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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-08-22

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>


TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 154/97 -- 22.8.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash assesses UNSC statement on Montreux talks.
  • [02] Akinci raps Denktash for not briefing parties on talks.
  • [03] Turkey's Ciller reportedly agreed to EU-Cyprus talks.
  • [04] Integration between Turkey and the pseudostate stepped up.
  • [05] UK to pressure Turkey on Cyprus solution.
  • [06] UNSC evaluation of Cyprus talks disappoint Turks.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Mumtaz Soysal warns against Turkey's dependence on US support.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash assesses UNSC statement on Montreux talks

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 21.8.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has claimed that certain decisions have already been made regarding the Cyprus issue and that the side that does not abide by these decisions will be punished and pressured even if it is justified in its stand.

    Assessing the UN Security Council (UNSC) statement on the Cyprus issue, Denktash claimed that he saved the negotiating process. Denktash said that the UNSC statement, by praising President Clerides and imposing conditions on and portraying him as the person who is obstructing the talks, has once again shown that certain decisions have already been adopted on the Cyprus issue. He added: "The side that does not abide by these decisions, no matter how justified it is, will be punished and pressured. If possible, it will be crushed. We are standing erect with the support of our people. We will continue to safeguard the rights defended by these people at the expense of lives."

    Pointing out that he did not believe that Cordovez, the UN Secretary General's special adviser, was a party to the UNSC statement, Denktash expressed the belief that the statement was issued as a result of the pressure exerted by the Russians, and the other "pro-Greek Cypriot countries". He said he will be expressing his views to Cordovez in writing. Denktash also expressed the belief that it is better from the viewpoint of Turkish Cypriot interests for the Turkish Cypriot side not to participate in any meeting if it is going to be found guilty for refusing to accept proposals submitted by others.

    [02] Akinci raps Denktash for not briefing parties on talks

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 21.8.97) Communal Liberation Party (TKP) leader Mustafa Akinci has said that approaches that keep the Turkish Cypriot political parties from contributing to the direct talks process should be abandoned.

    In a written statement he issued, Akinci said that the second round of the direct talks held in Switzerland should be seriously assessed by the Turkish Cypriot side and criticized the fact that the Turkish Cypriot political parties will be briefed on the talks with a delay. Noting that the Greek Cypriot parties have found the opportunity to assess the talks based on President Clerides' briefing, Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot political parties that are the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community are being called to a meeting after a fait accompli has been established. He noted that policies should be formulated in line with a participative understanding that does not exclude the community's political parties. Akinci said that the fact that the UN Security Council praised the approach adopted by President Clerides and expressed concern over the stand adopted by Denktash can be construed as a negative development from the viewpoint of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    [03] Turkey's Ciller reportedly agreed to EU-Cyprus talks

    According to daily HURRIYET (Internet version, 21.8.97), Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem encountered a situation he did not expect during his meeting with Hans Van Den Broek, the EU Commissioner responsible for external affairs, in Brussels on July 22.

    When the Turkish Foreign Minister claimed that the EU's decision to start full membership negotiations with the Cyprus Government on 1 January 1998 would make the settlement process on the island impossible, Van Den Broek intervened and said: "But we were earlier given assurances Turkey would not object to the start of full membership negotiations between the Union and the Greek Cypriots."

    It is interesting that Van Den Broek's response to Cem was also put before Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash when he was in New York in July for UN- sponsored talks on Cyprus.

    Richard Holbrooke, the Cyprus Coordinator of the US State Department, told Denktash when he met him in New York that he did not understand the uproar from the Turkish side with regard to the start of full membership negotiations between the EU and the Cyprus Government.

    According to Holbrooke, Turkish governments gave assurances in the past that there would be no objections to the start of full membership talks between the EU and the Greek Cypriots.

    It is now becoming evident that, in the course of contacts over the last two years, Turkey gave, at the highest level, the impression to the EU it would not object to these talks. It seems somebody said: "We will turn a blind eye when you start the negotiations." This message, conveyed behind closed doors, now springs up before Ankara in every meeting and is used as a means of pressure to diffuse the resentment expressed, the paper says.

    In the meantime the EU Commission dashed Turkey's hopes of becoming a full EU member by excluding Turkey from its enlargement plans.

    In other words things did not turn out as expected, and Turkey has been left with a unrequited concession made by past governments.

    This is where Tansu Ciller's approach of "full membership at any cost" has brought Turkey on Cyprus and the EU, the paper concludes.

    [04] Integration between Turkey and the pseudostate stepped up

    According to daily CUMHURIYET (19.8.97) the "partnership" process between Turkey and the pseudostate has been stepped up as a result of the failure of the intercommunal talks in Glion to yield a result.

