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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-15
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.31/05 15.02.05
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Talat after meeting BarrosoAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.02.05) reported from Brussels that the so-called Prime Minister of Ankara's puppet regime in occupied Cyprus, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, made statements to the journalists after he held talks with EU Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.
Stressing that they concentrated on three important documents, Talat said: "Changes were effected to the Green Line Regulation. We are waiting for the final approval. The Commission maintains its position on the regulations related to financial aid and direct trade. We were informed that the two issues compliment each other." Stressing that that is very important for them, Talat said that the rules on direct trade will be the most evident and symbolic indication of the removal of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. He noted that the Commission informed him that it will continue to support the Turkish Cypriots. Talat asserted: "However, the question of timing created problems for the Commission. That is obvious. They are trying to solve the problems. We explained our position to them. We explained the importance of direct trade and said that it will be a symbolic initiative in the effort that will be made to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. We discussed many issues. In essence, the talks we had were very useful. They showed that the EU continues to support the Turkish Cypriots. But, the matter must not end there. Contacts must be maintained. We will hold talks on technical issues. This was a meeting on the main political issues. We will maintain our talks and meetings will also be held at other levels. Elections will be held in north Cyprus. We will resume our work after they are held."
Recalling that decisions are taken unanimously in the EU, Talat said that conditions have to mature for the Turkish Cypriot side to be able to secure unanimous decisions in the organization. Referring to the link between the signing of the adaptation protocol for the Ankara Agreement with the matter, he said, "The Greek Cypriot side, the Turkish Cypriot side, Turkey, and Turkey's EU perspective are linked together. We are already aware of that. We will have that in mind in our initiatives. We have very close relations with the Turkish Government. We cooperate in harmony. We will maintain our relations."
Responding to a question, Talat said: "We did not link Turkey's EU perspective with rules and regulations. In a more general approach, we are convinced that Turkey's EU process will be important for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the establishment of a dialogue between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides. A dialogue does not exist between us and what is known as the Cyprus Republic, which is an EU member. I can explain that as follows: The Cyprus Republic has even refrained from providing information on a number of suspects who were believed to have been involved in a serious crime in south Cyprus. That led to the release of the suspects. That Republic is an EU member. What kind of abnormality is that? We discussed that as well. In other words, we need a dialogue in Cyprus. We need a dialogue between the police organizations, the courts, and the politicians of the two sides. Linking Turkey's adaptation protocol with the adaptation of measures for our trade before such a dialogue is established will be impossible."
Talat noted that a process is required for the aid the EU will extend to the Turkish Cypriots and said that the EU Commission will continue to assess the requirements. Responding to a question on the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus he asserted: "Would the EU consider an alternative to a government that supports the EU perspective? It can extend moral support. Elections will be held in north Cyprus. The Government there has a vision on Europe. So, it has to maintain and strengthen its position. The Commission has done everything it was able to do. I cannot criticize Mr Barroso. We have not been able to get what we expected from the European Council. It made a decision on 26 April 2004. It tasked the Commission to prepare for the removal of the measures that isolate the Turkish Cypriots. The Commission fulfilled its task. However, the Council failed to do so. That meant that we were not supported. Consequently, direct trade, which would be the most symbolic indication of the removal of the measures that isolate the Turkish Cypriots, was not realized. We fulfilled the promise we made. We interrupted our election campaign to come here. The Turkish Cypriot people are aware that we have done everything we can. They realize that nothing can be achieved through the policies that were adopted in the past. The Turkish Cypriot people would not want to put the clock back just because the promises that were made to them were not fulfilled. We have not enjoyed the support we expected. However, we believe that the situation is not unfavorable for our people."
