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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-02-13

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. 27/98 -- 13.2.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] "TRNC" - Turkey agreement ratified.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot leaders Ozgur, Durduran discuss `Unity on the left'.
  • [03] New Cyprus party head defends holding of passports.
  • [04] "TRNC Cabinet" discusses regulations on Ledra crossings.
  • [05] Cem submits "peace proposals" on Aegean to Greek Ambassador.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] "TRNC"- Turkey agreement ratified

    According to KIBRIS (11.2.98), there was a heated debate at last Tuesday's "assembly" meeting over the issues concerning the visa and the establishment of a "Partnership Council between Turkey and the "TRNC".

    Despite fierce opposition from the opposition during the day-long debate, "The Draft Law on Agreement on Establishing a Partnership Council between the Governments of the Turkish Republic and TRNC" was ratified with majority of votes.

    Republican Turkish Party (CTP) argued that the "Partnership Council" as part of a wrong policy that aims at "TRNC's" integration with Turkey, and argued that it will lead the Turkish Cypriots nowhere.

    The agreement, ratified with the votes of the so-called governing parties, found support from Rauf Denktash.

    Denktash assessed the approval of the agreement as a "very positive development". Noting that this was a historic event, Denktash said: "We are grateful to the motherland government and the Assembly for making us experience this historic day."

    Denktash claimed the following in his written statement:

    "The decision envisaging cooperation with the motherland has passed through the Assembly with a large majority. It is known that our colleagues who voted against have objections on procedural grounds but in essence support cooperation with the motherland wholeheartedly and would join the Partnership Council if invited.

    The Partnership Council is being set up to uplift the TRNC people and strengthen the TRNC in every field. This is a historic day for all of us. We are grateful to the motherland government and the Assembly for making us experience this historic day. This is a very positive development. I congratulate all involved".

    KIBRIS reports that the "Partnership Council" will determine measures to ensure economic and financial integration and partial integration in the fields of security, defense, and foreign policy between Turkey and the pseudostate.

    The "Law on Partnership Council" will go into effect after publication in the "Official Gazette" following its ratification in the so-called assembly, and the agreement on the procedure on establishing a "Partnership Council" will go into effect from the date of the presentation of the instruments of ratification to the Turkish Government as stipulated by Article 12 of the agreement.

    After taking a quorum, the "assembly" began discussing the issue of the "Partnership Council".

    CTP Secretary-General Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that the "Partnership Council" is a part of the erroneous policies being pursued on the Cyprus problem and that this was a wrong step.

    Asserting that the people in the country are charged with treason, that no democratic debate is being held on the visa issue, and that unnecessary statements are being made on this subject, Soyer asked: "Has anyone remained in this country not charged with treason?"

    Soyer went on to say that charges of treason are made primarily by Rauf Denktash and the rightist circles and are directed against those who want a federal solution.

    Soyer said that they are being branded as traitors simply because they are against the "Partnership Council".

    Criticizing the way the "Partnership Council" was put forward, Soyer asserted that "the matter was put on the agenda with a fait accompli" and that the procedure implemented during the debate was a "manifestation of an anti-democratic mentality."

    Stating that the "government" has abandoned the Cyprus problem to Denktash, Soyer went on to criticize the "failure to create an atmosphere of debate and the display of arbitrariness."

    Noting that the CTP is against "talk of unification and slogans of political integration", Soyer said that no respect is shown to the views of CTP, which is brought face to face with arbitrary actions.

    Soyer said that the "Partnership Council" will seriously damage the Turkish Cypriot community and obstruct Turkey's relations with the EU.

    TKP leader Mustafa Akinci said that the agreement on the "Partnership Council" was a policy formulated with the idea of integration "TRNC" with Turkey in retaliation to the Greek Cypriot side's integration with the EU. Saying that "the TKP has always argued to no avail that such an approach and policy will take us nowhere", Akinci criticized both the way the idea of the "Partnership Council" was developed and its content.

