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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-09-29

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. 180/97 -- 27-28-29.9.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Yilmaz on measures against S-300's; Ecevit on Aegean issue.
  • [02] Turkey's Cem on danger of missiles to regional peace.
  • [03] Talat holds news conference to explain European tour.
  • [04] Cem claims EU accession talks will prevent Cyprus solution.
  • [05] Cem on meeting with Primakov.
  • [06] Gurel: Turkey to take same stand as 1974 if crisis develops.
  • [07] Turkish military on Russian efforts to link Cyprus pullout and missiles.
  • [08] Turkey first in arms imports in Europe.
  • [09] Balloons to transfer water from Turkey to the occupied area.
  • [10] Etkin leaves for New York to attend UN meetings.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Yilmaz on measures against S-300's; Ecevit on Aegean issue

    According to TRT Television network (15:00 hours, 27.9.97) addressing the National Maritime Council meeting in Istanbul last Saturday, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said:

    "A computer-and radar-aided system will be instituted in the shortest possible time in order to ensure that maritime traffic in our seas and especially in our straits is conducted in a safe and supervised manner. No country allows its own territorial waters and shores to be used for purposes that run counter to its national security and sovereignty.

    In this context, as noted by Mr. Bulent Ecevit a while ago, all that is dictated by international commitments and rights and all that is necessary in terms of our national security policy will be fully implemented with regard to the transportation of the S-300 missiles to south Cyprus via our seas or our straits", he said.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, in turn, declared that Turkey's maritime interests are closely linked to the Aegean problem.

    "Unfortunately, for the past few years, both Greece and some of our Western allies which appear to have failed to grasp the gravity of this issue have been trying to diminish the Aegean problem to the Kardak issue. This is not realistic. Naturally, the Kardak issue also plays an important and weighty role within this big problem. Hundreds of other islets also play an important role; but the issue does not only consist of the islets like Kardak, it consists of the just sharing of the Aegean waters and underwater resources. Given the fast development of technology and the rapid expansion of the opportunities to economically exploit underwater resources, if this problem is not resolved quickly, if we fail to solve this problem between us in a just manner, the situation between Turkey and Greece may become more tense", Ecevit said.

    [02] Turkey's Cem on danger of missiles to regional peace

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 28.9.97) Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has drawn attention to the armament efforts being exerted by the Cyprus Government claiming that it constitutes a threat to Turkey as well as to regional peace. Cem called on the international community to put a stop to this military reinforcement.

    In a statement in New York, Cem said that he drew the attention of every official he met to the "threat" the S-300 missiles pose to regional peace. Stressing that there are rumours that the Russian firm manufacturing the missiles, which has proposed to sell them to Turkey, is also trying to sell them to Syria, Cem said that such developments might lead to great dangers in the region. He claimed that the Greek Cypriot decision to purchase the S- 300 missiles violates the UN Security Council resolutions on the Cyprus issue and threatens regional peace, calling on the international community to put a stop to this military reinforcement.

    [03] Talat holds news conference to explain European tour

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 27.9.97) Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the Turkish Cypriot community should participate in Cyprus' EU membership process in a manner that will symbolize its political equality. Talat held a news conference last Saturday to give information on his European tour and his contacts.

    Speaking at the news conference he held at the CTP headquarters, Talat replied to criticisms levelled against his party in connection with these contacts. Noting that the continuation of the Cyprus problem is against the interests of the Turkish Cypriot community and inflicts many losses on the community, Talat said that it is necessary to achieve a peace in which the vital interests of the community can be secured. He stated that attaining EU membership through a solution whereby the political equality and rights of the Turkish Cypriots can be secured will open the path to the economic, social, and political development of the community, adding that the trend of emigration experienced in the community so far will be reversed. Noting that the international situation is the source of the embargo imposed on the Turkish Cypriot community and the limitations of certain of its rights, Talat said that this denotes the necessity of opening to the world.

    Pointing out that currently Cyprus' EU membership is being envisaged as a whole, Talat added that, however, the fact that a federation has not yet been established in Cyprus and the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side, which will be an equal political partner within that federation, is not taking part in the membership negotiations to be conducted with the EU are great injustices being committed against the Turkish Cypriot community. Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot side that will be an equal partner in the federal Cyprus, which will become a EU member, should take part in these negotiations in line with its status.

    He charged that this issue has not been dealt with because of the different paths pursued by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community and the "government" partners. Talat said that those ruling the pseudostate share the view that Cyprus cannot join the EU before Turkey does even if the Cyprus problem is resolved and that, therefore, it is out of the question to participate in the negotiations. He charged that the injustices suffered by the Turkish Cypriots are not understood by the world because of this policy which he described as erroneous. Talat said that his European tour was organized with the aim of explaining the sensitivities of the community and his party's views on this issue at international platforms.

    Talat noted that the talks held with Pauline Green, leader of the European parliament's social group, and Hans van den Broek, EU foreign relations commissioner, were beneficial, adding that mainly the benefits of holding contacts were discussed at those meetings. Commenting on the impressions received during his contacts, Talat said that he observed a general lack of information regarding the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Talat recalled that during his visit to London the press bureau of the social group issued a press release, whose source he was unaware of but could only guess, adding that this press release was attributed to him by one of the individuals he met despite the fact that this release was contrary to his views and statements.

