|Friday, 4 December 2020|
Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media 96-07-31
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TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 137/96 31.7.96
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 NUP APPROVES "COALITION" ACCORD; EROGLU TO HOLD TOP POST
 DENKTASH: NO INVITATION RECEIVED YET FOR MILITARY TALKS
 TURKISH POPULATION GROWTH RATE ON THE SLIDE
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 ALI BIRAND ON CYPRUS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 NUP APPROVES "COALITION" ACCORD; EROGLU TO HOLD TOP POSTAccording to illegal Bayrak Radio (0500 hours, 30/7/96) the authoritative bodies of the National Unity Party (NUP) have approved the initial agreement on the issue of setting up a "coalition government" with the Democratic Party (DP).
Recalling that he met with DP leader Serdar Denktash last Monday, NUP leader Dervis Eroglu added: "We reached a unity of views on the issues of the establishment of the government and the distribution of ministries on condition that these decisions are approved by the respective authoritative councils." Eroglu explained that he will assume the post of "prime minister" and Serdar Denktash the post of "deputy prime minister". Eroglu added: "We will now wait for the DP decision on this issue. Should the DP's decision be positive, we will hold a joint news conference with Serdar Denktash and announce the NUP-DP coali tion."
In turn, Serdar Denktash said that the DP feels it must display self-sacrifice, set aside personal interests for the good of communal interests, and strengthen the future of the pseudos tate adding that work should be conducted in a bid to secure the best solution.
 DENKTASH: NO INVITATION RECEIVED YET FOR MILITARY TALKSAccording to illegal Bayrak Radio (1530 hours, (30/7/96) Rauf Denktash has announced that the Turkish Cypriot side has not yet received an invitation in connection with the military dialogue, which is slated to take place under the auspices of the UNFICYP Commander.
Denktash replied to a Greek Cypriot journalist's question on the subject after meeting with the French minister in charge of European affairs. Denktash remarked that a meeting must be held between the commanders of the two sides. Denktash noted that he does not want any more incidents to erupt in the "border", adding that such a meeting will reduce the danger along the "border". Denktash also asked the Greek Cypriot reporters not to encourage, as he put it, the Greek Cypriot motocyclists who want to rally on 11 August. Denktash claimed that attempting such an act "without obtaining the necessary permit from the TRNC authorities" will create difficulties and further complicate the solution of the problem.
 TURKISH POPULATION GROWTH RATE ON THE SLIDEAccording to Turkish Daily News (30/7/96) the population growth rate is expected to fall according to estimations made by the Turkish government in the 7th Five Year Development Plan, the Anatolia news agency reported. The plan stated that the popula tion growth rate has fallen from 1.71 in 1995 to 1.68 this year. It is estimated that for 1997 this rate will fall further still to 1.5.
The population of Turkey is expected to increase to 63.22 million, up from 62.7 million as of July this year. The ferility rate has also fallen from 2.62 children per woman in 1995 to 2.55 this year and is estimated to fall to 2.33 in 1997. A fertility rate below two leads to a fall in population, as is now being experienced by many countries in Europe. In the first six months of 1996, the population has increased by 526,000 and is expected to reach to 67.33 million by the end of the year 2000.
Another conclusion made by the plan is that Turkey has an ageing population. In 1995 the average life expectancy for women was 70.3 years and for men 65.7. The estimates for 1996 put the figures at 70.5 for women, 65.9 for men. By the end of the year 2000, the figures are estimated to be 71.5 for women, 66.9 for men.
One positive aspect of a falling population growth rate will be the accompanying decrease in the proportion of children to adults, thus relieving the education system.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 ALI BIRAND ON CYPRUSMehmet Ali Birand, writing in SABAH (29/7/96) under the title "Cyprus at the crossroads", says: "The Cyprus file will be opened during the coming months. Preparations have mostly been com pleted. All the countries concerned have elected their represen tatives. In fact there are so many representatives that the issue can be expected to become even more complex than in the past. The United States is playing the role of a locomotive for the solution of the problem. But at the last minute Europe unex pectedly came out to declare that it too is here. It has taken its position, indicating that it will not give the United States a clear field. I have visited Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot regions to take the pulse of not only their leaders but also the man in the street.
Do the Turkish Cypriots really want a solution? Or are they afraid despite the attraction of the prospect of becoming more prosperous? What would happen if no solution can be reached? Would the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have to become integrated with Turkey? How is Turkish Cypriot society affected by that possibility? The replies I received to these questions were surprising. Turkish Cypriot society is upset by the uncer tain situation. They definitely want something to happen. A growing number of them say they want to know where they stand.
Greek Cypriot society, meanwhile, sounds very self-confident. They are taking full European Union (EU) membership for granted. Their view of the Turkish side too has been changing. How could it not change, considering the fact that those Greek Cypriots born in 1974, the year of the Turkish intervention, are now 22 years old and have had no familiarity at all with Turkish Cypriots. The new Greek Cypriot generation has a more rigid attitude.
Main issues in the bargaining process will be as follows:
- Quality: Will the two communities be equal? Or will one of them govern the island as the "majority" while the other one will content itself with expanded minority rights? This is one of the thorniest issues.
- Sovereignty: For the Turkish Cypriot society this is an extremely important issue. The Turkish Cypriot demands on this issue draw an equally adamant negative response from the Greek Cypriots.
- Guarantees: Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot negotiators are also bound to have a hard time regarding the status of the Turk ish Armed Forces presence in Cyprus. There is a wide discrepancy between the two sides on this issue. There is talk of guarantees to be provided by an international force instead of the Turkish troops.
- Property exchange: Now that there is the possibility that a solution can be found to the problems related to the real estate left behind migrants, however remote a possibility that is, everybody is preoccupied by his property. The Greek Cypriots want to return to their former houses. The Turkish Cypriot side is reluctant in this regard. If there is to be an exchange of property between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot migrants, according to what criteria will it be? Curiously, the property the Turkish Cypriots left behind in the southern, Greek Cypriot part of the island, when they migrated to the northern parts have appreciated 45 times more than the property the departing Greek Cypriots left behind in Northern Cyprus. Who do you think would end up the winner in such an exchange?
- Full EU membership: If a political solution is reached then the issue of Cyprus's becoming a full EU member as a whole will be put on the agenda. The Greek Cypriot approach to this issue is quite clear, they want integration with Europe at any cost while there are serious question marks in the minds of Turkish Cypriots.
Many rounds of Cyprus negotiations have been held, each ena bling the parties concerned to cover some significant ground. But this time it is a totally different story. Because this time there will definitely be a final result. The Cyprus problem will be solved in this or that way. The expected timetable is as follows:
- First contacts will be made in September.
- The negotiations will gain momentum in 1997.
- There is a strong possibility that negotiations will start in late 1997 and continue throughout 1998 talks between the EU and Cyprus toward Cypriot full membership in the EU. With these negotiations the Turco-Greek bargaining process will enter the final stage.
- There are allegations to the effect that it will all be brought to an end, positive or otherwise, in late 1998 or in 1998 at the latest.
In the tumultuous period ahead it is very important for the Turkish side to determine exactly what it wants and to take its steps accordingly. We will lose in the end if we continue to conduct foreign policy on a day-to-day basis."