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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-12-23

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. 239/97 -- 23.12.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] FM Cem reacts harshly to critics blasting the government's handling of the EU membership issue and Cyprus.
  • [02] Demirel asks for recognition of pseudostate by EU.
  • [03] Yilmaz returns from `extremely beneficial' visit to US.
  • [04] Ecevit threatens with further integration between Turkey and the pseudostate.
  • [05] Greek national illegally arrested by occupation regime.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] FM Cem reacts harshly to critics blasting the government's handling of the EU membership issue and Cyprus

    According to a report in Turkish Daily News (22.12.97) the general assembly of the Turkish Parliament decided on Saturday to hold a parliamentary debate this week, to discuss the European Union's (EU) rejection of Turkey's full membership bid, the consequent reactions of the Turkish government and the future of Turkey-EU relations in general.

    The motion for a parliamentary debate was submitted by the True Path Party (DYP), and independent Deputy Cemil Cicek, in which the current government was held responsible for the recent developments in Turkey-EU relations.

    In a preliminary debate on Saturday, the government and all political parties in Parliament showed their willingness to hold a parliamentary debate, at the end of which a joint declaration is expected to be issued.

    Speaking at the preliminary debate on Saturday, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem reacted harshly to critics blasting the government's handling of the EU issue, and particularly the motion for parliamentary debate submitted by the DYP and Cicek, in which they said that "in a just case like its EU membership bid, Turkey is being isolated due to the government's incorrect policies".

    "What are these incorrect policies? Is it wrong to reject the EU statements alluding that we should relinquish our rights over Cyprus? Is it improper to assert that we will defend our rights there and will not allow the Turkish Cypriots be converted into a helpless minority in a sea of enemies. Although they (the EU) do not accept this, even if they confronted us not just as a EU, but as a World Union, we would maintain our stance," he stated.

    Noting that the motion alleged that Turkey had been isolated in the solution process on Cyprus, Cem asked:

    "Has there ever been a time when the Turkish government was in the majority in searching for a solution on Cyprus? Is this the first time that Turkey is alone?"

    He asserted that the current government is the advocate of a very complex, but "just case" in Cyprus and asked again:

    "Are we responsible for the (Greek Cypriot) plan to deploy S-300 missiles on the island? Did we pave the way for it or did we just stand by?"

    He stated that the government was doing its utmost to resolve the Aegean disputes, and said that by making any more compromises so as not to isolate Turkey in international opinion, would mean the closure of the sea to it.

    Kamran Inan, who spoke on behalf of the Motherland Party (ANAP), defended the government's reactions to the decisions of the EU's Luxembourg summit. Stating that they were unjust, he said it was essential that the EU's decisions be rejected and Turkey's uproar voiced.

    He also said that according to an objectively conducted study by the Foreign Ministry, in which all the EU criteria were taken into account, Turkey was in a better overall position than seven of the 11 countries which were announced as EU candidates.

    He also noted that the conditions relating to Cyprus and the Aegean did not exist in the Treaty of Rome.

    "Greece, supported by the EU, demands Cyprus and the Aegean as the price for closer Turkey-EU relations; is this acceptable? Is Greek Cyprus told to compromise with the Turks before joining the EU? Or is Greece told so? This is a double standard", Inan claimed.

    He also alleged that the EU was looking like a "Christian Club" and both the new European and world orders were being built on religious bases. He added that after the collapse of communism, the Europeans had been perceiving the Muslim World as a "new adversary" and said that this kind of strategy would put them in a loser's position.

    Nahit Mentese, who spoke on behalf of the DYP, said that the EU's decisions let the Turks down and were evidence of the government's defeat. "Not Turkey, but Ankara (the government) was rebuffed", he said.

    Referring to Yilmaz's statements that Turkey could withdraw its EU membership application, Mentese said the Foreign Ministry maintained the opposite view and likened Turkish foreign policy makers to "the musicians of Bremen". Criticizing Yilmaz's depiction of German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel as "talking rubbish", Mentese said that these kind of manners were not compatible with diplomacy.

    Saffet Arikan Beduk, who also took the floor on behalf of the DYP, said that Turkey was not utilizing the trump cards it had. "The trump cards of NATO and the Western European Union should be used", he said.

    Abdullah Gul from the Welfare Party (RP) said the Luxembourg summit was a fiasco for Turkey and added that such a situation was everybody's problem.

    "The current government cannot be solely responsible for this failure. All the previous governments should be held responsible as well and Turkish foreign policy should be entirely revised", he said. Gul stated that the result of the Luxembourg summit had been anticipated, but the government had created an impression that Turkey was likely to be accepted to the EU.

