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Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media (96-06-04)

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

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.97/96 1-4.6.96

CONTENTS


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] On the shooting of a Greek Cypriot national guardsman in the buffer zone.

  • [02] Denktash discusses referendum option for full EU membership.

  • [03] Boutros-Ghali denies UN proposal to demilitarize Cyprus.

  • [04] Denktash concerned with EU, US interference.

  • [05] Explosions in occupied Nicosia.

  • [06] Serdar Denktash on the EU issue.

  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Editorial fears US stance may draw anti-American backlash.


  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] On the shooting of a Greek Cypriot national guardsman in the buffer zone

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours 3.6.96), the young Greek Cypriot national guardsman who was shot dead in the buffer zone by a Turkish soldier was "fully armed" and a statement issued by the "Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry" claims that the Greek Cypriot soldier, "who continued to approach the Turkish position despite all warnings, was shot after having violated the border". The statement adds that the Greek Cypriot soldier fell to the ground as a result of the fire opened after he violated the "border". The statement goes on to say that the Greek Cypriot soldier was taken away from the scene of the incident in a UN ambulance some 30 minutes after the incident.

    Rauf Denktash has described the incident as an unwelcome one that should not have happened. During his meeting with Feissel, the special UN representative in Cyprus, Denktash made a statement on the issue and said that "both sides should teach their soldiers to remain in their own regions," as he put it. Claiming that no one wants the recurrence of such an incident, Denktash alleged that it would be wrong for the Greek Cypriots to make an issue out of this incident and turn it into a showcase. Noting that each side should teach its soldiers to remain "within their own zones," Denktash alleged that the incident was not planned and that one soldier was performing his duties. Pointing out that the incident is being investigated by the Turkish Cypriot "authorities", Denktash asked the Greek Cypriot side to investigate the issue as well. Denktash said that no one should expect to benefit from such incidents and that they only cause damage.

    Feissel said that the incident occurred in the buffer zone, adding that the investigation into the incident is continuing. Noting that both soldiers were in the buffer zone when the incident occurred, Feissel further expressed his grief over the incident.

    Upon Feissel's statement that both soldiers were in the buffer zone when the incident occurred, Denktash said: "I have just heard this claim. If this is the situation, then the reasons why the soldier went into that zone will be investigated." He alleged: "This incident should be assessed as a distressing and not a provocative one. Let each side investigate what his man was trying to accomplish and act accordingly."

    [02] Denktash discusses referendum option for full EU membership

    According to TRT television network (17:00 hours, 31.5.96) Rauf Denktash has said that he will not accept becoming a member of the EU unless Turkey is a full member. He added that, if necessary, a referendum can be held on this issue to hear the views of the people.

    Denktash was speaking live on the Echo program on illegal Bayrak Television the other night. He answered various questions on Turkey's guarantor rights, the issue of multinational forces, and Cyprus' full membership in the EU. Denktash criticized the EU for trying to start full membership negotiations without hearing the view of one of the "owners" and repeated that before full membership the Cyprus problem must be resolved and the status of the Turkish Cypriots determined. He stated that only after that can the two "peoples" in Cyprus hold separate referendums on the issue of full membership.

    Denktash reiterated that for the Turkish Cypriots to become full members of the EU, Turkey must also be a full member.

    [03] Boutros-Ghali denies UN proposal to demilitarize Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 2.6.96) UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali has stated that a solution in Cyprus can be secured through the decision of the two sides. Boutros-Ghali held a news conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for Istanbul to attend the opening of Habitat II.

    Explaining that his contacts in Ankara were extremely favourable, Boutros-Ghali said that the Cyprus issue was brought up during his meetings with President Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, and Mustafa Kalemli, speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Recalling that he hopes to meet separately with Rauf Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides in the coming days, Boutros Ghali added: "As the UN Secretary General, I have to find out the viewpoints of both leaders before a new round of talks is launched in Cyprus in a bid to lay the grounds for a new understanding that will form the basis of these talks." Boutros-Ghali further stated that he noticed that Ankara displayed a sincere wish for a peaceful and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue.

    In reply to a question on whether he submitted to Ankara a proposal to demilitarize Cyprus, Boutros Ghali said: "No, I did not submit such a proposal. The two sides in Cyprus are the ones to make such a decision. Only they can decide what they want. We cannot impose a decision upon them. We are only intermediaries."

    [04] Denktash concerned with EU, US interference

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 31.5.96) following his arrival in the occupied area, General Cevik Bir, deputy chief of the Turkish General Staff, met with Rauf Denktash. At the meeting, which was also attended by "Prime Minister" Hakki Atun, Rauf Denktash called on the Greek Cypriot leaders, saying: "Come to the negotiating table and let us solve this problem under equal conditions and as two equal sides."

    He also alleged: "It is time the Greek Cypriots understood that their efforts to turn Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot republic has divided the island. Unless they understand this, peace will not come to Cyprus."

    He reiterated that he is ready to negotiate with the Greek Cypriot side under equal conditions. He also expressed the concern that if the EU and the United States continue to interfere, peace will not be achieved in Cyprus.

