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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-07-22

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. 132/97 -- 22.7.97


  • [01] Demirel, Karadayi' Yilmaz discuss Cyprus issues.
  • [02] Talat, Akinci comment on talks with Ecevit.
  • [03] Gurel on "Joint Declaration" on Cyprus.
  • [04] Turkish Navy Commander, warships leave Cyprus.
  • [05] Ecevit on Cyprus.
  • [06] Ecevit wants to re-negotiate the Customs Union Agreement.
  • [07] Ankara says there is no foreign reaction to partial integration.
  • [08] Turkish London Ambassador issues threats.
  • [09] US reaction said to have caused a more moderate text of the "Joint Declaration".


    [01] Demirel, Karadayi, Yilmaz discuss Cyprus issues

    According to daily HURRIYET (Internet version, 21.7.97) problems related to security, foreign policy, and the implementation of NSC (National Security Council) decisions, which have been left in abeyance on Turkey's agenda for some time, were discussed at a summit held in the Cankaya Mansion last Sunday President Suleyman Demirel, the chairman of the meeting, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, and Chief of the General Staff Hakki Karadayi met for the first time since the government passed its vote of confidence and discussed the country's priorities.

    Other issues discussed at the summit included: the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces, the "TRNC", the joint defense doctrine between Greece and the Cyprus Government, the arming of the Greek Cypriots and issues relating to the Customs Union and full membership of the EU.

    [02] Talat, Akinci comment on talks with Ecevit

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 20.7.97) Bulent Ecevit, Turkish deputy prime minister and state minister, visited the leaders of the opposition parties represented at the so-called Assembly. He met separately with Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Communal Liberation Party (CLP) leader Mustafa Akinci. Also attending the meetings were Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Sukru Sina Gurel, state minister responsible for Cyprus affairs. After their meetings with Ecevit, Talat and Akinci issued press statements.

    RTP leader Talat said that they discussed the Cyprus question and that he expressed to Ecevit his party's views on the eve of the second round of talks to be held in Switzerland. Talat said he explained that what the Turkish Cypriot community needs is peace and that if international relations are to develop, the problem must be resolved soon. He stressed that the two leaders must be encouraged toward a solution, adding: "I tried to explain that Mr. Ecevit's charisma in the eyes of the Turkish Cypriot community is of great importance in this regard and that he must encourage the president in this direction". Talat pointed out that there are great differences between Bulent Ecevit's views and those of the RTP on this issue. In spite of that, he said, the meeting was very beneficial. Talat noted that he will be going to Ankara to hold talks on this issue in the coming days.

    The RTP leader noted that, in addition to the Cyprus problem, they discussed economic issues and said that their views on the need to reinforce the economy of the pseudostate do not differ. He added that they discussed the EU Council resolution as well. Talat pointed out that he told Ecevit that the RTP is opposed to signing an autonomy agreement with Turkey..

    CLP leader Akinci said that the Cyprus problem is at a serious crossroads and noted his pleasure with having the opportunity to express his party's views to the relevant Turkish ministers. Akinci stated that the Turkish Cypriot community went through very important stages but failed to achieve the desired and necessary economic structure. He stressed that the economy is the field in which it can be proven to the Greek Cypriots that their dreams are futile. That is why, he said, I asked the Turkish Government to extend the most extensive economic support to the "TRNC", on condition that it is used properly.

    Akinci claimed that reinforcing the "TRNC" in every field and ensuring its recognition will not constitute an obstacle to the solution of the Cyprus problem. "Therefore", he said, "I had the opportunity to express to Ecevit that I foresee two parallel processes: the development and strengthening of the TRNC in every field on one hand, and the continuation of the dialogue process on the other". Akinci stressed that the CLP is in favour of all kinds of relations with Turkey on condition that the pseudostate maintains its independent identity.

    [03] Gurel on "Joint Declaration" on Cyprus

    TRT (4:00 hours, 21.7.97) broadcast a live interview with Sukru Sina Gurel, state minister in charge of Cyprus affairs, by Riz Okur and Gulden Ozel on the "News Agenda" program.

    In reply to a question Gurel said that they, as the government, went to the pseudostate to prove that "we will perpetuate the faith, excitement, and determination of 1974. We went there as a delegation headed by Ecevit to show to everyone that this stand will be perpetuated."

    As regards the joint declaration they signed with Denktash he said this declaration is, to a great extent, a reply to the recent political developments. "We are determined to fulfill the requirements of this joint declaration", he said.

    "The international isolation of the TRNC and the confirmation that the Greek Cypriot administration will advance its relations with the EU and begin full membership negotiations as though it had applied to the EU on behalf of the entire island prompted the two presidents to issue a joint declaration. Mr.

