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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-12-15

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. 233/97 -- 13-14-15.12.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] "Special relations" with Turkey on the agenda after EU decision.
  • [02] Denktash: "EU decision saved us from tomfoolery of intercommunal talks".
  • [03] Eroglu: EU decision eliminates intercommunal framework.
  • [04] Cem: Turkey no longer to discuss political issues with EU.
  • [05] Yilmaz: EU Summit declaration `unacceptable'.
  • [06] Talat meets PASOK officials in Athens.
  • [07] Ecevit says EU not respondent on Aegean, Cyprus issue.
  • [08] Denktash vows to take reciprocal steps as Cyprus joins EU.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [09] Resat Akar criticizes Denktash's short sighted policies.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] "Special relations" with Turkey on the agenda after EU decision

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 13.12.97) Rauf Denktash has said that the steps to be taken depending on the decision adopted by the EU will be implemented "courageously". He described the main issues on the agenda as the special relations being maintained with Turkey and the strengthening of the "TRNC".

    Denktash and Taner Etkin, so-called foreign affairs and defense minister, who participated in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit held in Tehran, have returned to the island. In a statement at the illegal Tymbou airport, Denktash said that one should wait and see the decision to be adopted by the EU and added: "Since January 1997, you have been aware of the steps we shall be taking. We will take them courageously." Noting that annexation is not being considered, Denktash claimed that the word integration cannot be used because it is being misinterpreted by some, adding that the phrase special relations is appropriate. He said that the main issue is to strengthen the "TRNC" through special relations with Turkey.

    Noting that the resolution desired by the "TRNC" was adopted at the OIC summit, Denktash expressed his pleasure with this. He said that he expressed his thanks for the fact that the Cyprus issue was not discussed extensively during the summit because the Turkish Cypriots are tranquil in their own "state" and added: "Our only request is to solve the Cyprus question between the two sides under equal conditions without outside interference, whereas the intercommunal talks came to a halt because of outside interference on the part of the EU. Everyone is aware of the measures to be taken from now on. This is the framework (words indistinct)." He added that the time has come for the Islamic world to acknowledge what the Italian foreign minister already has.

    [02] Denktash: EU decision saved us from tomfoolery of intercommunal talks

    According to TRT (22:00 hours, 13.12.97) Rauf Denktash has said that the EU decision to start full membership talks with the Cyprus Government has given the Turkish Cypriots a great opportunity in the intercommunal talks.

    The so-called council of ministers of the pseudostate met under Denktash in an extraordinary session last Saturday. In a statement to the press before the meeting, Denktash said that from now on, the Turkish Cypriots will be saved from the tomfoolery called intercommunal talks, and that the negotiations will be held on the basis of "two states". Denktash stressed that nothing has changed, adding: "If there is a new fact, it is that we have been told clearly by the EU that we do not exist, that it does not, and will not, recognize us, that the Greek Cypriots are our government, and that Cyprus is Greek Cypriot. We thank the EU for this message."

    Replying to a question, Denktash claimed that if the EU wants the Turkish Cypriots to participate in the accession talks, then it must recognize the "TRNC".

    [03] Eroglu: EU decision eliminates intercommunal framework

    According to TRT (13:00 hours, 14.12.97) the so-called council of ministers of the pseudostate has announced that the EU Council decision to start full membership negotiations with the Cyprus Government violates the basic rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The decision adopted at the so-called council of ministers, which convened in an extraordinary session under the chairmanship of Rauf Denktash, was announced by so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu. Eroglu declared that the EU decision is not valid or binding for the Turkish Cypriot side. He claimed that the membership of the Cyprus Government in the EU, which excludes Turkey and includes Greece as a full member, would be tantamount to accepting the indirect integration of the island with Greece and the establishment of a Greek Cypriot republic in Cyprus. Eroglu claimed that the decision adopted by the EU Council is "regrettable", and the EU will bear the historical responsibility in this regard.

    Eroglu declared: "This latest decision adopted by the EU despite all these realities eliminates the framework for a solution that emerged within the intercommunal talks process. The imbalance in Cyprus created by this unjust decision has further reinforced the reasons that have obstructed the successful conclusion of the talks until now. Consequently, future contacts can only be conducted between two states. The TRNC will act in line with the joint declaration issued with motherland Turkey on 20 January 1997, and it will take all the steps it deems necessary with Turkey in all areas."

