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Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media 96-08-21

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.149/96 21.8.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] How Turkish mainland press viewed the killings of the Greek Cypriot youths.

  • [02] IHD speaks out on Cyprus.

  • [03] Turkey supports new "coalition".

  • [04] New address for London "office".

  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] An objective assessment of Cyprus realities by a Turkish journalist.


  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] How Turkish mainland press viewed the killings of the Greek Cypriot youths

    The cold-blooded murder of the two unarmed Greek Cypriot youths in Dherinia, the first by a Turkish mob on 11 August who especially came to Cyprus for this occasion, and the second on 14 August by the Turkish occupation troops, who were protesting the continuing occupation of part of the island and the curtailing of the freedom of movement in Cyprus by the occupation troops, was widely reported in Turkish mainland press.

    The mainland press is clearly divided in its assessement of the two incidents.

    The one group, headed by M. Ali Birand and Sedat Sertoglu, advocates the inviolability of the "borders" and the "flag" but admits that it "lynching" the one youth and shooting the other from a point-blank range was excessive. Prof. Kemal Kirsci, faculty staff at the Bogazici University has even said: "As far as I am concerned, a state, which, instead of catching and putting an intruder on trial, takes the gun and kills a person by shooting through his neck, is a weak state" (YENI YUZYIL - 19.8.96).

    In his turn Sami Kohen (MILLIYET 17.8.96) under the title. "It is time to conclude peace "analyses the two killings and the repercussions and admits that especially the shooting of the Greek Cypriot youth by the Turkish occupation troops made the Turkish side look like the guilty side.

    In his turn M. Ali Birand (SABAH 16.8.96) in his article "Couldn't we have stopped the Greek Cypriot fanatics without killing him?" claims that by killing the Greek Cypriot protestors, "the Turkish side was tricked into the Greek Cypriot plot".

    "Even pro-Turkish writers" admits Birand, "ask us what these two fanatics could do, and say that killing them is a very heavy punishment". "As you know", goes on Birand, "somebody, somewhere took the wrong decision. No one has the power, and should not have the power to lower our flag from its mast. However, we have to find other methods and means to secure this, which will deter those who wish to do it from doing it".

    Ali Bayramoglu, (YENI YUZYIL 17.8.96) under the title "Who are we, What are we?", makes strong criticism. He says: "The mentality that you can shoot from point - blank range an unarmed fanatic through the neck cannot force me to accept that he should be killed by a professional when he could have been shot at the leg. I am unable to undertsand who, why, and for what purpose permitted the Turkish youth to go in convoys from Turkey armed with iron bars and wooden clubs, with nails on them, in order to defend the borders. I cannot understand the logic of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials that `if the Greek Cypriot youth had not been killed and if he had been shoot at the leg, the next day thousands of Greek Cypriots would be attempting to cross the border.'

    He strongly criticizes this mentality and logic. Ahmet Insel in his column in YENIYUZYIL (18.8.96) using the well-known Turkish proverb "sticking the darning needle into yourself" strongly criticizes the lynching by the Turkish mob and the shooting by the occupation troops of the two Greek Cypriots and says:

    "Let us, in a cool headed manner, make an evaluation of ourselves and ask the following: Do we have to deny and render justifiable, in these two events, the Greek Cypriot side's saying that `the Turks are barbarians?

    Do you think it is civilization to present the lynching of an unarmed and defenceless person by facsist gangs using iron bars and wooden clubs, as bravery? I wonder how you will then describe the shooting like a bird of a street bully with a cigarette between his lips who tries to climb the mast to lower the flag, and the boasting about it.

    The first step to leave barbarism behind is to realize ones own barbaric activities" declares Insel.

    On the other hand HURRIYET's (18.8.96) chief editor Oktay Eksi justifies the killings with fanatical approach.

    Columnists from TURKIYE and other nationalist papers support the killings as teaching a lesson to the Greek Cypriots. (MY)

    [02] IHD speaks out on Cyprus

    According to Turkish Daily News (20.8.96) the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) has issued a statement to the press condemning recent incidents on Cyprus and in Istanbul, where the Greek High School was attacked on August 17.

    Accusing both the Turkish and Greek authorities of "approaching their minorities as hostages", the statement blamed fascist and racist groups for the violence that has occurred, and which has so far left two Greek Cypriots dead on the divided Mediterranean island. "Some war sympathizers and militarists are trying to provoke the media, and the media, which is influenced by these provocations, makes insulting announcements. The political parties are also taking part in this provocation," the statement continued.

    "Countries must not use the public as a tool. Turkey and Greece must stop violent attacks against the citizenship and human rights that have been guaranteed by the international agreements," the IHD concluded.

