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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-11-10

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 <>



  • [01] Political party leaders expressed support to Eroglu before the meeting in New York
  • [02] Talat on the Cyprus negotiations
  • [03] Rauf Denktas expects no important result from the meeting in New York
  • [04] BKP asked for the return of Varosha and the opening of Famagusta port under EU supervision
  • [05] Columnist says Turkey's commitment to implement the Additional Protocol has no direct relation with EU's "Direct Trade Regulation"
  • [06] Kaya Turkmen says privatization must definitely be implemented in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] Kucuk calls on the Turkish businessmen to invest in the occupied areas
  • [08] Turkish Cypriots want the annulment of "deeds of renunciation"

  • [09] Gul: "All Cyprus embargoes should be lifted simultaneously"
  • [10] European Commission announced Turkey's progress report
  • [11] Helene Flautre called on EU to quit from its "double-faced" policy against Turkey
  • [12] Turkish foreign ministry's statement on EU's progress report
  • [13] "Progress - - and the poison of Cyprus"
  • [14] Highlights


    Dervis Eroglu's meeting with five Turkish Cypriot political party leaders prior to the tripartite meeting in New York, Mehmet Ali Talat's statements during a TV programme on the Cyprus problem, an interview by Rauf Denktas to Kibris TV, BKP's demand for the return of Varosha in return for the opening of Famagusta port under EU supervision, are the main topics highlighted by the Turkish Cypriot press today. Moreover, Irsen Kucuk's call on Turkish businessmen to invest in occupied Cyprus, more reactions over the incidents against immigrants in Larnaka, and other internal matters are also covered by the press.

    [01] Political party leaders expressed support to Eroglu before the meeting in New York

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.11.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu met yesterday in the occupied part of Lefkosia with five Turkish Cypriot political party leaders and listened to their views before his meeting on 18 November in New York with President Christofias and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

    The self-styled prime minister and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), Irsen Kucuk, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici, the president of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas and the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) Turgay Avci participated in the meeting. "Foreign Minister", Huseyin Ozgurgun, Eroglu's special representative Kudret Ozersay and the members of his negotiating team were also present at the meeting.

    In statements after the three-hour meeting, Irsen Kucuk said that Eroglu listened to the views of the parties represented in the "parliament" and explained his own views. He alleged that Eroglu has submitted constructive proposals on the property issue and noted that the UBP supports these proposals. Kucuk said that they oppose to the discussion of the issues of territory and guarantees before an agreement is reached on the other four chapters.

    Ferdi Sabit Soyer said his party supports a process that will "increase the effectiveness of the UN" and bring a result within the scope of the agreements of 23 May and 1 July signed between President Christofias and the then Turkish Cypriot leader Talat. He claimed that the Turkish Cypriots need more than anyone the solution of the Cyprus problem and expressed the view that the solution is the only alternative for the non-solution.

    Mehmet Cakici said his party supports the solution. He noted that they are not satisfied with the negotiating process and added that the UN also sees this. He said that the UN is trying to intervene in the process and expressed the view that "this suits the Turkish Cypriot side". Cakici asked for a timetable for the negotiating process and the overcoming of the deadlock. He pointed out that soon the UN will announce a report and in that report we will see who causes the deadlock in the process. Cakici said that the solution in Cyprus is of great importance for Turkey's accession course to the EU. He expressed the view that the negotiations are proceeding very slowly but they are heading towards a solution.

    Serdar Denktas said that the UN Secretary-General invited the leaders to New York not for overcoming the deadlock, but for submitting a prepared text to them. He said that they do not want to come face to face with any surprise in the end of the three-party meeting and added that they told Eroglu that he should resign, in case he signs any document or gives orally his approval to such a text there. Denktas recalled that first it was said that "the end of 2010 is the last chance" for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, but now it is said that the target is a solution in 2012. Denktas noted that the Turkish Cypriots cannot live in uncertainty any more. He said that there is no serious agreement on any issue in the negotiations and asked for the Turkish side to exhibit "a determined stance in the negotiations".

