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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-07-21

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. 129/98 -- 21.7.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash favours 2 states living side by side.
  • [02] Turkish troops to be sent to Albania.
  • [03] Yilmaz address on 20 July.
  • [04] Demirel receives Seleznev.
  • [05] Seleznev: S-300´s to arrive in Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] CUMHURIYET on Russian arms sales to Turkey´s neighbours.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash favours 2 states living side by side

    According to illegal Bayrak radio Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in a speech at a ceremony in Nicosia marking the so-called ``Peace Operation'' said:

    ``Cyprus is big enough to allow two states to live side by side in friendship. It is not sensible to establish a Greek Cypriot state in Cyprus and colonize the Turkish Cypriots. Cyprus was turned into a partnership republic as a result of the balances between Turkey and Greece, of peace, of understanding, and of an arrangement born between enosis and division. It was logical and human to perpetuate this. It was a commitment and a duty to the next generations. You, however, looked at the situation through the eyes of a priest with hostile feelings against Turkey and proceeded to purge Cyprus of Turks. You engaged in this act ruthlessly for 11 years. In order to tie the hands of Turkey, which has the right to come and save us, Makarios went as far as to declare that should turkey come to Cyprus to rescue the Turks, it will not find any Turks to save.

    Turkey, in turn, displayed patience for the sake of peace. I also persisted at negotiating tables and demonstrated utmost flexibility, but peace proved to be elusive. Why? Because, the states that make up the world told an administration which is not a government that it is the government of Cyprus in order to serve their own interests, rather than those of Cyprus or peace. The states that we call the world readily bestowed on people, who strived to transform the partnership republic, which was established on the basis of international agreements, into a Greek Cypriot republic, who killed people, who burned villages, and who committed injustices, a title which they failed to acquire through the use of force, bloodshed, and murder. From that day on, the Greek Cypriots, who hid behind that bestowal and behind that false title, have balked at establishing another partnership with us, not having felt the need for it. We wasted our years at negotiations conducted under the banner of intercommunal talks. They sat at those negotiations for tactical reasons, as noted by Clerides himself. They did it to gain time, and as the government of Cyprus they tried to exploit this time to acquire just the opposite of what was targeted through these negotiations.''

    [02] Turkish troops to be sent to Albania

    According to HURRIYET (20.7.98) ``Turkish military units will be dispatched to serve in Albania. In the past, they were dispatched to serve in Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Al-Halil (Hebron).

    The government´s motion to dispatch troops to Albania was signed by Prime Minister Yilmaz and submitted to the Turkish Grand National Assembly for approval. According to the motion, the military unit´s size, tasks, and assignment period will be established by the Council of Ministers. The motion called for the ``approval of the Turkish Armed Forces´ deployment in Albania in accordance with Article 92 of the Constitution, the framework of the Turkish military forces´ activities in that country, and the protocol signed between the Turkish General Staff and the Republic of Albania Ministry of Defense, provided that the government decides when and for how long they should be sent to Albania to serve, if necessary.''

    [03] Yilmaz address on 20 July

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (20.7.98) Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz addressing a ceremony in the occupied part of Nicosia to mark the so- called 20 July peace operation, said: ``I am proud and happy to be among you on the occasion of the 20 July Peace and Freedom Day. I have come to Cyprus to share with you the solidarity of Turkey, the motherland, and all the Turkish people. I congratulate you on your holiday.

    My dear brethren, today is the 24th anniversary of the 20 July 1974 Peace Operation which the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) launched together with the heroic fighters. A dark era ended for the Turkish Cypriot people on 20 July 24 years ago, and this struggle, which reached the present stage through the birth of the TRNC that was launched with the Peace Operation, has reached the point of no return. For 35 years, the Turkish Cypriot people have been waging a struggle against a mentality that did not accept its equality, sovereignty, and right to self-administration. This struggle for equality and rights has been unprecedented. The Turkish Cypriots have known how to safeguard their rights and freedom at the expense of their lives. The fundamental reasons for this success can be cited as sharing a unified belief and conviction, rallying around the moral cause, and maintaining unity and solidarity.

