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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-05-14

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. 84/98 14.5.1998

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Cem comments on Cyprus policy, S-300 missiles.
  • [02] Denktash, Former Commander speak of military solutions.
  • [03] Denktash returns from Turkey; repeats "two-state" solution.
  • [04] Demirel: "A de facto situation prevails in Cyprus".
  • [05] Regatta yachts at occupied Kyrenia port.
  • [06] 'My Turkey Party' founded.
  • [07] Turkey's Human Rights Association accuses state in shooting of Akin Birdal.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Cem comments on Cyprus policy, S-300 missiles

    Istanbul Show Television (20.30 hours, 12.5.98), aired a live question-and- answer session with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and students at the Bilken University in Ankara, moderated by Mehmet Ali Birand for the "32d Day" program. Inter Alia, Cem claimed: "As for the S-300 missiles issue and integration with Cyprus, I would like to state that our Cyprus policy is very clear. We will not allow the Turkish Cypriot people to be the target of any massacre or oppression reminiscent of that experienced by the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is our first parameter. Second, we will not allow the balance in the eastern Mediterranean region to be upset in favour of Greece and against Turkey.

    What are we doing in Cyprus now? I know that our citizens of Cyprus are more qualified to answer this question. During the term of our government, the economic opportunities supplied to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has increased manifold. Turkey's financial support for the TRNC has also increased.

    What will happen if the S-300's are deployed? Let me note that we are pursuing a very serious and correct policy with regard to the S-300's".

    Asked to clarify if Turkey would strike them, Cem replied: "Do not confuse me with the previous government. Do not confuse me with my predecessor. If something must be done, it will be done. If I may use Mr Demirel's phrase, one cannot strike such a place by making declarations. We are not stating such a thing".

    Birand then asked Cem if he is saying that the S-300's will not be deployed in Cyprus and Cem replied:

    "No, do not put words into my mouth. I did not say that. I am saying that the prime minister held a meeting with our Armed Forces and issued instructions with a view to making preparations on what must be done if the S-300's are deployed. This is being done. Other than that, I would like to stress that rather than being our problem, the S-300's have become a problem for Greece and the Greek Cypriot sector. I wish them luck. If necessary, we will do what is required".

    [02] Denktash, Former Commander speak of military solutions

    According to Kibris (13.5.98), speaking at the "Cyprus in Agenda" panel discussion at the Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said that no matter which government comes to power in Turkey it should not retreat from the 23 April Declaration "even a centimetre", and should "continue defending the TRNC to the end".

    Claiming that the Greeks and Greek Cypriots consider the Turkish Cypriots a minority and are going ahead with offensive preparations, Denktash called on Turkey to be prepared, alleging that the stating of this fact does not signify an uncompromising approach on the issue "as nothing else remains to be done against those who regard Cyprus as their own", as he put it.

    Retired Adm. Dogan Beyazit, in his turn, touched upon Turkey's military policy on Cyprus.

    Pointing out that Cyprus is located on a strategic sea-route in the Mediterranean, is near to the oil wells, and is also important for Turkey's security, Beyazit said that "Cyprus is vital for Turkey's future".

    Stressing that Cyprus' strategic importance is the underlying factor for the political non-solution on the island, Beyazit said that "I believe this non-solution will continue".

    Noting that military solutions may be placed on the agenda in the absence of political solutions, Beyazit said that the solution of the Cyprus problem is closely linked to the solution of the Turkish-Greek problems.

    Istanbul University lecturer Prof. Dr. Erol Manisali, in his turn, criticized EU's Cyprus policy.

    Noting that instead of rejecting Cyprus' EU membership, its application, in process since 1993, was accepted, Manisali said that back in 1995 the EU saw Cyprus fit for full membership talks. He claimed "EU's Cyprus policy is perfect black humor".

    Indicating that EU representatives are promising to improve the Turkish Cypriots' economy if the latter agree to become a minority in Cyprus, Manisali claimed that there is a blatant attempt to buy off the Turks on the island.

    Manisali also warned that if Cyprus becomes a full member of the EU, Turkey will encounter some faits accomplis arising from the EU laws, and even, with the nearly 600 suits already filed at the European courts, the Turkish Cypriots might find themselves "ousted from their homes", as he put it.

    [03] Denktash returns from Turkey; repeats "two-state" solution

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (10.30 hours, 13.5.98), Rauf Denktash has reiterated his claim that the 23 April declaration constitutes an effective and necessary response to what the Greek Cypriots are tying to do in Cyprus by means of the EU. He added that no concessions should be made from this position. Denktash concluded his contacts in Turkey and returned to Cyprus yesterday.

    In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport, Denktash claimed that the intransigence of the Turkish Cypriot side stems from not acquiescing to the Greek Cypriot policy of "taking possession of Cyprus". Denktash alleged that those who have accepted the Cyprus Government as the legal Cyprus government until now regard the Turkish Cypriot side as intransigent. Denktash claimed that in time the intransigence will probably move to the other side, because they have realized the mistake committed by the other side. Expressing the hope that in view of these facts, the Greek Cypriots will realize that a "two-state" Cyprus is the only solution, Denktash claimed that if the goal is really conciliation and political alliance in the future, there is no reason to shun this formula.