Commenting on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's approach, Talat said: "Annan's approach is not new. In his report to the UN Security Council, he urged the Greek Cypriot side to outline the basic changes it wants to make in the Annan Plan. Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos' reaction was very interesting. He claimed that a similar call was not made to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Well, we did not say no to the Annan plan. He did not mention Denktas. Nor did he mention Mehmet Ali Talat. His objective was to present the Cyprus issue as a problem caused by the occupation of the island. His objective was to describe it as a problem with Turkey. That is definitely out of the question. We must be addressed on the problem. Papadopoulos has to address the Turkish Cypriot side, not Turkey or Erdogan. Considering the Annan plan, we, too, definitely have the right to ask for improvements. If the Greek Cypriots call for changes, then we will do so as well."
Replying to a question on the calendar for the solution of the Cyprus problem, Talat said: "The calendar will start when the Greek Cypriot side expresses its wish to solve the problem. Papadopoulos will realize that he will not be able to always keep north Cyprus isolated with his no-solution policy. The 3rd of October is an important date. We want a solution until then. We want a solution even before that date. The talks on Turkey's accession to the EU will begin on 3 October. We prefer to solve the problem long before the negotiations begin. That will completely remove the obstacles against Turkey and we will feel comfortable. The Greek Cypriot side will create many problems when the talks on Turkey's accession begin. We want to avoid that. When the measures that isolate the Turkish Cypriot side are lifted, the Greek Cypriot side will realize that it will not be able to exploit the situation in its favor. For example, the US businessmen's decision to fly to the Ercan Airport in north Cyprus seriously upset the Greek Cypriot leader. He conveyed a political note to the United States. The United States is a superpower. It can easily deal with such a reaction. But, that does not apply to the EU. Its administration is made up of many components. The official procedures in the EU take time and require reconciliation. The only way to force Papadopoulos to agree to sit at the negotiation table is to clearly show that he maintains a separatist policy opposed to the unification of Cyprus. I believe that the EU Commission has seen that. One has to be blind not to do so."
 Gul interviewed by MIILIYETIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (14.02.05) publishes the following interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul by Taha Akyol under the title: "A promising climate in relations with the United States":
"Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul invited Condolezza Rice, his American counterpart, to his car on their way to the airport and they had a tete-a-tete meeting, which lasted more than half an hour. What did they discuss in the car following a two-hour meeting between the delegations of the two countries?
Their meeting was not highlighted by the press. In his first exclusive interview after Rice's departure, Gul made the following comments in response to my question about that meeting: "Before Ms. Rice's arrival, I told my colleagues that we would discuss a variety issues, but our number one priority would be Kirkuk, which was actually our top priority issue during the talks between the delegations. We shared our concerns with Rice and explained our arguments. Kirkuk was the only issue I discussed with Rice while we were travelling in the car."
Condoleezza Rice...[ellipses as published]. Who is this interesting 'Afro-American' woman? How could her mentality and personality traits be described? Gul said: "She has a very remarkable professional background. She made an impressive academic career in Stanford University. She managed a $1.5 billion research fund and received prestigious academic awards. She is a very perseverant, sincere, and straightforward person. I used to know her in the past and we will have many other meetings."
In response to my question, Gul said that a warm friendship had developed between him and Rice just like his friendship with Powell.
Subtitle: Kirkuk was perfectly understood by the United States
Question: Rice is really a sympathetic and attractive person and she has an impressive academic career. How do those factors affect her job?
Answer: Probably due to his academic background, she listens very carefully and poses questions. There is coherence in her arguments. I briefed her about the Kirkuk issue comprehensively, which went beyond the purely diplomatic perspective. I also expounded on its history. She listened very attentively. She made a perfect analysis of the links between the problems that Kirkus is facing presently and its historical background.
Question: Rice was keen to mention the Turkoman factor in the statements she made during her European tour and it was certainly a meaningful attitude. Do Turkey and the United States still take different approaches to Kirkuk?
Answer: There may be differences in our approaches. Besides, I would not like to comment further on this issue. I could only say at this phase that the Iraqi public will decide Kirkuk's constitutional status.
Question: In other words, the whole Iraqi nation will make that decision. The Kurds, however, make up 20 percent of the total population in Iraq. Do you share the same opinion with Rice about this issue?
Answer: Yes, Kirkuk's status will be decided by the Iraqi people.
