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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-25

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. 37/97 25/2/97


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] HOLBROOKE: "TURKEY'S STRATEGIC LOCATION STILL A MAJOR FACTOR
  • [02] GUL'S CYPRUS REMARKS DRAW PRAISE FROM DENKTASH
  • [03] HANNAY ARRIVES IN ANKARA, SAYS DEMILITARIZATION IS AN ALTERNATIVE
  • [04] DENKTASH LEAVES FOR ISTANBUL
  • [05] TURKISH SPOKESMAN: VAROSHA WILL BE INTEGRATED IF S-300 DEPLOYED
  • [06] TURKISH SPOKESMAN: NATO EXPANSION, S-300'S MUST NOT BE CONFUSED
  • [07] DENKTASH SPEAKS OF 'UNCHANGEABLE' PARAMETERS
  • [08] IDEALIST HEARTHS THREATEN TO 'HURL MISSILES' TO FREE AREAS
  • [09] TURKISH CYPRIOTS REPORT ON ARRESTED GREEK CYPRIOT YOUTH
  • [10] TEHRAN PROTESTS TO TURKEY OVER GEN. BIR'S REMARKS
  • [11] AMBASSADOR BRILL SAYS BOTH SIDES MUST CHANGE OLD VIEWS
  • [12] TURKEY'S LONDON AMBASSADOR CLAIMS GREEK CYPRIOTS ARE ARMING THEMSELVES TO ATTACK
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [13] COLUMNIST SAYS US OFFICIALS FIND GUL'S VIEWS ON CYPRUS LAUGHABLE

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] HOLBROOKE: "TURKEY'S STRATEGIC LOCATION STILL A MAJOR FACTOR

    According to Turkish Daily News (24/2/97), contrary to some observers' claim that Turkey has lost its geostrategic significance in the post-Cold-War era, a former senior U.S. official asserted that Turkey's geostrategic location continues to be the main backbone of Turkish-U.S. bilateral security relations.

    The former Assistant Secretary for European and Canadian Affairs Richard Holbrooke, who is currently a banker on the Wall Street in New York City, told a jam-packed audience at American-Turkish Council's award banquet, said "as a private citizen I am committed to remain a friend of Turkey." Holbrooke received the Council's Distinguished Citizen award.

    After praising hard work accomplished by U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Marc Grossman and former U.S. representative to the European Union Stuart Eizenstat, Holbrooke said "there is still such a thing as a front line state... Turkey is a front-line state", and "critical importance of Turkey can not be overlooked."

    Turkey should be regarded "a European country in every sense of the word," he said. European Customs Union process was accomplished under "intense U.S. pressure" and if it wasn't for that pressure Turkey would not be accepted as a new member of ECU, Holbrooke boasted.

    Yet, Holbrooke made it clear that, in his judgment such critical importance did not issue from "enhanced partnership" but Turkey's geostrategic importance.

    Most see the Turkish-U.S. relationship "as strategic in the old-fashioned sense of the word. The word is not obsolete," Holbrooke said.

    When Turkey entered northern Iraq in 1995, Holbrooke said he and his colleagues again had to expend great energies to withstand the Congressional presures to have Turkish troops pull out immediately. "We held off six or seven Resolutions, giving Turkey a chance to work things out," he said.

    On the Greek-Turkish dispute, Holbrooke said "Greece should understand that a stable and prosperous Turkey is to Greece's best interests. And a stable prosperous Greece is to Turkey's bests interests. "In this effort to resolve the disputes, businessmen can play a crucial role", Holbrooke said.

    In another article in the same paper, it is reported that Turkish Minister of Defense Turhan Tayan was among the top VIPs meeting with his counterparts in Washington in the past few days. Tayan met with Secretary of Defense William Cohen who reportedly assured American support for Turkey's accession to EU as a full member.

    During a press conference he held last Saturday, Tayan again repeated others' views that the expansions of NATO and EU could not be taken as totally separate processes.

