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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-11-06

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. 206/97 -- 6.11.97

[A] MEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish exercises in occupied area end.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriots want Van Den Broek be declared "persona non grata".
  • [03] Holbrooke: Do not be slaves of history.
  • [04] Turkish F-4 crashes due to technical malfunction.
  • [05] Denktash arrives in Istanbul, comments on Cyprus, US visit.
  • [06] Susurluk Committee member in the occupied area.
  • [07] Turkish Colonel dies: Questions are raised about his death.
  • [08] Denktash returns, expresses sorrow over death of Turkish Colonel.
  • [09] Turkey once again judges people who express their thoughts.
  • [10] CHP seats increase to 54 after 5 DSP deputies join party.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [11] Details of the Simitis-Yilmaz meeting.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish exercises in occupied area end

    According to illegal BRTK (17:30 hours, 5.11.97) the Toros 11-97 exercise has been completed. In accord with the scenarios for the exercise, which used live ammunition, the S-300s planned for the island by the Cyprus Government were blown up and the Greek-Greek Cypriot units "occupying the TRNC lands" were first checked and then annihilated.

    In the final day of the Toros 11-97 exercise, an amphibious operation was launched in the occupied Kormakiti region. This operation was conducted with the purpose of regaining lands figuratively seized during the military exercise held recently by the Cyprus Government and Greece.

    In the context of yesterday's operation, Orucreis and Ege frigates and Kilic Ali Pasa and Pile Pasa destroyers off Kormakiti beach weakened coastal positions. F-4 warplanes also joined in the weakening operation. At the same time, an underwater attack unit and two underwater "defense teams" using six Zodiac boats cleared the sea of mines and obstructions and opened up security corridors for the passage of the units taking part in the amphibious operation.

    In the meantime, the elements of the Amphibious Naval Infantry Brigade, one of the best trained units in Turkey--which made the first landing at Platania Beach in the 1974 invasion and which has the task of keeping peace in Albania -- hit the sea in landing vehicles from a Ertugral landing ship, which also served in the 1974 invasion. After landing on the coast, the naval infantry broke through the "enemy's" tank-supported defensive lines, primarily in areas overlooking the coast.

    During this operation, four Super Cobra helicopters provided air support to the naval infantrymen by keeping the enemy elements in the area under constant pressure, the scenario said.

    The second phase of the Toros 11-97 exercise was held in the occupied Kyra region. Here most interest was drawn to the destruction of the S-300s. The S-300s were destroyed by special teams affiliated with the General Staff's Special Forces Command, the scenario said.

    [02] Turkish Cypriots want Van Den Broek be declared "persona non grata"

    According to HALKIN SESI (5.11.97) the so-called Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry has demanded that EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans Van den Broek be declared "persona non grata".

    Alleging in a written statement that "it is no longer possible to tolerate the stand of a person like the EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner regarding Cyprus' realities, so-called chairman Eren R. Ertanin demanded that any meeting in which Broek will participate be protested and boycotted and that the pseudostate declare him "persona non grata".

    Ertanin claimed: "It is not possible to understand what purpose Broek serves when he fearlessly insults the governments of the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Republics, which have long been trying to promote peace, and the Turkish army, which has brought real peace to Cyprus and has been defending it since 1974."

    Ertanin also stated that van den Broek, who he called "a poor person who harbours enmity", should be taught to learn his limits.

    [03] Holbrooke: Do not be slaves of history

    Daily MILLIYET (Internet version, 25.11.97) publishes an interview with US Special Representative on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke by Yasemin Congar and Thomas Ellis in New York.

    Richard Holbrooke, US President Bill Clinton's Special Representative on Cyprus, sent common messages to the Turkish and Greek public on the even of the meeting of the Turkish and Greek Prime Ministers in Crete, in an interview in New York with Thomas Ellis, the Washington correspondent of the Greek television station Antenna, and Yasemin Congar, MILLIYET'S correspondent in Washington.

    On the issue of his reaction to the recent harassment of Greek Defense Minister Tzohatzopoulos' aircraft, and to a remark by Congar that his newspaper had written that he "spoke with a Greek mouth," Holbrooke said:

    "I was not speaking with a Greek mouth. The initial statement by the US State Department was a mistake. That is all I said. In my opinion all these military exercises in Cyprus are unnecessary. The US State Department officially asked the two sides to cancel or postpone the Nikiforos and Toros exercises.

    Neither side wanted to do that and they went ahead with the exercises. Military planes harassing transport planes during a military exercise -- playing what the Americans call a `chicken game' in the air--is a foolish and provocative act. That was not a smart move. The Turkish army comprises very intelligent people. I have great respect for them. Only last week I had a very important meeting with Gen. Cevik Bir in Ankara. However, when such incidents occur you cannot act as if they did not happen and say: `We have no intelligence on that matter' -- especially when you have visually recorded evidence. I pointed out that mistake. I was not defending the Greek or the Turkish line".

