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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-05-12

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. 82/98 -- 12.5.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Gen. Bir departs; Claims TAF in Cyprus for stability.
  • [02] Serdar Denktash slightly wounded in traffic accident.
  • [03] Atacanli denies reports of possible concession in Cyprus.
  • [04] Ecevit: "Holbrooke has seen what can't be done in Cyprus."
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] Denktash seen aiming at recognition based on US position.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Gen. Bir departs; Claims TAF in Cyprus for stability

    According to Anatolia Agency (14:46 hours, 11.5.98) General Cevik Bir, the deputy chief of Turkey's General Staff, claimed on Monday that the activities of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in Cyprus were to secure stability and peace, saying that "everybody should show the same understanding."

    After concluding his inspections Gen. Cevik Bir left the island.

    Prior to his departure, Gen. Bir said while responding to the question of what was his opinion about the news published in the Greek-Cypriot and Greek presses that the S-300 missiles raised the probability of a clash in the region: "As I stated before, now the world, after the cold war, has started to see and evaluate better the people trying to destroy peace and stability. I request everybody to contribute to peace and stability."

    Pointing out that he made inspections at several units of the Turkish occupation troops and the so-called TRNC Security Forces after participating in a seminar on "Peace-98" organized by the so-called Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces, Gen. Cevik Bir said that he was pleased with the level of training at the military units.

    Dervis Eroglu, so-called prime minister, said that the visit of Gen. Cevik Bir to the island boosted the morale among the Turkish Cypriots.

    "It has once again proved that Turkey supports us with every organization," Eroglu said.

    Stating that Gen. Bir had conveyed peace messages since the beginning of his visit to the island, Eroglu said that these messages should be well- perceived by the Cyprus Government.

    [02] Serdar Denktash slightly wounded in traffic accident

    According to Anatolia Agency (10:00 hours, 11.5.98) Serdar Denktash, "deputy prime minister and state minister" of the pseudostate, had a traffic accident.

    Democratic Party leader Serdar Denktash was driving his car from occupied Famagusta to Nicosia when one of the wheels fell off. The car rolled over after being thrown off the road.

    Serdar Denktash; his wife, Muge Denktash; and their children were slightly wounded in the accident.

    Serdar Denktash and his family were treated and later released.

    In 1985, Serdar Denktash' brother Raif Denktash lost his life in an accident in the same region when a military vehicle hit him.

    [03] Atacanli denies reports of possible concession in Cyprus

    According to TRT Television network (12:00 hours, 11.5.98) Turkey has reiterated that there have been no changes in its views regarding the deployment of the S-300 missiles.

    At a news conference in Ankara, Sermet Atacanli, Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman, denied that the Turkish side will make concessions in Cyprus if the S-300 missiles are deployed in Crete instead of Cyprus.

    "These reports are utterly false and imaginary. Our position on the deployment of the S-300 missiles has repeatedly been announced in detail. There have been no changes in Turkey's views about the matter," he said.

    [04] Ecevit: "Holbrooke has seen what can't be done in Cyprus"

    According to Turkish Daily News (12.5.98), Internet version) Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit says US envoy Richard Holbrooke did not depart from Cyprus empty handed after his recent trip to the island last week and adds: "Holbrooke saw what can't be done on Cyprus. Now he knows what can be done."

    In an exclusive interview with the Turkish Daily News over the weekend, the deputy prime minister said Turkey is unhappy with its relations with Syria and Greece, in particular. He said things may improve with Iran but he does not hold too much hope for Syria or Greece and added these two countries "obviously have objectives regarding Turkey."

    Asked about the ongoing debate on who is actually running foreign policy in Turkey, the military or the government, the deputy prime minister said: "Some observers from Western countries try to meet and try to talk with different personalities on the same subject. Possibly they are trying to find out whether there are disagreements between them. But we have been running foreign policy in complete harmony since this government was established. And we are very happy about that. The president, the prime minister, the deputy premier in charge of defense, the minister of foreign affairs, Minister of State Sukru Sina Gurel and myself -- we are working in close harmony. I hope that the visitors who come to see us realize that". Ecevit said the government "is not very disillusioned with the negative attitude of the European Union, because we did not have many illusions, in any case, with regard to the immediate possibility of Turkey's admission as a full member". He said in return Turkey is now opening up to the world "in larger and more extensive way."

    He said the outstanding issues between Greece and Turkey should be taken up as a whole and sides should be prepared to give and take in a package deal.

    Asked if Holbrooke had returned from Cyprus empty-handed Ecevit replied: "He may have appeared to have returned empty-handed. But I believe that his recent visit to Cyprus w as very useful, because he had the chance to get firsthand impressions of what the two sides can do and cannot do. His initial statement when he landed in Cyprus, at the press conference in the Greek sector, used very hard language. But at his final press conference before he left the island, his style became much softer and very objective. He expressed certain views and used certain terms which indicate that he has diagnosed the situation in Cyprus in a rather objective way."

    Summing up the Holbrooke visit Ecevit said: "Mr.

    Holbrooke seems to have observed what cannot be done in Cyprus.

    The next stage will be the realization of what can be done in Cyprus."

    To a question whether Holbrooke is coming back to the island in June, Ecevit said: "I don't know about his final decision, but he seems to have realized that the Dayton model or the Irish model cannot be applied to Cyprus. It is a completely different matter.

