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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-09-24

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. 177/97 -- 24.9.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Cindoruk: Army to do whatever necessary on missile issue.
  • [02] Eroglu says: "He is in very good condition".
  • [03] Turkish general cited on S-300 missiles.
  • [04] Denktash on the EU.
  • [05] Atun returns from IPU meeting in Cairo.
  • [06] MAP urges effective integration with Turkey.
  • [07] RTP opposes calls for "National Congress".
  • [08] Turkish State Minister in the occupied area.
  • [09] Turkey deploying T-122 in the occupied area.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [10] "The Air Base in Paphos and the S-300's.
  • [11] "Turkey's Aim Should Be To Prevent the Use of S-300s".
  • [12] MILIIYET columnist links missile crisis to balance with Greece.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Cindoruk: Army to do whatever necessary on missile issue

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (22.9.97), Democratic Turkey Party leader Husamettin Cindoruk alleged that the S-300 missiles the Cyprus government has purchased from Russia constitute a great threat for Turkey. He added: "The Turkish army will do whatever is necessary."

    Replying to a question in Bolu on the S-300 missiles which Cyprus plans to purchase from Russia, Cindoruk said that the issue is a military one and added: "The Turkish Republic is a strong country. It will not be defeated by three missiles.

    Noting that the missiles constitute a great threat to Turkey, Cindoruk stressed that the Turkish army will do whatever is necessary."

    [02] Eroglu says: "He is in very good condition"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (23.9.97), so-called Prime Minister of the pseudostate Dervis Eroglu is reported to be in very good condition. It reports that, Eroglu might return to the occupied area on Friday.

    [03] Turkish general cited on S-300 missiles

    According to CUMHURIYET (23.9.97), General Staff, recalled the disclosures that have been made by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi, Chief of the General Staff and drew attention to the political administration's resolute approach to the S-300 missiles has said that Turkey maintains its diplomatic effort to have the deployment of the missiles in south Cyprus obstructed.

    [04] Denktash on the EU

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (23.9.97) the "Turkic world youth days and congress" began today. An opening session was held at the Ataturk Cultural Center in the occupied part of Cyprus. Addressing the opening ceremony, Rauf Denktash alleged that the tactics employed by the EU consist of dispersing the Turkish Cypriots among the Greek Cypriot majority and thus eliminating them. In that case, Denktash said, let us march toward the motherland aboard our own train.

    Denktash thanked those who organized this activity, which brings brothers together, adding that the most important goal of the Turkish Cypriots is to remain attached to the Turkic world and perpetuate their independence. Pointing out that none of the countries represented by the present delegations have recognized his pseudostate, Denktash said: "I understand, I know, they fail to recognize us because this would not comply with the interests of the United States, Russia, Britain, and others, and because these countries do not want it."

    Denktash stated that the Islamic world does not understand the Turkish Cypriots, although it adopts positive decisions from time to time. He noted that the Turkish Cypriots are not given the opportunity to explain the Cyprus issue to these countries. Denktash added: "We cannot go to you either, because this would not conform with the interests of these countries".

    Denktash said that the Turkish Cypriots will not become slaves in order to please these countries, and they proved this in the past. .../..

    [05] Atun returns from IPU meeting in Cairo

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (23.9.97), so-called Assembly Speaker of the pseudostate Hakki Atun has declared that the world is on the verge of understanding the reality in Cyprus. Atun, who participated in the Interparliamentary Union IPU, meeting in Cairo, returned to the occupied area.

    In a statement upon his return at occupied Tymbou Airport, Atun explained that the "delegation" contributed to the adoption of a positive resolution by means of the talks and contacts conducted in Cairo, adding that the outcome was more beneficial than in previous occasions. Atun noted the report stated that the Cyprus government is engaged in dangerous armament efforts, that it is inevitable for the sides to reach a solution based on political equality in Cyprus, that Cyprus should join the EU only after such a solution has been attained, and that the EU must display sensitivity in this regard.

    [06] MAP urges effective integration with Turkey

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (23.9.97), the Nationalist Justice Party, NJP, has proposed that Turkey take new steps, adopt new decisions in its foreign policy, and implement them. In a written statement he issued today, NJP leader Zorlu Tore asked that the "Partnership Council" agreement between Turkey and the occupied area be effectively implemented. He said that the economy and finances of the occupied area Turkey, and security and foreign affairs should be left in the hands of Turkey.

