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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 96-11-26

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

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 213/96 26.11.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash urges Turkish Cypriots, Turkey to take action.
  • [02] Opinion poll in Turkey shows Turkey's political profile.
  • [03] Denktash leaves for Istanbul.
  • [04] Akbel claims air base near Paphos will escalate tension.
  • [05] Denktash sends another letter to President Clerides.
  • [06] Pseudostate's so-called Junior Chamber "integrates" with Junior Chamber Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Birand views Greek approach to Erbakan, ties with west.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash urges Turkish Cypriots, Turkey to take action

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1330 hours, 25/11/96), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said that "the Greek Cypriots are acting with the belief that they won their cause" and that the confirmation will be coming from the EU. He claimed that given this situation it is time for the Turkish Cypriots to wake up and take action, and for Turkey to realize what things have come to, and "to hit the table", as he put it.

    Denktash visited the "Foreign Press Union" yesterday and spoke to reporters. He expressed the hope that the Union will become an information center open to foreign press members that will come from the Greek Cypriot side. He said: "Let us make our voices - which we have not been able to make heard until now - heard in the world through these friends."

    Denktash stressed that the Cyprus question will be a very lively and active issue for both sides in 1997. He outrageously claimed that "because they were unable to eliminate the Turkish Cypriots during the invasion, the Greek Cypriots are trying to condemn them politically and give them a minority status." Denktash stated that it is necessary to be prepared for all the storms that might come their way in 1997.

    He also claimed that it is "shameful" that the Greek Cypriots found five turkish Cypriots guilty for the death of the Greek Cypriot youth during the August incidents.

    [02] Opinion poll in Turkey shows Turkey's political profile

    Hurriyet (22/11/96) reports that SONAR recently conducted an opinion poll during which the respondents were interviewed on Turkey's political profile and the initiative to have a new press law (on press censorship) enacted.

    The poll reveals that a large section of the people, including many members of the Welfare Party (RP) - True Path Party (DYP) Coalition, oppose the bill on press censorship. Some 59 percent of respondents opposed the bill. DYP supporters made up 55 percent of the number.

    The poll also showed that the RP and the Motherland Party (ANAP) will be the two political parties that will struggle against each other when elections are held. The RP emerged as the leading party with the support of 18.9 percent of the electorate after the votes of the undecided were distributed. The runner up was the ANAP with 18.7 percent of the votes. The DYP and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) will compete with 15.5 and 15.4 percent respectively.

    According to the poll, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) will cross the threshold with 11.2 percent of the votes but the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) will fail to do so with 9.6 percent. Specifically, the parties got the following percentages:

                                                 Percentage
    ANAP                                            18.7
    DYP                                             15.5
    CHP                                              9.6
    DSP                                             15.4
    RP                                              18.9
    MHP                                             11.2
    HADEP (People's Democracy Party)                 5.3
    BBP (Great Unity Party)                          2.3
    Other                                            3.1
    

    [03] Denktash leaves for Istanbul

    KIBRIS (26.11.96) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will be leaving the occupied area for Istanbul tomorrow.

    On Wednesday Denktash will attend a Conference organized by the Istanbul War Academies Command on the Cyprus problem and on Thursday he will be present at a meeting where his latest took will be presented to the public. He will return to the occupied area on that same day.

    [04] Akbel claims air base near Paphos will escalate tension

    According to ANATOLIA agency (1710 hours, 26/11/96), Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Omer Akbel has claimed that the construction of an air base to be used by Greek war planes near Paphos "is a development which will inevitably escalate the tension on the island."

    In reply to a question during his weekly news conference, Akbel also claimed that "such initiatives on the part of the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks will in no way contribute to the speedy and easy solution of the problem."

    The air base, which is being constructed in the Paphos region within the framework of the Greek-Greek Cypriot joint defense doctrine will be operational in 1997. The aim is to establish a link between Cyprus and the bases belonging to the Greek Air Force and to allow Greek transport and war planes to be based in Cyprus for extended periods.

    [05] Denktash sends another letter to President Clerides

    All the local papers of today report about Denktash's latest reply letter to President Clerides.

    The eleven-page letter was delivered to the President on 12 November. (M.Y.)

