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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-05-23
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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.98/07 23.05.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Hasan ErcakicaTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.07) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, has stated that the measures announced the day before yesterday by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus for the Turkish Cypriots are a political offensive and are eliminating the 8 July process. The paper covers the statements under the title They have killed the 8 July process.
HALKIN SESI covers Ercakicas statements under the title Strong reaction from the TRNC to the Economic Measures Package of the South.
Meanwhile, STAR KIBRIS reports that experts in the occupied areas of Cyprus expressed the opinion that the aim of the Greek Cypriots with these measures is to make the Direct Trade Regulation of the EU ineffective and not to develop the relations between the two sides.
On the same issue, illegal BAYRAK television (22.05.07) broadcast the following:
The Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has stressed that international relations of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are improving due to the Turkish Cypriot Sides peaceful stance on the Cyprus issue.
At his weekly press conference today, Mr Ercakica said the main reason for the recognition of Turkish Cypriot representatives on the international platform is the Turkish Cypriot Peoples commitment to a just, early and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.
Mr Ercakica said the Turkish Cypriot People maintains its peaceful stance for a settlement on the island.
Referring to the foreign contacts held by Turkish Cypriot officials recently, the Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica stated that these contacts were aimed at expressing the Turkish Cypriot views and expectations to the world.
He pointed out that the activities organized in Brussels recently with the aim of making the Turkish Cypriot voice heard have been useful in terms of showing the world that the Turkish Cypriot People has rightful expectations.
Underlining the importance of works being carried out on the Bologna Process- within the framework of the Bologna Ministers Meeting in London which was held between the 17th and 18th of May- Mr Ercakica said that a draft of decisions regarding the Turkish Cypriot People presented at the German Parliament is also very important.
The Turkish Cypriot People will be awarded a big prize for its peaceful efforts, if the draft is approved by the German Parliament, he said.
Touching upon the economic proposals prepared by the Greek Cypriot Administration- which were claimed to be in favour of the Turkish Cypriot People and officially announced yesterday- Mr Ercakica said those proposals will not contribute to the Turkish Cypriot economy.
These proposals are a deadly stroke against efforts aimed at bringing a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem, he added.
Reminding that the establishment of technical committees- which are supposed to work on day-to-day issues of the two peoples of the island- is envisaged by the 8 July Agreement, the Presidential Spokesperson accused the Greek Cypriot Administration of ignoring the Turkish Cypriot administration which had been democratically elected by the Turkish Cypriot People and of hindering the 8 July process.
Mr Ercakica stressed that the Turkish Cypriot people are not the citizens of the Greek Cypriot Administration and they have their own system of governance.
He called on all sides which are in favour of a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem through negotiations to realize the fact that the Greek Cypriot Sides attitude is aimed at hindering the negotiations process.
Ignoring the damaging activities of the Greek Cypriot Side only helps the deterioration of the situation in Cyprus and the worsening of relations between the two peoples of the island he added.
 COREPER discussed on the Direct Trade RegulationTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.07) reports that no agreement was reached yesterday on the issue of the Direct Trade Regulation in the subcommittee of the COREPER. The paper writes that the members of the EU decided to continue the discussions on the issue.
On the same issue, illegal BAYRAK television (22.05.07) broadcast the following:
The sub-committee of COREPER -the Committee of Permanent Representatives within the European Union- has failed to take a decision on the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation which aims to ease the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.
A decision however was taken by the committee for the continuation of bi-lateral meetings on the issue with the two sides on the island.
The EU term-president Germany informed the member countries about the latest developments and current situation on the issue of direct trade with North Cyprus during todays meeting.
Experts now say that it is almost certain that the issue which has been pending for the last 3 years will be transferred to Portugals EU Term Presidency in July.
Commenting on the issue, the EU Affairs Director of the TRNC Presidency Armagan Candan underlined the importance of the Direct Trade Regulation, pointing out that implementation of the regulation will liberalize the EUs trade regime imposed on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
He said that the regulation addresses the question as to how and who will issue health standard certificates for Turkish Cypriot goods to be exported to EU member countries.
The European Commission had presented the Direct Trade and Financial Assistance Regulation to the European Council on the 7th of July 2004 after approving a decision on the 26th of April 2004 to remove the international isolation of Turkish Cypriot people and to develop the North Cyprus Economy.
Although the Financial Assistance Regulation was put into implementation last year, the EU has yet to implement the Direct Trade Regulation which will regulate direct trade between North Cyprus and EU member countries.
