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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-11-03

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. 203/97 -- 3.11.1997

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] DENKTASH COMMENTS ON MEETING WITH HOLBROOKE
  • [02] DENKTASH TO TELL ANNAN THAT CORDOVEZ'S TIMING 'INAPPROPRIATE'
  • [03] VAN DEN BROEK CONDLUDES CONTACTS, COMMENTS ON VISIT
  • [04] ECEVIT ON FULL MEMBERSHIP IN EU, TIES WITH GREECE
  • [05] TURKISH CYPRIOTS ON BRITISH COMMONWEALTH REPRESENTATIVE APPOINTMENT
  • [06] SEZGIN CALLS FOR PEACE IN AEGEAN; TO VISIT PSEUDOSTATE 4 NOV
  • [07] TURKEY'S YILMAZ, ECEVIT, SEZGIN ON EU, CYPRUS
  • [08] NEW GENERAL SECRETARY FOR THE DP
  • [09] TURKISH MINISTER REITERATES THREAT OF INTEGRATION
  • [10] HOLBROOKE ON HIS MEETING WITH DENKTASH
  • [11] SUKRU GUREL ON TURKEY'S APPROACH ON EU, CYPRUS
  • [12] MILLIYET INTERVIEW REPORTS HOLBROOKE'S REMARKS ON CYPRUS
  • [13] SEZGIN ON GREEK, TURKISH MILITARY EXERCISES
  • [14] SEZGIN ON POSSIBILITY OF AEGEAN CONFRONTATION

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] DENKTASH COMMENTS ON MEETING WITH HOLBROOKE

    According to TRT (0530 hours, 31/10/97) Rauf Denktash held a meeting with Richard Holbrooke, U.S. President Clinton's special Cyprus envoy, before he left for New York after concluding his contacts in Washington.

    Denktash held a news conference for Turkish reporters after his meeting with Holbrooke. He said that he conveyed to Holbrooke the Turkish Cypriot views once again and added: "Definite measures will be adopted in the event that the Greek Cypriots are accepted to the EU. In other words, it is obvious wherein lies the responsibility. I told all this to the U.S. Administration." Alleging that it is a great mistake to act as though there is only one state in Cyprus, Denktash claimed: "The sovereignty rights of the TRNC should be acknowledged. I explained to Holbrooke once again that the Turkish Cypriot side will not attend the EU talks under the fake flag of the Greek Cypriot side." Recounting that the U.S. Administration did not have a formula on the Cyprus issue, Denktash added: "I called on the United States to recognize us and the Greek Cypriot side as political equals. Before closing the subject, I explained that the Greek Cypriots cannot represent the whole of Cyprus on their own."

    Denktash further claimed that Greece will extend its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea to 12 miles after the Greek Cypriots become members of the EU and added: "For this reason, Greece is amassing arms in Cyprus and preparing for war."

    [02] DENKTASH TO TELL ANNAN THAT CORDOVEZ'S TIMING 'INAPPROPRIATE'

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1130 hours 1.11.97), Rauf Denktash will meet with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on 3 November. They will discuss the current stage of the Cyprus issue in detail. At the meeting, Denktash will tell Annan that he finds the timing of special representative Cordovez's visit to Cyprus on 18 November inappropriate.

    Denktash is expected to return to the occupied area via Istanbul on 4 November in the evening.

    [03] VAN DEN BROEK CONDLUDES CONTACTS, COMMENTS ON VISIT

    According to TRT (1800 hours, 31.10.97), Hans van den Broek, the EU official responsible for foreign affairs, has met with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem within the framework of his contacts in Ankara.

    "I explained all those issues that concern Turkey in terms of its relations with the EU. Moreover, I explained to him all those issues on which Turkey thinks the EU should adopt a different stand and make itself clearer. Hans van den Broek then explained his side of the issues. I believe that a favorable dialogue was held. We will have to wait and see the developments together.," Cem said.

    Van den Broek then met with Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and conferred with him for some time. He later visited Hikmet Cetin, speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    Following is the clear-cut message conveyed by van den Broek, who held a briefing for press members at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before leaving Turkey: "Turkey is an extremely important partner of the EU. We consider Turkey's membership important not only from an economic standpoint but from a political one as well."

