TURKISH PRESS by sofiaie

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 17

									                                TURKISH PRESS
                              AND OTHER MEDIA


No. 03/10                                                         06-07.01.10
A. NEWS ITEMS

1. Talat said to the President of the EU Commission that the EU should be
more active for lifting the “isolations”
2. Proposals were reportedly submitted by the Turkish side in the Cyprus
talks with the mentality of “take it or leave it”
3. Talat and Eroglu seem to have decided about their possible candidacy
for the “elections” in April; Avci said he could be a candidate
4. Ercakica said that Talat put forward new ideas on the issue of
“governance and power sharing”
5. Cicek: “If a lasting and just solution to the Cyprus problem has not been
found, this is neither Turkey’s nor TRNC’s fault”.
6. Inconsistent numbers regarding the passengers who travelled though
the illegal Tymvou airport during the period January-November 2009
7. Erdogan will visit Russia. Blue Stream 2 for natural gas to Cyprus, Israel
on the agenda.
8. Turkmen gas would be transferred to west via Turkey
9. Talat to Chinese diplomats: “Give us a period of one year and if we
cannot find a solution in one year, degrade both sides to the community
status. Suggest this”.


B. COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

1. Columnist in Hurriyet Daily News argues that the Turkish side’s plan B is
the recognition of Ankara’s subordinate regime in occupied Cyprus
                                        2


A. NEWS ITEMS
1. Talat said to the President of the EU Commission that the EU should be
more active for lifting the “isolations”
Under the title “Barosso said „yes‟ for an involvement”, Turkish Cypriot daily Star
Kibris newspaper (07.01.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali
Talat met last night in Brussels with the President of the EU Commission, Jose
Manuel Barosso. After the one-hour meeting, Mr Talat said that Mr Barosso was
very excited when he listened to the views of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding
the solution of the Cyprus problem and noted that he will not deny his support to
the efforts for a solution. Mr Talat argued that the Cyprus problem became a
problem of the EU “because of the accession of the Greek Cypriots” and added
that he told Mr Barosso that “a stance which will help to the solution of the
Cyprus problem passes through not making Turkey‟s accession to the EU
hostage of the Cyprus problem”.

Mr Talat said that he briefed Mr Barosso on the latest developments in the
Cyprus problem and added: “We told him that we will start intensive negotiations
with Mr Christofias, that we have shared some of our views with the Greek
Cypriot side and that we could carry the Cyprus problem to a point forward with
mutual flexibility through compromise. Mr Barosso was very excited and said he
will not deny his support”.

Mr Talat said that he told Mr Barosso that the EU being more active for the lifting
of the “isolations” and the issue of the Direct Trade Regulation is very important
for the Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, Mr Talat said to Mr Barosso that the Green
Line Regulation contributed to the Turkish Cypriot economy making some
progress, but the Direct Trade Regulation is also necessary.

Mr Talat noted that Mr Barosso listened to him carefully and put questions to him.
Mr Talat said that replying to a question regarding how Mr Barosso sees the
course of the negotiations, he said that he receives pessimistic messages from
                                         3


the Greek Cypriot side, but the information which comes from the Turkish Cypriot
side and the UN is not the same.

He added: “It is true that it is not possible for us to say that there is great
progress and that we are close to the solution, but you cannot say that we did
nothing. We did a lot and we reached to common points on many issues. We
explained all these, he was excited about it”.

Replying to a question, Mr Talat said that they discuss the views regarding the
negotiations with Turkish officials, but they have no Plan B or C. He added: “We
explained that it is a mistake for the Cyprus problem to stand as obstacle in front
of Turkey‟s EU accession course. The Cyprus problem and Turkey‟s membership
to the EU are connected, we cannot deny this. There is no official connection, but
such a connection is established by itself. Because the Greek Cypriot side is a
member and its approval will be needed”.
(I/Ts.)