    Turgay Avci said his party supports a solution in Cyprus and added that they support an agreement based on two founding states, two peoples, two zones and Turkey's guarantees. He said also that they support a timetable to be put to the negotiating process in the meeting in New York.


    [02] Talat on the Cyprus negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (10.11.10) reports on statements by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat during a TV program on the Turkish Cypriot channel Ada TV.

    During the programme, Talat referred to the "Peoples' Council" established by Dervis Eroglu, and said that this "council" consists of 37 organisations and 70 representatives. As he said: "It should not have been called Peoples' Council, but Mr Dervis' Council." Talat noted that despite the fact that some organisations wanted to join the "Council", they were not accepted and added: "I had a real Peoples' Council. We had divided the organisations into four. Around 150 organisations were participating. This is how a Peoples' Council is established."

    Talat commented on Eroglu's statement who said that the completion of the negotiations, including a comprehensive solution on the island, until the end of the year, is not possible because of the "intransigent" stance of the Greek Cypriots and that the solution to the Cyprus problem might remain for 2012. Noting that he cannot blame Eroglu for this, he alleged that President Demetris Christofias does not want a solution now. Talat said that Eroglu is hiding behind this by saying "how nice, Christofias does not want a solution and I have been saved from a solution". Moreover, Talat, inter alia, noted that it should be known that the side that needs a solution is the Turkish one.

    Regarding the Turkish Cypriot proposals on the property issue, Talat said that they are correct and consistent with the International law.

    Moreover, Talat, said that for the time being he does not consider returning to the leadership of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).

    [03] Rauf Denktas expects no important result from the meeting in New York

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.11.10) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said that he expects no important result from the meeting between the UN Secretary-General, President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, which will be held on 18 November in New York.

    In statements to Kibris TV, Denktas said that the property issue could be solved with the method of exchange of property, return of property and compensations and noted that paying compensations to the Greek Cypriots who apply to the "Property Compensation Commission" is not right. Denktas wondered who will pay compensations to the Turkish Cypriots who left property in the free areas of Cyprus. Commenting on the information that a part of the compensation for the occupied Greek Cypriot properties will be paid by the current "users" of these properties, Denktas expressed the view that in no place of the world the property owner pays compensation for his property if he holds a title-deed.

    Denktas criticized the policy of the "government" on the issue of the pensions and complained that with the new "law", his own pension will be reduced by two thousand Turkish liras.

    Denktas said he does not support the privatization of the "electricity authority" (KIB-TEK) and the "telecommunication authority". "They say that they will privatize these institutions, but they do not say to whom they will be given", he noted wondering whether these organizations will be given away to foreigners.


    [04] BKP asked for the return of Varosha and the opening of Famagusta port under EU supervision

    Under the title "BKP reiterated its proposal: Famagusta port in return of Varosha", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.11.10) reports that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) supported the view that the "obstacles" posed to the Turkish Cypriots for direct trade could be overcome with the acceptance of the proposal for the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha and the opening of the occupied port of Famagusta under the supervision of the EU.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, the Organizational Secretary of BKP, Abdullah Korkmazhan noted that the decision taken by the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on October 18 rejects the separatist legal ground for the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation, and not the right of the Turkish Cypriots to carry out direct trade.

    Abdullah Korkmazhan said also that if the Turkish Cypriot side is sincere on the issue of the direct trade, it should accept the proposal regarding the return of Varosha which is still on the table and the opening of Famagusta port under the supervision of the EU.

    Korkmazhan argued that the return of Varosha in exchange to the opening of Famagusta port under the supervision of the EU is the only way for launching direct trade at this stage.


    [05] Columnist says Turkey's commitment to implement the Additional Protocol has no direct relation with EU's "Direct Trade Regulation"

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.11.10), Tumay Tugyan comments on EU Commission's Progress Report for Turkey which was announced yesterday and the statement made by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, who expressed his disappointment for the part of the Report regarding Cyprus.

    Under the title "Is the Report or Davutoglu strange", Tugyan refers to Turkey's obligation of "full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement". She also recalls Turkey's statement that signing the protocol does not mean that it recognizes the Republic of Cyprus, one of the states which joined the EU on 1 May 2004.

