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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-02-23

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. 33/98 -- 21-22-23.2.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Demirel: "There are two Cypruses".
  • [02] Ecevit: "Turkish Cypriots have a separate state."
  • [03] British diplomat explains imposing visa requirement.
  • [04] Cem claims federal solution for Cyprus `unrealistic'.
  • [05] Denktash says Turks not to participate in EU delegation.
  • [06] Talat calls on President Clerides, Denktash to support talks process.
  • [07] Akinci asks President Clerides to reach solution before joining EU.
  • [08] France proposes package deal to Turkey on Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [09] Columnist on Cyprus election result and prospects of solution.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Demirel: "There are two Cypruses"

    According to TRT Television Network (22:00 hours, 19.2.98) Turkish President Suleyman Demirel addressed a conference on Turkey in the year 2000 at the French International Relations Institute last Thursday.

    In reply to a question on the Cyprus issue, Demirel claimed that the EU Luxembourg decision to start negotiations with Cyprus was wrong.

    "Which Cyprus? Because today we do not have a single Cyprus. There are two of them. There is one island but there are two nations and two states on that island. The Cyprus question has been a tangle of problems for the last 23 years. How will Europe benefit from incorporating such a tangle of problems?

    What is Europe's rush? Doesn't Europe have sufficient problems?

    Why this priority? With whom will the EU speak? Who will represent Cyprus? Will it conduct negotiations with Clerides who was elected president two days ago? If the reply is affirmative, then Clerides was chosen by south Cyprus. Cyprus has been divided into south and north Cyprus. Viewing south Cyprus as the owner and administrator of the entire island is, I believe, tantamount to being unaware of what has been happening there for the last 23 years", he claimed.

    [02] Ecevit: "Turkish Cypriots have a separate state"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 21.2.98) Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has claimed the world should not disregard the fact that the Turkish Cypriots have a separate "state". Rauf Denktash and Ecevit flew together on the same plane to Gaziantep in order to attend the anniversary celebrations of the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce.

    Ecevit arrived in the occupied area last Saturday morning in order to fly with Denktash to Gaziantep. The special Ata plane carrying Ecevit landed at illegal Tymbou airport.

    In a statement to the press at the airport, Ecevit said he was honoured to attend the anniversary celebrations with Denktash. Expressing the belief that his initiatives to start scheduled flights between Gaziantep and the "TRNC" will be realized, Ecevit added: "The Gaziantep businessmen seek to undertake investments in the TRNC. This issue will be taken up in Gaziantep today."

    Broaching the Cyprus issue during his talk, Ecevit said the realities in Cyprus should not be disregarded. Noting that Turkey and the "TRNC" need to have confidence in each other, Ecevit said that Cyprus' strategic importance in the eastern Mediterranean increases with each passing day. Stating that the world's pressure on the Turkish Cypriots did not and will not yield any results, Ecevit claimed: "The fact that the Turkish Cypriots have a separate state should not be disregarded."

    Denktash, in turn, said he was honoured to see Ecevit in the "TRNC" and added that he welcomed President Suleyman Demirel's statements to the effect that talks can be held on the basis of "two states".

    [03] British diplomat explains imposing visa requirement

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 18.2.98) John Buck, deputy British High Commissioner in Cyprus, has declared that his government believes that there are no grounds for immigration in the occupied area. Despite this, the British official noted, the asylum requests submitted to his country have increased in the past two years. He said: "An increase in the applications for asylum by persons carrying Turkish Cypriot travel documents from north Cyprus, applications that are not based on genuine reasons, forced us to impose a visa requirement."

    Buck answered the questions of illegal Bayrak concerning his country's visa requirement at the British High Commissioner's building last week. Noting that the new measure should not be linked to political reasons, Buck said that the visa requirement is not connected to political developments. He explained that his government tried other measures to counter the asylum problem, but these failed to yield any results. He revealed that close to 1,000 applications for asylum were submitted in the past two years. Pointing out that 70 percent of the applicants are Cyprus-born, the British diplomat said that the visa requirement was imposed because it was impossible to prevent the false asylum applications in any other way.

    According to the British diplomat, the visa requirement is an entirely administrative amendment and those who carry so-called TRNC passports will now go through the same procedure in Nicosia rather than in the entry ports to Britain. Referring to the visa fee, Buck said that the fees are determined by the British Parliament and are the same throughout the world.

