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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-09-18

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. 172/98 -- 18.9.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey´s Gurel on Cyprus confederation ``offer''.
  • [02] Denktash discusses confederation proposal with British diplomats.
  • [03] Talat: Confederation proposal can exacerbate situation.
  • [04] Turkey´s 1999 draft budget sent to IMF.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey´s Gurel on Cyprus confederation ``offer''

    Illegal Bayrak Television (17:18 hours, 16.9.98) carried an 80-minute Palet (Palette) program, prepared by Turkey´s Karadeniz Television, with which illegal Bayrak Television has a cooperation agreement. In this program Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish State Minister for EU and Cyprus Affairs, and ANAP (Motherland Party) Istanbul Deputy Bulent Akarcali were interviewed on Cyprus and Greco-Turkish problems. The promised live telephone link-up with Turkish Cypriot ``deputy prime minister'' Serdar Denktash and ``foreign and defense minister'' Taner Etkin never materialized due to technical problems.

    Asked to comment on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash´s confederation thesis and what the Turkish side would do if the Greek side turns down the offer, Gurel said: ``We will keep to our path together with the TRNC. Already, with integration or the deepening of relations, we do not mean changing the status or existence of the TRNC. Rather, our policy is to consolidate the TRNC. That is, we are trying to strengthen the TRNC in every way and secure international recognition for it. We will pursue this aim, this policy, from now on too, and never look back again. The Turkish Cypriots will never look back again either. Why should they when they feel secure about their future? This is our real goal''.

    Asked if the West and the United States themselves could subject the proposal to debate, with its five provisions, Gurel inter alia said: ``This is not a proposal open to negotiations. Had it been open to discussions, we would have submitted it to the other side as our negotiating position, they in turn would have prepared their own negotiating position, and the intermediaries would have tried to reconcile them. But there is no such thing. That is,

    Denktash´s proposal is an integral whole, a last one, and is not open to negotiation. You may ask what is negotiable in connection with this proposal. First, these five provisions have to be accepted. Once they are accepted, then, as suggested by the proposal itself, the formation of a confederation may be discussed. Already, with the acceptance of these five provisions, the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot state will have recognized each other as separate and equal political entities. After that, the other arrangements could be made, such as the establishment of special ties with the motherlands. Next, everybody will have to accept in advance the type of status and special rights Turkey would enjoy if this confederal Cyprus, if it is ever established and formed, becomes a EU member. Only after that would the two sides sit at the table and form this confederation. Of course, there would be certain things to discuss at the stage of the formation of that confederation, like the powers to be given to the confederal government and the powers to remain with the two states forming that confederation. There is an indication in that direction. The powers not explicitly given to the confederal government will rest with the two states. That is open to discussion. But nothing else is open to discussion.''

    Asked what incentives the Greek Cypriots might have to accept the confederation and thus enable the pseudostate´s accession into the EU, Gurel said: ``They have to accept this proposal if they are unable to stomach the possibility, and it seems this is the strongest and only possibility, of two states existing on the island side by side but separately. There is enough evidence to show that the Greek Cypriot side has always rejected and impeded even the proposal for forming a federal state, a federation. You are right in asking why the Greek Cypriot side-- which has never accepted federation but always spoke about it as a method of solution simply to please others, all the while taking no concrete steps in that direction--should now accept the confederation. True. I will be surprised if they ever do. But if they are reasonable enough they should accept it, because the only alternative to that would be a very long period of two states existing in Cyprus''.

    After getting the views of ordinary citizens in Turkey on the confederation proposal, Gurel commented on the Aegean problems saying it will be ``madness'' for Greece to extend its territorial waters from six to 12 miles. He also considers Greece´s claim for a 10-mile airspace over its six- mile territorial waters as ``illogical''. He says that Greece should instead have a right to a six-mile airspace. He hopes the current confidence-building measures in the Aegean could be furthered with the help of the NATO Secretary General.

    [02] Denktash discusses confederation proposal with British diplomats

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 17.9.98) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said that a massive dossier containing ``proof'' of the Greek Cypriot side´s opposition to a federation is being prepared and that it will be given to concerning persons. Denktash met British High Commissioner David Madden and Peter Rickets, director of the southern European desk of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and conferred with them for some time. The Turkish Cypriot side´s confederation proposal was taken up at the meeting, which lasted for approximately 90 minutes.