    Talat, referring to speculations on the financing of his party's tour, said that part of the expenditures of the visit to London and Brussels, which was organized following an official visit from Green, was met by the "assembly". He added that the party budget covered the remaining expenditures and the Paris visit. Talat distributed to the press officials the original English texts of the statements made during his European visit as well as the brochures distributed during the visit.

    [04] Cem claims EU accession talks will prevent Cyprus solution

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 27.9.97) in a speech at the UN General Assembly, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem pointed out that a realistic solution must be found to the Cyprus problem soon, because a series of developments that will take place at the beginning of 1998 will make it impossible to reach a solution through negotiations.

    Cem, who was absent during Greek Foreign Minister Pangalos' address at the UN General Assembly, pointed out in his speech that the Aegean conflict which is the main problem between the two countries remains unresolved.

    On the Cyprus issue, Cem said that the problem goes back 34 years, so it is wrong to say that it cannot be resolved due to the lack of good will or intransigence of this or that side. He claimed that there are "two separate peoples, two administrations, and two democracies in Cyprus", therefore the solution must be bicommunal and bizonal. He said: "It became obvious in Troutbeck and Switzerland that a solution cannot be reached by pressuring only one of the sides."

    Cem alleged that the full membership talks the EU will hold with the Cyprus Government next year constitute one of the main factors that prevent a solution.

    On the S-300 missiles Cem claimed that these missiles threaten not only the Turkish Cypriots but Turkey's security as well.

    [05] Cem on meeting with Primakov

    According to TRT Television network (21:00 hours, 26.9.97) speaking to Turkish reporters in New York, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has said that at his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov, they discussed the issue of the S-300. Cem noted that Russia's stand on this issue is not new, and that Primakov told him: "If an agreement is reached in Cyprus, then we will not send the missiles to the island".

    Cem pointed out that he met with close to 40 foreign ministers in New York, and that they frequently stressed what a great and powerful country Turkey is.

    [06] Gurel: Turkey to take same stand as 1974 if crisis develops

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 29.9.97) Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has reiterated that the S-300 missiles pose a threat to Turkey and declared that Turkey's stand in a possible crisis situation will be the same as in 1974. In a statement to a private television channel broadcasting in Turkey, Gurel said that he finds Greek Foreign Minister Panaglos' recent remarks unworthy of comment. Gurel claimed: "It seems that Greece wants to engage in a crisis with Turkey." Pointing out that this crisis policy is extremely dangerous, Gurel stressed that the stand Turkey will adopt in a possible crisis situation "will be the same awareness, faith, and attitude displayed in 1974."

    Gurel also warned the EU with regard to Greece, saying:

    "We have difficulties with Greece, but it is an EU error to allow them to affect our relations with the EU". He continued: "They are telling us to resolve our relations with Greece. How are we to achieve this? They say: Do what Greece wants or solve the Cyprus problem. How are we to solve this problem? If they tell us to solve it in line with Greek Cypriot wishes, they would not be setting objective standards, and the EU does not have the right to create such obstacles."

    [07] Turkish military on Russian efforts to link Cyprus pullout and missiles

    "Russia is playing the possible transfer of S-300 missiles to Greek Cyprus as a trump card in an effort to force Turkey to withdraw its military presence in Cyprus but Turkey will never allow such attempts to succeed", a senior military official told the Turkish Daily News (26.9.97).

    "Turkey's military presence on the island to provide security for the Turkish Cypriots will remain and the country is fully determined to prevent the transfer of the missiles to island. Such efforts, including the increased Russian influence in Cyprus will be unsuccessful", said the general.

    The high-ranking military source said that Turkey was deeply concerned over the use of the missile transfer as a bargaining chip for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops on the island. "On the contrary, the number of troops and the capacity of the Turkish Corps in Turkish Cyprus might be increased in case of a heightened crisis", said the general.

    He underlined that the Turkish military which is cooperating closely with the government and the Foreign Ministry, is following all the serious developments and preparing to take necessary measures against the transfer of the missiles. After being briefed by the military last week, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that Turkey would take "precautionary measures" to prevent the deployment of S-300 missiles in Cyprus. There are some reported Russian efforts to transfer the missiles via the Balkans or some Middle East country to Cyprus. Turkey is also making efforts in countries which are possible transit routes not to allow Russia to carry out the transfer, said the general.

    The military source claimed that the S-300 missiles that directly threaten Turkey's security would not be allowed or would be taken out if the transfer occurs. He also underlined that Turkey will also tighten current measures both on the sea and the air by closing air zones and by closely monitoring the Bosphorus. The general also said that Turkey would also consider whether to exclude Russian firms from bidding for Turkey's billions of dollars in defense projects. For its modernization programs, Turkey plans to spend at least $150 billion in the next 25 years.

