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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-12-29

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. 240/97 24-25-26-27-28-29.12.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Yilmaz on EU, Cyprus, Greece.
  • [02] Denktash: Problem now between Turkish Cypriots, US, UK.
  • [03] Foreign Ministry rejects Mr. Kassoulides's proposal for exchange of views with Ismail Gem.
  • [04] Denktash claims preparations under way for talks based on "two states".
  • [05] Denktash: Turks to talk only to parties recognizing the pseudostate.
  • [06] Etkin: Intercommunal contacts suspended as of 27 December.
  • [07] Denktash: UNSC resolutions not binding on Turkish Cypriots.
  • [08] Akinci faults decision to suspend intercommunal contacts.
  • [09] Denktash: No federation, but agreement based on two states.
  • [10] Turkey reacts to UNSC resolution on UNFICYP mandate.
  • [11] Report on new Turkish initiative to Russia on S-300 missiles.
  • [12] Demirel vows to take concrete measures regarding EU, Cyprus.
  • [13] Denktash sees no movement on Cyprus without "2-state basis".
  • [14] Talat calls for retracting the suspension decision
  • [15] "Budget" of 94.895 trillion Turkish lira adopted.
  • [16] Cem: But for the Cyprus issue, Turkey would have gotten a better result at EU summit.
  • [17] Denktash: Talks aimed at establishing a federation are over.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Yilmaz on EU, Cyprus, Greece

    Show Television channel (20:30 hours, 23.12.97) broadcast a recorded interview with Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz by Mehmet Ali Birand for the "32 Day" program.

    Asked if he thinks that his reaction to the EU decision on Turkey was exaggerated, Yilmaz said: "That is debatable. I cannot say anything about that. It is a matter of style. Our reaction must be understood well, however". He further said that in the past, unfortunately, Turkey did not fulfill its promises nor did it show resolve in taking its initial reactions to the end. "So, the Europeans remember that and think and even say out loud: Turkey first reacts like that but then it mellows down.

    This is an emotional reaction, the situation will normalize after a while.

    They will see, however, that our reaction is not transient. Nor is our reaction emotional", he said.

    Repeating that what he is saying to the EU is "I will not discuss with you the Cyprus question, my relations with Greece, my human rights problems, or my domestic problems, I will not have a political dialogue with you", when asked if the Cyprus question and the Aegean problems were affected by this decision, Yilmaz claimed: "There is no doubt that the Cyprus problem was negatively affected, and very negatively affected. Both the Turkish Government and the TRNC said, immediately after the summit, that this was so. The summit decision eliminated all the parameters on which agreement was reached at the end of 30 years of Cyprus negotiations under UN supervision. It is extremely difficult to expect any results from the intercommunal talks from now on. Unless the EU changes its stand, it is impossible to even hold intercommunal talks from now on."

    [02] Denktash: Problem now between Turkish Cypriots, US, UK

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 22.12.97), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash hosted a luncheon for the members of the Istanbul Turkish Parliamentarians Union who visited the occupied area.

    Addressing the luncheon, Denktash said that the Cyprus agreements signed 40 years ago are still valid, stating that no one can nullify these agreements, which incorporate five signatories. "The agreements take Turkey's geopolitical needs into consideration, Denktash remarked, recalling that the Turkish-Greek balance constitutes the foundation of the Lausanne Treaty. He alleged: "Violating these agreements in any way is tantamount to upsetting the balance in Greece's favour, and all the efforts of the past years have been aimed at evading this."

    Claiming that the application to the EU is aimed at upsetting this balance, Denktash alleged that the recent EU decision defines Cyprus as a Greek Cypriot republic, and the Turkish Cypriots as a minority by classifying them in the same category as the 2,000 Armenians or the 3,000 Maronites. He further claimed that for the Turkish Cypriots the matter was resolved with the establishment of the pseudostate. "The only issue that was not resolved is the issue of reaching a conciliation and agreement between the two states," Denktash added. He went on claiming: "Consequently, the matter is no longer between us and the Greek Cypriots; it is between us and those who illegally tell the Greek Cypriots that they constitute the legitimate government, particularly the United States, our guarantor Britain, and the UN Security Council which is influenced by them."

    Denktash said he does not believe that any side will be sufficiently mad to settle the Cyprus problem through the use of force, but if this happens, the damage will be inflicted on the opposite side.

    [03] Foreign Ministry rejects Mr. Kassoulides's proposal for exchange of views with Ismail Gem

    According to Anatolia agency (15:10 hours, 24.12.97) Turkey has rejected the proposal put forward by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides to hold an exchange of views with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    Ambassador Necati Utkan, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "Such a request was not submitted to us". In the event that this report is true, Utkan continued, the Greek Cypriot foreign minister should determine his counterpart clearly and added: "If he envisages a meeting, it should be held with the foreign minister of the TRNC".