    Criticizing the lack of steps toward integration with Turkey, Tore suggested that the leftist parties in the occupied area take Bulent Ecevit, leader of Turkey's Democratic Left Party, as an example.

    [07] RTP opposes calls for "National Congress"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (23.9.97), The Republican Turkish Party (RTP) has announced that the calls for a "national congress" will result in moves that will make the situation more difficult, rather than contribute to its solution. The RTP Party Council discussed the call for a national congress, and adopted a unanimous decision on the subject. The RTP described the call as a move aimed at changing the country's agenda.

    The decision, which was announced by the RTP Press Bureau, warned that any group to overpower the "Assembly" would suffocate the multitude of voices and opinions created by civilian organizations. The decision remarked that if the arms race, which could trigger a confrontation, is to be stopped, the Turkish Cypriots should also participate in the EU membership process as a politically equal side. The only way to pave the way for Turkey's membership in the EU is to solve the Cyprus problem through negotiations on the basis of the 1977 and 1979 summit agreements and the Boutros-Ghali Set of Ideas as soon as possible, the decision noted.

    Charging that the calls for a "national congress" are aimed at further complicating the problem, the RTP decision stressed that such an outcome will benefit neither the Turkish Cypriots nor Turkey. The decision declared that the RTP is opposed to initiatives that will pit the Turkish Cypriots against the international community rather than solve internal problems.

    According to the decision, the interests of the Turkish Cypriot community lie in a federal solution to be based on political equality, bizonality, and the 1960 guarantee agreement, and in the EU membership of a federal Cyprus to be established in the wake of such a solution. The RTP decision also invited the sides to sit at the negotiating table as soon as possible with the aim of reaching a solution, rather than exacerbate the problem.

    [08] Turkish State Minister in the occupied area

    According to KIBRIS (24.9.97) Turkey's state Minister Eyup Asik, at the head of a large delegation arrived in the occupied area for a three day visit.

    Asik will discuss selling of alcoholic beaverages produced in the occupied area to Turkey, growing of tobacco in the occupied area, as well as opening of Turkey's state secondary boarding schools known as Anatolian licee', in the occupied area.

    Speaking upon arrival at the occupied Tymbou Airport Asik has declared that they are ready to take every action to support and better the occupied area's economy.

    (MY)

    [09] Turkey deploying T-122 in the occupied area

    According to BIRLIK (24.9.97) the Turkish Chief of Staff has started deploying T-122-SAKARYA- missiles in the occupied part of Cyprus and in Manisa Western Turkey, against the S-300 missiles to be deployed by the Cyprus government.

    The paper says that the T-122 surface to Air missiles have a range of 130 kilometers.

    (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [10] "The Air Base in Paphos and the S-300's

    Former Turkish Ambassador Sukru Elekdag, writing in MILLIYET (22.9.97) under the title "The Greek Base in Paphos and the S-300's" says: "At the beginning of this year, when the possibility of the S-300 missiles' being deployed in south Cyprus first emerged, we made the following interpretation, in an article entitled `What does Athens expect from the missile crisis' on 13 January 1997:

    `The deployment of the S-300's in south Cyprus will change the military balance in the Mediterranean against Turkey.

    It is unthinkable for Turkey to remain a mere spectator to such a threat. Therefore, Ankara must be expected to resort to any measure to prevent this development. It is a fact that the issue bears the risk of triggering a dangerous escalation.

    The developments have confirmed our assessment.

    The possibility of the S-300 missiles, which are actually air defense weapons, being modified and used against targets on our territory does not pose a serious threat at this stage. Used against surface targets, the S- 300 missiles are far from serving as adequate weapons, because they carry relatively small warheads, have short ranges, and are not equipped with terminal guidance systems.

    The real threat for Turkey stems from the possibility of the S-300's providing air defense for the air base built by Greece in Baphos in south Cyprus. Without an effective air defense system, Greece cannot deploy its war planes on this base. These planes would fall hostage to the Turkish Air Force.

