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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-11-25

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. 219/97 -- 25/11/97






    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (1130 hours 24/11/97) Rauf Denktash has claimed that the negotiation platform on the Cyprus issue should be laid on sovereignty and added that the Turkish Cypriots will reach a decision after the EU adopts its decision on 12-13 December.

    In his statements to illegal BRT [Bayrak Radio - TV] and illegal TAK [Turkish Cypriot News Agency] correspondents, Denktash said that the pseudo- Assembly should convene and announce its countermeasures on 16 December at the latest after the EU adopts its decision on 12 December.

    Denktash alleged: ``The Turkish Cypriot side should no longer display any flexibility whatsoever. This strategy is over.

    Our citizens have been waiting for 34 years to see the outcome of the Cyprus issue. This is not a humane situation. The EU should be ashamed of itself.''

    Stating that nobody should be taken back by the Turkish Cypriot decision following the 12-13 December developments, Denktash claimed: ``The EU will be held responsible for our decision.''

    Recalling the press reports concerning Diego Cordovez, UN secretary general's special adviser to Cyprus, saying that negotiations will start in March, Denktash said: ``I clearly told Mr. Cordovez that negotiations between the two states and not bicommunal talks can be launched in March and that he should persuade the Greek Cypriots along these lines.'' Expressing hopes that Cordovez will be told the same things in Ankara, Denktash recalled: ``Cordovez will not prepare a constitution. It was discussed at the Glion talks that both sides should jointly launch preparations for a constitution.''

    Recounting that Sir David Hannay, British special envoy in Cyprus, said that the issue of sovereignty should be left last and that the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots will anyhow be recognized in the end, Denktash said that Sir David Hannay forgot that this was repeated to the Turkish Cypriots for 34 years. Stating that the Turkish Cypriots will never ``surrender'', as he put it, to the Greek Cypriots, Denktash called on the Greek Cypriot side to realize this fact and added: ``The Greek Cypriot side should realize that it will not succeed in turning Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot republic and therefore extend a hand of friendship to us. This is what we are waiting for.''


    According to (22/11/97) Turkey is getting ready to warn Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash against obstructing the US initiatives on the Cyprus problem.

    Having secured US support for the transportation of Azerbaijani oil to the Mediterranean via Turkey along the Baku-Ceyhan line, for the solution of the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] problem, and for full EU membership, Turkey is now giving importance to the US initiatives on Cyprus and is getting ready to explain its views to Denktash.

    During his visit to Ankara for his heart problem, Denktash met Turkish President Demirel who would personally convey these views to Denktash, the report says. It adds that Turkey believes that US support is a must to solve the Cyprus problem in favour of the Turkish side and therefore gives great importance to the contacts held by US President Clinton's Special Cyprus Representative Richard Holbrooke over the Cyprus problem.

    Commenting on this issue, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Yeniduzen that in contrast to the EU's pro-Greek Cypriot position the United States is trying to establish a balance between the sides, adding that ``Turkey highly values this position of the United States.''

    The Foreign Ministry official said: ``The United States, which openly sides with Turkey on many international problems, must be drawn to our side as regards the Cyprus problem as well. This will be delicately explained to Mr. Rauf and he will be asked to act accordingly.''


    According to (1600 hours, 24/11/97), Turkey has once again stressed its stand on the Cyprus issue prior to the arrival of Diego Cordovez, UN secretary general's special representative, to Ankara: ``The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] should be recognized for a lasting peace in Cyprus.''

    In reply to a question during his weekly news conference for foreign press members, Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Sermet Atacanli said that the EU decision to launch full membership talks with the Cyprus Government in the coming year paved the way for deep-rooted changes in the solution parameters on the island.

    ``In our opinion, the TRNC should be recognized and registered as a sovereign state in order to secure a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue'', he claimed.


    According to KIBRIS (25.11.97) Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, is to leave the occupied area today for Istanbul and Dusseldorf, Germany, to give lectures on the Cyprus problem.

    Denktash will give his first lecture in Instanbul tomorrow at the War Academy, and on Friday he will leave for Germany and as the guest of the Union of The European Academicians, he will give a lecture on Cyprus in Dusseldorf.

    Denktash will return to the occupied area on 30 November. (MY)


    KIBRIS (25/11/97) reports under banner headlines that citrus growers in the occupied area, especially grapefruit growers, are in a difficult situation.

