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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-05-04

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.76/98 1-2-3-4.5.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash comments on Holbrooke talks.
  • [02] Denktash demands "equal status and equal title".
  • [03] Denktash comments further on Holbrooke's visit.
  • [04] Denktash speaks of "United States of Cyprus"; meets Miller.
  • [05] Turks offer water to Greeks, have proposal for Holbrooke.
  • [06] Denktash says Turks will not retreat from "TRNC" stand.
  • [07] Denktash has four meetings with Richard Holbrooke.
  • [08] Denktash has "Tough Talk" with Holbrooke.
  • [09] Pseudostate said to oppose military talks in Cyprus.
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot businessmen list conditions for talks.
  • [11] Gurel addresses `Atlantic Initiative' dinner on EU, Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash comments on Holbrooke talks

    According to KIBRIS (3.5.98) a "tough" bargaining process took place with President Clerides and Rauf Denktash during the "secret" shuttle diplomacy.

    Not wanting to return empty-handed to Washington, Holbrooke is intending "to bring the sides to the table to find a solution", the paper says.

    Noting that during the talks efforts were also exerted to initiate a military dialogue, these same circles said that the famous US diplomat Holbrooke will go to Germany on 4 May and could return to Cyprus on 9 May.

    According to information KIBRIS claims it has obtained from reliable sources, Holbrooke is intending to visit Ankara and Athens for contacts on Cyprus before returning to the island.

    During Holbrooke's week-long absence from the island, US State Department Coordinator Thomas Miller is expected to stay on to maintain the shuttle diplomacy over sticking points.

    It is being indicated that Miller's interim talks aim only at facilitating Holbrooke's task and that the crucial concrete talks fall within the scope of Holbrooke's mission.

    In the meantime, before leaving the island, Holbrooke will be present at the launching of the telephone communication link between the free areas and the occupied areas for the first time since 1974. Once it goes into operation Turks and Greek Cypriots will be able to communicate by phone, as they now do on the Internet.

    As Holbrooke's shuttle diplomacy continued, Denktash made a statement to a group of reporters last Saturday afternoon.

    Denktash said the following: "If Holbrooke sees any hope of continuing the talks, he will leave Miller behind and then return next Saturday. But, if by Monday he comes to the conclusion that there is a deep division among the sides, than he will announce that he is abandoning his efforts and put the blame on one of the sides. Again we will be that side."

    Noting that Holbrooke is a "balanced" diplomat, Denktash claimed: "We do not want to give Cyprus' title deed to the Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots' aim is to eliminate the influence of Turkey and the Turkish troops. We are protesting that".

    Asked if he was "hopeful" for the talks, Denktash inter alia said: "How could one who knows the problem be hopeful?"

    Asked if he was not the one who invited Holbrooke to Cyprus in the first place, Denktash replied that "Miller asked us to invite him and we did what he said," adding: "A month ago we wanted Holbrooke very much but since then much has changed."

    Declaring that "I, on my part, do not recognize the Greek Cypriots", Denktash went to propose talks between "states" that do not recognize each other. Denktash alleged: "I cannot disregard the existence of our state for the sake of sitting at the table.

    I want our identity to be recognized. I am the TRNC".

    Denktash noted that during his talks with Miller on previous occasions he told him that Holbrooke's visit was "untimely", but that the Americans still insisted on the visit.

    Denktash said: "Holbrooke is a very good friend of mine. Before his arrival I did everything I could to warn him that 'this is not a suitable time for his visit.' Yet, his advisers advised him to visit. Therefore, I cannot be claimed for the current state of affairs. Miller knows the difficulties well. They (Holbrooke's advisers) are the ones who decided on Holbrooke's visit. They thought there was a chance to push the Cyprus problem forward. We will all see if there really is such a chance."

    Noting that despite everything he is not pessimistic, Denktash said that "something might always come up at the last minute to save the situation."

    Regarding a question on the expected deployment of S-300s in Cyprus in August, Denktash said: "There is a remedy for the S-300s. Bringing them would be madness but there is also a remedy for madness."

    The report in KIBRIS further says that when a reporter asked before his second meeting with Richard Holbrooke if he "is ready to accept an invitation to intercommunal talks," Denktash replied that "no such invitation has been extended."

    Holbrooke intervened to say: "We will not make public the most secret issues under discussion. Denktash will not be saying anything. I already stated at the airport that I am not here to bring the two leaders together. We are not discussing the issue of bringing the two leaders together."

    Asked "under what capacity will you be talking with Holbrooke if you are not thinking of changing your status?"

    Denktash said that Holbrooke knows the Turkish Cypriot side's position well, adding: "Whether or not the United States recognizes, us the place where we are now holding talks with Holbrooke is the TRNC presidency. This is a separate state and Clerides is not our government. He (Clerides) knows that."

