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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-09-01

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. 160/97 30-31/8,1/9/97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] MINISTER GUREL COMMENTS ON CYPRUS, EU MEMBERSHIP
  • [02] DENKTASH REPLIES TO CRITICISM FROM TURKISH CYPRIOTS
  • [03] PAPER WARNS TURKISH FUNDAMENTALISTS MOVING TO THE OCCUPIED AREA
  • [04] TURKEY'S DEFENSE MINISTER WARNS GREECE AGAINST PURCHASE OF S-300's
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] RUSSIAN-TURKISH GAS AGREEMENT, S-300 SALES LINK VIEWED

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] MINISTER GUREL COMMENTS ON CYPRUS, EU MEMBERSHIP

    According to daily Cumhuriyet (29/8/97), Sukru Sina Gurel, the Turkish Government's State Minister for Cyprus and EU Affairs, indicated that the wrong policies conducted by the previous governments have given Europe the impression "Turkey could make concessions on Cyprus in return for development of its relations with the EU."

    Gurel added that despite the wrong impression given on 6 March 1995, there exists no legal arrangement binding his Government. Gurel said the following in reply to Cumhuriyet's questions on Turkey's approach to the EU and Cyprus:

    "If the two peoples are forced to live together with a so-called solution formulated by others, this would mean the Greek Cypriots - who are recognized as a state by the world, benefit from the international aid, establish ties with the rest of the world, and as a result, reap huge political, economic, and social benefits - would start the race much ahead of the TRNC, which is deprived of all the above, has been isolated from the world, and can only turn to Turkey.

    Therefore, the Turkish Cypriots must be reinformed economically and socially and should be raised to a point that would enable them to compete with the Greek Cypriots, if not attain their level. To achieve that we have in our hand a protocol concluded by the previous government at the beginning of 1997. The government before us had no time and means to implement it. Therefore, instead of restarting everything from scratch, we intend to take up the partial integration as a political objective and put the joint protocol into effect by drawing a new timetable. The State has promised $250 million for this purpose. The $50 million has already been paid. We are trying to open a new line of credit this year and transfer the rest next year.", Gurel said.

    And he continued:

    "It is true that the EU had gathered a wrong impression on 6 March 1995. At the time Turkey appeared ready to make certain concessions to Europe on the Cyprus problem for the sake of developing its own relations with the EU. But there exists no legal arrangement binding Turkey on this issue." As regards Turkey's relations with the EU, Gurel said:

    "The full (EU) membership is both our right and goal. That was the only reason we consented to the Customs Union. Some mechanisms have been formed inside the Customs Union that would take Turkey to full membership. The political consultation mechanism and the financial assistance have not yet been put into operation though. We have no intention of giving up the Customs Union. But, they must first of all recognize us as a candidate country. But, that will not be sufficient. Beyond that, a substantive pre- accession strategy should be placed before us."

    [02] DENKTASH REPLIES TO CRITICISM FROM TURKISH CYPRIOTS

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1530 hours, 29/8/97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has claimed that a federation in Cyprus depends on the recognition of two states.

    In a written statement to illegal TAK, Denktash replied to the criticism leveled at him for saying: If it were up to me, I would not continue with the talks.

    He claimed that he wants to warn the Turkish Cypriots against the Greek Cypriots' declarations about their "unilateral" membership n the EU and against other "dangers". He alleged that he wants to make the Turkish Cypriots think deeply about these issues.

    Denktash claimed that, at this point, efforts are being made to drag the Turkish Cypriot side into an EU membership, and because he resists that, he is being blamed by the Greek Cypriots, their supporters, and certain circles within the "TRNC".

    He further claimed: "Certain circles among us are blaming us mercilessly even though they have been given all the information. They have the right to differ, to blame and criticize us. It is my right, however, to tirelessly and bravely tell my people the truth."

    Clarifying his earlier remarks to the effect that if it were up to him, he would not have called for a federation in 1974 and 1975, Denktash said:

    "Had we declared our state immediately after 1974, the road to a federation in Cyprus would have been opened more easily. That is what I insisted on." Denktash reiterated his claim that a federation cannot be established unless the Turkish Cypriots' sovereignty and equality are recognized.

    [03] PAPER WARNS TURKISH FUNDAMENTALISTS MOVING TO THE OCCUPIED AREA

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeniduzen (29/8/97) writes that attempts are being made to transfer to the "TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)" the pro-shari'a activities and the religious businesses that led to a social and government crisis in Turkey.

