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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 96-12-12

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.225/96 12.12.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Inal Batu on Cyprus.
  • [02] Denktash meets UN Envoy, comments on flag incident, missiles.
  • [03] Smuggling of antiquities and old icons continues in the occupied area.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Inal Batu on Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (12.12.96) Turkish Foreign Ministry deputy under-secretary, Ambassador Inal Batu, has declared in the occupied area yesterday that Turkish war aeroplanes will continue to fly over Cyprus.

    Completing his two day visit to the occupied area Inal Batu, answered questions put to him by Turkish journalists. When asked whether Turkey will observe unilateral moratorium on flying over Cyprus Batu said "it is out of question, the Turkish aeroplanes will continue to fly over Cyprus' airspace. There is no unilateral concession. If the Greek aeroplanes fly then the Turkish aeroplanes as well will fly, we will reciprocate."

    Referring to the indirect military dialogue conducted through UN officials Inal Batu said that he hoped that it will end in a positive manner. "From the beginning we have been seeing this effort warmly."

    Commenting on the Cyprus government's objection to the US proposal to impose moratorium on Greek and Turkish aeroplanes flying over Cyprus airspace, Batu alleged that the Cyprus government's objection "has undermined the confidence". Saying that during the meeting he had yesterday with the Commander of the Turkish Occupation Forces, Lt. General Ali Yalcin, they made an evaluation of the military situation, Inal Batu said that Turkey will not remain silent in the face of the Greek Cypriot side's buying of arms having an offensive character. "Greek Cypriots' arming efforts at a time when everybody expects resumption of the dialogue in Cyprus have created drawbacks", claimed Inal Batu.

    "We are exhibiting our reaction on every level, regarding the arming efforts of the Greek Cypriot administration. And no one says we are unfair. Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller will be visiting the Russian Federation between 17-19 December. She will raise the issue of the Greek Cypriot administration's buying of missiles that can reach Turkey. She will most probably underline the importance of the issue", declared Batu.

    "What Turkey wants is the continuation of the balance created in the East Mediterranean in 1960 between Greece and Turkey. The Cyprus Republic established by the 1960 Treaties had the character of a covered Federation. Turkey doesn't want anything new. It is not creating difficulty to anybody. Why should there be a retreat from the partnership in which the Turkish Cypriots are a founding partner", said Inal Batu adding that it was unacceptable to take the Cyprus problem from the UN parameters and reduce it to a EU membership issue. "We are entering into a critical period, evaluation on every level and on every occassion will continue all the year round. This is a very dynamic process. There is no such thing as `today we have solved everything and we are going'. Evaluations will continue".

    Referring to Britain's stance regarding Cyprus' EU membership Inal Batu claimed that the British stance was not unequivocal. They say: Membership for a divided Cyprus will be difficult. We want them to convey the message more openly and more strongly. We will tell this to Han Sung Yoo who will be coming to Ankara in two days time.

    To another question Inal Batu said that it is out of question for Turkey to use the "TRNC" as a trump card when it says that prior to Turkey's EU membership Cyprus cannot be an EU member. (MY)

    [02] Denktash meets UN Envoy, comments on flag incident, missiles

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 10.12.96) Rauf Denktash met with Han Sung-chu, UN Secretary General's special envoy in Cyprus last Tuesday and conferred with him for some time. The meeting, which was also followed by many Greek Cypriot correspondents, lasted one and a half hours.

    In a statement after the meeting, Denktash alleged that the UN officials have also realized the difficulty created by the Greek Cypriot application for EU membership. Han is actively trying to learn the facts, Denktash said, adding that he supplied the UN envoy with the necessary information.

    Asked if the reciprocal withdrawal of soldiers from the "border" areas was discussed during the meeting, Denktash said no. Denktash also commented on the alleged Greek Cypriot attack against the Turkish flag the other day. Denktash claimed "the attack was thwarted as a result of the timely and necessary intervention of the soldier," adding: "If the attack against the flag had actually taken place, our reaction would naturally have been very serious." Denktash said that "the need to arm our soldiers on the border and equip them with live ammunition is still valid." He continued: "However, we gave our soldiers full authority. They are discussing these matters with the United Nations. We will assess and probably accept the outcome of their talks."

    In turn, the UN special representative declared that he is hopeful with regard to direct talks. Han said he intends to intensify his contacts with both sides.

    Meanwhile, Denktash stressed that British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind's arrival on the island will be beneficial. After his meeting with Han, a Greek Cypriot correspondent asked Denktash what he will ask of Rifkind. Denktash responded: "We will not request anything". He claimed: "We are one of the two founding partners according to the 1960 agreements. We are not a minority in a Greek Cypriot Cyprus. It is evident that the agreements are still valid. Mr. Rifkind is coming to Cyprus in this context. He will probably stress these points. He is coming to observe and to understand."

    Stressing that there are certain taboos in Cyprus, Denktash alleged that Cyprus cannot become Greek or Greek Cypriot. "There are two owners of Cyprus" he said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot owner is preventing Cyprus from becoming Greek or Greek Cypriot and will continue to do so in the future. Denktash declared: "This path is not an intelligent one. Turkey is only 40 miles away. It cannot and will not permit such a thing.

    Consequently, let the Greek Cypriots not resort to such folly. It is reported that they bought missiles and that they will hit Turkey. What if Turkey fires missiles at them? How will they exist then? The Greek Cypriots cannot achieve anything through such measures. This is our country, and we will not give it away."

    [03] Smuggling of antiquities and old icons continues in the occupied area

    KIBRIS (12.12.96) reports under banner headlines that Denktash's "police" arrested two youths who were involved in antiques smuggling.

    KIBRIS reports that "police" found 26 icons and 16 antique implements and five religious books in a van belonging to the smugglers.

    It says that these items have not been stolen from the museums run by the so-called Department of Antiquities. The paper claims that these items were plundered from churches during the 1974 invasion. The paper says that the market value of the stolen items amounts to 8 billion TL. (One Cyprus Pound equals approximately 200,000 TL:Tr. note) (MY) EF/SK

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