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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-09-19

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. 174/97 -- 19.9.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriots comment on `Consequences' of S-300 missiles.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot delegation returns from IPU Conference.
  • [03] Talat claims he has been "misunderstood".
  • [04] Enver Emin resigns.
  • [05] Turkish military to call for diplomatic effort against missiles.
  • [06] Turkey's balance of payments deficit for first half of year.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Mehmet Ali Birand on S-300 missile purchase.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Cypriots comment on `Consequences' of S-300 missiles

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 18.9.97), so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has claimed that Russia's goal to gain access to the Mediterranean actually lies at the basis of the S-300 missile crisis. Eroglu, Serdar Denktash, "state minister and deputy prime minister", and Taner Etkin, "foreign affairs and defense minister", made statements to NTV yesterday on the subject of the missile crisis.

    The deployment of missiles in Cyprus is important for Russia, which has been trying to gain access to the Mediterranean for years, Eroglu said. He added:

    "As it happens, I believe that the fact that the United States is involved in this issue stems from this". Eroglu noted that he does not believe that the missile crisis in Cyprus will turn into a war, but stressed that all the measures are being adopted against a possible war.

    Serdar Denktash, in turn, remarked that the tension created by the S-300 missiles is political, not military. He reiterating the Turkish Cypriot determination to open Varosha if the S-300 missiles are brought to the island.

    In his statement, Etkin said that all the necessary measures have been adopted with regard to the EU and the S-300 missiles. "It must be realized that if the missiles are brought to the island", Etkin noted, "the declared measures will be implemented without any hesitation". Etkin announced that when the time comes the measures will be implemented by taking a counterstep in response to each step taken by the other side.

    [02] Turkish Cypriot delegation returns from IPU Conference

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 18.9.97), the so-called parliamentary delegation that attended the Interparliamentary Union (IPU) conference has declared that the decision adopted on Cyprus at the conference is the most balanced and pro-Turkish Cypriot decision adopted so far.

    Delegation members Democratic Party "deputy" Ahmet Kasif, Republican Turkish Party "deputy" Ferdi Sabit Soyer, and Communal Liberation Party "deputy" Huseyin Angolemli, who attended the IPU conference in Cairo, returned to the occupied area yesterday. Hakki Atun, "assembly speaker" and delegation head, and National Unity Party "deputy" Irsen Kucuk did not return to the island for personal reasons.

    In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport, Kasif said that the Turkish Cypriot side recounted its views on the military, (word indistinct), and EU matters, adding that these views were largely included in the resolution. Kasif underlined the advantage of participating in such meetings.

    Soyer, in turn, said that the conference demonstrated that dialogue is the way to solve problems in the world, and the Turkish Cypriot side showed that it is in favour of dialogue.. He noted that every political party had the opportunity to express its views during committee meetings. Soyer said: "We can explain our stand when we find a suitable vehicle. We explained that we want a federation on the basis of the 1977 and 1979 summit agreements."

    In his statement, Angolemli remarked that every party voiced its views separately during the meeting. His party declared that the Turkish Cypriot side wants peace, a federal solution based on political equality, and direct negotiations.

    [03] Talat claims he has been "misunderstood"

    YENIDUZEN (19.9.97), in a front-page article entitled "All lies", reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat, has declared that the recent statements he made (see PIO Bulletin dated 17.9.97, item 2) during his contacts in Europe regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, have been misunderstood and not reported correctly.

    He claimed that "dark forces" have initiated a campaign against him through illegal Bayrak radio and television. TH/EF

    [04] Enver Emin resigns

    According to YENIDUZEN (19.9.97) Democratic Party (DP) general secretary, Enver Emin, has resigned from the party in protest for the continuation of the DP-National Unity Party (NUP) "coalition government".

    He said he will leave the island and go and live in London. Th/EF

    [05] Turkish military to call for diplomatic effort against missiles

    According to daily MILLIYET (19.9.97) the General Staff will brief the government today on the S-300 missiles the Cyprus Government has bought from Russia and the "threat" the missiles in Iran, Syria, and Armenia pose to Turkey. The briefing, which will be held at the Prime Minister's Office, will be attended by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, deputy Prime Minister Bulent Eceit, Minister of National Defense Ismet Sezgin, Minister of State Sukru Gurel, responsible for Turkey's Cyprus affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem, General Cevik Bir, second in command of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Cetin Dogan, head of the General Staff Operations Department, Vice Admiral Mustafa Ozbey, head of the Cyprus Department, and staff officers. The information to be conveyed to them will be based on the General Staff Operations Department's "program against the Greek Cypriot arms purchases."

    The briefing will reportedly focus particular attention on the characteristics of the S-300 missiles, including their range and structure. The threat they will pose to Turkey if installed in Cyprus will be explained within that context. The briefing will also focus on the threat created by Russia's effort to cross into warm waters and establish a foothold in the region, and on the missiles in Armenia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, the paper says.

    The participants will be informed on the measures that may be taken to obstruct the installment of the S-300 missiles in Cyprus. The possibility of destroying them before or after they reach Cyprus and the outcome of such an action will be discussed. The officials will inform the participants on the possible outcome of Turkey's initiative to destroy the missiles, and the systems that can be established to render the missiles ineffective if their delivery to the island cannot be obstructed.

