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

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. 77/98 -- 5.5.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash claims Greek side responsible for Holbrooke's failure.
  • [02] Holbrooke leaving without tangible achievement.
  • [03] Turkish Cabinet blames EU, Greeks for Holbrooke failure.
  • [04] Denktash interviewed on Holbrooke's visit.
  • [05] Denktash on telephone exchange system, issue of Turkish reporters barred from entering the free areas.
  • [06] Gurel details measures to support pseudostate economy.
  • [07] Turkey, Russia seen heading for clash over Straits rules.
  • [08] Yilmaz says improvement in Greek-Turkish relations will have positive repercussions on Cyprus.
  • [09] Norwegian Foreign Minister on Cyprus issue.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash claims Greek side responsible for Holbrooke's failure

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 4.5.98) Rauf Denktash has outrageously claimed that the Greek Cypriot side is the reason for Richard Holbrooke's failure to achieve any progress in his talks. Denktash alleged the failure to attain progress in Holbrooke's contacts stems from the EU move to launch membership talks with the Cyprus Government on behalf of the whole of Cyprus. Alleging that the EU ousted Turkey by making a decision that upsets the Turkish-Greek balance, Denktash claimed:

    "We cannot deny that we are a state just because they may admit Turkey." Denktash said that the status of the Turkish Cypriot side must be recognized if it is to sit at the negotiating table.

    Asked if Holbrooke has concluded his mission, Denktash said that Holbrooke has not ended his mission and that he announced that he will return to the island if he is invited.

    Denktash noted, however, that Holbrooke began his contacts knowing that the stand of the Turkish Cypriot side is the same as that announced is the 23 April declaration and that there is no question of renouncing this stand.

    Denktash added: "We can negotiate when our statehood is accepted and all the doors are opened to Turkey -- in other words, when it is understood that the Turkish-Greek balance cannot be disrupted, when this is underlined, and once we have explained that we will not go along with the 34-year-old Greek Cypriot scheme of taking possession of Cyprus by upsetting the Turkish-Greek balance. For us to sit at the negotiating table, our status must be recognized."

    Denktash reported that the Turkish Cypriot side said: "If a joint EU application is stipulated for the future, it should be withdrawn now and this threat to us should be eliminated."

    Denktash noted that the Greek Cypriots declared that they can never do this.

    [02] Holbrooke leaving without tangible achievement

    According to HALKIN SESI (4.5.98) US President Bill Clinton's Special Representative on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke concluded his three-day shuttle diplomacy between the sides without achieving any tangible progress.

    After his news conference on 4 May, Holbrooke left for the German city of Frankfurt and from there will fly to Washington without returning to Cyprus on 8 May.

    After his last meeting with Holbrooke, Rauf Denktash said that he believes Holbrooke is still willing to continue the shuttle diplomacy between the two sides but that he would wait for an invitation from him (Denktash) and President Clerides.

    Denktash said: "We will be in contact with Holbrooke.

    We will see when the new round of talks could be held." He added that there has also been a change in the program of US State Department Coordinator Thomas Miller, who will now not stay on in Cyprus for further contacts, but instead will accompany Holbrooke to Germany and from there return to Washington, though Miller will later return to Cyprus to address a conference.

    [03] Turkish Cabinet blames EU, Greeks for Holbrooke failure

    According to TRT (17:00 hours, 4.5.98), Turkey's Council of Ministers has claimed that the reason why the contacts of Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to Cyprus, yielded no results is the extremely erroneous approach the EU adopted toward the issue.

    The Council of Ministers yesterday met under Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz in Ankara for about two hours. In a statement to the press while the meting was still in progress, Sukru Gurel, state minister and government spokesman, issued a statement in connection with the topics discussed at the cabinet meeting. He pointed out that he briefed the Council of Ministers on Holbrooke's latest contacts in Cyprus and on the latest situation on the island. Gurel stated:

    "The statements being issued in connection with the contacts made in Cyprus from 2 to 4 May by Ambassador Holbrooke, US President Clinton's special envoy to Cyprus, indicate that the Greek-Greek Cypriot side's intransigence -- which carried the Cyprus problem to the new phase started by the EU Luxembourg summit -- does not allow the advancement of the US initiative at this stage. If no results could be obtained from Ambassador Holbrooke's contacts, the main reason is that with an extremely erroneous approach, the EU started unilateral accession talks with the Greek Cypriot Administration and eliminated the parameters on which the Cyprus problem was based until now. To understand why Ambassador Holbrooke's contacts yielded no results, it is enough to recall Greek Foreign Minister Pangalos' recent remarks which described the Turkish Cypriot community as a minority, and Greek Cypriot leader Clerides' admission that their aim is political, that once they join the EU the 1960 guarantee system will no longer have any practical validity, that the rights the Turkish Cypriots will gain following a possible agreement will become invalid in practice in terms of EU law, and that in this way, Hellenism will become victorious in Cyprus.

