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TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA (Cyprus PIO review) 96-05-15

From: Panayiotis Zaphiris <pzaphiri@glue.umd.edu>

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.84/96 15.5.96

NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash recalls US `Mistakes' and `Wrong Attitude' in 1963.

  • [02] Eroglu says people need to assess situation.

  • [03] Soyer comments on federal solution, military maneuvers.

  • [04] Denktash on the issue of international forces.

  • [05] Istanbul Mayor visits the occupied area.

  • [06] Second instalment of French Ambassador's interview to BIRLIK


    NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash recalls US `Mistakes' and `Wrong Attitude' in 1963

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 14.5.96) a delegation from the Turkish-American Associations Council, which arrived in the occupied area, held various contacts. The delegation members visited Rauf Denktash, "Assembly Speaker" Ayhan Halit Acarkan, and Atay Ahmet Rasit, "Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense", in that order.

    In a speech at the meeting, Denktash recounted the "mistakes", as he put it, the West, mainly the United States and Britain, made regarding Cyprus in 1963. He alleged that the UN Security Council members, and especially the United States, adopted the wrong attitude regarding the establishment of the UN peace force in Cyprus in 1963 and 1964. Denktash claimed that the Cyprus Government which was established in 1960 no longer existed after 21 December 1963.

    He also stated that there is no Cypriot nation on the island, and added that the 1960 agreements did not create a Cypriot nation.

    According to KIBRIS (15.5.96) the delegation from the Council of Turkish American Associations arrived in the occupied area to be briefed on the Cyprus problem and carry out investigation.

    Dr. Tamer Acikalin, who will take over the Council's presidency next October has declared that the aim of their visit is to extend support and bust the morale of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The delegation, inter alia, had a meeting with the US Ambassador to Cyprus Richard Boucher.

    [02] Eroglu says people need to assess situation

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 13.5.96) National Unity Party leader Dervis Eroglu has called on the Democrat Party-Republican Turkish Party so-called coalition government to resign in a bid to allow the emergence of new "government" formations that will be more beneficial for the pseudostate and make it possible to hold early elections.

    Eroglu added that both the Turkish Cypriots and the "coalition partners" are faced with the need to assess the present situation and made a decision.

    Eroglu claimed: "... the coalition government has dragged the country to ruin. The state has reached the point where it cannot even pay the salaries of its own workers and retirees".

    [03] Soyer comments on federal solution, military maneuvers

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 13.5.96) Ferdi Sabit Soyer, Republican Turkish Party secretary general, has called on all "officials" to find a federal solution within the framework of the 1977 and 1979 summit agreements and immediately afterward secure the membership of a federal Cyprus in the EU.

    Pointing out in a written statement he issued that the Cyprus issue and Turkish-Greek relations were full of contradictions, Soyer claimed: "In the meantime, the military maneuvers carried out by Greek war planes in Cyprus within the framework of the Greek-Greek Cypriot defense agreement escalate the existing mutual distrust and tension."

    Soyer added: "It is wrong, however, to prevent and not allow the two communities to hold contacts in a bid to further their relations."

    [04] Denktash on the issue of international forces

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (15:30 hours, 14.5.96) Rauf Denktash has claimed that the Greek Cypriots want to eliminate all of the rights and status earned by the Turkish Cypriots in the 1960 agreements. In a statement he issued, Denktash responded to Greek Cypriot press reports regarding President Clerides' remarks on the elimination of national guarantees and deploying international forces in Cyprus.

    Denktash claimed: "What Clerides expects from the negotiations is for them to be suspended because there is nothing left to discuss. For this reason, we should end the negotiation process and go about our business."

    Alleging that to accept the deployment of international forces in Cyprus is out of the question, Denktash added: "The grounds of a joint state, in the event one is established, should be laid in line with Turkey's guarantees and the principles of bizonality, sovereignty, and equality." Denktash alleged that the unilateral defense doctrine the Greek Cypriots signed with Greece shows that they want to unite Cyprus with Greece. However, Denktash continued, this doctrine is not binding in terms of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Stressing that avoiding the negotiating table would adversely affect the Turkish Cypriots, Denktash said: "For this reason, the Turkish Cypriots try to explain their view of the Cyprus issue to the world."

    [05] Istanbul Mayor visits the occupied area

    According to KIBRIS (15.5.96) the Mayor of metropolitan Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has arrived in the occupied area to give a lecture at the so-called East Mediterranean University (EMU).

