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TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA (Cyprus PIO reivew) 96-05-27

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

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.92/96 25-26-27.5.96

NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu comments following meeting with US Ambassador Boucher.

  • [02] Talat: "Outside factors waning but causing tension".

  • [03] US changes policy on Cyprus accession to EU.

  • [04] Britain names special envoy for Cyprus.

  • [05] Boutros Ghali: The UN does not have the monopoly of a peaceful solution.

  • [06] Turkish deputy rejects federation in Cyprus.

  • [07] Lamb in the occupied area found to be infected by brusella.


    NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu comments following meeting with US Ambassador Boucher

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 24.5.96) National Unity Party leader Dervis Eroglu has met with US Nicosia Ambassador Richard Boucher and conferred with him for some time. Former "Foreign Minister" Kenan Atakol, and "Assembly member" Tuncel Arikoglu attended the meeting, which took place at the party headquarters.

    In a statement after the meeting, Eroglu recalled that the United States is continuing to explore the grounds for renewing direct negotiations. He further stated that his party favours holding direct negotiations instead of indirect ones. Eroglu alleged that the issue of EU membership should not be posed as a threat before the pseudostate.

    [02] Talat: "Outside factors waning but causing tension"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 26.5.96) Mehmet Ali Talat, Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader, "State Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister", has said that due to outside pressure, the "coalition" partner, the Democratic Party (DP), wants to rewrite the "government program". He said: "The chance of the government's disbanding at the end of our negotiations is slim, because the effect of the outside factors is lessening."

    Talat pointed out that due to serious differences of opinion with the DP, the RTP finds it difficult to go on with the "government". However, he added, the "government" might have to go on a while longer due to a lack of alternatives.

    Speaking to illegal TAK (Turkish Cypriot News Agency), Talat was assessing the negotiations being held for some time to attach a timetable to the "government program" and to eliminate the differences of view between the partners. He said that the negotiations might be concluded on 28 May.

    He also said that "in the EU process, the RTP attaches priority importance to refraining from acts that reinforce the image of the Turkish Cypriots as the side that wants peace (as heard) and to strengthening the position of the Turkish Cypriot community."

    On the outside factors that influence the DP, Talat said: "These are various sectors and organizations both in Turkey and here that do not really believe in democracy."

    [03] US changes policy on Cyprus accession to EU

    According to Turkish Daily News (25.5.96) the US State Department has changed its longstanding policy of searching first for a bizonal and bicommunal federal solution in Cyprus as a prerequisite to the island's possible accession to the European Union (EU).

    Following the daily press briefing at the State Department on Thursday, spokesman Nicholas Burns, still on the record, told the TDN that the United States would support Cyprus' membership in the EU even if a federal solution could not be found. Burns confirmed his remark when TDN called him later for a verification of his statement.

    Yet Burns also claimed that this was nothing new. "This is longstanding US policy. There's no change in US policy," he said. A different senior official who works on Cyprus affairs at the State Department, whom the TDN contacted after the said briefing, also said that there was no change in the US policy on Cyprus.

    However, the Turkish Embassy did not seem to agree with that assessment. A counselor in charge of the Cyprus issue said this recent policy shift could "lead to a permanent division on the island."

    One thing Burns emphasized during the briefing was that the ultimate decision to accept Cyprus as a full member, and how and when to do it, belonged to the EU. "The question of Cyprus' ability to join the European Union in the absence of a political solution is, of course, one for the European Union to decide, as are the modalities and timing of Cyprus' accession to the European Union."

    Giving an impression that the United States was trying to pass on the responsibility of such a policy shift to the EU, Burns said: "The United States cannot dictate to the European Union which countries become members of the European Union. That's an obvious point first."

    As a second point, Burns repeated four times within a matter of minutes that becoming a member would benefit "Cyprus".

    "I believe my second point is very important: We do believe that Cyprus would benefit from EU membership and accession to the EU," Burns said. "Cyprus would benefit from this decision;" It would be good for Cyprus;" is how he drove home his message - revealing the heightened priority the State Department is now placing on Cyprus' EU membership.

    But when Burns was given a clear opportunity to disown the suggestion that the United States would support Cyprus' membership even if the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots failed to reach a federated solution among themselves, he did not take up the offer.

    "If there is no solution prior to the discussions of accession, you don't support the accession?" was the question. Burns replied: "No, I didn't say that." A number of Turkish observers in Washington and New York told the TDN that the traditional US State Department answer to such a question would be an unhesitating "yes".

    Burns said a solution would make the accession easier. "Obviously, accession would be facilitated, it would be easier for Cyprus to become a member were there to be a final solution or intercommunal settlement," he said, implying that if there were no such "final solution", then Cyprus' EU membership would be a "harder" process.

    The reaction of the Turkish Embassy in Washington to Burns' statements was swift and stiff.