    [04] Demirel: "A de facto situation prevails in Cyprus"

    According to KIBRIS (14.5.98) Turkish President Suleyman Demirel speaking at a Conference organized by the Turkish War Academies Command on "The World and Turkey in May 1998", referred to the Cyprus problem and claimed that "peace in Cyprus was the Turkish Army's talent".

    He said that still a de facto situation prevails in Cyprus, and that Cyprus owes its present situation to the Turkish Army. "If there is peace in Cyprus for the last 24 years this is due to the Turkish Army's talent. There is a reality there, you cannot turn a blind eye to it", Demirel claimed. (MY)

    [05] Regatta yachts at occupied Kyrenia port

    KIBRIS (14.5.98) reports that yachts taking part in the 9th East Mediterranean Regatta arrived at the occupied Kyrenia port.

    KIBRIS says that 85 yachts from 16 countries have arrived in the occupied Kyrenia port. (MY)

    [06] 'My Turkey Party' founded

    According to Turkish Daily News (13.5.98) a petition to set up a new party, the My Turkey Party (TP), was delivered to the Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday. The party's chairman is the former chairman of Independent Artisans and Tradesmen Association, Durmus Ali Eker.

    Following the delivery of the petition, one of the founders of the party, Fehmi Ozdemir, told journalists that the My Turkey Party had nothing to do with the closed Welfare Party (RP). He stressed that the party would not address any special section of the society and that the grassroots of the party would be made up of the entire Turkish population, the Anatolia news agency reported.

    Ozdemir said that unifying with any other party was out of question. He said that there were no members of the Virtue Party (FP) amongst the founders of the TP and added that there were civil servants and workers amongst the 32 founding members. Ozdemir said that the ideology and economic program of the My Turkey Party was very different from that of the closed RP.

    [07] Turkey's Human Rights Association accuses state in shooting of Akin Birdal

    According to Turkish Daily News (13.5.98), harsh voices were raised in Turkey on Tuesday to condemn the shooting of leading human rights activist Akin Birdal, with fingers pointing to the state as the one responsible for the attack.

    Top officials from the Human Rights Association (IHD), of which Birdal is chairman, accused the state of bearing responsibility for the attack.

    "These bullets were shot at peace, democracy and human rights. The state is responsible for that. The murderers should be captured immediately. The prime minister and the interior minister should resign right away", IHD lawyer Sedat Alatas demanded in a statement delivered in front of Sevgi Hospital, where Birdal was undergoing surgery.

    IHD Secretary-General Nazmi Gur also put the blame on the state. "If the life of a human rights defender is not safe, then the lives of the president, the prime minister and the interior minister in this country are not safe either", he said.

    Another IHD lawyer, Husnu Ondul, accused the government of not taking the measures necessary to protect Birdal. "The government should take responsibility. An invitation was handed out for the attack. Guards should have been assigned for such a person, even though he did not ask for them", he stated.

    As human rights activists harshly criticized the state, top government officials denounced the violent incident but failed to put forward any detailed explanation of the event.

    Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz condemned the attack and pledged immediate action to capture the perpetrators. "I am deeply sorrowful and I condemn the attack. The culprits will be caught as soon as possible".

    Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit dubbed the attack "an ugly and grievous incident". Justice Minister Oltan Sungurlu, for his part, admitted that "it is very regretful that a decision to protect Birdal had not been taken".

    Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin said he "strongly condemned" the attack and denounced the use of violence in democratic societies "whatever the reason".

    Asked whether the shooting of Birdal could be connected to the recent allegation by the captured Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) commander, Semdin Sakik, that Birdal was on the payroll of the organization, Cetin said that he had no information on the issue.

    However, the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HADEP) said that the attack was the culmination of a campaign which began with Sakik's revelations and was aimed at making Birdal a target. The attack is a sign of the revival of the activities of the gangs whose existence was highlighted after the Susurluk accident, the party said in a written statement. It also called on the interior minister and the other responsible officials to resign immediately.

    Birdal was a HADEP candidate in the latest elections. However, the party failed to overcome the required threshold of 10 percent of the vote and did not win place in the Parliament.

    "Akin Birdal is the honour of our people, the intellectuals and the human rights defenders... We condemn this attack and we assert that no attack will be able to prevent us from continuing our struggle", the statement concluded.

    Although no one has officially claimed any responsibility for the attack, Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Ercan Karakas said some people had called the hospital to claim responsibility in the name of the Turkish Revenge Brigades (TIT) and threatened to blow up the hospital if it continued to treat Birdal. The TIT has been mentioned in the past in a number of mysterious killings in Turkey's Southeast and in the 1993 murder of investigative reporter Ugur Mumcu. It also claimed responsibility for the killing of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adali in 1996.

    EF/EI


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


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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