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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-07-08

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 <>


No. 122/97 -- 8.7.97


  • [01] Denktash goes to New York meetings with "tempered optimism".
  • [02] Denktash holds "confidential" talk with Holbrooke.
  • [03] Occupation forces commander: an international force will never be accepted in Cyprus.
  • [04] Denktash comments on parameters on eve of New York talks.
  • [05] Ecevit: Turkish republic will confront pressure on Denktash.
  • [06] Yilmaz presents government program; reference to Cyprus.
  • [07] Ecevit claims occupied area is life-or-death matter for Turkish security.
  • [08] Serdar Denktash in Israel for contacts.


    [01] Denktash goes to New York meetings with "tempered optimism"

    According to Turkish Daily News (7.7.97) for the first time in a number of years there will be direct face-to-face talks between the two men who represent the sides which are party to the Cyprus problem -- the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash stopped briefly in Istanbul Saturday ostensibly to see members of his family who live in Istanbul and enjoy a performance of the La Scala Orcestra. He left Sunday to go on his way to the long awaited talks with President Glafcos Clerides, in New York under the auspices of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. At a brief press conference held at the airport Saturday, Denktash expressed rather tempered optimism that the talks would explore the groundwork for an agreement and would be fruitful enough to lead to further meetings -- an August meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, has been suggested. Later on, Denktash gave an exclusive interview to the Turkish Daily News, in which he described the Cyprus problem as a "challlenge for everyone who believes in a world based on the rule of law, on the sanctity of international treaties, on democracy, and on human rights".

    As for how Denktash looks on the upcoming New York meeting, he emphasized that he was not going there in order to take anything from the Greek Cypriot side or to divest them of any of their rights. In fact, he went on to say, "I respect their rights as a co-founder partner of the defunct republic of 1960".

    Subsequently referring to the "problem" created by the Greek Cypriot application for EU membership and to the Turkish Cypriots objections to it, Denktash described it as "a politically motivated application in order to divest us of our vested rights. These are the things which I want to defend without intruding on the rights of Greek Cypriots to live as they wish and if they want, to become good neighbours in a bizonal Cyprus with us."

    When asked about the role that Holbrooke might play -- the latter didn't want to be involved immediately and put off meeting with the protagonists for a month -- Denktash described him as "a renowned diplomat, a negotiator, a statesman". He believes that Holbrooke is waiting to see what the New York meeting will achieve with these initial contacts, what the points of differences are, for the reconciliation of the points at issue will only come at a later stage. Denktash continued, "If he is really interested in helping us, he will do so by underlining the vested rights of the parties and by discovering where the points of difference are and why... I am sure Mr. Holbrooke will be interested to discover that the Republic of Cyprus of 1960 took care of Greco-Turkish interests in the island and these agreements were drafted in such a way to prevent a return to a Greco- Turkish dispute over Cyprus in the future by restricting the independence of Cyprus. That is why the head of state Archbishop Makarios, when he assaulted us in 1963 and thereafter started saying he was fighting for two peoples because there were these restrictions on the independence of Cyprus for enosis. Cyprus could not opt for enosis or partition. Cyprus could not enter any union in which both parliaments were not present in order to preserve this balance over Cyprus and prevent a Greco-Turkish war over Cyprus", Denktash claimed.

    "I'm sure if the region is to be a region of peace, the Greco-Turkish balance over Cyprus has to be respected", Denktash continued.

    Denktash found it rather ridiculous to be going some 3000 miles to New York to attend talks with President Clerides when he could just cross the green line in 15 minutes and meet him. "For world diplomats to agree to this sort of scenario, as if it will be better if you talk there and not here, indicates that there are still in the diplomatic world a lot of things which I have to learn and I will learn whether or not this will be helpful for a negotiated settlement. By going through this experience anew because in the past we have again met thousands of miles away and it didn't help at all. So we'll see this time whether it will help".