    Asked about his trip to Ankara he said: "I had met Greek officials earlier. I knew them. I met them in New York. I had not met Prime Minister Yilmaz or Deputy Prime Minister Ecevit earlier. I wanted to have a clearer picture of the Turkish view. This was not a negotiating trip. It was one of information gathering. I am grateful for the time they gave me. I talked with the Turkish Government for 12 hours nonstop, without even taking a lunch break. On my return I had a much better understanding of what they think."

    In reply to a relevant question, inter alia, he said:

    "There is a fundamental and structural problem between Turkey and Greece, both of which are very important NATO allies. That problem encompasses the Aegean, airspace, and the Law of the Seas. In my opinion, the most critical issue is Cyprus. And, of course, history is a problem in and of itself. The people of Turkey and Greece must decide whether they will be the slaves of history or whether they will move forward together just as the French and the Germans did after World War II. These meetings in Crete present an opportunity to discuss big problems. My hope is that Turkey and Greece will some day produce their own Adenauer and De Gaulle. Those two leaders forged a historic compromise. A recipe for a compromise that can produce economic and political benefits for both nations exists, but some time is needed."

    Asked to describe what he sees as the real problem in Cyprus and what he thinks is the real cause of the deadlock for all these years, Holbrooke said:

    "The real problem in Cyprus is the following: The two communities do not agree on some very basic issues, and neither side wants to reach out to the other. They were able to live in peace in a tricommunal environment. Now for a very long time they have lived in peace separately. This is a very interesting question, because whenever I talk about the future people talk about the past. The problem is slavery to the past."

    Asked if there are any carrots and sticks that he is using or plans to use in Cyprus, he said: "I think we have many carrots and many sticks. But it would not be beneficial to discuss them in public. The point I want to emphasize is this: I strongly believe in the benefits of economic cooperation. We will participate extensively in the conference that will be held in Brussels on 13 through 15 November. At that conference there will not be any government officials from Ankara, Athens, or Nicosia.

    We will sit and discuss only economic cooperation. The main speaker for the first night will be former Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring. This is the first time I am disclosing this. He will describe how, on another island on the edge of Europe divided by history and religion, hands are finally being extended from both sides of this great divide. In the last 400 years probably many more people have died in Ireland than in Cyprus. When they realized that they can cooperate economically, when Ireland entered the EU, the way to compromise opened."

    To a comment that he does not seem to be in a rush regarding the Cyprus problem, he replied: "I am not the one who is not rushing; it is the Turkish and Greek Cypriots who are not rushing. If I knew that both sides will work seriously to form a federation, I would cancel everything and fly to Nicosia on the first flight there this evening. We have all the material necessary to find a rational solution to this problem. The Cyprus problem is not as complicated as problems I have dealt with in the past, such as the Middle East, Bosnia, Korea, and Taiwan.

    However, emotions, passions, and the historical legacy are so deep that I do not think we will make any progress. I am not the one taking it slowly. Those in the region do not like moving. In the United States reaching an agreement, compromising, and making some mutual concessions are generally viewed positively. In your region, that is considered a weakness. That makes any movement very difficult."

    Asked if he could you be the father of failure, Holbrooke said: "The soil of Cyprus is strewn with the bones of negotiators, beginning with Dean Acheson. Prominent American and international diplomats, such as President Bush, Boutros Boutros Ghali, George Ball, and Cyrus Vance, tried their hands, and none of them succeeded. But the world continues to go around, and all these people built good careers for themselves in other areas.

    All of them have said that Cyprus was their biggest disappointment. Because a relatively small number -- less than a million -- people on an important but not huge island have anchored themselves to the land so strongly that no one can make them move. We will do what we can. I am not afraid of failure.

    I am interested in success. However, if the leaders of the two sides have no intention to move, I would hope that the people of the region would prod them to move. Because the communities on the island have much to gain. The huge disparity between the income levels of the two communities is not healthy and can be corrected."

    [04] Turkish F-4 crashes due to technical malfunction

    According to TRT (16:00 hours, 5.11.97), an F-4 plane belonging to the Turkish Air Force (TAF) has crashed near Konya during a training flight. The two pilots ejected to safety.

    According to a statement issued by the Office of the Chief of the General Staff, an F-4 TAF plane crashed into an uninhabited area near Konya as a result of an unknown technical malfunction immediately after taking off for a training flight.