    We appreciate Ambassador Holbrooke's efforts and maintain our conviction that the US Administration is in a suitable position to be able to assess the realities of Cyprus, free of the prejudices existing in other circles. It would be beneficial for the serious and sincere third parties, who are hoping for a realistic, reasonable, and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, to correctly diagnose the reasons why no results could be obtained at this stage despite Ambassador Holbrooke's well-intentioned and intense contacts and to reassess their policies once again on the basis of the realities in Cyprus."

    According to Anatolia Agency (16:35 hours, 4.5.98), replying to a reporter's question, Gurel pointed out that the joint declaration issued by Turkey and the pseudostate on 23 April says that if any progress is to be made in Cyprus from now on, it will be only on the basis of "two states". Gurel said:

    "We will naturally strengthen our relations with the TRNC and develop our close cooperation in every field."

    A reporter recalled that Holbrooke described as unacceptable Denktash' precondition that the Greek Cypriot side withdraw from the EU membership process. The reporter asked:

    "Does that mean that the United States is withdrawing its support from Turkey?". Gurel replied: "It is true that Mr. Holbrooke said that the precondition set by the TRNC is preventing any progress that might lead to the stage of negotiations. This, however, does not mean that the United States or Holbrooke justify the current handling of the issue within the EU or the unilateral negotiations with the EU. Holbrooke's remarks are not a justification of the situation."

    [04] Denktash interviewed on Holbrooke's visit

    Illegal BRTK Television network (16:30 hours, 4.5.98), carried a 25-minute live interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash by Mete Tumerkan. .../..

    Denktash began by saying that the three-day talks were tiresome and, in a way, the talks were a mutual test.

    Denktash claimed that Holbrooke has erred in saying that progress would have been achieved had the 23 April declaration signed between the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey not existed.

    Denktash added that Holbrooke's visit has strengthened his morale and determination, saying: "The Greek Cypriot side should admit the reality that Holbrooke has seen, and should announce it to the world. It should say that my (Greek Cypriot EU) application does not bind the Turkish Cypriots. Holbrooke is saying that this is not realistic, because the application is correct. He is wrong, and he must be making a mistake, because he is recognizing his (Clerides') government as the government of Cyprus. He should defend that right. But I address Holbrooke's conscience, and say that nothing can be achieved in Cyprus before this is set straight. Because that right has been chosen with intention, in order to completely remove the Turkish-Greek equilibrium". And he went on claiming: "Holbrooke has made another mistake or wrong explanation. I will call it an assessment mistake. It is the following: We (Turkish Cypriots) did this because of the relations between Turkey and the EU. No, this is what he does not want to understand: The EU has made an injustice against Cyprus. It has made an injustice against the Turkish Cypriots. The exclusion of Turkey is a big incident, a big mistake. He too is saying this. That is a very big mistake. But our revolt is against the acceptance of the Greek Cypriot application as the application of Cyprus."

    Denktash claimed that if Turkey's guarantorship, and its rights over Cyprus, and the Turkish-Greek equality is disrupted, then they will pay the price, saying: "The price is the permanent division of Cyprus, and the increase of the walls in height."

    In reply to a question on whether Holbrooke made any proposals, Denktash says that Holbrooke's effort was to bring the two sides to the table. .../..

    Indicating that the two sides have to start the talks from some place, Denktash claimed: "That place is the existence of the two sides, their equality, the fact that the two sides are two states."

    In reply to a question about whether Thomas Miller will come to Cyprus, Denktash says that he will come at the end of the month, adding: "He is welcome if he wants to come. We will talk when he comes. We will talk then. There is a state and the state should be recognized."

    [05] Denktash on telephone exchange system, issue of Turkish reporters barred from entering the free areas

    According to KIBRIS (4.5.98), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was asked about the telephone exchange system that Richard Holbrooke inaugurated before leaving the island.

    Denktash said that he has no objections at all to the 20-channel exchange to ensure telephone communication between the free areas and the occupied areas. Denktash said: "Let the telephone exchange be opened. Let those who want to get everything off their chest do so on the phone. I have no objection to that at all. But those wanting to across to the Greek Cypriot side should abide by the laws of this country".

    Denktash also said that the Greek Cypriot decision to bar the Turkish reporters who came from Turkey specifically for Holbrooke's visit from entering the free areas should be a lesson to all. In scolding the Turkish reporters, Denktash said: "Why do you go into a frenzy and rush to the Greek Cypriot side whenever something happens over there? Their (the Greek Cypriot) reporters left this place as soon as we told them that, henceforth, they can only cross over according to our laws. But when we tell our people `do not go there' an uproar is raised".

    [06] Gurel details measures to support pseudostate economy

    According to Anatolia Agency (11:58 hours, 1.5.98) Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish minister of state, said last Friday that a total of 48.3 trillion Turkish Liras (TL) in financial aid, including a loan of 29 trillion TL, would be given to the pseudostate this year.

    Giving a response to the written censure motion from Ertugrul Yalcinbayir, Bursa deputy from the Motherland Party (ANAP), Gurel gave information about the measures taken by the Turkish government regarding the economic situation of the pseudostate.

    Pointing out that the Council of Ministers approved a decree foreseeing the same credit implementation for the farmers, artisans and tradesmen in the "TRNC" at the same interest rates, Gurel said that in the 1996-1997 season, the Council of Ministers decided to give a total of two trillion TL in "drought aid and fertilizer subsidies" to the pseudostate's farmers who had a financial loss.

