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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-08-10
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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.151/05 10.08.05
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Mehmet Ali Talat: The meaning of our proposal is to achieve the last phase before full recognition in exchange for VaroshaTurkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (02.08.05) published the following interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat by Mete Belovacikli:
Mehmet Ali Talat arrives in Ankara for his first state visit since taking office in April. Talat's visit is aimed to end the speculations of 'frosty relations' with his Turkish counterpart. Sezer is expected to greet Talat today with an official ceremony at the Presidential Palace
The `TRNC president´ speaks in an exclusive interview with The New Anatolian prior to his historic visit to Ankara. Underlining that signing the Ankara Protocol demanded certain things of Turkey, Talat says: 'Turkish harbours should only be opened to the Greeks in response to the removal of the embargo against the `TRNC´'.
Talat calls on the EU to press the Greek Cypriots to end its embargo against the Turkish Cypriots. 'If the Turkish Cypriots were no longer isolated, the Greek side would accept the Annan plan, or even less'
In an exclusive interview with The New Anatolian, Mehmet Ali Talat discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and his relations with Turkish officials before leaving for Ankara for his first state visit. Talat spoke with TNA Editor in Chief Mete Belovacikli on a wide variety of issues such as the repercussions of Turkey's signing the Ankara Protocol, the proposal to return the Maras region (fenced area of Famagusta) of the island to the Greek Cypriots for the ending of the Turkish Cypriots' isolation, and his personal relations with top officials in Ankara. Talat's thoughts on these particular issues related to the Cyprus problem and `TRNC´-Turkish relations are as follows:
* The Ankara Protocol makes demands on Turkey - Turkey committed itself to certain conditions when it signed the Ankara Protocol. Turkey is feeling great pressure to open its harbours and airports to Greek Cypriot use. But Turkey has stood fast in its position against this from the very beginning. The European Union earlier declared that Turkish Cypriot harbours and airports should be used. But the Greek Cypriots blocked this decision. On the one hand, the EU declared that Turkish Cypriot harbours and airports should be opened. On the other hand, it said that these harbours and airports could not be opened to use due to the Greek blockade. So, Turkey will block the use of its harbours and airports by the Greek Cypriots. The upshot is, if Turkey opens its harbours for the use of Greek Cypriots, our own harbours should also be opened to international use. It's a political decision.
* We have very good relations with Ankara - The results of the presidential elections in the `TRNC´ were very conclusive and clear. After many hotly contested elections, the people of the `TRNC´ chose their president in the first round of this election. Even former `President´ Rauf Denktas was elected in the second round in the last two presidential elections. Nobody could object to these results. Turkey will not object. Turkey has been the `TRNC´s´ greatest support over the decades. From this perspective, even if the ideas of the people holding various offices in a country are different from ours, they won't act differently from their state's tradition.
* Ending the isolation - There's no deadline for the end to our isolation. We know that it's a very long process. The Cyprus problem should have been solved before the Greek side was accepted as a full member of the EU under the name of 'Republic of Cyprus.' The leaders should have understood this. Even at the EU's 2002 summit in Copenhagen, it was obvious that the Greek side would enter the EU without any solution to the Cyprus problem. Everybody should have been aware that the problem should have been solved before its membership. We opposed the move then, and we were advocating a solution. We kept saying that 'a solution can only be found at the Copenhagen summit. After that, it will be hopeless...'
* The Annan plan - The Greek Cypriots will naturally try to eliminate the Annan plan. They put forward something under the name of, 'A solution related to Europe.' But they didn't offer anything concrete. We understand from their statements that they want to change from the federal system to a unitary state, to change equality of communities to equality of citizens, and they expect that everyone would get back their own property. The Greek side will approach the solution in relation to whether or not the isolation against the Turkish Cypriots is in danger of ending. If the Turkish Cypriots were no longer under isolation, the Greek side would accept the Annan plan, or even less than it. The important thing is that the Greek side would see that it could no longer isolate the Turkish Cypriots by using its power as the 'Republic of Cyprus.' And the realization of this is related to the world's intervention. Taking all these factors into consideration, I will be ready to negotiate -- it's my idea -- all the reasons and proposals coming from the Greek Cypriot side.
