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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-12-03

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. 225/97 -- 3.12.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash: Cyprus problem cannot be solved without Turkey.
  • [02] Foreign Minister Cem comments on Cyprus, to visit US.
  • [03] Cook: Divided Cyprus can be EU member.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash: Cyprus problem cannot be solved without Turkey

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 2.12.97), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has stressed that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved without Turkey, adding that the consequences of joining the EU without Turkey is clear to all. He claimed that the existence of the "TRNC" should be recognized if the sides are to sit at the negotiating table and added that the Turkish Cypriot side will wait until 12 December.

    Denktash yesterday morning met Hans van den Broek, UN commissioner in charge of foreign affairs, and conferred with him for some time. Taner Etkin, "foreign affairs and defense minister"; Ergun Olgun, "deputy under secretary of the presidential office"; Tahsin Ertugruloglu, "under secretary of the prime minister's office"; Osman Ertug, "foreign ministry under secretary"; and Mustara Evran, "presidential political affairs adviser" participated in the two-hour meeting.

    In a statement after the meeting, Denktash said that he held a very sincere meeting with van den Broek, expressing the belief that they understand each other better now. Reiterating that the Turkish Cypriot side will wait until 12 December, Denktash said: "We will wait and see how the situation develops." Replying to questions by Greek Cypriot reporters, Denktash claimed that if a solution is to be reached on Cyprus then the identity and equality of the two sides should be accepted and the Turkish-Greek balance based on the 1960 agreements should be preserved. Denktash said that the decision the EU will reach on 12 December is very important for the continuation of the negotiaitons. Denktash threatened: "If the EU accepts the unilateral Greek Cypriot application or if it disrupts the balance by isolating Turkey from the EU then a very difficult siutation will emerge." He reiterated his claim that the Turkish Cypriots can join the EU not as a minority under a Greek Cypriot umbrella but as one of the "two states" in Cyprus.

    Denktash said that van den Broek has not brought a new formula but that he expressed his personal view that he wishes to see Cyprus a single entity. Noting that the Turkish Cypriots know what joining the EU in the absence of Turkey means, Denktash alleged that they experienced a similar situation prior to 1974.

    He continued: "The Cyprus problem cannot be solved without Turkey. An agreement cannot be reached without our signature. If you want an agreement then you should not view Turkey and us as the enemies of the Cypriots. You should view us as part of Cyprus and as an equal community. If you accept our equality then a solution can be found."

    In a statement after the meeting, van den Broek said that he held a very constructive, open, and friendly meeting with Denktash. Noting that on 12 December the EU will assess the issue of advancing its ties with Cyprus within the framework of its expansion process in line with the outcome of the EU-Turkish talks, van den Broek said that the EU has determined that the Turkish Cypriot side has fears about the country's future identity and security. He concluded by saying that they will try and solve these issues through joint work.

    [02] Foreign Minister Cem comments on Cyprus, to visit US

    According to a report in daily SABAH (2.12.97) a two-day symposium on "Cyprus" organized by the War Academies Command opened last Monday.

    Speaking on the first day at the symposium at the War Academies, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem alleged that the "TRNC's statehood" must definitely be accepted if a development that would lead to a federal solution in Cyprus is hoped for.

    Cem added: "It is impossible for us to ignore this, not to state it loudly, and not to declare that it must definitely be accepted as a state, and yet expect a federal solution in Cyprus. The TRNC's statehood has to be accepted if any development in that direction is hoped for. This is my assessment."

    Pointing out that as a Ministry they have opened a debate over the misunderstood and misused concept of European character, Cem said that geographically and culturally Turkey is European.

    Indicating that membership in the EU is a very important goal for Turkey but not an obsession, Cem said: "We want to become a member. However, we are not going to mourn if that does not happen. Turkey has many opportunities. We are not in search of alternatives. Turkey does not need that. Turkey itself is our alternative. And its path is known. We will continue on our right path".

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem left for the United States yesterday morning at the invitation of the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. During his surprise visit to the United States at a critical moment in the Turkey-EU- US trilateral relations, Cem is expected to hold detailed talks with his US counterpart Albright on Cyprus, EU, relations with Greece, oil pipelines, and northern Iraq. The Turkey-EU relations and the interlinked issue of Cyprus' future are expected to be given priority consideration.

    [03] Cook: Divided Cyprus can be EU member

    According to Turkish Daily News (3.12.97), Internet version), British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said Turkey's participation in the European Conference was vital for the relationship to improve between Turkey and the European Union (EU).

    Speaking at a parliamentary committee meeting, he said on Monday evening that 14 member states had expressed no opposition to Turkey's participation but added that if Greece maintained its objections at the EU's Luxembourg summit on December 11, it might not be possible to find a formula for the Conference. "We do not want it to be just a photo call and family dinner but a meeting where real issues are discussed," Cook stated and said he hoped Greece would not maintain its reservations.

    Cook also reiterated his Government's line on Cyprus's membership of the European Union and said the island should be allowed to join the EU even if there was no settlement reached between the two communities.

    Speaking at a parliamentary committee, Cook said Cyprus was suitable for membership in every aspect. He said his government would want to see maximum international pressure for ending the division of the island. Cook added that a solution in Cyprus would lift the only obstacle to its membership of the EU.

    "However if there is no agreement by the time the EU decides to accept Cyprus as a member then no one should have a veto nor should the division prevent Cyprus becoming a member", Cook added.

    Cook previously gave his full backing for Cyprus' membership. During the pre-election campaigns he said his priority would be to start negotiations with Cyprus when the UK gets the EU Presidency. "I will do my best to make sure Cyprus's accession talks gets the best start when we have the Presidency", he had said speaking to a Turkish and Greek Cypriot audience before May, 1997.

    David Hannay, the U.K.'s special representative to Cyprus said last week that starting negotiations with Cyprus on April 10, 1998 would not mean immediate membership. "It will not be a short procedure, it might take two, there or four years during which time we hope there will be a settlement in the dispute on the island", he had pointed out. Despite underlining the advantages of a united island's accession to the EU, successive British governments have been advocating that a settlement should not be a precondition for EU membership.


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


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