    My dear brethren, we are currently faced with the following situation in Cyprus: The Greek Cypriot-Greek duo is still pursuing the illusion of Hellenizing the island and returning to the pre-1974 conditions. This duo believes that it will achieve the solution it is dreaming of through unilateral EU membership. This duo is under the illusion that it can sever the ties between Turkey and the TRNC. They should bear in mind, however, that both the past and the future are shaped by realities and not by empty illusions.

    The same mentality is exerting efforts, under the so-called joint defense doctrine, to create the infrastructure for a military intervention in Cyprus. The heavy weaponry being imported for the Greek Cypriot army, the S- 300 missiles, the military air base constructed for Greek fighter planes in Paphos, and the naval base constructed in Zyghi are all indications of this dangerous mentality.

    Despite all our warnings, the EU committed a historic mistake in Luxembourg and reached a decision to start full membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriot sector. It is possible that the Greek Cypriot-Greek duo will make a wrong calculation and will interpret this decision as a green light for all its adventures, because this duo does not have a clean record. On three occasions in the past in 1963, 1967, and 1974 this duo tried to subdue the Turkish Cypriot people through the use of arms, but it failed each time. It is bound to fail once more. Turkey will not permit even the tiniest threat to be directed against the Turkish Cypriot people and state and will not grant this duo the opportunity to use these armament efforts as a political bargaining chip.

    We do not favour clashes and tension. We want security and stability in the region. Our goal is peace and cooperation. For the last 75 years, the Turkish Republic has been actively contributing to safeguarding stability in the Balkans, the Aegean, the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. We are the guarantee of peace and tranquillity in Cyprus. We advocate common sense, moderation, and tolerance in our relations. We are determined, however, when it comes to our principles.

    We cannot allow the disruption of security and stability in the eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus through the deployment of the S-300 missiles and the construction of air and naval bases under the guise of a joint defense doctrine. In line with our contractual and historical responsibilities, we can never accept a return to the dark days of the pre-1974 period. The most intelligent act the Greek Cypriot Administration can undertake is to renounce its attitude of closing its eyes to the realities.''

    [04] Demirel receives Seleznev

    According to Ankara Anatolia News Agency (20.7.98) President Suleyman Demirel said on Monday that the relations between Turkey and Russia will further improve, stressing, the most important conditions for friendship between two countries is trust.

    President Demirel received Gennadiy Seleznev, the Speaker of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Parliament of the Russian Federation, and the accompanying parliamentary delegation. Demirel said in the meeting that Turkey and Russia have been conducting diplomatic relations for more than 500 years, emphasizing, there are not any two countries that have conducted diplomatic relations for 500 years.

    Pointing out that there is the legal basis for further improvement of these relations, Demirel said, we still have a trade volume of ten billion US dollars. Turkey and Russia, which are the two largest countries in the region, are responsible for peace in the region. These relations will further develop. We have new agreements. Especially the natural gas project is of great importance among these.

    The most important condition for the friendship between two countries is trust. I believe the high-level visits will contribute to the development of relations, he said.

    Noting that the cooperation between Turkey and Russia should be increased, Demirel said that they want to further improve relations with the activities such as the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and thus the high-level visits like the visit of Seleznev are of great importance.

    The State Duma Speaker Seleznev said that they held a beneficial meeting at the Parliament. Pointing out that they were aware of the roles of the two countries in the region, Seleznev recalled that the relations in diplomacy and other fields went back for a long time.

    Noting that they want an economic integration, Seleznev said, we want to deepen the existing cooperation between our two countries in the fields of transportation and energy within the framework of the BSEC. The new laws adopted by the State Duma recently will help the improvement of these relations. Our economic potential is very great, but we have only realized a small part of this.

    There won`t be a development in the region without cooperation between Turkey and Russia. I am sure from now on, the interparliamentary, commercial and other relations between our two countries will further improve, he added.

    [05] Seleznev: S-300´s to arrive in Cyprus

    According to Ankara Anatolia News Agency (20.7.98), Gennadiy Seleznev, Russian State Duma speaker, has said that a commercial agreement has been reached on the sale of the S-300 missiles to Cyprus and has added: ``We have a commercial agreement. These missiles will arrive on the island in accordance with that agreement at a date I cannot know.''