    Murat Ozcelik, the senior counselor responsible for Cyprus affairs at the Turkish Embassy, told the TDN that he was not aware of a change in the US policy towards Cyprus.

    "But both the United States and the EU very well know that if the Greek Cypriot administration is allowed to become a member of the EU before a bizonal and bicommunal federative solution is reached on the basis of sovereign equality, then this will lead to a permanent division on the island", Ozcelik said. "And both the United States and the EU very well know this fact."

    [04] Britain names special envoy for Cyprus

    According to Turkish Daily News (25.5.96) British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind said that the appointment of a "special envoy" for Cyprus should not be taken as an indication that Britain is intending to launch a Cyprus initiative.

    Rifkind disclosed Thursday that Sir David Hannay, a former British permanent representative to the United Nations and the European Union, had been appointed as the British government's special representative for Cyprus. This is the first time that Britain has appointed a special envoy for Cyprus.

    Rifkind said as a guarantor power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Britain had always been closely involved in international efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.

    "Our aim is to work closely with the two communities in the search for a negotiated settlement on a federal basis", he added.

    "Recent experience has shown that a concerted international effort can bring results. All those countries and organizations involved must work closely together.

    The United Nations, the United States, the EU and the three guarantor powers all have distinct and important contributions to make. Sir David will be working in close cooperation with them all," he added. Hannay told the press that he had long experience of Cyprus and would work closely with partners, and in particular with leaders of the Cypriot communities, with the aim of finding common ground between them and facilitating a negotiated settlement.

    When asked whether there were too many bodies involved in finding a solution, Rifkind said an international, cooperative effort was necessary to reach a settlement on the island. He added that the British government was not launching a new initiative but aimed to contribute to the international efforts. "We will be working with the United States and with the other international communities" Rifkind added.

    Referring to the accession of Cyprus to the EU, he said that as an EU member the UK welcomed the prospect of Cyprus joining. "The prospect of negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the EU ought to be a stimulus towards a settlement", he indicated.

    Asked whether Britain would support Cyprus' membership even if no solution was found on the island, Rifkind said a solution would be beneficial for everyone, and added that if no solution was found it would make Cyprus' membership negotiations more problematic.

    [05] Boutros Ghali: The UN does not have the monopoly of a peaceful solution

    According to KIBRIS (25.5.96) the UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali, answering a question on Cyprus put to him by Turkey's semi-official Anatolia Agency correspondent, said that the UN was not the only doctor for Cyprus.

    Ghali said: "Let me answer you in an unpretentious manner: the UN has never claimed to hold the monopoly of a peaceful solution of the international conflicts.

    If the problem is solved by a group of countries, we will be the first to be pleased with that. We are like a doctor. If your call another doctor to cure the patient and if he succeeds in curing the patient, then there is no problem. We say `we are colleagues' and we are happy. Our problem is that we have numerous problems to solve".

    He said that they are ready to cooperate and share the work with other countries which are interested in the problem.

    KIBRIS also reports that Ghali will have separate meetings with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash in Geneva, separately. (MY)

    [06] Turkish deputy rejects federation in Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (26.5.96) Motherland Party (ANAP) deputy Kamran Inan has declared that the "idea of federation in Cyprus cannot be accepted, and that the two sides, as independent states on the island, should live in peace."

    Speaking at a conference organized by the Turkish Democracy Foundation on "Is it a solution year for Cyprus?" Kamran Inan has alleged that Greece has not changed its stance against Turkey as regards the Cyprus problem. He urged to shape the Turkish foreign policy accordingly.

    Greece and Greek Cypriots are trying to establish good relations with other European countries, said Inan, and added that Muslim countries like Egypt and Libya from time to time are helping the Greek Cypriots.

    Inan further alleged that states which were formed following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire do not want Turkey to become strong, and that Greece is able to use this in its favour. "Turkey has to follow a consistent policy on Cyprus" he said and added: "It is wrong to see Cyprus as an obstacle in Turkey's relations with the West."

    He urged that Turkey's Cyprus policy should be charted according to its national interests.

    "As Turkey, we are in debt to nobody. Turkey should act in accordance with its national interests. This applies in the case of Cyprus. In our foreign policy dictionary the word `no' does not exist. However, in certain cases it is necessary to say `no' to the other side. One should not let Turkey's honour to be trampled upon. Time has come to decisively fix a bearing to Turkey's foreign policy without any zigzaging", concluded Kamran Inan.

    [07] Lamb in the occupied area found to be infected by brusella

    According to BIRLIK (27.5.96), live lamb and kids that were bought by an Arab businessman and exported to Saudi Arabia have been returned to the occupied area because the animals were found to be infected by brusella (brucellosis).

    BIRLIK reports that this fact will have very serious repercussions on live animal export from the occupied area. (MY)

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