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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-10-14

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 <>


No. 190/97 -- 14/10/97






    According to TRT (1200 hours, 13/10/97), Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Envoy to Cyprus, who arrived in Ankara last Sunday, met first with Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday. State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and Inal Batu, Foreign Ministry deputy under secretary, were also present at the meeting. After his one-hour meeting with Ecevit, Holbrooke went to Cankaya Mansion, where President Demirel received him at a meeting that was closed to the press.

    Following his meeting with Demirel, Holbrooke met with Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. Replying to questions before his meeting with Yilmaz, Holbrooke said he came to Ankara not to negotiate but to hear Turkey' s views. He pointed out that this is his first visit to Ankara as special envoy to Cyprus and that he wants to learn Turkey's position. He stressed that he did not bring any plan, proposal, or special message, adding: I am going to disappoint you, but I did not bring a secret plan from the United states.

    Holbrooke noted that, at the meetings, they also discussed the S-300 missiles and the flight ban over Cyprus. He refrained from discussing details. He also stated that he will not be going to Athens or Nicosia.


    According to TRT (1700 hours, 13/10/97) Ismet Sezgin, , Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and national defence minister, has described as ``idiotic'' the participation of Greek warplanes in the Nikiforos military exercise.

    ``It is not a feat or a show of courage to violate a rule that was agreed upon earlier. It is silly, it is idiotic. They have been doing this quite frequently lately'', he claimed.


    According to Anatolia agency (1555 hour, 13/10/97) Turkey on Monday denied Greek accusations that Turkish aircraft violated Greek airspace.

    Foreign Ministry sources said Greek claims are baseless.

    Sources said that Turkey also closely follows the joint manouvers held by Greece and Cyprus.

    Greece has stated that Turkish aircraft violated its airspace near Rhodes island.


    According to Anatolia agency, 1525 hours, 13/10/97), Turkish President Suleyman Demirel said on Monday that a bizonal and bicommunal federation based on political equality should be the solution in Cyprus.

    President Demirel received U.S. President Bill Clinton's Special Representative to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke.

    The presidential press centre noted that President Demirel stressed that Turkey wished a political solution to be found in Cyprus more than anybody else in his meeting with Holbrooke.

    The press center quoted President Demirel as saying:

    ``The concerned sides should rationally deal with the issue. The solution has to be just and sustainable, should not incorporate any kind of conflicting elements which will result in clashes in the future.''

    Noting that Cyprus should not be seen as a problem between Turkey and the U.S., Demirel added that this is also the same for the relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU).

    Recalling that Turkey signed an agreement in 1963 for full membership, President Demirel added that ``this agreement is not conditional. The EU should be faithful to its promises as well as to the agreements it signed with Turkey.''

    Meanwhile Richard Holbrooke said that they want Turkey and Greece to improve bilateral relations, and also they want to be in good relations both with Turkey and Greece; pointing out that both countries are NATO members and important allies of the United States.

    Holbrooke, responding to questions by journalists after meeting with Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, said that his meeting with Yilmaz was very positive.

    Stating that he did not come to Turkey to attack Greece, Holbrooke said the United States supports a bizonal and bicommunal federation in Cyprus.

    Holbrooke said he will meet with Rauf Denktash in New York two weeks later.


    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1030 hours, 13/10/97) Communal Liberation Party [TKP] leader Mustafa Akinci has said that under the current conditions in the ``Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC]'', pro-peace acts are required.

    At a news conference he held yesterday, the TKP leader assessed the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem. TKP Secretary General Huseyin Angolemli, Nicosia ``deputy'' Gursen Bozkurt, executive council members Gungor Gurkan and Esat Varoglu were also present.

    Akinci claimed that especially the Greek Cypriot side's insistence on buying the S-300 missiles increases the chances of war in Cyprus. He stated that in a rational way, a solution must be found under which both communities can live in peace and tranquillity. There is serious need, he said, for the creation of conditions under which Turkey and Greece can become two friendly countries. This cannot be achieved through an escalation of the arms race, he added, but only by sitting at the negotiating table and looking for the way to reach reconciliation.