    The columnist expresses the view that it is very normal for the Commission to note in its report for 2010 that Turkey has not yet implemented its obligations deriving from the Additional Protocol and that there is absolutely no progress in the normalization of Turkey's relations with the Republic of Cyprus. She adds the following:

    "This is a commitment of Turkey and the fact that Turkey puts forward the condition of embargoes on north Cyprus to be lifted in order to fulfil the commitment it signed in 2005 and expects the Greek Cypriot administration to withdraw its veto for the embargo is not very acceptable.

    Yes, after the referendum in 2004, the European Union prepared a regulation which was providing for the opening of the way for direct trade among the Union members and northern Cyprus, but this regulation has not been implemented. However, this EU initiative towards the Turkish Cypriots has no direct relation with the commitment made by Turkey in the Additional Protocol signed in 2005. These two commitments are not integral to each other?"

    Therefore, she adds, it is very natural for the EU and the Republic of Cyprus not to accept Turkey's effort to show that these "two commitments" are related and the one is a condition for the implementation of the other. Tugyan expresses the view that as long as new political developments are not happening, Turkey will not be able to achieve the opening of the occupied ports in Cyprus for the EU member states as a return of fulfilling its obligations deriving from the Additional Protocol.

    "Therefore, the fact that the Turkish Minister Davutoglu experienced 'disappointment' regarding the progress report is a little bit strange", she concludes.


    [06] Kaya Turkmen says privatization must definitely be implemented in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.11.10) reports that the self-styled ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, Kaya Turkmen has said that the "protocol of cooperation" between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus is being implemented and that the money needed for the "public finances" will continue to be given in return for the implementation of the "protocol's" conditions.

    In statements during a meeting, which was held yesterday at the "embassy", Turkmen underlined that some delays are observed on the issue of the implementation of the timetable provided for in the "protocol". He said that privatizations are included in the reform program of the "public finances" and the economy and added that these privatizations must definitely be implemented.


    [07] Kucuk calls on the Turkish businessmen to invest in the occupied areas

    Under the title "Investment in TRNC will raise prosperity", Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (10.11.10) reports that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk met yesterday with a delegation from the Chamber of Trade and Industry of the city of Bolu. During the meeting, Kucuk said that "the Turkish businessmen, who invest in TRNC, raise the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots and strengthen the position of the Turkish Cypriot side at the ongoing negotiations for a Cyprus settlement". He added that the efforts to lift the bureaucratic obstacles for the investments are continuing.

    Emin Semercioglu, Chairman of Bolu's Chamber of Trade and Industry, said, for his part, that the aim of their visit is to examine the ground for joint ventures or investments. He added that Bolu needs investments in the tourism sector.

    [08] Turkish Cypriots want the annulment of "deeds of renunciation"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (10.11.10), in its front page, reports that Turkish Cypriots who signed a "deed of renunciation" for the property abandoned in the government controlled areas of the Republic in Cyprus and believe that they have not received enough property in return in the occupied areas, have begun to file "lawsuits."

    Lawyer Baris Mamali, who has filed a "lawsuit" at the illegal supreme administrative court on behalf of a Turkish Cypriot who signed such a "deed of renunciation" for the property he left behind in the government controlled areas, said they want the annulment of this "deed" stressing that this action of the regime is contrary to international law.


    Statements by Bagis, Gul and Davutoglu on the release of EU's progress report for Turkey, a written statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the report, a press release by Helene Flautre, co-chairperson of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, calling the EU to stop behaving "hypocritically" against Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu's contacts in Italy, a report that a nuclear summit will take place in Turkey on November 15 and other internal issues, are the main topics covered by the Turkish Press today

    [09] Gul: "All Cyprus embargoes should be lifted simultaneously"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News reports (09.11.10, online) that Turkey's President Abdullah Gul in an interview yesterday with Bloomberg HT television said that the best gesture regarding the Cyprus problem would be to lift all the embargoes on the island simultaneously.

