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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-07-15

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. 127/97 -- 15.7.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry repeats threats of integration.
  • [02] Denktash notes `Favourable Atmosphere' at New York talks.
  • [03] Turkish leaders meet on Cyprus.
  • [04] Ecevit: Autonomy is not just empty words.
  • [05] Denktash: EU must review decision if talks to continue.
  • [06] Etkin says all draft documents to be prepared separately.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Birand: Turkey's objective is the establishment of a confederation.
  • [08] Ismet Kotak: If talks fail, we must proceed along our own path

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry repeats threats of integration

    According to TRT Television Network (17:00 hours, 14.7.97), with regard to press reports on the EU Committee's report, which will be released today, that the EU will launch full membership discussions with six candidate countries, including Cyprus, Turkey has claimed that the EU's launching full membership discussions with Cyprus may have adverse effects.

    In reply to questions during his weekly news conference for the foreign press, Sermet Atacanli, Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman, said that the EU report was not final, official, nor released yet. Explaining that Turkey continues to follow the developments, Atacanli added: "Within this framework, a serious assessment was conducted on the recent developments with regard to this issue at the Assembly session, which convened under Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on 12 July". Atacanli stressed: "Adverse consequences may be prompted in the event that the reports to the effect that the Greek Cypriot Administration is among those countries with which the EU will launch full membership discussions are correct."

    Atacanli later pointed out the declarations signed between President Demirel and Rauf Denktash. The declarations in question envisage an integration between Turkey and the "TRNC" in the event that EU launches full membership discussions with the Cyprus Government.

    [02] Denktash notes `Favourable Atmosphere' at New York talks

    According to TRT (10:00 hours, 14.7.97) Rauf Denktash, has said that the intercommunal talks with President Glafcos Clerides in New York were held in a favourable atmosphere.

    Denktash said: "It is a good sign that the meetings were resumed. However, there are still great difficulties ahead of us".

    Denktash described the New York meetings as preparatory talks and as an exercise carried out before the Geneva meetings next month. Denktash announced that the two sides will prepare a draft legislation on the bizonal and bicommunal federation, which is envisaged to be set up, before the Geneva meetings.

    "First of all, the Cyprus issue cannot be resolved without Turkey. I am not saying that the Cyprus issue cannot be resolved without Greece. This is their business. The Greek and the Greek Cypriots, however, have to acknowledge the fact that the Cyprus issue cannot be resolved without Turkey. This issue cannot be resolved without granting both sides equal rights. Moreover, this issue cannot be settled if the balance between Turkey and Greece is disrupted. The Greek Cypriots applied to the EU in order to disrupt this balance. Both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are aware of this fact. The goal of the Greek Cypriots is obvious. They should slow down their steps and even retreat if they are really serious", Denktash claimed.

    Stating that he explained to President Clerides the Turkish Cypriot stand with regard to the S-300 missiles, Denktash added: "This is no laughing matter. I warned the Greek Cypriots that either this issue is settled at the table or they will have to bear the consequences". And he continued: "Clerides said in reply that these issues can be settled once the paths of conciliation are paved. This reply was not satisfactory. The path to a conciliation can be delayed. What will happen when the due date arrives?"

    Denktash recalled that the UN draft document, which was submitted at the New York meetings, emphasized the sovereignty rights of the two communities without going into details and added: "This is where the problems start. It is not clear what is meant by the rights of sovereignty. It is left open to interpretations. This issue will be taken up at the other meetings".

    Stating that there was no friction with President Clerides on any issue whatsoever, Denktash said that it was decided at the meetings to launch joint work in a bid to find an interim formula on those issues which are unacceptable to both sides.

    [03] Turkish leaders meet on Cyprus

    According to TRT television network (17:00 hours, 12.7.97), Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz received Bulent Ecevit, deputy prime minister and state minister, at his office in parliament and conferred with him for some time. In a statement after the meeting, Ecevit said that they discussed the Assembly's schedule, certain urgent problems, and the developments concerning Cyprus.

    Ecevit noted that the EU Commission decided to start the membership process of the Cyprus Government.

    "If south Cyprus is admitted to the EU as a member despite Turkey's objection, which stems from its legal rights, the dialogue between the two communities has no meaning. We decided on the steps that must be taken regarding this matter".

    State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, who is responsible for the Cyprus issue, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, and Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Onur Oymen attended the meeting between Yilmaz and Ecevit for a while. Emerging from the meeting, Cem claimed that the EU Commission's decision to start the full membership process with Cyprus has cast a shadow over the bicommunal talks that were being held in New York.