    Seleznev held a joint news conference together with Assembly speaker Hikmet Cetin at parliament on Monday. In reply to a question on the S-300 missiles, Seleznev said that the United Nations recognizes Cyprus as a sovereign state and that Cyprus is free to defend itself as it chooses. Noting that Russia emphatically favours the demilitarization of the entire island and the solution of the problem through peaceful means, Seleznev continued:

    ``The S-300´s are defense weapons. They cannot be employed for offensive purposes. Russia wants the region to be demilitarized. I am not involved in the missile issue. The missiles, however, have to be brought there in accordance with the commercial agreement concluded on their sale. The missiles will arrive in Cyprus at a date I cannot know.''

    Seleznev said that Russia favours the establishment of a federative state in which the two sides have equal rights and the arrival of peace on the island under the leadership of the United Nations and the Cyprus Peacekeeping Forces. He added: ``Despite this, peace has not been realized on the island for the last 25 years.''


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] CUMHURIYET on Russian arms sales to Turkey´s neighbours

    Ergun Balci writing in CUMHURIYET (16.7.98) under the headline ``Russia is everywhere'', notes: ``Ambassador Dore Gold, Israel´s permanent representative to the United Nations, said in a statement at a meeting on the Middle East process in Washington that ``Russia is everywhere, from Iran to Cyprus''. His assessment was right. In addition to the Balkan countries, it has made a strenuous effort to increase its influence on the Caucasus, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Moscow´s arms sales have played an important role in its effort. It acquires foreign currency from its sales and strengthens its influence on the countries which buy its arms.

    It is common knowledge that Russia sold Iran the technology it needed to produce missiles. The ``Shihab-3'' missiles Tehran began to produce with the help of the technology it acquired from Moscow can deliver 700 kg of explosives. They have a range of 1,300 km. The Shihab-4 missiles, which are based on the SS-4 missiles technology have a range of 200 km and can deliver 1,000 kg of explosives. They can carry nuclear warheads if necessary. In fact, Russia armed them with nuclear warheads during the Cold War.

    Meanwhile, Russia has been constructing a nuclear power plant for Iran In Bushehr, regardless of Washington´s opposition.

    Russia has fully armed Armenia. A report by the Wall Street Journal said in 1997 that Moscow supplied 32 Scud-B ballistic missiles and eight launchers to Yerevan from 1994 to 1996. They have a range of 300km. Armenia also acquired 100 sophisticated T-72 tanks and more than 50 personnel carriers. Considering its modern arms, it has become the most dangerous country in the Caucasus.

    Russia will supply S-300 missiles to the Greek Cypriot administration. Meanwhile, it has concluded an agreement with Greece for military cooperation. The two countries have carried out a joint exercise in the Aegean in accordance with their agreement.

    Syria is another country Russia has armed. The ``Defense News'' journal has disclosed that Iran has extended credits to Damascus to help it to buy arms from Russia.

    Azerbaijan is among the former Soviet republics which are trying to maintain their distance from Moscow. However, how long can Baku resist Moscow´s pressure? That is unknown. It will be recalled that President Heydar Aliyev and President Boris Yeltsin agreed in principle on the establishment of a Russian base in Azerbaijan. The agreement was reached when Aliyev visited Moscow in 1997.

    It will be useful to recall that Russia has a military base in Georgia and Moscow uses the problem of Abkhazia like the sword of Damocles against Tbilisi.

    Russia´s arms sales should be assessed within the framework of Moscow´s general policy. Two factors have made Russia uneasy. They are Turkey´s interest in the Caucasus and Central Asia and Nato´s expansion toward the East.

    Moscow is convinced that the Western countries brought NATO to Russia´s border at a time when the country was weak by allowing Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary to join the organization.

    Russia retaliated by selling S-300 missiles to south Cyprus. That will create an opportunity for it to establish a foothold on the island, which is near Nato´s southern border in the Mediterranean.

    The possibility of the deployment of S-300 missiles in Cyprus has made the United States uneasy, at least as much as Turkey. According to the US experts, the Russian technicians, who will be based in Cyprus, will be able to use the radars of the weapons systems to control the NATO airspace in Southern Europe.

    Moscow views Turkey as Russia´s rival in the Caucasus and Central Asia. That also applies to the projects that are related to the construction of oil pipelines. So, it is trying to create a difficult situation for Ankara by selling arms to the countries which have strained relations with Turkey.

    The rivalry between Turkey and Russia is unavoidable. However, the two countries must realise that the competition between them must be peaceful. That will be useful.


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


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