    Asked whether or not mutual gestures regarding the "embargoes" on the Turkish Cypriots and the opening of Turkish ports to Greek Cypriots were possible, Gul said, "From a political point of view, it would not be correct for Turkey to open its ports while Greek Cypriots are imposing embargoes on Turkish Cypriots." He said the opening of ports would be in economic favour of Turkey as the Turkish economy was much larger than Greek Cypriot economy. "There is nothing we should be afraid of. On the contrary, I wish it would happen."

    Referring to the Cyprus problem Gul alleged: "We should really get rid of this problem, not only for Turkey and Cypriot people, but also for Europeans. Europe let a problem penetrate, in defiance of its principles. A country must first settle its domestic problems or it should not have any border problems if it wants to become an EU member. The EU has infringed on its principle."

    [10] European Commission announced Turkey's progress report

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.11.10, online) reports that the EU Commission yesterday officially announced its annual progress reports on candidate and potential candidate countries, including Turkey. In its report, the commission concluded that Turkey had made progress in meeting EU membership criteria, in particular through the reform of its Constitution. But further results are needed as regards fundamental rights, in particular to ensure freedom of expression.

    The report also noted that accession negotiations had advanced albeit slowly. If Turkey proceeds to full implementation of its Customs Union obligations with the EU, and makes progress toward normalizing relations with the Republic of Cyprus, the report predicted that Turkey would be able to accelerate the pace of negotiations.

    The EU report said Turkey still had not complied with its obligation of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement. "There is no progress towards normalization of bilateral relations with [the Republic of Cyprus]," it added, however the commission did not propose any sanctions for Turkey's failure to meet its commitment to open ports and airports to the Republic of Cyprus.

    [11] Helene Flautre called on EU to quit from its "double-faced" policy against Turkey

    Under the title "Reaction to the EU for the report: abandon the double-faced attitude", Turkish Daily Zaman (10.11.10, online) reports on a written statement issued by Helene Flautre, co-chairperson of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, who expressed her reactions to EU's Report for Turkey. As the paper writes, Flautre called on the EU to stop its "double- faced" policy against Turkey. She also accused Germany, France and the "Greek Cypriot side" for following a "Double-faced policy".


    [12] Turkish foreign ministry's statement on EU's progress report

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (A.A, 09.11.2010) reports that the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs, commenting on EU's "2010 Turkey Progress Report and Enlargement Strategy Document," said the report widely covered the political reforms Turkey had implemented since last year. The ministry said Turkey was pleased with EU's confirming with its report the progress Turkey had made in the political arena.

    Pointing to the report's remarks on the Cyprus issue, the ministry said Turkey would continue to support the ongoing negotiation process in the island. Moreover, as a guarantor country, Turkey would continue to develop initiatives aiming at finding a rapid solution to the matter, the statement said.

    The ministry also alleged that the desired progress could not be achieved in Cyprus despite Turkey's efforts and said: "Neither the Turkish Cypriot party, nor Turkey is responsible for the current situation. Under these circumstances, it is strange that the report includes remarks calling for the Turkish party's active support. EU should take into consideration such facts and fulfil its responsibilities concerning the lifting of isolations on Turkish Cypriots."

    Moreover, the Turkish Foreign Minister, replying to a question on the Progress Report about Turkey, said: "We regard the progress report as a picture taken by Brussels. It includes some points that we agree on but there are also points that we don't. I am glad that the report eulogizes the constitutional reform and said that Turkey needs a civil constitution. We also agree on it. It is true that Turkey needs more reform."

    "The report also eulogized Turkey's foreign policy," Davutoglu added, "but assessment on the Cyprus issue disappointed us. Because Turkey and TRNC pursued flexible and resolute policy on the issue."

    [13] "Progress - - and the poison of Cyprus"

    Under the above title Today's Zaman (10.11.10, online) publishes an article by Yavuz Baydar. The columnist comments on the various issues stemming from the 2010 Turkey's Progress Report and says, inter alia, the following: "There is certainly a lot of material to come back to in the progress report but it must be noted that when it turns from all the 'homework' on domestic issues towards foreign policy issues, the tone becomes inevitably more pessimistic. Yes, it notes the current active Turkish foreign policy is 'an asset for the EU,' but only so long as it is conducted in coordination with the EU.