    "Turkey's policy regarding this issue is clear. The two presidents, Mr. Denktash and Mr. Demirel, reached an agreement on 20 January 1997, and they made an announcement. On 21 January 1997, the TGNA approved a resolution. Finally, on 4 July 1997, the two presidents issued a joint statement. We assessed the developments in light of these documents. We decided to formulate our policies accordingly", Cem said.

    [04] Ecevit: Autonomy is not just empty words

    Turkish deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, speaking live on the News Agenda program of TRT (04:00 hours, 14.7.97) referred to the Cyprus problem and, inter alia, said: "...The United States made a move and, as you know, brought Mr. Denktash and Mr. Clerides together in New York. The impression that the dialogue will be revived has been created but right at that moment the EU Commission took a step toward starting the process for full Greek Cypriot membership in the EU. I believe that this step will be officially announced today. This is a blatant move to obstruct the dialogue in New York because if south Cyprus joins the EU before Turkey, and independently from the TRNC, then the Greek Cypriots will have achieved the result they want, anyway.

    Under these circumstances, where a Cyprus solution is under way independent of the will of the Turkish Cypriot side, I think it will be meaningless to proceed with the dialogue in Geneva after New York. Therefore, the United States should issue a warning to the EU. Otherwise, it will be meaningless to proceed with the dialogue, which was launched by the United States.

    Turkey however, is not completely helpless on this issue. As you well know, the Turkish and the TRNC presidents issued a joint declaration beforehand. The declaration noted that a partial integration between Turkey and the TRNC will be inevitable in the event that the membership process of the Greek Cypriot side in the EU is not suspended".

    The economies of Turkey and the "TRNC" will merge, he added and he called it a "broad autonomy".

    Asked if this broad autonomy, which he spoke about, will be another instance of empty talk in terms of Turkey, Ecevit said:

    "No, no. These are not empty words."

    [05] Denktash: EU must review decision if talks to continue

    According to TRT television network (4:00 hours 15.7.97) Richard Holbrooke, US President Bill Clinton's special envoy for Cyprus, held separate meetings with Rauf Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides in New York yesterday. Denktash and President Clerides issued very interesting statements after these meetings.

    Denktash declared that the EU must review its decision on membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriots if the intercommunal talks are to continue.

    "Moreover, with this decision the EU has demonstrated that it views the Greek Cypriots as the Greek Cypriot Republic and their application as a legal one and that it regards us as a minority in this Greek Cypriot Republic. This is what makes us feel apprehensive. This is what makes us lose hope vis-a-vis the EU. We are appealing to the EU: Do not cast a shadow over the talks. Do not interfere while these activities are taking place. The UN Security Council resolution is also in this vein. The two communities will resolve this matter without outside interference. You, on the other hand, are making this issue more difficult through your frequent decisions and the hopes you give the Greek Cypriots. You have made this issue more difficult. Please realize this fact and refrain from doing this. Please stand back. Of course, no one is listening, but this is the situation", Denktash claimed.

    Following Denktash' statement, Holbrooke said he will visit certain European capitals in the coming week. Holbrooke stated: "I will discuss the Cyprus issue with EU members. I will convey to them the views of the United States with regard to the decision they adopted at such a critical period. I do not want to go into detail, but this will be a very important visit in terms of a solution for Cyprus. In reply to a question, Holbrooke said he is neither optimistic nor pessimistic regarding the Cyprus issue, adding: I am realistic, and I know how difficult it is to reach a solution".

    Denktash also held meetings with Sir David Hannay, Britain's special representative for Cyprus, and Len Hjelm-Wallen, UN Security Council term president and Swedish foreign minister.

    Denktash voiced his reaction to the EU decision during these meetings as well.

    [06] Etkin says all draft documents to be prepared separately

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 15.7.97) Taner Etkin, "foreign affairs and defense minister" has announced that, as in the case of the constitution, the draft documents concerning the other aspects of the Cyprus issue will be prepared separately by the two sides. Etkin denied Greek Cypriot press reports that the documents pertaining to the territorial, displaced persons, property, and security issues will be drafted by the United Nations.

    In a statement to illegal TAK (Turkish Cypriot News Agency), Etkin, who was accompanying Rauf Denktash in New York, said: "All draft documents, including the constitution, will be prepared separately by the two sides. This is the truth. This is the agreement reached during the talks."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Birand: Turkey's objective is the establishment of a confederation

    Mehmet Ali Birand, writing in SABAH (14.7.97) under the title "We Have Told Lies to the World for 23 Years", says: "Have you been confused by the heading of this column? Do not be confused at all because it is right. Turkey has misled the world for 23 years, regardless of being aware of the Greek Cypriot policy.