2. Proposals were reportedly submitted by the Turkish side in the Cyprus
talks with the mentality of “take it or leave it”
Under the title “Talat has made a package proposal”, Turkish Cypriot daily Star
Kibris newspaper (07.01.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali
Talat submitted the package proposal of the Turkish side during his meeting with
President Christofias last Monday within the framework of the Cyprus talks. Citing
information broadcast by Turkish NTV television, the paper writes that the
package includes the cross voting for the election of the president and the vice-
president of the united republic, the preservation of “two airspaces” in the country
and the freedom of settlement for the Turkish citizens in the new state. According
to NTV, this is the first time the Turkish side proposes an overall package during
the negotiations which are going on for more than a year. Mr Talat was expected
to exchange views on this package during his visit in Brussels yesterday.
                                         4


According to NTV, Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side prepared together the
package submitted by Mr Talat during the 60th meeting of the two leaders last
Monday. The proposal provides for the election of the president and the vice-
president with cross voting, that is, the Greek Cypriots will vote for a Turkish
Cypriot candidate and the Turkish Cypriots for a Greek Cypriot candidate for the
post of the president and the vice-president of the republic. According to the
proposal, the president and the vice-president will have the right of vetoing the
decisions of the council of ministers. Their approval will be needed for any
decision of the council of ministers.

The flight zone, that is the FIR, is another important issue in the Turkish
proposals. The Turkish side wants the existence of two FIR‟s in Cyprus after the
solution, that is, each constituent state to have its own FIR. The paper points out
that the Greek Cypriot side supports that only one FIR should exist.

The package also proposes that the Turkish citizens on the island should have
the same rights as the Greek citizens in order for the Turkish-Greek balance to
be preserved. Therefore, the proposals provide for the Turkish citizens to have
the right of free settlement, acquiring property and working on the island.

According to the paper, Mr Talat aims at giving acceleration to the negotiations
with these proposals and at gaining support to the procedure by “countries that
direct the problem”. Allegations say that the information regarding the fact that
the Turkish side submitted a proposal in the negotiations has been leaked to the
press of Turkey by the National Unity Party (UBP).

Moreover, referring to the same issue columnist Mete Tumerkan of Turkish
Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.01.10) reports in his daily column that the
above-mentioned package was prepared by Mr Talat and a team from the
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet
Davutoglu played the main role in the preparation of the package. Citing reliable
sources, Mr Tumerkan writes that on the first day of the year, Mr Davutoglu
                                         5


called Mr Talat and told him that the time came for the submission of the package
as a whole. Mr Talat told him that he had not yet discussed the final shape of the
package with the self-styled government and the “prime minister”, Dervis Eroglu,
adding that he did not want to quarrel with Mr Eroglu publicly.

Afterwards, Mr Davutoglu called Mr Eroglu and informed him about the proposals
which Mr Talat would submit to President Christofias during their first meeting in
2010. Mr Eroglu told Mr Davutoglu that his party opposes to the package and
added: “If, however, you and president Talat are taking the political responsibility
for the submission of this package, implement your decision”. After this
conversation, Mr Davutoglu called Mr Talat again and told him that Eroglu is
against the package but added that they should submit it and take a step forward.
Mr Tumerkan relates that forthcoming visit of President Christofias to Athens with
this package and notes that the demand of President Christofias for one week
postponement of the talks in order to visit Athens and evaluate the situation with
Prime Minister Papandreou was considered by Ankara and Mr Talat to be a
positive development. According to Mr Tumerkan, the Turkish side wants these
proposals to be discussed as a whole and it is not possible to discuss them
separately, because they were put on the table with the “take it or leave it”
mentality.
(I/Ts.)

3. Talat and Eroglu seem to have decided about their possible candidacy
for the “elections” in April; Avci said he could be a candidate
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (07.01.10) reports that the Turkish
Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that he has made up his mind on the
issue of being a candidate or not in the “elections” next April. In an interview with
Haberdar, Mr Talat noted that he could not announce his decision yet, but in case
he becomes a candidate he will win. Mr Talat did not comment on the public
opinion polls which show that he is far behind Mr Eroglu, but implied that these
polls as not sound, writes the paper.
                                          6


Mr Talat said that becoming a candidate would be meaningless in case the
possibility of solving the Cyprus problem is eliminated. Noting that the solution is
possible, he reiterated that the problem should definitely be solved. Asked on
whether he is hopeful for a solution, Mr Talat said that the UN, Turkey, Sweden
and the EU are hopeful and added that only the Greek Cypriot side is not
hopeful. “Why?”, he wondered.