    Gen. Bir said that Denktash is an important leader known to the world.

    After the speeches, Gen. Bir presented Denktash and Atun with shields from the Turkish General Staff.

    Gen. Bir who is in Cyprus to observe the war games of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus will also meet with "Prime Minister Atun" and Turkey's envoy to the occupied area Aydan Karahan.

    [05] Explosions in occupied Nicosia

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 1.6.96) there were two explosions in occupied Nicosia during the early morning hours last Saturday. Bomb attacks were perpetrated against the Democratic Party district organization building and a nightclub. Nobody was killed or injured in the explosions.

    Policemen, who went to the site of the explosions, conducted an investigation and determined that the explosions were caused by two concussion grenades.

    Political parties and unions condemned the bomb attacks. In a statement he issued in connection with the issue, Hakki Atun, Democratic Party leader and "prime minister", said that the bomb attack against the Democratic Party is really an attack against democracy. Atun said that the political parties are trying to settle their differences by conducting talks within the framework of a parliamentary and democratic system and added: "These bomb attacks are meaningless in such an atmosphere." Pointing out that such actions are perpetrated by those who seek to attain dark goals and create chaos, Atun stressed that nobody can undermine democracy. Further noting that the path to a solution does not pass through such activities, Atun said he strongly condemns the incident.

    [06] Serdar Denktash on the EU issue

    According to HALKIN SESI (1.6.96) the General Chairman of the Democratic Party Serdar Denktash, son of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, stated that they have entered a period where the work for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem has intensified. Serdar Denktash said that "if a reconciliatory settlement is not agreed upon, and in case the Greek Cypriot Administration is accepted unilaterally into the EU, the TRNC will speedily put into practice the integration policy with Motherland Turkey."

    Speaking to Turkey's semi-governmental Anatolia Agency (A.A) Serdar Denktash said that the "Greek Cypriot Administration and the world should seriously take into consideration the Turkish Cypriot people. Those who think that we are bluffing are making a historic mistake".

    Serdar Denktash said that "Greek Cypriots believe that they will be able to enter the EU representing Cyprus as the Republic of Cyprus.

    The Greek Cypriots are counting on the fact that if they become an EU member they will be able to realize the Enosis objective and turn Cyprus into a Hellenic Island".

    Repeating the known Turkish views, Serdar Denktash said: "We warn the world that unless these realities are explained to the Greek Cypriot Administration in a clear and open way, not only the doors of the peace will not be opened, but the Greek Cypriots will resort to a crazy act and blood will be shedded on the island again, and war winds will blow again." (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Editorial fears US stance may draw anti-American backlash

    In an editorial in Turkish Daily News (29.5.96) author Ilnur Cevik says: "Chilly winds are blowing from Washington these days despite the advent of spring...

    It is no secret that the Clinton administration is going out of its way to court the Greek-American votes. The red carpet treatment accorded to the Greek president recently at the White House and the statements made during and after his visit were just some of many indicators of how the Americans will use their preferences when they have to deal with Turkey and Greece.

    We do not want to compare Demirel's low-key working visit to the White House and the way Clinton went out of his way to welcome the Greek president... We are aware the nature of the two visits were different and it will take several more years before the Americans will host a Turkish president officially at the White House...

    But all these are rather superficial. Actions speak louder than words and unfortunately American actions against Turkey and its vital interests are really very noticeable these days...

    The American administration may try to win as many Greek votes as they can but this should not be at the cost of hurting Turkish-American relations and the vital interests of Turkey.

    Turkey wants to build-up its navy and thus it has purchased three frigates from the United States. Despite repeated promises by President Clinton, the delivery of the vessels has been held up because of objections voiced by some pro-Greek congressmen. They claim the frigates may spoil the balance of power in the Aegean. The same antagonistic attitude is also displayed in the sale of American helicopter gunships to Turkey. Here, too, congressmen feel Turkey will use these `copters against people of Kurdish origin instead of separatist terrorists...

    So Turkey is denied American arms these days...

    As if this was not enough, the American have also altered their policy on Cyprus dramatically and say that Greek Cyprus can become a full member of the European Union even if the Cyprus issue remains unsolved. Before they were saying the Greeks should sort out their differences with the Turks on Cyprus before they can become a member of the EU... This is a blow to the Turks and will only increase Greek Cypriot intransigence...

    What the Americans seem to forget is the fact that they could not force Turkey to submit to their demands even during the period in the 1970s when Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey and stopped all aid to us. That only increased anti-American sentiment in Turkey.

    Today the actions of the United States only serve to strengthen the hands of the anti-American and anti-Western camp in Turkey. These people will now say`this is what you get from being a loyal friend of the US.'

    Turkish-American relations should not be sacrificed for a few votes. Yet it seems there is more to this than mere votes. The United States is also aiming to put pressure on Turkey to convince it to extend the mandate of Operation Provide Comfort... this kind of blackmail will never work on Turkey. On the contrary, this will push the Turks to become more inward looking and will strengthen the position of those who preach anti-US sentiments..."

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