    Explaining that efforts are under way to prepare the most favorable position for Turkey, van den Broek expressed the belief that progress can be achieved on certain sensitive issues. In reply to a question on the difference of views between Turkey and the EU, he said: "In 1995, the EU decided to launch negotiations on the issue of Cyprus' membership in the EU. Cyprus' membership in the EU should be beneficial for both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. To secure this, however, serious cooperation with Turkey is necessary. I admit that the detention of two human rights activists has had an adverse effect on the EU. There should be freedom of expression in Turkey."

    Commenting on the Cyprus issue, van den Broek said that the EU is aware of the Turkish stand on the Cyprus issue and added that the EU seeks a Cyprus that has solved its political problems.

    [04] ECEVIT ON FULL MEMBERSHIP IN EU, TIES WITH GREECE

    According to TRT (1400 hours, 31.10.97), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has given the following message to the EU: "You cannot change history or geography. Regardless of the EU decision, the Turkish nation is European."

    Hans van den Broek, the EU official responsible for external relations, who was holding contacts in Ankara, first met with Deputy Prime Minister Ecevit. In a statement after the one-hour meeting, Ecevit said that he explained to van den Broek very clearly Turkey's approach to its relations with the EU.

    "Turkey has a very wide region that extends to the United States on one side, to the Pacific on the other, and of course that encompasses the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Balkans. Turkey wants to become an EU member very much, but if that desire is not fulfilled, Turkey will not remain alone or helpless in the world.", Ecevit said.

    Ecevit said that Turkey understands the economic and human rights conditions required for full membership, but that it will not have any political conditions imposed on it, such as its relations with Greece or the Cyprus issue. "I believe that there is no serious conflict of interest between Turkey and Greece. If the countries outside the region leave us alone, I believe that Turkey and Greece can establish very close relations and cooperation, just as at the time of Ataturk and Venizelos", he added.

    Asked if the Yilmaz-Simitis meeting in Crete will be beneficial, Ecevit said: "I believe in the benefits of a dialogue under any conditions."

    [05] TURKISH CYPRIOTS ON BRITISH COMMONWEALTH REPRESENTATIVE APPOINTMENT

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1630 hours, 31.10.97), the so-called ministry of foreign affairs and defense of the pseudostate has announced that it does not expect the special representative appointed by the British Commonwealth to contribute to the negotiation and agreement process in Cyprus, or to establish a meaningful dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot side. In a statement issued, the "ministry" expresses its "displeasure at the British Commonwealth's failure to consult the Turkish Cypriots in the appointment of a representative." The statement says that the principle of equality is one of the most important principles determined by the UN Secretary General. It says that the violation of this principle by third parties that tackle the Cyprus problem complicates the solution of the problem. The statement claims that the British Commonwealth has been viewing the Cyprus problem from the Greek Cypriot angle for years. "Therefore", it says, "we cannot expect the appointed special representative to contribute to a solution or to establish a good dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots."

    [06] SEZGIN CALLS FOR PEACE IN AEGEAN; TO VISIT PSEUDOSTATE 4 NOV

    According to TRT (1800 hours, 1.11.97) Ismet Sezgin, Turkish deputy prime minister and national defense minister, has said: "At the Crete summit, we will explain once again that we want the problems between us and Greece to be resolved peacefully."

    Replying to reporters questions in Denizli, Sezgin noted that at the Crete summit, the prime minister will affirm that problems must be resolved peacefully at the negotiating table and not through an arms buildup or missile deployments.

    "I hope and wish that the cards will be open on the table at the Crete summit. As always, we will explain once again that we are in favor of friendship, peace, and dialogue and that it would be more appropriate to resolve the problems between us", he said.

    Sezgin announced that he will be going to the occupied area on 4 November to attend the Toros 2-97 exercise.

    [07] TURKEY'S YILMAZ, ECEVIT, SEZGIN ON EU, CYPRUS

    According to Milliyet (30.10.97) Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has said the following regarding Turkey's full EU membership: "They have two alternatives; they will either exclude us, or they will accept us with definite conditions. I emphatically say that they do not have the courage to exclude us."

    Prime Minister Ylmaz, Deputy Prime Ministers Bulent Ecevit, Ismet Sezgin, Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Husamettin Cindoruk, and State Ministers Husamettin Ozkan, Eyup Asik, Cavit Kavak, and Rifat Serdaroglu visited Milliyet at the peak of the 29 October celebrations. The coalition partners assessed to Milliyet the developments on the EU, the economy and the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking of a "misunderstanding" between Germany and Greece regarding Cyprus' full EU membership, Yilmaz said: "Germany is saying that 'the Greek Cypriot side can be a full member, but it should first solve its problems.' In return Greece is not permitting Germany's request to have Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic enter the EU as a priority. Germany is the only country that does not receive money from the EU. It even finances 60 percent of the EU budget. Relying on this fact, it is trying to impose itself on 'having things done the way it wants.' I believe an agreement will be reached in December. On that date, two or three more countries will join the countries just mentioned and in this way the first wave will have been completed. Beside Turkey, Bulgaria and other countries will take their place in the second wave."