    "We shared our long-term requests with the U.S. officials," Tayan said. Among the promises Cohen gave Tayan apparently is the promise to help U.S. Congress stop the purchasing of Russian-made S-300 missiles by the Greek Cypriots.

    Tayan said he assured the Administration officials that Turkey would not deviate from the path of secularism.

    [02] GUL'S CYPRUS REMARKS DRAW PRAISE FROM DENKTASH

    According to Turkish Daily News (24/2/97) the statement of State Minister Abdullah Gul that a solution in Cyprus may not necessarily be found in a two-state federation made Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash exclaim "that's very nice."

    Gul, recently in Washington for the annual American-Turkish Council meetings, claimed the experience before the 1974 Turkish invasion shows that the two communities have difficulties in coexisting.

    He said "different views on what the solution can be" must be discussed, letting it be understood that both sides would be more satisfied with some kind of a solution which would keep them separate.

    Rauf Denktash claimed that had Greek Cypriots wanted creation of a partnership federation, it could have been achieved long ago.

    Denktash further alleged a federation on the island could become possible only after the United States, the United Nations, and Europe tell the Greek Cypriots that they are sovereign only in southern Cyprus and that there is "a sovereign Turkish people in northern Cyprus."

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said he was not burning the bridges (of the establishment of a federation) but "we cannot beg for the establishment of a federation." He said parameters for the establishment of a Cyprus federation were on the negotiating table and repeated his call to President Clerides to accept the resumption of direct talks for a Cyprus settlement. "This settlement", Denktash said, "could be a federation, a confederation or cooperation between two sovereign states. If these cannot be achieved, we shall integrate with Turkey. We may establish a federation with Turkey... We have no other alternative", he claimed.

    Reacting to an offer by President Clerides to include Turkish representatives in the Cypriot team to negotiate for the island's European Union membership, Turkish Cypriot "officials" claimed that the statement of the Greek Cypriot leader was yet another example of his perception of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    "He thinks that under pressure and duress we shall accept minority treatment. Turkish Cypriots are partners in the sovereignty of Cyprus and without Turkish Cypriot consent, under the 1960 treaties and the 1960 Constitution, Greek Cypriots cannot enter the European Union. If they do, that means end of the 1960 system all together and we shall have no other option but to integrate with Turkey," a top "official" claimed.

    Denktash, meanwhile, without making a direct reference to the offer of President Clerides said if Greek Cypriots integrate with the European Union, Turkish Cypriots will integrate with Turkey and make northern Cyprus "the Hong Kong of Turkey."

    He said the occupied area will become a free trade area not only for Turkey but for the international community. "If we can convert northern Cyprus into a free and cheap trade area, this land will become a heaven," Denktash said.

    [03] HANNAY ARRIVES IN ANKARA, SAYS DEMILITARIZATION IS AN ALTERNATIVE

    According to TRT (23 and 24/2/97) Sir David Hannay, the British Foreign Office special envoy for Cyprus, arrived in Ankara last Sunday to hold contacts.

    In reply to reporters' questions at Ankara's Esenboga Airport, Hannay said that the Cyprus issue should be resolved along the lines of the principles formulated by the UN Security Council.

    Stressing that he is optimistic about solving the issue, Hannay added that a solution acceptable to both sides can be secured by way of negotiations. Noting that setting up a bicommunal federal state on the island can secure peace, Hannay said this kind of a political solution can also eliminate the issues between Turkey and Greece.

    In reply to a question in connection with Greek Cypriot side's purchase of arms from Russia, Hannay said that Cyprus can be completely demilitarized. Hannay continued: "Such a thing can eliminate the island of Cyprus from posing a threat for Turkey. I am not dictating the demilitarization of Cyprus as a solution; I am only considering it as an alternative. The arms race in Cyprus is an undesirable issue."

    Hannay met with Ambassador Inal Batu, assistant under secretary of the Foreign Ministry, yesterday morning.