    [04] Denktash claims preparations under way for talks based on "two states"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 26.12.97) Rauf Denktash has claimed that preparations are under way for the talks to be held on the basis of two separate "states". Denktash left the island for Tarsus where he will participate in the celebrations to mark the 76th anniversary of the city's "liberation".

    In a predeparture statement at occupied Tymbou airport, Denktash noted the importance of the stage reached in the Cyprus issue, claiming that preparations are under way for the talks that will begin on the basis of "two states". He further announced the "good news" that 1998 will be a positive year for the Turkish Cypriots. Denktash said that he will be holding contacts with various officials in Adana, Mersin, and Tarsus.

    [05] Denktash: Turks to talk only to parties recognizing the pseudostate

    According to TRT Television network (18:00 hours, 26.12.97) Rauf Denktash has said that "The TRNC will not beg for the recognition of its equality and sovereignty."

    Denktash, on his arrival at Adana Airport to participate in the "liberation" ceremonies at Tarsus, claimed that the recent EU decision eliminated the principles of conciliation that have been under discussion for years.

    "From now on, if there is any party that wants to negotiate with us, let that party come to the talks to be conducted on the basis of two states. This is the situation we have been pushed into.

    For the last 34 years we thought that we were on slippery ground. We have now rid ourselves of this slippery ground and we have consolidated our state basis. Therefore, we will not be begging anyone to recognize our equality and our sovereignty. We are equal and sovereign. We are a state. Those who recognize our state are welcome to come and talk," he claimed.

    [06] Etkin: Intercommunal contacts suspended as of 27 December

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 26.12.97) Taner Etkin, so- called foreign affairs and defense minister, has said that activities pertaining to intercommunal contacts will be suspended as of 27 December. Replying to reporters' questions, Etkin claimed that the need arose to reassess the intercommunal contacts in the light of the EU decisions adopted at the Luxembourg summit.

    Etkin added: "This reassessment will be made in accordance with our government decision dated 14 December 1997.

    The activities in question will be suspended as of 27 December 1997 until this reassessment is concluded."

    [07] Denktash: UNSC resolution not binding on Turkish Cypriots

    According to TRT Television Network (22:00 hours, 25.12.97) Rauf Denktash has said that the UN Security Council resolution envisaging the commencement of the intercommunal talks within three months is not binding on the pseudostate. Denktash said that, as has been the case in the past, the resolution refers to the Greek Cypriot side as the Cyprus Government, adding that the Turkish Cypriots have been opposed to it for the last 34 years.

    [08] Akinci faults decision to suspend intercommunal contacts

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 26.12.97) Communal Liberation Party leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the "government" decision to suspend the intercommunal contacts will be detrimental to the cause of the Turkish Cypriot community, rather than benefit it. Pointing out that this decision will further isolate the Turkish Cypriot community, Akinci asked that the decision be revoked. He said that this decision, which was taken without a general debate or a sound assessment at the "Assembly", is extremely wrong.

    [09] Denktash: No federation, but agreement based on two states

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 25.12.97), addressing a ceremony in the occupied part of Nicosia, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash claimed that an agreement that incorporates Turkey's effective guarantee must be concluded to prevent the Greek Cypriots from launching "new adventures" in the future.

    Denktash noted: "Therefore, at the negotiating table we defend the principles of equality, sovereignty, and no separation from the motherland, principles for which our martyrs scarified their lives. These principles also include the continuation of Turkey's guarantee, bizonality, and an agreement based on two states".

    [10] Turkey reacts to UNSC resolution on UNFICYP mandate

    According to TRT Television Network (22:00 hours, 24.12.97) Turkey has reacted to the inclusion of certain factors in the UN resolution extending the UNFICYP mandate.

    In reply to a question at his weekly news conference, Ambassador Necati Utkan, Foreign Ministry spokesman, recalled that the UNFICYP mandate in Cyprus has been extended. Pointing out that Turkey has reacted to certain factors in that resolution, Utkan gave information on these factors, adding that a letter on the issue was sent to the UN Security Council (UNSC) term president.

    "The resolution contains a clause describing as a significant development the commencement of full membership negotiations between the EU and the Greek Cypriot Administration in south Cyprus. The UNSC term president has been informed that we do not share this approach and that, on the contrary, both Turkey and the TRNC regard the decision adopted at the Luxembourg summit as eliminating the parameters for a solution in Cyprus and consolidating the division on the island", Utkan said.