 More on the population and building census conducted in 2006 in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (23.05.07) reports that the fourth stage of the results of the population and building census that had been conducted in 2006 in the occupied areas of Cyprus was announced yesterday. According to the results, 80.2 % of the inhabitants of the occupied areas of Cyprus have graduated from an educational institution. The percentage of the illiterate people is 3.6 %. The number of the physically handicapped persons is 4,957. The results showed that there are 72,624 buildings in the occupied areas and that 61 % of the population have their own house and 23% live in a rented house.
 Foreigners taking part in SKAL congress in Antalya to be hosted in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.07) reports that Enver Ozturk, so-called minister of economy and tourism, has denounced the information that he would resign from his post to be false.
In statements yesterday during a meeting with representatives of SKAL club and the Turkish Cypriot tourism agents, Mr Ozturk said that he will remain in his post and argued that this news were rumours aiming at harming the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP). SKALs chairman, Ekem Yesilada briefed Mr Avci about SKALs congress which will take place in November in Antalya and noted that they expect the support of the state in order to participate in the congress and contribute to the promotion of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot tourism. Mr Yesilada said that they will host in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus the foreigners who will participate in the congress in Antalya.
 Soyer: Turkish Cypriots are introducing themselves to the world as an entity, as a nation, as a value, as a people and as a stateTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.07) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, so-called prime minister in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus participated yesterday in the opening ceremony of the new building of the headquarters of the so-called civil defence organization in occupied Keryneia.
In his statements Mr Soyer referred to the importance of the organization, which is bound to the Turkish occupation army, and reminding the international conference and the earthquake manoeuvre organized during the past few months by the civil defence organization of the breakaway regime, said, inter alia, the following: This was not only a duty of materializing a manoeuvre. At the same time it has developed very important contributions to the efforts exerted by the Turkish Cypriot people to be unified with the world and introduce itself to the world as an entity, as a nation, as a value, as a people and as a state. And this has been a beautiful event which showed the organizing power of the Turkish Cypriot people, its bright face, its initiative power and how beautifully it uses science and technology.
 Soyer met with Douglas SillimanTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.07) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, so-called prime minister in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, met yesterday with Douglas Silliman, Director of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department.
 Greek Cypriot property in the occupied territory to be distributed to young Turkish CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.07) reports that the so-called ministry of internal affairs has announced that it will distribute plots of land to young people in 30 villages. The villages are the following: Akanthou, Limnia, Melounta, Piyi, Chatoz, Kornokipos, Prastio, Kouklia, Kondea, Milia, Agios Andronikos, Eptakomi, Syngrasi, Lapathos, Ardana, Komi Kepir, Patriki, Yialousa, Rizokarpasso, Agios Georgios, Morfou (west of the Middle East Technical University), Kapouti, Kazivera, Avlona, Kampyli, Sisklipos, Diorios, Mora, Skylloura and Ayia.
 The so-called council of ministers to convene in the Dome Hotel in occupied KeryneiaTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.05.07) reports that the so-called council of ministers in will convene today in the Dome Hotel in occupied Keryneia. The paper writes that for some time now the so-called council of ministers convenes outside of occupied Lefkosia and following Lefka and Trikomo, today it will hold its meeting in Keryneia.
 Nazim Beratli: The Annan Plan is not dead, no UN document is deadTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (23.05.07) reports that Nazim Beratli, so-called MP with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has said that, instead of being mad at the developments, the Turkish Cypriots should continue to explain themselves to the world and say at all platforms that the Greek Cypriot propaganda is not right.
In statements to KIBRISLI, Mr Beratli noted that the Turkish Cypriots should explain the situation especially in countries which are important in the EU, such as Germany and France. Responding to a question on whether or not the Annan plan is dead, he argued that no UN document, which came up after a long process, has died until now. For example if we had not accepted the 29 % of the territory in the Perez De Quellar document, the Annan Plan document would not have started with 29 % territory, he noted and added: Therefore, perhaps the document will not go to referendum as the Annan Plan, but be sure that the discussion will begin from that process.
 The Home Buyers Pressure Group, consisting of foreigners who bought properties in occupied Cyprus, postponed their planned protest after receiving guarantees from Talat and SoyerTurkish Cypriot daily CYPRUS TIMES newspaper (23.05.07) publishes the following statement by the Home Buyers Pressure Group (HBPG):
Following numerous telephone conversations with the President“s office, the Consumer Association and long-term members of the HBPG the decision has been taken to temporarily postpone the Parliament protest.
