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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-09-08

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


TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 165/97 -- 6-7-8.9.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Gurel: Mistake to seek Cyprus solution `at all costs'.
  • [02] Turkey's Ecevit warns against Cyprus missile deployment.
  • [03] Gurel says Holbrooke approach to Cyprus issue `realistic'.
  • [04] F-16 planes said capable of intercepting S-300 missiles.
  • [05] US satellites said informed Turkey on missiles movement.
  • [06] Sir David Hannay: Best hope is for a federal Cyprus.
  • [07] MHP: Cyprus crucially important for Turkish foreign policy.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Lugar's visit viewed, US initiative on Cyprus questioned.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Gurel: Mistake to seek Cyprus solution `at all costs'

    According to TRT Television network (7:00 hours, 5.9.97), Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has stated that to seek to secure a solution in Cyprus at all costs is a mistake. Gurel, who is in the United States, attended a meeting at the Washington Institute in Washington where he met with US State Department and White House officials.

    During a news conference prior to his departure for New York, Gurel said that Washington pursued a favourable approach along the lines of not adopting any stand that will be against the wishes of those directly involved in the issue. Recalling that Turkey is against the arms buildup of the Greek Cypriots, Gurel noted that he brought this subject up during his contacts in Washington and claimed: "Russia is settling in Cyprus with a military presence and not only with the S-300 missiles."

    It was reported that Gurel may meet with Richard Holbrooke, US special envoy to Cyprus, in New York.

    Furthermore, according to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 5.9.97) with regard to Turkey's EU membership, Gurel underlined that Turkey has made no promises to the EU on the Cyprus issue and the Turkish foreign minister clearly expressed this stand to the EU in a written letter on 6 March 1995. "The TRNC is a state, regardless of its recognition by the international community. The principle of equality should be taken as a basis in the intercommunal negotiations", he claimed.

    Explaining that Turkey will proceed with its official integration with the "TRNC", Gurel added: "Those who insist on a solution at all costs will have committed a serious mistake. The parameters for resolving the Cyprus issue are explicit and the Italian foreign minister's statements are out in the open."

    [02] Turkey's Ecevit warns against Cyprus missile deployment

    According to daily TURKIYE (5.9.97), Turkey will fulfill the requirements of the agreement it concluded with the "TRNC" for cooperation and defense if S-300 missiles are installed in Cyprus. Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said:

    "Turkey is ready to take the necessary measures. We will sink ships that insist on carrying missiles through the straits regardless of our warnings."

    Claiming that the EU axed the Clerides-Denktash summit in Switzerland last month, he asserted that he believes that the United States will adopt a sensitive approach on the matter.

    Recalling that the integration between Turkey and the "TRNC" will be stepped up if the EU agrees to the Greek Cypriot side's accession, Ecevit noted: "The association council that will be established between Turkey and the TRNc will be an important step towards integration. The Greek Cypriot side's arms are aimed at Turkey. Turkey is a factor which guarantees the TRNC. Likewise, the TRNC is a factor which guarantees Turkey's security. Turkey is closely following developments. I am categorically opposed to the deployment of missiles in south Cyprus, regardless of whether or not they have been acquired from Russia or any other country. Several measures can be taken.

    Turkey and the TRNC have already warned all foreign countries."

    [03] Gurel says Holbrooke approach to Cyprus issue `realistic'

    According to TRT Television network (21:00 hours, 5.9.97) Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has said that the US initiatives with regard to the Cyprus issue are favourable.

    Gurel, who is the state minister responsible for Cyprus and EU affairs, met with Richard Holbrooke, President Bill Clinton's special envoy to Cyprus, in New York.

    In a statement after the meeting, Gurel said that Holbrooke has a realistic approach to the Cyprus issue. In connection with the S-300 missile crisis, Gurel said that Turkey has no intentions to seek an amendment to the Montreux Treaty with regard to inspecting the ships passing through the straits and reiterated: "However, Turkey will adopt every measure necessary to safeguard its own security."

    Meanwhile, it was reported that Thomas Miller, the US State Department's Cyprus coordinator, will go to Cyprus on 8 September and later visit Ankara and Athens.

    [04] F-16 planes said capable of intercepting S-300 missiles

    According to daily SABAH (Ankara version, 5.9.97) it has been ascertained that the ALQ-178 electronic warfare equipment on the F-16 planes are capable of rendering ineffective the air defense systems of all the neighbouring countries, including the S-300 missiles. The Turkish pilots have gained experience in dealing with S-300 missiles during the training they have received under "simulated threat" at a center that provides training in electronic warfare in Israel.

    Reportedly, the frequencies used by the S-300 missiles have been established and the Turkish military planes are now able to easily detect the positions of the missile batteries. The system is activated as soon as the radar equipment on the S-300 missiles becomes operational. It warns the F-16 pilots when S-300 missiles lock on their planes. That allows them to determine the coordinates of the missile batteries and take action to destroy them or "blind" the oncoming missile by jamming its frequencies.