    [05] Denktash arrives in Istanbul, comments on Cyprus, US visit

    According to TRT (16:00 hours, 5.11.97), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said that "the Greek Cypriot side should recognize the sovereignty of its former founding partner, the Turkish Cypriot side, if it seeks to unite."

    In his statement at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport after returning from the United States, Denktash said that his US visit aimed at giving the following message: The Cyprus issue is either resolved through establishing a new partnership, or there will remain two Cypruses. He said: "The Greek Cypriots, if they seek to unite, should first recognize their former founding partners - the Turkish Cypriot side of the 1960 republic -- and the existence of the Turkish Cypriot side. The Greek Cypriots should especially accept and not avoid the exchange of properties, which is envisaged by the UN Secretary General, for the existence of bizonality. Furthermore, the Greek Cypriots should admit that they have no right to apply for EU membership on behalf of the whole of Cyprus."

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 5.11.97) Denktash also claimed the following: "Greece regrets the missiles issue anyhow. The united States in particular and numerous other countries are against these missiles as well. Turkey can easily land on north Cypriot beaches if necessary. Turkey will never fear 15 missiles". In reply to a question, Denktash said that the UN Security Council is pursuing an undecided stand even though the United Nations has adopted numerous positive decisions on the Cyprus issue. Denktash was to return to the occupied area last night.

    [06] Susurluk Committee member in the occupied area

    According to YENIDUZEN (6.11.97), Turkish MP and member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Susurluk investigatory Committee, Fikri Saglar, has arrived in the occupied area to conduct investigation regarding the connections of the Susurluk gang in the occupied area as well as Kutlu Adali's murder.

    Caglar said that the Susurluk accident which occurred on 3 November, 1996, revealed state-politician-mafia relations. In the accident a police chief, a long-sought rightist gang leader and his mistress were killed while riding a Mercedes car belonging to Turkish MP Burak, who was in the same car but narrowly escaped death.

    Caglar said that the investigating committee believes that the gang has extended its tentacles in the occupied area and that they consider Adali's murder as politically motivated.

    Caglar added that Adali's murder was one of the links in the Susurluk chain. (MY)

    [07] Turkish Colonel dies: Questions are raised about his death

    All local Turkish Cypriot papers (6.11.97) report about the death of Turkish Colonel Vural Berkay during Turkey's large-scale army maneuvers in the occupied part of Cyprus, Toros-97.

    KIBRIS reports that Colonel Berkay, the 39th Division's Operational head, was fatally wounded by a ricocheting bullet while he was following the maneuvers under a tent along with Turkey's Land Forces Commander General, Huseyin Kivrikoglu, and other occupation forces commanders.

    Turkey's semi-official Anatolia Agency (AA) reports that the bullet which directly hit the colonel and fatally wounded him in the chest raised the question of a possibility of a plot. The AA report further says that General Kivrikoglu was sitting in front of the dead Colonel, on his left side. (MY)

    [08] Denktash returns, expresses sorrow over death of Turkish Colonel

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (6:00 hours, 6.11.97) Rauf Denktash returned to the occupied area via Istanbul last night at the end of a visit to the United States. In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport upon his return, Denktash pointed out that Richard Holbrooke, President's Clinton's special envoy to Cyprus, will arrive in the island on 11 November to hold talks.

    Earlier, it was reported that the visit would take place on 17 November. During his visit, Holbrooke will meet with the two leaders in order to hear their views, as well as with representatives of certain organizations and parties.

    Meanwhile, in his short statement at the airport, Denktash expressed his great sorrow over the death of Colonel Vural Berkay, who was killed by a ricocheting bullet during the Toros-97 exercises. Denktash held a short meeting at the airport with "government officials" and with the commanders of the Turkish occupation force and the so-called security force on the death of the colonel. He said that "the colonel now lies in the hearts of all Turkish Cypriots."

    [09] Turkey once again judges people who express their thoughts

    According to Turkish Daily News (5.11.97) chairman of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) Ufuk Uras, Chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD) Akin Birdal, Chairman of the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects Chamber (TMMOB) Yavuz Gonen and Ahmet Turk previous deputy of the Democracy Party (DEP) which was banned, are being tried for violating Article "2911:

    Meeting and Demonstration Law". The court hearing commenced on Tuesday and if they are found guilty, they will be sentenced to a period from 18 months to three years.

    Ufuk Uras, Akin Birdal, Yavuz Onen and Ahmet Turk had red "illegally" the "Susurluk Report", which was due to be presented to the Parliament, to people in Kizilay in a public statement on April 13, 1997.

    Ufuk Uras stated that "it is not true that we violated Article 2911. We walked in the custody of the police from Hipodro to Kizilay and red the report to people in public statement.

    After that we gave the report to the Parliament and since we did not have a helicopter, we had to walk to the Parliament.

