Turkey.

    The decision for starting negotiations between the EU and Turkey on 3 October 2005, which have the "target of full membership," is also the declaration of intent of the union of the kind that no institution of the Western alliance has been able to provide up until the present time, because this decision documents that societies sharing the same common denominators, such as democracy, human rights, basic freedoms, legal order and free market economy, could "unite" despite their religions.

    This decision gives the news that different religious and cultural civilizations could meet at the Greater Middle East and beyond, with a common political, economic and legal civilization.

    The problem was postponed

    Washington, D.C., beyond all of those diplomatic word games, long bargainings and short-range political calculations of the 17 December decision, should first of all and especially feel after this the responsibility it felt prior to 17 December, which it perceived within this simplicity.

    We can also put the name of "Cyprus" under the responsibility falling upon Washington, D.C. in the next nine months on the basis of the EU-Turkey relations, by thinking that it is basically necessary to overcome the Cyprus obstacle in order to implement the decision made in Brussels and in order to start the full membership negotiations on 3 October 2005.

    With the expression of a US source, which knows the Cyprus equation well, "The problem would not be solved, on the one hand, by Turkey expanding the Customs Union in a manner to include the 25 members, and on the other hand, by presenting a reservation document, which stated that it does not officially recognize Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots could prevent this middle road at the last moment."

    You can also read these statements as follows, "The negotiations would not go on track without solving the Cyprus problem. Actually, the decision made on 17 December saved the Brussels Summit, but it did not completely remove the obstacles in front of the negotiation process."

    Naturally, in response to this, the following can also be said:

    The 25 members of the EU including Cyprus, after giving the date of 3 October 2005 and the issue of "signing the protocol - not to recognize officially" on the subject of Cyprus also being confirmed by the EU officials, could no longer cut off the negotiation process.

    It is true in a sense. But I am concerned that the following statement I heard from the Greek diplomats prior to 17 December could also be valid on the course going to 3 October:

    "Cyprus would not use a veto against Turkey. But President Tassos Papadopoulos could use a veto."

    This paradoxical sentence has the meaning that the Greek Cypriot Administration, as a "state" and society, has perceived that it was a historical mistake to close the door to Turkey, but that the Greek Cypriot leader President Papadopoulos, who is completely unpredictable, would sometimes engage in behavior that is against the interests of the society. And as I said, this reflects a diagnosis made in Athens.

    The role of Washington, D.C. Cyprus will also be one of the critical files in front of the second Bush cabinet, along with the settling in place of the new cadres in foreign policy.

    If the United States were to do what is required for the view related to the universal aspect of the 17 December decision, then it would not put the Cyprus file on the shelf or it would not disengage itself from this matter by saying, "Cyprus is an EU member and Turkey received a negotiation date. From now on, this problem is the problem of the EU."

    Just as the Clinton administration did not turn its back on the Northern Ireland problem by saying, "It is the job of Europe. Let the EU solve it," the Bush administration could and should assume an effective role in the solution of the Cyprus issue within the parameters of the Annan Plan, but by providing creative approaches for the Greek Cypriots to also come to an agreement.

    Actually, some EU countries, led by Germany, are saying to Washington, D.C., "Be quiet on the subject of Turkey," are in favor of the United States remaining involved for a solution on Cyprus. And Ankara, which knows that the nine months would pass quickly, should try to re-create the solution dynamics on Cyprus without wasting any time and from many channels, and especially by also coercing the United States.

    The United States, which remained slow in the measures that would reward the attitude of the "TRNC" which is in favor of a solution and that would make the cost of preventing a solution felt by the Greek Cypriot Administration, should now not refrain from a creative Cyprus engagement. And this is also absolutely necessary for implementing the 17 December decision".


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