    Asked whether Turkey has gained the certainty of taking its place in the second wave, Yilmaz stressed that a "wrong picture" was presented to the EU, adding: "Up to this time, we presented to the EU the picture that 'we want to enter the EU at any price.' That is why they are acting rationally. Seeing that the preceding government was very enthusiastic (about entering the EU), they wanted to have us 'pay something in return.'" The Prime Minister explained the hidden part of his meeting with the German Chancellor Kohl, saying: "The problem is neither the terror in the southeast, nor human rights, nor Kardak (Imia, a rocky islet). Kohl said that: 'Neither your southeast problem nor your problem with Greece interest me. But you have to find a solution regading free movement. What will our situation be when 10 million unemployed Turks come to Germany following the opening of the doors?' We, for our part, promised that we will find a temporary solution for this (problem)."

    Ecevit for his part said that the temporary solution that may clear Kohl's fears lies in letting the Turks who have settled in Germany have the right of free movement as a first stage if Turkey becomes a full EU member. Yilmaz supported Ecevit's approach, adding: "All the European countries will begin coming to Turkey one after another and tell us what they want from us. They will talk of 'Imia', they will ask us to grant human rights, and we in turn will tell them that we will not accept the 11+1 (as published) formula. In such an event, they will have two options. They will either exclude us, or they will accept us with definite conditions. They do not have the courage to exclude us. They are obliged to make a decision in December."

    In their separate assessments Ecevit and Sezgin claimed that Greece is trying to increase the tension in the Aegean regarding the Cyprus problem, adding that "Greece is on the verge, of creating a limited controlled clash." Ecevit and Sezgin claimed that in this way the Greek side is trying to absolutely prevent Turkey from becoming a full EU member and to secure full membership for the Greek Cypriots. Ecevit alleged: "It is possible that they are aiming at a short clash. In this way, they want to broaden the EU borders. In such an event, the S-300 (missiles) will be used as a threat against Turkey."

    Stating that the United States is changing its attitude toward the Cyprus issue, Ecevit said: "They do not consider the problem as only consisting of the Imia problem any more, and this is an indication that they are drawing closer to our hypothesis."

    Indicating that the pseudostate will have only one way out when the EU accepts Cyprus as a full EU member, Ecevit said: "In this situation, the TRNC will integrate with Turkey. This should never be perceived as annexation. In this situation, the TRNC will only be supported by Turkey in the political and defense fields, and it will be completely independent regarding its internal affairs. There are numerous examples of this in the world. An island state that is linked to Turkey in its foreign policy and defense may in the future open its doors for a federation if the Greek Cypriot sector draws closer to solutions acceptable to Turkey."

    [08] NEW GENERAL SECRETARY FOR THE DP

    The newspapers (31.10.97) report that Onur Borman has been unanimously elected new general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP).

    Mrs Borman stated that "the cooperation between her party and the government will be strengthened."

    [09] TURKISH MINISTER REITERATES THREAT OF INTEGRATION

    According to TRT (2200 hours, 1.11.97), Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has reiterated that despite the negative circumstances, Turkey is determined to open the door to friendly relations with Greece by exploiting every means for a solution.

    Replying to reporters' questions in Izmir, Gurel said that if the EU integrates with the Cyprus Government, Turkey, in turn, will intensify its cooperation with the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" and adopt the path of integration. Gurel noted that "a solution acceptable to everyone in Cyprus can be attained only by representatives of the two peoples in Cyprus." Moreover KIBRIS (2.11.97), reports that during the same press conference Gurel also referred to the deployment of S-300 missiles in the free areas of Cyprus and continued his threatening statements.

    He said that the Turkish government has given every power and authority to the Turkish Chief of Staff to take the necessary military measures against the deployment of the S-300 missiles.