    Noting that Turkey will continue to cooperate with the UNFICYP, Utkan added that, however, "if these factors continue to appear in the resolution then Turkey's stand might be revised."

    [11] Report on new Turkish initiative to Russia on S-300 missiles

    According to a report in daily YENI YUZYIL (23.12.97) critical bargaining talks have begun with Russia, which is expected to deliver a number of S- 300 missiles to Cyprus early in 1998. Turkey has moved to take a new initiative to obstruct the delivery. It brought the subject up when Ambassador Vadim Kuznetsoy called on Minister of National Defense Ismet Sezgin last week. He was informed that Russia taking a share from the military contracts will be impossible if it sells missiles to the Greek Cypriot side. Kuznetsov responded by reiterating Russia's call for changes in the regulations that have been put into effect in connection with the navigation through Turkey's straits. That indicated that Moscow has adopted a moderate approach to the missiles problem, the report claims.

    Amb. Kuznetsov called at the Ministry of National Defense shortly after Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin visited Ankara from 15 to 17 December. The main subject that was discussed with him was related to the delivery of the S-300 missiles to Cyprus.

    He was informed that the transfer of the missiles to the Greek Cypriot side will make Turkey uneasy. The report adds that considering Turkey's defense, the officials have warned Kuznetsov that Ankara will "neither buy arms from Russia nor allow the Russian companies to bid for military contracts if the S-300 missiles are delivered to south Cyprus." They informed Kuznetsov that a foreign country "has to respect Turkey's interests and fears", "refrain from ignoring Turkey's interests on international platforms", "support Turkey in international and regional organizations", and "keep the cost of their arms at an acceptable level" if it wants to bid for Turkey's defense contracts.

    According to the same report, Russia, which has been in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense, has proposed that Turkey should buy tanks from it if it decides not to deliver the missiles to Cyprus. Furthermore, it called on the officials to change the regulations on navigation through the straits in accordance with its proposals, the report concludes.

    [12] Demirel vows to take concrete measures regarding EU, Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 27.12.97) Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has declared that the concrete measures that were announced by Turkey and the pseudostate to the world by means of joint declarations and statements issued at the highest level will be implemented one by one. Demirel claimed that the responsibility for this will lie entirely with the EU.

    In a news conference he held at the Cankaya Mansion in Ankara yesterday, Demirel referred to the Cyprus issue as well.

    Demirel claimed that the EU decision adopted at the Luxembourg summit to launch full membership negotiations with the Cyprus Government, will adversely affect the intercommunal talks.

    Demirel explained that the S-300 missiles issue is especially important in this regard.

    "In actual fact", the Turkish president stated, "we will gradually implement the concrete measures pertaining to both issues, measures that were announced to the public by means of joint declarations and statements issued at the highest level".

    [13] Denktash sees no movement on Cyprus without "2-state basis"

    According to TRT Television Network (18:00 hours, 27.12.97) Rauf Denktash has said that in the aftermath of the recent developments, the basis of the intercommunal talks in Cyprus has been eliminated, adding that the contacts to be held from now on can be conducted between "two states".

    In a statement to TRT in Icel's Tarsus District, Denktash claimed: "The recent EU decision has eliminated the intercommunal talks". And he continued claiming:

    "Since the EU has now eliminated the thing we call the common denominator, we naturally cannot resume from where we left off. We are saying that we will start from the basis of two states. If, however, they claim that there are no two states and that there is one, as they have been claiming up to now, then the Cyprus issue will remain where it is".

    [14] Talat calls for retracting the suspension decision

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 28.12.97) the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has called for retracting the decision to suspend the intercommunal talks, which will isolate the Turkish Cypriots from the world.

    In a statement issued, CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat said that the suspension of the intercommunal talks is inconceivable at this period, when intensive contacts are under way by the Turkish parliamentarians in order to surmount the EU decision on Turkey and added: "This decision will harm nobody but the Turkish Cypriot community." Explaining that the Turkish Cypriots are in great need of the international and intercommunal contacts in order to voice their concerns and expectations, Talat noted that the Turkish Cypriots were successful in explaining themselves at the meetings held to date.

    Issuing a call for retracting the decision to suspend the intercommunal talks, which isolates the Turkish Cypriots from the world, Talat added: "On the contrary, the contacts of civil mass organizations and unions should be increased and encouraged. All possibilities for explaining ourselves to the Greek Cypriots and the world should be encouraged."

