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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-11-04

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. 204/97 -- 4.11.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] YILMAZ ON GREECE-TURKEY RELATIONS
  • [02] DENKTASH : "FROM NOW ON, NEGOTIATIONS WILL BE BETWEEN STATES"
  • [03] ATUN SAYS AIM OF EXERCISES TO PROTECT "NORTH CYPRUS"
  • [04] TURKISH MILITARY ON ITS MANEUVERS IN CYPRUS
  • [05] TURKISH DEFENCE MINISTER ARRIVES IN PSEUDOSTATE
  • [06] TURKISH CHIEF OF STAFF SAYS EXERCISES WILL NOT LEAD TO WAR
  • [07] TURKISH AND GREEK CYPRIOT PARTY OFFICIALS MEET AT LEDRA
  • [08] TOROS - 97 EXERCISES BEGIN
  • [09] TURKS DENY EXCHANGE OF FIRE IN ``BORDER REGION''
  • [10] DEMIREL ASKS SUPPORT OF ISLAMIC COUNTRIES FOR TURKISH CYPRIOTS

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] YILMAZ ON GREECE-TURKEY RELATIONS

    Fatih Cekirge, writing in Sabah (3/11/97), reports on statements Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz made on the plane carrying him to Crete. Yilmaz outlined the serious nature of the tension in the region, where the Turkish and Greek military planes flew very close to each other, in fact, almost wing-to-wing, to realize their respective "war games", as follows:

    "My first objective in the talks I will have with Simitis will be to obstruct an accident. That is because an accident may create a clash between the two countries."

    According to Yilmaz, Cekirge writes, such a posibility definitely exists. In fact, Őilmaz said: "Naturally, it always exists. They are involved in dogfights. The Greeks are holding exercises in the area where we are holding our own exercises. They have coincided. Limits have been imposed on flights. The Greek aircraft will fly as high as 11,000 meters. Our aircraft will fly beyond that limit. They estalished the ceiling of their flights only recently. Furthermore, they asked us to exclude an area to the south of Crete because they said it will be dangerous. Our military personnel have excluded the area from the program of their exercises." Cekirge then outlines the questions put to Yilmaz and the replies he gave to them as follows:

    - Will live ammunition be used during the exercises?

    - Yes, live ammunition will be used. We held a lengthy meeting with our colleagues yesterday. The problems we will discuss with Simitis will be subject to the Greek side's approach. As I said earlier, we can, at least, reach an agreement to obstruct a possible clash. The second stage will be to initiate a dialogue. A basis exists for both of them. We have the protocol signed in Madrid and the memorandum signed in 1988 to consider. We plan to reactivate them and broaden their scopes....

    - The military exercises did not coincide in the past. Can you comment on the present situation?

    - I signed a memorandum in 1988. It called for the suspension of military exercises during the tourism season. That is why they are now held at the end of the season. Whether or not exercises are held is not important. However, there has to be coordination and an agreement on their time and place. The Greek side still believes that 'the area is under their sovereignty and Turkey has to ask for Greece's consent.' Naturally, that is out of question.

    - Greece planned military exercises with Russia, which is not a NATO country. Scenarios were reportedly drawn up against Turkey. General Ismail Hakki Karadayi, chief of the General Staff, addressed a serious letter (to NATO). Can you comment on that state of affairs?

    - Naturally, NATO has to assess the situation. Can you imagine, a NATO country decides to hold exercises with a country that was the reason for the establishment of the alliance in the past, exercises that are against one of the members of the same alliance.

    - Will you discuss the (Turkish) exercises with Simitis?

    - No.

    - Have they conveyed a proposal before the meeting is held?

    - No.

    - General Ismail Hakki Karadayi addressed a serious letter to the NATO commanders to draw their attention to Russia and Greece. Will you discuss that with Simitis?

    - No. I will not discuss the Cyprus problem either, unless Simitis brings it up. Our approach in our talks with Athens has been to keep our relations with Cyprus and Greece separately. We can solve our problems with Greece. The two countries can act with goodwill to make progress in a very short time. That may facilitate the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    - Greece is said to be trying to link the Cyprus problem to Turkey's accession to the EU.