The Greek Cypriot veto threat -- I prefer to use 'international community' rather than 'European Union' when I ask for an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. Because, it's the United Nations that took all the power in its hands on this issue. But I don't think that the EU has considered any remedy to this situation. From this point of view, the EU could say that the 'reunification of Cyprus is crucial for us.' We established the EU to unite all European nations. Then we accepted a divided country as a full member. And the leadership of this split country wishes to prolong this separation. How long can it be managed? So, the EU should press upon the Greek Cypriot leadership. The main idea expressed by EU laws and regulations is a united Europe and an end to all divisions. The EU should not tolerate a leader of one of its countries indefinitely harboring an attitude which is against these ideas.
* Giving the Maras region (fenced area of Famagusta) back to the Greek Cypriots - The proposed return of the Maras region to the Greek Cypriots is not a new development. It goes back to my time as the `prime minister´. It developed out of a brainstorm that began when we were told how we could obtain financial aid and opportunities for direct trade from then EU Term President Luxembourg. While these discussions were happening, I suggested to the term presidency that there was an easy way to fix things. I proposed to give back the Maras region to the Greek Cypriots and asked in exchange for an end of all embargoes against the Turkish Cypriot side. All the terms of the negotiations were also made available to Ankara. But it was only brainstorming. In the end, we didn't give back Maras to the Greeks or get the removal of the embargo. We weren't able to establish agreement from all parties on these issues. Then, the Brussels negotiations started and we again made this proposition during the meetings. The Greek side immediately said 'no' to our proposition. The meeting ended without any decision. But this point is very clear: In exchange for returning Maras, we want the opening of our airports and harbours, and an end to the cultural embargo. It means the end to our isolation. I'm surprised when I see people criticizing this proposal without understanding its importance. Because the meaning of our proposal is to achieve the last phase before full recognition in exchange for Maras. Essentially everything except for recognition. The Greek Cypriot side already saw this and immediately rejected the proposal. They even refuse to talk about it.
* Russia should reconsider its attitude - It's inconceivable that Russia is not aware what is going on here. But for many reasons, Russians prefer to stand beside the Greeks. The first reason is of course the traditional cultural and religious ties. The second reason they have economic ties and interests. And also, Turkey is a big power. And it is seen by the Russians as a power standing in support of the U.S. So, Turkey and Russia enter into a natural competition. But if Russia could take a positive stand towards a solution to the Cyprus problem, and really wish to find a solution, there would definitely be progress. I personally do have hope when it comes to Russia. In the end, it's unlikely that a huge country like Russia could be slave to a country with only 700,000 people. Russia is a country that can almost independently determine where its interests lie.
 The U.S. delegation visiting occupied Cyprus illegally is continuing its contactsTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.08.05), in its front page under the title They listen, they learn, reports that the US delegation, consisting of 7 employees from the U.S. Congress, who arrived in the occupied area of Cyprus on Monday night as guest of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry, are having meetings with officials of the occupation regime and representatives of civil organizations in an effort to know better the North Cyprus (the occupied area of Cyprus).
The U.S. delegation had yesterday separate meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs Serdar Denktas.
Mr Serdar Denktas said that the young age of the delegation does not undervalue the importance of their meeting in the occupied area of Cyprus and added: There are those who want to underestimate the visit, but these persons are carrying out very important duties in their country. These are the people who are the cooks in their jobs kitchen. These are the people, who are working in the political kitchen of the U.S.A.; for this reason, it is really important to see with their own eyes what is going on in Cyprus.
There was no statement during the meeting with Mehmet Ali Talat.
Some Turkish Cypriot newspapers are downgrading the importance of the U.S. delegations visit in the occupied area of Cyprus, by commenting on the clothes, the age of the delegation, as well as their refusal to make any comments to the reporters by hiding their faces.
Characteristic comments of the papers are as follows:
The columnist Levent Ozadam in VATAN newspaper, under the title The U.S. delegation with short pants and sandals!, writes that the arrival of the Americans was represented as big victory: Seven youth with rucksacks on their backs, short pants and sandals were received as kings. The columnist wonders if this was an official visit to the TRNC (occupied area of Cyprus) why they were avoiding to be photographed and why they were hiding their faces as guilty.
AFRIKA newspaper, in its front page, writes The U.S. delegation arrives at Ercan airport (occupied airport of Tympou) with short pants and sandals. The U.S Congressmen and deputies sent us their children for vacations.