    However, as soon as it is furnished with the S-300 missiles, which constitute an effective air defense system, the Greek air base in Paphos will pose a direct military threat against Turkey. In such a case, Turkey's absolute operational air superiority over Cyprus and the air cover Turkey provides to the TRNC and the Turkish forces on the island will be adversely affected. Moreover, the Incirlik Air Base and the other important military targets in the region will be incorporated into the range of Greek planes that will be deployed in Paphos or that will refuel on that base.

    The latest developments have underlined the key role played by Cyprus in Turkey's defense as well as the importance of the words uttered by Ataturk during military exercises conducted in our southern shores in 1937:

    Turkey's only shore with access to the world and its only supply route is in the south. Therefore, enemy sovereignty over Cyprus would block all the supply routes to Anatolia and threaten Turkey's security.'

    Inspired by Ataturk's forecast, we had stated the following in our January article:

    Greece has a naval base and an air base, where long-range A-7 planes are deployed, in Crete, as well as a military airport in Rhodes. If, in addition to these, it builds air and naval bases in south Cyprus (a naval base is being built in the Terazi region), Greece will encircle Turkey with a strategic control belt by means of the Crete-Rhodes-Cyprus chain of islands stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Iskenderun Bay, and it will posses the possibility of blocking all the sea access routes to Anatolia.

    If we note that Turkey conducts 88 percent of its foreign trade via maritime transportation and that our current oil reserves are sufficient to meet our needs only for two-three months, it becomes clear that this control belt constitutes an extremely effective weapon to paralyze our country's economy and cripple its defense.'

    Following the joint work conducted by our civilian and military wings after the General Staff briefing for the government, it is becoming clear that Turkey's assessment with regard to the real threat it is facing in connection with the S-300 missiles is correct, and that effective measures are being discussed to thwart the danger. Most important, the government is displaying a consistent, self-confident, and determined stand in this regard.

    Unfortunately, this consistency is not manifested in all fields. The natural gas agreement signed with Russia at the beginning of this month serves a striking example to this. The General Staff states that the Russians are selling the `S-300's to the Greek Cypriots for strategic, rather than commercial reasons'. Deputy Prime Minister Ecevit says: `Russia's initiatives to turn the eastern Mediterraenan into its sphere of influence are self-evident.' Foreign Minister Cem, in turn, remarks: `The Orthodox partnership led by Russia is dangerously spilling into Cyprus via the Balkans'. The Russian and Greek Fleets are conducting joint maneuvers in the Aegean in order to intimidate Turkey. Russian units are participating in military exercises in Syria. With the missiles it is selling, Moscow is playing the biggest role in Turning the area around Turkey into a missile field.

    Despite all this, through the natural gas agreement it signed without any contemplation, the government is turning Russia into a monopoly. I wish someone would explain the logic behind this decision."

    [11] "Turkey's Aim Should Be To Prevent the Use of S-300s"

    Mehmet Ali Birand, writing in SABAH (22.9.97) under the title: "Turkey's Aim Should Be to Prevent the Use of S-300s". He says;

    "The Greek Cypriot administration's purchase of S-300 missiles opened a Pandora's box. The public suddenly became aware of Turkey's naked and defenseless position against a possible missile attack. We suddenly came to realize that Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Russia have missiles of their own. To this is now added the Greece-Cyprus duo.

    Actually this is not a new problem. It has been occupying the military strategists for years now. What was Turkey to do to defend its territory against the missiles, surrounded as it was by unfriendly neighbours? This will now become one of the most debated issues in the period ahead.

    We cannot weave the country end to end with systems to defend it from missiles. More correctly, we cannot shoulder that much expense. Nevertheless, we have to take certain measures.

    There appears to be no other way but to procure new systems for area and spot defense in strategic regions, even if on a limited scale.

    Some circles fond of conspiracy theories are alleging that this missile crisis "was created by certain domestic and foreign forces to sell arms to Turkey". I do not want to waste time with these scenarios. What I want to say is that in view of the development facing us we will be forced to purchase new systems. WE should be prepared for that. The important thing is to determined the most effective measures we can afford.

    MIT (National Intelligence Organization) should now perform its real duties (subhead).

    Let us for a moment forget about the new weapons systems and look into the issue of the S-300s. The first job for Turkey at this stage is not to hit the missiles or issue such a threat.

    The first job would be to prevent the missiles from being located in Cyprus. If we fail in that the next thing should be to deter their use. Here intelligence will become the most important element. Where will the missiles be loaded for transportation?