    Denktash and Mr. Demirel issued a joint declaration announcing what kind of steps Turkey and the TRNC would be taking toward unification in the event the EU indicates that it intends to endorse the path of full membership for the Greek Cypriot administration", he added.

    In reply to a question as to what kind of integration is proposed, Gurel inter alia said: "This arrangement will not damage, harm, injure, or diminish the sovereignty, independence, and status of the TRNC. In other words, we share the belief of the Turkish Cypriot people that the TRNC should exist as an independent state to eternity."

    To a question whether Turkey and the pseudostate will be acting jointly in foreign policy issues, Gurel said: "They will act jointly. If the TRNC does not have the possibility of representation then it will be included within Turkish delegations".

    After confessing that Turkey tried to persuade Mr.

    Denktash to go to New York for the talks, Gurel added: "At this stage we have no reason to tell Denktash that it would be a good idea for him to go to the Geneva talks. From now on, Mr. Denktash will naturally reassess the situation with his government, the TRNC government, and the TRNC Assembly. He will review the new conditions that have emerged and will then reach his decision. At this stage, however, it has become most difficult for us, as the Turkish government, to find the necessary justifications that will encourage Denktash to go to Geneva."

    He concluded by saying that "Turkey will not leave the TRNC to stand alone. It will not abandon the TRNC no matter what the cost." Everyone should realize Turkey's determination on the issue. If Turkey does not show its determination on the issue then it will be difficult to expect it to show determination in other issues. We are fully aware of this fact, he said.

    [04] Turkish Navy Commander, warships leave Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 21.7.97) Turkish Air Force Commander General Ahmet Corekci, who was in the occupied area to participate in the 23rd anniversary celebrations of the 20 July invasion, Presidential Secretary General Necdet Seckinoz, Kamer Genc, acting speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and the delegation accompanying him left the occupied area yesterday. At occupied Tymbou airport Corekci said that the "TRNC" will forever remain independent and that the "Peace and Freedom Day" will be celebrated for eternity as well. Noting that ambitious steps directed toward the future were taken especially at the meetings held with the so-called government of the pseudostate and its political organs, Gen. Corekci added that at a time when peace talks are being held these steps provide great support for Denktash and the "TRNC officials".

    Also in an airport statement, Kamer Genc said that Turkey will always stand by the "TRNC". Genc drew attention to the fact that there are those who cannot come to terms with the atmosphere of peace reigning within the Turkish Cypriot community. Claiming that two federated states with equal sovereignty and equal rights can exist in Cyprus if the Greek Cypriots consent to it, Genc said that otherwise the current situation will continue.

    The six Turkish warships belonging to the Turkish Navy Command that were in the "TRNC" to participate in the celebrations also left the island. The warships that were seen off with a military ceremony were visited by many people during their three-day stay at occupied Kyrenia port.

    [05] Ecevit on Cyprus

    TRT Television Network (18:15 hours, 17.7.97) broadcast a live interview with Bulent Ecevit, Turkey's deputy prime minister and state minister, on the "Insight into the News" program.

    Inter alia, he claimed: "As I said, the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots go after dreams in their foreign relations.

    Subconsciously, they are always after expanding, expanding to Anatolia, after the pan-hellenist movement and the ambitious expansionist policy of Megalo Idea. Also, they have a very unnecessary and unfounded fear of Turkey. They have this very unrealistic fear that Turkey is going to occupy Greece or annex the Dodecanese islands.

    If Turkey intended to, say, annex the Dodecanese islands, it had repeated opportunities to do so during World War II. Had Turkey joined the war, as a gesture, a few months before the end of the war, that would have been enough for us to take the islands. Turkey did not even attempt to do that."

    In reply to a relevant question he further claimed:

    "Turkey's importance seems to have shrunken in the eyes of certain EU member countries in the wake of the Soviet Union's disbandment. The truth is that Turkey's importance has grown, not shrunk.

    Turkey's importance that stems from its geopolitical position has grown, not shrunk. The reason is that several new republics were established in our region when the bipolar world ended, when the Soviet Union disbanded. Some of them are the Central Asian republics, Azerbaijan, the Turkic republics. When the Balkan countries gained their independence and democracy in the real sense of the word, our relations with them greatly improved too.

    In this way, Turkey became more important than before in its region. Especially if it can exploit its position a little better, it can become a much more influential leading country.

    For example, all the Central Asian Turkic republics and Azerbaijan want to take Turkey and its secular and democratic regime as an example for their own regime. They consider Ataturk as their own leader.