    In a statement before the meeting, Batu explained that this is Hannay's third trip to Ankara within the framework of his visit incorporating all the sides concerning the Cyprus issue. Pointing out that Turkey will not communicate anything new to Hannay, Batu remarked that the talks will focus on the special envoy's views and planned schedule. Hannay, in turn, stressed that the opportunities for the solution of the Cyprus problem are more favorable now than they were in previous periods.

    [04] DENKTASH LEAVES FOR ISTANBUL

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (0600 hours, 24/2/97) Rauf Denktash left for Istanbul yesterday. Today, he will attend a ceremony at Istanbul University where he will be awarded an honorary doctorate.

    On the same day, Denktash will deliver a lecture at the university on the latest situation in Cyprus. Denktash will attend a dinner to be hosted in his honor by a Turkish businessman and will return to the occupied area the same night.

    According to TRT (1300 hours, 24/2/97) Denktash was received at Istanbul Ataturk Airport by Istanbul Deputy Governor Hikmet Ozbagci; Lieutenant General Edip Baser, commander of the Army III Corps and Western Garrison; and other officials.

    In a statement there, Denktash claimed that the Greek Cypriot side is waging a major struggle to create a world public opinion that is against Turkey and northern Cyprus. He alleged that the Greek Cypriots are playing a "double game", seeming pro-peace on one hand and arming themselves extensively on the other.

    [05] TURKISH SPOKESMAN: VAROSHA WILL BE INTEGRATED IF S-300 DEPLOYED

    According to Anatolia agency (1525 hours, 24/2/97), Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Omer Akbel said on Monday that Varosha (Maras) will be integrated with Famagusta if S-300 missiles purchased from Russia are deployed in the Greek Cypriot side.

    Addressing a weekly news conference, Akbel stressed that Ankara's attitude has been clarified in a joint statement which was signed between Turkey and the occupied area during Rauf Denktash's visit to Ankara.

    Akbel said Ankara supported the statement of Denktash which said Varosha will be integrated with Famagusta if S-300 missiles are deployed in southern Cyprus.

    [06] TURKISH SPOKESMAN: NATO EXPANSION, S-300'S MUST NOT BE CONFUSED

    According to Anatolia agency (1455 hours, 24/2/97) Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Omer Akbel said on Monday that the sale of missiles to Cyprus is a subject which has no direct elements with the subject of the expansion of NATO and the Turkish attitude.

    Addressing a weekly news conference, Akbel said the parameters of the missiles and expansion of NATO were different adding that "we should not confuse these two."

    Responding to a question concerning Russian head of state Boris Yeltsin's statement on the expansion of NATO, Akbel recalled that the expansion of NATO was decided in principle.

    Akbel also stressed that relations with Russia was another issue and added that neither Russia nor any country which is not a member of NATO has the right of veto in the expansion of NATO. "Yet, we should consider legal security concerns of Russia," he added.

    [07] DENKTASH SPEAKS OF 'UNCHANGEABLE' PARAMETERS

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1130 hours, 24/2/97), in a statement to illegal TAK (Turkish Cypriot New Agency) before leaving for Istanbul yesterday, Denktash alleged that for years President Glafcos Clerides has been evading the negotiating table claiming that there are no common grounds between the two communities. Denktash asked: "What common grounds can be found in a few months to start negotiations?"

    Referring to the parameters' included in the Boutros-Ghali Set of Ideas, parameters that the Turkish Cypriots refuse to change, Denktash claimed that the acceptance of the Turkish Cypriots as a political entity that is equal to but separate from the Greek Cypriots constitutes the most important of these parameters. "The fact that one people cannot dominate or rule the other is also one of the unchangeable parameters", Denktash noted, citing the restrictions to be introduced to the three freedoms and the preparation of separate electoral lists - both aimed at preventing the degeneration of the bizonality principle - among the invariable parameters.

    Answering a question on President Clerides' statement that the only counterpart in the EU accession talks is the Cyprus Government but the Turkish Cypriots may be allowed to observe these talks, Denktash claimed that this statement issued in Athens was wrongly interpreted by the Turkish press as the mellowing of President Clerides. Denktash added: "The EU apparently regards the Greek Cypriot Administration as the only counterpart and legitimate government; it views the Turkish Cypriots as a minority that it will contact via the legitimate government. Clerides, in turn, is being clever and trying to attribute minority status to the Turkish Cypriots."