    [04] Cem: Turkey no longer to discuss political issues with EU

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 13.12.97) Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has said that Turkey will in no way discuss political issues with the EU any longer, because the EU does not view it even as a candidate. He said: "The issue of full membership in the EU has come down to the Cyprus question." Cem said that Turkey will not allow the EU to ask it questions on what will be done in Cyprus.

    Replying to questions on a private television channel in Turkey the other night, the foreign minister affirmed that political issues will not be discussed with the EU any longer unless the latter proposes to Turkey a satisfactory formula in the wake of the Luxembourg summit.

    Cem explained that the Customs Union will continue and that Turkey will continue to hold economic negotiations with the EU within that framework. He asked: "If the EU does not consider me a candidate, why should I discuss politics with it? Why should I discuss Cyprus, relations with Greece, and human rights with it? Why should I discuss human rights with you if you do not consider me one of yours or even a candidate for becoming one of yours?

    That would be illogical."

    [05] Yilmaz: EU Summit declaration `unacceptable'

    According to TRT (13:42 hours, 14.12.97), during a live news conference with unidentified correspondents at the end of a Council of Ministers meeting at the Prime Minister's Office, Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz made the following statement:

    "Dear members of the press, the results of the Luxembourg summit, which were announced by the EU term presidency, have been studied by our government. In our assessment, we took into consideration the statements issued by the EU and by officials of the member countries in connection with the summit meeting and its results.

    Turkey regards its candidacy for full EU membership as a right stemming from the 1963 Ankara agreement. Prior to the current EU enlargement process, our government outlines its expectations in a constructive spirit and within a reasonable and realistic framework, and clearly explained these expectations to its interlocutors. The Luxembourg summit declaration incorporates certain positive elements such as the inclusion of Turkey in the enlargement process, the development of a European strategy aimed at admitting Turkey into the EU, and the emergence of Turkey as a candidate country. Nonetheless, the declaration is unacceptable for the following reasons:

    1. Turkey was not evaluated within the same framework as the other candidate countries, with the same goodwill approach, or according to objective criteria.

    2. Many of the elements presented to Turkey as new and positive in actual fact consist of the commitments that the EU assumed in the past but failed to fulfill for many years.

    3. Biased, prejudiced, and exaggerated assessments were made concerning Turkey's internal structure and foreign policy, including Cyprus. These assessments totally ignored the improvements implemented and envisaged by our government.

    4. These mistaken approaches are aimed at imposing unacceptable political conditions with ulterior motives.

    The statements of the term president have further crystallized the mentality that lies behind this approach. Our relations cannot be expected to develop on the basis of a constructive and multilateral dialogue unless this approach and mentality is changed. Given this situation, it will not be possible to bring about an atmosphere of dialogue that will also incorporate political measures that do not directly and jointly concern both sides. As has been the case in the past, we reject the positing of political conditions in our relations. The attitude of the EU is far from constituting a solid foundation that we can trust. Turkey's future and its relations with the EU cannot be constructed on such an ambiguous foundation.

    In light of the aforementioned points, our government will continue its existing ties of association with the EU. The development of these ties, however, depends on whether the EU fulfills its obligations. In every field, Turkey will continue to further develop and advance with determination and self-confidence along the line delineated by the great Ataturk. Turkey will persist in its will to integrate with the EU despite the stance manifested at the Luxembourg summit. To this end, however, the EU must also display the virtue not to insist on the erroneous and dangerous path it has embarked on. The only EU where Turkey has no place is an EU that defines and restricts it on the basis of discrimination and lack of tolerance.

    The views of our government regarding the Cyprus issue are being publicized separately in a statement issued by our Foreign Ministry. As noted in the statement, from now on, our government will not discuss with the EU the Cyprus issue or the subject of our relations with Greece.

    Our government considers itself bound by the joint declaration signed between our president and the president of the TRNC, Mr. Rauf Denktash, on 20 January 1997 and later ratified by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The two most important provisions of this joint declaration envisage the deepening of the economic relations between Turkey and the TRNC on the basis of the comprehensive economic protocol signed at the prime ministerial level on 3 January 1997; the strengthening of the TRNC economy by means of concrete cooperation projects; the expansion of the continuous political consultation mechanism, which was established through the 28 December 1995 declaration adopted by the presidents of Turkey and the TRNC, to incorporate defense issues as well; and the enhancement of the existing solidarity between the two sides.