    What route will they follow to reach the island? Where will they be sited? Will they be handed over to the Greek Cypriots at the Russian ports or on the island?

    If such information cannot be obtained we could neither exert effective pressure nor take deterrent measures.

    Russia is forced to deliver, on the spot, the Greek Cypriots' order, no matter what the cost. It will, without fail, deliver them to their destination even if it requires their circumnavigation around the world or transporting some parts by air and others via sea. Because its calculation will be that if it succumbs to Turkey's pressure it will lose prestige in arms sales and lose customers. It will do what it can to avoid falling into such a situation.

    Turkey, in turn, should do all it can to prevent the (deployment of the) missiles.

    That is how the game will be played. And getting the correct information is the only way to play and win this game.

    For years we have employed MIT mostly for domestic purposes. Today its real mission is knocking on its door.

    There is yet another point that should not be overlooked. The arrival of the missiles on the island is not the end of the world. Besides, these three missile launchers do not pose so great a danger that they merit creating a major international crisis by imposing an air and sea blockade on Cyprus. What is important is that once these missiles are located on the island deterrent measures should be taken to prevent the Greek Cypriots from using them. And the Turkish Armed Forces have enough strength to achieve that."

    [12] MILLIYET columnist links missile crisis to balance with Greece

    MILLIYET (23.9.97) commentors Sami Kohen in an article on S-300 missiles says: "At first glance it is difficult to understand the reason for the anxiety.

    Why should a strong country like Turkey feel such concern over the purchase of a few missiles by south Cyprus? The S-300s are short-range defensive weapons. In addition, they will be sited in August 1988. Why should Turkey regard them as a threat to its security. Why should it fear a tilt in the region's military balance from a few missiles? Why should it begin to take a series of military measures and consider it almost as a casus belli?

    This is how the government and General Staff circles reply to these questions:

    1) The S-300s could be modified into a medium-range offensive weapon. In which case, the south of Turkey, even its central region, could come under the range of these missiles.

    2) Though the official announcements say that Russia will deliver these missiles in August, it is hard to trust them. The missiles could be delivered to, and even erected in, south Cyprus before that in a piecemeal manner.

    If Turkey fails to make warnings and take necessary measures as of now it could face a bad surprise in the future.

    The real intention of these warnings and measures is not to foment a crisis or war but to deter.

    There are two more reasons for Ankara's profound anxiety over the missiles and these are being disclosed by officials not loudly but in between the lines.

    The first is the dimension of the `threat' that transcends Cyprus. In truth, it is inconceivable that the purchase of a few missiles by the `mini' south Cyprus could tilt the region's military balance against the `giant' Turkey. The most that might happen is that Turkey's crashing superiority over south Cyprus will be a bit dented. That is all.

    Ankara's worry rather emanates from the fact that the purchase of the missiles is considered part of the `Greek defense doctrine' Greece would be defending the security of its air and sea bases under construction in south Cyprus with these weapons.

    That is, eventually the military balance between Turkey and Greece, especially in the Mediterranean region, will be upset. In addition to the threat posed by the armed Greek islands close by Turkey, another threat will also come from the south.

    Second, Ankara believes that the aim of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo is to use the S-300s as a bargaining chip and say `we will give up these missiles if you withdraw your troops'. Reports reaching Ankara indicate that the West hopes for such a `barter'. But, Turkey has no intention of making any changes before a solution is found to its military presence on the island.

    As I indicated in one of my recent articles, the basic elements of the Cyprus problem lie at the foundation of the missiles problem, which but now appears as a separate issue of contention. The missile crisis is but a by product of this basic discord and non-agreement. This crisis could certainly be eliminated if progress is made towards a solution and trust established between the sides. But there is no such prospect of the offing.

    In that case the missile crisis should be immediately brought under control before it further exacerbates the situation. But, this too seems to be very difficult. This is because the problem is not confined to Cyprus alone and touches the balance between Turkey and Greece.'

    Looked at from this perspective, it transpires that the missile crisis now concerns and affects not only Cyprus but also Turkish-Greek relations. Hence, this problem should be given serious consideration by Turkey and Greece, and the West, primarily the United States, should help find a speedy resolution. The presence of all the concerned sides in New York now for the UN General Assembly could be a good opportunity for such an initiative."


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


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