    [08] IDEALIST HEARTHS THREATEN TO 'HURL MISSILES' TO FREE AREAS

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1630 hours, 24/2/97), the pseudostate's nationalist Idealist Hearths association has said that occupied Varosha (Maras) must be reopened for settlement, but that it is the "TRNC" that can carry this out. On behalf of the commitee that is organizing the Varosha rally scheduled for 2 March, Mehmet Arslan held a news conference in occupied Nicosia yesterday. He said that they will take every kind of measure to ensure that no incident occurs that might disturb the so-called Turkish Cypriot security forces or put them on the spot. He called on everyone who will participate to be very careful "so that the great Maras rally is not sabotaged by certain forces." He said that the idealist Hearths believe that Varosha is Turkish and that it would be beneficial to open it to settlement. He added that Varosha must not be used as a trump card.

    Arslan claimed that it is the duty of the pseudostate to open Varosha to settlement, and that his organization is moving to activate the "state's national reflex" by creating public opinion both inside and outside the pseudostate. He stated that the organization will issue a more extensive statement on Thursday. He noted that similar rallies will be held in Turkey on 2 March.

    Arslan said that the pseudostate's "official" foreign policy must be clarified, adding: "We think it would be useful if an official policy were pursued regarding the issues of a federation, integration, or the continuation of the TRNC."

    Arslan stressed that his organization favors the continuation of the "TRNC". He threatened: "If the Greek Cypriots maintain their intransigent attitude and continue to arm themselves, we will be ready to hurl missiles to Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos". Arslan alleged that from now on it must be the "TRNC" that determines the agenda regarding the Cyprus question.

    Arslan said that they expect the support of other organizations for the rally, adding that Varosha is not only their problem, but the problem of the Turkish nation.

    [09] TURKISH CYPRIOTS REPORT ON ARRESTED GREEK CYPRIOT YOUTH

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1630 hours, 24/2/97) Greek Cypriot youth Savvas Louka Sidherenos, 23, who was captured by the occupation regime and subsequently "arrested", underwent a medical checkup at the occupied Nicosia Mental Hospital by Dr. Inci Tasyurek. The Greek Cypriot youth will appear in a military "court" in a few days.

    [10] TEHRAN PROTESTS TO TURKEY OVER GEN. BIR'S REMARKS

    According to Anatolia agency (1545 hours, 24/2/97) Osman Koruturk, Turkish ambassador to Tehran, was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry in connection with the remarks made in the United States by General Cevik Bir, deputy chief of the General Staff (Tr. Note: Gen Bir had branded Iran and Syria as being terrorist states).

    Mir Mahmud Musavi, director of Western Asian affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told Koruturk that "they were quite disturbed by Bir's remarks and that these remarks triggered reactions." Musavi said that they were protesting to Turkey.

    It has been learned that Musavi said at the meeting that Gen. Bir's remarks in the United States were "irresponsible", and added: "Iran attaches great importance to its neighbors and finds it impermissible that a friendly country should utter remarks that are similar to the accusations made by the United States or Israel."

    Koruturk did not accept the protest, and said that he was going to convey the views of the Iranian side to the Turkish Government. The Turkish ambassador also said at the meeting that "the Turkish Government's stand toward Iran is very clear and Iran knows it." He added: "It is the Foreign Ministry that announces the Turkish Government's policies. What other circles say are their own personal views. The Iranian side must take into account the Foreign Ministry announcements."

    [11] AMBASSADOR BRILL SAYS BOTH SIDES MUST CHANGE OLD VIEWS

    According to KIBRIS (25/2/97) US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth C. Brill, visited the sewage treatment installations at the occupied village of Mia Milia.

    Brill toured the installations and was briefed on the operations of the installations.

    UNHCR Director Michael Meuring and the so-called Mayor of occupied Nicosia accompanied Ambassador Brill.

