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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-10-27

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. 199/97 -- 25-26-27.10.97


  • [01] Denktash to meet Holbrooke.
  • [02] Turkey's Cem comments on Holbrooke, Cyprus problem.
  • [03] Ecevit reacts to Holbrooke, claims Cyprus issue solved for Turks.
  • [04] Norway says no to pseudostate's potatoes.

  • [05] Columnist on the military's dominating role over Turkey, difference of mentality with European countries.
  • [06] Turkish paper views S-300 crisis, warns against piracy.


    [01] Denktash to meet Holbrooke

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (8:00, hours 27.10.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash continues his contacts in the USA. Illegal Bayrak reports that Denktash is to meet US Presidential special Cyprus envoy Richard Holbrooke today. (MY)

    [02] Turkey's Cem comments on Holbrooke, Cyprus problem

    According to daily RADIKAL (24.10.97), Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who has drawn attention with the cautious statements he has made since he took up his office, has adopted a firm approach for the first time. He broke his silence and made a pessimistic statement on matters related to Richard Holbrooke, President Clinton's special envoy to Cyprus.

    Cem delivered a speech at the dinner given by the Association of Diplomatic Correspondents in his honour last Thursday. He said that "the problems with Athens can be solved but the solution of the Cyprus problem is difficult." Cem did not deny Holbrooke's "capability." However, he said: "The appointment of an extraordinary negotiator and the replacement of the actors does not mean that success will be achieved and the problem will be solved."

    Cem also outlined his views claiming the following: "The problems with Greece can be solved. However, the problems related to Cyprus are serious. The recent Nikiforos exercises were held to prepare for the occupation of north Cyprus. Considering the existing conditions, maintaining an optimistic approach on the solution of the Cyprus problem is difficult. Holbrooke is a very capable negotiator. However, a result cannot be expected just because the names have changed and an extraordinary negotiator has been appointed. A federation cannot be established between a community and a state because of the way it has been defined. It can be established between equal partners."

    On the issue of Turkey's relations with the EU, he said:

    "I prefer to be careful. I believe many of the EU countries have not adopted a clear approach yet. So, it is premature to believe that many of the problems have been solved and accession to the EU will be realized."

    [03] Ecevit reacts to Holbrooke, claims Cyprus issue solved for Turks

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 26.10.97) Bulent Ecevit, Turkish state minister and deputy prime minister, reacted harshly to the statement on Cyprus issued by Richard Holbrooke, US President Clinton's special envoy for Cyprus. He said: "The Cyprus problem has been resolved as far as Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are concerned. There is no need for fantasies."

    In a statement to MILLIYET, Ecevit commented on the following Holbrooke remarks: "The Turkish-Greek problem can be solved with determined leaders. I hope that the two countries will find their own Adenauer and De Gaulle one day." Commenting on the subject, Ecevit noted: "In my opinion, the Cyprus problem has been resolved as far as Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are concerned. Those who are seeking a new solution now are further complicating the issue. A final political solution can be attained only on the basis of the infrastructure established in Cyprus 23 years ago. There is no point in discussing this matter any further."

    [04] Norway says no to pseudostate's potatoes

    According to CYPRUS TODAY (25.10.97), Norway has joined the list of countries who have put into practice an embargo on goods from the "TRNC", which puts a stop to the purchase of 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of potatoes a year.

    The European Union Court of Justice banned all imports from the "TRNC" into EU countries in June, 1994.

    Disregarding the ruling, Norway continued an agreement they had with the Turkish Cypriot community, and later on the "TRNC", and had kept trade relations going until the previous month.

    However, Norway finally decided to abide by the EU Court of Justice and stop all potato imports as of this month.

    The manager of the pseudostate's "Soil Products Association", Aysi Avci, said with Norway pulling out, the association is seeking new markets.


    [05] Columnist on the military's dominating role over Turkey, difference of mentality with European countries

    Ilnur Cevik in an editorial in Turkish Daily News (27.10.97, Internet version, writes:

    "According to press reports on Sunday, the General Staff headquarters of the Turkish Armed Forces presented a memorandum to the Besiktas soccer club to warn its manager, John Toshack, about remarks made concerning his soccer player, Oktay Derelioglu, who was injured during a military training session.

    Oktay is doing his military service, and thus has to train with his unit on the weekdays, and then he is allowed to play soccer with his team during the weekends.

    The player was missing from his team's training session on Friday, and Toshack complained to reporters that he had been injured during a military drill, and thus was absent. The Welsh trainer said he respected the fact that Oktay had to do his military service, but stressed that the authorities should take more care for the health of a soccer star like Oktay, who is serving in the Turkish national squad and who has played excellent soccer in European competitions. Oktay scored the winning goal for Besiktas against the Swedish champion, Goteborg, in the European Super League earlier in the week.

