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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 96-11-29
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TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 216/96 29.11.96
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Pauline Green: I oppose the position taken by Mr. Denktash on Cyprus problemTurkish Daily News (28.11.96) publishes the text of an interview with Pauline Green, the leader of the European Parliament's Socialist Group. She said she never regretted approving Turkey's customs union but was disappointed to see Turkish authorities forgetting promises they had made to European Parliament before the approval.
"What has happened since the vote, has been appalling. There were various proposals, promises made about the continuation of the democratic reform, human rights reform, the Kurdish issue and Cyprus. Not only none of these happened but it has all gone backwards," she said.
"Now we are saying `we hold out the hand of friendship and now you have slapped us in the face. OK, we will stop the money.' It is all we have left. We cannot withdraw the customs union, because it is an international agreement but we can stop the money promised to Turkey by the Customs union agreement. The EP has right to do that in the budget and we will. We are saying that `now it is your turn to give us something,'" Green underlined.
Stating that there is a huge amount of antagonism towards Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller as "the one who has taken some of the most aggressive and hostile public statements against us", Mrs Green added: "Had I seen in the political parties in Turkey a real intention to change public attitudes, on, for instance, human rights and democracy, on the need to reform the constitution, then I might have thought `oh, they are serious about their promises, because they are putting themselves at risk politically'. But you do not see that. You hear promises."
Asked what will be the British Labour Party's foreign policy principles if they come to power, Green expressed:
"The principles on which the Labour party policies will be carried out are very clear; human rights will be an important element, as well as the minority rights. Labour Party has a very clear policy on Cyprus, and the relationship with Turkey is part of that. We want to see a solution to Cyprus and we expect Turkey to be more active and supportive."
Referring to the recent attacks she came under from the Turkish Cypriot community living in the UK, Green said that the attacks were based on propaganda and not on reality.
"I am prepared for people to argue my political position. I can understand and respect people who will argue a political position. I do not understand and I do not conduct my politics on the basis of nasty and aggressive, hostile personal attacks and lies. That is what these people are doing."
"I find their approach to politics very dubious, I think it is the worst aspect of politics. I have invited them to come and meet me in the last couple of months so they could hear what my views are. They always refused to come and meet me. My views are always open. I have good relations with many Turkish Cypriot associations, I have many friends among them. I meet them from time to time. I meet leaders from Turkish Cypriot Cyprus whenever they are here.
I am not cut off or isolated from the Turkish Cypriots as they think of me. I am just very sorry that this group of people who seem to be motivated by hate are actually engaged in this sort of politics", she said.
Referring to the accusations made by the Turkish Cypriots that she participated into the protests held in Cyprus where Greek Cypriots were killed, Green said that such things were nonsense.
"What they say is that I was present in the riot which led to the deaths of the Greek Cypriots. It is a complete lie. I was not in Cyprus over the summer when the Greek Cypriots were killed. I did not go anywhere near Cyprus in August or in September. I was in fact on the hills of North Wales when these Greek Cypriots were killed".
Addressing to the claims that "EP had attacked unfairly to Turkish Cypriot soldiers reaction to the people ignoring the warnings," Green said that any flag would not worth shooting somebody for.
"Everybody accepts and understands that they were unarmed people and the UN were in control, and there was no need for people to be killed. It was an overreaction", she underlined.
Asked whether she was, as alleged, supportive of Greek Cypriots more than the Turkish Cypriots, Green replied:
"I do not believe that I favour Greek Cypriots. I am in support of Cyprus. I worked long and hard with many Turkish Cypriots. If people say to me `you oppose the position taken by Mr. Denktash' I would say `you are right'. I do not believe that his approach to the solution of the Cyprus problem is in the right way. I have a lot in common and I work very closely with many Turkish Cypriot opposition parties. I understand that the issue of security is crucial to the Turkish Cypriot people. I have always argued this that any solution to the Cyprus problem should give guarantee of security to Turkish Cypriots."
When asked on which points she was opposing Mr. Denktash, Green elaborated: "My basis for saying that I do not agree with his political position is that all the international observations, reports put forward by UN special envoy, or EU special envoy on Cyprus problem, have been expressing that the blame rests with Mr. Denktash overwhelmingly. Mr. Denktash has been opposing the confidence building measures for a long time. The moment Mr. Clerides said that he had enough and that he does not recognize the measures, Mr. Denktash said he agreed. This sort of approach certainly does not help."
Regarding Cyprus' EU membership, Mrs Green, inter alia said: "I have been trying my best to demonstrate to Turkish Cypriots that joining the EU would actually give them some support. It would actually enable them to have status to take part with Greek Cypriots on behalf of Cyprus in the EU. I have been trying to demonstrate to them how Europe would encourage and support Turkish Cypriot business, how it would ensure that their culture and community continue to exist as a distinct part of Cyprus. All of these is posited on Cyprus joining the EU", Green said, repeating her arguments that Cyprus's membership to EU would solve the problem.
Reminded that Turkish Cypriots were opposing to the idea of joining the EU before a solution is reached in the island, Green said that people should stop worrying about whether the solution was before or after joining the EU.
"Lets stop worrying about whether it is before or after. Lets just get on and find a solution. They say `we do not want to join the EU before a solution is reached'. That is all they talk about. Stop talking about it, lets just put our efforts in finding a solution. The EU made it very clear that they will begin the negotiations six months after the Inter-governmental conference ended. It is somewhere about first half of the 1998. We have got almost 18 months. If we put all our energies and efforts in finding a solution we will find one." "What solution that isn't my job to tell. It is up to Turkish and Greek Cypriots to find a sort of government that they could work together in. All I am concerned about is firstly, that a solution is found and secondly it subscribes to internationally recognized principles of equality, of democracy and human rights", she added. EF/SK