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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-10-23

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. 197/97 -- 23.10.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash to meet Annan in New York on 3 November.
  • [02] Denktash: "Two states solution is the only solution".
  • [03] USA said ready to introduce big change in its Cyprus policy.
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot Evkaf claims ownership of most Varosha.
  • [05] Evkaf, "Housing Ministry" dispute over alleged Evkaf property reported as nothing but "a scenario".
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Columnist on Turkey's reaction to Cyprus' EU accession.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash to meet Annan in New York on 3 November

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (5:00 hours, 22.10.97) it was reported that Rauf Denktash will meet with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in New York at the beginning of November.

    According to a report by the Anatolia Agency, Denktash is expected to meet Annan on 3 November. It was also reported that Denktash may get together with the UN Security Council term presidents while in New York.

    [02] Denktash: "Two states solution is the only solution"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 22.10.97) Rauf Denktash has reiterated his claim that the basis of a Cyprus solution should be laid on the principle of "two states" and added: "There can be no other solution."

    Denktash called on President Clerides to accept the fact that "there are two governments in Cyprus". Denktash, who participated on the Akis program broadcast on illegal Bayrak radio and Television the other night, assessed the latest developments in Cyprus and issued some important statements.

    Replying to reporters' questions, Denktash pointed that the important thing is to conduct a correct assessment of the Cyprus issue and added: "The issue in question is to find a solution to the Cyprus problem and not whether or not to become a EU member". Calling for extreme care to be shown with regard to this issue and noting the need to conduct a correct assessment of it, Denktash continued claiming: "Their goal is to avoid the negotiations table and eliminate the parameters. The Greek Cypriot efforts to become an EU member are only political. The Greek Cypriots believe that in this way they will be able to eliminate the guarantee agreement and bizonality".

    He claimed: "It is imperative for the discussions on EU membership to be stopped at this stage so that a solution to the Cyprus issue can be based on the already defined criteria".

    Pointing out that the negotiations were launched before the "TRNC" was recognized, Denktash alleged that "the talks will not yield any results unless the existence of two separate states in Cyprus is recognized."

    Also claiming that the EU behaved "extremely immorally" by proceeding with the Greek Cypriot application to the EU thus far, Denktash added: "This mistake was committed against what was envisaged in the Set of Ideas. We have now reached the final stage. We will either dissolve or win because we know what we want. I believe, however, that we will not dissolve because there is full unity of views with Turkey."

    Recounting that he proposed to convene a "national congress" on 1 November in order to inform the public of all these developments and convey a message to those who do not take into consideration the "TRNC officials", Denktash added: "This issue is being exploited and there are efforts to divert the real aim of the national congress."

    Pointing out that the important issue today is to exist and not to be granted recognition, Denktash added: "Let us not kid ourselves to believe that we can secure peace without standing up for the TRNC."

    In reply to a question on integration, Denktash claimed:

    "Integration with Turkey is not tantamount to an enosis. The goal of integration with Turkey is to secure the continuation of the TRNC". Noting that he was happy there was unity of views among everybody on the issue of continuing with Turkey's effective guarantee, Denktash alleged that everybody should accept the fact that Cyprus cannot become a EU member without Turkey.

    Upon being reminded that the public was concerned about the danger of war, Denktash added: "There will not be a war. It is certain that this situation will not reach such a state provided that the Turkish Cypriots maintain their strong position. Even if it does, it will be over very quickly."

    [03] USA said ready to introduce big change in its Cyprus policy

    Savash Suzal reporting from Washington (YENI YUZYIL, 21.10.97) claims that the USA is getting ready to introduce a big change in its Cyprus policy and strategy.

    The first signs of this change, reports Suzal, will be given during Denktash's Washington visit.

    Suzal claims that the US will try to ease the tension between Greece and Turkey, which escalated recently, through "give and take" concessions.

    According to Suzal, the US will demonstrate its first initiative towards solving this tension during Denktash's visit to Washington.

    Suzal reports that if an official meeting takes place in Washington during Denktash's visit, this will demonstrate that the first stage of the plan has been put into practice. Until now, says Suzal, the USA does not recognize Denktash as the "TRNC President".

