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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-07-16

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

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Istanbul human rights association releases June report.
  • [02] `Radical´ interviews Miller on Cyprus, missiles.
  • [03] Yilmaz to arrive to the occupied area on 20 July, Demirel on 25 July.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [04] How to ruin Turkish-Israeli relations.
  • [05] Are we going to hit the S-300 missiles?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Istanbul human rights association releases June report

    According to Anatolia news agency (13.7.98) Ercan Kanar, chairman of the Istanbul Human Rights Association, has said that four persons lost their lives in attacks by unidentified persons, one person was killed in random fire, and that two columnists and publishers were detained.

    In a news conference in Istanbul, Kanar announced the June human rights violations in Istanbul.

    Kanar claimed that 1,235 persons were taken into custody in Istanbul in June, one inmate died in prison, another was attacked, and that 35 persons were subjected to torture.

    Kanar also charged that two press members were attacked, seven taken into custody, and that three newspapers, television, and radio buildings were attacked. The RTUK (Radio and Television High Council) closed four television and radio channels, added Kanar.

    [02] `Radikal´interviews Miller on Cyprus, missiles

    According to Turkish newspaper RADICAL (12.7.98), Thomas Miller, US State Department Special Coordinator to Cyprus interviewed in Washington by Asli Aydintasbas gave the answer below:

    ``Radical: The possibility of the transfer of S-300 missiles to Cyprus is gradually worsening the tension on the island. How is it that the acquisition of the missiles has not been cancelled, regardless of the effort that has been made to obstruct their delivery?

    Miller: We clearly discussed the S-300 missiles problem many times. No one can accuse us of maintaining a diplomatic and insincere approach. We have clearly pointed out that the missiles must not be transferred to Cyprus. I devote most of my time to creating an atmosphere in which tension and hostile initiatives will not exist. The present atmosphere renders the solution of the problem impossible.

    Radical: Can you comment on your contacts in Moscow?

    Miller: Various issues were discussed, including the S-300 missiles. A coordinated approach exists between the two sides on various issues. That became a requirement in diplomacy after the Cold War ended. However, I am unable to say that we agree on all the problems. The missiles problem is one of them. Rest assured that the problem will always be among my priorities. I am trying to prevent the transfer of the missiles to Cyprus. My objective is to reduce the existing tension and solve the missiles problem so that the two sides can resume their contacts.

    Radical: The view that the Cyprus problem ``cannot be solved'' or ``it has already been solved'' is rather widespread. Do you believe that the conviction has made your work more difficult?

    Miller: Let us consider for a moment what makes the Cyprus problem unsolvable. Why should finding a solution to the problem be more difficult than finding a solution to the problem in Northern Ireland or south Africa or Bosnia? I can understand why people are pessimistic. However, I do not divert my attention from my objective. That is a requirement of my work. Various circles are convinced that the fact that bloodshed does not exist on the island makes the solution of the problem more difficult. The view may be right. However, must the problem be solved through bloodshed? There are those who are convinced that bloodshed will facilitate the solution of the problem. They believe that a controlled clash may facilitate the effort that is made to solve the problem. Let me clearly inform you that neither my government nor I can agree to that. The Greek and Turkish media organs are sometimes convinced that our initiatives are prompted by a Machiavellian approach and unbelievable designs. However, we are more transparent in Washington than what other people say we are.

    Radical: Does a possibility exist for the meeting of the two sides in Cyprus before the missiles are delivered?

    Miller: Everything is possible in life. However, if you ask me whether the two leaders can meet, then I will say no.

    Radical: Can the present situation be wrapped up as a package and proposed as an appropriate solution to the two sides?

    Miller: Various formulas and combinations can be drawn up. A bicommunal and bizonal federation can be described and outlined in various ways. My task is to contribute toward the establishment of a bizonal and bicommunal federation. Its structure can be established through creative suggestions. Everything is possible, provided that the two sides agree on the proposals.

    Radical: Mr. Rauf Denktash has insisted for some time now that the Turkish Cypriot side should be recognized and it should have an equal status with the Greek Cypriots. How can that be realized?

    Miller: Can Mr. Denktash´ demands be met? I believe that there is a way. We have outlined what we cannot do. However, he insisted on equality. He is aware that equality exists at the negotiation table. However, the situation changes outside the negotiations room. He wants equality to be maintained outside the framework of the talks. I informed him as follows:

    We cannot view your request as a precondition. However, if you agree to resume the talks, then the matter will be on the negotiation table.

    Radical: The decision on equality must be made by the two sides at the negotiation table. However, that must be without any precondition, as also agreed by Holbrooke. A precondition will conflict with the rules of diplomacy.

    Mr. Denktash has pointed out that the EU decision and the missiles have changed the situation against the Turkish Cypriot side. So, considering the changing internal and external balances, can it be said that Mr. Denktash´ call for equality is unjustified?

    Miller: Even if we agree to what you have said and believe that the situation is in favour of the Greek-Greek Cypriot side, I still believe that the negotiations must be resumed. I would not wait for five or 10 years to turn back to say that ``my predecessor lost a very good opportunity in 1997.''

    Radical: Holbrooke recently criticized Mr. Denktkash. That seems to have created a problem between you and Ankara…

    Miller: We have said what we believed is right. You can either be an honest mediator or a close friend of a side who says only what that side wants to hear. However, you cannot be both. Holbrooke held the Turkish side primarily responsible for the lack of progress in the talks that were held in May. It was not his intention to anger the Turkish side. We have favourable relations. However, the preconditions prevent us from achieving progress. Our approach on the missiles problem has angered the Greek Cypriot side. The United States remaining silent will not solve the problem. All the sides concerned must do something to contribute toward a solution. That is, if they care…''

    [03] Yilmaz to arrive to the occupied area on 20 July, Demirel on 25 July

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio-Television (15.7.98) Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will visit the occupied areas on 20 July to participate in the 20 July ``celebrations'', and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on 25 July.