    Akinci said that not only was the opposition's view on the agreement on the "Partnership Council" not taken into account, but the document was only given to the opposition after it asked for it. Akinci said the opposition should not be isolated and went on to criticize the measures regarding the "Partnership Council", adding: "The aim of the Partnership Council is to strike fear in the EU like a doctor strikes fear among children facing circumcision."

    Noting that nothing could be achieved with a policy of reaction, Akinci said that the opposition differs from the so-called government over this and the visa issue. Criticizing the idea of imposing a visa on Britain, Akinci said that instead the doors should be held wide open and the tourists welcomed with tolerance so as to turn them into goodwill ambassadors.

    Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriots are already emigrating and, therefore, the measures to be taken should be carefully considered and a federal solution should be insisted upon.

    While noting that every measure should be taken to strengthen the "TRNC", Akinci called for the preservation of the TRNC's equality and independent identity in its relations with Turkey. Also calling on the "TRNC" to speak out its views to Turkey, Akinci said that "those who do not consider themselves human beings cannot expect to be considered as such by others."

    Speaking later on, so-called finance minister Salih Cosar said that Turkey is the only way out for the "TRNC" economically and commercially.

    "Foreign and defense minister" Taner Etkin said that it is not enough to criticize only the "government" on the visa issue and that Britain's position should also be questioned. Etkin noted that the countermeasures against the visa exist and stressed the importance of the timing of putting them into effect.

    Etkin said, however, that "it would have been better if the opposition's view had been taken into account." Claiming that the partial integration will be on the basis of partnership, that the work will be carried out by committees with equal membership, and that they will only make advisory decisions, Etkin added that he cannot comprehend the reaction shown to the "Partnership Council".

    Speaking after Akinci, so-called state minister and deputy prime minister Serdar Denktash said that in view of the "TRNC's" economic strength there cannot be any question of imposing a visa on Britain but that a visa will be imposed on crossings from the free areas to the pseudostate.

    Serdar Denktash claimed that it is natural to impose visas on those crossing from the free areas into the "TRNC".

    Serdar Denktash said that while visas will be imposed on those who select the free areas for touristic travels at the same time measures will be taken to encourage tourism in the occupied area and these measures will be announced in the coming days.

    Explaining that most touristic crossings from Ledra Palace to the "TRNC" are made by the UN and British soldiers and their families for a duration of a day during which they spend no money, Serdar Denktash said that those coming from the free areas contribute little to the economy.

    Serdar Denktash added that measures will be taken to offset losses to result from imposing visas on crossings from the free areas.

    Noting that the CTP and TKP are against the intent of the "Partnership Council" agreement, "prime minister" Dervis Eroglu charged: "You start misleading the public whenever agreements that take the TRNC state into consideration are placed on the agenda." .../..

    Touching on the visa issue, Eroglu said: "We do not intend to pursue the principle of an eye for an eye. We are against imposing a visa on Britain. However, I had already said that as the government we will take measures against the overland crossings."

    [02] Turkish Cypriot leaders Ozgur, Durduran discuss `Unity on the left'

    According to KIBRIS (12.2.98) Ozker Ozgur, who was expelled from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has launched an initiative to forge "unity on the left".

    Ozgur first visited the New Cyprus Party (YKP) and met its leader Alpay Durduran. Some of the high-ranking officials who had resigned from the CTP were also present at the meeting.

    YKP leader Alpay Durduran said in a statement to KIBRIS:

    "Mr. Ozgur, as an influential politician in our political life, visited us with a group of his associates. We will discuss the general political situation in our country and examine how and to what extent we can cooperate. If possible, we will try to become an effective factor shaping the fate of this community."

    Asked if the cooperation is meant for election purposes, Durduran said: "As YKP, we have no election worries. We are in politics for the interest of this community, of whose existence we are aware".

    Noting that Cyprus has been turned into a bargaining chip between Turkey and Greece, Durduran said: "We want to forge a unity on the left. If some values are endorsed, then there is not even a need to be a leftist."

    Opening his statement with the announcement that "we were in the CTP only yesterday but today we are outside it for known reasons", Ozker Ozgur said: "The clique that has taken over the CTP administration seems to be determined to go along its own path. So, we are now outside the CTP".