    I would have been better if a soccer player who has represented his country so successfully abroad and who is an asset for the Turkish national team as well as Besiktas had not been subjected to a heavy drill in his military unit', Toshack lamented, according to press reports.

    Again according to press reports, the General Staff contacted Besiktas officials and asked them to `warn' Toshack and if necessary, terminate his contract.

    Of course we do not know if and how much of these press accounts are accurate. The Turkish press, especially in dealing with sports coverage, does not have a very good track record. The fact that no one who interviews Toshack understands English and thus has to rely on translators adds to the skepticism. But even if there is an element of accuracy, we feel that everyone should approach the issue in a cool manner and stop acting hysterically.

    Toshack comes from a different country with a European culture. In many of these counties, military service is not compulsory. In Britain, this is a fact. Thus valuable players do not have to serve in the military and risk injury. In Turkey, this is not the case, and people have to accept our conditions.

    However, even in this case, we see a fundamental difference which divides us and the Western European countries.

    There are too many foreigners in Turkey who would say too many things which would be objectionable to certain people. We have to live with these remarks, which most of the time are friendly and constructive criticism.

    In Europe, the military does not have such a dominating role over any country. In Britain, Toshack's remarks, if he had said them, would be regarded as `just another criticism', and no one would create a storm over it.

    In Turkey, the system and the mentality is different.

    Foreigners have to get used to this and act accordingly, if they want to stay here and earn a living. However, if we want to be a part of the European family, then we too have to do some deep thinking and realize that we also have to `change' to adapt to the European way of life. If not, then we cannot and should not complain that we are being given the cold shoulder by the European Union.

    Let us be frank. We are failing in the basics of democracy, and the Toshack case is a good example.

    We fear the Toshack case may once again become a headache for us in a needless manner. The British press as well as other European media may grab this opportunity to highlight the `deficiencies' in Turkey according to European norms. Do we need all this just at a time when human rights activist Esber Yagmurdereli is in jail and Human Rights Association chief Akin Birdal faces a similar threat?"

    [06] Turkish paper views S-300 crisis, warns against piracy

    Mensur Akgun writing in YENI YUZYIL (23.10.97), under the title "S-300 Missiles, Fantasies, and Realities", says:

    "Many fantasies have been fabricated on the capability of the S-300 PMU-1 missiles bought by the Greek Cypriots from Russia to strengthen its air defense systems. This is not the first time Turkey and foreign countries have been troubled by the same type of missiles. The weapon systems have been used since the early 1970's. The former USSR airspace was defended mostly by them.

    Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria have them, even though what they have are the older generation missiles.

    The S-300 PMU-1 systems are expensive air defense missiles. There can be nothing more meaningless than using them as surface-to-surface missiles.

    The Greek Cypriots have not ordered the missiles to use them in their sports activities. However, hitting Turkey with them is not their objective. Their target is Turkey's military planes. Or, at least, they want to try to obstruct Turkey's indisputable air supremacy in a military operation. This will give them an opportunity to realize the new military strategy they have drawn up with Greece.

    It is a fact that the Greek Cypriots will have an important advantage against Turkey when the missiles are installed on the island. The experts in Ankara believe that they have bought 24 ramps. If that is right, then they will theoretically be able to hit 72 military planes at the same time in an operation. As far as Turkey is concerned, the risk is unacceptable.

    Such a state of affairs will be catastrophic for Greece and the Greek Cypriots.

    Undoubtedly, Turkey will be forced to quickly take all the necessary measures against the missiles, including commando operations, in order not to lose its strategic superiority in a crisis. It may not only take measures against the missiles in south Cyprus but also take action against the Greek Air Force, which will be responsible for the installment of the weapon systems on the island. In other words, Turkey will be forced to attack the Greek air bases to avoid placing its pilots and military aircraft at risk. This will mean that it will risk a war in the Aegean.

    Stressing that this state of affairs will be as much tragic and catastrophic for Turkey as it will be for Greece and the Greek Cypriot side is unnecessary. Undoubtedly, it also will be a serious setback for NATO's expansion. The only thing Turkey can do to prevent such a war is to maintain its military determination and make an effort to secure the diplomatic support of the third countries to obstruct installment of the missiles on the island when the time comes. This is an opportunity that should be considered. However, expecting Turkey to agree to hold talks on the missiles even through mediators before it is completely lost will not be a realistic approach. That is because talks on the missiles may require Turkey to withdraw the military units it has maintained in Cyprus since 1974. In other words, their outcome may mean a final diplomatic defeat.

    Meanwhile, we must avoid considering options like sinking the missile- carrying ships or taking measures to obstruct their passage through Turkey's straits, which will be regarded as an act of piracy."

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

    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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