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From: Panayiotis Zaphiris <>

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory


No.14/96 20-21-22.1.96


  • [01] "Parliamentary Group" leaves for Strasbourg COE meeting.

  • [02] Serge Abou holding talks in Turkey.

  • [03] Baykal: Ankara not worried over international interest in Cyprus.

  • [04] Demirel: The Cyprus problem is Turkey's problem.


    [01] "Parliamentary Group" leaves for Strasbourg COE meeting

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 21.1.96) a delegation from the so-called Republican Assembly has left the island on its way to Strasbourg to attend the winter session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

    In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport before their departure, "Assembly Speaker" Ayhan Halit Acarkan said that even though the Cyprus problem is not on the agenda of the Council of Europe now, their visit is very important as a cntinuation of the contacts started during the past two years. Acarkan said: "At the current stage of the Cyprus problem, we will do all we can to make our voices heard in Europe and elsewhere."

    The "assembly delegation" includes Taner Etkin from the Democratic Party, Ilkay Kamil from the National Unity Party, Mehmet Civa from the Republican Turkish Party, and Gulsen Bozkurt from the Communal Liberation Party.

    [02] Serge Abou holding talks in Turkey

    According to Turkish Daily News (20.1.96) the EU commissioner responsible for Turkey, Serge Abou, arrived in Ankara on January 18 to hold talks with Turkish officials on the customs union which took affect on January 1. About said he will hold talks with Turkish businessmen, firms and universities to supply information on the functioning of customs union.

    Asked if the Cyprus issue will be on the agenda during his talks, Abou said that all the joint issues would be discussed during his talks, as he is responsible for relations not only with Turkey, but also with Cyprus, Malta and other Mediterranean countries.

    He said "Cyprus is not a price that Turkey will have to pay for the customs union," and added that the EU was trying to contribute to solve the Cyprus problem.

    He emphasized the price that Turkey must pay for joining the customs union will be economic discipline. However, he said the price would be regarded as fair for the self modernization it will bring.

    [03] Baykal: Ankara not worried over international interest in Cyprus

    According to Turkish Daily News (20.1.96) deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal said on Thursday that the mounting international interest in the Cyprus issue was not a source of concern for Ankara, which wants a settlement to this long-standing problem. Baykal claimed that Turkey supported a peaceful settlement on Cyprus and that it was cooperating with all the international organizations contributing to this process.

    Baykal, who was speaking to the Anatolia news agency, said nevertheless that Turkey considered any efforts to impose a settement from the outside as totally unacceptable. "We believe that it is necessary for the legitimate representatives of both sides to meet with equal status and to jointly work out the settlement. Everyone can contribute to this," Baykal alleged. He added that there was a de facto situation in Cyprus today which could not be turned back.

    "Peace can only come about by legitimizing this situation, and by acknowledging the sovereign equality of both sides," Baykal said.

    Asked whether the United States was pressurizing Turkey for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Baykal said that if "pressure" was being exerted for a settlement, then this would not cause any anxiety on the Turkish side.

    If, however, this pressure was for the Turkish side to give up its legitimate demands, then this would be unacceptable, Baykal said. Baykal said the international community had accorded equal status to the sides in Bosnia, which share a common language and culture. He said that the same international community could not now refrain from according the same equality to the two sides on Cyprus, which are totally different in every aspect from ethnicity and religion to language.

    [04] Demirel: The Cyprus problem is Turkey's problem

    During a news conference he gave at the Cankaya Mansion, broadcasted live by TRT (8:00 hours, 20.1.96), Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, inter alia, referred to the Cyprus problem and said: "One of the important issues in Turkish foreign policy is undoubtedly Cyprus. What I want to say about Cyprus is this: The Cyprus problem is a national problem for the Turkish Republican State. It is the national problem for the Turkish people. Consequently, Turkey will continue to stand by its promises to Cyprus. Our kinsmen in Cyprus must rest assured. More than being the problem of our kinsmen in Cyprus, the Cyprus problem is Turkey's problem. What I mean is this: Turkey is interested in Cyprus as much as it is interested in any part of its territory.

    Of course, the establishment of a peaceful solution in Cyprus will depend on the agreement of our kinsmen on the island. It will also depend on the agreement of the Turkish people. Turkey will not withdraw its umbrella from over Cyprus; it will not withdraw its security guarantees.

    Cyprus has certain economic problems. I am aware that these problems constitute an important issue before the new government to be established. Together with the new government to be established, we will try to solve these problems."

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