This decision has been taken as we have been guaranteed by President Talat“s representative that Prime Minister Soyer, Interior Minister Murat, Undersecretaries Alnar and Findik will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday at the latest to discuss means of solving the widespread problems currently being endured by property buyers. Following that meeting representatives from the HBPG will be called to a meeting to formally open negotiations between the government and the HPBG.
If, having listened to their proposals, we are not satisfied that the problematic construction industry and related services, will be tackled in an acceptable approach, we will proceed with our protest. We have been assured that, if we take this course of action, it will be acceptable and legal.
A members meeting has been arranged for Monday 21st at 11am in the Pia Bella Hotel, Girne (occupied Keryneia) to discuss our own proposals and we would hope that all our members will attend this informal but important open forum meeting
 DTP announced its decision not to participate in the Turkish general electionsANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (22.05.07) reports that the Democratic Society Party (DTP) informed Tuesday the Higher Electoral Council (YSK) that it will not participate in the general elections on July 22nd, 2007. According to a written press release, DTP sent a letter to the YSK about its decision on not participating in the general elections.
DTP Chairman Ahmet Turk indicated recently that DTP members will run in the elections as independent candidates.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 Cyprus towards creeping divergence, leads to conflictual divorceUnder the above title, Turkish daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS (22.05.07) publishes the following report:
A report published this month by the European Studies Centre of the St. Anthony's College, at University of Oxford (SEESOX), revealed that the status quo in Cyprus is leading to creeping divergence and analyzed the possible scenarios of the divorce of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798
The report titled Cyprus after its EU accession; Getting past the no vote is the outcome of a workshop organized in Oxford, entitled Cyprus after accession: Thinking outside the box, which took place at St. Anthony's College, Oxford on March 9-11, 2006. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798
The workshop was convened by Othon Anastasakis, Olga Demetriou, Kalypso Nicolaidis, Kerem Öktem and Max Watson, and brought together leading experts on the Cyprus question. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798
Here are excerpts from the report:
Diagnosis of the present
Discussions focused initially on developments since April 2004. Participants voiced differing degrees of dissatisfaction with events. Discomfort from the Greek-Cypriot side was related to the failure of the outside world to understand their misgivings regarding the Annan plan and its failure to take into consideration Greek-Cypriot anxieties: property issues, mobility constraints, inflow of migrants from Turkey, the continued presence of Turkish troops and the status of settlers. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798
The exploitation and trade of Greek-Cypriot property in the north has been a central source of Greek-Cypriot discomfort since 2004.
The Turkish Cypriot side also voiced strong discontent with events of the past two years and a growing sense of disillusionment and frustration with both the international community, the Greek-Cypriots, and to a lesser extent Turkey. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798
Living standards in the north have risen considerably since 2004, even if this rise was mostly confined to Turkish Cypriots and did not reach the Turkish settlers whose wealth levels remain significantly lower. Recent growth levels reflect in part an unsustainable boom driven by property transactions and consumer spending, as well as by a growing dependency on the thriving yet volatile economy of Turkey. http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798
Absence of economic ties creates obstacle
Most participants pointed to the absence of significant economic ties between the two communities - other than commuting and a (http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798) unidirectional trickle of Green Line trade - as the single biggest obstacle to the sustainability of current growth rates in the north. Could the Turkish Cypriot north be entering an ever closer economic union with Turkey? And was there not a sense of unreality when EU economic evaluations of the Republic of Cyprus - however flattering - referred to a Cyprus with the north bracketed off?
If the boom in the Turkish Cypriot north is in part dependent on construction, the recent UK court decision in the Orams Case in favour of the British couple has strengthened the legal basis for the purchase of property in the north, and has further stabilized foreign interest in local properties with property prices expected to raise by about 20 percent as result. In addition to the political fallout, the question is how sustainable this boom is in (http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798) ecological terms, if the cultural, natural, and historical heritage were damaged by construction without stringent criteria for development?
Tensions and risks of the status quo
For some participants, the current situation can be seen as yet another pause in a long series of unsuccessful negotiations. For some it is already de facto separation. For others, we are witnessing a slow process of creeping divergence in the political and economic arenas, the final outcome of which remains unclear. How sustainable is this creeping divergence and what concerns does it raise?
