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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-11-14

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. 212/97 -- 14.11.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash-Holbrooke meeting viewed
  • [02] Denktash's conditions for EU talks
  • [03] Holbrooke's `Proposals' to Ankara
  • [04] Holbrooke's EU-Turkey mediation, Moscow contacts viewed
  • [05] Mesut Yilmaz comments on Holbrooke talks
  • [06] Ankara complains about the customs union
  • [07] Human Rights Commission acts on Cyprus killing case
  • [08] Turkey to decide on a new communications satellite
  • [09] Denktash says next moves depend on "reciprocal flexibility"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash-Holbrooke meeting viewed

    A report in SABAH (11.11.97) refers to the results of the recent meeting between US President Clinton's Special Cyprus Representative Richard Holbrooke and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and says that it "raised the hopes for the beginning of a peace process on the island."

    According to the report, Mr. Denktash said during his meeting with Mr. Holbrooke "that there is particular need for economic growth a d that Washington is in a position to secure this growth."

    The report adds that some sources (which it does not name) have indicated "that the American official has understood Denktash's Cyprus policy very well. Holbrooke would not have come had he thought that Denktash does not want peace. Because countless mediators met Denktash on previous occasions and left (without solving the problem). However, Holbrooke is not like them. We think he will stay as a mediator for a long time, that is, until the problem is solved."

    According to the same sources, it has been learned that a further "distance has been covered" at the latest Denktash-Holbrooke meeting held in Nicosia on 10 November.

    Indicating that it is still early to be more optimistic, some "officials" claimed: "The Greek Cypriot stand will play a key role. The TRNC's and Turkey's elasticity will begin to slowly corner the Greek Cypriots and Athens, and Denktash is seeing this (fact)."

    Another source made the following comment on the Denktash-Holbrooke meeting: "Holbrooke placed some new cards on the table. In return, Denktash introduced his own cards to Holbrooke. But both sides have unused trump cards in their hands."

    [02] Denktash's conditions for EU talks

    According to KIBRIS (13.11.97) the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash announced that he told Clinton's Special Cyprus Representative Mr. Holbrooke that the Turkish Cypriots might join the EU membership talks if the "TRNC" is recognized and Turkey is given the status of a "privileged country".

    Replying to reporters' questions while receiving the members of the Martyrs' Families and Disabled War Veterans Association, Denktash said that "the talks with Holbrooke were held with a certain framework and that they (the Turkish side) introduced a flexibility to the thesis of `we will not enter the EU without Turkey.'"

    He said: "We told him that all the rights the EU countries have on Cyprus should also be recognized to Turkey, and a formula should be found to preserve Turkey's status as a privileged country." Adding: "A door will be opened for Turkey, the EU will find a formula in that regard and then recognize us, and only after that will we be commencing the negotiations".

    Reacting to the proposal to join the EU talks with the status of a community, Denktash said: "It is impossible for us to accept that. First of all, our status has to be defined. They call us the Turkish community. No, my dear fellow, we are the TRNC. We have left the status of community behind us. It cannot be that the other side should sit at the talks as a government and we as a community."

    Mr. Denktash said that if the EU commences the talks with the Cyprus Government, "we will then come to the table only after being recognized and I will be attending the talks as the TRNC's President," adding: "A federation is established between friends and equals. It is impossible for the two sides to suddenly come together and unite after so much destruction. Even a slight incident will reignite the clashes. We have to stomach and accept each other. Without that we cannot reach anywhere."

    [03] Holbrooke's `Proposals' to Ankara

    A report by Selin Caglayan in HURRIYET (13.11.97) reveals the following about the recent visit of President Clinton's Special Representative Richard Holbrooke to Cyprus.

    According to the report, Holbrooke "who developed a new plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem, advised Ankara `to give up the idea of integration with the TRNC'. Holbrooke stressed that Ankara's renouncement of that decision would be of vital importance both for the solution of the Cyprus problem and from the perspective of Turkey's full EU membership."

    For its part, Ankara, says the report, conveyed the message that in return for the EU's confirmation of Turkey's candidacy for full membership and settling a definite date for the commencement of the negotiations, it will introduce flexibility in its thesis of "Turkey and Cyprus should become members simultaneously, otherwise I will not permit Cyprus's EU membership." At the same time, Ankara preconditioned it on the international recognition of the "TRNC". Ankara gave assurances that in the case of an agreement on the establishment of a federation, the "TRNC would transfer some of its sovereignty rights to the joint administration of the federation."

    According to the report, Holbrooke, who during the talks stressed that a Cyprus solution is contingent upon EU membership, has brought the following proposals to Ankara:

    "1. Progress is highly difficult due to the elections in the Greek Cypriot sector in February. In view of that, you should give up the idea of integration if the EU commences the full membership talks with Cyprus.

    2. Give your approval for the EU commencing full membership talks, once the Turkish Cypriot side is given assurances of equality with the Greek Cypriots.

    3. Give up the precondition of international recognition of the TRNC as a sovereign state for EU membership.

    4. All these will ameliorate Turkish-Greek relations and open the way for Turkey's full membership. I guarantee that to you.

    5. Turkey's guarantorship right will continue to be valid. With a multinational force maintaining security on the island for a while, a certain number of Turkish troops will continue to remain there."

    [04] Holbrooke's EU-Turkey mediation, Moscow contacts viewed

    A report by Lale Sariibrahimoglu in CUMHURIYET (13.11.97) refers to the issue of the Russian S-300 missiles and says that American President's Special Represetnative Mr. Richard Holbrooke has discussed the issue during his visit in Moscow.