At that point, Gul referred to Article 53 of the Transitional Administrative Law of Iraq, which states that "all natural resources belong to all Iraqis."
Gul's comment that "nobody should pursue unrealistic dreams" assumes greater significance in that context. My interpretation is that the Shiite and Sunnite Arabs and the Turkomans have made their stance clear and they form the overwhelming majority in Iraq. Could the Kurds capture Kirkuk without getting into a fight against those groups and the United States, which will side with the majority? Jalal Talabani, who is able to read the situation, better than Mas'ud Barzani, has already proposed to use the "Brussels model" for Kirkuk.
Question: How could Turkey respond if Talabani is elected president?
Answer: Every Iraqi citizen has the right to become president. We would respect any decision that could be made by the Iraqis. We would never suggest that this or that person should be nominated. It would not be a proper approach. Furthermore, turning attention to Baghdad would be the right thing to do. The Iraqi people know balance of power between different groups in their country better than anybody else. What really matters is to maintain that balance of power. That is why I say that everybody should shift his or her attention to Baghdad. Everybody would benefit if peace is achieved and order is restored in Iraq. But, civil strife in that country would be in nobody's best interests.
Question: What is the United States' approach?
Answer: Just like us, the United States is aware that Iraq's unity is of vital importance. We share identical views with the United States about possible risks that Iraq could face.
Question: You're anxieties seem to have diminished.
Answer: Actually, the talks we had with Rice diminished our concerns to a certain extent although there has been no change in our keen interest in the matter.
Question: What about the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] question?
Answer: Rice said that they were regarding the PKK as an organization similar to al-Qa'ida. They also feel uneasy because they could not take any military action against the PKK. They think that we have justifiable concerns. This is a multi-faceted issue. There will be more pressure put on the PKK.
Question: Would a Shiite-controlled government in Iraq perturb you?
Answer: As I have just said, the Iraqi people will make the final decision. We would make no distinction between the Shiites, Sunnites, Kurds, and Turkomans because we stay in close touch with all those groups. Iraq's most prominent Shiite cleric is Sistani, who has not met with any foreigner, including the Americans except for Osman Koruturk, Turkey's ambassador.
Subtitle: The United States is a strategic partner
It has also captured the attention of Gul and his aides that Rice used concepts very carefully. After quiet a long period, Rice described Turkish-American relations as a "strategic partnership."
Apparently, Turkish-US relations are improving after Rice's visit. Gul believes that a group of American businessmen decided to visit the `TRNC´ [`Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´] as a result of encouragement provided by Rice. Of course, Gul has welcomed the decision. He noted: "Both the United States and the EU will take new initiatives in favor of the Turkish Cypriot side. The EU has formally invited `TRNC´ Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat while the Greek Cypriots rejected UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's letter. The United States and the EU will step up pressure on the Greek Cypriot side. I have explained the Cyprus question even in the People´s Republic of China, which used to support the Greek Cypriot side due to their old third-world alliance. I told them that the Greek Cypriots were no longer a member of the Third World and that the Turkish Cypriots rather than the Greek Cypriots were being treated unfairly. I expect encouraging developments.
Question: The United States is our strategic alliance and it wants greater freedom to use Incirlik air base. How do you feel about that?
Answer: We support the United States' efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and to achieve stability. After formation of a new government in Iraq we will hold a meeting with the other neighboring countries to express our support. Presently, Incirlik serves very useful purposes. We are now examining the United States' new proposals. We are acting in good faith. But, I cannot say whether we accept this or that proposal before completion of technical assessments based on existing agreements.
I gathered from Gul's remarks and even his tone that the Turkish-American relations are moving towards the level of strategic partnership again. This is an encouraging development.
Gul also described the efforts being made by the United States to mend its ties with the EU as very heartening.
Considering Rice's approach, could one assume that Bush will pursue a more rational and harmonious policy during his second term?
I concluded that Gul was of the same opinion."
