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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-05-14

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. 90/08 14.05.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Basaran Duzgun: I was convinced that Christofias will work with all his power for the solution
  • [02] More data on the applications submitted to the so-called immovable property commission established by the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus
  • [03] Metin Hakki, resigned from his duty of the ad-hoc judge of Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and may become head of the TRNC Immovable Property Commission
  • [04] Ercakica reiterates the allegations against the Greek Cypriots that they are keeping the Turkish Cypriots isolated
  • [05] The scandal regarding the tender of occupied Lefkonoiko airport acquiring even greater dimensions
  • [06] The breakaway regime will cancel the allotments of the Turkish businessmen who have not invested yet in occupied Vokolida
  • [07] The occupation regime is looking for alternatives on tourism investments
  • [08] The number of foreign tourists who used Ledra Street crossing point is four times higher than the number of the tourists who entered into the occupied areas through the illegal Tymvou airport
  • [09] The Turkish Cypriot Intellectual Womens Platform sent a letter to the Slovenian EU Rotating President Janez Jansa
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot Firms are participating in the International Construction Supplies Fair in Damascus and have reportedly entered Syria using the TRNC passports11. Uzbek illegal immigrants caught in occupied Cyprus
  • [12] The Chairman of the World Kenpo Karate Federation is visiting occupied Cyprus
  • [13] The murderer of a 16 year-old British sought refuge in the occupied areas
  • [14] Turkey needs $45 billion to avoid facing an economic crisis
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [15] Ilter Turkmen: It would serve the interests of both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey in consideration of the EU membership process to attempt to reach an agreement with Christofias
  • [16] Cengiz Candar on his impressions from Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Basaran Duzgun: I was convinced that Christofias will work with all his power for the solution

    Under the title Christofias: We have started ok but there are problems, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.05.08) publishes in its first page an interview President Christofias gave to the papers editor-in-chief, Basaran Duzgun. In the interview Mr Christofias referred, inter alia, to the problems faced by the technical committees and the issue of the settlers.

    Commenting on the interview in his daily column Kulis (Backstage), Basaran Duzgun writes, inter alia, that when he went to the Presidential Palace together with the photographer of the paper, the person who escorted them noted that in the past the Presidential Palace was a closed area for the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Basaran notes that they tried without success in the past to find a solution to the Cyprus problem with those who were living in this Palace which was closed to the Turkish Cypriots. However, now the resident of this Palace changed, he notes.

    Mr Duzgun goes on and writes that Mr Christofias told him that he wanted to become President in order to solve the Cyprus problem: I sat on this burning chair for the solution. Otherwise, I could have gone home and spend my free time with my grand children, Mr Christofias said.

    Basaran Duzgun goes on and writes the following: I was convinced that Christofias will work with all his power for the solution. But I do not know if this effort will bring or not the solution. The Cyprus problem is such a big problem that cannot be solved with the efforts of only one person. And it is so sensitive that it could be condemned to no solution with the efforts of only one person. What I saw is the following: In this chair now sits a person who is in favor of a solution. We have no other chance as Turkish and Greek Cypriots other than wait and see what kind of a result this will create. We will wait and see.

    (CS)

    [02] More data on the applications submitted to the so-called immovable property commission established by the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.05.08) broadcast the following:

    The number of Greek Cypriots who have applied to the TRNC immovable property commission has reached 314.

    The Commission has so far settled 38 of the outstanding applications. While 32 of these cases were settled through compensation, the commission ruled exchange of property as a settlement for two applicants.

    The commission has also agreed to return the property of 4 applicants, one of them after a political settlement.

    The TRNC immovable property commission recognized by the European Court of Human Rights as an adequate legal domestic remedy for property claims by Greek Cypriots seeks to settle applications either through compensation, exchange or return.

    Greek Cypriot applicants who receive compensation give up all claims over the property in dispute.

    Last month, the European Court of Human Rights has endorsed a friendly settlement between Greek Cypriot Mike Tymvios and the TRNC immovable property commission.

    The judgment by the Court was hailed as an important precedent recognizing the Immovable Property Commission as a means of domestic remedy for property claims by Greek Cypriots.

    [03] Metin Hakki, resigned from his duty of the ad-hoc judge of Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and may become head of the TRNC Immovable Property Commission

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.05.08) reports that the chairman of the Supreme Court, Metin Hakki, who had the duty of the ad-hoc judge of Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), resigned from his post. In a statement he made to the illegal TAK news agency, Mr Hakki said that he will retire from the Supreme Court in July and that he has made some plans for the future. As he said, he resigned from his post at the ECHR because these plans will not be in harmony with his duty as ad-hoc judge of the ECHR.