    Regarding the fact that the fee is levied in Cypriot pounds, Buck said he knows that this is not well received, but the other services rendered by the British High Commission are also given in exchange for Cypriot pounds.

    Buck explained that even after the visa requirement, Britain continues to recognize the so-called TRNC passport as an identifying document and there is no change in Britain's position. He recommended that those who visit Britain frequently acquire multiple visas. .../..

    [04] Cem claims federal solution for Cyprus `unrealistic'

    According to MILLIYET (20.2.98), Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has claimed that considering the UN approach right now the idea of finding a federal solution to the Cyprus problem is "unrealistic". He said: "The search for a federal solution is a matter that concerns the other side. We will maintain our direction."

    Cem alleged that Turkey had maintained the right approach on Cyprus. He asserted: "A federal solution can be found if the TRNC is recognized. Never has a federation been established between a state and a community. It cannot be done."

    Cem said that Rauf Denktash will decide whether or not the talks in Cyprus can be resumed and claimed that holding talks before the equality of the Turkish Cypriot side is recognized will be meaningless.

    [05] Denktash says Turks not to participate in EU delegation

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 21.2.98) Rauf Denktash has said that the Turkish Cypriots will not participate in the EU negotiations delegation. Denktash, who was in Gaziantep with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, visited Gaziantep Governor Muammer Gurel.

    During his address in Gaziantep, Denktash added: "The Cyprus cause cannot be resolved without Turkey. A solution will be secured only when the Greek Cypriots accept that they do not govern the Turkish Cypriots."

    Upon being reminded of French President Chirac's remarks to the effect that the Turkish Cypriots should participate in the EU negotiations delegation, Denktash claimed: "Participating in the delegation is tantamount to be taken in by the Greek Cypriot ploy of assuming the title of Cyprus. We can participate in the EU negotiation process on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot state together with the Greek Cypriots if the EU opens its doors to Turkey and the balances that rest on the 1960 agreements are safeguarded."

    Ecevit, in turn, claimed that the Turkish Cypriots would fall into the "trap" set by Greece and pan-Hellenism were they not under Turkey's wing. Alleging that Chirac was not sufficiently informed on the Cyprus issue, Ecevit added: "It is out question for the Turkish Cypriots to follow the Greek Cypriots on the EU issue."

    [06] Talat calls on President Clerides, Denktash to support talks process

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 17.2.98) Republican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat has declared that President Glafcos Clerides and the Greek Cypriot side should emerge from an election atmosphere as soon as possible and start the negotiating process with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.

    In a written statement issued, Talat claimed that very important years were lost because prior to the last presidential elections President Clerides acted on the premise that there are no grounds for agreement. Along the same lines, Talat noted, the Turkish Cypriot side should also refrain from dragging its feet regarding the negotiating process with claims that there are no grounds for agreement.

    Talat called on Rauf Denktash and the pseudo-government to take constructive initiatives towards the international moves to be undertaken for the negotiating process and to accelerate the process in favour of the Turkish Cypriot community. Talat appealed on the two leaders to exert efforts for a just solution that is acceptable to both sides.

    [07] Akinci asks President Clerides to reach solution before joining EU

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 16.2.98) Communal Liberation Party leader Mustafa Akinci has expressed the wish that during his new term, President Glafcos Clerides will consider the next generations of the two communities rather than the next elections.

    Commenting on the results of the presidential elections, Akinci congratulated President Clerides and asked him to exert efforts to reach a solution in Cyprus before EU membership and suspend the plans to deploy S- 300 missiles on the island. Akinci claimed that the most intelligent way is to reach a solution on the basis of the Boutros-Ghali Set of Ideas and then join the EU as a federal Cyprus.

    [08] France proposes package deal to Turkey on Cyprus

    According to Turkish Daily News (21.2.98) French President Jacques Chirac has sounded out his Turkish counterpart, Suleyman Demirel, on the French idea of a tradeoff for the membership of Cyprus into the European Union (EU), thus placing three conditions for the effective membership of the island state.

