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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-24

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.38/05 24.02.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan: "Turkey has no commitment to recognize Southern Cyprus".
  • [02] Erdogan suggests a five sided meeting on Cyprus.
  • [03] Talat says that they could accept the free trade on the island and the enlargement of the Green Line Regulation only after the occupied Famagusta port is opened for direct trade.
  • [04] Turkish diplomats will try renegotiate Cyprus protocol.
  • [05] The Republican Turkish Party got the one third of the Turkish origin voters.
  • [06] The foundation stone of the wedding ceremony building.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] "Now there's a Cyprus crisis in NATO".
  • [08] Ismet Berkan: "Is there a hope in Cyprus?".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan: "Turkey has no commitment to recognize Southern Cyprus"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.02.05) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister \Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at his Justice and Development Party (JDP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday, focused on European Union, Cyprus and other foreign policy issues.

    Mr Erdogan said the (Turkish) Parliament worked for two years day and night for EU membership and put a strong will regarding constitutional and legal changes and added: "Negotiation process with the EU will start on October 3rd, 2005. This will be a turning point for Turkey".

    Mr Erdogan said: "Turkey has no commitment to recognize Southern Cyprus. Turkish side will sit around the table until a fair and permanent ground for peace is elaborated under the UN umbrella."

    Noting a more solid government structure was revealed following so-called elections held in "TRNC" and congratulated "TRNC people" and politicians for the democratic maturity shown in "elections", Mr Erdogan said: "I believe that everybody including the UN and EU will once again assess the preferences of 'TRNC' fairly, and give up isolationist policies imposed on 'TRNC'."

    [02] Erdogan suggests a five sided meeting on Cyprus

    Turkish NTV television (23.02.05, 22.30 hours) broadcast an interview with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who suggested representatives of the Turkish Cypriot side, the Greek Cypriot side and the guarantor powers to meet in order to discuss the Cyprus problem.

    Asked on his "let us drink coffee or tea and solve this issue" proposal and his "we will always be one step ahead" position, Mr Erdogan said the following:

    "Let me say here as well something again. We have not abandoned this position. We have the same position. Now let me say something here. We have to clarify this first. Let it not cause misunderstandings. I have of course proposed drinking coffee, but not alone (Translator's note: with President Papadopoulos). The Prime Minister of the TRNC and Mr Karamanlis will also be there. And if needed and if they wish Britain could participate as well, because the three guarantors could be there. We shall do it like this, I said. This is my proposal. I am not the interlocutor of Southern Cyprus. The interlocutor of Southern Cyprus is the TRNC. .I heard that he (Translator's note: President Papadopoulos) demanded three times to meet with me. However, no such demand came to me. If there is such a demand it will come in writing. However, the leader of the main opposition party there has asked to meet with our party. Those who ask to meet with my party come and meet with my party. And they came and we met. .".

    Referring to Turkey's responsibility to sign the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement and extend its Customs Union with the countries that have recently became members with the EU, among them is the Republic of Cyprus as well, Mr Erdogan said:

    ".We have never recognized them (Translator's note: the Republic of Cyprus) with the agreement we made in Brussels. There is not any responsibility or obligation that will cause this. You know, the EU term President Balkenende, Mr Tony Blair, Mr Schroder and the now President of the Commission Mr Barosso have stated this. This is not recognition. You know, when the 19th paragraph was read there it was clearly stated that this is not recognition. Furthermore, at the meeting when the announcement of the summit was issued I said it very clearly to them. That is, this form of the 19th paragraph does not mean that we recognize you. .".

    Asked when the protocol will be signed, Mr Erodogan replied: "Well, we say we are arranging this issue at the United Nations. However, if different developments take place, our friends are working on this as well. If there is a step that should be made after this work, we shall make it. .".

    Asked whether or not there will be some progress on the Cyprus problem until 3 October 2005, the Turkish Prime Minister noted: "These will in any case be some technical developments at the moment. Except this, there cannot be something more concrete".