    It says that the citrus growing area dropped from 75 thousand donums to 35 thousand donums of land.

    The grapefruit growers demanded ``subsidy'' for their produce.

    KIBRIS reports that citrus growers will be holding a protest meeting today in front of the pseudo-assembly.


    According to KIBRIS (25/11/97) the so-called Council of Ministers of the pseudo state will be meeting today under Denktash's chairmanship with a special agenda.

    During the meeting, adds KIBRIS, the latest developments in the Cyprus problem will be assessed.

    Meanwhile, the so-called prime minister of the pseudostate Dervish Eroglu, who met Denktash yesterday, told the journalists that during today's meeting the new policy that ``the Cyprus negotiation process could be continued on the basis of two states'' will be assessed.

    ``It they want reconciliation, they have to accept the two state reality. Otherwise it is not possible to reach reconciliation'' Eroglu declared.


    According to TRT (2200 hours, 24/11/97) Diego Cordovez, UN Secretary general's Special Cyprus Representative, has said that the ``Greek Cypriot sector'' and the ``Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC]'' are viewed as political equals.

    Cordovez arrived in Ankara last evening. Replying to reporters' questions on the Cyprus issue at Esenboga Airport, Cordovez said that viewing the sides on the island as political equals does not mean that the ``TRNC'' is recognized as a state.

    He noted that initial step has not yet been taken toward the solution of the Cyprus problem, but the United Nations wants the sides to begin negotiations. Cordovez stressed that the United Nations favours the commencement of the intercommunal talks under its auspices alongside the EU- Greek Cypriot membership negotiations. Noting that he brought various messages from the UN secretary general to Turkey on the issue, Cordovez added that the guarantor states, namely Turkey, Greece, and Britain, are expected to play a constructive role in the solution of the problem.


    According to Avrupa (25.11.97) the so-called minister of agriculture and forestry, Kenan Akin, who is on Interpol's wanted list for his part in Solomos Solomou's murder in Dherinya last year, has left the occupied area for Turkey.

    Kenan Akin will take part in the ``Agricultural Congress'' to be held between 25-27 November in Turkey. (MY)



    Mehmet Ali Birand writing in SABAH (18/11/97) under the title ``Holbrooke's Big Bargaining'', says: ``I had a long meeting with US President Clinton's Special Cyprus Representative Richard Holbrooke last weekend. I am able to write only about a part of it. I cannot write about the rest but can only convey it in the form of personal impressions.

    Holbrooke is now virtually racing against time for he knows that the Turkish side's position on the Cyprus problem will grealy depend on the decision to be adopted by the EU heads of state and government in Luxembourg on 12-13 December.

    If the EU keeps Turkey out - example if it does not include it in the European Conference or refrains from describing it as ``candidate country for full membership'' and confines itself to using the term ``applicant country''- the Cyprus problem will become intractable. The disillusionment to be felt by Ankara and Nicosia will have an extremely negative effect on the Cyprus negotiations. In the words of a Turkish diplomat, ``not only Cyprus, even Turkey's ties with the West will be effected by that decision.''

    No one in Turkey has officially issued such a warning to Holbrooke, but the US diplomat is aware of this fact.

    Already Ankara does not have great expectations from the EU summit: The only thing that it wants is to be accepted to the European conference as the 12th country alongside the other 11 candidate countries, and equal treatment with the other countries. It no longer wants the fixing of a date for its full membership. An extremely modest request that could easily be accepted by the EU (barring Germany's complex and Greece's insistence to maintain its old position).

    If despite this the EU again remains unmoved, the Turkish public will see this ``as a desire to keep Ankara out of the EU.'' In turn, this will lead to intransigence in Cyprus and the hardening of positions in the Aegean.

    It is interesting that EU officials (rather those who have the power to make decisions) either are not aware of or do not care about this tense atmosphere in Turkey. Whereas Richard Holbrooke is aware of the danger. He knows that the question will finally be settled within three or four weeks. He has launched a campaign to prevent the developments ending in calamity. This is the reason for his unexpected visit to Nicosia, Ankara, and Bonn and his talks with the Greeks over and over again. His aim is to prevent a possible catastrophe.

    At this stage Richard Holbrooke's sole priority is to ensure the TRNC's participation in the talks that the EU will launch on April 1998 for Cyprus' full membership.

