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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-06-26

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 <>


No. 112/98 -- 26.6.98


  • [01] Demirel to visit `TRNC´ Mid-July.

  • [02] Turkish paper examines Greek-Turkish relations.
  • [03] Turkish Daily News on early elections in Turkey.


    [01] Demirel to visit `TRNC´Mid-July

    According to Ankara ``Anatolia'' news agency (25.6.98) Sermet Atacanli, the Turkish Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman, said that a visit of President Suleyman Demirel to the ``TRNC'' is expected to take place by mid-July and within the framework of the project to bring water to the occupied areas.

    When it was recalled from the news reports that Demirel would visit the island on 28 June, Atacanli said there was no specific date for the visit, but that there may be a visit related to the project for bringing water to the ``TRNC''.


    [02] Turkish paper examines Greek-Turkish relations

    In a commentary on the Greek-Turkish relations published in the MILLIYET (24.6.98) under the title ``what do they rely on?'' Sami kohen writes: ``What do Greek officials rely on when they take daring steps from time to time? For example, why did Athens decide to send four F-16 planes to Andreas Papandreou Air Base in south Cyprus last week? Why did Prime Minister Simitis ``reject'' President Clinton´s recommendation for the lifting of the Greek barrier in the EU against Turkey? How does Athens find the courage to adopt a defiant approach on such matters? From where does it draw its strength?

    Undoubtedly, the serious risk that Greece is taking to achieve the strategic objectives we outlined yesterday indicates that it is convinced it has many advantages. They can be described as follows:

    1: EU membership: Athens has used the advantage that Greece´s EU membership has created for it against Turkey at every opportunity. ``Being a part of Europe'' encourages it to maintain a daring policy. However, it is a fact that Greece´s unreasonable behaviour and provocative activities have made EU officials uneasy. Nevertheless, they can do very little to change the situation because decisions are made unanimously and the veto right is used as an effective instrument in the organization. So, Athens does not heed their suggestions and continues to obstruct Turkey´s membership and the EU financial aid Ankara should receive. Meanwhile, it maintains its policy on the Aegean and Cyprus, which is aimed at creating problems between the two countries. Obviously, it is convinced that Europe will support the Greek Government if a clash breaks out between Turkey and Greece.

    2: Greek lobby: Greek lobbies are influential in various countries, particularly in the United States. Athens has relied on their support for a long time. It is a fact that the US Government has condemned the Simitis administration´s behaviour and urged it to adopt a policy that would enable Greece and Turkey to reconcile their opinion in the United States through the Greek lobby and the image it has created for itself against Turkey.

    3: Common enemies: Greece´s policy towards Turkey is based on the principle that ``the enemy of my foe is my friend''. In view of that, it cooperates with the Workers Party of Kurdistan, Syria, and Armenia from time to time. The objective of its strategy is quite clear: To besiege and weaken Turkey by forcing it to concentrate on many fronts at the same time…

    4. International situation: Greece relies on the support it gets from international establishments and organizations, from the UN to the Council of Europe. Meanwhile, it must be noted that the Greek Cypriot administration is also very active in the same establishments. It must be stressed that many countries support the Greek Cypriot claims related to ``territorial integrity'', ``foreign occupation'', and ``disarmament in Cyprus. A most recent example is the proposal that the Clerides administration made to the UN: ``The Greek Cypriot side may decide to give up deployment of S-300 missiles in return for a balanced demilitarization in Cyprus''. Undoubtedly, that was a call for the withdrawal of the Turkish military forces from the island…

    Yes, those are the main factors Athens relies on when it decides to create tension to realize its strategy against Turkey from time to time.

    However, are the Greek officials not aware that their unreasonable initiatives may create a clash between Turkey and Greece? Are they not aware that the risk of war is very high? They are convinced that they can retreat from their position at the last minute. In fact, war between the two sides was avoided twice in the past. The first was when Athens decided to change the approach it maintained during the ``Hora'' incident in 1987 and the second was when it decided to retreat during the Kardak (Imia) crisis in 1996.

    Obviously, the Greek officials are able to retreat from their position at the last minute. However, achieving the desired results may not always be possible through ``calculated risks''. The Turkish military operation in Cyprus in 1974 is a good example.

    Nor is it possible for the Greek strategists not to be aware of the fact that Turkey will retaliate to any ``initiative'' they may make in the Aegean and Cyprus. The incident that took place last week confirmed that state of affairs.

    Unfortunately, the policies of Athens and Ankara force the two sides to retaliate against each other. This creates a crisis and prevents the officials of the two countries from making an effort to resolve their problems.

    Retired Admiral Guven Erkaya made a meaningful statement to Nilgun Cerrrahoglu last Sunday (21 June). He said: ``The way Greece assesses Turkey is similar to the way Turkey assesses that country… If we accuse Greece of maintaining a policy of aggression, then the Greek officials will accuse Turkey in a similar way. This increases the risk of a clash. I cannot say that the policies of the Turkish and Greek politicians contribute towards peace and the future of the upcoming generations. Problems can be resolved through dialogue…''

    [03] Turkish Daily News on early elections in Turkey

    In an article under the title ``What else could Yilmaz have done? Ilnur Cevik writes in the ``Turkish Daily News'' (25.6.98).

    ``Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has once again given out signals which some experts are speculating is yet another U-turn on early elections…

    Now Yilmaz says early elections and the resignation of his government before the end of the year was subject to the passage of vital bills which he feels are being stalled in the Parliament. Yilmaz says: ``No new legislation, no elections.''

    Yilmaz has been accused of indecisiveness and lack of leadership. Yet after some close examination, we started to realize that the current system and conditions are not allowing him any room to be decisive or even to be forceful.

    Yilmaz is struggling with too many forces on too many fronts in an environment where democratic rules are hardly sovereign.

    There is general belief that the system in Turkey is at an impasse and a serious overhaul is needed. That is why President Suleyman Demirel has opened a debate on the establishment of a presidential system which seems to be full of contradictions.

    Added to these debates are the pressures from the military demanding new legislation for an effective fight against fundamentalism and religious activism, which is being stalled not only by the opposition deputies but even by many deputies and ministers from the coalition parties.

    Then Yilmaz has the opposition Republican People´s Party (CHP), which has provided vital outside support for the minority coalition government, which is always making new demands from the government and is showing the stick to Yilmaz by approving debate of censure motions against Cabinet ministers…

    Above all this add the atmosphere created by the talk of early elections and the protocol between Yilmaz and CHP leader Deniz Baykal calling for early elections in April 1999, which further contributes to the uncertain political environment.

    Yilmaz is also under pressure from press barons who want him to allow them to enter state tenders. The prime minister is aware the press bosses can hang him any minute with their adverse campaigns in their numerous newspapers and TV stations…

    All these factors together add up to a prescription for turmoil and chaos. It is practically impossible to be able to run a country properly when people talk about early elections, the minority government is being blackmailed by an opposition party, the military is dissatisfied with the fight against fundamentalism, which it sees as the major threat to the state, and even the president is raising questions about the healthy functioning of the system.

    So when Yilmaz seems to make U-turns and acts in an indecisive manner it is not because he is incompetent, but because he is trying to captain a ship which is drifting in all different directions in a major storm. Yilmaz simply hangs on to the deck and hopes the storm will fade''…


    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

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