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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-04-04

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

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>


TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 61/97 -- 4.4.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash meets Feissel: urges opportunity to take big steps.
  • [02] Pauline Green: Turkey stands to gain by actively trying to help solve the Cyprus problem.
  • [03] Shadow Foreign Secretary Cook: Labour government won't back Turkey's EU bid, won't accept Cyprus' application to be conditional.
  • [04] So-called Mayors to attend international meeting.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash meets Feissel, urges opportunity to take big steps

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 3.4.97) Rauf Denktash has said that attempts are being made to soften the atmosphere with indirect talks and an opportunity must be provided for big steps to be taken towards the solution of the problem.

    Denktash met again with Gustave Feissel, the UN Secretary General's assistant special envoy for Cyprus, within the framework of the indirect talks. Attending the meeting were Necati Munir Ertegun, Denktash 's "political affairs adviser and coordinator" "political adviser" Ergun Olgun; and Mustafa Evran, Denktash's "political affairs director."

    Before the meeting, a Greek Cypriot reporter said that the arrival of President Glafcos Clerides in the north would be tantamount to his recognition of the TRNC" and asked Denktash how a meeting can take place in the north. Denktash claimed that all these are pretexts for not participating in the talks. He added:

    "Let us set aside titles and meet as persons". Denktash remarked that face- to-face talks will soften the situation. And added:

    "Time is being wasted. Recognizing a government is a political event. Meeting with the person who represents that government is not tantamount to recognizing it."

    Asked to comment on the Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos' proposal to open the control points on specific days of the week and allow Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to have contacts on social issues, Denktash said that he is not aware of such a proposal. "If this is realized", Denktash asked, "who will bear the responsibility for any subsequent negative developments?" The time is not ripe to discuss this matter, Denktash said.

    In a statement after the meeting, Feissel described the meeting as very beneficial and noted that he is trying to achieve mutually acceptable things. Feissel explained that the indirect talks will not be held next week because Denktash is slated to meet with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in Geneva. Feissel said that he will also attend the meeting between Denktash and Annan.

    Pointing out that Annan and Denktash will be meeting for the first time, Feissel remarked that this meeting will be an opportunity for both parties to express their thoughts. The secretary general wants the two leaders to meet face-to-face, Feissel declared, adding that it is important to achieve real progress if this happens. What we are doing now is aimed at increasing the possibility of achieving such progress, Feissel underlined.

    Feissel concluded by saying that in his report to the UN Secretary General he will outline some ideas and proposals regarding possible future moves.

    [02] Pauline Green: Turkey stands to gain by actively trying to help solve the Cyprus problem

    Pauline Green, the leader of the Socialists in the European Parliament, was in Turkey recently for an intensive round of talks with leading politicians and ministers. Anthony Pearce interviewed Pauline Green for the Turkish Daily News (31.3.97) upon her return to London.

    In reply to a relevant question Pauline Green said: "For us, there are no other criteria other than those which apply to all applicant states. The European Parliament does have great concerns about four areas in particular, that is democratization, the respect of human rights, the Kurdish problem and the Cypriot question."

    Asked what does she think are the chances of success in securing peace and harmony in Cyprus, Mrs. Green said: "I am always an optimist on that question. In recent years we have seen what has happened in South Africa as a result of goodwill. We have seen progress until recently in that apparently implacable conflict between the Palestinians and Jews. What I have been doing is to ask Turkey to be proactive on the question of Cyprus. There is a matter of some 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. They should not underestimate the kudos and goodwill they would gain by actively trying to help solve the Cyprus problem. Turkey should be visionary over Cyprus."

    Asked how does she feel about the fact that she is pretty high in the popular demonology in the Turkish press, Mrs. Green said: "It is very sad to be frank. It seems to me that the Turkish media can't understand where I am coming from. My clear political position demands that I defend to the end Turkey's right to be a member of the European Union on the same basis as every other applicant state. But I must also make clear the Parliament's current objections, as I would for any other applicant for EU membership.

    You would not belive the hate mail I receive from Turks and Turkish Cypriots, and so much of it is particularly offensive to me as a woman.. I know some Turkish people don't like my criticisms over Cyprus, but my role as leader of the largest political group in the European Parliament demands that I say these things even if some people are offended. The European Parliament, the directly elected democratic institution representing some 375 million Europeans, has an obligation to ensure that all member states and all applicant countries if their application is to succeed, have certain standards. The people of Cyprus and of Turkey should understand that it is very much in their interests that I raise these issues in order to improve their chances of getting into the European Union."

    [03] Shadow Foreign Secretary Cook: Labour government won't back Turkey's EU bid, won't accept Cyprus' application to be conditional

    According to Turkish Daily News (4.4.97) Britain's shadow Foreign Secretary Robin Cook sharply criticized Turkey on Wednesday evening and said a Labour Party government would not support Turkey's European Union (EU) membership bid. Cook also said that Labour would wholeheartedly back Cyprus's accession to EU.

    In another blow, the Conservative Party manifesto, released on Wednesday as well, did not specify Turkey as a candidate country for full EU membership but merely stated. "We will support the aspirations of the Poles, the Czechs and Hungarians and others, to join the EU."