    The officials will recall the threat that Turkey taking military steps to destroy the missiles will be regarded as a cause of war, and will convey the following message: "Military measures will be put into effect when the diplomatic effort that will be made fails to yield a result. A diplomatic effort must be made to solve the problem before such a point is reached."

    [06] Turkey's balance of payments deficit for first half of year

    Turkish daily DUNYA (17.9.97) says that Turkey's current deficit of the balance of payments during the first half of 1997 increased by 47.43 percent compared with the corresponding period the previous year, and reached $1.862 billion. The current deficit during the first half of last year was $1.263 billion.

    Consequently, the current accounts deficit for a period of six months reached its second highest level since the record $3.276 billion during the first half of 1993 that preceded the 1994 economic crisis. However, when one takes into account that the suitcase trade was not incorporated into the 1993 calculations, one realizes that this year's current accounts deficit is higher than the 1993 figure. The positive effects of the suitcase trade was $2.378 billion on this year's current accounts deficit. Compounded with this factor, the current accounts deficit exceeds even the 1993 record figure and reaches $4.240 billion.

    The income from exports in the first half of 1997, together with the $2.378 suitcase trade, reached $14.375 billion. During the same period, the foreign trade deficit increased by 32 percent and reached $6.680 billion. Direct investments decreased by 20 percent during the same period and diminished to $245 million. Export of bonds to international capital markets generated an income of $562 million. Short-term capital with a net worth of $1.626 billion was injected into the economy during the first half of the year. The capital movement created an increase of $646 million in the official reserves of the Central Bank.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Mehmet Ali Birand on S-300 missile purchase

    Mehmet Ali Birand writing in SABAH (18.9.97) under the title "Strange Situation Related to S-300 Missiles", says that when Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides was a guest of the 32nd Day Program ON show TV last Tuesday evening, he asked him several questions to satisfy everyone's curiosity. My first question was "when will the missiles arrive in Cyprus?", Birand says. And he continues:

    "The reports that the Greek Cypriots want to acquire the missiles earlier and that Russia has already begun to dispatch them have made Turkey uneasy for weeks.

    It will be recalled that the Greek Cypriots disclosed in 1996 that the installment of the missiles had been postponed till 1998. However, the reports that the missiles may be `delivered earlier' have created an unexpected problem. Obviously, the speculation would not have been taken so seriously if it was made only by the media organs. It would have been forgotten in a few days. However, the disclosures on `early delivery' have been made by official sources. Ankara has taken the matter very seriously. Briefings have been held on the situation. What is more important is that military measures have been put into effect in Turkey's straits. Ships have been searched on suspicion of carrying missiles, under the guise of `health control'. That created a chill between Turkey and Egypt. President Suleyman Demirel and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem had to fly to Cairo to rectify the situation. Russia was suddenly described as a hostile country and our renowned strategists moved to draw up plans on how a struggle should be waged against a missile threat, claiming that Turkey has been surrounded by missiles.

    The reason or all that was the information officials received on `early delivery'. However, Kassoulides said: `Early delivery is out of the question. The disclosures we made in the past are still valid. The missiles will be installed after they arrive in the latter half of 1998.'

    To tell the truth, I did not expect such a disclosure at all.

    I asked Ismail Cem: `What does that mean? Has it not been reported that the dispatch of the missiles has begun?"

    Quite justifiably, he responded by saying ` I trust the information I receive from my own sources'.

    That is quite right, but a strange situation exists.

    The Greek Cypriot Minister may have lied. But, why should he do so? Whether or not the missiles have reached Cyprus will be established in one or two months at most. So, the Minister trying to mislead or confuse us would be useless and unimportant.

    Meanwhile, it may be that the information our officials have received is wrong (!). That may be a possibility.

    Some of the possibilities that come to our mind are as follows:

    1. The information has been directly acquired by Turkish intelligence units, and disseminated without being properly assessed.

    2. Foreign intelligence organizations (particularly those in the countries with which Turkey closely cooperates) may have tried to escalate the tension on Cyprus to be able to convince the two sides that finding a solution to the problem is essential. That would give them an opportunity to put pressure on the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. That may be the reason why they tried to mislead Turkey.

    3. A number of individuals or circles in Turkey may have divulged wrong information on the delivery of missiles either to change the agenda or obstruct a political solution. I do not know which of the three possibilities is right. I only know that something is wrong. Kassoulides' statement clearly indicated that the Greek Cypriot Administration wants to use the `missile issue' as a bargaining chip. Well, that was common knowledge. However, hearing the Greek Cypriot Minister confirm it was different.

    He clearly said: `A political solution has to be reached and Turkey has to withdraw its troops. We will then decide to give up the missiles'.

    I believe that that was a very dangerous and unnecessary tactic. Taking such a step, while a search is being made for a political solution, only escalates existing tensions.

    The reports on the early delivery of the missiles may be right or wrong. However, they must be carefully considered so that Turkey can show how uneasy it has become".

    EF/SK


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


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