    Half of the road towards solving the Cyprus problem will have been covered if the TRNC sits at the table together with the Greek Cypriots in the same delegation.

    Of course, an important problem immediately crops up: With what status will the TRNC join this delegation? As a minority and tranquil and silent member of the delegation, or with a different status?

    Turkey's and the TRNC's positions were very different until now.

    Ankara used to say that ``according to the 1960 agreements Cyprus cannot enter any international organisation in which Turkey is not a member'' and thus indirectly was indicating that it could consider Cyprus' full membership provided that Turkey too was acccepted as a full member by the EU. The TRNC used to totally reject full EU membership indicating that they could join only if Turkey's full membership was accepted.

    Turkey and the TRNC have now changed their positions.

    The situation became clear during my talks with Feissel, Holbrooke, and British special representative Hannay. Turkey is no longer saying ``it is not possible if I am not in it.'' And instead of completely rejecting full EU membership, the TRNC is saying ``I will join you if you accept my sovereignty and equality.'' In this way two important steps have been taken.

    Truth to tell, their former positions were not convincing anyway, and it created the impression that it was being held simply to spoil the game and preserve the non -solution. In this sense, the Turkish side's assumption of flexibility has been beneficial. Following this change, the conditions for the TRNC's participation in the 28 April EU-Cyprus full membership talks have been cast in the following form:

    1. The EU should accept Turkey as the 12th candidate country.

    2. It should accept the TRNC's sovereignty or equality.

    Richard Holbrooke has started major bargaining with Cypriot,Turkish, German, EU, and Greek officials. He held bilateral contacts to satisfy Turkey and prevent a possible disaster.

    He went to Bonn and asked Germany to change its policy of not seeing Turkey as a ``candidate.'' He explained the gravity of the situation to Kohl's aides. He asked for Turkey's inclusion in the European Conference and granting of the status of a ``candidate'' country that would ensure equal treatment with the others.

    Otherwise, he said, he will not be able to achieve any progress in Cyprus. Holbrooke was encouraged with the replies that he received.

    He contacted Greek Foreign Ministry officials and called on them to give up vetoes that would prevent Turkey form joining the European Conference. But he received a classic reply form Athens: First, let Turkey show what it can do in Cyprus, so that we can adopt a position accordingly. What will we do if we now give the green light and Ankara still maintains its hard-line position? Our government would come under enormous criticism.

    While continuing his efforts to convince Bonn and Athens, Holbrooke also sought support from Britain and EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Van Den Broek.

    Despite the formal denial by Holbrooke, the three-stage formula, which Prime Minister Yilmaz revealed on the ``32nd Day'' program aired form Crete, is making rapid progress in the corridors of London, Brussels, Athens, and Nicosia.

    This is the formula:

    1. The TRNC's sovereignty would be declared and accepted for one day.

    2. The next day a decision of federation would be adopted and the TRNC will become a part of the federal state.

    3. The TRNC side will, together with the Greek Cypriots, sit at the same table for EU membership talks.

    Holbrooke has put forward the condition that first an agreement should be achieved on the second and third points and only then the first point be put into effect.

    This formula is now being debated. Anyway, it does not have to be accepted immediately. There is ample time for this. Even according to what Van Den Broek told me, the membership talks could be commenced on time and then adjourned to increase the chance of a solution between the sides. That is , everything is possible.

    Richard Holbrooke is keeping an unbelievable silence. He does not divulge even the slightest detail. He is pleased with what has been achieved so far. He says: ``You never know such things. Just when everybody appears to be accepting everything, suddenly everything changes.''

    For now he is trying to draw up the framework of the real bargaining that would start after February 1998. Once the Greek Cypriot presidential elections are over he will go into action in March. Anyway, he will not have much time considering that the EU-Cyprus talks will open in April. That is why he has been preparing the groundwork from now.

    Now the first rendezvous will be the EU summit on 12-13 December. An important hurdle will be surmounted if no decision arises from there that will elicit a reaction from Turkey. The rest will be much easier. If, however, the opposite happens, then confusion will ensue and all hopes would vanish.

    When asked what he intends to do in the future, he [Holbrooke] replied with a smile: ``The moment I see that the sides rare ready for a solution, we all three will shut ourselves in some place and will not come out until we achieve a result.''

    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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