    [03] Talat says that they could accept the free trade on the island and the enlargement of the Green Line Regulation only after the occupied Famagusta port is opened for direct trade

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.02.05) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, has said that they could accept the free trade on the island and the enlargement of the Green Line Regulation only after the occupied Famagusta port is opened for direct trade with the world.

    In statements before the last meeting of his "council of ministers", Mr Talat said, inter alia, the following: "Let the Famagusta port be opened and we shall take products from the Greek Cypriot side. After the opening of the Famagusta port we shall make much more flexible the Green Line Regulation and begin the free trade all over the island".

    Mr Talat reiterated his opinion that the Direct Trade Regulation should be approved by the EU together with the Financial Aid Regulation and argued that there would be serious difficulties in their being applied the above mentioned regulations if they are approved separately. Noting that the Council of the EU could approve the Financial Aid Regulation in spite of the views of the Turkish Cypriots, but the Turkish side as well could say that it could apply the regulation only with some conditions. For example, he added that they may not accept the participation of firm from the free areas of Cyprus in tenders in the occupied part of the island.

    Commenting on the issue of the alternatives his party has for establishing a so-called government after the early "elections" last Sunday, Mr Talat said that there were two alternatives: To establish a collation either with the Democratic Party or the National Unity Party. He noted that establishing a "government" with the NUP will be much more difficult, but totally excluding the NUP would not be right.

    "We have to sit, talk and bring to light the points we could agree. You will see that we shall reach an agreement. If the goal is determined at the end, reaching this goal is not difficult", he said.

    Meanwhile in statements during one of his meeting, Mr Talat said yesterday that the information published in the Greek Cypriot press that the Turkish occupation army has brought new tanks from the Famagusta port was not true and that the Greek Cypriot side tried to change the agenda.

    He added, however, that it is already known that the Turkish occupation army brings arms in Cyprus aiming at its modernization or at the repairing its arms.

    Mr Talat noted that they began the preparation of the program of the new "government" within his party and that afterwards they will discuss it with their coalition partner.

    Furthermore, in statements to KIBRIS Mr Talat said that the person that will be elected as "president" of the occupation regime in April 2005 will be the negotiator of the Turkish Cypriot side at the talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. He noted that the international community accepts the "president" as the leader of the community and meets with him.

    "If I participate in these delegations as prime minister, then the person at that post will be a shadow president. This will not be a good impression. We shall bring the Turkish Cypriots face to face with the international community and the UN", he argued.

    [04] Turkish diplomats will try renegotiate Cyprus protocol

    According to Turkish daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (24.02.05), Turkish diplomats are to go to Brussels to negotiate the Cyprus Protocol, (Customs Union) CUMHURIYET reports that Ankara will sigh the protocol before 3rd October 2005, however, it will convey the message that signing the paragraph does not mean to recognize "the Greek Cypriot side".

    Meanwhile, adds the paper, the Greek Cypriot side has expressed the view that it will not accept this, and threatens to exercise its veto power.

    The paper further reports that the EU Commission which demanded from Turkey to initial the protocol, until the end of February, has backed out, and the Turkish diplomats will go to Brussels at the beginning of March, to discuss the draft document.

    CUMHURIYET goes on and says that Ankara has three basic objections regarding the draft document, and it lists these points as follows:

    1. Turkey wants to include in the additional Customs Union protocol, not only last ten members that jointed on 1st May,2004 but the six other members that joined the union before as well.

    2. Ankara“s second demand is, to bring further clarification to the paragraph, which is included in the additional protocol that fixes the application field of the Customs Union.

    3. The third demand by Ankara is, that it wants to declare that by signing the protocol does not mean that Turkey recognizes the Greek Cypriots, Republic of Cyprus.

    The Greek Cypriot side, has declared that it will not accept this and if need be it will exercise its veto power.