    It has been learned that the so-called Partnership Council meeting will be held between Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yimaz´s visit on 20 July and President Suleyman Demirel´s visit on 25 July.

    The ``Partnership Council'' will discuss ways of enhancing economic cooperation between Turkey and the ``TRNC'', determine the existing problems, and consider ways of resolving them. It will also make a political assessment of the Cyprus problem.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [04] How to ruin Turkish-Israeli relations

    In an editorial published in the ``Turkish Daily News'' (14.7.98) under the headline ``How to ruin Turkish-Israeli relations'', Ilnur Cevik writes:

    ``We wish Turkish mass circulation daily newspapers who live on sensation and exaggeration would limit their reporting to domestic politics and steer away from international issues… Because in the name of sensation and creating banner headlines all they are doing is harming Turkey´s international links.

    Just look at the headline of a mass circulation newspaper which claimed Turkey and Israel are actively cooperating to destroy the S-300 missiles, which President Boris Yeltsin declared on Monday will definitely be delivered to the Greek Cypriots.

    According to the story, Israel is training Turkish pilots to destroy the S- 300 missiles, and is therefore actively participating in the scheme against the Greek Cypriots and Russia. The story also hints that Israel has sold Popeye I air-to-ground missiles to Turkey to use in the destruction of these missiles…

    Whereas we know very well that Turkish pilots had been training with the Israelis in order to learn how to destroy surface-to-air missiles (SAM) long before the S-300 missiles even appeared on the agenda. This kind of training has more to do with the SAMs used by Kurdistan Workers´Party (PKK) separatists than the S-300 missiles… We also know very well that the Israelis do not want to get entangled in the Turkish-Greek conflicts and are doing their best to keep away from the issue.

    Of course, the mess created is not only limited to the missiles. Another story, which became a banner headline in a mass circulation paper, quoted the Christian Science Monitor, which reported from Jerusalem that Turkey was constructing an air base in eastern Turkey which would be at the sole disposal of Israeli air force jets…

    It seems that inexperienced junior journalists who barely understand the implications of their own reporting, and who think that they are flattering the Israelis, are actually participating in the souring of a very promising relationship between Turkey and the Jewish state.

    What is sad is that the editors of these newspapers, who claim to be so very sensitive about the vital interests of Turkey, hardly realize the mess they are creating by allowing such sloppy reporting…

    The S-300 issue should not be material for sensationalism, especially since President Yeltsin has made it clear that the weapons will be deployed on Cyprus… Even if we have the capability to destroy these missiles we should not be making a song and dance about it.

    Now is the time to do much cool-headed thinking and evaluation, then we should consider how to counter the Russians, the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots… This is not the time to be hot-headed and make empty threats, because then some people may turn around and ask: Where are you going to get the natural gas to heat your homes and run your factories if you confront the Russians, who are your only suppliers?''

    [61] Are we going to hit the S-300 missiles?

    In another editorial in the Turkish Daily News (15.7.98) under the title ``Are we going to hit the S-300 missiles?'' Ilnur Cevik emphasizes on the relations between Turkey and Russia. Full text follows: ``President Boris Yeltsin has spelled out in clear terms that the Russian-made S-300 ground-to-air missiles will definitely be deployed in southern Cyprus in October. Now we have to do some serious thinking, and decide what we plan to do about these weapons.

    Turkey has already announced it will destroy the missiles as it feels the deployment of these weapons by the Greek Cypriots will not only be a security hazard for the Turkish Cypriots but it will also be a permanent and direct threat to mainland Turkey…

    Yet, are we really going to attack these missiles? Was it right to announce such an intention even without using all the diplomatic channels through silent diplomacy to dissuade the Russians?

    It was a mistake from the very start to antagonize the Russians and create a situation of no return.

    Turkey cannot and should not pick a fight with the Russians. They are not only our northern neighbours but they are our trade partners with whom we do so much business. Russian tourists come to Turkey and Turkish contractors construct huge buildings in Russia.

    Russia is our only significant source for natural gas, which we use in home heating as well as running our industries.

    These facts lay the groundwork for a perfect relationship between the two countries, and yet we see that Turkey has not been able to capitalize on such links to forge very close ties with the Russians.

    On the contrary, we have seen our political relations deteriorate with Moscow to such a level that the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots seem to have gained the upper hand.

    This cannot be explained simply by solidarity among the Christian Orthodox nations. On the contrary, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church are always bickering.

    The Greeks have forged good contacts with Moscow, and then they built up common positions while we simply watched. Now the Greeks are receiving the benefits of such a policy and we are suffering for our mistakes.

    Only Chief of General Staff Gen. Ismail Hakki Karadayi managed to make a trip to Moscow in the past year, and unfortunately, he was not successful because he had been informed, incorrectly, that the Russians would give up the S-300 deal if they were given the right incentives, like promises of arms purchases by Turkey… The Russians did not budge.

    Now we are left with a situation of confrontation. This should not have happened. We have to get our act together and start using high-level diplomacy with Moscow. If we were in western Europe the leaders of neighbours like Turkey and Russia would come together nearly every month. A Turkish civilian leader has not set foot in Moscow for a very long time… Can this be accepted?''

    LL/SK


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


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