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Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media 96-08-28

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

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.154/96 28.8.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash on integration with Turkey.

  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [02] Uneasiness in Germany about the Ciller visit.


  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash on integration with Turkey

    Ferai Tinc, writing in HURRIYET (18.8.96), reports on a talk he had with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Inter alia, he says: "Denktash wants to hold talks with officials in Ankara as soon as possible. He wants a decision to be made to finalize the TRNC's integration with Turkey. As far as north Cyprus' domestic affairs are concerned, he wants the TRNC to have autonomous status. However, he believes that the TRNC's foreign policy should be managed through Turkey and that the two sides should cooperate on military matters. Denktash said: 'Why should the Greek Cypriots force us to join the EU, which does whatever Greece wants it to do? The world must realize that the Greek Cypriots will not be allowed to take control of Cyprus. Obviously, the Greek Cypriots want the island. Are we going to agree to give it to them?'

    Washington has moved to resolve the Cyprus problem, so the United States and Europe may react to the TRNC's integration with Turkey. However, Denktash is convinced that the risk has to be taken. He asserted: 'There is no alternative. Greece and the Greek Cypriots are moving to get Cyprus under their control. How long are we going to wait? We cannot be expected to tell the United States to cut off our heads with Greece's sword so that it can turn us into a minority community. We will resist that. We must not agree to everything the United States tells us to do'.

    Denktash believes that the recent incidents at the TRNC border show that no partnership can be established with the Greek Cypriot side. He said: `They have disclosed their intention by trying to lower the Turkish flag and hoist the Greek flag in its place'.

    Denktash said that he urged Glafcos Clerides to agree to hold talks so that he can establish whether or not he is sincere. However, Denktash believes that no more time should be wasted at the negotiation table. He also believes that political lobbyists can persuade the United States to take a different approach and that Turkey has to decide what initiatives it should take in that regard. He said: `Turkey can achieve many things if it realizes the extent of its influence. So, it has to make up its mind and tell the whole world. Will it decide to abandon Cyprus?..."

    And Tinc concludes:

    "Denktash wants to see the TRNC's integration with Turkey realized, regardless of the fact that the entire world may oppose it. He believes that integration can be realized by the Eroglu Administration in the TRNC and the Erbakan Government in Turkey. Denktash asserted: `Mr. Erbakan served Cyprus in 1974. I believe that he will seriously consider this initiative.' His remarks indicated that he particularly trusts the Welfare Party wing of the coalition government on this matter."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [02] Uneasiness in Germany about the Ciller visit

    HURRIYET's Ferai Tinc (26.8.96) reports on Ciller's forthcoming visit to Germany and says: "Bonn is uneasy about Turkish Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller's visit scheduled to begin on September 12. Bonn had to issue a denial when Ciller had, prior to the December 24, 1995 general election in Turkey, declared that Chancellor Helmut Kohl had called her and given her assurances on various issues.

    Now Bonn is worried. What if Ciller makes unrealistic demands and tries to exploit this visit to boost her position in the domestic political arena in Turkey?

    Then the visit traditionally paid by all new Turkish foreign ministers, might not yield the expected results. It might fail. This is the reason for the uneasiness felt in Bonn.

    I asked sources close to the German Foreign Ministry what they meant by `unrealistic demands'. They said, `If Foreign Minister Ciller insists that Cyprus should not become a full member of the European Union before Turkey does, and expects assurances from us on this issue, that would not do. It would not be a realistic demand.'

    Germany is one of the EU members who has been supportive of the idea that the Greek Cypriot side should not be admitted as a full member on its own before a settlement is reached in Cyprus. But German officials do not react warmly to the possibility of Turkey presenting this as a condition for Turkish full membership. They say such a stipulation would make it more difficult for Germany to help Turkey.

    Why is there an expectation that Ciller will push that issue to the foreground? Do the German officials think that she wants to be able to say to the Turkish public: `See, (Prime Minister Necmettin) Erbakan has brought messages from the Islamic countries and I am the Western leg of the coalition. I have secured for you Bonn's support on the Cyprus issue and an assurance about Turkish full membership in the EU'. One cannot help but remember the old Turkish adage which says that having an unfavourable reputation, even when this is not justified, is a fate worse than death.

    In the Western capitals there is still speculation that Ciller insisted on attending the EU troika dinner in Madrid primarily because she wanted to have her photo taken beside leaders such as Chirac, Kohl and Dini. It is being whispered that Ciller used the European leaders as `extras' to sway the Turkish public opinion.

    The attitude in these cities is that a Turkish Foreign Minister would always be welcome. The point is, however, when the foreign minister is Tansu Ciller, they feel the need to raise their guard.

    Germany is drawing up the boundaries of the Ciller visit in the following manner:

    Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel will say that Germany plans to support interests in Turkey. He will promise full support in this regard on behalf of the German government. But that is all. Bonn's agenda does not include any pledge for Turkish full membership in the EU.

    Also, the German side is prepared to reiterate during the visit that it supports Turkey in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorism.

    But during the visit Ciller will be posed question asking her what happened to her promise in Strasbourg in June 1995 to the European parliamentarians to make reforms in the human rights area. It has been a year since then. They will ask what steps she has taken.

    It will be interesting to see what Ciller's reply will be. There is a widely-held conviction that the promises she made prior to the finalization of the EU-Turkey customs union, have not been fulfilled.

    German officials stress that Ciller's visit will not be any different than the similar, traditional visits paid in the past by newly-appointed Turkish foreign ministers. They see it as a visit which will not go beyond the usual mutual declarations of goodwill and friendship. They say that, in this context, the visit will prove successful.

    What is making Bonn uneasy is that this time the visiting minister is Tansu Ciller."

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