Mr Talat alleged that the mentality which considers Cypriots only those who are
Greeks still exists in the Greek Cypriot side and added: “We are also to be
blamed on this issue. We pushed aside the Republic of Cyprus. We did not make
it our own. That is, if in the resistance posts in 1963 we put one flag of the
Republic of Cyprus and one flag of Turkey, perhaps today we would not be
completely outside of the Republic of Cyprus. I am saying perhaps, I am not
sure”.


Under the title “Avci is the third candidate”, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris
newspaper (07.01.10) reports that Mr Turgay Avci, leader of the Freedom and
Reform Party (ORP) has described the establishment of his party as “craziness”
and added that it is possible for him to make a second “craziness” by becoming a
candidate in the “presidential elections” which will be held in April in the occupied
areas of the Republic of Cyprus. In statements to Ada television, Mr Avci said
that they have two alternatives. The one is to designate their own candidate and
the other to support a third candidate.


Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (07.01.10) reports that Dervis Eroglu,
leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), has said that the UBP will officially
announce its candidate for the “presidential elections” after the party council that
will be held on Wednesday 13 January and added that all signs show that this
candidate will be himself. Mr Eroglu made this statement yesterday before
entering into the meeting of the “council of ministers”. He also expressed his
satisfaction with the results of a recent public opinion poll carried out by KADEM
                                         7


Company, which showed that his candidacy was supported by more than 50% of
the participants in the survey.


Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (07.01.10) reports that
in statements to the paper, Omer Kalyoncu, so-called MP with the Republican
Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) in the occupied area of Keryneia, referred
to the recent decision of the National Security Council of Turkey and wondered
“which policy of Dervis Eroglu is supported in this decision”. “This is a decision
which supports the policy of the CTP and it is 100% contrary to Eroglu”, he
argued and added that Mr Eroglu has never supported the solution of the Cyprus
problem until today.
(I/Ts.)

4. Ercakica said that Talat put forward new ideas on the issue of
“governance and power sharing”
Illegal Bayrak television (05.01.10) broadcast the following:
“The Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has announced that President
Mehmet Ali Talat put forward new ideas on the issue of governance and power
sharing at his meeting yesterday with the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris
Christofias.

Speaking at his weekly press briefing, the Presidential Spokesperson said that
the Greek Cypriot Side will be responding to those ideas in the upcoming
meetings.

Asked whether he discussed these ideas with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu
before bringing them to the table, Mr Ercakica said that all views and ideas were
prepared in consultation with the government as well as Turkey.

Stating that the President had no plans to hold a meeting with political parties in
the TRNC ahead of the series of intensive talks scheduled to start next week, Mr
                                           8


Ercakica said that the President will have time to brief political party
representatives at the end of the first week of discussions.”

5. Cicek: “If a lasting and just solution to the Cyprus problem has not been
found, this is neither Turkey’s nor the TRNC’s fault”.
Illegal Bayrak television (05.01.10) broadcast the following:
“The Turkish Minister of State - Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek has said that
the Greek Cypriot Administration‟s unilateral membership to the European Union
was the great obstacle in the way of reaching a comprehensive solution in
Cyprus.

Responding to journalists‟ questions yesterday, Mr Cicek said that the greatest
problem in the Cyprus Issue arose from the fact that the European Union allowed
the Greek Cypriot Administration, a country with a domestic dispute, to join the
block.

Replying to a question as to how the Cyprus problem will unfold in the New Year,
the Minister said that Turkey‟s stance on the Cyprus issue was clear. “Turkey‟s
stance is clear. If a lasting and just solution to the Cyprus Problem has not been
found, this is neither Turkey‟s nor the TRNC‟s fault. The outcome of the 2004
referendum is the clearest proof of this”, he said.

Mr Cicek also reminded how the Greek Cypriot Side had overwhelmingly rejected
the UN Sponsored Annan Plan. “Had the plan been accepted, there would be no
Cyprus Problem today. It was the Turkish Side which supported and desired a
solution and the Greek Cypriot Side which rejected it”, Cicek added.

He also pointed out that it was the European Union which had failed to honour
the promises it had made two days after the April 24th 2004 referendum, to ease
the international isolation of the TRNC.

Stressing that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus still desired a
comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem, the Minister said that the talks to
                                         9


reach a settlement continued but that the efforts of one side alone was not
enough to reach a solution.