    Given the EU decision to launch full membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriot Administration as the representative of the whole of Cyprus despite all the warnings on the part of Turkey and in violation of international agreements, our government has decided to fully implement the provisions included in this declaration. If these negotiations begin in April, Turkey will, in parallel, accelerate this process".

    In reply to a relevant question he said: "It is our intention not to discuss with the EU the very subjects it imposed on us as preconditions. From now on, there will be no question of a political dialogue between Turkey and the EU. Our bilateral relations with countries based on the EU will continue in every field and at every level. The EU conditions on Cyprus and (word indistinct) stem from our application for full membership. We are now declaring that we will not resolve these matters in the manner imposed by the EU for the sake of full membership and that we will continue to pursue our national policy on these issues. The EU must above all realize that neither the Cyprus problem nor the Turkish-Greek dispute can be resolved through the efforts of Turkey alone. Alongside Turkey, Greece must also display the same constructive approach if these problems are to be solved. If Greece attempts to use its membership in the EU with the aim of dictating and forcing its solutions on Turkey and if the EU becomes instrumental in this, the Turkish Government can in no way allow this."

    [06] Talat meets PASOK officials in Athens

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 12.12.97) the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) delegation is continuing to hold contacts in Greece. CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat, and Feridun Onsal, the party's foreign relations secretary, met with PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) officials. They discussed the solution of the Cyprus problem, Cyprus' membership in the EU, and the CTP's application for membership in the Socialist International.

    According to information received from the CTP press bureau, it was said at the meeting that the Cyprus problem and the membership in the EU are not two separate problems, that the two issues closely concern each other. The CTP leader stressed that the Turkish Cypriots must participate in the EU accession talks as a politically equal side. He noted that giving Turkey a perspective regarding its EU membership will also help toward the problem's solution.

    The CTP delegation will meet with officials of the Greek confederation of labour unions.

    [07] Ecevit says EU not respondent on Aegean, Cyprus issues

    According to TRT (18:00 hours 14.12.97) Bulent Ecevit, Turkey's deputy prime minister and state minister, replied to reporters' questions after the Council of Ministers meeting yesterday. He said that relations with the EU will continue as before. He said:

    "There is no question of considering the EU a respondent in matters that concern Turkey directly. The EU cannot discuss with us the Aegean issue, the Cyprus problem, or Turkey's internal problems. I cannot understand how they could even conceive of us accepting Turkey's being ousted from the EU and various political conditions being imposed on us."

    [08] Denktash vows to take reciprocal steps as Cyprus joins EU

    According to TRT (5:00 hours, 15.12.97), in a live telephone interview by Gulden Ozel and Riza Okur on the "News Agenda" program, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in reply to a relevant question, inter alia, said:

    "What we are saying is very clear. Every step to be taken and agreement to be concluded by the Greek Cypriots toward EU membership will be reciprocated by us. The agreements concluded so far between Greece and the Greek Cypriots are a kind of annexation, although they are not called that."

    And he continued: "In reciprocity, we will do what we have said we would. What we have said is the following: From now on, we will not establish contacts with the Greek Cypriots and will not sit at the intercommunal negotiating table. If negotiations are to be held, they will be held between the two states. We will not discuss the Cyprus issue with states that do not recognize us. The Cyprus issue has already happened. You have initiated steps to make half of Cyprus a member of the EU.

    The other half is standing in front of you as another state, and this state has the right to establish special relations with its motherland and guarantor, Turkey, in every field and path. The goal is to strengthen the TRNC in a way that will make the Greek Cypriots realize that this state will remain as it is. Then, if they want they can come and establish contacts between these two states. This, in other words, is our policy and strategy.

    In reply to a question how he views the assessment made by the opposition, he claimed: "The opposition here supports us on the following issue: We cannot join the EU without solving the Cyprus issue. A party that represents about 0.5 or 1 percent of the population has been cursing those who say they are Turks as well as those who believe in integration with the motherland. We do not take them into consideration. As a matter of fact, no one should take them into consideration, but the EU has made a habit of reporting their statements in banner headlines and assessing the Turkish Cypriots on the basis of those statements. Therefore, the majority view here is that we cannot join the EU without solving the Cyprus issue, although approximately 50 percent of our population believes that it is impossible to join the EU before Turkey becomes a member. Therefore, we are untroubled. There might be democratic differences of views among us. These differences do not constitute a problem. We should continue to implement our policies in order to achieve security and safety in all aspects. As a matter of fact, the key to conciliation in Cyprus is to defend our equality. We should not again be deceived as we were in 1964, when we were told that we were equal within the framework of the intercommunal talks but that they were the government. We should be most determined on this issue. our people will continue their determination on the issue. This is what I think."