    Reportedly the realization of the agreement Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and "TRNC Foreign Minister" Taner Etkin signed on 6 August for the establishment of an association council will be stepped up.

    The agreement Turkey and the "TRNC" signed to have an association council established is a part of the "political measures" they plan to take against the talks the EU and the Greek Cypriot side may have on Cyprus' accession early in 1998.

    The objective of Turkey and the "TRNC" is to have the council become functional as soon as the Turkish Assembly and the pseudo-Assembly approve the agreement. The Turkish Grand National Assembly will approve it when it returns from its summer recess on 1 October. The sides have already move to select the members of the committees they will establish. The objective of the association council will be to pave the way for an economic and financial integration between the two parties. It will also pave the way for partial integration based on partnership in the security, defense, and foreign policy domains. Stressing that the process Turkey and the "TRNC" have initiated to achieve partial integration is maintained, Foreign Ministry sources asserted that the third round of talks on the solution of the Cyprus problem will depend on the EU approach. Recalling that the EU's final decision on the countries it will hold talks with on accession will be adopted during the organization's summit in Luxembourg in December, the sources also asserted that the "partnership process will be maintained as a measure against the possibility of the Greek Cypriot side being included in the EU list."

    Reportedly Turkey will launch a diplomatic campaign in the EU countries to inform them as follows: "Holding talks with the Greek Cypriot administration for the accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU as if it represents the Cyprus Republic will undermine the effort made to have the Cyprus problem solved. Furthermore, the talks with the Greek Cypriot administration will violate international law". It has also been reported that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will seek support for Turkey's view that "Cyprus should join the EU together with Turkey after the problem in the island is solved" when he visits Italy, France, and Germany in September.

    [05] UK to pressure Turkey on Cyprus solution

    According to Turkish Daily News (22.8.97, Internet version), there are signs that the UK is preparing to put more pressure on Turkey regarding the Cyprus problem before the negotiations between the European Union and Cyprus begin. Doug Henderson, the UK's Minister for Europe, said recently that he plans to tell the Turkish government that they have special obligation to encourage a solution in the island.

    Speaking to journalists after a meeting with the U.N.'s special Cyprus representative, Diego Cordovez,Henderson said that after the difficulties experienced at the latest Clerides-Denktas meeting it had became obvious that there was a special responsibility on the Turkish government to give all the support it could to the peace process. Henderson was referring to Denktas' rejection of the newly-amended U.N. proposals aimed at fostering compromise. When asked whether the key to a solution lies with Ankara, he hinted that Turkey had more responsibility to find a solution than others. Henderson said he would be making this clear when he spoke to the Turkish authorities during his upcoming visit. He reiterated the Foreign Office's statement that they are looking for success in the negotiations as part of the enlargement process of the EU, as was established in the 'Commission 2000' document.

    British Foreign Office officials made it clear previously that the UK was one of the countries supporting Cyprus' membership even if there was no solution reached on the island. Reacting to the declaration signed between Turkey and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)" on July 20, which has furthered the partial integration with Turkey after the EU's decision to offer Cyprus membership, the Foreign Office had said they still believed in the benefits both communities would gain through EU membership.

    During the Conservative Party period, the UK's stand on Cyprus' EU membership had been "supportive" even if no solution was reached. However, this approach seems to have been strengthened with the Labour government in office. Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, has expressed great support for Cyprus's membership in the EU, while his predecessor, Malcolm Rifkind, had hinted that starting negotiations with Cyprus would not mean its immediate acceptance. Cook even said he would make sure that when the UK assumes the EU presidency at the beginning of 1998 Cyprus would get a good start, because it is the date negotiations are expected to begin. Cyprus' EU membership was even mentioned in the Queen's speech.

    Cook and Foreign Office officials have been saying that no country should have a veto over the membership. Whenever confronted by the argument that a divided island would bring problems to the EU and cause more problems on the island, the officials argue that membership would give an economic and political boost which would also benefit the northern side, which has been hurt by economic embargoes.

    [06] UNSC evaluation of Cyprus talks disappoint Turks

    According to Turkish Daily News (22.8.97, Internet version), "disappointment and quiet exasperation" is how one can summarize the reaction of a number of Turkish Cypriot and Turkish observers in the United States to the outcome of the second round of direct talks in Glion, Switzerland, between Turkish and Greek Cypriot community leaders.

    The press statement issued on Wednesday in New York by the president of U.N. Security Council (UNSC), British Ambassador Sir John Weston, added amazement to the Turkish disappointment.

    All Turkish and Turkish Cypriot sources the paper contacted on Wednesday said they could not understand how Sir Weston could commend" Glafkos Clerides for his "flexibility," while acussing Denktas of "impeding" "substantive progress" by "bringing preconditions to the table."