A deepening of economic and monetary http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798 bonds between the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey might entrench vested interests against reunification of the island on any terms. Such pull-factors, however, are counter-balanced by a growing sense of a distinct Turkish Cypriot identity among the Turkish Cypriots. These new identity http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=73798 politics insist on a distance both to Turkey and to Greek-Cypriots.
Turkey-EU relations remain volatile. A probable crisis in the relations between Turkey and the EU, most likely to be triggered by the unresolved status of Cyprus, might disrupt the entire fabric of EU policy towards Cyprus. The Greek side should not feel shielded from negative spill over by its membership status, as the EU cannot prevent further irreversible developments in the field of property or in terms of Turkish Cypriot citizenship in the south.
Developments on some issues such as property might disrupt the status quo and develop beyond the control of the local elites. It was felt that property in many ways epitomized the conflict and is the lynchpin issue between individual rights and politics. The issue is being tackled incrementally through lawsuits - which might or might not favour the actual restoration of these rights.
Do rights currently offered to Turkish Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus (in particular identification documents and access to health services) go far enough in making Turkish Cypriots feel that this is really their state too? For instance, many Turkish Cypriots have called for additional rights in the south, such as voting rights.
However, extending these rights too far runs the risk of creating resentment among Greek-Cypriots who argue that the Turkish Cypriots want to have their own state and still gain the benefits from, and participate in, the Republic of Cyprus, a state they claim not to recognize.
Here is the paradox. Many participants felt that the current situation is unsustainable yet it is hard to see viable alternative scenarios for the future short of bold political initiatives. This is in part because expectations about likely spillovers and scenarios are contradictory and do not point to clear critical junctures or points of no return.
The current situation of creeping divergence might lead to a number of desirable or not so desirable scenarios. Four were identified and discussed during the workshop.
Four scenarios: Taiwan or Yugoslavia?
1) Structural stalemate ą la Taiwan: The TRNC remains unrecognized while it continues to perform many of the functions of a sovereign state. In the long run, some developing countries and members of the Organization of Islamic Countries might recognize the TRNC, even if annexation by Turkey cannot be ruled out. Yet this status quo at the political level must be assessed against the backdrop of the creeping divergence discussed above and therefore potential grievances on the part of both sides. Such grievances may be getting worse while at the same time softened by economic growth while it lasts. Turkey's EU candidacy factors into this scenario in as much as relations with the EU are becoming ever more conflictual and Cyprus' negative role in those relations is becoming increasingly costly.
2) Amicable divorce (or partition) ą la Czechoslovakia: A voluntary separation would presuppose full mutual recognition and a commitment to non-confrontational politics, conditions that do not appear to exist at the moment. Voluntary partition would result in a fully sovereign Turkish Cypriot state, which, alongside Turkey, would eventually become a member of the EU. In fact for some participants in the workshop, amicable divorce may not be considered a taboo and if executed wisely, could lead to an arrangement quite close to that of a loose federation.
3) Conflictual divorce ą la Yugoslavia: There was agreement between the workshop participants that this worst case scenario needs to be avoided at any cost, as it would further deepen the abyss between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and place Turkey firmly outside the European Union. Annexation of the north by Turkey would be a probable result.
4) A cooperative status quo: So as always with the cycles characterizing the Cyprus question, we are back to assessing the parameters of the fourth scenario, that of significant cooperation. Here, the cost of incremental divergence leading to one of the first three scenarios (with some likelihood attached to each of them) create enough incentives for actors to seek ways to balance these costs through greater cooperation between the two sides, in areas ranging from trade to education, the environment and culture.
Despite their ostensible differences, these scenarios converge around the continued division of Cyprus. Of the four scenarios, only the last has the potential to lead towards a settlement.
Under what conditions, we asked, would cooperative moves constitute building blocks for renewed attempts at a political resolution? Would the need to adapt the parameters of conflict resolution to the legal, institutional and political realities of EU membership make such efforts easier? Under what conditions would a Europeanization' of the conflict lead to incremental re-unification or to a scenario of amicable divorce?
Strategies and risks for the future
Confidence building measures and constructed deals, which condone changes on the ground (on property, mobility.) It was important that key actors think through carefully how some incremental changes open or close options towards a comprehensive settlement.
Waiting for the right time and seizing windows of opportunity for reconciliation requires changes in perceptions, attitudes and incentives. However, decision makers and opinion leaders on both sides need to address the question under which conditions they consider econciliation a desirable option.
