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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-25

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>

<LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> e-mail : newspot@byegm.gov.tr <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

25.03.2004

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

CONTENTS

  • [01] FOUR-WAY CYPRUS SUMMIT DERAILED BY GREEK OBJECTIONS; GUL, GREEK FM MEET
  • [02] ERDOGAN ASKS DENKTAS TO RECONSIDER REFUSAL TO ATTEND CYPRUS SUMMIT
  • [03] DENKTAS LASHES OUT AT REPORTED SWISS SUMMIT CELLPHONE BAN
  • [04] ERDOGAN TRAVELS TO BRUSSELS TO ATTEND SPRING EU SUMMIT
  • [05] DE SOTO: “TALAT AND DENKTAS HAVE FULL AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE AND MAKE FINAL DECISIONS AT THE SUMMIT”
  • [06] BRITISH PM BLAIR TO VISIT TURKEY IN MAY
  • [07] BAYKAL: “HISTORY WILL REMEMBER THE AKP AS THE PARTY WHICH HANDED OVER CYPRUS TO THE GREEKS”
  • [08] BAHCELI: “CYPRUS ISN’T SOME BURDEN TO BE GOTTEN RID OF”
  • [09] TUSIAD MEMBERS TO ATTEND EU SUMMIT
  • [10] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [11] THE CYPRUS ISSUE IN SWITZERLAND BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
  • [12] A PEACE BASED ON TWO BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

  • [01] FOUR-WAY CYPRUS SUMMIT DERAILED BY GREEK OBJECTIONS; GUL, GREEK FM MEET

    A much-anticipated four-way Cyprus summit on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland failed to fully materialize yesterday, derailed by Greek objections over the makeup of the Turkish Cypriot delegation. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas, the chief Turkish Cypriot negotiator, had refused to attend, and so TRNC Premier Mehmet Ali Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas were sent in his stead. The Greeks, however, yesterday objected that neither official was authorized to represent his side at the summit. In response, the Turkish side produced a letter from President Denktas extending “full authorization” to the pair, a judgement later echoed by Special UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto, but the fate of the talks remains unclear. In the meantime Ankara and Athens’ representatives at the summit, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and his Greek counterpart Petros Moliviatis, did meet, both together and with Special UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto. During their talks, both top diplomats expressed their hope for a resolution on the island. In related news, Gul and Moliviatis are set to attend the European Union’s spring summit in Brussels today. /Milliyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN ASKS DENKTAS TO RECONSIDER REFUSAL TO ATTEND CYPRUS SUMMIT

    Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that he had asked Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas to reverse his earlier decision and join the four-way Cyprus summit in Switzerland. Speaking to reporters en route to a campaign stop in Ordu, Erdogan said that he was hopeful that Denktas would review his refusal to attend the meetings. He added that if the interests of both sides on island were not taken into consideration, then no just and permanent resolution was possible. In related news, Erdogan yesterday telephoned European Union Commission President Romano Prodi. Their conversation reportedly focused on the issue of derogations, i.e. including a possible Cyprus settlement in the EU’s primary law. /Turkiye/

    [03] DENKTAS LASHES OUT AT REPORTED SWISS SUMMIT CELLPHONE BAN

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday lambasted an alleged United Nations ban on the use of cellphones during the four-way Swiss Cyprus summit set to begin this week, a summit that Denktas himself declined to attend. The reports cited by the TRNC leader, whose source is unclear, say that the meetings in Lucerne, Switzerland will be held behind closed doors with the use of cellphones prohibited in order to help participants concentrate on the work at hand. “This is unacceptable pressure,” said Denktas. “It would be dishonorable to accept an agreement reached under such conditions.” He also reaffirmed his refusal to attend, saying he believed the summit would fail to reach a fair and just settlement. /Sabah/

    [04] ERDOGAN TRAVELS TO BRUSSELS TO ATTEND SPRING EU SUMMIT

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday flew to Brussels to attend the European Union’s spring summit. After his meetings there, he is expected to proceed to Switzerland on Monday to join the four-way Cyprus summit in Switzerland. /All Papers/

    [05] DE SOTO: “TALAT AND DENKTAS HAVE FULL AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE AND MAKE FINAL DECISIONS AT THE SUMMIT”

    Appearing on television yesterday, Special UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto said that he couldn’t give odds on the possibility of an agreement being reached in a four-way Cyprus summit in Switzerland which was supposed to have begun yesterday. De Soto said that the Turkish and Greek Cypriot nations would make the final decision on the UN Cyprus plan in referendums due to be held separately next month. Responding to the derailing of yesterday’s first day of summit talks due to Greek objections over the makeup of the Turkish Cypriot delegation, de Soto said that a four-party meeting had never been specifically planned and was not strictly necessary. “There may be one, or maybe not,” he said. Rebuffing the Greek objections to Turkish Cypriot negotiators, de Soto stated that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas were in Switzerland “with full authority to negotiate and take final decisions on the Cyprus issue.” They were sent in the stead of TRNC President Rauf Denktas, who refused to attend. De Soto added that joint technical committees were continuing their work on many issues. In related news, US Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston yesterday arrived on the island. /Turkiye/