    The paper writes that according to the TRNC constitution, Mr Hakki must retire when he turns 65, that is, on the 12th of July. However, he could have continued his duty at the ECHR for five more years since the age limit at the ECHR is 70 years. However, Mr Hakki said that because he has other plans he decided to resign from his post before starting on another case.

    Reminded of the allegations that he will become the head of the TRNC Immovable Property Commission, Mr Hakki stated that he did not receive any information on this issue.

    (CS)

    [04] Ercakica reiterates the allegations against the Greek Cypriots that they are keeping the Turkish Cypriots isolated

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.05.08) reports that Hasan Ercakica, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that the Turkish Cypriot side follows with surprise the statements of the Greek Cypriot side that the work of the Technical Committees and the Working Groups is not progressing.

    Mr Ercakica, who was speaking at his weekly briefing to the journalists, stated, inter alia, that the three-week job of the Working Groups and Technical Committees are positive and that they were surprised from the statements of President Demetris Christofias that there is no progress. As he stated, George Iakovou and Erdil Nami will meet tomorrow afternoon in order to evaluate the work of the Committees. He said that most of the issues on the agenda of the Working Groups and Technical Committees had been taken up in the three weeks following the first meeting on the 22nd of April.

    On claims of a referendum taking place in March 2009, Mr Ercakica stated that these are speculations written in the Greek Cypriot press but, as he stated, the Turkish Cypriots are ready for such a process. The Cyprus problem must not remain unsolved for longer. Our aim is a solution to be reached in 2008, he stated.

    Mr Ercakica further accused the Greek Cypriot side of continuing its policy of keeping the Turkish Cypriot people isolated from the rest of the world. As he said, the latest target was the Lefkosia Turkish Municipality which was prevented from participating in three different international events this month. As he said, there has been no change in the stance of the Greek Cypriots towards keeping the Turkish Cypriot people isolated despite the recent change in the political leadership in the Greek Cypriot side.

    Commenting on statements by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marios Karoyan, regarding the visit of the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to occupied Cyprus, Mr Ercakica said that that these statements are a proof of the extent of efforts underway to tighten the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    (CS)

    [05] The scandal regarding the tender of occupied Lefkonoiko airport acquiring even greater dimensions

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (14.05.08) reports in its first page that the scandal regarding the tender of occupied Lefkonoiko airport acquiring even greater dimensions and writes that the self-styled minister of public works and transportation, Salih Usar, is saying one thing, while the Turkish Cypriot businessman, Asil Nadir, is saying another thing. Mr Usar stated that Asil Nadir has nothing to do with the firm that was awarded the tender for the airport, while Asil Nadir stated yesterday that he is the shareholder of the 30% of the Firm.

    According to a statement of Asil Nadirs office, Mr Nadir is the shareholder of the 30% of the Cyprus Aviation Services (CAS). However, after he felt uneasiness for the fact that efforts were made for a firm which was registered in south Cyprus to become partner with the CAS, James Beveridge registered on 8th of April another firm and he tried to push him aside.

    According to the statement, Asil Nadir noted that James Beveridge and Mustafa Ebgu by establishing the Castlegate Aviation Limited, in which he is not a shareholder, submitted to the council of ministers another firm different than the one that was awarded the tender.

    Mr Nadir notes that he has in his hands all the documents as regards the issue and that has sent them to the related officials.

    Afrika further writes that the self-styled minister of public works and transportation, Salih Usar, on his part stated that Asil Nadir has nothing to do with the firm.

    (CS)

    [06] The breakaway regime will cancel the allotments of the Turkish businessmen who have not invested yet in occupied Vokolida

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (14.05.08), under the title TRNC will send back the businessmen who have not invested anything yet, reports that the so-called TRNC government, which has declared the occupied village of Vokolida as a tourism centre, has not intervened so far and only one hotel was put into service. But now, the pseudo-government will take back the plots allocated to the Turkish investors who have not driven a nail yet in occupied Vokolida. The pseudo-government has decided that it will cancel the allotments to those who were given plots but they have not invested yet. The papers correspondent in the occupied part of Cyprus, Hacer Gemici, reports that the slogan between 2003-2007 was to reach 15 thousand bed capacity, but until now only the hotel Kaya Artemis could be opened with 2.500 bed capacity. Three groups are continuing their construction works. Meanwhile, the Cyprus Turkish Agency for Developing the Investments (YAGA) was founded at the end of 2007 and is affiliated with the prime ministry. Since then, 114 knocked the door of YAGA for investments. The Director of YAGA Ayse Donmezer, briefing the members of the Tourism Investors Association (TYD), who are visiting the occupied part of Cyprus, explained to them that out of them there are only 45 related to tourism. She also said that especially Israelis and Russians are interested in tourism.