    Meanwhile, a Russian delegation which came Turkey on the occasion of the IDEF'97 defense industry fair, was slammed by Turkish military officials who said Russia is acting contrary to good Turkish-Russian ties. Turkey is reportedly considering operating an air base and harbours in Cyprus to increase deterrence against Greek and Cyprus armaments.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Daily News has investigated the current S-300 missile crisis, detailing the policies and even the technical details of the missiles.

    The exact series code of the S-300 missiles is S-300 PMU1 and they have a range of up to 150 kilometers. UP to six targets can be simultaneously tracked and engaged by one air defense missile complex. Target speed is 2700 m/s and maximum missile speed is 1700m/s. Reaction time is 5-10 seconds. Operating conditions; temperature: from-50 to + 50 Centigrade. Max. serving capability; aircraft service ceiling.

    According to official documents for the S-300 missiles, the multichannel S- 300 PMUI air defense missile system is intended to protect a country's vital facilities and create air defense lines to fend off massive enemy air raids and engage both current and prospective air attack assets, including strategic and tactical ballistic missiles and other air attack weapons within a full range of their combat employment, even in heavy clutter and severe ECM environment.

    The officials from S-300 missile producer Rosvoorouzhenie, the company which earlier sold weapons to Turkey, including Mi-17 helicopters and BTR- 80 armoured personnel carriers, say that the surface to air missiles are produced for defensive purposes and none of the system's missiles can have nuclear or chemical warheads. They also say that if the missiles fail to hit the air target, they automatically destroy themselves in a certain period.

    They also said that they could sell such missiles to Turkey if a demand is received from the country.

    However, Russia has stated its determination to go ahead with the transfer of the missiles. Recently, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Valeri Nesteruskin said that the transfer would definitely take place. He said that if the demilitarization in Cyprus is achieved, implying the withdrawal of Turkish troops, the transfer would not be made.

    [08] Turkey first in arms imports in Europe

    According to Turkish Daily News (27.9.97) Turkey led Western Europe during 1993-95 in arms import expenditure, according to a new report on "World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1996" released by the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA).

    Turkey, which spent $3 billion on arms during 1993-95, is followed by Greece ($2.2 billion), Spain ($1.6 billion) and Germany ($1.3 billion).

    "In 1995 alone, the region's leading importers were Greece ($825 million, 10th in the world and one-fifth of regional imports), Turkey $700 million, 13th), Spain $675 million, 14th), Belgium ($340 million, 20th) and Germany ($310 million, 22nd)," the report said. These nations accounted for a combined 71 percent of all arms imported into Western Europe during 1995.

    The United States, as expected, was the number one supplier of arms to Turkey and others in Europe.

    "The United States' largest trade partners in the region in 1993-95 were Turkey ($2.3. billion), Spain ($1.3 billion), Greece ($1.2 billion), and Germany ($1 billion)," ACDA said.

    After the United States, Turkey purchased arms during that period from Russia ($350 million), France ($170 million), Germany ($90 million), and nothing from Britain or China.

    Turkey, according to ACDA, has the world's sixth largest army with 805,000 troops. The first five are: China (2.93 million), the United State (1.62 million), Russia (1.40 million), India (1.26 million), and North Korea (1.04 million).

    But in terms of military expenditures, Turkey ranks 19th with $6.6 billion spent in 1995.

    The United States ranked first and spent $277.8 billion on its army - or more than Turkey's total GNP in a given year.

    ACDA report listed Turkey's 1995 GNP as $166.7 billion (still, however, 26th in the world).

    Again in terms of dollars spent per soldier in 1995, Turkey ranks even much lower, and comes in 92nd with $8.207 dollars - which is, by the way, more than three times the average GNP per capita for the country.

    The top country in terms of money spent per soldier was Japan, which spend $209,400 per soldier in 1995, followed by Kuwait ($174,400) Switzerland ($173,600) and the United States ($171,500).

    Turkey ranked 23rd with 13.1 soldiers per 1,000 population while Greece ranked seventh with 20.3 soldiers per 1,000 population.

    [09] Balloons to transfer water from Turkey to the occupied area

    According to YENI YUZYIL (28.9.97) the transferring of water from Turkey to the occupied area by using balloons will start in October.

    YENI YUZYIL reports that balloons totalling a ten thousand cubic meters capacity have been rented from the Swiss Company "Nordic Water Supply".

    The paper says that Turkey's State Water Department (DSI) will be renting two more balloons in November and December.

    The first two years, three million cubic meters of water will be transferred to the occupied area, and afterwards this quantity will be raised to 7 million cubic meters.

    YENI YUZYIL reports that after the first two years, the DSI will rent three more balloons of a 30 thousand cubic meters capacity.

    Meanwhile, KIBRIS (29.9.97) reports that Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has approved the project that will provide water to the occupied area. (MY)

    [10] Etkin leaves for New York to attend UN meetings

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 29.9.97) Taner Etkin, "Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister", left the island this morning en route to New York to attend the UN General Assembly meetings. Etkin will be accompanied by Resat Caglar, "General Director" of the so-called Foreign Affairs Department.

    During his visit to New York, Etkin will also attend the annual coordination meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and hold contacts with representatives of foreign countries. Etkin, who will proceed from New York to Washington, will then travel to London. He will return to the occupied area on 14 October.


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


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