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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-12-17

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. 235/97 -- 17.12.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Federation, intercommunal talks no longer on agenda, says Denktash.
  • [02] Cetin claims human rights factor in EU decision is an excuse.
  • [03] Political parties in Turkey react to EU Summit decision.
  • [04] Holbrooke believes Germany is the key to solution.
  • [05] Turkey continues to denounce the EU's decision.
  • [06] Moscow, Ankara proceed towards better relations.
  • [07] Denktash: Greek Cypriots' punishment will be "taksim".
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Changes in Turkish-Russian relations as regards S-300 missiles viewed.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Federation, intercommunal talks no longer on agenda, says Denktash

    According to Turkish Daily News (16.12.97) Rauf Denktash said on Monday that federation of the divided island can no longer be on the agenda and that intercommunal talks have come to an end as a result to European Union's (EU) invitation to Cyprus for accession talks next year.

    Denktash said on Monday that the pseudostate had decided not to participate in the United Nations (UN)-sponsored intercommunal talks from now on, according to the Anatolia news agency.

    Referring also to EU Cyprus Envoy Gilles Anouil, Denktash said:

    "His mission in the TRNC is completed. He does not have to bother us in any way from now on." In a separate statement, "prime minister" Dervis Eroglu said that any further talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots aiming to reach a solution on the island could only be held on the basis of separate "states". He added that the details surrounding the issue would be revealed in a few days.

    "There are two separate states on Cyprus. These two states should have good neighbourly relations and mutually respect each others' rights so as to keep the doors open for a possible unification in the future", Denktash further claimed.

    "Those who accept our government can come and talk with us. But talking with those who accept the Greek Cypriots as the government of the whole island is nothing more than waste of time", he added. As a result to the recent developments, the "government" will prepare a protocol which would regulate all the issues between the two communities, including the exits and entrances, Denktash said, adding that the protocol will be publicly announced.

    [02] Cetin claims human rights factor in EU decision is an excuse

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 15.2.97) reacting to the EU decision, Turkish Assembly Speaker Hikmet Cetin claimed that this decision will lead to renewed division and discrimination in Europe.

    "This is an extremely unjust and baseless decision that will lead to renewed division and discrimination. We wanted to become a full member in the hope that all these issues could be solved more easily together with the EU," he said.

    [03] Political parties in Turkey react to EU Summit decision

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 14.12.97) the decisions concerning Turkey adopted at the recent EU summit were on the agenda of the political parties in Turkey.

    Welfare Party (RP) leader Necmettin Erbakan held the government responsible for the current state of Turkish-EU relations. Erbakan replied to correspondents questions on the Luxembourg summit at a meeting he held with the director general of the International Dialogue Fund, who is a German Social Democratic Party deputy. Reiterating his claim that the current government did not come to power through democratic channels, Erbakan said that the European rejection of Turkey was natural.

    "Such a delegation, not a democratic but an appointed delegation, goes to Europe and proposes the following: Let us implement and develop democracy together. Naturally, the European response to this delegation is as follows: You cannot join us at the state you are in. What could be more natural than this outcome?" Erbakan said.

    The Motherland Party (ANAP) reaction to the EU decision was striking: The lion prefers to die of hunger in its cave rather than deign to eat the foxes' leftovers. ANAP deputy leader Mehmet Kececiler, speaking at a news conference, stressed the view that the EU is not the only solution for Turkey.

    "Turkey is not a helpless country. Geopolitically, it is situated in the most sensitive region of the world. Turkey has managed to safeguard its values and remain erect throughout every era. It will continue to generate policies that will enable it to remain erect. I would like to conclude with the following proverb: The lion prefers to die of hunger in its cave rather than deign to eat the foxes' leftovers," he said.

    According to the True Path Party (DYP), the government should adopt a more determined and courageous stand regarding Turkey's EU membership, and the EU should reconsider the issue.

    DYP deputy leader Mehmet Golhan, speaking at a news conference in Ankara, said that Turkey has missed a historic opportunity.

    "Naturally, one should defend Turkey's rights and causes in a courageous and determined manner in order to achieve success on these issues. There is no other way. One cannot achieve results with this mentality that no matter what happens it's all the same to us," he said.

