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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-12-19

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. 237/97 -- 19.12.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Pseudostate to seek international recognition.
  • [02] US will deliver three tanker aircraft to Turkey.
  • [03] UK Europe minister: Turkey should not have a say about Cyprus' membership.
  • [04] Denktash informs UN of end to intercommunal talks.
  • [05] Yilmaz meets Holbrooke; discuss Cyprus.
  • [06] Cem says reports on Yilmaz statement `exaggerated'.
  • [07] EP withholds aid to Turkey for 1998 because of `certain problems'
  • [08] Denktash breaks off all contacts with the free areas.
  • [09] Mehmet Ali Talat: Turkey is not my fatherland, Cyprus is.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [10] Turkey urged to play "Russian card' against EU.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Pseudostate to seek international recognition

    According to Turkish Daily News (19.12.97, Internet version) the pseudostate has decided to accelerate its efforts to obtain international recognition following the European Union's (EU) recent decision to invite Cyprus to start accession talks next year.

    "An official call for our recognition is now on the agenda," so-called defense and foreign minister Taner Etkin was quoted as saying. "The steps to be taken have been determined", he added.

    Denktash said on Wednesday that Turkey's support was vital for the Turkish Cypriots. "We will be nothing if we part ways with Turkey", Denktash said in a television interview on the illegal channel BRT. He said that he could resume talks with President Glafcos Clerides only if he initially recognizes the "TRNC" as a de facto "state".

    [02] US will deliver three tanker aircraft to Turkey

    According to Turkish Daily News (19.12.97), Internet version) three of the US-made KC-135R tanker aircraft will be delivered to the Turkish Air Force (TuAF) as a first package on Dec. 19 under an earlier agreement for a total of seven aircraft. The next four aircraft will be delivered to the TuAF by May, 1998.

    An official ceremony marking the delivery will be held at the joint Turkish- American air base in Incirlik on Friday. The maintenance of the aircraft will be undertaken in Turkey, which is already using two tanker aircraft under a leasing program. The total cost for the seven aircraft is around $298 million.

    The KC-135R is able to fly on only one engine, can refuel visually and fly operating a boom system. The aircraft can carry out their missions in all weather conditions and are also able to take off and land on shorter runways than other aircraft in the same class.

    "The strategic position of Turkey will be strengthened by the KC-135R tanker aircraft," said a general. The TuAF plans to use KC-135Rs until the year 2030.

    Following high-level diplomatic negotiations between the Turkish and US governments, the aircraft contract was signed on December 24, 1994. The US Congress ratified the sale of the tanker aircraft to Turkey, the first country to purchase them.

    Meanwhile, there are reports that Greece is also planning to buy such aircraft in the coming year.

    The total price of $298 million will also cover four spare engines and free spare parts for each tanker aircraft during their first two years of service in the TuAF.

    [03] UK Europe minister: Turkey should not have a say about Cyprus' membership

    According to a report in Turkish Daily News (19.12.97, Internet version), UK's Minister for Europe Doug Henderson called on Turkey not to move away from Europe and said it was both for the benefit of Turkish people and for Europe. Speaking to London-based foreign journalists late on Tuesday, Henderson said that there should be increasing links between Turkey and Europe at every level.

    He said he hoped Turkey would see the benefits of the text agreed in Luxembourg over the weekend. "Turkey has a positive role to play in the European Conference. We would very much want to see turkey in the conference as it would be in everybody's interests", Henderson pointed out. He said he understood the anger the Luxembourg decision had created in Turkey, but added that Turkey needed to meet the criteria required for a country to be a member. Hednerson stated Turkey was a western ally and had a good relationship with the European Union (EU). He added they did not want to see Turkey moving in other directions.

    He stated that the negotiation agreements with Cyprus would go ahead as was planned, in April 1998 and added that Turkey should not have a say about Cyprus' membership. "If the EU find Cyprus suitable for membership during the accession talks, Cyprus will become a member and no other country should have a veto over that decision", said Henderson, reiterating his government's line.