    "When the customs union agreement was accomplished, the RP said that this was the last station and Turkey would not be admitted as a full member. The Turkish statesmen misled the people, although they saw the realities", Gul claimed.

    He also noted that during its period of government, the RP had tried to establish better relations with the Muslim countries, but these efforts were seen as reactionary moves.

    "The Treaty of Rome includes the accession conditions. A preparatory period of 34 years was given to Turkey and all the things done in this period were in contradiction with the requirements. There were three military interventions, and today the chairman of Turkey's biggest party the (RP) is being tried for a speech he delivered in Parliament," Gul said.

    He added that the EU was founded not only on the basis of economic cooperation, but democratic standards were also essential.

    "After Yilmaz's visit to Germany the press, which put their support behind him, had reported that `he got all he wanted' from Germany. And now after Yilmaz's visit to the United States they say just the same. What did he get? Just advise. There is no need to go to the United States for advice, we are giving it here," Gul stated.

    Emphasizing that the EU was of great importance for Turkey, he said that relations with the bloc should be handled and improved soberly.

    [02] Demirel asks for recognition of pseudostate by EU

    TRT (21:00 hour, 21.12.97) broadcast a live interview with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel by Kurtul Altug on the "Political Pulse" program. Inter alia, Demirel said: "Yes, we do have claims in the Aegean Sea. These claims start with the 6-mile versus the 12-mile issue and extends to the shoreline and continental shelf issues.

    Furthermore, of the over 1,000 islands and islets that used to belong to the Ottomans in the past, some were clearly allocated to a specific side, but some others have no clear owners. We, therefore, claim that these must be given to us because we are the successors of the Ottomans. All these claims have created significant problems. This led Greece to conclude that Turkey is expansionist and has claims even over an islet in the south of Crete, and to take recourse with Europe."

    Referring to the Cyprus issue in connection with the EU, Demirel claimed: "The Luxembourg decisions noted the necessity of a separate procedure for Turkey. Why should a separate procedure be considered for Turkey? They claim that we should be more respectful of human rights and that we should develop our democracy. All these can be discussed. The decisions further claim that Turkey should solve its problems with Greece, that it should solve the Cyprus issue, that it should not prevent Cyprus' membership - they mean south Cyprus but refer to it as Cyprus - in the EU, and that it should respect the rights of minorities." And he continued claiming:

    "The demands that have been cited mean that even if we manage the impossible they will still find an excuse. This is an unacceptable attitude in international relations and law.

    International relations are conducted between two bodies. They, however, are linking them to a third party. I am telling them that the fault in these relations with that third party does not rest with me. The answer is: We do not care, just solve them and come back only then. This is unacceptable. This is the first issue.

    Then there is the second issue. Let us consider a Europe that is burdened with sufficient problems. A Europe that riddled with so many problems is trying to incorporate the south of Cyprus, which has been divided de facto for the last 24 years, by inviting that administration to hold negotiations. This is what we would call creating problems where there are none. They are inviting problems. In other words, if the EU begins negotiations with Cyprus and accepts it as a member of course, we are talking about south Cyprus then what will happen to the division between south and north Cyprus? The answer is: Come and join the negotiations. Under what title will north Cyprus join the negotiations?" To the journalist's reply/comment "Under the title of a minority", Demirel stated: "That is impossible. A state has been established in north Cyprus. The EU should invite north Cyprus to the negotiations as a state. It should recognize that state."

    Asked to clarify if Turkey is not to discuss Cyprus at the negotiating table, he said: "What aspect will we discuss? We have been telling everyone that the Cyprus dispute has been rigidified. For example, Cyprus should not be included in Turkish-US relations in the name of solving the Cyprus issue.

    Then we might damage our relations with the United States as well. For example, the Cyprus issue should not be included in Turkish-Greek relations for the sake of solving the Cyprus problem. This problem should be kept apart. As for Europe, now Europe claims that Turkey should influence north Cyprus to participate in the negotiations with the EU. Europe is telling us: If your do not help with that issue we will keep you out of the accession process. Is this acceptable? This is a very unfortunate affair".

    [03] Yilmaz returns from `extremely beneficial' visit to US

    According to TRT (10:00 hours, 22.12.97), Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has declared that his visit to the United States attained the goal of developing bilateral strategic cooperation and carrying it to the future. Yilmaz announced that Turkish-US relations will continue on a multilateral level in the coming period.

    Yilmaz concluded his official visit to the United States and returned to Turkey. In a statement at the airport, Yilmaz stressed that his visit was extremely beneficial, adding that the United States clearly demonstrated that it is aware of Turkey's importance and views Turkey as a strategic partner.