    Sir Weston's openly pro-Greek assesment of the talks is all the more amazing, the paper claims, since his statement followed a briefing by the UN Secretary-General's special Cyprus adviser, Diego Condovez, on the outcome of the Glion talks. The paper says that confidential U.N. sources told them that Cordovez' briefing was balanced and objective.

    Denktas said he won't sign anything until the December meeting of EU. If in December, the EU confirms its decision to go ahead with the talks to admit Cyprus into EU as a full member, then every Turkish observer agrees that that would be the end of all talks, period.

    But, if the EU announces it won't start the talks, then Mr. Clerides will pull out of the talks, and Greece is expected to veto the accession of the other five "Agenda 2000" countries, the paper says.

    Turks say they don't care how the EU solves this dilemma. One option talked about in Washington and New York is "freezing" the acession talks until a solution is reached on the island.

    "If EU announces a freeze, than Mr. Denktas may go back to the negotiating table after Greek-Cypriot presidential elections in March '98 for a third round of talks," one informed source told the paper.

    What's still unknown is the "Holbrooke factor." It is not yet known if Mr. Holbrooke, President Clinton's special Cyprus coordinator, has crystallized for himself what his role would exactly be in Cyprus.

    One cynical insider source said "Holbrooke is actually waiting for the United Nations process to collapse before he steps forward to put his own stamp on the talks and get full credit for it."

    Some observers claim that Cyprus is a lot tougher case than Bosnia. If that is true, and given the troubles Mr. Holbrooke is still having in Bosnia, one does not fell too optimistic about his chances of undoing EU's great blunder and healing the wound that is Cyprus.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Mumtaz Soysal Warns against Turkey's dependence on US support

    Mumtaz Soysal, writing in HURRIYET (20.8.97) under the title "Basket and Outcome", says:

    "Turkish diplomats should be aware that placing all their eggs in the US basket is very dangerous. Furthermore, noisily publicizing such to the world, as if playing the traditional zurna (musical instrument) and drums, is very dangerous.

    Ankara wants to use the United States as a lever to surmount the obstacles it has confronted in Europe. However, it has made its intention too obvious. Publicizing such a policy is very wrong, regardless of the fact that it may be justified and considered to be legitimate from the point of view of international balances. A more delicate approach is required in diplomacy. Otherwise, initiatives may backfire. That is unavoidable and the lever will become useless.

    For example, let us consider the Cyprus problem. It is a fact that Europe has treated Turkey and north Cyprus very unjustly by violating the provisions of international agreements and ignoring the rules that have existed on the island. In view of that, no one can condemn Turkey's resolute approach and effort to use all the means it has at hand. However, it is wrong to assume that the United States, which is expected to make initiatives in the future, will fully support the Turkish side in the problem, a move that would disrupt its relations with Europe. Furthermore, it would be wrong to expect Richard Holbrooke to adopt an approach similar to the one Henry Kissinger maintained in the past. Holbrooke is considering whether or not he should be as fully involved in the Cyprus problem as he was in the problem in Bosnia. That is because a different situation exists in Cyprus. A dramatic situation, in which bloody incidents take place every day, is out of the question.

    The problem in Cyprus has a history of 500 years. It is a Byzantine problem. The leaders who are involved in it are charismatic figures who have waged a long struggle. They did not appear on the scene during the past few years.

    Undoubtedly, Mr. Holbrooke will do everything he can to improve the present state of affairs, just as any other righteous person would do to improve the situation. However, whether or not he will regard the problem as a personal issue and involve himself in it in a way that may harm his image is unclear.

    So, considering the decision he has to make, how logical would it be for us to create the impression that `we can get what we want by depending on the United States?'

    Even if we decide to ignore the reaction such an impression will create in Europe, we have to consider the important lesson we learned from the Ciller era in Turkey.

    Indicating our expectations has always been harmful. It will be recalled that former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller made her affection for Europe too obvious. She indicated that she was eager to sign an agreement for a customs union between the EU and Turkey. Consequently, she was forced to sign an inauspicious agreement and make a concession on Cyprus. That was unforgivable.

    The diplomats in Ankara have indicated that they want to use the United States as a trump card against Europe. They have weakened themselves against Washington by doing so.

    We may make many concessions to the United States, but we may still find ourselves to be in a helpless situation against Europe. That is a dangerous possibility that always exists.

    Obviously, Turkey's situation in Europe must be strengthened through initiatives in its interest. That is the right thing to do. An initiative to resolve the problem in southeastern Turkey and a move to adopt measures to improve human rights can be viewed as an example.

    A satisfactory outcome cannot be achieved with an effort that depends on foreign support." EF/SK


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


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