    Reminding them that the investments in the occupied Vokolida should have been completed by 2007, Ms Donmezer said: In the area, infrastructure investments were made, for example in a sewage system. But at this moment there is only one hotel and the sewage system cannot operate for only one hotel. The construction of the other hotels is continuing very slowly. For this reason, we had to make a new small sewage system. Explaining that they have decided after discussing with jurists that some of the 16 allotments, which are on 60 donums, will be cancelled, Ms Donmezer said that as YAGA they attach a lot of importance to the promotion of TRNC. She also said that the projects will be brought to a road-show from September, adding that their first stop will be Turkey, Britain and Israel.

    The paper publishes the following table with the investment companies:

    Eksen 0nsaat

    Yayoz Turizm

    Goctur (the construction has started)

    Kaya Grup (finished)

    Simsekler Turizm

    Akfen 0nsaat

    Ada Kibris Limited

    Sunny Wally

    Kocoglu

    Bilgili Turizm

    Gural Turizm

    Limak (the construction has started)

    (The above table was given by the TRNC Tourism Ministry)

    (DPs)

    [07] The occupation regime is looking for alternatives on tourism investments

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (14.05.08), under the title, The Greek Cypriot embassies put the hotels in the North on black list, reports that another big problem of the activities in the tourism sector appears to be the list with the hotels that were built after 1974 in the occupied part of Cyprus and is issued by the Greek Cypriot Embassies. This list includes the hotels which are built on land belonging to the Greek Cypriots and is known as the list with the forbidden hotels. Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot side tries with unique methods to bypass the isolation. The so-called TRNC administration, which has focused on the marina investments because there is no restriction regarding the yachts, makes an effort as well to start yacht production that Turkish yacht builders are unable to meet the yacht demand. Again, the marinas in the occupied Keryneia and Famagusta have capacity for 550 yachts and the investment to increase the capacity to 2,050 yachts is encouraged.

    (DPs)

    [08] The number of foreign tourists who used Ledra Street crossing point is four times higher than the number of the tourists who entered into the occupied areas through the illegal Tymvou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.05.08) reports that Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point proved to be more important from the point of arrival of tourists to the occupied area than the occupied Tymvou airport. It reports that in forty days 108 thousand people crossed into the north from the Ledra Street crossing point. The paper goes on and reports that a foreign tourist boom is being experienced at the crossing and that the number of foreign tourists who used the crossing is four times higher than the number of tourists who entered into the occupied areas through the illegal Tymvou airport. The paper gives figures to substantiate its report, according to which in April 39,895 tourists used Ledra Street crossing point while in the same period only 9,464 people entered into the occupied area through the occupied Tymvou.

    The paper goes on and reports that by the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point ,the business volume on a daily basis recorded an additional increase of 50 thousands New Turkish Lira (NTL). The paper writes that in order to renovate and change the face of the area the occupation regime has prepared a feasibility study under the name Preservation, Revitalization and Development Strategy at a cost of six million NTL.

    (MHY)

    [09] The Turkish Cypriot Intellectual Womens Platform sent a letter to the Slovenian EU Term President Janez Jansa

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (14.05.08) under the title, The Czech-Slovak model can be applied, reports that the Turkish Cypriot Intellectual Womens Platform has sent a letter to the Slovenian EU Term President Janez Jansa emphasizing that for an agreement to be reached there must be Greek-Turkish balance.

    In the letter it is underlined that in the island there are two peoples, two democracies and two states and it was expressed that a bridge must be created between the two peoples in order for a permanent solution to be arrived at. In the letter it was also stated that the Czech-Slovak model can constitute an example for a just and permanent solution. The letter, which was sent with the signature of Mrs Emine Sutcu in the name of the Intellectual Womens Platform, it was stressed that for 44 years now it was not possible to reach to a just and peaceable solution that would satisfy both peoples. In the letter information regarding the Akritas plan was given as well.