Giving scope for economic factors to play a positive role in paving the way for reunification. Economics were a sticking point in 2004 because both sides pointed to the income gap between the two sides. Today, both sides enjoy rising levels of economic development, albeit development that is much higher and more sustainable in the south, and more problem-laden in the north.
EU is crucial
In this context, the European Union is crucial. To assess its potential role, we must take into account at least three realities. First, the EU, like other international actors, has limited capacities in that it cannot impose a solution, especially having lost the pre-accession conditionality card vis-ą-vis the Republic of Cyprus.
Second, the acquis defined in a broad sense to include the process of learning across national experience, constitutes a strong new constraint in defining the contours of a new settlement. Third, the vision of Cyprus's future as a EU hub in the Eastern Mediterranean differs substantially from its current role as a flashpoint and source of difficulties for the EU.
So the workshop tabled a paradox: the EU as a constrained giant may be poorly equipped to promote new solutions for status issues of its own members - witness Northern Ireland and yet can be a powerful force in shaping the basic parameters of outcomes in a process managed by the key local actors and the UN. Perhaps in the belief that this ambiguity can be used fruitfully, all participants seem to converge on the call for the EU to adopt a more active role, progressing simultaneously on different layers of the Cyprus issue.
EU could be more constructive
The EU could play a more constructive, pro-active and creative role in exploring alternatives. The Annan Plan was influenced by historical models of bi- or multi-community governance such as Belgium or Switzerland and sought to conceive a grand plan for Cyprus by adapting some combination of these models. It therefore lacked the dynamic qualities of the European project, the idea that realities are shaped by spillovers and constructed solidarities, and by the constraints of legal enmeshment.
Even if creeping divergence now best describes processes on the ground, options that further augment the division and cause inter-community relations to deteriorate would do disservice to all parties involved.
While recognizing the political facts in Cyprus, Turkey and the EU, the open-ended spirit of the meeting led participants to call for decision makers and opinion leaders on all sides to consider whether aspects of the Europeanization' scenario might create windows of opportunity to break the status quo and prevent the most undesirable scenario of conflictual divorce.
 Columnist in Cyprus Times invokes Taiwan“s office in Ankara to support the opening of trade offices of the Turkish Republic of Northern CyprusUnder the title Still reacting!, Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Times newspaper (23.05.07) publishes the following commentary by Fanos Droushiotis in the column Pen Point:
Don“t tell me you expected otherwise! Tassos Papadopoulos and his gang, or if you prefer the Greek Cypriot administration in the South, of course immediately reacted by political reflex against the Kuwaiti Cabinet decision to allow a TRNC trade mission in Kuwait, saying that the Kuwaiti decision is an unwanted development and they will use all means to stop this decision being materialized. By doing this, the Greek Cypriot leadership reminded themselves, as much as the Kuwaitis, that this decision cannot mean granting legitimacy to the Turkish Cypriots. It was a statement of the obvious. However, Taiwan has had a Trade Mission in Ankara since 1992 and is busy developing Taiwan“s exports and investments to Turkey, especially in electronics and, more specifically, laptop computers. China has no objection to Taiwan“s Trade Office in Ankara. By comparison, the Greek Cypriots“ objection, as a matter of political reflex, to fight against its establishment is beyond reason or international practice.
Furthermore, Turkey does not recognize Armenia, but has some trade with Yerevan, and, to my mind, should open a Trade Mission in Yerevan, as there is an Armenian representative in Istanbul visibly under the title of Representative to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Region Organization, who is probably taking care of such matters.
Surely, to open a trade office cannot be interpreted as recognition of TRNC and Kuwait was not wrong in suggesting this. It cannot be argued that it is a first step towards recognition, because there are precedents in favour of their decision. The Greek Cypriot leadership“s efforts to block this initiative may prove counterproductive, if not negative, to their already negative and uncooperative image.
But keeping their standard procedures, for more than three decades the Greek Cypriot leadership, with their economic blockage against the Turkish Cypriots have been trying to strangle the North Cyprus state economically. The European Union“s decision to break this economic blockade has already been obstructed by the Greek Cypriot leadership in the south.
It is shameful however and it is said that trying to stop development of economic and trade relations between Kuwait and the Turkish Republic in the North is the latest example of their ill-conceived positions and uncompromising policies. Can, or will, the Kuwaiti Government surrender easily to negative Greek Cypriot pressure is the question. To stand their ground and to deliver on their Prime Minister“s promise to open a Turkish Cypriot Trade Mission in Kuwait City is their sovereign right and may be in their own interests, a matter they should decide.