    At this point we enter the familiar territory of the Cyprus problem. Here, the language becomes somewhat blurred and categorically conditional. It does not take an impartial position (as it should) towards the ongoing negotiations between the leaders of both communities on the island; it paves (again) the way to positive discrimination toward one side only.

    The problem is, while there will be, doubtlessly, progress on all the domestic issues and additionally on improving relations with Greece, the process regarding Cyprus seems to have come to a full stop. There is no room any further for blame games. This was an issue while Gul was visiting London, and was put forward with a strong emphasis by Jack Straw, the former UK foreign minister, in an article for The Times which warned that the permanent partition of the island is closer than ever.

    This has to do with the extreme self-confidence the Greek Cypriot side feels, backed by EU actors. And it threatens that talks, due Nov. 18, may fail. It may come to bring the already 'pitiful' process to an end, with the UN pulling out from the negotiations and the island. Once the delicate balance between the UN process and the EU process is lost, the worst fears may come true. Is the EU aware of this challenge?"

    [14] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 9 November:

    a) Missile Shield Project/Contractual Soldiers in TSK

    In his article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila relates an interview he conducted with National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul in which the minister comments on the number of contractual soldiers the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) intends to employ, the conditions under which these contractual soldiers will serve, how this implementation might affect the length of compulsory military service and the introduction of the system of payment in lieu of military service, arms purchases by the army, and the modernization of F-16's. On the missile shield project, Gonul is reported to have said: "If Turkey is to be within the missile defence system, we asked that this takes place under the NATO umbrella. There will be a radar system in Turkey but the missiles will not be stationed in Turkey."

    Cuneyt Ulsever underlines in an article in Hurriyet Daily News that "if Turkey is not involved in the missile shield project, it'll seem that Turkey will stick with the 'zero-problem-with-neighbours' foreign policy concept, but depart from NATO's Strategic Concept, meaning it will effectively drop out of NATO." The writer goes on to speculate on the conditions Turkey will be imposing in order to join the missile shield such as not mentioning Iran and Syria as enemy states, adding that, however, this condition will not fool anyone

    In an article entitled "Why are They Insisting on Turkey So Much?" Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul discusses the nature of the "threat" used to justify NATO's efforts to install a missile defence system in a number of countries including Turkey. Karagul proceeds to question NATO and the United States' motives for wanting to include Turkey in this project regardless of how they have already turned most parts of the world into Western military "garrisons." He warns that NATO's "insistence" on Turkey might be intended to undermine Ankara's efforts to build new regional partnerships based on Turkey's historical alliances.

    b) Messages Conveyed by President Gul in London

    Milliyet columnist Hasan Cemal sums up in his article the messages conveyed by President Abdullah Gul in the speeches he delivered during his London visit as follows: "So long as Turkey does not deviate from the path of democracy, the laws, and the EU, it will be a powerful player not only in the West but in its region and in the East. In addition, it will further increase its prosperity standards." Covertly criticizing Sarkozy's France and Merkel's Germany with regards to their stand on Turkey, Gul is reported to have underlined that the "strategic narrow-mindedness" of these countries will prevent the EU from becoming a global player.

    In an article entitled "Where Does Turkey Stand in Relation to the Rest of the World?" Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru comments on President Gul's Chatham House speech in London. He highlights the president's remarks describing the current international situation as an imperfect balance that could set the scene for major regional and global upheavals absent measures to establish a new world order based on common values of humanity such as the rule of law, political pluralism, equality, and respect for differences. He also argues that Gul's address served along with Former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw's recent remarks announcing that "the EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU" to place Turkey in the unique position of a "meticulous" defender of mankind's hard-won principles and an overseer of the implementation of those principles.