    In a statement at the occupied Tymbou airport, Erdogan declared their principle is an independent "TRNC".

    Tayyip Erdogan said that he will hold contacts with the Turkish Cypriot leadership. (MY)

    [06] Second instalment of French Ambassador's interview to BIRLIK

    BIRLIK: But Greece is a full member and plays an active role in the EU decisions.

    Jacolin: It is true. I share the same view, but you cannot accuse others for this situation. The EU, in taking the 6 March decision, demonstrated great care in maintaining this sensitive balance. Everybody should know that Turkey is not ready for full membership yet, because of the reasons I have mentioned earlier.

    The source of this is Turkey itself. These are objective and realistic reasons. We did not close the doors to Turkey. Not only did we not close the doors, in fact we have opened them.

    BIRLIK: Let us come to the issue of which Cyprus you recognize. Which Cyprus Republic do you recognize? At the Cyprus Republic you recognize at this moment the Turkish Cypriot partner is not present.

    Jacolin: I consider myself the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, of both sides. France, as the permanent member of the UN Security Council, desires an early settlement of the Cyprus problem. Taking the 6 March decision was not an easy decision.

    BIRLIK: Does France think of recognizing the Republic in North Cyprus if a solution is not found in the near future?

    Jacolin: No, never, because we consider Cyprus as a single state and we agree with the UN resolutions. We consider Greek and Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus as Cypriots. We admit that there has been a misunderstanding between them since 1963. Both sides committed mistakes. We accept that these mistakes led to the incidents of 1974. Cyprus has always maintained its integrity in the course of history despite the fact that it was under different administrations. We would like to see Cyprus as a single island.

    In Europe various communities have solved their problems and here we want you to solve your problem. Exactly the way the Flamans, the Serbs and Bosnian Muslims solved their problems.

    BIRLIK: But if the situation in Bosnia resembles to the situation in Cyprus, why then you do not accept the separation of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities like the separation of the Serbs, the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims there?

    Jacolin: Answering this question will take time and it will be a long answer. The two issues do not resemble each other. Cyprus has always been a whole. But the situation in former Yugoslavia was not like this. Part of it for centuries was under Austrian rule, another part was under the Macedonians, and another part under the Ottoman rule. I did not refer to Bosnia because there is a similarity. I wanted to stress that if there is will, even the more complex problems can be solved. Let me give you another example. France and Germany: How many times was France occupied by the Germans? Massacres had taken place and at the end of the Second World War everybody considered the reconciliation of these two countries impossible. My family also suffered losses. But the new generation did its best to change this situation and it has succeeded. First they gave up using the unbecoming words that they used in order to disgrace, to humiliate each other. They took them out of the text books taught at schools and that were a source of animosity. These were the first steps for rapprochement, and my generation played a role in establishing friendship. You, too, should make a start by giving up using the words Attilla, barbarian, infidel, criminal, against each other. The newspapers can stop publishing reports that include hatred. I would like to stress that the press has an important responsibility to shoulder. There is also a need for courageous and far-sighted leaders, like de Gaule and Adenauer, Ataturk and Venizelos. We wish to see a new Venizelos and a new Ataturk. If France and Germany reconciled and became friends, this is also possible in Cyprus. It is also possible between Greece and Turkey. There is need for political will and for leaders that look ahead.

    BIRLIK: Inhuman economic, political and sports embargoes are being imposed on the Turkish Cypriots. Why is France not opposing these inhuman embargoes? Don't you think that the Turkish Cypriots, like other countries, have the right to engage in trade and sports?

    Jacolin: Enter into the EU and all these will end. The train has moved out of the station. Cyprus is on the train. You, too, should get on the train and not miss it. This train is heading for Europe. You can travel on this train as Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    BIRLIK: How could the Turkish Cypriots enter this train if the European Court's decision against the Turkish Cypriots and France's decision in 1964 to recognize the Greek Cypriots as the Cyprus Republic are not removed?

    Jacolin: I do not share this view. When the time comes you have to take a decision and act. There is a need to take a step forward to change the situation. It is not late yet. We wish you would get on this train. We are ready to help you to arrive safely at the station.

    BIRLIK: For years, there are problems in the Aegean, in Thrace and in Cyprus between two NATO allies and neighbouring countries, Greece and Turkey. Why is France, as a NATO member, not helping in solving these problems?

    Jacolin: We are trying to. But we cannot always be successful.