    The Kombassan firm, whose activities were halted and resources frozen by a decision of the Turkish National Security Council for providing money to pro-shari'a activities and to the schools where shari'a followers have nestled, has gone into action to buy the Faisal Islamic Bank operating in the occupied area. Kombassan and Faisal Islamic Bank officials have been holding talks for nearly a month and the negotiations are in their final stage.

    Meanwhile, it has been found that after having launched, with the support of some Democratic Party (DP) leaders, a signature campaign asking for the "opening of the Kuranic courses," the religious groups operating in the occupied area have now started pressuring the Directorate of the Vakifs to open Kuranic courses.

    The involvement of some DP leaders in the pressure for the legalization and spreading of the Kuranic courses, which were once organized in the pseudostate illegally and most of which were shut down upon complaint from the "Education Ministry", has caused uneasiness within the DP.

    The effort by religious companies wielding trillions of Turkish Lira to get hold of the occupied area on the one hand, and the attempt by religious people to pressure the "State institutions" through the leaders of the ruling party on the other has prompted people to ask: "Where are we heading?", the paper writes.

    [04] TURKEY'S DEFENSE MINISTER WARNS GREECE AGAINST PURCHASE OF S-300's

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1530 hours, 29/8/97) Ismet Sezgin, Turkish deputy prime minister and national defense minister, has warned Greece against purchasing the S-300 missile system. Speaking to a private television station in Turkey, Sezgin said: "The S-300 missiles in Cyprus are too much for Cyprus and too little for Turkey."

    Expressing the belief that Greece and the Cyprus Government will not engage in such an "imbalance and madness," as he put it, Sezgin claimed that Greece's announcement that it will purchase S-300 missiles will create tension in the region. Sezgin reiterated that Turkey is in favour of dialogue.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] RUSSIAN-TURKISH GAS AGREEMENT, S-300 SALES LINK VIEWED

    Columnist Yalcin Dogan, writing in Milliyet (Internet version, 30/8/97) writes that the natural gas agreement that was signed at the Office of the Prime Minister the other day lays the foundation for the "biggest flirt" with Russia in recent years, both economically and politically. The natural gas pipeline from Russia will pass beneath the Black Sea and emerge in Samsun. The pipeline will be 380 kilometers long and will lie as deep as 2, 100 meters below the surface at some points. It will cost $3.3 billion. After the undersea pipeline reaches Samsun it will extend to Ankara to be connected to Turkey's natural gas pipeline grid. When that happens this gas will join the natural gas that is currently imported via Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. The gas will begin to flow at the rate of 8 billion cubic meters (per year) in 2000. This figure will rise to 16 billion cubic meters (per year) in 2003. Thanks to this agreement Turkey's electricity generation capacity (100 billion kilowatt-hours a year at present) will rise by 20 percent.

    And the paper adds:

    "Why is Russia making such an overture to Turkey? It is clear that ‘personal relationships’ have taken precedence over politics. For example, the director general of Gazprom, which signed the agreement on behalf of Russia, has stayed in the homes of Turkish businessmen who contributed significantly to this agreement. A typical ‘Ozal-style’ approach. Of course these personal ties are not enough to explain the signature at the bottom of the world's biggest natural gas agreement. That is where Gunes Taner and Ismail Cem come in. Numerous meetings were held with Russia at various levels in the last one or two months. Russia wants to ‘introduce a new political dimension to its relations with Turkey’".

    And the paper continues:

    "One question comes to mind: How can Russia make an overture to Turkey on natural gas even as it sells missiles to the Greek Cypriot sector knowing Turkey's reaction to that deal? I asked this of the Russian officials. They gave a bare answer like: ‘We are doing trade. We sell arms and natural gas’. I asked the same question to our officials. Interestingly they also gave the same answer: ‘They are doing trade’.

    The Russians are extremely uneasy with the situation in Chechnya and Dagestan. They believe that ‘ Turkey is selling arms to these two countries’. They keep sending messages to Ankara asking it to end such incidents. Turkey, in its turn, is disturbed by Russian arms sales to the Greek Cypriot sector. Although both Russian and Turkish officials view the natural gas agreement as ‘trade’, one is filled with optimism that this accord may soften the arms sales from both sides. This was the atmosphere in Ankara yesterday.

    The economic contribution of this accord is very explicit. However, it is its ‘political attributes’ that need to be watched. It is evident that the flirt that has begun on the Ankara-Moscow axis will not stop at only the natural gas pipeline".

    ĹF/MP


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


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