    The TKP leader also claimed that it is wrong for the Greek Cypriot side to join the EU ``unilaterally'', as he put it.

    Akinci said that the TKP does not oppose only certain things or pursue a limited policy. Military deconfrontation measures must be implemented fast, he said, and mutual military reductions must be made within the framework of an agreement. In the long term, he added, a demilitarization must take place except for the guarantees.

    Akinci said that the parameters necessary for a political solution are obvious. He added: ``We must announce that we are ready to join the EU with a solution to be reached within the framework of the Ghali set of Ideas, and in a way that will insure that the rights recognised by means of this solution are not eroded.''

    Akinci said that the guarantee of Turkey's membership in the EU will positively reflect on Cyprus. An approach that is opposed to that can only lead to e permanent division of Cyprus, he claimed.


    TRT Television Network (1800 hours, 12/10/97) broadcast live an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cen by Kurtul Altug in the Ankara studio, with the participation of Turkish Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash on the telephone from occupied Nicosia; Hikmet Cetin, Republican People's Party Gaziantep Deputy, on the telephone from Ankara; Hurriyet journalist Nur Batur on the telephone from Greece; as well as Prof. Haluk Ulman; retired ambassador Aydin Alacakaptan; and former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen in the Istanbul studio, on the ``Political Pulse'' program.

    Im reply to a relevant question, Cem said, inter alia, that they set themselves the goal of EU membership even though it will never be an obsession for them. ``Both Turkey and the EU have a lot to gain from Turkey's EU membership. In the event that Turkey does not become an EU member, however, it does not mean that we will be terribly upset and that all is lost. I say that we should sit tight and not go around knocking on doors'', he added.

    Asked if one can say that the bottom line is that the EU is looking at Turkey favorably, Cem replied: ``With my usual optimism and caution, I can say that; yes.'' And he continued:

    ``My position is that we must start to hold full membership talks. I never compare Turkey to the Greek Cypriot Administration. The EU, however, is not that courageous. If you notice, the EU is always reticent regarding major political issues. Because it is so busy looking inside, it cannot raise its head and look outside. What did the EU do in Bosnia? Nothing. The United States stopped the atrocities there in the end. The same is true in other places as well. So it is too big an issue for the EU to admit Turkey, which has such huge dimensions, a history, a culture, and a population of 60 million. The issue is not only our 80-percent inflation rate.

    In an age when there is talk of a confrontation between civilizations, the EU, if it admits Turkey, will be taking a most positive step toward the reconciliation of civilizations.

    To take that step, however, the EU needs another dimension'', he claimed.

    In his turn, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, asked how does he view the latest Holbrooke mission, inter alia said:

    ``I told Mr. Holbrooke and Mr. Cordovez and the new UN Secretary General, so this is no secret: Unless they bring a new angle, unless there is a change of course, unless they change the old policies they run in accordance with old lines, nothing will be achieved. The reason is that the old lines turned the Greek Cypriots into the legitimate Cyprus Government. By getting involved in this issue, the EU ossified this state of affairs. The Greek Cypriots do not intend to make any concessions on that. The priority for them now is membership in the EU, not the solution of the Cyprus issue. Unfortunately, despite all our warnings and objections, Mr. Holbrooke and the other coordinators insist that membership in the EU will be a big step and a big help toward the solution of the Cyprus problem.'' He further alleged: ``Cyprus, in terms of geopolitics and history, is much more important for Turkey than it is for Greece. The threat is that Greece will take all of Cyprus, arm it like the other Greek islands, and close off all of Turkey's passages.

    Has Turkey given the world the same message: that it is not ready to make any concessions, that it will not give up any of its rights? We are pleased with the messages that have been given lately. We hope that this did not come too late. The Greek Cypriots assume that they have won. They think only of joining the EU. So, under these conditions, if we sit at the negotiating table with them and discuss a federation, this will give them and Greece the message that we are ready to make concessions. That is a point that must be considered. We will discuss these issues at our Assembly in the coming days.''