    [06] Pseudostate's so-called Junior Chamber "integrates" with Junior Chamber Turkey

    KIBRIS (22/11/96) reports that the so-called Junior Chamber North Cyprus has been "integrated" with Junior Chamber Turkey. Earlier this month the 1996 Admissions Committee of Junior Chamber International (JCI) had recommended to the General Assembly of JCI that "Full Affiliation Status should not be granted to North Cyprus now or in the future".

    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Birand views Greek approach to Erbakan, ties with West

    Writing in SABAH (21/11/96) under the title "Greece is extreemely pleased with Erbakan", Mehmet Ali Birand says: "Emerging from our cocoon occasionally and studying the developments in the world, especially at our neighbours, can yield very beneficial results. We realize that many of the things we think we know have changed and new policies have been initiated.

    I delivered a lecture as the guest of the Athens University. I had lunch with Greek Foreign Minister Pangalos, and I learned what official policy is and what it is not, as well as what the media and the public think. At times I laughed, and at times I was concerned.

    The Greeks are very pleased with Erbakan. In the same way we were once secretly pleased that Papandreou was prime minister, the Greeks are now experiencing the same pleasure. The anti-west attitude and Erbakan, who has chosen the Islamic world as his goal, are being lauded. Since he came to power, there have practically been no-anti Erbakan articles in the press. The Greek Government did not issue one critical sentence.

    Very interesting signs are emanating, especially from the Greek press. Certain famous and influential writers claim that the policies Erbakan is trying to bring about will take the pressure off of Greece.

    1. They believe that Turkey's influence in Washington and Brussels has begun to disappear because of Erbakan and that Ankara is becoming isolated in the Western world, especially with the erosion of Ciller's credibility.

    2. The conjecture that Turkey, which is turning towards Islam and the East, will not pose as great a threat against Greece as in the past is spreading.

    Moreover, on the basis of these two arguments, certain politicians and thinkers suggest that Erbakan should be encouraged. Articles are written in the following vein: Let us be of assistance so that Turkey turns more towards the East.

    This approach has not yet become official policy, but in conjuction with practical attitudes, plans may actually be initiated to sever Turkey's relations with the West. The Customs Union is being pressured to inhibit Turkish-European cooperation. Organinizations such as the European Parliament and the Council of Europe are being incited against Turkey on the pretext of human rights and democracy. Efforts are being exerted to prod Turkey to abolish the Customs Union by suspending the funds necessary to implement the Customs Union.

    Intense lobbying is under way to prevent the intergovernmental conference on the future of the EU from citing any prospects with regard to Turkey's full membership and to dampen any hopes for membership even in the years 2000. It is believed that if these efforts yield any fruit, Turkey's ties with the EU will snap and it will be excluded from Europe thanks to Erbakan's anti-West attitude. In such a case, it is assumed that, being the last border of Europe, Greece's prestige and influence will increase.

    The same logic applies to the relations with Washington. There are many Greeks, who are lobbying for the U.S. Administration and Congress to intensify their pressure.

    At first glance, this reasoning seems logical for the Greeks, but no one grasps that it could provoke unexpected results in the future. No one seems to realize that if Turkey is forced to pursue an islamic policy under Erbakan, Greece will also be affected by this.

    More important, people ignore the fact that Turkey will continue to have strategic importance for the West, regardless of whether it is governed by a fundamentalist party or an anti-West party like Iran or Libya. Let us not deceive one another. The West cannot renounce Turkey. In time, relations may change shape or lose their old enthusiasm, but they will never break. Since it cannot move into another region, Turkey will always preserve its importance and this importance will increase even further.

    In the next century, the oil and natural gas of the Caucasus and Central Asia will become topical issues. The world's oil needs, especially those of China and India, will increasingly be provided by these regions. And Turkey will be on the transporation route of this oil and natural gas to the West. No one can ignore Turkey in such a position.

    Greece and Erbakan are not powerful enough to disconnect Turkey from the West. Those who subscribe to this way of thinking in Athens will definitely realize that they are miscalculating. Even if Turkey turns towards the East, its ties with the West are so intermingled and based on mutual interest that it is impossible to sever them.

    Instead of preoccupying itself with such dreamlike theories, Greece must formulate a new policy on Turkey. The policy of "no talks" is not working.

    In contrast with public opinion and the media, there are signs that the greek Foreign Ministry has launced an interesting quest for new moves. I will comment on this subject in my future articles."

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