    Decisive and far-sighted leaders have a duty to fulfill. They could reconcile within the same framework of principles that we had reconciled with the Germans.

    BIRLIK: You have mentioned the balance of power. And you have tried to justify France's selling arms to the Greek Cypriots.

    Whatever the quantity of weapons they buy, could they establish parity in the region as well as with Turkey? Are they not wasting their money?

    Jacolin: No, they cannot establish a balance because the Turkish Armed Forces are much superior. The ratio here is approximately 3:1. Both of you are spending money. For this reason I am proposing a reduction of military forces. The Greek Cypriots arm themselves in order to reduce the effect of your crashing superiority.

    BIRLIK: But on the one hand the Greek Cypriots speak about arming themselves, they are buying arms, and in the meantime they are speaking of demilitarization...

    Jacolin: I did not speak of demilitarization. I mean the reduction of the weapons and military strength here. The proposals put forward by the UN on this issue are realistic and beneficial. Reduction of the conventional arms and military hardware will reduce the tension. Demilitarization could be realized at the end.

    BIRLIK: We would like to refer to a different issue. At this moment in North Cyprus there are minimum five Universities associated with the universities in the USA and the UK, which continue their activities in a success manner. Does France or French universities think to cooperate with these universities?

    Jacolin: We are conducting investigation and research on this issue. Very recently one of our representatives visited the East Mediterranean University (EMU). All the universities will be visited, information will be taken and a report will be prepared.

    We are waiting for this report and we will decide our stance accordingly.

    BIRLIK: Let us return to the Greco-Turkish relations. Greece is continuously blocking financial aid and the financial protocols to be given to Turkey. Greece insists that in order to establish good relations between the two countries, the Cyprus problem should be taken up first.

    Jacolin: The leaders in Turkey have said that they will not oppose Cyprus' entry into the EU. Do you know this? Turkish leaders have informed the US President and the EU officials of their new stance. As far as I am concerned it was a very clever thing to do. As for Greece's stance, the EU issues are different. The Cyprus problem is different. I think it is wrong to mix up the Cyprus problem with other issues.

    BIRLIK: The Greek Cypriots, who are encouraged and incited by Greece, each time that they find the opportunity they declare that they will hoist the Greek flag over Kyrenia, Kythrea, and the Pentadaktylos range, and that they will continue their struggle until this is realized. Do you consider this a proper behaviour?

    Jacolin: I do not want to comment on it. I would like to say only this. I do know that the Greek Cypriots who once used to live in Kyrenia or in other places want to go back to their places. The same way Turkish Cypriots who used to live in Paphos, Limassol and other areas want to go back to their places and their homes.

    BIRLIK: Don't they know that such a development, from the security point of view, cannot be realized? Prior to a settlement, is this possible?

    Jacolin: I do not want to express further views on this issue. I know one thing: people always want to return to the places they once abandoned.

    BIRLIK: The Greek Cypriots have another initiative, they are attempting to enter into the Western European Union. Recently the Turkish side put forward its reservations on this attempt. Could you refer to this issue as well?

    Jacolin: I am not informed on this. I do not want to express a view on this issue.

    BIRLIK: Do you have anything else to say?

    Jacolin: Yes, I want to have good relations with both sides. The French Cultural Centre is active in both sides. Exhibitions opened on this side are opened on your side as well. Everybody is invited to the photographic exhibition to be opened on 14 May at the Cultural Centre. I would appreciate it if you inform your people about this. They have to know that any activity that we organize in the south we organize it on your side as well. I have another message to the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, that is to all the Cypriots: Work for peace and friendship. You have to work so that you will not enter into the next century with this division and the Berlin Wall. It will be painful and a pity to enter into the next century with this situation.

    BIRLIK: You have time and again repeated the example of the Berlin Wall. This will displease Esteemed Denktash. Turkish Cypriots do not like this either.

    Jacolin: I don't care what Mr. Denktash says. Even if it is not exactly the same as the Berlin Wall, basically, in essence, it looks like the Berlin Wall. It is not important whether Esteemed Denktash shares this view or not.

    BIRLIK: But, Mr. Ambassador, the Berlin Wall was erected to separate a nation which was divided by force. There is no such situation in Cyprus. Two different communities, on their own will, for security reasons, are divided.

    Jacolin: Yes, it is true. Individuals of the same nation that use the same language were divided with the Berlin Wall. Whatever the case, a wall is a wall, a separation is separation. This wall here in Cyprus should be buried into history." (MY)

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