    Repeating his known allegations that these missiles will pose a danger to Turkey's security as well as to the countries in the region Gurel claimed:

    "The Chief of Staff is making the necessary preparations. Under no circumstances will these missiles be allowed to be used as a subject for negotiation regarding the Cyprus problem. The Greek Cypriots who will deploy these missiles and the Russians who will sell these missiles have realised their mistake and they are trying to find a way out of this issue". (MY)

    [10] HOLBROOKE ON HIS MEETING WITH DENKTASH

    According to Turkish Daily News (1.11.97), Amb. Richard Holbrooke, President Clinton's special presidential envoy for Cyprus, summarized his talk in New York City on Thursday evening with Rauf Denktash as a "frank and confidential exchange of views." In diplomatic parlance, parties usually use the term "frank" to describe a meeting in which the two sides agree to disagree.

    Holbrooke summarized the strong presentation that Denktash apparently made to him in New York by saying that he had found Denktash to be a "strong, forceful, articulate" representative of the Turkish Cypriot case. In an exclusive statement he provided to the Turkish Daily News from New York City, Holbrooke declined to comment on the content of the talks with Denktash. "It was a very good meeting," he said, adding that if he discussed in public what he talked about with someone in private, "We wouldn't get anything done."

    "Do you still recommend to President Denktash that Turkish Cypriots participate in talks for accesion to the EU while hanging on to their differences?" the paper asked.

    "I never said that," Amb. Holbrooke replied and again declined to comment in public on the position he had brought to Denktash.

    "This is going to be a long and complicated process," Holbrooke continued. "It has to take into account the legitimate concerns of all participants and both communities. That the United States believes that both Turkey and Cyprus should be a part of an integrated Europe. But how we get there is something that the European Union has to work out. We are not members of the EU."

    Did he think of Dec. 12 as a crucial date, the paper asked. On that day, the EU is expected to ratify an earlier decision by the European Commission to start full membership talks with Cyprus in January, 1998.

    Denktash said he did not believe in talking with President Clerides again until that date.

    Holbrooke dismissed the importance of the date, saying it's "just one date in the process."

    Amb. Holbrooke made a point of stressing his impression of Denktash: "Mr. Denktash is a very strong, forceful and articulate advocate of his positions," he told the paper.

    [11] SUKRU GUREL ON TURKEY'S APPROACH ON EU, CYPRUS

    According to Cumhuriyet (31.10.97), Minister of State Sukru Gurel, who is responsible for Cyprus affairs, has defied the pressure the EU, Greece, and the United States have put on Turkey. He said: ``We know what we want. The EU must clearly outline the opportunity that Turkey has to join the organization. The talks the EU will have with the Greek Cypriot side will pave the way for the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] to participate in the talks on the Cyprus problem as a sovereign entity in the future.''

    The EU and the United States have tried to warn Ankara against an integration between Turkey and the ``TRNC''. In fact, they have tried to persuade the officials not to agree to such a step.

    Ankara has moved to outline its policy particularly after the unofficial EU meeting in Luxembourg. Sukru Gurel has informed Cumhuriyet on the main outlines of Turkey's approach on the EU and the Cyprus problem as follows:

    1. We expect the EU to clearly disclose during the summit it will hold in Luxembourg early in December that Turkey will be included in the organization's expansion program.

    2. Turkey must be invited to attend a comprehensive conference, the participants of which will be the candidate countries.

    3. We want the strategy that will be adopted toward Turkey to be similar to the strategy that will be adopted toward the other candidate countries.

    4. We object to Turkey's accession being subject to Greece's approval. We also object to any attempt to link Turkey's accession to the Cyprus problem.

    5. Even if the EU agrees to that criteria, the process of Cyprus' accession to the EU cannot begin before Turkey joins the organization.

    6. We are aware that human rights in Turkey have to be improved, regardless of whether or not the EU exists.

    7. The commencement of talks between the EU and the Greek Cypriot administration on accession will undermine all the parameters related to the intercommunal negotiations, which are under UN auspices. Consequently, the UN organization will be a useless factor. However, the EU is determined to maintain its talks with the Greek Cypriot side.

    8. The intercommunal negotiations will be converted into a process between governments if the Greek Cypriot side's accession is realised. That will give an opportunity to the ``TRNC'' to maintain the talks at an international level without being committed to the old parameters.

    9. That state of affairs will make Turkey feel free to decide on ``TRNC's'' integration because the talks that will be held between the EU and the Greek Cypriot side will provide for the latter's integration with the organization. So, they will be responsible for the separation on the island.