    Denktash pointed out that the talks from now on will be held on the basis of "two states" and that they will not enter into a dialogue with the Greek Cypriot side on any other level.

    Denktash threatened: "If you want Cyprus' unification, we are ready for it on the basis of two states. Otherwise, Cyprus is going to be divided."

    Holbrooke kept his silence when reminded by reporters of Greek press reports that he has a military team to advise him on the Cyprus problem. Whereas, Denktash said that "there is nothing to hide", and by that he revealed that a military adviser to Holbrooke is now with him in Cyprus for the talks.

    Asked: "Will you be applying to the EU as the TRNC?," Denktash replied: "When Turkey is accepted into the EU we too could apply."

    [02] Denktash demands "equal status and equal title"

    According to Anatolia Agency (15:20 hours, 30.5.98), Turkish Cypriot leader said on Thursday that Richard Holbrooke, the US President's special advisor on Cyprus, can be beneficial for the Cyprus question.

    Denktash claimed that the quadripartite conference, which came to the agenda by the initiatives of Holbrooke, can only be held at the "state level".

    Noting that Holbrooke knows the Cyprus question well and that he understands the views of the "TRNC", Denktash said that "we will see what he will bring to the island this time. Our attitude is clear and obvious. The framework has been fully drawn by the protocols signed with Turkey and the last point was marked by the protocol signed between Turkey and TRNC on April 23."

    Denktash stressed that the framework drawn by the Turkish side means "negotiation with the Greek Cypriot side by having equal status and equal title."

    Mentioning the recognition of the "TRNC" by the US, Denktash claimed that "the equal status of Turkish Cypriots with the Greek Cypriot side has to be recognized. Accepting this reality and recognition of the TRNC are different, the latter is a long term issue for the US. The US has been beaten by the Greek lobby. I don't expect the US to recognize the TRNC but she does not have the right to tell the other countries that they should not recognize the TRNC. Unfortunately the US did this and I expect the US to correct her unfair attitude."

    Denktash stressed that the meeting of the two sides on the island during the contacts of Holbrooke is not possible.

    Rauf Denktash reiterated that he is not against the idea of Quadripartite Conference.

    [03] Denktash comments further on Holbrooke's visit

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 30.5.98), Rauf Denktash upon being recalled that there was a formula to launch talks under the title of a federated state under Turkish administration, sufficed by saying: "There are all kinds of comments. I am not going to talk about probabilities."

    Explaining that the two sides getting together during Holbrooke's contacts is not on the agenda, Denktash said: "There is no such thing on the map. The criteria we demand should be accepted in order to hold a meeting, between the two sides."

    Reiterating that he is not against the idea of a quadripartite conference, Denktash added: "We have been favourably inclined to a quadripartite conference for a long time. A quadripartite conference would have been held and perhaps the Cyprus issue resolved had Greece not cunningly turned it into a conference of 14 at the time".

    In reply to a question on the great number of interpretations and assessments conducted concerning Holbrooke's contacts, on the expectations from this visit, and on whether there are secrets and no concrete developments, Denktash said:

    "There is secrecy, but this is another issue. However, it is not as though there are concrete developments that we are keeping secret. There is really nothing serious. We are only talking."

    [04] Denktash speaks of "United States of Cyprus"; meets Miller

    According to Anatolia Agency (15:51 hours, 30.5.98) Rauf Denktash said on Thursday that "United States of Cyprus" can be established upon the principle of "two-state".

    Rauf Denktash met Thomas Miller, the US Special Coordinator to Cyprus, the same day.

    Asked when "are you ready for intercommunal meetings?" by a Greek Cypriot journalist, Rauf Denktash said that "intercommunal meetings have died. Only interstate or inter governmental negotiations can be held on Cyprus. Please give up being a dreamer. The Greek Cypriot side is not the government of Cyprus. You will cause the division of Cyprus by such behaviour."

    The Greek Cypriot journalist asked Denktash if he was in favour of integrity of Cyprus. Denktash replied: "United States of Cyprus can be possible upon the principle of two states. In this regard, I am in favour of the integrity of Cyprus."

    Kenneth Brill, the US Ambassador to Cyprus, Taner Etkin, so-called foreign minister, and two advisers of Denktash participated in the Denktash-Miller meeting.

    [05] Turks offer water to Greeks, have proposal for Holbrooke

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 30.5.98) the first balloon bringing water from Turkey to the occupied area concluded its 40-hour test voyage and arrived to a location off occupied Kyrenia with 10,000 cubic meters of water.

    After the press left, the balloon was towed back to Turkey. The representatives of the Norwegian firm that undertook the balloon project and two Norwegian journalists visited so-called interior minister Ilkay Kamil and Rauf Denktash last Thursday afternoon.

