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Turkish Press Review, 04-03-31
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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 : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
31.03.2004FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 NSC TO MEET TODAYThe National Security Court (NSC) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is set to convene today at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. During today’s meeting, domestic developments will be taken up. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who are currently in Switzerland for the Cyprus talks there, will attend the second part of the meeting scheduled for tomorrow to discuss the Cyprus issue. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH ANNAN TO DISCUSS FINAL DRAFT CYPRUS PLANPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently in Buergenstock, Switzerland for the Cyprus negotiations there, yesterday met with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss his final draft plan for the island. During their meeting, Annan reportedly said that he was pleased that the Turkish side was the first to respond to the plan which he presented on Monday. In related news, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday warned he could resign if the UN pressures the sides on Cyprus to sign the plan in its current form. /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “OUR ONLY AIM FOR CYPRUS IS TO REACH A POSITIVE, WIN-WIN OUTCOME”Our only aim in the current Cyprus negotiations is to reach a positive, “win-win” outcome, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Erdogan said that the Turkish delegation in Buergenstock, Switzerland had been working day and night on the talks and that he had helped with this. At these talks, Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis to evaluate recent developments. In addition, Special UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto reportedly held separate meetings with the leaders of both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot delegations. /Aksam/
 DENKTAS: “WE DON’T WANT ANY SETTLEMENT THAT COULD BRING BACK CYPRUS’ DARKEST DAYS”What is essential is to reach a Cyprus agreement which would be accepted by both sides, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas told reporters yesterday. Denktas, who is not taking part in the current Swiss talks on Cyprus, said that any agreement should not bring back the violent, unstable days of 1963-74, before Turkey’s intervention. “I expect my colleagues [conducting the Swiss talks] to make their own decisions,” he added. “As I learn their views, I will make my own evaluations and then inform you.” /Aksam/
 GREEK DELEGATION EXPRESSES RESERVATIONS ON CYPRUS PLAN, TRNC PREMIER TALAT SAYS TOO EARLY TO COMMENTAfter UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday presented his 220-page final draft Cyprus plan to both the Turkish and Greek sides in Switzerland, promising the two sides a "win-win" deal, the Greek delegation immediately expressed reservations. “From the first reading we can say that there are some clear concerns,” said Theodoros Roussopoulos, a spokesman for the Greek foreign minister. However, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that it was too early to comment publicly on the plan. Annan’s plan envisages a federation of two states with a loose central government. Under the plan, Turkish troops would be able to stay on the island in perpetuity, a measure Ankara had sought. The number of soldiers stationed would gradually fall to 650 after Turkey joins the European Union. Secretary-General Annan, who is overseeing the negotiations in Buergenstock, Switzerland, says a deal must be concluded by today, adding that if the sides fail to reach an agreement by then, then he will complete it himself for referendums on the island next month. /All papers/
 POLITICAL PARTIES EVALUATE ELECTION RESULTSFollowing Sunday’s local elections, political parties have begun their evaluations of the results. Yesterday, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Central Administrative Board held a seven-hour meeting under Chairman Deniz Baykal’s leadership. During the gathering, members decided to form to examine both the poll results and pressing problems facing Turkey. Meanwhile, dissident groups within the party are reportedly preparing to call for an extraordinary convention to seek the ouster of the current administration. Though Baykal claimed the polls had been a “success, ” the CHP was a distant second behind the ruling party, and attracted fewer votes than in the fall 2002 general elections. In addition, True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar said yesterday that the election results indicated that his party had become the “address of the center-right,” and that the DYP had been successful despite a host of threats and pressure. Democratic Leftist Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit also stated that although the polls’ results were not satisfactory, his party had seen its votes increase twofold. Ecevit claimed that in the next general elections, the DSP would be even more successful and would attract the votes of people who did not cast ballots in this election. /Cumhuriyet/
 WASHINGTON SUPPORTS CYPRUS PLAN, EFFORTS FOR SETTLEMENTUS State Department spokesman Richard Boucher expressed yesterday the US administration’s full support for the latest United Nations Cyprus plan. Speaking of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who authored the plan, Boucher said, "We're very supportive of the effort that he is making and we'll continue to do our own work with the parties to try to gain acceptance for his proposals," adding, "We do see a final settlement, as the secretary- general said, as a win-win for all sides. We join the secretary-general in urging the parties to seize this opportunity to secure a better future for all Cypriots." Boucher further pledged that Secretary of State Colin Powell and US Cyprus Envoy Thomas Weston would continue consultation with all parties involved to help the process. /Turkiye/
 VERHEUGEN BRIEFS EU COMMISSION ON CYPRUS DEVELOPMENTSIn a break to his contacts as part of the current Cyprus talks in Switzerland, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenther Verheugen yesterday arrived in Strasbourg to brief his fellow EU Commission members on recent developments on the issue. Stressing that the Turkish side insists that any agreement on Cyprus be included in the EU’s primary law, Verheugen added that in this case the agreement should be approved by the Parliaments of the individual EU member countries, which would take time. He did not, however, close the door on the request fully. The talks are fighting a deadline of May 1, when Greek Cyprus is due to join the EU. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
 CYPRUS, SEVRES, LAUSANNE BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)Columnist Taha Akyol comments on Turkey’s EU membership bid and the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Europe wants to implement the Treaty of Sevres on Turkey, charged former President Suleyman Demirel in an interview with CNN Turk yesterday. [Demirel was referring to the devastating 1920 World War I peace treaty, which effectively sought to dismember Turkey, before the War of Independence thwarted this plan and paved the way for the Republic.] My colleague Sedat Ergin asked whether the whole continent wants this or just part of it. ‘All of Europe,’ answered Demirel. According to the senior statesman, after solving the Cyprus problem in favor of its own interests, Europe will turn to the Aegean and our southeast. I looked at my archives; Turkey became a European Union candidate in December 1999, and then President Demirel said at that time that the decision taken at Helsinki was binding for Ankara, warning that Turkey would lose power if it stays outside Europe but grow stronger if it joins.
At that summit, Europe wanted the Cyprus issue to be solved, but it also stated that this was not actually a criteria. It also stated that the Greek part of Cyprus would become a full EU member. Moreover, it stipulated that Ankara and Athens had to solve their Aegean problem by 2004, otherwise the issue would be brought to the international Court of Justice at the Hague. When then Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit hesitated, Demirel pushed for the government to accept this. In politics, when conditions change, opinions change too. I don’t know how and when the EU, which boosted Turkey’s power in 1999, adopted a policy in line with Sevres. Europe is a community of states and groups. Some still want to implement the Treaty of Sevres, which was a result of the World War I catastrophe, and there are also some who foresee that such instability would destroy Europe.
The Cyprus summit in Burgenstock, Switzerland is continuing. There are also positive signs about Turkey’s requests. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan seems to be near Turkey’s conditions for bizonality, political equality, guarantees and troops. One of the most important developments is that the 45,000 settlers from Turkey in Turkish Cyprus will receive citizenship under Annan’s plan. This means that Turkey’s moves since 1974 have been legally justified.
There are ups and down in any negotiations. The important thing is the acceptability of Annan’s plan. Ankara’s diplomatic contacts with the EU and the US are showing their positive effects in Burgenstock. I’m optimistic and have no doubt that Turkey’s EU membership will strengthen the Treaty of Lausanne [the pact which set the boundaries of modern Turkey and superceded Sevres].”
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