    Meanwhile, a high-ranking diplomat has said that Turkey has defied the EU and noted that Richard Holbrooke, President Clinton's Special Envoy to Cyprus, has urged Ankara to agree to the Turkish Cypriot side's participation in the talks that will probably be held between the EU and the Greek Cypriot side in April 1998. He said that Holbrooke advised Ankara as follows: ``Do not make a hasty decision to take steps toward integration. Persuade the TRNC to agree to the talks that will be held between the EU and the Greek Cypriot side. Otherwise, you will be blamed for the developments.'' A similar advice will be given to Ankara by Hans van den Broek, head of the EU Foreign Relations Department, who arrived in Turkey the other day. He is expected to inform Turkey that ``the EU may agree to your participation in the Permanent European Conference, provided that you agree not to put the 20 January decisions on TRNC's integration into effect.''

    [12] MILLIYET INTERVIEW REPORTS HOLBROOKE'S REMARKS ON CYPRUS

    Milliyet (Internet version, 26/10/97) publishes the second and last instalment of an interview with US Special Cyprus Representative Richard Holbrooke by Yasemin Congar in New York.

    In reply to a relevant question, Holbrooke inter alia said: ``If I were to address the people of the region, I am sure that the message I would send them would not succeed politically. Because politics in the region is highly polarized. Rather than anyone trying to talk to both communities, both communities listen to their own messages. I would try to appeal to both communities as an American. My message is very simple: You share an island that is divided by a wall in the middle. That wall has no benefit for the people of the island. There are people from both sides who have been uprooted. On both sides there are people who have lost their homes. The economy of the Turkish Cypriot people has been especially hurt. And there is a solution. That solution is a federation with a loose center; a central economic system; the lifting of barriers between the two communities; restrictions on property ownership to prevent one community from buying everything owned by the other; and the assignment of responsibility for education, cultural affairs, and local security to local governments.

    Everything I have said is very similar to what is in force in Bosnia now. Despite all the problems, relations among the three communities in Bosnia a few months after the war are better than relations between the two communities in Cyprus after 23 years. I hope that a bicommunal and bizonal federation in Cyprus, which will protect the political, economic, and human rights of the two communities, will be able to join the EU. However, I am not a politician. I cannot deliver this message to the two communities as a US diplomat because it would be attacked by hawks on both sides''. Holbrooke also said that he talked to the Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers after his sharp remarks following the harassment of the airplane in which Greek Defence Minister Akis Tzohatzopoulos was travelling. The American diplomat said that Greek Foreign Minister Theodhoros Pangalos thanked him for his remarks.

    According to Holbrooke, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem listened to the concern expressed by the United States over the incident and said that ``he understands it completely.''

    [13] SEZGIN ON GREEK, TURKISH MILITARY EXERCISES

    According to Sabah (31/10/97), Turkey's National Defence Minister Ismet Sezgin has said that he proposed that the Greek and Turkish exercises in the Mediterranean be postponed before the ``Balkan summit'' convenes in Crete but Greece rejected his call. Sezgin also said that Turkey will hold its Determination-97 exercises as a reaction to Greece's Nikiforos-97 exercises. Speaking in Kars the other day, Sezgin said that the summit in Crete should be held in ``a calm atmosphere'' and noted that none of the sides can gain from the existing tension. Asked to comment on the participation of the Chief of the Greek General Staff in the reception that was given on the occasion of the Turkish Republic Day on 29 October, Sezgin asserted:

    ``Friendship cannot be confirmed through a visit.'' Commenting on the possibility of the postponement of the exercises, a high-ranking official of the Prime Ministry has said: ``A final decision has not been made. It may not be made until the last minute.'' Meanwhile, circles close to the Ministry of National Defence and the General Staff have said that the postponement of the exercises is out of the question. A high-ranking General Staff official has said: ``The postponement of the exercises will mean that we have abandoned our kinsmen in the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]. That is impossible.''

    [14] SEZGIN ON POSSIBILITY OF AEGEAN CONFRONTATION

    According to TRT (2200 hours, 2/11/97) Ismet Sezgin, Turkish national defence minister, toured military museums in Istanbul yesterday. Asked to comment on Greek press reports that a confrontation may be possible in the Aegean, Sezgin inter alia said: ``If they want a confrontation, then there will be one. If they want to start it, then there will be a confrontation. However, we would not be hurt by it, they would''.

    Replying to another question, Sezgin alleged that Turkey is trying to resolve its problems with Greece with reason and common sense.

    ``We try not to start a confrontation. If, however, they act like street bullies as they did in the previous exercises, then they will get the response they deserve'', he claimed.


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


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