    [03] Turkey supports new "coalition"

    KIBRIS (21.8.96) reports that Turkey's so-called envoy to the occupied area Aydan Karahan has declared that Turkey will extend every support to the new so-called Democratic Party (DP) - National Unity Party (NUP) "coalition government". He further said that he was sure that the new "coalition" will overcome all kinds of problems and that it will be a stable "government".

    "Turkey will make all the necessary sacrifices for the happiness and prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots", declared Karahan. (MY)

    [04] New address for London "office"

    KIBRIS (21.8.96) reports that the so-called London office of the pseudostate, which until recently was housed at 28 Cockspur Street near Trafalgar Square, is now housed at 29 Bedford Square WCI and its new telephone number is 0171-631-1920, London. (MY)

    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] An objective assessment of Cyprus realities by a Turkish journalist

    Ahmet Altan writing in YENI YUZYIL (20.8.96) under the title "Lies of the Island" says: "For days now you see scenes on television that make people's blood freeze. Greek Cypriot youths attacking the borders in Cyprus, and those National Action Party (MHP) members that we sent there from here beating them to death with iron rods; Greek Cypriot youths being hunted down, or a silly man, who thinks he is engaged in street fighting, shot dead through the neck while trying to climb on the flag mast.

    In reply to the events in Cyprus Greeks in Komotini get angry and wild and attack ethnic Turks and our Consulate there.

    Reciprocal statements and cursing fill the air. The smell of war, like the smell of something burning, is coming from far away.

    We see on television the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Commander of the Turkish Forces in Cyprus, the MHP youth, Denktash and the journalists. Well, while looking at them, don't you wonder `where are the Turkish Cypriots?' Did you ever come across, either in a newspaper or on a TV screen, the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented at the parliament? Don't you consider the absence of the Turkish Cypriot politicians strange, when on a very serious issue, from which even war could erupt, you hear only the statements of the Turkish politicians and their collaborator, Denktash? Don't you consider this absence odd?

    No, you don't, because you do not notice that there are Turkish Cypriots living in Cyprus. You almost did not see their representatives, you do not know what they think. Turkish Cypriots' views and thoughts are not reflected in the Turkish press or on television. They are forbidden by an unnamed law.

    In order not to have an insight on our Cyprus policy, which is based completely on lies, the opposition parties in Cyprus have been continuously subjected to censorship in Turkey.

    I served as a soldier for one year at a border battalion in Cyprus. I have some information about what is going on there. Turkish Cypriots and Turks from Turkey do not like each other that much. If you enter a shop with a military uniform, you will be received coldly. A major part of Turkish Cypriots want the withdrawal of our soldiers from there.

    If they get to trust you (the Turkish Cypriots) they will tell you the following: `Robbery or killing people was unknown to us. We have learned it after the Turks arrived here'.

    Mainland Turks continuously disgrace the Turkish Cypriots by telling them `we have liberated you' and they boast about it.

    These are "emotional" interactions between the Turkish Cypriots and mainland Turks.

    There are, however, more concrete facts.

    The per capita income in the Greek Cypriot side is 18 thousand US dollars. Against this the per capita income in the Turkish side is 2,500 US dollars. Inflation in the Turkish side is uncontrolled, production is at a standstill, and there are no investments. It has been turned into one of the most important centers for narcotics smuggling in the world. Names of top people in Cyprus are said to be involved. There are Turkish parliamentarians who were caught while engaging in smuggling.

    There are 35 thousand civil servants in the TRNC which has a total population of 170 thousand, and their salary is sent over from Turkey.

    An important part of the Turkish Cypriots want to get rid of Turkey.

    On the other hand, we are trying to `liberate' them by force. As it was clearly put by former Turkish Foreign Minister Mumtaz Soysal `Even if the Turkish Cypriots do not want it, we want to liberate them'.

    Exactly the same thing the British were saying about India, Soysal is saying for the Cypriots.

    Moreover, it is not clear what kind of benefits are provided for Turkey by keeping part of Cyprus in its hands. We are continuously sending money to Cyprus from Turkey. We have no economic interest. Since we keep an army corps in Cyprus Greece has increased its military presence on the island. If we look at it from the military point of view, we have made our rival in the Aegean bring its military power to our southern borders.

    From the diplomatic point of view the Cyprus problem has completely isolated Turkey from the world. If you look into this picture you will see a blurred image.

    The Turkish Cypriots do not want to be liberated and we try to `liberate' them by force. However, this liberation has no benefit for us either.

    Well, then, why are we doing this, since it neither serves the Turkish people nor the Turkish Cypriots? Whom does it serve then?

    If you ask this question, and in order to find the answer, you have to ask further questions; that is, who owns houses built by cooperatives in Cyprus, who plundered properties left by Greek Cypriots? Which is the other arm in Turkey of the narcotics smuggling ring in Cyprus?

    Maybe war will break out in Cyprus, maybe people will die. At least you should know for what and for whom this war will be fought." (MY) EF/SK

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