    There is a very interesting phenomenon. Obviously no state is ready to give diplomatic recognition to the TRNC at the moment. Although some countries would be prepared to give recognition but American and West European obstacles prevent diplomatic recognition. But an interesting fact is that six universities exist in northern Cyprus in which professors from West-European and American universities are enrolled, and they teach there. There are students from those countries in these universities and I believe that in this age of knowledge and science, the recognition of diplomas is at least as important as diplomatic recognition."

    Asked what does he see for Cyprus in the next year or so, Ecevit replied claiming:

    "Provided that the Greeks are not involved in any adventures, I believe that the situation in Cyprus will solidify. After all, the present setup in Cyprus does not present any real and serious problems to any country, including the Cypriots, whether they are Turkish or Greek. Because before the Turkish military action in 1974, there was continuous conflict on the island, either in the form of massacres against the Turks or in terms of fighting between different Greek factions. But for the last 24 years there has been uninterrupted peace on the island.

    Both sides have become much richer, of course, the Greeks are much richer because of the extensive foreign aid they receive. But the Turkish Cypriot republic's economy also has progressed considerably despite the cruel embargo imposed by the Greek Cypriot side, Greece and the EU.

    So there has been prosperity on the island. Both sides have democratized in an admirable way. So I cannot understand what the problem is in Cyprus. From the Turkish angle and, if they see the reality, even from the Greek angle, in my view, the present setup in Cyprus has proven its validity over the years and any international agreement concerning the situation on the island should be based on the existing infrastructure, which has demonstrated its viability and effectiveness."

    In reply to a relevant question Ecevit claimed that there is no more involvement from Turkey in the internal political situation of the pseudostate. "During certain periods, unfortunately as you said, some governments or some parties tried to get involved in the internal political life of northern Cyprus with unfortunate results. But even that did not stall the process of democratization in northern Cyprus. Of course, there are political problems, but the kind of problems that can be tackled in a democratic atmosphere", he said.

    He added that they are determined to take parallel steps to the steps taken by Cyprus and the EU with regard to Cyprus.

    "In fact as the process of the Greek side's membership to the EU advances, we have been taking certain steps," he said, adding:

    "I have always believed that economically, northern Cyprus would not be a burden to Turkey at all. After all, it is a small country with only about a population of 190,000, and even if our economic possibilities were limited we would see to it that the Turkish Cypriots would not be deprived of opportunities. Within a few weeks, water for the first time will be transported from Turkey to northern Cyprus. The first project is about to be finalized and it will be followed by two other projects. If the Greeks wish, they can also benefit from these arrangements."

    Asked to clarify if he means the project of Turkey's apply of drinkable water, Ecevit said: "That's right. But not in the immediate future. After all the projects are completed we can offer or the Turkish Cypriots can offer water to the Greek Cypriots if they wish to have an access to this opportunity. But also the economic embargo over the Turkish side must be lifted."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] Denktash seen aiming at recognition based on US position

    Columnist Hasan Ercakica, writing in YENIDUZEN (11.5.98), under the title "Denktash is Happy", says: "Where is the Cyprus problem heading? If you ask Denktash it is on a good course.

    Denktash's optimism basically emanates from Holbrooke's statement that `Clerides does not represent the Turkish Cypriots'. Though the same Holbrooke also emphatically states that the United States does not recognize the TRNC, the idea has taken root that there is now a chance that Holbrooke's statement will be followed by the United States `bringing about the recognition of the TRNC.'

    Whereas the simple truth is that both Clerides' ear is being pulled and Denktash's hand slapped down. These fellows are being reminded that if they want to share the cake in front of them they had better come to an agreement first.

    The Americans look at the problems from afar. Having calculated their interests in the region they have decided that the Cyprus problem has to be solved, through it does not matter for them how it is solved as long as the two sides agree on it.

    Looking from the United States, such an approach appears to be quite logical. The type of solution does not concern the Americans at all as long as the problem is solved. The Americans now see a justified need to pressure both sides so as to preserve a certain balance between them.

    I think here lies the entire mastery of Holbrooke. With the American power behind him he is trying to apply pressure to both sides.

    Having achieved a certain economic development the Greek Cypriot side has also made diplomatic gains regarding EU membership. Their sole objective is to enter the EU to gain greater leverage against the Turkish side.

    It was to halt a further Greek Cypriot advance in that direction that Holbrooke intervened and reminded the Greek Cypriots of the Turkish Cypriots' existence and right. That was the only pressure he could have applied to the Greek Cypriot side. And that he did.

    This pressure applied to the Greek Cypriot side by Holbrooke could be beneficial and could be used as an auxiliary force to more easily secure our rights over the island of Cyprus. Not to suffer further, the Greek Cypriot side, faced with this pressure, could consent to a real federation and equal rights with the Turkish Cypriot community.

    But I do not think this is how Denktash thinks. Inspired by the movement of the Americans toward the recognition of the Turkish Cypriots' existence and rights, Denktash is calculating that the Americans, notwithstanding their overt statement against recognition, may in the future `recognize the TRNC'.

    And he may be right! Twenty-four years have passed since 1974. Considering that in that time Denktash managed to force the Americans to state that Clerides `does not represent the Turkish Cypriots,' he may as well secure the recognition of the TRNC in another 24 years!

    Denktash is pleased with the Americans' attitude based on this calculation. Using this development as a foothold, Denktash wants to maintain the `resistance' for another 24 years. As always, he is still not bothered with the fate of the Turkish Cypriots."


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


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