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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-06-23

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. 109/98 -- 23.6.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash leaves for Istanbul, to proceed to Austria.
  • [02] Gurel on tension with Greece, S-300 missiles.
  • [03] Turkish frigate, destroyer depart Cyprus.
  • [04] Water from Turkey as of 25 June.
  • [05] Two MPs resign from ANAP.
  • [06] Greek Cypriot abducted at Paphos Gate.
  • [07] Feissel´s photographic exhibition in the occupied area.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash leaves for Istanbul, to proceed to Austria

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 22.6.98), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash left for Istanbul yesterday. Denktash, who will attend the 50th anniversary ceremony of the daily HURRIYET, will proceed to Austria today. In Vienna, Denktash will deliver a lecture on the Cyprus issue at the Diplomacy Academy affiliated with the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Denktash will also hold meetings with the Austrian foreign minister, the former Austrian president, and former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim He will also open a photography exhibition in Vienna. He will return to the island on 26 June.

    [02] Gurel on tension with Greece, S-300 missiles

    TRT Television network (3:30 hours, 22.6.98) broadcast a live studio interview with Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel by Aydogan Kilinc on the ``Morning News'' program.

    In reply to a relevant question, Gurel claimed: ``The fact that a few Greek planes were sent to the island and some of them stayed overnight and returned the next night may not appear to be a very important incident when considered in isolation. However, this move is a first military experiment on the part of Greece, with the exception of regular military maneuvers. What are they trying? Compounded with other aspects, we can make the following assessment: In actual fact, last week Greece attempted to threaten Turkey from south Cyprus. Greece may have attempted to give the signal that it could introduce such a threat in south Cyprus permanently.

    When we think about it we see that Greece is acquiring bases in south Cyprus. There is an air base in Paphos. They are also building a naval base. These are part of their plan to settle on the island within the framework of their so-called defense doctrine with the Greek Cypriot Administration of southern Cyprus. As it happens, Greece has ground forces on the island, but in addition to this, it apparently intends to establish air and naval forces in Cyprus on a permanent basis. Moreover, this must be viewed in conjunction with the S-300 missiles that are scheduled to be deployed on the island.

    When we put all these factors together, we realized that Greece is displaying an attitude that could affect not only the TRNC, but also Turkey, and even the balance in the entire region. This is what we retaliated against. I believe that the retaliation was noticed, and the message was received.''

    Asked what did Turkey achieve through the move, to send warplanes in occupied Lefkoniko airport which was taken at the end of successive meetings in Ankara, Gurel replied:

    ``For one, the government once again demonstrated the following: Turkey does not regard the security of the TRNC as separate from that of its own. Second, it is not possible to distance the island from Turkey by changing its status overnight. Moreover, as we declared in our first foreign policy statement when we assumed power, we showed that not only does Turkey guarantee the security of the TRNC, but the existence of the TRNC in Cyprus also constitutes a guarantee for Turkey´s well being and security. Therefore, the existence of the TRNC is vitally important for Turkey. We reminded everyone of this fact once again.''

    Asked if the S-300 missiles have arrived on the island, he said: ``No. If they arrive, we will know about it. Let us look at the first aspect. I would like to state the following in connection with the S-300´s. We do not have the intention of searching for S-300´s in all the ships crossing our straits. We can do whatever is necessary in this regard through other means as well. Nevertheless, as a sovereign country over the straits, Turkey has a right to know what is crossing through them. Although, the Montreux Treaty accorded to us much greater sovereignty rights than those included in previous agreements, such as the Lausanne straits agreement, it still considers the Turkish straits as international waterways and somewhat restricts Turkey´s powers, especially in peace times. It accords us security, in that we are allowed to institute war rules when we perceive a threat to our security, controlling the straits the way we want and denying access to whomever we choose. In times of war, if Turkey is at war, again we can deny access at will, but there are certain restrictions in peace times. First and foremost, free passage must be granted to commercial ships regardless of their cargo. We must implement this rule. Naturally, Turkey can conduct searches on these ships for certain reasons and in certain important situations. If the reasons are justified and the findings are appropriate, Turkey can even adopt certain measures concerning those ships, but these are limited and unfortunately they do not include the transportation of weapons. Among the acceptable reasons are narcotics, health, etc. Turkey cannot do anything in connection with ships that are carrying arms unless an attempt is made to unload the weapons at our ports or shores.''

    To a comment that this means that Turkey´s hands are tied, Gurel said: ``We cannot say its hands are tied. If there are concrete findings threatening it, Turkey can take measures, but as I said, the rule, which does have exceptions, states: Regardless of their cargo, commercial ships have free passage rights. Consequently, this recent incident involved both an error in communication and a difference in interpretation in connection with the Montreux Treaty. We must eliminate this discrepancy in interpretation as soon as possible. Mr. Serdaroglu may be right in this connection. Maybe, we should ask for a judicial opinion regarding the interpretation of the treaty.