    When asked about his views on the solution of the Cyprus problem Ambassador Brill criticized the views of both sides on the issue and said that they were expressing views of the 1950's and the 1960's.

    "The key to a settlement lies in getting rid of these views and acquiring a new understanding for a better arrangement" he declared. (MY)

    [12] TURKEY'S LONDON AMBASSADOR CLAIMS GREEK CYPRIOTS ARE ARMING THEMSELVES TO ATTACK

    KIBRIS (25.2.97) reports that Turkish Ambassador to Britain Ozdem Sanberk, speaking to private TV station SKY-TV in London regarding the threat by the Turkish side to open occupied Varosha to illegal settlement, alleged that the reason for this threat was, as he put it, "the Greek Cypriot side's effort to arm itself not for defence but for an attack".

    Sanberk further claimed that "the world should recognize the existence of the Turks on the island". (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [13] COLUMNIST SAYS US OFFICIALS FIND GUL'S VIEWS ON CYPRUS LAUGHABLE

    Ferai Tinc, in an article in Hurriyet (21/2/97), writes:

    "The declaration by Minister of State Abdullah Gul that there can be no federal solution in Cyprus has caused deep astonishment in Washington.

    A senior U.S. State Department official made no secret of his sentiment that he finds Gul's analysis laughable. Gul had argued: 'Although Turks and Greeks have lived together for many years, there have been no marriages between them. Consequently, it it impossible for the two communities to return to the situation that existed prior to 1974.'

    The witty official said: 'If they did not marry each other until now, in the future we can induce them to marry through matchmaking.' Then he added in a very serious tone:

    'This is the first time we have heard such a view from Turkey. He has come out openly against federation and wants the recognition of two separate states in Cyprus. Had such a solution been possible, we would have proposed it earlier. Neither we nor Europe can accept such a solution.'

    Coming at a time when pressures related to Cyprus are growing, Gul's declaration puts Turkey once again in the position of the uncompromising party.

    The American official said that the existence of two states on the island would escalate the arms race, that the Greek Cypriots will continue to stockpile weapons showing Turkish weapons as a pretext, which in turn would prompt Turks to arm even more. He added: 'That is unacceptable. It cannot be permitted.'

    The United States has given up on Cyprus this year as well.

    Yes, despite President Clinton's declaration that this is the year of Cyprus, it is evident that Washington has no hopes of finding a solution in 1997.

    State Department officials with whom I talked said that both sides are reluctant to reach a settlement.

    In an 'off the record' conversation, one official expressed his pessimism as follows:

    'In 1996, Holbrooke was supposed to go to the region. He was supposed to take a Cyprus plan with him. It did not happen. At that time we had neither the Kardak, nor the Gavdos, nor the Russian missiles problem. Now the situation is even more difficult. I do not think a solution to the Cyprus problem is possible this year.'

    These remarks by the American official should not be interpreted to mean: 'We have been delivered from pressures on the Cyprus issue.' On the contrary, this pessimism means that Turkey will be clobbered even more in every area.

    The U.S. Administration does not know how to appraise Turkey.

    Moreover, it is unlikely that it will be able to make a decision on this issue soon.

    Rather than clearing up this perplexity, Gul's talks in Washington have confused the Americans even more.

    Gul said: 'Iran is our neighbor. We have to get along with our neighbors.' In contrast, in a speech before the American-Turkish Council yesterday morning, Gen. Cevik Bir (deputy chief of the general staff) crossed out Iran and Syria saying that they are terrorist states.

    A diplomat from the U.S. State Department said: 'Contacts with the Turkish Government are not enough to reach a conclusion or to form an opinion on Turkey. We also want to talk to the president, Gen Cevik Bir, and Onur Oymen (under-secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). This means a drawn-out process, but only then will we be able to have a clearer picture of the situation.'

    The din of conflicting voices in Turkey is now considered to be a fact of life in that country.

    Unfortunately, that perception puts Turkey in the category of countries whose 'actions and inclinations cannot be predicted'."

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