    Noting that the second part of the loan of 250 million US dollars, that was 60 million US dollars, was given to the pseudostate within the framework of the "Economic Cooperation Protocol" signed on January 3, 1997 between the two sides, Gurel said, "a total of 48.3 trillion TL in financial assistance will be given to the TRNC this year. A total of 11 trillion TL of this total assistance will be given for security expenditures; 8 trillion TL for investment projects; 29 trillion TL as a loan and 300 billion TL for the power plant repayments. The agreement related to the third part of the loan, that is 29 trillion TL, was signed in Ankara."

    Pointing out that Antalya, Izmir, Istanbul and Ankara were included in the "Context of the Offshore Trade", Gurel said that it was decided that stopover fees wouldn't be asked from the passenger planes flying between Turkey and the pseudostate.

    Gurel said that Turkey and the pseudostate also signed an "Agreement for State Support for Investments and a Cooperation Agreement in Health."

    Gurel added that the "Commercial and Economic Cooperation Agreement" between Turkey and the pseudostate would be effective after the approval of the Turkish parliament.

    [07] Turkey, Russia seen heading for clash over Straits rules

    According to MILLIYET (30.4.98) at a time of heated bargaining over the route of Central Asian oil to world markets, Turkey and Russia will engage in a fierce fist fight over the Straits at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London on 11 May.

    Turkey will try to prevent the IMO committee on maritime safety from upholding Russia's report, which was foisted on the IMO subcommittee on navigation safety and that aimed at emasculating the regulations governing transit passage through the Straits. With that in mind the Turkish government is making preparations for a strong show of force in London. (Retired) Adm. Guven Erkaya, the former Naval Forces Commander, will play the leading role in that contest. The delegation under Erkaya will try to rebut Russia's contention that Turkey "is intentionally slowing down the traffic in the Straits."

    The report, prepared by Russia and foisted on the IMO subcommittee with the support of Greece and the Cyprus Government, aims at eliminating the need to comply with the regulation on spacing transit passage that Turkey secured from the IMO in 1994.

    Asserting that that regulation has disrupted traffic in the Straits, Russia is saying that in 1996 alone the Straits were closed to traffic for 337 hours. Russia's effort in the IMO aims at raising international oil firms' hopes that the oil could pass through the Straits.

    Turkey, in its turn, is trying to rebut Russia's thesis with the following argument:

    1. Under IMO rules, a previously adopted IMO decision could only be altered by the consent of all the littoral states or through an initiative by the IMO. There cannot be any question of Turkey consenting to the Russian report.

    2. The report was prepared to serve, indirectly, some ulterior political and economic motives. It aims at speeding up traffic in the Straits while pushing the sea and environmental safety into the background.

    [08] Yilmaz says improvement in Greek-Turkish relations will have positive repercussions on Cyprus

    According to TRT Television Network (10:00 hours 30.4.98) Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has claimed that Greece has recently been pursuing a hostile policy toward Turkey with an aim to continue the tense atmosphere, which mainly stems from the Aegean issues.

    He claimed that the Greek government's initiatives and propaganda efforts concerning the Turkish-EU relations, the Aegean issues, and those issues that fall within the framework of Turkey's internal affairs show that the Greek Government is pursuing a hostile policy toward Turkey.

    Yilmaz continued claiming: "It is an urgent necessity for the region and Europe that the Greek administrators give up their obvious desire to pursue the tension in the Turkish-Greek relations. In the event that this fundamental requirement is met and the Greek Government shows enough foresight to approach the relations between the two countries in friendship, good-neighbourliness, and cooperation and not in hostile intentions, the Turkish and Greek nations, which no doubt are basically friends, will see in a surprisingly short time that there are no issues between Turkey and Greece that cannot have a just and lasting solution under the guidance of goodwill and common sense. It is obvious that such a qualified improvement in Turkish-Greek relations, which we desire and are ready for, will have positive repercussions on the Cyprus issue as well."

    [09] Norwegian Foreign Minister on Cyprus issue

    Turkish daily CUMHURIYET (28.4.98) published the text of an interview with Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek by Lale Sariibrahimoglu in Oslo.

    To a comment that Norway played an important role in the effort that was made to persuade the Palestinians and Israel to establish peace and asked if it has taken initiatives to contribute toward the solution of the Cyprus problem, Mr.

    Vollebaek said: "Turkey must play an important role to solve the Cyprus problem. We have just begun to take initiatives. The Norwegian Government does not act as an adviser on the problem.

    However, we support the cooperation between the Institute of Peace in Oslo, Stein Stoa (as published) in Norway, University of Colombia, and Richard Holbrooke. They asked us to support them.

    The UN also asked us to support its effort. The UN initiatives on Cyprus have taken a long time. However, the initiatives we will take will be in parallel with the UN effort. The initiatives that are aimed at bringing the two sides on the island together must be supported. Regarding Turkey's accession to the EU, we, too, can adopt a very obstinate approach when our national pride is hurt.

    Establishing a close dialogue with the EU will be in Turkey's national interest."


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


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