    The second stage of the USA plan is related to the meeting between the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers Simitis and Yilmaz in Crete within the framework of the Balkans Conference.

    The third stage of the plan is to postpone the deployment of the S-300 missiles in Cyprus by exerting pressure on Russia. Suzal claims that at the beginning Washington did not take Turkey's threats to hit the missile launchers seriously, but now it takes it seriously that such an eventuality is possible.

    The fourth and last stage of the plan is that the US will ask the EU to postpone accession talks with Cyprus until reaching a serious settlement in the Cyprus problem.

    (MY)

    [04] Turkish Cypriot Evkaf claims ownership of most Varosha

    According to KIBRIS (21.10.97) the Turkish Cypriot religious Foundation Administration (Evkaf, or Vakif) filed a "suit" in occupied Nicosia against the pseudostate for the return of the "illegally usurped Evkaf property."

    "The real estate belonging to the Lala Mustafa Pasha and Abdullah Pasha Foundations in Varosha is among the Evkaf property usurped during the British and (Cyprus) Republic periods", Evkaf claims.

    Taner Dervis, director general of the Evkaf Administration, further claimed: "The real estates of these two foundations are now inside the TRNC, and the closed town of Varosha also comes within this scope."

    Pointing out that they had asked the "TRNC government" for the return of the rights of the Evkaf Administration but had obtained no answer, Dervis said that as a result they have now decided to file a "suit".

    Criticizing the "government's" frequent statement that "we will open Varosha for settlement", Taner Dervis claimed: "That place is not the property of the Ministry of Housing. Whose property do they think they are distributing when they say on every occasion that they will open Varosha for settlement? How are they going to use the Evkaf real estates without permission from their owner?

    Stating that "the real intention behind the lawsuit is the recovery in the name of the community of the Evkaf's rights usurped over centuries," Taner Dervis alleged if they win the case they will use the real estates to benefit the community.

    Taner Dervis added: "Once the Evkaf Administration secures its right in the closed town of Varosha, we are planning to utilize the real estate to the benefit of the community. We might directly operate a few large enterprises, and the rest we can operate through joint investments or leasing. In that way, both Evkaf will expand its property holding and new opportunities would arise for our people."

    Noting that they have been researching for a long time to identify the Evkaf property, Taner Dervis claimed they have determined that the total property amounts to 78,000 donums (a donum equals 940 square meters or 1/4 acre). Dervis outrageously claimed also that the findings show that 69 percent of the closed down of occupied Varosha is Evkaf property.

    [05] Evkaf, "Housing Ministry" dispute over alleged Evkaf property reported as nothing but "a scenario"

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Avrupa (22.10.97) yet another scenario has been added to the ones prepared around the Cyprus problem when the (Turkish Cypriot) Religious Foundation Administration (Evkaf or Vakif) suddenly remembered occupied Varosha, which it had forgotten for the past 23 years, and filed a "lawsuit" against the psuedostate charging it with "usurpation of property."

    As the "pro forma debate on the ownership of Maras" continues between the Evkaf Administration and the "ministry of housing", the paper adds, there has been a growing conviction that this issue, now suddenly revived after 23 years, is nothing but a "scenario."

    There is the growing view that the fomenting of a dispute over occupied Varosha on the heels of so-called finance minister Salih Cosar muddying the waters with the claim that "we could bring a TRNC currency" aims at sending a message to the international public opinion.

    Pointing out that the United States has decided to make major changes in its policy on Cyprus and intends to give the first signs of that change to Denktash, who is starting a visit to the States, the political observers are indicating that Denktash might have put these scenarios on the agenda so as not to go to the United States emptyhanded.

    The political observers are also of the opinion that, in the face of NATO'S efforts to take Cyprus in as a member at a time when Cyprus' application to the EU has already created "enough headache", attempts are again being made to reinstate Varosha, which for years has been kept closed as a "negotiating chip", a trump card, this time, however, using another institution.