    As for the S-300 missiles, we held a meeting on this subject at the beginning of September. The prime minister announced the government´s stand on these missiles in a very clear manner. Since that statement was issued, I do not recall any member of this government saying anything to the contrary on this subject. We have been consistent all along. The prime minister said that the deployment of these missiles would pose a threat not only to the TRNC, but to Turkey as well, that they would constitute a new factor threatening the stability and peace of the entire eastern Mediterranean, because these are developed weapons systems with the radar capability to detect activities in other areas. In other words, we had declared that we see these missiles as a threat.

    Second, the prime minister said that our General Staff has been charged with adopting all the additional military measures to avert this threat. Since then, we have been taking into account all the possible developments and adopting the necessary additional military measures against the deployment of these missiles in south Cyprus, which would constitute a threat against us.

    Third, we said that we will not allow the missiles to be utilized as a bargaining chip, and we are not engaging in any kind of negotiation in this regard. There were sides that tried to draw Turkey into an unfair haggling over what we could do in exchange for their nondeployment, but Turkey dismissed these attempts with the necessary response.''

    In reply to a question on Holbrooke´s new duties and on the visit to Cyprus of Greek President Stefanopoulos, Gurel said: ``How can his interest diminish? Once a person becomes involved in Cyprus, he probably continues to take an interest in the subject for the rest of his life. Second, the Greek president will visit the island in the coming days. There will most likely be certain manifestations against the existence of the TRNC. We are trying to respond to these international manifestations by supporting the TRNC in every way and by making certain contributions that will bring about new cooperation opportunities in the international field and between the two peoples. Sending water to the TRNC is one of these moves. All our preparations to transport water via balloons will be concluded by the end of this month. We are hoping that the first batch will be transported to the TRNC at the beginning of July. This will be an initial step to meet the drinking water needs of the TRNC.

    In addition to supplying the TRNC with sufficient water, Turkey will be able to transport surplus water especially after our pipeline project becomes operational to the island, thus paving the way for an international cooperation opportunity in Cyprus.''

    [03] Turkish frigate, destroyer depart Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 22.6.98) a Turkish Navy frigate and a destroyer that had been visiting occupied Famagusta port within the framework of the Sea Wolf-98 exercises left the port yesterday morning.

    The two submarines and three assault boats that had arrived in occupied Kyrenia port in the same exercise left the occupied area on Sunday.

    [04] Water from Turkey as of 25 June

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours , 22.6.98) drinking water will be carried from Turkey to the occupied area with balloons as of Thursday, 25 June. Dogan Altinbilek, the director general of the Turkish Water Works, announced that the water will be carried in plastic balloons towed by tugboats.

    In a statement to Anatolia News Agency, Altinbilek recalled that loading and unloading facilities were built in Soguksu in Anamur and in occupied Morphou at a cost of $4 million as part of the project. He said: ``The first delivery will be on Thursday, with a 10,000 cubic meter plastic balloon. In July, a second balloon this time of 20,000 tons will be used for delivery. By the end of August, three plastic balloons of 20,000 cubic meters each will deliver water. The delivery, which will start from Soguksu Port, 30km to the east of Anamur District, will be carried out by the Turkish-Norwegian Mediterranean Water Transportation Company. The company will receive 55 cents per cubic meter of water for transportation.''

    He noted that the TRNC will receive 3 million cubic meters of water during the first year, 3.5 million in 1999, and 7 million in 2000.

    [05] Two MPs resign from ANAP

    According to Turkish Daily News (18.6.98) two Motherland Party (ANAP) deputies, Ibrahim Yazici from Bursa and Rasim Zaimoglu from Giresun, resigned from their party on Wednesday.

    In a letter they sent to the Office of Parliamentary Speaker, Yazici and Zaimoglu mentioned only that they had deemed it necessary to resign. While their resignations brought ANAP´s seats in Parliament down to 138, it raised the number of independents to 14.

    [06] Greek Cypriot abducted at Paphos Gate According to KIBRIS (23.6.98) Greek Cypriot Stelios Ioannou (50) was

    abducted by the occupation troops yesterday near the Paphos gate.

    A three-day remand order was issued for Ioannou by the occupation regime´s ``Court''.

    (MY)

    [07] Feissel´s photographic exhibition in the occupied area.

    According to KIBRIS (23.6.98) the UN Secretary General´s deputy special

    representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel, who will be retiring and leaving the island soon, opened a photographic exhibition called ``Salute to Cyprus'' at the HP Galery in the occupied area. The exhibition was opened by the USA Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill.

    KIBRIS says that among the Turkish Cypriot politicians only the Chairman of the RTP Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat visited the exhibition.

    Feissel told the audience that he will miss Cyprus and its people and that he is hopeful that soon a settlement will be found to the Cyprus problem. When asked to comment on rumours that this year in Cyprus there will either be war or peace, Feissel said: ``The Cyprus problem can be solved only by one way that is the peaceful path.''


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


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