    Turkey has called for the establishment of a federation for 23 years. It has said that the Cyprus problem can be resolved through the establishment of a federation between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

    How will that be possible?

    How will the question of the federal government's limited powers be resolved?

    The Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities will have wide-ranging rights.

    We are aware that the formula will not be successful.

    Even if you cut the heads of the Greek Cypriots they will still not agree to share the administration of Cyprus with the Turkish Cypriots, whom they regard as a "minority community".

    They have not agreed to share it in the past and they will not do so either now or in the future.

    Had I been in their place, I would have done the same.

    They have acquired significant wealth and reached a point where they may join the EU. Considering this, sharing power with the Turkish Cypriots is out of the question for them.

    The Greek Cypriots have not agreed that the Turkish Cypriots have a different identity and are a different entity, regardless of the military intervention (in 1974) and the fact that 23 years have passed over it.

    Ankara is aware of that state of affairs. Nevertheless, it has insisted on the establishment of a federation. However, its main objective is the establishment of a confederation. In other words, it wants the TRNC to exist as a separate and sovereign state. It wants the island to be divided into two parts so that the problem can be resolved.

    The main reason for Turkey not pursuing that policy is that it does not want to confront the Western countries, particularly the United States. That is why it pretends to support a federation but puts forward demands which may have the way for the establishment of a confederation.

    Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides informed me when we last met as follows: "Denktash is trying to have me drink raki from a whiskey glass."

    He was right.

    We have reached the end of the game. Everyone has realized that we have been lying. Consequently, we are now unable to convince anyone.

    It is now the time to outline our true intention.

    Obviously we will not be able to achieve anything through cunning Eastern tactics. So, let us disclose our intention and end the game. Let us say: "We will maintain the negotiations if you accept the TRNC as a sovereign state. We can agree to make concessions, including concessions on territory. However, the only condition for that is the recognition of our sovereignty."

    We will be deceiving ourselves if we do not do that and if we hope that we can deceive the US officials.

    If we maintain the talks, then the possibility of the Turkish side being forced to agree to an undesirable solution will gradually strengthen.

    Everyone has been exhausted by the Cyprus problem. Our behaviour, which can be said to be similar to that of an ostrich, should be greatly blamed for the point that has been reached. We have ignored that state of affairs. In fact, some of the officials underestimated that. Nevertheless, the process is serious this time. The United States and Europe are determined to have a solution found to the Cyprus problem one way or the other.

    However, we have not yet established the policy we will maintain. That is why I have said "let us stop telling lies and adopt a realistic approach". That may be difficult but that is the right thing we should do.

    We cannot surrender the TRNC to the Greek Cypriots. So, we must act accordingly.

    We forget how important Cyprus is for Turkey from time to time. Forgetfulness is our most serious problem..."

    [08] Ismet Kotak: If talks fail, we must proceed along our own path

    Ismet Kotak, writing in HALKIN SESI (14.7.97) under the title "The World Lies in Wait", referring to what was discussed in New York and to the aftermath of the talks, inter alia, says:

    "But our demands regarding security, Turkey's effective guarantorship, and sovereignty have not yet been given a reply as far as we are concerned. They may have been discussed at Amenia but we have no documents or information on that. Yet these are the indispensable elements for us. Soon everything regarding them too will be laid open.

    It has now become clear that the talks in the United States will be followed by talks in Geneva. Everyone will now take his homework and return to Cyprus, then join the Geneva round.

    I want to draw attention to the situation of the Greek Cypriots. Our super peacelovers, who pursue a defeatist policy under the "slogan of peace", think they are doing something clever when they always intentionally justify the Greek Cypriots. The post-Amenia position to be adopted by those who refrain from assuming duties in state restructuring, but who enter parliament and only produce words, is already taking shape. We will soon see on stage those who prefer to be active in the parties rather than in the trade unions and associations.

    But now all the guises have been removed and things have been revealed in their true colours. The issues on the table could be concluded if there is the will for it, an end could be put to the EU's ploy, the sovereignty of the two peoples and of the two federated states could be guaranteed in the constitution, Turkey's effective guarantorship is recognized, and a Federal Cypriot Republic is formed with the new structure.

    But if this time round the talks again fail to produce any result then we must proceed along our own path. We must stop holding things in abeyance. The UN and everybody else must recognize the TRNC. Everyone should know that we will not, in any case, be the smallest state in the world".


    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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