    In the meantime, Europe and Asia have started to integrate. We are in the process of a Eurasianization. Turkey is a key country in this process. Turkey is the guarantee of peace in the Middle East as well. The United States seems to be aware of these facts. On the other hand, however, the United States continues to take very negative steps. As you know, for example, it sank one of our ships very bitterly following a maneuver in the Aegean. Then it promised to give us some warships, but only if we paid for them. Turkey paid and continues to pay the cost to this day. The United States imposed an embargo in connection with this issue too, a very meaningless embargo. In other words, US foreign policy is full of inconsistencies. On the one hand, it considers Turkey to be the most reliable country in terms of the United States' strategic aims and concerns in the Middle East; it considers the security of Israel -- which it attaches great importance to as being dependent on Turkey; yet on the other hand, even though a Russian base is being formed in south Cyprus under its own eyes and even though the Russian influence is growing in the eastern Black Sea, it refrains from delivering to Turkey the defense equipment Turkey has a right to and paid for. One of the main reasons, as I said, is that the lobbies in the United States are influential in foreign policy.

    However, the United States' assessment of Turkey is more realistic than that of certain European countries, even though the United States is failing to fully meet the requisites of that assessment."

    Referring to Cyprus, Ecevit stated: "A new dialogue process began in New York between President Rauf Denktash and Greek Cypriot leader Mr. Clerides. It looked as if positive results could be achieved. However, the EU interfered again. The EU Commission released a report completely opening the doors for the Greek Cypriot sector's membership in the EU and almost completely closing them for the Turkish Republican State. It closed the doors on Turkey more than before. Under these conditions, naturally, the dialogue on Cyprus no longer has any meaning because a solution emerged which suits both Greece and the Greek Cypriot sector. This is a solution that Turkey or the Turkish Cypriots can never accept."

    And he continued claiming: "In this situation, if the Greek Cypriot Administration becomes a full EU member -- and the doors to that are wide open now -- the dialogue will be severed and the economic and political pressures on the Turkish Cypriot sector will grow a lot. The TRNC will be forced to break away from Turkey and get under Greece's area of influence. In similar cases in the past, the Turkish Cypriots were faced with massacres and threates of massacre. Consequently, it is impossible for Turkey or for the TRNC to accept that. So what will happen is as follows: Turkey has already announced through the two declarations recently published by President Demirel and President Denktash of the TRNC, and it has been unanimously accepted by the Assembly, that if the Greek Cypriot Administration is admitted as an EU member as the so-called representative of the whole of Cyprus, then Turkey and the TRNC will move toward partial integration."

    And he further explained: "In other words, the TRNC will remain an independent country. It will have its own parliament, government, police force, and civil servants. Turkey will run its international relations and foreign security. Also, the economies of Turkey and of the TRNC will integrate further. There are very successful examples of that kind of arrangement, like the two island states attached to Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. They are both completely independent but Britain assumes their international relations and foreign security.

    Similar relations exist between the Faroe Islands in the Atlantic and Denmark, and between Puerto Rico and the United States.

    Obliged to do so, Turkey and the TRNC will take steps toward such an arrangement. They have already started to take such steps.

    Meanwhile, Turkey must show greater interest in the economic problems of north Cyprus. The minute our government assumed power, we determined what can be done in this field".

    Asked whether the start of an integration process with the "TRNC" calls for a change of strategy in Turkey's relations with the EU or with the United States, Ecevit said:

    "When I was talking of the developments that encouraged the Greek Cypriots, I failed to point out that these developments also affect Turkey. Until a short while ago, we used to say that Turkey is the TRNC's guarantee. That is still true. However, another truth has emerged too: The TRNC has become Turkey's guarantee. The reason is that the arms build-up in south Cyprus targets Turkey, not the TRNC. Under these conditions, Turkey is faced with a serious threat. Ataturk was a great strategic expert. In an address to high-ranking officers during a military exercise in the Antalya region in the 1930's he said: Be careful about Cyprus. Cyprus is very important for Turkey. If it falls into the hands of an enemy state, Turkey's southern coast can be seriously threatened. You must not allow that. He said this or words to that effect. He was very right. Actually you do not have to be a strategic expert to understand Cyprus' strategic importance for Turkey. Just looking at the map is enough.

    Furthermore, as a result of the progress made in the arms technology since the 1930's, Cyprus can be turned into a base that can threaten not only our southern coast but Turkey's internal regions as well. Under these conditions, the TRNC's partial integration with Turkey has become imperative in terms of Turkey's security too. A country must first think of its own security no matter what the world says. I am confident that we will have no difficulty in explaining this to the world."

