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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-04-16
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 69/97 -- 16.4.97
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Etkin refuses Talat statement describing occupied area as prisonTaner Etkin, "foreign affairs and defense minister", has condemned the statement made by Republican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat likening the "TRNC" to an open-air prison.
Replying to reporters' questions on the issue, Etkin claimed that this comparison is unbecoming and that he condemns it. He added: "The fact that a person, who has served in the highest echelons of the state and who is the leader of a party that is a contender to the government, can so belittle his country will receive the reply it deserves in the free conscience of his people. There is no justification for a party leader to make such an ugly and untruthful comparison about our country."
Etkin alleged that it is impossible to understand why Talat opposes the principles put forward by the "state" regarding the bicommunal activities that stress equality. He noted that permission is granted for bicommunal activities being held in the buffer zone or at Ledra Palace and in which Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are represented under equal status.
 Lee Hamilton: Cyprus not a priority in US foreign policy agendaAccording to Turkish Daily News (12.4.97) Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana, the ranking Democrat member of the House International Relations committee who will retire from U.S.
Congress soon at the end of a 32-year career, in reply to a relevant question by the paper, on Cyprus, admitted that other big-ticket agenda items like China and Russia do not leave much time and energy to easily launch an initiative. The United States government genuinely wants to try to move Cyprus toward a solution, Hamilton said. "I think all of us are highly frustrated with what's been the status quo there for many years. The problem from the standpoint of the United States government is that many, many other things keep intruding. The agenda of the United States in foreign policy is a very crowded agenda and it is not easy to get the attention of American top policy makers focused on the Cyprus problem. I very much hope the year of Cyprus will come about. I certainly will do all I can to make it come about," he said.
 Ciller stresses need for dialogue with GreeceAccording to TRT (17:00 hours, 15.4.97) replying to a question on Turkish- Greek relations at the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting yesterday, acting Prime Minister Tansu Ciller stressed the importance of conducting a dialogue for the solution of the problems.
"The solution of the problems between Turkey and Greece would benefit both Turkey and Greece. In light of the latest Clinton-Yeltsin agreements, everybody knows that there is a speedy disarmament process, and that the superpowers are pulling themselves out of positions that may threaten world peace. The conflicts in the world are no longer those between the superpowers. Under such conditions, at a time when disarmament continues throughout the world and contributes new resources to world economies, we must see that peace in this region is important for both countries and for all the countries. We have always said we are in favour of a dialogue. I repeat: If there is a problem between the two sides, and there are indeed problems between Turkey and Greece, they must be resolved through negotiations. It is impossible to show any sincerity when the two sides do not talk with each other".
 Inflation rate of 3.9 percent for March in pseudostateAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 15.4.97) the rate of inflation was 3.9 percent during the past month.
According to data released by the so-called Prime Minister's State Planning Organization Under Secretariat, the consumer price index rose by 3.9 percent from 10 March to 10 April 1997.
 Turkey's internal debts increasedAccording to daily ZAMAN (12.4.97) Turkey's internal debts increased to 3.604 quadrillion Turkish lira by the end of February. The country's internal debts totaled 1.361 quadrillion at the beginning of 1996. The amount increased nearly three times during the past year. The Treasury bonds make up 1.250 quadrillion of that amount.
The Treasury will incur new foreign debts. It has planned to sell bonds worth at least 250 million "Euro Dollars" next week. The duration of the bonds will be five years.
 Turkey welcomes South African decision to lift arms embargoAccording to TRT (17:00 hours, 14.4.97) South Africa has lifted the embargo it had imposed on Turkey regarding the sale of arms and military equipment. Turkey has welcomed the decision.
In reply to a question, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Omer Akbel recalled that the Republic of South Africa stopped its sale of arms and military equipment to Turkey on 4 May 1995. Noting that the decision lifting the embargo was conveyed to the Turkish Embassy in Pretoria, Akbel said that Turkey is pleased that this embargo has been lifted.
 Eroglu lauds Fifth Turkic Congress RecommendationAccording to illegal Bayrak Radio (10:30 hours, 14.4.97) "prime minister" Dervis Eroglu has described as a very important development the fact that the Fifth Turkic States and Communities Friendship, Brotherhood, and Cooperation Council adopted a recommendation to have the Turkic states recognize the "TRNC". He added: "I was also very happy to see that the delegates unanimously approved and gave a standing ovation to the proposal to hold the 1998 congress in the TRNC".
In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport, Eroglu recalled that he was given the honour of delivering the closing speech, during which he called on the Turkic states to recognize the "TRNC".
 Ciller on CyprusAccording to KIBRIS (16.4.97) Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tansu Ciller has declared that "her country wants an early settlement of the Cyprus problem."
Speaking at the opening of the Turkey-European Union Joint Parliamentary committee meeting, Ciller alleged that "it was the Greek Cypriot side that is precluding a settlement in Cyprus because it was promised EU membership".
"Our desire is to put peace into practice in Cyprus as soon as possible, as in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
She alleged that the Cyprus problem was all of a sudden frozen at a moment when it was on the verge of a settlement, that this settlement was adopted by both sides as well as by Europe and the world. "However, the biggest obstacle for this settlement to be put into practice is the break down of the dialogue during the last two years" claimed Ciller and added that the reason for this was that "the Greek Cypriot side does not feel the need to engage in dialogue any more, because of the EU membership promise given to them".
Ciller further said that a point has been reached where direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash could resume.
Noting that friendly states want to contribute to this settlement as they have done in Bosnia, Ciller said: "The platform is ready for these countries to contribute to the settlement".
 US Ambassador meets Turkish Cypriot trade union leaderAccording to ORTAM (16.4.97) US Ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill paid a visit to the Turk-Sen trade union office and had a meeting with Turk-Sen Chairman Onder Konuloglu and the trade union's foreign relations responsible Nihad Elmas.
Brill was accompanied by John Lister, who is in charge of the Turkish Affairs section at the US Embassy.
Ambassador Brill exchanged views with Turk-Sen officials on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem as well as on economic and trade union life in the occupied area.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/