    However, adds CUMHURIYET, EU sources, are of the view that Turkey could make such a statement, and that it is not a very easy task to use veto in every issue within the EU".

    [05] The Republican Turkish Party got the one third of the Turkish origin voters

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (24/02/05) reports that an important role to the victory of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) played for the first time the voters, who come from Turkey.

    According to NTV news, the Sociologist and researcher Muharrem Faiz said that the 28% of those who come from Turkey and compose the one third of the voters supported the RTP. It is because of this fact, he added that RTP reached the 44%. Mr Faiz also noted that EU procedure and the stance of JDP government had also influenced upon.

    [06] The foundation stone of the wedding ceremony building

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (24.02.05), the office of wedding ceremonies has put the foundation stone for their building of wedding ceremonies in the occupied Lefkosia. Until now, the wedding ceremonies have been performed at the mosque. For the construction of the building, Turkey will pay 800 thousand New TL billion TL, the paper reports.

    At the ceremony of laying the foundation stone, the so-called Turkish Ambassador to the occupied Lefkosia, Mr Aydan Karahan said: "This building will contribute to the future of Cyprus and to the increase of the population". Mr Rauf Denktas, on his behalf, said: "Don't worry, fortunately, the population is increasing."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] "Now there's a Cyprus crisis in NATO"

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (23.02.05) publishes under the above title the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "The Cyprus crisis, silently brewing in NATO for the past few months, has reached such a point that even officials have started talking about it. It's a very technical issue, but its implications have increased the political tension. An agreement reached three years ago could not be put into effect because Turkey did not ratify it, which some say is preventing cooperation between NATO and the EU

    The first I heard about it was two weeks ago.

    The rumours going around diplomatic circles in Ankara made me think, but I didn't realize that this had created such a stir. It was only when I arrived in Brussels that I realized it had turned into a crisis. Some say it's a very serious matter, while others say a crisis is approaching.

    It is such a technical matter that it's very hard to explain. What I have understood in summary is this. I would like to apologize beforehand for any unintended mistakes.

    You might remember Turkey blocking NATO-European Union military cooperation for many years. The reason behind it was its desire to have some sort of a say in EU military affairs. The military cooperation between NATO and the EU was delayed for years, until 2002, when an agreement was reached.

    According to this agreement, EU military plans that required the use of NATO resources would not cover Cyprus. This was accepted by both NATO and the EU because in 2002 Cyprus was not a union member.

    However, now that Cyprus is a member, Turkey's stance is, "If Cyprus is involved in any military cooperation, we will veto it." The EU's answer to this stance is: "Cyprus is now a full member. We can't tell them they can't participate because Turkey doesn't want it."

    While in the first few months many thought this would be a temporary problem, it has now turned into a test of nerves. The EU has called on Turkey to re-evaluate its stance, noting that it will soon start accession negotiations and had agreed to include the southern portion of Cyprus in the customs union. Ankara, on the other hand, argues that despite Cyprus being an EU member it should be kept away from military activities, basing its arguments on the 2002 treaty.

    It's a vicious circle.

    Sources from the EU say they can't tell Cyprus, which participates in every union decision mechanism, that the island cannot be involved in cooperation activities with NATO.

    Even if this matter has yet to turn into a crisis, unless Turkey changes its stance it will cause a huge diplomatic quake soon, some claim.

    As I was preparing this article, the officials I talked to said the matter would be raised at the NATO summit and at the meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdošan and his British counterpart, Tony Blair, calling on Turkey to change its stance.

    EU and NATO sources say while Turkey had displayed a very constructive and realist attitude during discussions on the Annan plan, it has once again begun to harden its stance.

    Can Bush make peace with the EU?