    Adnan Keskin, secretary general of the Republican People's Party (CHP), described the EU decision on Turkey as unexpected. Speaking at a ceremony held in Ankara to welcome new members to the CHP, Keskin stressed that Turkey should assess the issue with a cool head.

    "Turkey is not a country that deserves to be isol.....

    from Europe through such a decision. Turkey, naturally, has certain problems. The decision adopted, however, is incompatible with Turkey's existing problems," Keskin said.

    Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Husamettin Cindoruk said that the decision adopted at the EU summit did not come as a surprise, adding that the door to EU membership has been closed to Turkey for the foreseeable future. In a statement at the end of the DTP representatives council meeting, which has been continuing in Antalya for the past three days, Cindoruk said that the EU decision will not change Turkey's economic and democratic development program.

    "This decision, however, has not changed the geographic and economic realities, which are one of the most fundamental reasons for the close relations between Turkey and the EU. The relations between Turkey and the EU will continue to develop based on mutual interests," he added.

    The Great Unity Party (BBP) expressed the view that the EU decision excluding Turkey from the list of candidate countries and describing it as an eligible country is humiliating. BBP deputy leader Orhan Kavuncu, speaking at a news conference in Adana, reiterated the BBP request to hold a general debate on Turkey's EU policy at the Assembly. He further said that the Customs Union agreement should be reviewed.

    "We have to improve ourselves. We have to change our mentality. Turkey has certain shortcomings. These shortcomings should be rectified, however, because our people deserve it, because Turkey should take the place it deserves in the world, and not because the EU wants it", he said.

    [04] Holbrooke believes Germany is the key to solution

    According to Turkish Daily News (13.12.97), Richard Holbrooke, the former assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs and currently President Clinton's special envoy for Cyprus, had developed a particular focus on Turkey's chances of joining the EU since he believes that this could be the key to resolving the 34-year-old Cyprus problem.

    Recently Holbrooke convened a secret meeting at the US State Department after sending invitations to a dozen acknowledged Cyprus experts across the United States and Canada, the paper learned. Holbrooke said his intention was to "listen" to the experts and "benefit" from their experience and perspective.

    But shortly after the meeting started, Holbrooke, who was once referred to a "bull who takes his own china shop with him" by one of his colleagues, reportedly took over and dominated the session with his characteristic forceful style. He explained to the experts how complex the Cyprus issue was by citing all the policy linkages that existed between the Cyprus conflict and about 10 other volatile issues in and around that region.

    "That was one of the most awesome presentations I've ever witnessed in my life", one of the participants told the paper and praised Holbrooke for his keen insights into the dilemma.

    Zeroing in on Germany, Holbrooke explained why Germany's approval of Turkey's accession to the EU was the key to move the Cyprus debacle forward. Holbrooke, a successful investment broker on Wall Street, served as US Ambassador to Bonn for eight months during the first Clinton administration.

    If Germany concedes to a formula that would keep Turkey's hopes for joining the EU alive, then Turkey might be more willing to make the necessary concessions and influence the Turkish-Cypriots for the eventual settlement of the Cyprus problem, Holbrooke reportedly said.

    When contacted by the paper for his comments on this story, Ambassador Holbrooke declined to offer anything.

    [05] Turkey continues to denounce the EU's decision

    According to Turkish Daily News (17.12.97), Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said, hours before he signed the accession protocols of three emerging NATO members on Tuesday, that Turkey's relations with NATO would not be affected by its embittered ties with the European Union (EU) upon its rejection to include Turkey in the full membership candidates list.

    "I don't see it as a dramatic situation. The EU should reconsider its attitude. But it has nothing to do with NATO. My government is committed to NATO's expansion. That is our position," Cem told a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

    Cem, inter alia, reiterated Ankara's position that it will not be appropriate in the circumstances to continue a serious political dialogue with the EU on sensitive issues such as Cyprus.

    Cem claimed that the EU's attitude on Cyprus had ruined international efforts to resolve the division on the island.