    Replying to the Norwegian journalists' questions, Kamil said that the project of transporting water by balloons is a short-term solution and that efforts are being made for a long-term solution. He said that if the Greek Cypriots agree, any surplus water coming from Turkey may be given to the them.

    The Norwegian officials and journalists then met with Rauf Denktash. Replying to a question, Denktash said that regardless of whether they accept equality, the Greek Cypriots need water. Asked if the Greek Cypriots will accept the water even if the peace talks do not resume, Denktash said: "I believe that they will accept the water". He added that when one side needs the other mutual help will follow and claimed that the water issue will help balance the two sides.

    A journalist asked him: "A newspaper wrote yesterday that the Turkish Foreign Minister said that even if the TRNC is not recognized, the talks may resume. Have you changed your position on this matter?" Denktash said that the Turkish foreign minister's remarks were misinterpreted and that if the talks are to resume, the Greek Cypriot side must understand that it is not the government of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot side must be recognized as a "state". He reiterated that there have been no changes in the position of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Replying to another question, Denktash said he does not know if Holbrooke is bringing a proposal with him but that the Turkish Cypriots have a proposal for Holbrooke.

    [06] Denktash says Turks will not retreat from "TRNC" stand

    According to Anatolia Agency (8:37 hours, 2.5.98), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash met in his office last Saturday morning Richard Holbrooke, the US special Cyprus envoy who arrived in the island on 1 May.

    Replying to questions prior to the meeting, Denktash said: "We will not retreat even a single step from the point where we stand. This point is the TRNC."

    Stating that from now on the talks will be held between "two states" and that the Turkish Cypriots will not participate in any other dialogue on a different political level, Denktash continued: "The place where I am holding a meeting with Holbrooke is the TRNC Presidency. The TRNC is a separate state. Everyone knows this, so does Clerides."

    In reply to a question, Holbrooke said that he was not accompanied by a military adviser. Denktash said that "there is nothing to hide", adding that Holbrooke's military adviser is currently in Cyprus. .../..

    According to TRT (17:00 hours, 2.5.98) in a statement to journalists following his meeting with Richard Holbrooke, Denktash announced that if any hope emerges with regard to the continuation of the talks, Thomas Miller, the US State Department's special coordinator for Cyprus, will remain on the island. Otherwise, Denktash said, in his news conference on 4 May Holbrooke will announce that he cannot allocate more time to this issue.

    Denktash claimed that this situation constitutes a kind of pressure and threat. Denktash said that such an attitude is aimed at placing the blame on one particular side and, as always, this will be the Turkish Cypriot side.

    [07] Denktash has four meetings with Richard Holbrooke

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 3.5.98) U.S envoy Richard Holbrooke, held four meetings with Rauf Denktash on Sunday. Replying to reporters' questions after the fourth and last meeting that lasted one hour and 10 minutes, Denktash said that all aspects of the Cyprus question were discussed at the meeting.

    In reply to a question on whether Holbrooke will return to the island, Denktash said that Holbrooke is ready to return to the island and continue his contacts if he receives a joint invitation from the two leaders.

    Taner Etkin, "minister of foreign affairs and defense", "presidential adviser" Ergun Olgun; Osman Ertug, "under secretary of the foreign ministry"; Necati Munir Ertegun, "special presidential adviser for political affairs"; and "political affairs director" Mustafa Evran participated in the meeting. On the US side, US special Cyprus coordinator Thomas Miller, the US ambassador to Nicosia, and the US Embassy's second secretary in charge of Turkish affairs participated in the meeting.

    Talking to reporters prior to his meeting with Holbrooke, Denktash replied to a question on whether the issue of sovereignty was discussed at the meetings. Denktash responded by claiming:

    "Sovereignty is our right. It cannot be discussed. We will never renounce or make concessions from our sovereignty. Do the Greek Cypriots have any sovereignty rights over me? Then why should I worry whether they will discuss the issue of sovereignty? We are sovereign. We will neither talk about nor debate our sovereignty with anyone."

    [08] Denktash has "Tough Talk" with Holbrooke

    According to Radikal (Internet version, 3.5.98) there was a tense start to the shuttle diplomacy launched by US Emissary Richard Holbrooke for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Holbrooke, who met Rauf Denktash for the first time on Saturday, faced a tough reaction from the Turkish Cypriot leader. Angry over Holbrooke's statement upon his arrival that "the United States will never recognize the TRNC", Denktash told the reporters before the meeting: "This place where we are standing is the residence of the TRNC President. We will never, but never, alter our position. For, we exist, and will continue to exist as the TRNC. If you want a united Cyprus, then we are ready for it on the basis of `two states'. If you do not accept that, you would be allowing the division of the island."