 Eroglu-Talat debate as the campaign for the so-called elections is warming upTurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (15.02.05) reports that the leader of Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and the leader of National Unity Party (NUP) Mr Dervis Eroglu made statements yesterday to NTV television channel regarding the so-called elections. The paper reports the following:
"Less than a week before the elections, the political scene in the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ [`TRNC´] is warming up. During this last week, the party leaders are attending rallies to woo the electorate. RTP and the NUP had received the highest number of votes in the elections held last year. RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat and NUP leader Dervis Eroglu spoke to NTV about their views and policies.
`Prime Minister´ Talat whose government resigned because it lost its majority in the `Republican Assembly´, told NTV that the policies being pursued by the current government must go on if a solution is to be reached and if the `TRNC's´ isolation is to come to an end.
In order to lift the isolation, to start a solution process, and to protect the Turkish Cypriots' inalienable rights during this process, I believe that it is extremely important to prove once again that the political change in the `TRNC´ is not a coincidence, that it did not take place due to EU promises or the EU carrot or US money; and to show that this policy is permanent, and that the Turkish Cypriots are in favor of unification, not separatism.
Talat explained that the RTP will not form a coalition with the NUP due to the latter's stand on the Cyprus question. He stated that in the EU process, the RTP government will be an advantage for Turkey as well.
On the other hand, NUP Chairman Eroglu recalled that his party was accused of advocating the status quo in the last elections, but that the people failed to see any changes in the RTP-Democratic Party coalition too. We are not against a solution, he said, but we object to sixth and seventh articles in the Annan plan.
Stating that his party is equidistant from all parties, Eroglu implied that the NUP may set up a coalition with the RTP too.
Eroglu described the recent visits of US and EU officials as an intervention in the election process, adding: "No matter what the results of the elections, the political parties of the `TRNC´ must sit around a table and formulate a common policy on the Cyprus question.
We do not need fighting but unity and solidarity in this country. For months now, I have been calling on all the parties to sit around a table and formulate a common policy that will be pursued in possible Cyprus negotiations. We will see whether or not this will happen only after the elections. Nevertheless, I believe that just as the Greek Cypriots have a national policy and the Greek Cypriot National Council can convene and speak in one voice, we, too, must have a single message to the world and to the Greek Cypriots, a message on whose common denominators all the political parties can agree".
 VOLKAN claims that Elmas Guzelyurtlu gave to the Greek Cypriot Secret Service the population census of the pseudostateTurkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (15.02.05), in its front page under the banner headline "Oh my God!", reports that a guard of the Elmas Guzelyurtlu confessed that Elmas sold to the Greek Cypriot police a CD that contained a list of the citizens of the pseudostate, who are of Turkish origin.
The paper reports, inter alia, the following:
"The guard of Elmas Guzelyurtlu said: 'I took from a person a closed envelope at Ledra Palace. I took it to Elmas Guzelyurtlu. Elmas called the director of the Greek Cypriot police and said that he got what he wanted. Then, he sent an envelope to the Greek Cypriot police. In a while, I found out that inside the envelope there was a CD, which contained the population census and that it was given to the Greek Cypriot police in exchange for money. When I found out that I was annoyed and I asked why he did this, he did not reply''
In an article columnist Basaran Duzgun of KIBRIS newspaper yesterday under the title 'Who gave to Clerides the population census?', wrote that the allegations that the Greek Cypriot police has in its hand the `TRNC´ citizenship register caused great reactions.
According to confidential sources regarding this issue, after the opening of the borders on 23 April, the Greek Cypriot secret service was in a great need to have TRNC population census in order to be able to control those who pass. Elmas succeeded to get the CD, which contained the population census, from some men in high ranks whom he trusted a lot. As it is known, the Greek Cypriot police do not give permission to Turkish origin citizens to cross to South Cyprus."
Moreover, regarding the assassination of the Guzelyurtlu family today's AFRIKA reports that in a written statement the two of the eight suspects, Ali Falyali and Sabri Yildirim, made a call to the politician friends of Elmas Guzelyurtlu to help the so-called police and justice to solve the matter and that both have no involvement in the crime.