    - Yes, that is right. However, its approach is wrong. Europe has realized how dangerous it is.

    - Will you discuss the EU?

    - No, I plan to discuss our bilateral relations. The political balances in Greece indicate that we do not have a favorable situation for a dialogue. Nevertheless, the European countries and the United States expect a positive outcome from our talks. In fact, even the talks we will have will be a positive step. Of course, an agreement between the two sides will be even more important.

    - You proposed, when you served as Turkey's Foreign Minister, that a direct telephone link be established between the two sides for peace. Would you make a similar proposal again?

    - No, we will see. I may invite Simitis to Turkey. However, we will see the approach he maintains.

    - As far as I can see, you will determine your position in accordance with Simitis' approach. That is how you will open the doors.

    - Yes, that is right. Look, the situation is as follows: We had Ozal and Papandreou in Davos and Foreign Ministers Pangalos and Cem in Madrid. The agreements they reached caused a strong internal reaction in Greece. The Greek Government was criticized and accused of 'selling the country.' That is why it failed to comply with the agreements it signed ..."

    [02] DENKTASH : "FROM NOW ON, NEGOTIATIONS WILL BE BETWEEN STATES"

    According to KIBRIS (4.11.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had separate meetings yesterday with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Security Council President Qin Huasun.

    After the meetings Denktash told the Turkish journalists that he had told to UN officials: "We feel we are cornered. If you corner a cat it will attack you. We, too, are saying to you, do not exert further pressure on us. Injustice has its own limits. Give up this injustice. I have come here to tell you this."

    Referring to the EU decision to begin accession talks with Cyprus, he claimed that "this decision brought Cyprus to a new path". He went on and added: "Thus, a fullstop is put on the intercommunal talks that were going on until now. From now on, the negotiations will be between states". Denktash said that he had told the UN Secretary General to tell Mr. Cordovez not to come to Cyprus in order to make him meet President Clerides. "I will not meet Clerides until the EU announces its decision on 13 December, 1997. Let the EU declare its decision. Then we will state on which basis we could negotiate," Denktash said.

    He categorically refused the Turkish Cypriots' taking part in the EU - Cyprus accession negotiations. "If we take part it would be considered as our recognizing the Greek Cypriots as the Cyprus Government", he alleged. Referring to the deployment of S-300 missiles Denktash said if the Greek Cypriots give up the deployment of the missiles, then Turkey in its turn will give up taking counter - measures.

    KIBRIS concludes by saying that Denktash today will have a meeting with the New York Times editor and in the evening he will leave New York to return to the occupied area.

    (MY)

    [03] ATUN SAYS AIM OF EXERCISES TO PROTECT "NORTH CYPRUS"

    According to TRT (1800 hours, 3/11/97) Hakki Atun, so-called acting president of the pseudostate, has said that a solution cannot be sought to the Cyprus problem through an aggressive stand. Atun met with Rear Admiral Feyyaz Ogutcu, south task group commander who is in the pseudostate to participate in the Toros-97 exercises, and the delegation accompanying him. In a statement at the meeting, Atun claimed that the Greek Cypriot view that the "TRNC" is a territory that they will get back can only increase the tension. Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot side is conducting the exercises with the aim of protecting "its territory", Atun said that the presence of Turkish warships in the occupied area of Cyprus is a reply to the "aggressor".

    [04] TURKISH MILITARY ON ITS MANEUVERS IN CYPRUS

    According to Turkish Daily News (1/11/97), the Turkish military said that under the Turkish Armed Forces "policy of transparency", Greek military attaches have been invited to monitor the turkish exercises, which will have defensive purposes.

    Military officials say that during the maneuvers Turkish warships will anchor in the occupied harbors of Famagusta and Kyrenia while Turkish F-16 and F-4s will land at occupied Lefkoniko airport.

    The Turkish F-16s and F-4s will practice all antimissile maneuvers, including one against the S-300s that are expected to be transferred to Cyprus by Russia.