    (EA)

    [10] Turkish Cypriot Firms are participating in the International Construction Supplies Fair in Damascus and have reportedly entered Syria using the TRNC passports

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (14.05.08) reports that three Turkish Cypriot firms are participating in the International Construction Supplies Fair which is taking place in Damascus. The Fair, which was opened yesterday, will be open until the 16th of May. Following the opening of the Fair, some Syrian Ministers and the Turkish Ambassadors to Damascus, Halit Cevik and Trade Attaches visited the TRNC stands. The paper writes that the TRNC delegation entered the Damascus International Airport using the TRNC passports.

    (CS)

    [11] Uzbek illegal immigrants caught in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.05.08) broadcast the following:

    Police have arrested 10 illegal immigrants of Uzbek origin while trying to enter the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus illegally.

    The men will appear before the Girne (occupied Kyrenia) District Court tomorrow. The illegal immigrants of Uzbek nationality who were caught in a police raid are believed to have walked ashore somewhere between the villages of Sadrazamkoy (occupied Livera) and Kayalar (occupied Orga).

    Police is continuing its investigation into the incident.

    [12] The Chairman of the World Kenpo Karate Federation is visiting occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.05.08) writes that the Chairman of the World Kenpo Karate Federation, Jeff Speakman, who is also a famous actor who received an Oscar, is visiting occupied Cyprus, upon an invitation of the TRNC Taekwondo Karate Aikido Kurash Wushu Muaythai Federation in order to hold official contacts and to give a seminar. Jeff Speakman met yesterday with various TRNC officials, among them the prime minister Ferdi Soyer, the speaker of the assembly, Fatma Ekenoglu, Rauf Denktas and others.

    (CS)

    [13] The murderer of a 16 year-old British sought refuge in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.05.08) reports that the murderer of Jimmy Mizen (16) who was killed at a bakery in South London on his 16th birthday on midnight last Saturday by having his neck chopped off ,is a 19 years old Turk who sought refuge in the occupied area. The paper reports that the Scotland Yard continues not to give any information to the public as regards the murderer. On the other hand, the BBC, SKY and ITV TV channels already reported that the murderer is a Turk, who escaped to the Turkish occupied part in the Republic of Cyprus. The paper also describes how the crime was committed by the Turkish youth.

    (MHY)

    [14] Turkey needs $45 billion to avoid facing an economic crisis

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (14.05.08) reports that Turkey needs $45 billion in 2008 in order to finance its current account deficit and avoid facing an economic crisis, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarciklioglu has said.

    The current account deficit is expected to hit $45 billion this year, and all crises will begin once this deficit cannot be financed, he added. The current account deficit arises mainly from an imbalance between foreign currency inflow and outflow and is financed through foreign direct investment (FDI) or short-term foreign investment, which provides foreign currency inflow into the country.

    Hisarciklioglu gave a presentation yesterday during his visit to the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) in Istanbul in which he said that the current account deficit could have been financed so far, but further negativities in global and domestic markets in the near future would really hurt Turkey's economic balances. An annual growth rate of below 7 percent would be a failure for Turkey and was unacceptable, according to Hisarciklioglu, who also added that for Turkey to grow by more than 7 percent annually, political and economic stability was a necessity. However, he noted that Turkey failed to achieve this growth rate in 2007 and it is expected to fall in 2008. Hisarciklioglu said that if Turkey continues to grow at a 7 percent annual growth rate, the national income per person would be equal to half that of the EU average in 2019 and equal to the EU average in 2033. However, a 4.5 percent growth rate would allow Turkey to reach only half of the EU average by 2050.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [15] Ilter Turkmen: It would serve the interests of both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey in consideration of the EU membership process to attempt to reach an agreement with Christofias

    Under the title What can come out of Christofias?, Turkish Daily News newspaper (13.05.08) publishes the following commentary by the former Turkish Foreign Minister, Ilter Turkmen:

    I joined the group of journalists and academics who had been invited by the north Cypriot President to visit Cyprus last weekend. I wish to summarize my impressions of that trip to the extent of available space for my column. I'd like to say, above all, that I'd been wrong in my assumption that the people in northern Cyprus were no longer interested in finding a solution to the present situation.

    This trip has shown me that the Turkish Cypriots would generally prefer to solve this issue than continue with the present status quo. Economy also plays a role in this preference. The economic growth that had averaged above 10 percent over the last three years thanks to the construction boom was brought to a halt and even went down to minus 2 percent in 2007.