    Refering to the joint military exercise Nikiforos, Denktash claimed that the aim of the exercise is to liberate Kyrenia and added: ``To whom does Girne belong? It belongs to the Turkish Cypriots. Whenever I said to foreign diplomats that the Greek Cypriots want to spread out throughout the island once again and that they do not accept bizonality, the foreign diplomats did not beleive me. They said that I was exaggerating, that everyone knows that the Greek Cypriots will not come to Kyrenia and Famagusta, and that a few Greek Cypriots may come but not the Greek Cypriot Administration.''

    Commenting Denktash's statement, Cem said: ``Our government's Cyprus policy is very clear. It is based on a resolution adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly before our government was established. There is also the joint declaration signed by our honorable president and the honorable president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC]. There important documents were signed after our government came to power. The first is the joint declaration of the two presidents, the second is the joint declaration issued by President Denktash and deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in Cyprus on 20 July this year, and the third is the Partnership Council agreement we signed with the Foreign Minister of the TRNC at the beginning of August. Now, the third one was taken extremely seriously abroad. I could not undestand that. After all, it was a first, small step regarding certain things we had said we were going to do. It was not that important. It turns out that the foreigners were not very used to having us actually do the things we said we would do. I believe that is what Mr. Denktash implied just now. In other words, officials abroad used to think that we say things but never do them. So, even though what we did was not so important, it was taken very seriously just because it was done.

    I agree with Mr. Dnktash about a certain phenomenon in Cyprus. There is a concept in Cyprus concerning a certain type of bicommunal federation with certain securities based on political equality and on the UN Secretary General's Set of Ideas and taking into account the confidence-building measures. I have been trying to explain to the outside world that it is the Greek side that has been moving away from this concept. The Greeks and Greek Cypriots have left this aim aside, and as Mr. Denktash says, are in pursuit of a formula that will give them sovereignty over the entire island. The EU is greatly responsible for that, because it made the Greek Cypriots feel so relaxed that they do not feel pressured to reach an agreement with Mr. Denktash. They think: The accession process will start anyway, so we can do whatever we like.

    Now let me tell you how our side views things. First of all, Turkey will never abandon the TRNC or our people in Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot community, to their fate.''

    In reply to a question on the S-300's, Cem said: ``Let us not be unfair to ourselves. At times, we may criticize ourselves too much, but Turkey never abandoned the Turkish Cypriot people. As for the S-300's, they constitute a grave mistake by the Greek Cypriots, because they revealed very early what the real aim of the Greek Cypriots is''. And continued: ``Furthermore, as we have repeatedly said, we will not allow the missiles to be used as a trump card against Turkey and the TRNC. We have said this very clearly. It is impossible for us to make concessions to prevent the deployment of the missiles.''

    Asked what kind of measure are they considering and that the issue has a Russian dimension, Cem said: ``Of course, this Russian dimension is distrurbing to several countries. Yeltsin may be moderate, but nobody knows what will happen in Russia tomorrow. Therefore, nobody in the EU or, perhaps, even in the United States wants these missiles deployed in southern Cyprus. This poses a great danger. I tried to eplain this in detail during all my contacts. It was the main issue in my contacts. So, are the Greek Cypriots going to deploy the missiles? They can of course. What will Turkey do? Turkey has already announced what it will do, to the extent that it can. Turkey's military and political circles are discussing the military measures it will take to establish the required balance without delay. A proposal is being drawn up. The government is working on this issue. Whatever is required will be done.''

    Further on the same issue, Cem said: ``We received a proposal saying: We will make the Greek Cypriots give up the missiles, but you must reduce the number of your troops on the island in return. We will make them give up the missiles, but you must withdraw your positions from certain points in Cyprus. We will make them give up the missiles, but you must show more understanding toward Greece in your general policies.

    In other words, all these proposals were made to us, and I rejected all of them -- not on my own, of course. We decided to reject the proposals in line with the common view of our government and after consulting those circles who are closely interested in and who are more familiar than I am with Turkey's security issues. So, I want to know if, after all this, the Greeks, are still hopeful that these proposals will work.''

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

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