    The EU invited Cyprus to start membership talks, preferably with a mixed delegation but with Greek Cypriots only if that proves politically impossible.

    Cem made clear that Ankara's main objection to the terms stated by the EU was the implication that "if we had accepted the invitation (to the European Conference) we would be saying we don't have any objection to the Greek part of Cyprus joining the EU."

    He said Ankara had been surprised by the special conditions attached to the EU's invitation to Turkey to join a European Conference of EU membership aspirants in London next year.

    Cem claimed the EU's attitude was "biased, unfair and discriminatory." He added he was astounded by remarks by EU president Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg that he would not sit down at the table with a state which used torture.

    "This was an insult and it was made on purpose the day before the summit", he alleged.

    Meanwhile, many organizations in Turkey continued to denounce the EU's decision to exclude Turkey from its enlargement progress on Tuesday.

    Turkey's leading labour union, the Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (Turk-Is) condemned the EU enlargement decisions and urged the boycott of products from Greece, Luxembourg and Germany.

    Turk-Is, in a written statement, urged countries in opposition to their membership to revise their decision.

    Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) Chairman Husamettin Cindoruk claimed that by taking the latter decision the EU has put an unbearable burden on its shoulders.

    "With its young population, its bright economic future and multi-regional geography Turkey would have strengthened the EU. Now the bloc has deprived itself from all this.

    And Greece is the big loser. Despite the EU's financial assistance, Greece will feel its weakness and loneliness in the future when it comes to deal with the problems in Cyprus and the Aegean," Cindoruk claimed.

    Abdulkadir Bas, deputy chairman of the ruling Motherland Party (ANAP), responded to the opposition's critiques that the EU decision was not Turkey's but the government's failure.

    "The EU's evaluation of Turkey does not target the policies of the current government. The current government, which has been in power for only five months did its best," Bas commented.

    Speaking on the Cyprus inclusion to the list of the full membership candidates, Bas said:

    "There are no concessions left that Turkey could give on Cyprus any longer. Turkey is ready to pay any price for the future of the Turkish Cypriots."

    Representatives of the various political groups in the European Parliament made different assessments pertaining to Turkey's reaction to the decisions of the Luxembourg summit.

    Klaus Hensch of the Socialist group said he did not deem Ankara's strong reaction reasonable, stressing his favour for continuing dialogue between Turkey and the Union. Another Socialist, Hannes Swoboda said the EU has not closed its doors to Turkey, but "has done the best it could."

    "If Turkey takes a step forward, so does the EU", Swoboda added.

    The leader of the Christian Democrats, Wilfried Martens said he "condemned" Yilmaz's statement made on Sunday, but added that he was also in favour of the maintenance of the dialogue with Turkey. Meanwhile the Greens member, Claudia Roth said she considered the Luxembourg summit decision as an example of a "double standard", and supported Yilmaz's reaction.

    [06] Moscow, Ankara proceed towards better relations

    According to a report in the Turkish Daily News (17.12.97), Internet version), Ankara, disgruntled because of the recent decision of the European Union to exclude Turkey from the EU expansion in the short term, has started to place more weight on its economic and political relations with the Russian Federation.

    Economic and political cooperation, which was initiated by the visit to Turkey of Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, was evaluated by the Russian press to be a "strategic partnership". Turkish officials also commented that a new period of cooperation is opening up between Russia and Turkey.

    During the visit of Chernomyrdin, the grounds of mutual respect and broader cooperation were laid with a large number of agreements being singed by the two countries. Apart from the natural gas agreement worth $13.5 billion, Turkey and Russia signed economic cooperation deals as well as agreements over cooperation in a number of energy issues including coal and electricity.

    Agreements on long-term cooperation, the prevention of double taxation, promotion and protection of investments, broader cooperation in energy and judicial cooperation were signed.

    "The trade volume between Turkey and Russia is $10-12 billion per year and this figure increases to $20 billion with the inclusion of the `suitcase trade'. So we have to give priority to Russia in economic relations", said a Turkish minister talking to the Turkish Daily News.