    According to Turkish and French diplomats, Chirac has presented this idea as a "French Package" that is still being worked out, indicating that it still had to be developed further and presented to other EU states. However, it goes further than the established French position on Cyprus that both communities should be represented in the negotiation talks with the European Union and that a solution in the reunification of the island should, ideally, occur before the effectuation of membership.

    The "new" French position ties membership of the island to the "indication" that the island would be reunified, even if it would be shortly after membership, and that "Greece should stop blocking the EU from carrying out its obligations to Turkey, particularly on the question of financial cooperation."

    According to French officials, there are two main questions: What would the EU do if, in the next round of negotiations with Cyprus scheduled to start within a month, there were no Turkish Cypriot representatives in the Cypriot delegation? Various French officials indicate that although Paris is for cutting the negotiations immediately, the actual decision would have be made by the British presidency. The second question is on how the EU should react if Turkey went further in its integration with the "TRNC". "This is a worst-case scenario", said a French diplomat.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [09] Columnist on Cyprus election result and prospects of solution

    Sami Kohen, writing in MILLIYET (17.2.98) under the title "Cyprus at Crossroads", says that the election result in Cyprus was as expected. He adds that President Clerides' win over George Iacovou with only a few thousand votes will not prevent him from forming a strong and stable government because, as he promised after the first round, the new government will be broadly-based, and the candidates eliminated in the first round as well as the parties supporting his challenger will be able to take part.

    "The majority showed that they want to see an experienced politician of many years back in the helm, despite his age, and that they have a greater trust in him," Kohen says and continues:

    "As in Cyprus, Clerides, reelection elicited satisfaction and hope `abroad' as well. Especially in the capitals closely involved in the Cyprus problem, there are those who believe that the Clerides reelection will be `auspicious' because he is both an experienced politician and an old friend of Denktash.

    It is true that Clerides has been playing an effective role on the political scene from the outset of the Cyprus problem (that goes as far back as 1960's) and has a `close friendship' with Denktash, whom he address s simply as Rauf, going back to their school years. Actually, personal friendships sometime play a positive role in diplomatic contacts and in hard bargaining.

    But, the friendship between Rauf Den Glafcos has not much effected the talks, in particular in the recent period. And, it is doubtful that it will in the future.

    It was not in vain for the Turkish side to declare from the outset that `it does not matter which candidate wins, because they all endorse the same goals and views.'

    Indeed, now politicians from various parties are going to join Clerides' national unity government. That is, the new administrations' intentions, goals, and strategies are already known. These have been repeated over and over again during the election campaign. And after the election victory, Clerides brought clarity to the direction of the new policy.

    What is that strategy? The goal is to put an end to the island's division. How? By establishing a federal system.

    Of course, Clerides concept of federation is based on the views he has been so far defending at the intercommunal talks (in particular on the principle of unitary state). But, this is incongruent with the concept of solution that Denktash has now endorsed. The Turkish side is now arguing that a bizonal federation is a thing of the past, and any joint action on the island (even the resumption of the dialogue) should be based on the principle of `two separate states'.

    Whereas, the Clerides administration would not even think about such a solution. If so, how is he going to implement his own strategy? The clue came in his first post-election statement, when he said: `We are entering a new road that would take us to Europe', adding, `this will give us strength in the just solution of our national problem and in our struggle.'

    To put it more openly, Clerides is relying on the EU in the `struggle' to come. He hopes that the EU-Cyprus accession process to open in late March would put the Greek Cypriots at a greater advantage.

    It is certain that the EU, the United States, the UN and `others' will resume the `peace efforts' they suspended during the election . In the coming weeks, the `special representatives' will come and go one after another!... The fact, however, is that this time around even the revival of the dialogue will be a `problem' in itself, because the Turkish side no longer accepts the old negotiating method and demands sitting at the talks with a `state' status.

    It seems that the `talks to resume talks' will go on and on for weeks even months. With this becoming a chronic process, the de facto division will take root. The TRNC will truly take to the path of integration with Turkey. And once the Greek Cypriot side realizes the inevitability of a division, it probably will opt for EU membership on its own and thus secure a `second Hellenic existence' within the community. The Greek Cypriots, in the final analysis, might begin to see the welfare of the Greek Cypriot state and its place in the EU a `greater gain' over the `loss of the north'."

    EF/SK


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


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