“The international community, particularly the EU should exert more pressure on
the Greek Cypriot Administration to work towards a solution,” said Cicek adding
that Ankara will never accept any solution that would be outside standing UN
parameters.”

6. Inconsistent numbers regarding the passengers who travelled though
the illegal Tymvou airport during the period January-November 2009
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.01.10) reports that the self-styled civil
aviation department and the “police” of the breakaway regime have announced
different numbers which are not consistent with each other regarding the
passengers who travelled through the illegal Tymvou airport during the period
January-November 2009. The “police” announced that 1.678.055 passengers
travelled through the above-mentioned airport during that period, while according
to the self-styled civil aviation department this number is 1.780.794. According to
the “police” 50.367 persons entered into the occupied areas of Cyprus through
Tymvou in January 2009, while according to the self-styled civil aviation
department this number is 54.861.
(I/Ts.)

7. Erdogan will visit Russia. Blue Stream 2 for natural gas to Cyprus, Israel
on the agenda.
Under the title “Energy, Armenia protocols to top PM's Russia talks”, Turkish
daily Today‟s Zaman newspaper online (07.01.10) reports the following:
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and up to eight Cabinet ministers will visit
Russia on Jan. 12-13 for talks expected to focus on greater Russian involvement
in an oil pipeline linking Turkey's southern and northern coasts and the process
of rapprochement between Turkey and Russia's regional ally Armenia.
                                        10


The talks are expected to be in the format of a joint cabinet meeting, not unlike
similar meetings held in earlier visits by Erdoğan to Syria and Iraq. In past
remarks, Erdoğan said his government wants to establish a mechanism with
Russia similar to the high-level strategic councils created between Turkey and
Syria and Turkey and Iraq last year. An agreement to initiate a similar
mechanism with Russia was signed when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
visited Ankara in August. Erdoğan's visit to Moscow will be the first step in this
direction. Later, another meeting of the two countries' cabinets is planned to take
place in Turkey.

According to the unofficial program, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Energy
Minister Taner Yıldız, Public Works Minister Mustafa Demir, Environment
Minister Veysel Eroğlu, Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker, Foreign Trade Minister
Zafer Çağlayan and State Minister Faruk Çelik will accompany Erdoğan for talks
focusing on regional problems, energy projects, joint investment opportunities
and international issues.

One of the most important issues on the agenda of the meeting is the future of
the planned Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Turkish and Russian officials are
expected to announce an agreement during the visit allowing Russian oil pipeline
operator Transneft and Russian oil company Rosneft to have a share in the $2.5
billion pipeline, which will run between Samsun on Turkey‟s Black Sea coast and
the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

Italy, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to build the Samsun-Ceyhan oil
pipeline in October in Milan. Italy‟s Eni and Turkey‟s Çalık Holding, which each
own 50 percent, also signed a memorandum of understanding with Transneft and
Rosneft on the participation of the Russian companies in Milan. Transneft later
said that Russian interests may get an up-to-50-percent share in the Samsun-
Ceyhan oil pipeline if the country can supply more crude. Rosneft has already
guaranteed oil supplies for the 550-kilometer pipeline with a daily capacity of 1.5
million barrels.
                                        11


Russia and Turkey have also neared completion of the preliminary work for the
Blue Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. During the visit, the two countries will discuss
the possibility of forming a joint work group between Israel, Russia and Turkey for
Blue Stream 2, which is planned to supply natural gas to Cyprus, Israel and other
countries in the Middle East.

Final hump ahead of Armenia meeting

Peace in the Caucasus will be one of the top issues on the agenda of the
Moscow visit. The joint cabinet meeting will also discuss forming a Caucasus
Cooperation and Stability Platform, a joint mechanism to solve regional problems
earlier proposed by Turkey. A process of rapprochement between Turkey and
Armenia may also speed up following Turkish-Russian talks.

Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on normalizing their relations in
October. The protocols are now awaiting approval in each country‟s parliament,
and sources told Today‟s Zaman that the parliaments may debate the documents
in March. Erdoğan said earlier that Turkey expected to see progress in efforts to
resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Turkey‟s ethnic
and regional ally Azerbaijan so that Ankara could move forward in the process of
rapprochement with Armenia. In Moscow, Erdoğan is expected to urge Russia to
step up pressure on Armenia for a resolution to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Putin and Erdoğan are also expected to discuss Iran‟s nuclear program. This
meeting is also anticipated to put an end to crises that sometimes erupt between
the two countries over fresh fruit and vegetable exports from Turkey. Another
issue that is likely to show up will be Turkey‟s estimated $20 billion nuclear plant
tender, for which Russia is a contender.”