    The Justice Minister said that there are gangs within the state, gangs are governing the state and that these gangs destroy the evidences. We, urgently, had to warn our citizens and we did that."

    Yavuz Onen said "an implementation body carrying out acts of torture, smuggling weapons and destroying Turkey's image" is exposed in the Susurluk accident.

    Akin Birdal, chairman of the Human Rights Association, pronounced that "if there are illegal organizations, gangs within the state and if they cause people to disappear or be tortured while in custody we cannot sit and watch this happening as members of Human Rights Association."

    Birdal said that there are two powers which can sentence the gangs. The power of law and democratic public opinion. The means of the law's power is the judge, and we try to establish the power of public opinion, he said.

    [10] CHP seats increase to 54 after 5 DSP deputies join party

    According to TRT (10:00 hours, 4.11.97) five Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputies have joined the Republican People's Party (CHP) in Turkey. Izmir Deputy Veli Aksoy, Denizli Deputy Hilmi Develi, and Bursa Deputy Yuksel Aksu, all of whom had resigned from the DSP, as well as Istanbul Deputy Bulent Tan and Kocaeli Deputy Bekir Yurdagul, who were expelled from the DSP some time ago, joined the CHP. The deputies announced that they joined the CHP during their assembly group meeting.

    Following the decision of the five deputies, the number of CHP seats in the Assembly increased from 49 to 54 and the number of independents decreased to 18.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [11] Details of the Simitis-Yilmaz meeting

    Yalcin Dogan writing in MILLIYET (5.11.97), refers to the Simitis-Yilmaz meeting and, inter alia, says: "Rising and falling tension, detente, and finally a future awaited with great anticipation, just like in psychological movies. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's meeting with Greek Prime Minister Simitis the other night called to mind a `psychological tactical warfare' in the true sense of the word.

    Simitis opened the bilateral talks with a tough statement: `Just two days after my appointment as Prime Minister I was hit with the Imia issue. It had hardly been resolved when you next confronted me with Gavdhos. I am suspicious of your goodwill. You want land from us!'

    Mesut Yilmaz quickly collected himself in the face of this unexpected onslaught in the first minute of the talks and said: `I am very sad you think that way. Turkey is one of those countries whose objective is to live in peace. We have no other aim than good-neighbourliness, peace, and dialogue. Specifically, I was bewildered by your reference to wanting land, something that never crosses our minds'.

    As the minutes went by two persons wanting to trust each other slowly took the place of the two rivals eyeing each other in the ring. Simitis' words `do you know that my best friend is a Turk' ameliorated the atmosphere. With the tension completely falling with Simitis' statement that `for me there are no religious, linguistic, and cultural differences between people', Yilmaz too began to express similar views. With the complete easing of the tense atmosphere, Simitis said with self-assurance:

    "No war could break out between us. There may be insane people among us and you, you might want a war to break out. But they do not have enough strength for that."

    Mesut Yilmaz joined Simitis' observation and began to make an effort so that the meeting could produce a result. He put forward the formula of a `special representative'. For the purpose of examining Turkish-Greek problems, the two Prime Ministers decided to appoint one knowledlgeable and experienced representative each, directly answerable to them. According to the agreement, Simitis and Yilmaz will establish a telephone contact within 20 days and inform each other of the special representative each has appointed and secure a meeting between them (the representatives." And Dogan continues:

    "The two Prime Ministers wanted the `Turkish-Greek problems to be discussed between the two countries.' Simitis took an additional step by saying that `the problems between us attract the interest of everybody else in the world. Whereas we should not let others interfere and should show our political determination'. And later when Yilmaz brought up the EU issue, Simitis made a very interesting statement: `We also want Turkey to become a full member of the EU. We will support your demands in that direction, you should know that'.

    During the entire talks, this was one of the crucial points to which Simitis bound himself. This was the first promise to date from the mouth of the Greek Prime Minister that there will henceforth be no Greek obstacle seen in every meeting and at every level. It might have been uttered in the psychological atmosphere of the meeting. It might be that this promise might not be fully implemented due to Simitis' domestic policy concerns and domestic opposition. That is, it should be received with caution.

    Nevertheless, these words coming form a Greek Prime Minister are worth underlining". And he concludes:

    "I recall Ozal-Papandreou meeting in Davos in 1986 and 1987, and Yilmaz- Mitsotakis meeting in 1991. I had followed all those meetings. Even then I had heard about the launching of a process for the goodwilled solution of the Turkish-Greek problems. But nothing came of them. There was optimism during those meetings too, but it was not borne out by events.

    A similar picture has now emerged in Crete. The goodwill is there, but what is to come next? For now the doors have been opened, let us see if anyone will enter through them."


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


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