    The general belief is that it won't be easy to recapture the former growth momentum unless the political issue is solved.

    Expectations for a solution:

    The election of Demetris Christofias as president of Greek Cyprus and Mehmet Ali Talat's determination to solve the Cyprus issue have undoubtedly raised the public's expectations of a possible solution. The working groups and committees founded within the scope of the agreement that had been reached with former President Papadopulos but had remained idle have now become more active. The work groups seem to "photograph" both sides' positions in topics like management and power sharing, security and guarantees, EU relations and borders. As for the committees, they seem to deal more with daily business. The opening of the Lokmaci Gate constituted another factor that built up trust. Following the opening of the gate, the number of people who traveled from the south to the north climbed from 800 to 3,000 per day. Official as well as social contact between Turks and Greeks is quite widespread. Almost three-hour long meeting we had with Christofias naturally constituted the most interesting point of our trip to Cyprus. The president of Greek Cyprus emphasized at length the necessity to find a solution and even stated that this had been his objective in running for president. He frequently referred to his friendship with Talat and said, If Christofias and Talat can't solve the issue, who can? He repeated his willingness to grant citizenship to 50,000 of the Turkish immigrants in Cyprus, if they were to reach a mutual agreement to found a new federal state. According to Christofias, the objective of the bilateral negotiations should be to reach an agreement within the framework of the compromise established between Denktas and Makarios in 1977 and between Denktas and Kyprianou in 1979: A solution on the basis of two communities, two sectors and political equality. However, he's against using the word people' instead of community. He rejects the Annan Plan's concept of virgin birth that excludes any mention of the "Cyprus Republic," which he had supported in 2004. He wants the new state to be a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus.' He rejects guarantee and alliance agreements. He argues that no EU member could be placed under tutelage of a non-member state. He wants the two sides to talk without the presence of a go-between this time, in contrast to the Annan Plan negotiations.

    Soft but unshakable:

    We discussed with Christofias the lifting of the isolation of northern Cyprus. He has no intention of permitting northern Cyprus to establish a direct commercial contact with the EU. He believes that any direct exportation from the Magusa port to the EU will mean the recognition of the northern Cyprus. He asks Turkey to fulfil its obligations towards the Customs Union by opening its ports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes without asking for anything in return.

    If the solution negotiations ever start, they are very likely to be long and difficult. It is to be expected that Southern Cyprus will use its EU member status to get rid of the parts of the Annan Plan that don't seem to suit its purposes. However and at least momentarily, it would serve the interests of both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey in consideration of the EU membership process to attempt to reach an agreement with Christofias, who, despite his apparently soft style, seems to be unshakable in some matters that are important to Turkey as well as to Turkish Cypriots.

    [16] Cengiz Candar on his impressions from Cyprus

    Under the title Solution in Cyprus is still very difficult, Turkish Daily News newspaper (14.05.08) publishes the following article by Cengiz Candar:

    We've been consumed by our internal issues for so long that we haven't even realized how long we have left Cyprus out of sight. So, I think everyone felt good about our three-day trip to Cyprus. When I say Cyprus, I mean both sides of Cyprus, not just the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). As far as I remember, no group has paid a visit to the Presidential Palace in Southern Cyprus to meet for three hours with Cypriot-Greek President Demetris Christofias. But we did. The Cypriot-Greek Mayor of Nicosia (Lefkosia) Eleni Mavrou hosted the same gathering for a lunch near the Lokmaci (Ledra Street) Crossing, or the Lokmaci (Ledra) Gate as it was renamed recently.

    The Turkish side:

    We passed into Southern Cyprus from the Ledra Street and returned from the Lokmaci (Ledra) Gate. We had long talks in the historic Bohcalian mansion on the Turkish side of Nicosia with Dinos Lordos, the wealthiest Cypriot-Greek who is close to the former Cypriot-Greek leader Glafkos Klerides, Klerides' daughter, a few Cypriot-Greeks intellectuals and some professors. Let me say it again; we did this on the Turkish side. This trip to Cyprus was not planned especially to be on the Greek side. It was instead intended to be on the Turkish side. The minute we stepped in, Hasan Ince, chairman of the Cypriot-Turkish Chamber of Commerce, welcomed us and gave a useful briefing about the economy in particular. Before we could even digest this, we attended another meeting for over two hours about the attempts at finding a solution in the Cyprus issue. Cypriot-Turkish negotiator Ozdil Nami and Foreign Affairs Special Envoy Kutlay Erk (previous mayor of Nicosia) gave this briefing. Then we found ourselves in the TRNC presidential residence and listened to President Mehmet Ali Talat until midnight. The next morning, as soon as we woke up, we headed for a quick trip to the Greek part in Nicosia and on the way back we had a dinner with Prime Minister of northern Cyprus Ferdi Sabit Soyer until midnight. The next day, we were invited to a barbeque party at Talat's summer house located on the eastern tip of the island. That gave us an opportunity to make assessments about the three-day contacts. We had had enough of the Cyprus issue and Cyprus. That was good though. Once again we realized the lack of solution in the Cyprus issue was the most important shackle around Turkey's ankles on its way to the European Union, so we focused on the Cyprus issue again. We were a group of 20 including former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen, the man behind the idea of Turkish northern Cyprus founded in 1983; Erdal Guven, the number one expert of the issue in the Turkish media; and other important names in the media and academic circles.

    Talat and Christofias:

    In our first meeting, Talat had said that he had met Christofias on March 21 and they gave a hopeful head-start to solution talks. He called the Cypriot-Greek leader comrade and said that together they would either solve the Cyprus issue or sign the division of the island for good. Talat added that he had underlined their joint historic and final responsibility. Christofias perceives the matter in the same way. This time, hopes for a possible solution to the issue are as high as ever because both leaders are on the same wavelength, and have close friendly ties. Another common and important quality both have is that they are known as pro-solution by their sides and have never been involved in the conflicts of the bloody past or undertaken any responsibility directly. One other hopeful development for the future is that pro-solution Christofias won 70 percent of votes in the presidential elections which ended the period of Tasos Papadopoulos who is known as the Denktas of the Cypriot-Greek side and who helped Christofias to be president elect. Then what did happen that the atmosphere in the Cypriot-Greek side changed completely? As the 65 percent of the Cypriot-Turks voted yes in the referendum, Turkish northern Cyprus took on a moral high ground, as did Turkey. Afterwards, Cypriot-Greeks quit following Papadopoulos. Although isolations have not been lifted despite the European Council's decision two days after the popular vote, on Apr. 26, 2004, EU citizens, including statesmen such as former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, have begun to land at the Ercan (Tymvou) Airport on Turkish side. In addition, the EU published a financial aid regulation for northern Cyprus and the Direct Trade Regulation is being discussed already. With the Green Line Regulation put into force by the Turkish side, movements of humans and goods were given a start too. What's more, Talat's level of hierarchy in foreign contacts rose and more importantly, 300 Cypriot-Greek citizens applied to the Real Property Commission to claim their estates on the Turkish side. Declaring this a local solution, the European Court of Human Rights legitimized the process and adjudicated 30 of the applications. All of this added to the concerns of Cypriot-Greeks that the division in the island is unavoidable and, showing a tremendous impulse, the Greek side seems unwilling to lose time and eager for solution. That acceleration brought Christofias to the presidency and his election campaign rose on this impulse.

    Avoid having dreams:

    When Cyprus is at issue one should avoid dreaming. After hearing out both parties for hours and after debating the issue, it is impossible to overlook that the Cyprus issue has so many details that build up over the years. In fact, the other day when Talat asked about our impressions of Christofias, I told him that the Greek leader started his speech as a communist and ended as a Greek. Talat is of the same opinion. Though both sides are coming from the same ideological roots, since the Cyprus issue in essence is one that occurred on the ground of two separate nations, as discussions continue Cypriot-Greeks look at the issue as Cypriot-Greeks and Cypriot-Turks look at it like Cypriot-Turks, regardless of their viewpoints. So in this way, the priorities of achieving a solution emerge on opposite ends of the issue. Still, for the Cypriot-Greek president to host a 20-person Turkish group, and for a Cypriot-Greek mayor to throw a dinner party for the same group is a public relations gimmick to send a signal that they have the will power for a solution or a signal to reclaim the moral high ground. No matter what the signal means, this is the indication of a movement which was impossible in the period of Papadopoulos. Let me wrap this up by saying: Cyprus was beautiful in May of 2008. Pleasant smells of Jacaranda trees, eucalyptus and cypress, the Mediterranean blue, the grandeur of the Besparmak Mountains cause one to think that this hopeful political atmosphere is the harbinger of the solution. Dreaming is nice if we do not break from realities. Solution in Cyprus is so very difficult. Still it is very difficult.

    ES/


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