    Under the title "Global Prize for President Gul," Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi hails Chatham House's decision to award this year's Statesman of the Year Prize to President Abdullah Gul as a development that has confirmed Turkey's rising regional and global influence. He also describes Abdullah Gul, who served as foreign minister before he was elected as president, as the architect of a transformation in Turkey's foreign policy which has consolidated democratic stability at home even as it has promoted social prosperity.

    c) EU Progress Report

    An unattributed editorial in Hurriyet Daily News argues that the EU has repeatedly turned a blind eye toward the continuing assaults on the freedom of press in Turkey. Assessing this year's report, the editorial welcomes the EU's awakening "to the erosion of press freedoms in Turkey," adding: "This year's report notes abuse of anti-terror law to silence the press, continued use of notorious Article 301 of the penal code, scores of jailed journalists, hundreds of shuttered websites and much more."

    The new EU Progress Report underlines certain realities in Turkey such as the 10 percent election threshold, writes Yalcin Dogan in his article in Hurriyet, explaining that none of the EU member countries have such a high election threshold. Noting that this is the first time that the EU clearly criticizes this issue, Dogan notes that the report also draws attention to the judicial situation, pointing out that there are currently 119,112 detainees of which only 59, 207 have been convicted. The issue of the freedom of the press, the oppression of the media, and efforts to silence the media also appear in the report, states Dogan, concluding that this is one of the most realistic reports the EU has prepared in recent years.

    d) Kurdish Issue

    According to an article by Cevdet Askin in Radikal, Karayilan has claimed that the state has failed to take any steps on the issues over which an agreement had been reached during the talks held between the state and Abdullah Ocalan. Based on a report by Firat News Agency, Karayilan is reported to have claimed that Ocalan sent him a five-page letter detailing the content of the talks he held with the state, arguing that so far the state has failed to abide by the framework drawn during those talks. Noting that the PKK will meet every two or three months to assess the situation, Karayilan notes: "For example, we have to make a serious situation assessment in March." Referring to Karayilan's remarks that the PKK has plans A, B, and C, Askin assesses that if the expectations of the Kurds are not met by March, then the PKK will pursue a policy that will place the Justice and Development Party, AKP, in a difficult position and that in the spring it might launch actions in a bid to cause the AKP to lose votes.

    Focusing on the direct and indirect talks being held along the Imrali-Ankara-Qandil line in an article in Taraf, Kurtulus Tayiz, based on a source, declares that "Ankara, having realized that the talks which have been limited to Ocalan are not sufficient in themselves, has established indirect contact with Qandil." The source is reported to have said that Ankara has conveyed a message to the Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan, KCK, through Necirvan Barzani, on the steps it intends to take for the solution of the Kurdish problem. Detailing those steps, Tayiz writes that, barring provocative obstacles, the process is speedily leading the disarmament of the PKK.

    e) Cyprus Issue/Turkey's EU Accession Process

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli assesses the adverse effect the Cyprus issue is having on the Turkish-EU accession process. The writer urges the EU to accept "the grave mistake it made in Cyprus back in 2004 and concentrate more on how it can assist the U.N. efforts for a settlement."

    Viewing the property problem in Cyprus in an article in Star, Sedat Laciner explains that following the 1974 invasion the Turkish Cypriot "administration" instead of nationalizing the properties left behind by the Greek Cypriots chose to distribute them to the Turkish Cypriots, a move Laciner assesses to be a mistake. The writer goes on to view the difficulty in a possible exchange of property given the fact that the Greek Cypriots left some 1.5 million donums of land in the Turkish occupied north while the Turkish Cypriots left some 500,000 in the government controlled south. The payment of the difference can cost Turkey tens of billions of dollars, argues the writer, recalling that the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, ruled in a recent case filed by a Greek Cypriot that Turkey had to pay 15 million Euro. Noting that this is the reason why Turkey is in a panic, Laciner writes that the question of whether Cyprus will drive Turkey to bankruptcy is frequently asked. Placing the burden of the compensation of the shoulders of the Turkish Cypriot "property owners" would be wrong, argues Laciner, adding that the return of the properties to their former owners is out of the question. In conclusion, Laciner writes: "The land deeds the Turkish Cypriots are holding in their hands are a promise the state has made to them. If the state reneges on its promise, then it is impossible for a Turkish state to continue its existence in Cyprus." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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