    The real discomfort came with Denktash's comment on the Pentagon official accompanying Holbrooke. Asked to comment on his visit to the island accompanied by a military adviser, Holbrooke said: "This is not a news conference. We are having secret talks". In full contrast to Holbrooke, Denktash said that "there is nothing secret about it. Here, you can see that his military adviser is with him." That statement tensed up the atmosphere.

    The presence of a military adviser in Holbrooke's delegation is seen as an initiative by Washington both to prepare a suitable ground for the diplomatic efforts and to reduce the military tension.

    [09] Pseudostate said to oppose military talks in Cyprus

    According to ZAMAN (Internet version, 3.5.98) the White House National Security Adviser, Samuel Berger, said that he is optimistic about the tour Richard Holbrooke, the US President's Special Representative on Cyprus, has started in Cyprus.

    Answering a question about Holbrooke's visit, Berger said that the United States attaches "high-level importance" to efforts aimed at settling the Cyprus problem.

    Berger said that the Cyprus problem concerns not only the communities on the island but also Turkey and Greece, which are close allies of the United States. He added that the United States wants to strengthen further its relations with these two countries. Berger said: "Yes, we are optimistic that Hoolbrooke will find common ground between the sides. We are optimistic that we will be able to advance the process toward some peaceful solution together with Turkey and Greece."

    The United States is also anxious to resume the military talks between the two sides about the dividing zone (in Cyprus).

    It is reported that "a team of senior military officers" from the UD Army, Navy, and Air Force arrived on the island for the first time together with Holbrooke. The team is headed by a full general from the US Intelligence and Special Forces (as published).

    The objective of the team, which has been dubbed "Pentagon Hawks," is to persuade the commanders of the National Guard and the Turkish so-called Peace Forces in Cyprus to meet at any cost. .../..

    The pseudostate is in favour of a meeting between military commanders, but it is opposed to a meeting between the commanders of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus and the National Guard. Specifically, the United States wants a partial disengagement around the dividing line in Nicosia. Earlier, the pseudostate agreed to larger separation between very close military positions in Nicosia, but the Cyprus Government did not view that proposal favourably. Washington wants military positions and barricades too close to each other in Nicosia to be separated by larger distances.

    [10] Turkish Cypriot businessmen list conditions for talks

    According to HALKIN SESI (3.5.98) the "Businessmen's Association (ISAD)" of the pseudostate demanded that care be shown to the principles held by the Turkish Cypriots in these days of intensive efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution.

    Stressing that the talks should be based on these principles, Mustafa Damdelen, head of the ISAD administrative board, listed these principles as:

    "1. The Turkish Cypriot side should be politically equal with the Greek Cypriot side.

    2. The balances between Turkey and Greece in the region and in Cyprus, set in place by the Lausanne Treaty and maintained by the 1960 London and Zurich agreements, should be preserved.

    3. The EU membership issue should be finalized only with and after a solution and by submitting it to a separate referendum in each community.

    4. The attribute of being a bizonal and politically equal entity should never undergo any change.

    5. Turkey's effective guarantorship should not be diluted.

    6. The Greek Cypriot government does not and cannot represent the Turkish Cypriots, and therefore, they should have separate foreign missions."

    [11] Gurel addresses `Atlantic Initiative' dinner on EU, Cyprus

    According to Anatolia Agency (22:47 hours, 1.5.98), Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has said that if the EU does not fulfill its obligations toward Turkey, it will be impossible to develop Turkish-EU relations.

    Addressing a dinner held within the framework of the "New Atlantic Initiative" meeting, Gurel noted that during its Luxembourg summit, the EU made decisions that disappointed Turkey and added: "Turkey wanted to be included in the EU expansion progress but was rejected. This was a decision reached in line with artificial and subjective criteria."

    Recalling that the government decided to restrict its political relations with the EU, Gurel said that political issues with the EU were not discussed in the aftermath of the Luxembourg summit.

    Gurel said that despite its decision to sever political relations with the EU, Turkey wants to develop its relations within the framework of the Customs Union, adding that the new strategy the EU has foreseen for Turkey is a good sign.

    Recalling a statement made by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that "there is a Europe outside the EU", Gurel said that Turkey wants to develop its relations with European countries outsider the EU.

    Referring to the Cyprus question, Gurel claimed that the fact that the EU has begun to hold full membership negotiations with Cyprus has changed the parameters.

    Alleging that a solution to the Cyprus problem will be attained through agreement on the principle of "two states", Gurel said: "If the EU incorporates the Greek Cypriot sector within its body, we will be free to bolster our relations with the TRNC".

    Addressing the dinner, US Ambassador Mark Parris noted that the EU should not restrict its mission, recalling that Turkey is a very important country.

    Parris described the Istanbul meeting of the New Atlantic Initiative as being held "at the right time and the right place."


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


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