    The General Staff revealed its plans about the two military exercises, Toros 2/97 and Determination '97, at a briefing for journalists at its headquarters in Ankara.

    Major Gen. Koksal Karabay, the Chief of the General Staff Planning and Operation Department, said that the two exercises have been planned for more than a year and thus, to delay or to cancel such maneuvers was not on the agenda. He underlined that all such maneuvers in and near Cyprus would be held under the so-called joint-defense operation concept between Turkey and "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)" against any attempt in the island which aims to harm Turkish or "TRNC" interests.

    In the exercises, the "enemy" which is allegedly planning to occupy the pseudostate is identified by red colors and the "indirect enemy" which is clearly supporting the red side militarily is given a brown color. Turkey's forces will be identified by the color blue. All scenarios will be based on this concept.

    The Determination maneuvers will include more than ten warships and more than 20 warplanes while Toros 2/97 will include more than ten warships and more than 30 warplanes.

    [05] TURKISH DEFENCE MINISTER ARRIVES IN PSEUDOSTATE

    According to illegal BRTK (1730 hours, 3/11/97) the Turkish National Defence Minister, Ismet Sezgin, arrived in the occupied area yesterday. Speaking at occupied Tymbou airport, Sezgin claimed: ``As you know, according to the program, we, together with our Ground Forces commander, should have come to Cyprus to attend the exercises tomorrow. We were supposed to come tomorrow. However, because of our President’ s [as heard] presence abroad at the summit in Crete, and our Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Bulent Ecevit’s decision to bring his foreign visits a day forward, as a result of which I am required to act as prime minister as of 1600 tomorrow, I brought my Cyprus program a day forward. Now, I will attend the exercises tomorrow. I hope we will convey our views and thoughts on this issue to you at a news conference tomorrow morning.

    I once again reiterate my extreme pleasure in having arrived in Cyprus, seeing my very dear friends and brothers, and exchanging views with our valuable commanders. And I reiterate that the Cyprus problem is a national cause for us. We have come here in reiterating that we, as the Turkish State, are determined to realize this national cause. We, as the Turkish State and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, have always been saying that if there are problems then we favour their solution sensibly, free from emotionalism, and with the common sense rules, in peace, and through dialogue at a table where the communities could sit together. But the internationally known position and actions of the Greek and Greek Cypriot duo has, unfortunately, aggravated and heightened the tension, and the provocation of our Greek friends has reached a certain stage. But, as always, we are maintaining our cool-headedness within the context of dignified calmness, self-possession, and seriousness so peculiar to the Turk. They should have known that resorting to such madness, that is, resorting to such provocation, would have brought them no benefit. As I also indicated in a brief interview with the reporters in Istanbul yesterday, the bill, the cost for such madness would be heavy. And we would not like anyone, be it our friend or foe, to pay such a bill; our heart will not consent to that. That is, we always want to live in peace as brothers, and we favour the continuation of the balances established by the Treaty of Lausanne and by the Zurich and London Agreements of 1959 and 1960 and the parameters arising thereof. We are for peace, friendship, stability, and security. The 21st century will be one that would usher in democratic principles, high moral values, peace, continuous peace, security, and stability. There will be no place for war in that century. That is, nothing has been left that should be resolved by wars. That is, mankind has developed to such an extend that it could solve its problems without a war and by making peace and holding talks. We have always favoured that, and as I stated above, we do not want Cyprus ---our national cause, where not only the Turkish sector but also the Greek Cypriot sector has lived in security for the last 24 years---turning again into a ring of fire and a powder keg. And we are proving and showing that we do not want such a thing. We are exerting, and will continue to exert, every effort in that direction.''

    [06] TURKISH CHIEF OF STAFF SAYS EXERCISES WILL NOT LEAD TO WAR

    According to TRT (1800 hours, 3/11/97), Turkey’s chief of the general staff has made a statement on the exercises being conducted in the Aegean and the Mediterranean. General Ismail Hakki Karadayi said: `` The exercises are aimed at peace, not war''. Replying to reporters’ questions in Ankara, General Karadayi said that the exercises are continuing as planned. He later replied to reporters’ questions on whether the exercises will lead to war.