8. Turkmen gas would be transferred to west via Turkey
TRT Turkish State television (06.01.10) broadcast that the Head of Turkmen
hydrocarbon authority said he believes Turkmen natural gas would be transferred
via Turkey to the west.
                                         12



Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said that Turkey and
Turkmenistan could transfer Turkmen gas to the west.

Yıldız, who participated in the inauguration of the second natural gas pipeline that
will carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Iran, said that Turkmenistan attracted
attention after operating world's longest pipeline in a short time.
Yagsygeldi Kakayew, Head of Turkmenistan's State Agency for Hydrocarbon
Resources, reminded that natural gas from Turkmenistan was transported to
three directions and said that now it was time to transfer it to the west.
Kakayev said further that he believed this transportation would be materialized
with Turkey.


9. Talat to Chinese diplomats: “Give us a period of one year and if we
cannot find a solution in one year, degrade both sides to the community
status. Suggest this”.

Under the title “We are not equal”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper
(05.01.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has
expressed “a serious discomfort” which he has during the negotiating process
and noted that in spite of the fact that the talks are held between two
communities, in the international field the one of the two leaders is considered as
President of the Republic and the other as community leader.

The above situation constitutes an obstacle in front of the solution in Cyprus,
alleged Mr Talat, who met yesterday with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot
media evaluating the year 2009 and explaining his thoughts regarding 2010.

“Coupled with the different views of the two sides, one of the most important
reasons for not being able to reach to a solution in the negotiations is the fact that
we are not equal”, claimed Mr Talat noting that when the two leaders leave the
negotiating table the one becomes President and the other a leader.
                                           13


He said that 2010 is an important year for the solution of the Cyprus problem and
that they are working for this solution.

“The solution we are seeking and which we will achieve, is a solution that will
bring security to the Turkish Cypriots”, said Mr Talat adding that they are after a
solution which will be providing full security to the Turkish Cypriots and make
possible the continuation of their economic security and communal unity together
with their safety of life and property.

Mr Talat noted that this is the third year of negotiations between himself and
President Christofias and added: “We should produce a result now in the third
year. Just like every negotiating process, this has also an end”.

Mr Talat said that their main goal is to make arrangements for the protection of
their communal identity. He noted that an important part of their expectations was
not met in 2009 and added that these expectations concerned the everyday life,
economy, social life and the Cyprus problem.

He claimed that they exerted efforts for 2009 to be the year of the solution of the
Cyprus problem, but they did not achieve this. The reason for this, he alleged, is
the fact that the Greek Cypriot side does not share the same concerns with the
Turkish Cypriot side.

Mr Talat said that when they meet with some foreign diplomats, and mainly with
Chinese diplomats, they suggest the following: “Give us a period of one year and
if we cannot find a solution in one year, degrade both sides to the community
status. Suggest this”. He added: “Let them do this and then we shall see whether
a solution will be reached or not”.

Referring to some press reports which say that “the negotiating process is in
vain” and that “no solution will be found”, Mr Talat said that the media should tell
people the truth and given that the Turkish Cypriots need the solution, they
should make sure that the people understand this.
                                         14


Noting that the negotiations are necessary, Talat added: “We are making very
serious preparations for the solution, we are preparing proposals”. He alleged
that the Turkish side is driving and leading the negotiating process and claimed
that the advantage of the Turkish side is the fact that Turkey supports the
negotiating process and it is by the side of the Turkish Cypriots. “There is no
other country which supports the Turks of Cyprus in this manner”, he said.

Talat noted that the Turkish Cypriot side is proposing a single international
representation and a federal structure with arrangements which will secure this
and added: “If a single identity is created in the foreign policy and the foreign
defence, this will be a federation. If more elements are added, this will become a
federation with strong central [administration]”.

The paper reports that after these statements, Mr Talat hosted the
representatives of the press to a dinner and replied to their questions. The last
part of the meeting was held behind closed doors.

(I/Ts.)



B. COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
1. Columnist in Hurriyet Daily News argues that the Turkish side’s plan B is
the recognition of Ankara’s subordinate regime in occupied Cyprus
Under the title “Is it Cyprus plan B?” Hurriyet Daily News.com (06/01/10)
publishes the following article by Yusuf Kanli:

“In this column, over the decades, I have continuously stressed the same things
whenever I wrote about the Cyprus problem. These include the issue of
downgrading the status of the Greek Cypriot-run Cyprus Republic to the status of
the Turkish Cypriot state, and upgrading the Turkish Cypriot state to the level of
the Greek Cypriot state as a prerequisite for a settlement on Cyprus. Otherwise, I
have stressed that as long as Greek Cypriots are treated as the sole legitimate
government of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots as a minority demanding privileged
                                         15


status from that government, there will never be a power sharing settlement on
the island on the basis of political equality between two peoples. If I were a Greek
Cypriot, I would never ever vote "yes" to a power sharing deal as long as there
was no price to voting "no."

Over the past decades, current Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat and
his socialist Republican Turks' Party, or CTP, claimed that it was because of the
"hard-line" position of former President Rauf Denktas that a settlement on the
island could not be reached.


Now, the same Talat has told reporters that because Greek Cypriots enjoy
international recognition and EU membership, as the sole legitimate government
of the entire island they lack the motivation to compromise enough to establish a
new partnership federation with Turkish Cypriots - a partnership based on
political equality. Talat has strong doubts that, unless told by great powers that if
the current exercise collapses as a result of them, international recognition of the
Turkish Cypriot state might be in the cards, Greek Cypriots will never ever agree
to compromise. "They must be told what they might lose if they remain adamant,"
he is quoted as saying during a closed-door meeting with some select journalists
as part of a veiled start of his reelection campaign.

Has Talat indeed changed? Has he realized that unless the basis of the talks
between the two sides is replaced with a real "equality of the two prospective
partners" understanding there can be no success? Or, was this just a glimpse of
plan B in the making?

Interesting enough, less than half an hour after that closed-door meeting with a
group of select media reporters, Talat met with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris
Christofias for the first meeting of 2010. He presented him a set of proposals on
"governance and power sharing" to be discussed during next week's accelerated
talks. Among those proposals, there was the much-discussed "cross-voting" for
the election of the president and the vice president of the future partnership state.
                                        16


Cross-voting was demanded by the Greek Cypriot side. Talat, though initially
against the idea, was supportive of the proposal with some conditions. These
include providing Turkey and Turkish nationals the very rights the EU countries
and EU nationals would enjoy in Cyprus after a settlement. Prime Minister Dervis
Eroglu was totally against the idea. Ankara partly supported Talat and partly
supported Eroglu.

During Eroglu's recent visit to Ankara it was decided that a technical committee
composed of population, statistical and other experts from the Turkish Cypriot
presidency and the Prime Ministry would examine the possible pros and cons of
the proposal before Talat's upcoming visit to Turkey on Thursday, in which a final
decision will be made.

Now, according to some unverified claims on Jan. 1, Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu phoned Talat and told him to "go ahead" and present the controversial
nine-point package on governance and power sharing heading to Christofias.
Talat said: "But, we have not discussed the issue with Eroglu yet ... I do not want
to have a public fight with him over the issue." Davutoglu phoned Eroglu and
informed him of the decision. He received: "I am still against it, but, if political
responsibility rests on Talat and you, 'go ahead.'" He then phoned Talat for a
second time to say, "Eroglu is still against it, but will go ahead despite his
opposition."

For example, if Christofias has already told Talat that his "cross-voting" proposal
cannot be part of a give-and-take process and no conditions can be attached to it
[that's what it says in the minutes this writer read a while ago], what might be the
meaning of Talat now saying "yes" to that proposal provided that the Greek
Cypriot leader agreed to give Turkish nationals free entry, freedom of circulation
all over the island, freedom of settlement and freedom of owning property as if
they are EU nationals? Would not that mean provoking Christofias to say "no" to
his own proposal?
                                              17


Then, is Talat aiming to force Christofias out of the talks and tell the world: "You
see, Christofias has walked out of the process. They have to pay a price. Now it's
time to recognize the Turkish Cypriot state?"
Is this plan B of Talat and Davutoglu?”

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