    According to the report, the S-300 missile issue, "which is one of the trump cards that Greece and the Greek Cypriots have been looking for as a bargaining chip, has been raised between Ankara and Washington. It has been learned that US Special Representative to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke, who had gone to Russia before bringing together the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders at the beginning of the week, has brought with him from Moscow the proposal on not selling the S-300 missiles to the Greek Cypriots. Also drawing Russia's attention to the fact that it has been learned that there are plans to sell S-300 missiles to Iran, Holbrooke has warned Moscow on this issue."

    It has been learned, the report says, "that Holbrooke, who came to Ankara from Nicosia the day before yesterday and discussed the S-300 missile issue with Turkish officials while giving them information regarding his contacts in Moscow, will leave for Germany today to act as a mediator in the name of the United States regarding Turkey's full EU membership. However, there is doubt regarding Holbrooke's influence over Germany, which has reacted to the continual US drive regarding Turkey's full (EU) membership."

    It further adds: "The S-300 missile issue, which Turkey has warned that it will strike in the event of their deployment in the Greek Cypriot sector, has been discussed by the US representative and Turkish officials. Holbrooke has reportedly told Turkish officials that he has asked Russia not to sell the S-300 missiles to the Greek Cypriots. Indicating that there have been feelers that Russia will also sell S-300 missiles to Iran, Holbrooke revealed to the Turkish officials that he has brought this issue to Russia's attention."

    [05] Mesut Yilmaz comments on Holbrooke talks

    According to MILLIYET (13.11.97) Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz before departing Ankara to attend the ceremony on early oil production in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, asked by journalists to comment on the outcome of his meeting with President Clinton's Special Cyprus Representative Mr. Holbrooke, inter alia said: "The Cyprus problem cannot be solved as you would the Gordian Knot. It would be more realistic to hope for a solution in the medium term."

    According to the paper, Mr. Yilmaz made the following assessment of Holbrooke's contacts: "This has been the most comprehensive and creative diplomatic initiative so far. Mr.

    Holbrooke is trying to find out what might be possible first, having ascertained the `impossible'. He is approaching the problem realistically. I think that he will not bring any concrete proposals before the presidential elections in South Cyprus in February 1998. He is engaged in a mental exercise. He wanted to meet me again during my visit to the United States in December."

    He also said: "Holbrooke has realized the grossly mistaken approach of the EU towards the problem. He could bring the EU countries closer to reality on this issue", adding that "Holbrooke has a better understanding of Turkey's position regarding the EU and Cyprus."

    [06] Ankara complains about the customs union

    According to Turkish Daily News (14.11.97) Turkey's state minister responsible for European and Cyprus affairs, Sukru Sina Gurel, said on Thursday, that Turkey's customs union agreement would not be of much use if it does not represent a means for full membership to the European Union.

    According to the report Gurel, inter alia, said accession to the EU is not an obsession for Turkey and that Turkey would not wait for "an uncertain time for an uncertain decision."

    He added that Turkey is acting very cautiously against the EU accession talks with Cyprus which would hinder a possible solution to the long- lasting Cyprus conflict.

    Gurel claimed that Cyprus cannot be a member to any international union that Greece and Turkey is not a part of, according to 1960 agreements, "thus, Cypriot membership to the EU should be simultaneous with Turkey's membership."

    [07] Human Rights Commission acts on Cyprus killing case

    According to Turkish Daily News (14.11.97) the Human Rights Commission in Strasbourg, responding to a request from Cyprus, "has asked Turkey for information about the killing of a man who tried to pull down the Turkish flag on August 14, 1996".

    [08] Turkey to decide on a new communications satellite

    According to Turkey's Transportation Minister Necdet Menzir said on Thursday that the decision on whether to buy a third communications satellite for Turkey would be made in December and noted they had already achieved a considerable reduction in the price. He also implied that certain forces were trying to exclude Turkey from the satellite market.

    The satellite, according to Menzir, will be effective from the Great Wall of China to England and from India to South Africa. The two current satellites have a total of 32 transponders.

    [09] Denktash says next moves depend on "reciprocal flexibility"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (13.11.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Denktash during a meeting held at his office, briefed political party leaders and "officials" on his recent contacts in the United States and on European-Turkish relations.

    The meeting was attended by the so-called "Assembly Speaker" Hakki Atun; Taner Etkin, "foreign affairs and defense minister"; Dervis Eroglu, "prime minister" and National Unity Party leader; Serdar Denktash, Democratic Party leader, "state minister, and deputy prime minister", Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party; Communal Liberation Party leader Mustafa Akinci. Present at the meeting were also Denktash's advisers; and other representatives from the political parties.

    In a statement issued prior to the meeting, Denktash stated that EU membership is impossible without Turkey.

    Emphasizing the fact that EU membership without Turkey is out of question, Denktash said: "We can consider participating in the talks if EU displays flexibility and devises a formula that grants Turkey the same rights as the other EU member countries without casting a shadow over its rights that stem from the 1960 agreements; enables our special relations with Turkey to continue; opens the EU doors to Turkey; and recognizes the TRNC as a state."

    "In this way," explained Denktash, "Turkey will be granted the same rights over Cyprus as Greece, adding: The EU should devise a formula along these lines. Consequently, there would be no more Turkish Cypriot statements on the dangers posed by membership in a EU that does not include Turkey. Only if EU membership is secured along these lines can negotiations be launched on the rights and authorities. Only a sovereign country can engage in such negotiations. A community cannot engage in such negotiations. It is against the principles of Europe for a community to engage in such discussions, and the European Court of Justice does not recognize them. Our rights will be accepted, however, if we engage in negotiations as a state."


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


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