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Media Watch 2004

31 March 2004
Source: BBC
Comment: The following article appeared on BBC online on 31 March 2004.
Annan Cyprus plan sets press ablaze
"The Greek Cypriot press is against the plan and urges voters to reject it in any forthcoming referendum"

Newspapers in Cyprus and Turkey have mixed opinions on Kofi Annan's fourth plan for reunifying the divided island, which is due to be decided upon today.

The Greek Cypriot press is against the plan and urges voters to reject it in any forthcoming referendum.

Turkish Cypriot papers are pleased with the plan and want a 'yes' vote in their own plebiscite, although one urges a degree of caution.

The overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots yesterday felt they had drawn the short straw in the fourth version of the Annan plan, with the general feeling that they would reject the blueprint come referendum day, whatever the consequences might be.

Greek Cypriot O Filelevtheros

It has become blatantly obvious that [Greek Cypriot President Tassos] Papadopoulos wants the Greek Cypriots to vote 'no' in a referendum, but cannot say so himself because he wants to maintain the act that he is interested in a settlement.

Commentary in O Filelevtheros

Even though Turkey gets the lion's share in the fourth plan of the UN secretary-general it appears displeased. And like a patient suffering from bulimia, it seeks more.

Greek Cypriot Kharavyi

By tabling its plan last Monday in Buergenstock, the United Nations has reinforced the already powerful current of citizens who oppose the plan.

Kostas Venizelos in Greek Cypriot Politis

Without substantive financial costing, the Annan plan will fail to resolve the issue permanently: Rather, it will complicate it further, especially during the first crucial years of the new state's operation, with tremendous dangers for social harmony and peace.

Dinos Lordhos in Politis

Put forth a crystal clear no.

Greek Cypriot I Makhi

Today is a crucial and decisive day for the Cyprus issue.

Greek Cypriot Alithia

We got what we wanted!

Headline in Turkish Cypriot Yeniduzen

Instead of rejoicing at having secured too many rights, it would have been better to rejoice at coming closer to a solution. We do not need Turkish or Greek victories; we want victory for the Cypriots. Regrettably, we have missed that opportunity once again.

Sener Levent in Turkish Cypriot Afrika

We are exceedingly pleased with the press reaction to the UN Secretary General's latest draft plan for a solution. My joy stems as much from Annan's pro-Turkish stance as it does from the nature of the Greek Cypriot outcry. We never saw such a Greek Cypriot uproar during any of the previous negotiations. My view is that it is because, for the first time, we have a draft solution supporting Turkish interests to such an extent.

Hasan Ercakica in Yeniduzen

Our [Turkish Cypriot] people should know that launching a yes campaign and eulogizing the unseen fourth plan is nothing but defeatism, and as such should not be taken in by the propaganda of lies.

Sabahattin Ismail in Afrika

The latest version of the Annan plan is a success for Turkish foreign policy and the Turkish government. With the latest form of the plan, the Turkish Cypriots gain many rights which they were unable to get even with the London and Zurich agreements [in 1959-60]. The Turkish side has also had some objections to this [latest version], but the Greek Cypriots are objecting to nearly all of it. The Annan plan in this form should be signed immediately.

Fatih Altayli in Ankara's Hurriyet

History will not forgive anyone who blocks a solution at the point which has been reached today.

Hasan Cemal in Istanbul's Milliyet

The Turkish side believes that most of its demands are satisfied.

Mehmet Ali Birand in Ankara's Posta

It's clear that the Greek Cypriots are uncomfortable about the result... On the Turkish side, it's observed that there is a cautious waiting instead of an atmosphere of incredible satisfaction and victory.

Fikret Bila in Milliyet"