VOLKAN newspaper reports that there was no official to receive the U.S. delegation apart from the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry Salih Tunar. The paper also adds that the members of the delegation were hiding their faces in front of the cameras and they did not make any statements, even a short one.
VOLKAN also, under the title A special visit, which is not official, reports the statements of the U.S. deputy Spokesman Adam Ereli, who in his press briefing, yesterday said: The State Department does not allow or disallow travel by Congressional staffers. This is a private, unofficial staff delegation. They are responsible for their travel. They're responsible for their decisions. And I would refer you to them for elaboration on how they decided to go and what they did when they went there. But we certainly are not going to either permit or prevent them from doing it.
YENIDUZEN newspaper, in its front page under the title Its not illegal, reports that Mr Ereli said: It's not illegal. There's nothing illegal about using the airport there And moreover, our position is well known that we support efforts to ease the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and that we, as U.S. Government personnel, are certainly legally eligible to fly to Ercan (occupied Tymbou) airport.
 A high delegation of SKAL international arrived to occupied Cyprus using the illegal Tymbou airportTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.08.05) reports that a high delegation of SKAL international, a professional organisation of tourism, visited occupied Cyprus and participated in the dance for the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the SKAL Kyrenia club which is located in occupied Cyprus.
The delegation went to occupied Cyprus from the illegal Tymbou airport.
As the paper writes, the high delegation of SKAL international was composed by Mr Mutanyah Necht, the chairman of SKAL international and Mr Uzi Yalon, the honourable chairman of the organisation, who were guest of the so-called SKAL Kyrenia club. The paper writes that Mr Necht and Mr Yalon held various contacts during their two-day visit with officials of the occupation regime.
Speaking during the dance, where he received a plaquette and a certificate, Mr Necht spoke very positively about the tourism in occupied Cyprus, and stated that they protect the cultural heritage very well. He also alleged that the tourism of the pseudostate will boom in case direct flight start to be conducted.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Turkish Cypriot columnist says that the only thing that Talat has not done in order to prove that he applies Turkeys policy is hang himself at the Sarayonu squareTurkish Cypriot Turgut Afsaroglu, writing in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot AFRIKA newspaper (10.08.05), expresses the opinion that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has no difference from his predecessor, Rauf Denktas. Mr Afsaroglu writes, inter alia, the following:
If we say that he (Talat) does not make us to long for Denktas, we would be right. If Denktas attacked our neighbours three times daily, Talat attacks four times daily. Especially for Papadopoulos, he left nothing he has not said. Furthermore, as opposed to Denktas, he keeps on mentioning the word peace. His hand is always extended.
Denktas was walking on the road of Turkey. He was applying Turkeys policy. Even if he was against this policy from time to time, he said nothing. Talat as well walks on Turkeys road. He tries to open the way for Turkey. He does everything that Tayyip says and does not do all those for which Tayyip says do not do it.
When he was Prime Minister Tayyip said to him: You will never take Peace and Democracy Movement to the government. He did not take it. When he became a minority, Tayyip said to him: Do not resign. He did not. When he wanted to go for early elections, Tayyip said to him: You cannot go for early elections before 17 December. He did not. What else should Talat do in order to prove that he walks on Turkeys road? Should he hang himself at the Sarayonu square? .
 Turkish columnist accuses French President of perfidyColumnist Oktay Eksi, in an article in Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (10.08.05) comments about a Greek Cypriot press report that French President Jacques Chirac has written a letter to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos in which he said that on 3rd of October they will put before Turkey, Cyprus´s recognition as condiiton.
President Chirac, says Eksi informed Mr Papadopoulos that the French Council of Ministers has taken the decision that Turkey must recognize the Republic of Cyprus prior to starting accession talks on 3rd October. Eksi goes on and claims that President Chirac called on the Greek Cypriots not to disillusion us.
Eksi writes that we will see what the Greek Cypriots will do. However, he adds, from now more or less we know what will France do.
We know that from now on it is not possible to rely on France. The French are unreliable. Not only they are unreliable they are ungrateful and French President is a unique perfidious person.
Mr Eksi tries to give other examples in order to prove France being an unreliable partner.
He concludes by declaring: To rely on France is nothing but stupidity.