    The name of the summit: Making peace again. They are trying to mend transatlantic relations, which nose-dived with the Iraq war. It won't be easy. Europe, especially French president Jacques Chirac, did not like President George W. Bush. They see him as a trigger-happy president with a very shallow global vision. Bush doesn't like Europe, either. But both sides need each other. Their first priority is to repair the damaged transatlantic relations as soon as possible. The United States needs Europe's moral support. Europe showed how much trouble it could generate for the Bush administration on the issue of Iraq.

    Europe, on the other hand, needs America's power. Knowing they'll be able to do nothing without U.S. support, they have been trying to look cute to Bush for the last two days. Even though they didn't give the president exactly what he wanted, the previous argumentative dialog has been replaced with a more civilized one.

    President Bush wanted Europe to provide troops, but he needed to be satisfied with full NATO support for the training of the Iraqi military, judiciary and the security apparatus. Even though nothing concrete was established on the issues of Iran and Palestine, a certain degree of progress has been made.

    Where do the EU and US disagree?

    When one looks carefully at the problems between Europe and the Bush administration, one can clearly see that there is no fundamental disagreement between them. Both want stability in Iraq, the prevention of Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb and a solution to the Palestinian problem. The only disagreement is in the method to accomplish these tasks.

    Bush wants to use the stick, while Europe tends to recommend the carrot-and-stick approach. U.S.-EU relations may not return to their previous level, but no one can talk about these two continents turning their backs on each other. It's obvious that both sides need each other, and this won't end overnight. Russia that is gradually changing its attitude towards the West and China, which is growing at an incredible pace, and will keep both sides busy for the next 15 to 20 years. Even if they have their disagreements or don't like each other's leaders, in Brussels, they have once again realized how much they need each other."

    [08] Ismet Berkan: "Is there a hope in Cyprus?"

    Turkish daily RADIKAL newspaper (23.02.05) columnist Mr Ismet Berkan, writing under the above title alleges that the outcome of the so-called early elections in the occupied part of Cyprus showed that the Turkish Cypriots were maintaining their stance in favor of a settlement as regards the Cyprus problem. He also writes that for Turkey and the pseudostate, there is only one road and this is the solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr Berkan notes that Turkey wants to start genuine negotiations with the European Union on the 3rd of October 2005 and points out that there is an obstacle to this: "The Greek Cypriot VETO". Berkan notes that Turkey wants to sign the additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement, which provides for extension of the Customs Union to include 10 new newcomers to the EU, including the Republic of Cyprus, before 3 October 2005. However, Ankara wants to sign the protocol with the "United Cyprus Republic". Nevertheless, he notes that this is highly unlikely because the Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan Plan, which was aimed at establishing the "United Cyprus Republic".

    Mr Berkan wonders if the Annan Plan could be accepted by the Greek Cypriots in case it is "corrected" and writes that as far as he is concerned, no.

    "Because the political parties which played a role for the Greek Cypriot side to say 'no' to the Annan Plan and headed by the President of the Republic Papadopoulos, they are not against to some aspects of the Annan Plan. They are against to its vary core. And if this core did not exist, nothing will be left for the Turkish side to accept.

    So, what is it this core? The essence of this issue is the coming together of these two communities who live in Cyprus on the basis of equality under a brand new state roof.

    I wonder what would happen if a referendum takes places in the south of the island where it would be for the constitutional amendments and in the north for joining to the Republic of Cyprus, in case the parameters of the Annan Plan be annexed to the existing constitution of the Republic of Cyprus with the amendments that would be introduced?", he writes.

    Mr Berkan goes on to say that the obstacles for Turkey do not stop here because the Greek Cypriot side does not want to be engaged in negotiations with time limit like the one in 2004. Therefore, even if the Greek Cypriot side sits around the negotiation table, a solution cannot be reached until the 3rd of October, like Turkey wants.

    Warning Ankara against the use of the Greek Cypriot veto during the accession negotiations, Mr Berkan urges that the Turkish government should quickly appoint the members of the negotiation team that will carry out of the accession negotiations the talks on behalf of Turkey.

    /SK


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