    The frequencies have been added to the F-16 computers.

    They can also be added to the F-4 computers externally. Special equipment has to be used for that purpose.

    [05] US satellites said informed Turkey on missiles movement

    According to daily SABAH (Internet version, 6.9.97), the question arises of how does Turkey learn about the exit from Russia of S-300 missiles, which are bound for Cyprus.

    How does the Turkish security unit receive information on which ship and when the missiles were boarded, and knows that the missiles were found on a ship when it passed through the Istanbul Strait, the paper asks. Columnist Fatih Cekirze says:

    "The answers to these quesitons lead me to an `Intelligence-security cooperation', which also includes Turkey.

    According to this information, after tracking these missiles through its staellites, the United States is passing information on it to Turkey. In this way, Turkey is learning about the type of the missiles, the ships that carry them, and the time the ships will cross the Strait. And, naturally, Turkey is intervening.

    In reality, this `Intelligence-Security Cooperation' is not a new fact. This is a Turkey-Israel-United States cooperation that has been going on for quite some time now, and has even been put to practice, in line with the security agreements signed among themselves.

    As a matter of fact, during a visit to the United States when Tansu Ciller was Prime Minister, a Turkish general had introduced a comprehensive file to his American counterparts.

    This file encompassed the activities of the PKK (Workers Party of Kurdistan) in northern Iraq. The movement of a large amount of ammunition and weapons was at the head of these activities.

    Turkey's argument was this: `Northern Iraq is a territory under US control. If every moving object in this territory is being detected by the US satellites, then the PKK's movement is also being detected. Therefore, cooperation should be made in the field of information about the movement of these terrorists.'

    The United States had immediately given a positive reply to Turkey's request, and Washington had actually followed the PKK's transfer of weapons and ammunition to northern Iraq, and had passed the information to Ankara. In this way, the air operations launched in the recent period had been more effective.

    And this is the kind of cooperation I am talking about.

    A new cooperation is being developed now against the Greek Cypriot arming, which may threaten the security in the region.

    The United States is already following with its satellites Russia's sale of heavy weapons, missiles, and nuclear technology.

    In this connection, it seems these missiles are being purchased by some Arab countries, in particular Egypt, and also Iran and Armenia. .../..

    The way to explain this issue is as follows: `The Arab countries and Iran are reacting to the security agreement between Turkey and Israel. In this situation, they can give concealed support to the Greek Cypriots regarding the missiles bound for southern Cyprus'.

    Yes, the information I received point to this fact.

    However, I should also underline a fact that goes beyond this information. Some circles may deny reports that Turkey received information on ships carrying missiles `through the US Intelligence'. This denial is important from the perspective of the balance between the United States and Russia, but it cannot change the reality.

    Yes, with the physical and political support it extends to Armenia and south Cyprus, Russia is planning to reduce Turkey's weight in the region, and weaken Turkey's relations with the Turkic Repulics, especially Azerbaijan.

    The minimum that Russia is doing is that it is implementing a plan to make itself the `big brother' of the region. Naturally, for this reason it is giving support in the form of people and weapons to countries like south Cyprus and in particular to Armenia that have ambitions against Turkey.

    For example, it has its official armed forces in Armenia and is selling missiles to that country. It is giving missile technology to Iran. And, last of all, it is negotiating for the sale of missiles with south Cyprus. There is another important question in this regard: How many missiles have already been secretly transferred to the Greek Cypriots?

    The answer to this question is not known.

    Yes, a dangerous `missile circle' is being formed around Turkey. It can be said that this circle may seriously escalate the situation in the region in the following period.

    It should not be forgotten that this region includes borders like Karabakh, northern Iraq, and Cyprus still not drawn or officially recognized.

    Looking from the energy perspective it can be said that the redrawing of these borders may necessitate a second `atmosphere of fighting'.

    South Cyprus, where the missiles are bound, may constitute such an `atmosphere of fighting'," he concludes.

    [06] Sir David Hannay: Best hope is for a federal Cyprus

    The weekly english-speaking newspaper of the Turkish-speaking community in Britain, TOPLUM POSTASI (4.9.97), says that Britain's Special Envoy to Cyprus has indicated the best hope for Cyprus is a federal solution and believes it is in everyone's interest to work towards this goal.

    In an exclusive interview with TOPLUM POSTASI, Sir David Hannay set out his views of the recent round of talks with the two Cypriot leaders Rauf Denktash and Glafcos Clerides.

    Though the latest talks in Glion Switzerland appeared to break down in deadlock, Sir David said he was not surprised by the outcome.

    "I was a bit disappointed but not entirely surprised that it wasn't possible to make more progress at talks in New York and Switzerland", he said.