    "All the officials I contacted emphasized this approach. As a consequence of this general outlook, the US Administration expressed its desire to conduct concrete cooperation with us in the fields of economy and trade, politics and defense, and especially energy and the transportation of the Caspian oil and natural gas to the West," Yilmaz said.

    Pointing out that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries envisaging cooperation in the field of energy, Yilmaz reported that agreement was also reached on conducting a feasibility study of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the natural gas pipeline to go under the Caspian Sea, on the concerns caused by the intense tanker traffic through the Istanbul and Canakkale Straits, and the serious difficulties experienced by Turkey as a result of the existing situation in Iraq. Yilmaz announced that a joint working group was established on these issue, and the group held its first session in Washington. Yilmaz also said that the US deputy secretary of commerce will visit Turkey in January, adding that the US officials pledged to exert efforts to introduce measures that will alleviate Turkey's problems with regard to the categories that create the greatest difficulties concerning the textile quotas. Yilmaz concluded by saying that during his visit he conducted a beneficial exchange of views with former US President George Bush.

    [04] Ecevit threatens with further integration between Turkey and the pseudostate

    According to Turkish Daily News (20.12.97), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Friday that Turkey should never give up its objective to become a full member of the European Union (EU) and added that Ankara should not withdraw its application.

    This seemed to contradict the statement of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz who told reporters in Brussels, during a stop-over on the way to the United States, that Turkey would withdraw its application for EU membership if the leaders of the European bloc did not name Turkey as a candidate for full membership by next June. However, political observers said Yilmaz later qualified his statement by telling a Washington crowd that Turkey "may" withdraw its EU application.

    Ecevit, in a special interview with the Turkish Daily News, stressed the EU declarations on Turkey's place in the enlargement process of the Union were deceptive and vague and he did not feel this situation would improve in the foreseeable future.

    He warned, however, that if Turkey is excluded from full membership of the EU for an indefinite period it will be inevitable that "certain problems will arise in relations with Europe and other european organizations". He added that Turkey's full membership should be left to time.

    "I can't say when and how they will happen but it will eventually happen", he said.

    Asked how he sees the future of Cyprus within the context of the EU summit decisions, Ecevit claimed:

    "Of course if the EU insists, as it seems it will insist, on the membership of the Greek administration of Cyprus in the EU this will inevitably mean that they accept the reality of another state in the northern part of Cyprus even if they do not diplomatically recognize it. In the meantime the strategic importance of Cyprus has increased considerably both for Turkey and for the United States because of Turkey's importance in the region and because of the increased strategical importance of northern Cyprus. I believe that the United States should not regard the Cyprus issue as the issue of an isolated island.

    Cyprus is an inseparable and very important part of the Eastern Mediterranean. So I hope that the United States will approach the Cyprus case from a wider strategic angle".

    Asked if in view of the EU decision he thinks now the "TRNC" should seek international recognition, Ecevit replied:

    "Yes, of course it should seek international recognition but even if it is not given international recognition the world and particularly the West have to realize that it is an independent state."

    And he went on: "It is inevitable that the partial integration of northern Cyprus with Turkey will increase if the decision to include southern Cyprus in the EU as a full member is implemented. We have already taken steps in that direction.

    Earlier this year the two presidents, President Demirel and President Denktash issued a statement in that direction which has been endorsed by the Parliament and later on July 20, this year, I signed an agreement with President Denktash further stressing that our integration would deepen.

    Despite all this we want the TRNC to continue as an independent state. We do not want to annex it to Turkey. So this will leave the door open for a federal solution for the foreseeable future. This is a very important gesture on the Turkish side although the Western world does not seem to be aware of this fact.

    So the result of including southern Cyprus in the EU will be further partial integration between Turkey and northern Cyprus," he threatened.

    Asked what are the limits for this partial integration, he said:

    "Turkey will carry the responsibility of international relations and external defense of the TRNC and our economies should increasingly merge. The present Turkish government has already taken some very concrete steps in that direction. For instance the Turkish Cypriots now benefit from all the subsidies that Turkey extends to its farmers. This year we have signed an agreement for exporting water to the island. This will be supplemented by other projects of a similar nature. We continue to contribute more extensively to the Turkish Cypriot economy.

    This is not an unbearable burden for Turkey. After all it is a small country."

    [05] Greek national illegally arrested by occupation regime

    According to KIBRIS (23.12.97) Greek national Sypros Liles, who crossed into the occupied area from Nicosia's suburb Ayios Pavlos by mistake, has been illegally arrested by the occupation troops and kept in custody.

    The paper says that a three-day "remand order" has been issued for Liles by the pseudostate's so-called court. (MY)


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


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