    Denktash they suddenly turned to complain about the multiplicity of coordinators from all over. "We have indicated that we don't want this to be institutionalized around the good offices mission of the secretary general. The secretary general can deal with this problem as best he can because he is above governments, above states and as well he has no axe to grind for his country or his estate or his government whereas the other coordinators have their own axes to grind at our expense and they should nor really interfere. The fact that the EU is going to be amongst the followers of this show has upset us because the EU has already decided in its resolution of June 1997 that the application by the so-called government of Cyprus is a proper application and that the process for becoming a member of the EU shall start with the government of Cyprus as the sole interlocutor and Turkish Cypriots will be contacted with the knowledge of the `legitimate government of Cyprus' in order to be told how good it is for them to enter the union. "And he went on claiming: "They are destroying a balance which was created in order to prevent a Turkish- Greco war over Cyprus without realizing that they are opening all the old gates for a conflict on Cyprus between Greece and Tukrey. That is why Greece is helping Cyprus introduce Russian missiles, tanks and other heavy guns in Cyprus preparing for an eventual showdown once Cyprus is accepted in the EU."

    And he further claimed:

    "They don't understand, they refuse to understand and therefore the participation of the EU as coordinators or observers or whatever to the talks is hurting us a little because the EU has already decided against us, has already convicted us and has already committed itself to the `government of Cyprus'. We are seeking impartiality and we don't see impartiality."

    As for Bulent Ecevit who headed the Turkish government which ordered Turkish troops to invade the island Denktash noted that his taking on the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the new coalition government was a positive move. "If one looks at it, Ecevit has never swerved from the support for the Turkish Cypriots unlike other politicians", he said.

    Denktash looked visibly tired especially after a late Friday meeting with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel. The latter has for the first time stressed the importance of Turkish Cypriot security within Turkey's overall security policy.

    [02] Denktash holds "confidential" talk with Holbrooke

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (8:00 hours, 8.7.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had a meeting last night with the US Special Presidential Envoy, Richard Holbrooke, in New York.

    After the meeting which lasted 90 minutes, Denktash told the reporters that they had a sincere exchange of views.

    In his turn, Holbrooke said that they held a confidential talk with Denktash and added that he had agreed with Denktash not to disclose what they had discussed during the meeting.

    Holbrooke also added that as USA they extend support to the process started by the UN. He said that what they held was not a bargaining meeting. Noting that the meeting in Amenia was planned within the framework of UN initiative, Holbrooke said that as USA they do not want to be in the limelight. He expressed support to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his special advisor Cordovez. (MY)

    [03] Occupation forces commander: an international force will never be accepted in Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (8.7.97) the commander of the Turkish occupation troops in Cyprus Lt. General Ali Yalcin has claimed that it is the Turkish occupation troops that maintain "peace" and security in Cyprus for the last 23 years. He strongly opposed the idea of deploying an international force in Cyprus.

    "This will never be accepted" he declared.

    Members of the "Platform for the Struggle of Nation Objective" headed by Halil Pasha paid a visit to the commanders of the occupation forces to express their "gratitude" for the 1974 invasion.

    Addressing the platform members Lt. General Ali Yalcin said: "Bringing in Cyprus an International Force is an idea that can never be accepted. The Turkish side will definitely reject this". "We see and we are witness to the duties that International Forces fulfill in other parts of the world. The only force that can maintain tranquility and security on the whole of the island of Cyprus, that can safeguard the existence and the independence of the Turkish Cypriot community and the TRNC, is the Turkish Armed Forces. The Turkish Peace Forces which are indivisible part of the Turkish Armed Forces have successfully, for the last 23 years, given this exam. And never under any name, any other force or power except the Turkish Armed Forces, will step in on this land of forefathers. The whole world should know this".

    In his turn the commander of the so-called Security Forces, Br. General Hasan Peker Gunal, declared that together with the Turkish Cypriots the Turkish occupation forces will continue the "struggle" to its successful completion.

    [04] Denktash comments on parameters on eve of New York talks

    According to TRT (4:00 hours, 8.7.97) in a statement to TRT, Rauf Denktash said that he wants to lay the foundation of a partnership based on equal rights and freedoms in New York.

    Denktash claimed that the Turkish Cypriots will sit at the negotiating table with the status of legitimate "government" and no concessions will be made in this regard. A cleaner picture will emerge from these talks, he added.

    "Either they establish a partnership with us, and to this end they accept our equality, our sovereignty, Turkey's continued guarantees, the fact that they cannot join the EU unilaterally, that this can happen only in the aftermath of a Cyprus settlement, and that Turkey must also be a member of the EU; or, this business ends right here", Denktash said.

    He added: "I am calling on the countries which take the view that the two sides should make up and finish the matter. The issue is not as simple as that".