    [04] Denktash informs UN of end to intercommunal talks

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 18.12.97), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has sent a letter to the United Nations, saying: "From now on, the only talks that can be held on the island are talks held between states having equal status."

    Denktash sent a letter to Diego Cordovez, the UN Secretary General's special envoy to Cyprus, reiterating that in the wake of the EU decision adopted at the Luxembourg summit, the intercommunal talks have ended. Denktash stressed that the talks can resume only if the equal status of the two sides is recognized.

    [05] Yilmaz meets Holbrooke; discuss Cyprus

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 18.12.97), Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz had dinner with representatives of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and of leading Jewish organizations in the United States.

    Abraham Foxman, leader of the ADL, presented Prime Minister Yilmaz, whom he described as "a champion of democracy", with the ADL's annual distinguished statesman award.

    After the award presentation, Yilmaz met with Washington Post officials and then received Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative in Cyprus. They mainly discussed the latest developments concerning Turkey and the EU, the Cyprus issue, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Holbrooke recalled the support extended to Turkey by President Clinton in connection with the EU. Asked if Turkey is going to change its tough stand regarding the EU decision, Yilmaz said: "We announced our stand earlier. There have been no changes."

    Holbrooke was asked if he will try to persuade Yilmaz to change this stand. Holbrooke replied: "No, I will not; however, we attach great importance to this issue. President Clinton is waiting for Friday's meeting". Holbrooke said that priority is being given to three issues namely, close relations with Turkey, the improvement of Turkish-Greek relations, and the establishment of stability in a bicommunal and bizonal Cyprus. He concluded by saying that no other country takes as much interest in Bosnia and Turkey as does the United States. Replying to a question after the meeting, Holbrooke said that the EU will make the solution of the Cyprus problem even more difficult, the TRT report says.

    [06] Cem says reports on Yilmaz statement `exaggerated'

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 18.12.97) Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem held a meeting with Hans Van den Broek, the EU foreign relations official, for the first time after the Luxembourg summit. In a statement after the meeting, van den Broek said it will be useful to refrain from sending messages through the media regarding Turkish-EU relations. He suggested to wait a while to let the dust settle. Ismail Cem held a news conference after the meeting. Cem said:

    "Mr van den Broek asked for an appointment. I told him very politely - not in a confrontational manner - that we may meet but that the meeting must be held within the framework of the sensitivities we cited in the government statement".

    On the content of the meeting, Cem said: "As you can expect, general things were said, such as: It is a pity that this happened; we wish it had not happened. I, however, stressed our problems with the Customs Union, noting that we are serious about it and that we expect them to make greater efforts."

    Asked to comment on the statement made by Prime Minister Yilmaz in Brussels the other day Cem said: "I got the impression that the reports on the statement were exaggerated."

    At a news conference he held after the meeting, Hans van den Broek was bombarded with questions about the EU's ties with Turkey. He said: "It is in both sides' interest to continue with the relations. Sensitive issues can be resolved only through dialogue. Let us wait for the dust to settle."

    [07] EP withholds aid to Turkey for 1998 because of `certain problems'

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 18.12.97) the European Parliament (EP) has decided to shelve the aid that was to be extended to Turkey from the EU's 1998 budget. The EP decided to shelve 53 million ECU from the aid that was to be extended to Turkey because of certain problems relating to human rights, international law, and southeastern Anatolia. The EP also demanded that the aid that was to be given to Turkey from the Mediterranean Development and Cooperation Fund be extended on the basis of certain conditions and for specific projects only. The EU aid that was withheld earlier because Greece vetoed it was withheld directly by the EP this time.

    [08] Denktash breaks off all contacts with the free areas

    KIBRIS (19.12.97) reports that as a reaction to the Luxembourg summit decisions the occupation regime in Cyprus is contemplating to take some measures which, if put into practice, are self-isolating.

    KIBRIS says that among the measures are: the breaking off of all the contacts with the free areas. This includes political party people, sportsmen, trade unionists, students and journalists. Conflict resolution group members will not be able to hold their meetings either.