    [06] BRITISH PM BLAIR TO VISIT TURKEY IN MAY

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair is set to visit Turkey on May 17. During his visit, Blair is expected to reiterate his nation’s full support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid. In addition to the recent situation in Turkish-EU relations, the US’ Greater Middle East Project will be taken up at the meetings. In related news, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also scheduled to pay an official visit to Britain on May 27-29 to hold meetings as well as to deliver a speech at Oxford University concerning Turkey’s EU membership bid. Just this week, Blair’s Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called the success of Ankara’s bid a crucial “acid test” for the EU. /Turkiye/

    [07] BAYKAL: “HISTORY WILL REMEMBER THE AKP AS THE PARTY WHICH HANDED OVER CYPRUS TO THE GREEKS”

    The government’s economic and Cyprus policies yesterday came under harsh criticism at the hands of main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. Baykal charged that the government had reduced the rate of national investment, dealing a great blow to the economy in the process. “History will remember this government as the one which voluntarily handed over Cyprus to the Greeks,” he also added. /Star/

    [08] BAHCELI: “CYPRUS ISN’T SOME BURDEN TO BE GOTTEN RID OF”

    Even as top Turkish officials attend a European Union summit in Brussels and Cyprus talks this week, Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Banceli yesterday lashed out at the government’s Cyprus policy. “Cyprus is a national cause,” said Bahceli. “It’s not some burden that Turkey should cast off on our way to Brussels.” He added that the government should not make concessions from Turkey’s national interests for the sake of its EU membership bid. The EU has said repeatedly that failure to reach a Cyprus settlement would damage Ankara’s EU prospects. Formerly a government coalition partner, the MHP is hoping to attract votes in this Sunday’s elections, as it currently has no seats in Parliament. /Star/

    [09] TUSIAD MEMBERS TO ATTEND EU SUMMIT

    Omer Sabanci, the head of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Executive Council, and TUSIAD European Union Representative Bahadir Kaleagasi are to represent Turkey at today’s EU summit in Brussels. Sabanci is scheduled to meet with Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and EU Commission member David Bryne. He is expected to tell top Irish officials, whose nation currently holds the EU term presidency, that Turkey is ready to begin Union membership talks in the wake of recent reforms backed by the majority of Turkish society. /Sabah/

    [10] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [11] THE CYPRUS ISSUE IN SWITZERLAND BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on this week’s four-way Cyprus summit to be held in Switzerland. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and his Greek counterpart Petros Molyviatis, and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos, are set to participate in this week’s four-way Cyprus summit in Switzerland. Following Sunday’s local elections in Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis will join them. The summit is closed to the press. Such a measure aims at an agreement between the island’s two sides. But if you think that they will reach an agreement, you may be greatly disappointed. Both sides are holding this summit because they’re trying to complete a process that they promised.

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will arrive in Switzerland on the same day as the Turkish and Greek premiers to see what issues the sides have reached agreement on. He will also make decisions on the issues still in contention on the condition that he doesn’t contradict his own Cyprus plan. The resulting document will later be presented at separate referendums to both sides on Cyprus. It would be good if both sides have 50-50 yes votes. This would establish a united Cyprus republic which would become a full member of the European Union on May 1. If the Turkish side accepts the referendum and the Greek Cypriot side rejects it, this would trouble the UN, the EU and Washington. But conversely, if the Greek Cypriot side accepts the referendum and the Turkish side rejects it, it would be disadvantageous for both sides. In this case, as Foreign Minister Gul direly predicted, the island might end up like Kosovo. For this reason, Annan should prepare his plan carefully. In Turkey, supporters of the status quo don’t want a solution on Cyprus. If Erdogan and Karamanlis reach an agreement in Switzerland, everybody will be relieved that the nightmare has finally ended. However, the chances aren’t good.”

    [12] A PEACE BASED ON TWO BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The reason there has been no bloodshed in Cyprus for 30 years is that the island has a regime made up of two societies. This is the reason why the Turkish side insists on strengthening the two separate societies. Reality requires the strengthening of this system. In order to reduce areas of conflicts in the future, any solution should also be based on a state comprised of two states. Conflicts worldwide have raised anxiety about what will happen in Cyprus. After living in peace for 30 years in two different halves, it would be risky to make the Turks and the Greeks live together in a single state. Therefore the Turkish side is right in insisting on minimizing Greek settlement to the northern part of the island and solving property issues collectively. The Turkish side wants a model with two parts and societies and the formation of a confederation state.

    The approach of the UN plan, on the other hand, would create disputes over properties that changed hands. The Greek side is refusing the idea of ‘two states and two peoples’ and favors a nearly unitary joint state and ‘one society,’ and so insists on a method divorced from the island’s realities and threatens conflict. The island has two nations with different religions, and two states which work differently. Any solution should be based upon this reality. Ignoring this fact and creating a single state from two different states won’t solve the problem but rather make it more complicated and dangerous for the future. Therefore the Turkish approach is both realistic and stable.

    It’s difficult to understand the insistence on a ‘solution’ requiring one state and one society, a solution endangering the peace based on two states even as we see so much bloodshed in Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Kosovo. It’s even more difficult to explain the duty to base a solution on an understanding of property that would encourage ownership disputes. This is not an approach benefiting a goodwill mission. Turkey shouldn’t forget that it was right in its 1974 intervention. And the Turkish Cypriots don’t owe anything to anyone, but in fact have right on their side.”

    ARCHIVE

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