    Asked whether a referendum is being considered, Denktash said: "If necessary, it can be held, but I do not believe that it will be necessary. I believe that a majority decision can be adopted at the Assembly. If necessary, however, a referendum can be held. There is nothing to fear, because our people are intelligent and aware of history. They are well aware of the consequences of Cyprus' joining the EU without an agreement and prior to Turkey's membership. They are aware of the consequences of such a ploy. In the least, it will mean that all the refugees who came from the south will be left out in the streets. Second, Turkey's guarantorship will be abolished. Third, the balance between Turkey and Greece will be upset in Greece's favour and all the unification and integration agreements the Greek Cypriots concluded with Greece, including those on the bases, will be endorsed. In other words, Cyprus will become theirs. If I have citizens who cannot anticipate all these developments, then I am sad for them. As I said a while ago, however, I am sure that they do not constitute more than 0.5 percent of the population."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [09] Resat Akar criticizes Denktash's short-sighted policies

    Resat Akar in an article (first installment) in ORTAM (15.12.97) strongly criticizes Denktash and his short - sighted policies regarding EU and the Cyprus problem. Akar says: "The expected results from the Luxembourg EU Summit came out.

    According to this, it has been decided that the membership application made by south Cyprus in the name of the `whole Cyprus' should be pushed forward and membership talks should start as of April.

    That is, the threats directed by Rauf Bey (Denktash) in recent years towards the leaders of the EU countries have produced no results.

    What was the TRNC threat? `If you start full membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side for the whole of Cyprus, in turn we will go into full integration with Turkey...' In fact, Europe stood up and challenged Rauf Bey's threats, which are supported by some politicians in Ankara.

    Did the EU do a good thing by promoting the Greek Cypriot side's unilateral application? Of course not, but, there is another dimension in this problem. These people (EU officials) under the effect of the years of Greek Cypriot propaganda, are conditioned: `If we accept the Greek Cypriot side, in the name of the whole of Cyprus, then the Turkish side will be forced to a settlement'.

    In addition to this they know well that the TRNC has already fully integrated, from the economic and military aspects, into Turkey, so they have no reason to be afraid of Rauf Bey's threats.

    Neither Rauf Bey's integration threats nor Rauf Bey's supporter Bulent Bey's (Ecevit) statement could have affected the EU!...

    The only thing that could have influenced the EU was the TRNC's economic strength and the TRNC citizens' ability to reach a level where they would have been able to compete in their country against the Greek Cypriot side. That is, if what Bulent Bey had said back in 1975 was realized and North Cyprus became a small Switzerland, then it would have been difficult for the EU to consider the Greek Cypriot side so easily.

    The EU is now studying the TRNC and see what is the result: The President of the TRNC is forcing his Turkish Cypriot youth to run away from Cyprus to Europe by saying "if one Cypriot leaves, one Anatolian youth arrives in his place."

    And again, unemployed people, because of the order created by the TRNC President and the governments under his control, are asking for political asylum at the doors of Europe.

    While the available citrus orchards in the north are left to die one by one, south Cyprus has multiplied its citrus production compared to the north's. In the south not only citrus production is growing, olive, potato and grape production as well is growing every passing year. Regarding tourism, the south is enjoying shocking developments. In turn in the TRNC, whatever exists for tourism it is being destroyed. That is, from the economic point of view one part of the island enjoys the world's trust and confidence and the other side makes the world uneasy.

    If we continue listing the problems we will see other things as well. However, even these are enough to cause the TRNC not to be taken seriously.

    After the 1974 Peace Operation while we were competing in order to finish off what we had acquired, the Greek Cypriots in the south drew the attention of the world by creating what was not existing...

    There exists a huge gap between the North and the South as regards law, justice, public order, economic stability etc. The threat `if you accept the Greek Cypriots into the EU we will be united with Turkey' was the only trump card in our hands. Now they come and say in reply to our threat: `We will make the Greek Cypriots an EU member, let us see your unification with Turkey".

    Because the EU people know well that the unification has already taken place. What could happen more.

    The only thing that remains is for Rauf Bey to turn his presidential palace into a governor's Mansion!..."

    (to be continued)


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


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