    In a statement he issued after the meeting, Denktash said that the confederation proposal was met with interest and that there was continuous demand for information. More than enough information has been conveyed on this issue, added Denktash.

    Denktash continued: ``The Greek Cypriot intentions are out clear. The negotiations can be launched only if they are laid on two equal and sovereign communities, and the existence of two states. Only then can the issues of cooperation and merging under a confederate roof be discussed. In this way, the legitimate government does not stand to lose anything even if the Greek Cypriot side continues with or stops the negotiations with us. We have finally accomplished this''.

    Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side can talk to the Greek Cypriots without meaning any concessions from ``statehood'', Denktash added that only if agreement is reached can negotiations on a joint umbrella be conducted.

    In reply to a question, Denktash claimed that confederation is a political and constructive proposal. Denktash continued: ``Not laying on the table those issues to which the Greek Cypriots object means that they are interested in negotiations.''

    Rickets, in turn, said that the meetings aimed to hold contacts with both sides and assist the UN efforts. Expressing the wish that a satisfactory peaceful solution for both sides is secured, Rickets added that his government´s position with regard to the confederation proposal was clear and that this was assessed at the meeting.

    According to KIBRIS (18.9.98) Mr. Rickets, when answering press questions, called Rauf Denktash ``president''.

    [03] Talat: Confederation proposal can exacerbate situation

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 15.9.98), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has conducted an assessment of the past five years since the 1993 ``general elections''. CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat assessed the last five years during a news conference.

    Noting that the majority of the problems faced by the Turkish Cypriot community stem from the Cyprus issue, Talat pointed out to what the CTP accomplished and what it could not in the economic, social, political, and cultural fields during the time the party was in the ``government''. Explaining the reasons for joining the ``government'', Talat stressed that the public was briefed on all issues when they were in ``government'' because the party

    acted in line with the principle of an honest administration. Talat continued: ``The government partners, the assembly composition not allowing for a constitutional amendment, and Turkey´s stands laid the grounds for not having the civil servants involved in politics, the policemen be a part of the Interior Ministry, and transferring to a stable monetary unit.''

    Explaining that the CTP has always crystallized views and adopted stands with regard to the Cyprus issue, Talat said that Denktash´s confederation proposal is against all the agreements, decisions, and parameters formulated as part of the integration so far, adding that it is far from being acceptable and has the potential to exacerbate the situation.

    [04] Turkey´s 1999 draft budget sent to IMF

    According to a report in YENI YUZYIL (16.9.98) Turkey´s 1999 draft budget has been sent to the IMF. The draft included many scenarios. The program prepared within the framework of the ``close watch agreement'' signed with the IMF envisages bringing inflation down to 20 percent by the end of 1999. In spite of this, economy experts also prepared cautious alternatives.

    The experts argued that it is more important to preserve the present balances than follow the program for reducing the dubious inflation at a time when there is a global crisis and the country is in an election atmosphere. The experts added that the increase in foreign exchange rates and the fact that the average inflation target needs to be revised should not be disregarded.

    Finance Ministry, Treasury, State Planning Organization, and Central Bank experts will begin to hold meetings as of this week to discuss the draft budget. Assessing the demand for a 28-quadrillion (Turkish) lira expenditure fund, Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel said: ``As before, institutions are requesting the highest possible funds. But the targets in the budget

    preparation instructions are clear. All the demands for funds will take shape by the end of the year in line with the 20 percent (inflation) target.

    Work on preparing the draft budget concentrated on putting a 20.5 quadrillion-lira limit on the 1999 budget and on setting a target of at least a 13 quadrillion-lira profit on income tax.

    It is almost certain that 2.4 quadrillion lira will be set aside from next year´s budget for social security organizations and that interest expenses will exceed 6.6. quadrillion lira.

    Some 5-5.4 quadrillion lira is expected to be set aside for personnel funds, 1.5-1.6 quadrillion lira for investment funds, and 1.8 quadrillion lira for other current expenses.

    Some 1.5 quadrillion lira is expected to be made from privatization projects in 1999.

    The average exchange rate was initially expected to be 325,000 lira (for each $US). Among the possibilities indicated is that when the budget takes its final shape in October, the exchange rate will be as high as 345,000- 350,000, depending on world developments.


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


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