    Sir David revealed Diego Cordovez, the UN's Envoy to Cyprus would proceed with work already begun on actual texts and the conditions needed for a settlement, and added Mr. Cordovez will probably visit Cyprus in the autumn.

    Sir David went on to say the proposed EU membership talks for Cyprus will "probably go ahead, in early 1998" but he added he did not think much progress could be made in those talks between now and then anyway.

    When asked about the recent Italian and German views that Turkish Cypriots should be involved in any EU membership talks, Sir David said he believed the Italian viewpoint was not reported accurately.

    "I think that everybody in the EU is bound as Members of the United Nations, as Members of the EU, by provisions of international law which say we recognize the Government of Cyprus as just that. But we also say we want a peace process to lead to a different Cyprus: a Cyprus in which there are politically equal communities who are represented through bizonal, bicommunal federal institutions."

    However Sir David added any EU accession talks normally take quite a while and stressed the EU's desire to make sure Turkish Cypriots have a say in any EU membership. "All members of the EU believe that the right thing is for the Turkish Cypriots to be associated with the accession process in some way or another."

    When questioned about the possibility of other alternatives to a federal solution, Sir David pointed out the present way forward is still probably the best.

    "Up until now, no-one has identified an alternative and the two community leaders said in Switzerland very recently that they are working within this framework a bicommunal, bizonal Federal State. Frankly I've seen no alternative which offers the slightest hope of success."

    The issue of any possible acceptance of Turkey as a full EU member was also raised and Sir David said it would be difficult to draw up any kind of timetable for Turkish admission to the EU.

    Sir David also underlined that any federal solution would be an improvement over the old 1960 Constitution for Turkish Cypriots.

    "I think Turkish Cypriots quite often fail to understand what a huge improvement in their situation there would be in a bicommunal, bizonal federal state, over the one in 1960. The 1960 Constitution was a unitary state in which Turkish Cypriots were a minority community. But any rights they had then were quite different rights from what they would get under a bizonal, bi-communal federal state. The whole functioning of the federal institutions would be different and would much more clearly reflect the political equality they are now talking about than it did in 1960. There is, from negotiations, a really major change for the better in the Turkish Cypriot community's position."

    When asked how realistic compensation would be for Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots who had lost land and homes and whether the two communities could mix freely again, Sir David was quite frank in his response.

    "I don't think anybody I've talked to really envisages a Cyprus that looks like the Cyprus in the 1950's with Greeks and Turkish Cypriots living in mixed villages and towns. I think that people understand the inheritance of those decades of great suffering amongst both communities really prevent that coming about. But to say that is only just the beginning of a discussion which has got to be handled sensitively. Compromises have to be reached and certainly provisions have to be made for those who decide they don't want to go back, but want to be compensated for their property. A process is needed to be objective and fair and legally sustainable for compensation.

    Sir David concluded by saying he believes it is in everyone's interest to "get round the table and talk about the whole nitty-gritty of a comprehensive settlement for Cyprus.

    "I think the first two meetings in New York and Switzerland were useful and showed there are ways in which issues of a humanitarian kind affecting the two communities could be handled in a cooperative spirit. I hope that will continue in the months ahead. It is obviously very welcome if it does".

    [07] MHP: Cyprus crucially important for Turkish foreign policy

    According to Turkish Daily News (Internet version, 8.9.97) the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) declared Sunday that the Cyprus problem was vitally important for Turkish foreign policy.

    Speaking in Corum, MHP's Secretary-General Muharrem Semsek said if Turkey compromises and gives the image of a "loser" country in the Cyprus issue, it will lose its credibility in the Turkish world as well.

    Semsek said a "defeat in Cyprus" would have drastic impacts not only on the credibility of the Turkish foreign policy but also result in Ankara losing its psychological strength in the region.

    He said such a defeat would create the impression that Turkish diplomacy has lost the fight against the Greek diplomacy and that Greece has captured the "upper hand".

    The MHP secretary-general said rather than pursuing unrealistic polices such as the creation of a Turkish-Greek Cypriot federation on the island, "Turkey should wake up" and start telling the world that there was only one solution to the issue and that was side-by-side coexistence of two states on the eastern Mediterranean island.

    [08] Atun claims "dangerous russian involvement" in Cyprus unacceptable

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1530 hours, 5/9/97), so-called assembly speaker Hakki Atun has claimed that the "dangerous involvement" of Russia, a UN Security Council member, in the Cyprus problem is totally unacceptable. Atun concluded his contacts in Ankara and returned to the occupied area. In a statement at Ankara Esenboga Airport, Atun claimed: "The S-300 missiles are gaining a dimension that not only threatens Turkey but the peace and balance in the region as well as in NATO. This is a very dangerous adventure."