    [06] Ecevit wants to re-negotiate the Customs Union Agreement

    According to MILLIYET (22.7.97) correspondent Fikret Bila, Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent occupied area of Cyprus, has now put his weight on Turkish foreign policy. Ecevit has declared that without deviating from the EU full membership target, Turkey's relations with the EU and the Customs Union should be taken up again.

    Ecevit claimed that Turkey's Customs Union with the EU is working against Turkey, therefore, he said, the agreement should be re-negotiated.

    Ecevit said that the trade gap with the EU is getting larger and larger every year and from 5 billion USD it has reached 11 billion USD today. "A legal way has to be found to re-negotiate this agreement with the EU. If there is no legal way, Turkey has to create one", he stated.


    [07] Ankara says there is no foreign reaction to partial integration

    According to KIBRIS (22.7.97) Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli, speaking during a press conference, when asked about foreign diplomatic reaction regarding the understanding reached between Turkey and the occupied area on partial integration, claimed that they did not receive any reaction.

    He also said that they do not plan to inform the foreign diplomatic circles regarding the understanding. However, he added, if need be, a meeting could be arranged.

    He further said that the understanding reached between Turkey and the occupied area consists of various stages and when the time comes these will be put into practice.

    As for Denktash's statement regarding his attending the Montreux meeting, Atacanli said that the decision whether to attend the second round of talks will be taken after considering the latest developments.


    [08] Turkish London Ambassador issues threats

    KIBRIS (22.7.97) correspondent Serhat Incirli reporting from London says that Turkey's ambassador to Britain Ozdem Sanberk addressing a gathering held last Sunday in London on the occasion of the anniversary of the 20 July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, send a strong threatening message regarding Cyprus' efforts to strengthening its defence against the Turkish occupation forces. Sanberk also said that Cyprus will not become an EU member even if the Cyprus problem is solved, unless Turkey becomes an EU member.

    Ambassador Sanberk said that Turkey has realized its first national struggle between 1919-1923 and that the Cyprus cause is Turkey's second national struggle.

    He also said that the 65 million citizens of Turkey are with the Turkish Cypriots and no one could make Turkey withdraw this support. Ambassador Sanberk went on and said: "Governments in Turkey come and go but national causes never change. Turkey, who considers Cyprus as a matter of honour, is always on Cyprus's side".

    Noting that the EU decision to start accession talks with Cyprus and Cyprus's attempt to strengthen its defence did not escape their attention, Ambassador Sanberk added that the world has accepted a bizonal, bicommunal settlement with Turkey's effective guarantees and with two sovereign communities.

    Drawing attention to the so-called "Greek Cypriot arming that might tilt the balance in the East Mediterranean" Ambassador Sandberk threatened: "If we decide that these weapons have reached a worrying level, these weapons shall be zeroed".

    Sandberk also noted that Turkish Cypriots living in London make an important force and he wanted this force to take its place in the British political parties.


    [09] US reaction said to have caused a more moderate text of the "Joint Declaration"

    CUMHURIYET (22.7.97) correspondent Lale Sariibrahimoglu reports that the joint declaration issued in the occupied area during the joint press conference held by Ecevit, Denktash and Cem, has created disillusionment among the Turkish Cypriots starting from Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Lale Sariibrahimolglu adds that the text of the joint declaration was reviewed a day earlier in Ankara, at a meeting headed by Ecevit, in which Turkish State Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Prof. Sukru Sina Gurel, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and others took part.

    "In this draft text, more deterrent and concrete measures were included against the EU and the Greek Cypriots following the suggestions of the Foreign Ministry bureaucrats and the TRNC.

    However, due to the reaction and dislike expressed by US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns and other US officials regarding Ecevit's visit and following a special US initiative in Ankara, Turkey was forced to act in a more moderate manner. In the face of these developments, Ecevit has consulted Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and they decided upon and concluded that it will not be right to declare and put into practice, from the political point of view, concrete measures such as dual nationality" reports Sariibrahimoglu.

    Following this "softening of the text", Denktash expressed his disillusionment when he met Ecevit with the following words: "The joint statement that we will issue does not include enough reaction to the Agenda 2000. The elements included in our statement cover the things that should have already been done. We have done this kind of statements with Ankara many times in the past. But none of them was realized. If you, too, cannot keep your word, you will face serious difficulties before the EU and the people. These elements are far below our expectations."

    CUMHURIYET correspondent says that prior to the joint press conference Ecevit had 90-minute meeting with Denktash during which he explained to Denktash the difficulties of declaring to the world more concrete measures at this stage.


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