    In the meantime, in keeping with the scenario, the "ministry of housing" came out strongly against the Evkaf, which had described the pseudostate as "a usurper."

    In a statement last Tuesday, "labour and housing minister" Ali Ozkan Altinisik said they have no intention of pillaging the so-called property of any individual or institution, claiming: "We are fist of all taken up with the effort of handing every inch of TRNC land over to the rightful owners. Maras is also part of that. The Director of Evkaf, who says that `we would not let the Ministry of Housing pillage our property,' should know his place."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Columnist on Turkey's reaction to Cyprus' EU accession

    Mehmet Ali Birand writing in SABAH (20.10.97) under the title "Have we sacrificed Cyprus for a Customs Union?", says:

    "Claims have been frequently made to the effect that Turkey overlooked the decision on the commencement of talks on Cyprus' accession to the EU for the sake of concluding an agreement with the organization on a customs union in 1995. In other words, claims have been made that former Prime Minister Tansu Ciller and former Deputy Prime Minister Murat Karayalcin concluded a secret agreement with the EU. Greece agreed not to veto the customs union agreement between Turkey and the organization in return for having a date established for the beginning of the talks on Cyprus' accession. And, Turkey overlooked that state of affairs.

    I held talks with many Turkish and foreign officials, who have closely followed Turkey's relations with the EU right from the beginning, in order to be able to rectify a historic mistake. The outcome of my talks indicated that the picture was very different. The Greek Cypriot administration, posing as the Government of Cyprus, applied to the EU in 1990. However, Turkey failed to take its attempt seriously. It only took a few initiatives and no measures at all. In fact, it did not even make an effort to have the TRNC take the necessary action.

    The first shocking development took place in 1993. The Council of Europe, which is seen as the EU Executive Organ, disclosed that Cyprus can join the organization. Turkey failed to react to the decision. It only said: `The EU cannot do that.'

    The EU Ministerial Council adopted `a decision in principle to agree to hold talks on the island's accession' in 1994. Ankara reacted by merely saying `talks cannot be held without the Turkish Cypriot side's participation'. However, no one realized that something was going on. No one realized that Greece had succeeded to convince the EU to change its approach on Cyprus. The warnings made by a few officials at the time were ignored. The EU had adopted a new policy on Cyprus and moved to realize it.

    Greece warned the EU as follows: `Either you agree to establish the date of the talks that will be held with Cyprus on its accession or we will veto the customs union agreement between Turkey and the organization.' The officials in Washington, particularly Richard Holbrooke, made an effort to persuade the EU to agree to Greece's approach. Ankara was informed of the developments toward the end of 1994.

    There was nothing Turkey could do apart from making verbal protests. The EU had adopted a decision within its own framework.

    The EU ministers decided on 6 March 1995 that the talks with the Cyprus Republic should being six months after the intergovernmental conference ends. Turkey was not asked to express its opinion. Nor was it asked whether it agreed to the decision. The Turkey-EU Association Council met on the same day and approved the agreement on the customs union. As part of the scenario, Greece refrained from using its veto against it.

    Turkey strongly criticized the EU decision on the talks on accession during the Association Council's meeting and the dinner that was held later. It warned that it is completely unacceptable. The disclosures made by Karayalcin and Ciller made the council very uneasy, so much so that Foreign Minister Juppe, who was the then chairman of the organization, was forced to make a statement. He said: `Turkey does not have the right to veto our decisions.'

    Yes, that is how we reached the preset stage.

    Turkey has not sacrificed Cyprus for the sake of concluding an agreement with the EU on a customs union. The EU would have held talks with Cyprus on its accession even if Ankara rejected the agreement. That is because it agreed with the United States to have the Cyprus problem solved. Furthermore, it agreed to the role Washington assigned to it for that purpose.

    Considering all that, what was Turkey's mistake?

    Well, it failed to outline the way it wanted to have the Cyprus problem solved. It preferred to only react to the initiatives taken by the foreign countries. It failed to abandon its habit of watching the developments from a distance.

    Obviously, the present situation is the outcome of the developments that took place a very long time ago."


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


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