    [09] Atun warns Greek Cypriots against deployment of missiles

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1030 hours, 5/9/97) Husamettin Cindoruk, leader of the Turkish Democratic Turkey Party, has said that Turkey will not abandon the "Cyprus cause" because of pressures and impositions.

    So-called assembly speaker Hakki Atun, who was in Ankara, called on Cindoruk and conferred with him for some time. In a statement at the meeting, Atun said that it is impossible to accept the solutions proposed by the EU and U.S. envoy Holbrooke on the issue of the S-300 missiles. Threatening the Greek Cypriots community on the issue of the S-300 missiles, Atun said that their deployment "will be detrimental to the Greek Cypriots" and added: "Do not take this crazy step. Do not drag Cyprus into an adventure."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Lugar's Visit Viewed, US Initiative on Cyprus Questioned

    Mehmet Ali Birand, writing in Sabah (5/9/97) under the title ``The United States may make a mistake'', says ``Richard G. Lugar, one of the leading members of the US Senate, and his chief adviser Ken Myers visited Ankara last week. They held talks on the Cyprus problem and the future of the relations between Turkey and the United States and studied the aftermath of the REFAHYOL (Welfare Party-True Path Party Coalition) era. We met them and had dinner together.

    Considering the latest assessments in Washington, Senator Lugar is convinced Turkey' s strategic importance is gradually increasing.

    Obviously, Turkey' s influence on the Caucasus, the vital role it plays in Washington's policies toward Iran and Iraq, and the fact that it is a key country in the projects for the construction of oil pipelines that will meet the needs of the Western countries in the new century have increased Ankara's' rating in the diplomatic field. However, that has created a number of problems.

    The United States wants its important ally to solve its long-standing problems, which have created instability. Cyprus is a problem that should have immediate priority. Meanwhile, an effort must be made to solve the problem of human rights in south-eastern Turkey. Washington and, to a certain extent, the EU maintain a similar approach. They believe that the outcome of the effort they make to have the Cyprus problem solved and the human rights in Turkey improved will be as follows:

    1. The tension and the possibility of war in the Aegean Sea will no longer exist.

    2. The most important obstacles against the improvement of the relations between Turkey and Greece will be removed.

    3. Turkey will be able to join the EU and strengthen its ties with the Western countries.

    4. The obstacles the Congress has created against Turkey will no longer be effective and the military cooperation between the two countries will be increased.

    5. The construction of oil and natural gas pipelines through southeastern Turkey will be guaranteed.

    All that seems right on paper.... However, the formula proposed for the solution of the Cyprus problem indicates that Washington is about to make a serious mistake. The United States and the EU are preparing to make a grave mistake because the formula they have in mind calls for minority rights to the Turkish Cypriots on the island, who will mostly be under the Greek Cypriot administration's control.

    The Western countries believe Cyprus belongs to the Greek Cypriots and the problem will be solved if additional rights are recognized to the minority Turkish Cypriot people. That is where they are wrong. Forcing the Turkish Cypriot side, which will be given additional rights, to establish a federation with the Greek Cypriot for the purpose of joining the EU will create a more serious state of instability in the region. Problems will definitely be created by the Turkish, or Greek Cypriot, or foreign fanatics. They will convert a simple disagreement into a serious dispute, which will cause clashes between the two communities. The developments that have taken place during the past 50 years can be given as an example.

    Tension in Cyprus will worsen the situation between Turkey and Greece and the Aegean sea will be a more dangerous region. Those who want to kindle a war between the two countries will definitely move to create clashes between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots. Naturally, Washington will again be caught between them. Consequently the United States relations with Turkey and Greece will deteriorate.

    The hypothesis that Turkey will be able to join the EU if the Cyprus problem is solved can be described only as an illusion. Turkey will not be able to do so even if it makes all the concessions that may lead to the solution of the Cyprus problem. What is required for accession is completely different. At least, Ankara cannot act in accordance with such a hypothesis.

    The question of human rights is more intricate and risky.....

    In short, the Western countries have claimed that they will establish stability in the region. However, their approach will create a very dangerous situation.

    Washington has gradually begun to see the realities. The safest solution will be to have the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides join the EU as full members. Any other solution will be unsuccessful and, consequently, the relations the United States has with Turkey and Greece will suffer.

    Senator Lugar has been able to realize that and see the problems.

    He has been informed that Richard Holbrooke's pressure will create a very unfavourable situation.

    However, the Clinton administration has decided on the approach it will maintain. It has already disclosed it. So, it cannot be expected to retreat from its position because its prestige in the country may suffer. Meanwhile, it is aware that its relations with Ankara and Athens will waken if it puts pressure on Turkey and Greece.

    Nevertheless, many US officials have begun to ask ``whether or not Washington's decision to make an initiative on Cyprus was wrong.''

    Meanwhile, the European countries seem to have adopted a strange approach. It is as if they want to have the no-solution situation maintained.''


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


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