    If any kind of document is submitted during the talks, Denktash warned, he will abandon the negotiating table. He continued: "They cannot submit a document. To do this, they must first consult with the relevant sides. Both sides must accept it. The UN Secretary General or the coordinator does not have the right to ask us to discuss a document on the grounds that he has seen it. This is something that concerns us, and none other than us".

    [05] Ecevit: Turkish republic will confront pressure on Denktash

    According to TRT (17:00 hours, 7.7.97) Bulent Ecevit, deputy prime minister and state minister, addressing a Democratic Left Party assembly group meeting recalled that Rauf Denktash and President Clerides will be meeting in New York in the coming days and noted that pressures are already being exerted on Denktash, and that the Turkish Republic will confront these pressures.

    [06] Yilmaz presents government program; reference to Cyprus

    According to TRT (7.7.97), in the new Government Program presented by Mesut Yilmaz there is the following extract on Cyprus: "Regarding the Cyprus question, which is our national cause, we will protect our rights and responsibilities that are based on agreements and we will continue to support the TRNC in every field. Our government realizes that Cyprus is of vital importance not only for the TRNC but directly for Turkey's security as well, and that this importance is growing.

    Furthermore, our government believes that the issues which concern our vital interests in the Aegean must be resolved through mutual understanding and a constructive and peaceful dialogue".

    [07] Ecevit claims occupied area is life-or-death matter for Turkish security

    In an exclusive interview with the Turkish Daily News (5.7.97), deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit referred to Cyprus and the EU membership issue. Inter alia, he claimed: "The developments on the island have greatly affected Turkey's strategic relations with the island because the aim of this massive arming effort is clearly Turkey. Why? They claim that they are arming against a possible Turkish invasion.

    But, if Turkey had the intention of occupying the whole of Cyprus, it could extend the 1974 operation by few more days and achieve that goal as the Greek Cypriot defense was totally eradicated. Turkey did not have such an intention."

    And he continued: "In early 1930's, talking with his commanders, Ataturk had said Turkey should not forget that if Cyprus falls into the hands of a state hostile to Turkey, it could pose a serious threat to Turkey's southern shores and urged them to be very careful on that issue. That is why, not only Turkey is providing security for Turkish Cypriots, the TRNC has become compulsory for Turkey's security.

    In the Ataturk era, Cyprus could be a threat for our southern borders. But, with developments in weapons technology, almost the entire Turkey is within the range of weapons systems that could be deployed on Cyprus. Therefore, our American friends or the United Nations cannot achieve anything by taking Denktash to a camp in the US and pressuring him. They could not force Denktash to accept something with which he would disagree. On the other hand, Turkey has come to a point to declare that it has a weight on this matter because Cyprus has become extremely important for the security of Turkey.

    They cannot reach anywhere by exerting pressure on Denktash. Anyhow, Denktash will never bow to pressures. The real counterpart on the issue of security is now Turkey. The West must understand this. President Denktash is officially invited to Turkey. You know the last time he was in Ankara, even his calls for meetings with the prime minister and the foreign minister were not responded to. Now, he is our state guest and Turkey will once again declare its support for Turkish Cypriots (the interview with Ecevit was done before the visit of Denktash). On the security issue, Turkey has a say".

    In reply to another question Ecevit inter alia said:

    "Turkey should demonstrate with actions, not with words, that a return to pre-1974 in Cyprus is impossible.

    First of all Turkey should clearly declare that northern Cyprus has become a life-or death matter for Turkish security.

    Secondly, if despite all the warnings the EU goes along with the process of Greek Cypriot membership, Turkey should actively demonstrate that the relationship between itself and the TRNC will be placed on a new foundation. Turkey should clearly tell Europe that an autonomous relationship will be established between itself and the TRNC. That is something that I have been offering for a long time and which has been supported by President Denktash as well. There are very successful examples of this relationship all over the world. The Channel Islands for example".

    And he concluded: "Turkey should try to make best use of the means it has. We should avoid pulling Cyprus and similar issues into domestic political debates. Turkish statesmen, writers, politicians should stop saying that Cyprus is a burden for Turkey or the Cyprus problem is an obstacle for Turkey-European ties.

    If we avoid these, I believe Turkey could follow more efficient policies".

    [08] Serdar Denktash in Israel for contacts

    According to KIBRIS (8.7.97) the so-called state minister and deputy prime minister of the pseudostate. Serdar Denktash is to go to Israel for various contacts.

    Denktash will be returning to the occupied area on 11 July. (MY) EF/SK

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

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