    [15] "Budget" of 94.895 trillion Turkish lira adopted

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (6:00 hours, 24.12.97) with a majority of votes, the so-called assembly of the pseudostate adopted the 1998 "budget" at 94.895 trillion Turkish Lira (TL).

    [16] Cem: But for the Cyprus issue, Turkey would have gotten a better result at EU summit

    TRT (20:00 hours, 26.12.97) broadcast a live interview with Turkish Foreign Minister. Ismail Cem by Utku Sensoy. In reply to a question on the EU decision on Turkey, Cem claimed:

    "Let me put it this way: Certain Turkish shortcomings influenced the result, though not decisively. In other words, our position would have been slightly better had we not had these shortcomings. That is all. Only one condition would have secured us a better result at this recent Luxembourg summit, and that is for Turkey to have disregarded the future of the Turkish Cypriot community in Cyprus and acted against the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people. Then we would have gotten a better result at that summit. The other issues-namely, our relations with Greece... We have taken steps forward in our relations with Greece. Both our government and the governments before us took these steps. The EU concedes that fact. We have made progress on the issues of democracy and human rights. These issues are exaggerated outside the country. Every country has problems in those areas to some extent. These were the criteria presented to us, but the real criterion was the Cyprus issue. Naturally, it is out of the question for us to adopt a dangerous stand that will subject our people to the suffering endured by the Bosnian Muslims".

    Asked what is the point reached in Cyprus, especially in the aftermath of the Luxembourg decision, Cem said: "Cyprus was the most important issue we discussed in all the contacts we held regarding the Luxembourg summit. If a wrong assessment has been made, I will not seek the error in others but in myself. From time to time in the course of these talks, however, I got the impression that had we asked, the discussion would have gone as follows: What are you saying about Cyprus? Yes, the south Cyprus administration is joining the EU. What should Turkey do? Let Turkey convince Mr. Denktash to send representatives from north Cyprus, the TRNC, to these talks. Had we done this, if Mr.

    Denktash had opted for such a move, what would have happened then? Turkey would have fallen into a position where it could not utter a single word on the future of Cyprus. Then the Turks living in north Cyprus would have become a hopeless minority within a hostile environment.

    Despite all these consequences, we were expected to comply with these requests. Turkey was expected to say: We agree to discuss the issue with Denktash. We will try to convince him. Turkey will play such a role in Cyprus' accession process. It will exert its influence and will, actually, solve your problem.

    Actually, this is tantamount to solving the EU's problem. Had we complied with all that was expected of us, today we would have been in a position way beyond our expectations in our relations with the EU. This is my assessment. Naturally, like all assessments, it is open to discussion. This, however, was what I felt.

    This did not happen. Naturally, we did not comply with these requests. There is the unanimous decision adopted by our Assembly on 26 January 1997. That decision is our framework.

    That is our direction even in the absence of such a framework or decision. The security of our people and Turkey is most important. When we say Cyprus we are, at times, under the impression that it is an island out there inhabited by our kinsmen and that we are waging a struggle on their behalf. The issue, however, is not that. The struggle we are waging regarding Cyprus is entirely a struggle for Turkey's security. Naturally, we would not have committed such an error and we have not done so. Not having committed this error, we were faced with certain obstacles on this EU issue."

    [17] Denktash: Talks aimed at establishing a federation are over

    Turkish Daily News (25 and 26.12.97) publishes the text of an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash by Yusuf Kanli.

    Inter alia, Denktash said that if the Greek Cypriots say they are sovereign and will not talk sovereignty with him, his response is "we are sovereign and will not talk sovereignty with you". He added: "I won't sit at the negotiations table, but won't further isolate myself either and will continue explaining my position to whoever is visiting us".

    To a question if when he says this thing is over he means talks aimed at establishing a federation on Cyprus, he replied "Yes".

    To a comment that there are talks that now that is has become clear that a federation is not possible, perhaps a settlement should be sought by establishing a confederation, Denktash replied:

    "What's the foundation of a confederation? Is it not two states? The moment the fact of two states is acknowledged, the moment a settlement is sought on the basis that there are two equal states on the island... that the aim is to establish a coordination, a cooperation between these two states, you have a settlement. It could be a federation or a confederation. The two states could start relations for cooperation and coordination and proceed in line with their requirements. That road may take them to a federation or a confederation or a union.

    What's important is the beginning. At the beginning they should recognize my sovereignty so that in the future they would not be able to inflict the damage we were subjected to for the past 34 years saying that we were a minority. So that if they attack my people they won't be able to tell the world that it's their internal affair.

    Everyone should know that if they attack us, a sovereign part has attacked another sovereign part and that it is my legitimate right to defend my territory and my sovereignty."


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


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