    Well-informed Turkish officials stated that Turkey has a right to cancel the deal in a month's time. "We agreed upon some risk-reducing measures. We will monitor the progress of the project from the Russian side. If we decide that the construction of the pipeline is full of financial or different types of problems, we can cancel the deal", he said, adding that they will be following a comprehensive approach in their dealings with Moscow.

    Russia promised to sent Turkey 500 million cubic meters of natural gas in the year 2000. The construction of the pipeline known as "Blue Stream" which will pass under the Black Sea will be started by Russia in one-and-a half years' time.

    During the meeting between President Suleyman Demirel and the visiting Russian prime minister they also agreed on broader cooperation and mutual respect. President Demirel also reminded Chernomyrdin that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had earlier promised to visit Ankara.

    In addition, the transportation of S-300 missiles to Cyprus, which is one of the tense topics between Turkey and Russia, was discussed by the two prime ministers tete-a-tete. The topic was neither touched by President Demirel nor during the meetings between the two delegations. Officials both from the Foreign Ministry and the presidential palace did not want to give any details over the S-300 issue.

    Turkey seems to be keeping its silence and waiting for a response from Moscow regarding that issue.

    Besides, Russian press said that if Turkey and Russia reached a common view over the S-300 issue, then the two governments can continue their growing ties through a military cooperation.

    [07] Denktash: Greek Cypriots' punishment will be "taksim"

    According to KIBRIS (17.12.97), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has declared that the Greek Cypriots were punished in 1974, and "now their punishment will be Taksim" (partition: Tr. Note).

    "What we want from the USA is not to bother us. That's all we want from it". Speaking during an illegal BRT programme last night, Denktash said that the pseudostate's so-called assembly will convene on 20 December, 1997 and will approve the decisions taken by the so-called pseudo-government following the decision adopted at the EU Luxembourg Summit.

    In an imposing manner, without considering other views, Denktash said: "The majority government and the president (Denktash considers himself President of the pseudostate: Tr.

    note) have decided. The Government's decision will be adopted at the Assembly. The Government holds the majority in the Assembly".

    Denktash went on and said that "while negotiations were taking place the Greek Cypriots could not be punished. What will be their punishment now? Their punishment will be the island's Taksim".

    When asked to comment on why they are insisting an integration Denktash said: "We do not say integration, we say special relations. The aim is to complete what the independent TRNC lacks. Why is it that those who do not oppose integration with the Greek Cypriots within the EU, express opposition when this integration is with Turkey,?" Denktash asked.

    "We haven't asked to become a province. However, if you push us to isolation they we will remove all the bureaucratic obstacles between us," he threatened.

    He further said that negotiation experts urge him regarding the Cyprus problem to consider establishing a new ground rather than act towards securing recognition.

    Denktash further predicted that "1998 will be a year of events pregnant with consequences. The side which will act firmly, and cool-headedly will easily go through 1998. The relations we will start with Turkey in 1998 will gain momentum", he declared. (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Changes in Turkish-Russian relations as regards S-300 missiles viewed

    Guneri Civaoglu, writing in MILLIYET (internet version, 6.12.97) in dealing with changes in Turkish-Russian relations, inter alia, refers to Cyprus and says: "Moscow is buried under snow. Are relations between Turkey and Russia also so cold? The answer to that question lies along the following lines of tension between the two countries:

    1. S-300 missiles: Russia has lost its traditional arms markets, mainly its former satellites. It has to keep its arms industry going and help its own economy by selling its current arms stockpiles.

    The Russians explained this clearly to the Turkish Foreign Ministry delegation that arrived in Moscow last week:

    'We sold S-300 missiles to the Greek Cypriot administration. WE will sell them to anyone else who wants them. We will sell them to you if you want them'.

    Ankara is changing its policy on the basis of that explanation.

    Ankara will stop applying pressure on Russia over the S-300 missiles.

    The direction of our endeavours will change. For example, it will shift toward the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece, the EU, and the United States, which may exert influence on it.

    If necessary we will threaten the Greek Cypriot administration.

    Russia has also said: `It is natural that we recognize the Greek Cypriot administration; it is the only legitimate government the UN recognizes on the island'.

    It seems that the Cyprus issue will no longer be an escalating problem between Turkey and Russia."


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


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