    ``One should not talk of war. Such a thing will not happen, cannot happen. It is impossible for these exercises to turn into a war. Both sides are conscientious. We are dealing with these issues calmly. The two peoples have no enmity toward one another'' he said.

    Meanwhile, the Chief of the General staff’s Office yesterday gave a briefing to the military attaches in Ankara on the exercises being conducted in the eastern Mediterranean and the occupied area. The Greek military attache attended the briefing as well. According to information obtained from the Press Centre of the chief of the General Staff’s Office, the attaches were informed in detail on the content and scenarios of the exercises at the briefing. The briefing at the Chief of Staff Headquarters was held on the assumption that, acting in line with the requirements of the policy of dialogue, cooperation, and openness in a changing and developing world, it is beneficial to announce the characteristics and principles of the exercises and to supply information to the officials of other countries.

    [07] TURKISH AND GREEK CYPRIOT PARTY OFFICIALS MEET AT LEDRA

    According to illegal Bayrak(1130 hours 3/11/97) various Turkish and Greek Cypriot political party officials met at the Ledra Palace Hotel yesterday. Minimal interest was shown in the joint meeting organized by the Slovak Embassy with the aim of bringing together the Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties. From the Turkish Cypriot side Republican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Free Democratic Party deputy leader Ozel Tahsin, New Cyprus Party leader Alpay Durduran, and Unity and Sovereignty Party leader Arif Kirdag participated in the meeting that started at 1000 and continued through luncheon. Leaders or officials from DISI [Democratic Rally], DIKO [Democratic Party], AKEL [Progressive Party of the Working People], EDEK [Unified Democratic Union of Cyprus], the Liberal Party, and the United Democrats participated from the Greek Cypriot side. The Slovak ambassador to Nicosia, in a statement prior to the meeting, said that the meeting had no fixed agenda and that the political party officials were free to raise any issue pertaining to the Cyprus problem.

    [08] TOROS - 97 EXERCISES BEGIN

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1130 hours, 3/11/97) while the Turkish Armed Forces continue with the Determination 97 exercises, the Toros-97 exercises began yesterday. Turkish National Defence Minister Ismet Sezgin and Ground Forces Commander General Huseyin Kivrikoglu arrived in the occupied area today to observe the exercises. A large number of journalists were also expected.

    The Toros - 97 exercises will be conducted by the Turkish Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, as well as the so-called Turkish Peace Force in the pseudostate. The scenario is based on ``an upset of the status quo in the island in terms of the security of Turkey and the TRNC and on a defence against an attack on TRNC territory.''

    [09] TURKS DENY EXCHANGE OF FIRE IN ``BORDER REGION''

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1130 hours, 3/11/97), the so-called Security Forces Command Press Bureau of the pseudostate has denied reports to the effect that there was an exchange of fire between the Cyprus National Guard and Turkish occupation soldiers in the ``border'' region in Nicosia. A statement issued by the press bureau says that, ``as is done in similar cases, the soldiers on duty fired a few warning shots in the air when they saw a suspicious - looking dark figure trying to cross the border. Nobody was hurt or injured'', the statement says, ``and the suspicious - looking dark figure could have been an animal. Such warning shots are fired in the air as a precaution,'' the statement adds.

    [10] DEMIREL ASKS SUPPORT OF ISLAMIC COUNTRIES FOR TURKISH CYPRIOTS

    According to TRT (1100 hours, 3/11/97), Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, president and chairman of ISEDAK, Committee for Islamic Conference Economic and Trade Cooperation, delivered the opening speech at the 13th Congress of ISEDAK in Istanbul yesterday. Inter alia, he referred to the Turkish Cypriots and claimed: ``The only thing the Turkish Cypriots want is to be the politically equal owners of Cyprus and to live in peace and security on their land. We expect the brotherly Islamic countries not to withhold their support from the Muslim Turkish people of Cyprus.''

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


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