    Speaking at a "meeting on Cyprus" hosted by Andy Love, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Edmonton, Cook said the Labour Party's policies on Cyprus and Turkey would be immensely different from those of the Conservative Party.

    Speaking to the paper before the meeting, Cook said Labour could not envision Turkey as a possible member in the near future. "I do not see Turkey being a successful candidate for membership until a number of issues have been addressed. The questions of democratic government, civilian control of the army, and human rights are the issues we have in mind as barriers for Turkey's membership," he said. Cook also told the paper that Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus were as concerned as their Greek counterparts were about settlers coming to Cyprus from Turkey. He said this was considered "illegal" and that Turkey had to do something about it.

    "When I met with Turkish Cypriot representatives in Nicosia they made it clear that they have much more in common with the Greek Cypriots than they have with these settlers from Turkey", he pointed out. Cook also said Turkish Cypriots were suffering in many ways due to the division of the island and that the process of accession to the EU could act as the catalyst for a solution "that would benefit Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots alike," he added.

    Asked why he chose to have a meeting with the Greek Cypriots only, Cook said he planned to speak with Turkish Cypriots later in the month. "However there were some Turkish Cypriots invited today as well" he underlined.

    Cook described Conservative Party's policy on Turkey as "tolerant" and said that they would not be continuing in this vein if they won the general election on May 1. He also said that the Tories were not definite on their position regarding Cyprus.

    "This is especially clear on Cyprus' application to the EU, where the Conservatives do not clearly say they support this bid by Cyprus, as we do", he stated.

    "We believe there should be no prerequisites attached to the application of Cyprus. In other words, it should not be conditional. Of course it would be very helpful and positive if we could end the partition of the island. But accession must not be made conditional on a settlement and there must be no right of veto for any third party," he pointed out.

    Cook then referred to the Conservative manifesto, describing the fact that it had not specifically mentioned Cyprus' name among countries with Conservative support for EU membership as "unfortunate".

    Speaking to a gathering, the majority of which was from the Greek Cypriot electorate of Edmonton, Cook said that the continued division of Cyprus after 23 years was a tragedy for the people of the island and a persistent source of tension in the eastern Mediterranean.

    He told the audience that negotiations for Cyprus' accession were due to begin under Britain's EU presidency early next year. "The Labour government will be in a strong position to ensure that they get the best possible start," he expressed assuming a Labour Party victory at the May 1 polls.

    In his speech, which was interpreted by some Turkish Cypriot community leaders as biased against the Turkish side, Cook said that Labour's Cyprus policy would be governed by three objectives if they come to power. "The first must be to restore Cyprus as a united state with a single sovereignty and single citizenship", he said. He pointed out that there could be no agreement which involved separate sovereignty for any part of the island. "We give our full support to a solution based on United Nations resolutions which call for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation comprising two politically equal communities," Cook underlined.

    He then went on to outline the second objective, which was the demilitarization and withdrawal of all illegal troops presently on the island, referring to Turkey's soldiers. "If we are to have a single state of Cyprus then the mark of a single state must be a single security system", he stressed. There could not be a meaningful settlement which recognized Cyprus as a united country if separate armed forces existed on the island, he said.

    The shadow foreign secretary refrained from discussing the Cyprus Government's recent purchase of Russian missiles but congratulated the government of the Republic of Cyprus for putting forward proposals to demilitarize the entire island.

    Cook also hinted that security guarantees were vital for both communities to achieve a permanent solution. "I do not doubt that this issue (security) will prove to be one of the most difficult to resolve. "Proposing a U.K. role, and ignoring the fact that the Turkish side opposes "outside" military intervention," Cook said, "Should the parties request the presence of an international military force, I would want Britain to offer its support," he added.

    Cook said the third objective was the "guarantee of human rights for all Cypriots throughout the island." "People from both communities have suffered great injustices during the years of conflict and division. If a solution is to be found the constitution of a new Cyprus must be democratic and must guarantee fundamental rights", he indicated, specifying that freedom of movement, settlement and expression should be given priority.

    He accused the Turkish Cypriots of violating human rights with regard to its "treatment of the enclaved people". "They should not have to wait for a settlement before their rights are respected. Labour will expect the Turkish Cypriot authorities to restore their freedom as a sign of good faith", Cook said, making clear his expectations from the Turkish Cypriots.

    He also said that any settlement must recognize the right of all refugees from both communities to return to their homes and ..end property, adding that the bulk of the responsibility to inform Greek Cypriots of their lost relatives and friends was on Ankara's and the Turkish Cypriots' shoulders.

    In his concluding remarks, Cook said the choice at this general election would not simply concern which candidate was a friend of Cyprus now but which candidate would be a friend when it actually was in power in Britain.

    [04] So-called Mayors to attend international meeting

    KIBRIS (4.4.97) reports that the so-called Mayors of occupied Nicosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta "will take part" in the International Union of Local Administrations meeting, to take place between 6 and 10 April 1997 in Saint Mauritius.

    /EF EF/SK


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