    Ozgur said in brief: "We saw benefit in launching a dialogue with the YKP to whom we feel close. The community is on the verge of an abyss, and it is facing annihilation. Competition between the so-called leftist parties since 1976 has benefited no one. We have elections in front of us. Nothing good will come out of a renewed competition. As long as this competition continues, no positive development can take place to maintain the existence and identity of the community. What can we do with the YKP, which shares similar views with us? We have come together to find a reply to this question. We will inform the public of the outcome."

    Asked "when the outcome will be known" Ozgur said:

    "Soon. Within a few days we will inform the public of our joint message."

    Asked if he also requested an "appointment with the TKP (Communal Liberation Party) and the CTP", Ozgur said: "For that we have first to come to an agreement with the TKP. We do get along well; we have no differences. However, before making a call on another party, we (Ozgur's group and the YKP) have to put our positions on paper and forge a unanimity before all else. After all, we feel very close to each other. We have to achieve a unanimity first of all".

    Asked if "he might join the YKP", Ozgur said: "I do not think it is of any use to reply to such questions at this stage.

    The important thing is unanimity. That is, to come together and forge the political force that would unblock the path of the community. Our efforts are in that direction".

    Asked to comment on resignations from the CTP, Ozgur said: "Resignations from the CTP are continuing. I expect further resignations from the CTP once our efforts mature and assume a more concrete shape".

    [03] New Cyprus party head defends holding of passports

    According to KIBRIS (12.2.98) New Cyprus Party (YKP) leader Alpay Durduran said: "My passport is nobody's business".

    Asked "do you have a Cyprus Republic passport" by a KIBRIS correspondent, Durduran replied: "I have many other things as well. If you want, I can list them for you. What I have or do not have is nobody's business. I will never criticize anyone carrying a Cyprus passport because Cyprus Republic passports are issued for all Cypriots, although some people are unable to obtain them for technical reasons. Because of Mr. Denktash's failure to come to an agreement with Clerides, whom he calls `compatriot', Turkish Cypriots have their freedom of travel restricted. I cannot understand why the passport issue should be turned into a problem".

    [04] "TRNC Cabinet" discusses regulations on Ledra crossings

    According to YENIDUZEN (12.2.98) despite an earlier statement that "the government would discuss imposing visas on Britain" the so-called council of ministers issued no statement to this effect. It was, instead, announced that the "council of ministers" discussed regulations concerning crossings into the occupied area from the Ledra Palace, the so-called "TRNC's" overland exit port".

    So-called finance minister and "government spokesman" Salih Cosar said the so-called draft on regulating crossings into the "TRNC" prepared by "foreign and defense minister" Taner Etkin was discussed at the "cabinet" but that work on the "draft" is still continuing.

    [05] Cem submits "peace proposals" on Aegean to Greek Ambassador

    According to TRT (11:00 hours, 12.2.98), the Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on Turkey's relations with Greece. The essence of the statement is that Turkey is launching a comprehensive peace initiative with regard to Greece. Turkey calls on Greece to find peaceful solutions to the Aegean issues and proposes to hold a meeting in March. Turkey's initiative comprises five proposals. These proposals were submitted by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to the Greek ambassador in Ankara in the form of a memorandum.

    According to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry, Turkey calls on both countries to define the Aegean issues and transform the 8 July Madrid accord into an official agreement.

    Following are some of the proposals: both countries should develop confidence-building measures in the Aegean in cooperation with the NATO secretary general and put them into effect. The two governments should call the wise men group to assume its duties and find solutions to the issue. Turkey's last proposal concerns convening a high-level meeting between the two foreign ministers in Ankara or Athens in March.

    The memorandum points out that the tension in the Aegean can exacerbate the situation and spark serious consequences, perhaps even unintentionally.

    Turkey's new initiative was conveyed to the UN secretary general, the NATO secretary general, and the NATO countries.

    Cem said that the Greek response to this initiative will help prove to the world that both countries are capable of displaying goodwill. Cem added: We are saying to Greece that we should talk, agree, and make up.


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


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