    Ambassadors accredited to the Cyprus Republic will be able to cross into the occupied area but their contacts will be considered "unofficial" unless they recognize the pseudostate.

    KIBRIS reports that the so-called coalition government of the NUP and DP parties has adopted the measures and will soon be putting them into practice. However, adds the paper, the RTP and Akinci's CLP on the other hand oppose these measures.

    Meanwhile, KIBRIS reports that the search for a joint text to be adopted by the so-called assembly is continuing due to the fact that rightist and leftist parties have yet to iron out their differences on the text.

    The pseudo-Assembly will convene tomorrow. (MY)

    [09] Mehmet Ali Talat: Turkey is not my fatherland, Cyprus is

    According to KIBRIS (19.12.97), the leader of the Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat has declared that Turkey is not his fatherland.

    KIBRIS says that Talat said this the other day, during an argument with the Democratic Party so-called deputy Ahmet Kasif at the so-called Assembly of the pseudostate. Talat said to Kasif:

    "Turkey can be your fatherland, but Turkey is not my fatherland.

    My fatherland is Cyprus where I was born and raised. Whatever they say, I don't mind. My fatherland is Cyprus".

    When Talat was warned by Kasif that journalists were present (pointing at KIBRIS correspondent) and that they might report what he was saying, Talat said: "I don't hide by statement. He can write it down." When the KIBRIS correspondent asked Talat: "Can I write this statement of yours?", Talat said:

    "Of course you can write it. If you want to ask questions I will tell you the same things. Let me make you an exclusive statement:

    Turkey may be the ancestral land of some Cypriots but is not their fatherland". (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [10] Turkey urged to play `Russian card' against EU

    Columnist Mehmet Ali Birand writing in SABAH (16.12.97, Internet version) under the title: "Let us play Russian card instead of bickering", inter alia, says:

    "We are at odds with every country around us. We fight on every front. We have some good reason to do so in every case, but there are also points on which we are wrong.

    We feel like we are being squeezed in a mangle.

    With one of these countries we can reduce tension, even if we cannot solve all problems, we can establish a healthy dialogue.

    That country is the Russian Federation. At present that country is in complete disarray. The country is in disorder because it has failed to institute a new system and to establish internal stability since the dismantling of the communist regime. That is why Russia views its surroundings with suspicion and anxiety, sometimes excessively. It will change its attitude when it breathes more easily and regains stability. However, for the moment, it is suspicious of its neighbours.

    These neighbours include Turkey.

    Moreover, the world has changed. Russia is not an enemy as in the past. We no longer have NATO's protective umbrella over our heads. On the contrary, the winds are blowing in Russia's favour. The United States and Europe will hear no criticism about the Russian administration. They have offered their full political and economic backing to a Russia in transition. They never turn down Yeltsin.

    In other words now Turkey is on its own with Russia.

    Moreover, we are in a period of dire need for economic outreach and international political support. The gates of the EU are closing.

    We are being squeezed on Cyprus. Dark clouds are hovering over the Aegean.

    In our efforts to solve the PKK problem we now have to use our armed forces not only at home but also beyond our borders. The Kurdish problem keeps escalating in the region.

    We have to open up to new markets for our exports.

    We can meet our energy shortfall only by importing from our neighbours. Reaching a certain understanding with Russia can reduce our woes as we endeavour to come out of these dire straits.

    I do not believe that Turkey can solve all of its problems with Russia.

    No matter how hard we try to show good will, many years are needed to rid ourselves of our mutual prejudices rooted in history.

    We cannot reach any compromises on the Straits, on our respective positions on Chechens and Kurds, and our views of the Central Asian republics.

    Both sides will continue to insist on what they believe is right.

    Even so, both countries can pay attention to each other's sensitivities. They may stop stepping on each other's sore points.

    Rather than creating new problems, they can learn to live with today's problems. Over time, as economic relations expand, they may put aside their ulterior motives. Rather than broaching old wounds, they can put their relations on track through increased dialogue and by being careful."


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


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