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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-10-06

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. 183/98 -- 6.10.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Etkin returns from New York.
  • [02] Denktash went to Toronto, Canada to attend a reception given in his honour by the Federation of the Turkish Cypriot Associations.
  • [03] True Path Party, (DYP), in Turkey.
  • [04] Dame Ann Hercus went yesterday to Ankara to hold contacts.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] Is a Turkish-Syrian war possible?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Etkin returns from New York

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (5.10.98) the so-called minister of foreign affairs and defense of the pseudostate,, Taner Etkin, has said that his visit to New York was very useful in that he was ``able to explain the Turkish side´s justified attitude''.

    Etkin who accompanied Denktash during his contacts in New York returned to the ``TRNC'' on Sunday night. In a statement Etkin said that in talks with the UN Secretary General, with the OIC Secretary General, with the permanent representatives of certain countries in New York, and with Richard Holbrooke, the US President´s Cyprus special envoy, they ``discussed the situation caused by the Greek Cypriot side´s unilateral and unjust application to the EU and the Turkish Cypriot side´s attitude''. Etkin said that they ``proved with documents that the Greek Cypriot side wants to own the whole of Cyprus''. He added that they said during the talks in New York that at this stage, the Turkish Cypriot side keeps the path to a confederal solution based on two states open. He said: ``The Turkish Cypriot side has never blocked the path toward an agreement. We explained all this and we were heard with interest. We observed that they are giving serious consideration to our confederation proposal. In this regard, we held very useful talks.''

    Etkin said that at their meeting with the UN Secretary General, they ``agreed that a shuttle diplomacy should be held on the island''. Etkin added that ``the shuttle diplomacy will be developed and conducted by Ann Hercus, the UN Secretary General´s deputy special envoy in Cyprus'', and that ``the confederation proposal will be the basis of this diplomacy''.

    [02] Denktash went to Toronto, Canada to attend a reception given in his honour by the Federation of the Turkish Cypriot Associations

    According to KIBRIS (6.10.98) the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, yesterday went to Toronto, Canada and attended a reception given in his honour by the Federation of the Turkish Cypriot Associations.

    Speaking to the people present at the reception, among them journalists, Denktash said that they will continue the ``struggle'' and thanked the Turkish Cypriots living in Canada for the support they are extending to the pseudostate. (MY)

    [03] True Path Party, (DYP), in Turkey

    According to KIBRIS (6.10.98) the True Path Party, DYP, in Turkey has submitted a motion to open a general debate at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, TGNA, on Cyprus, EU and Turkey´s relations with her neighbours.

    Two deputies from DYP in their motion for opening a debate, have stressed that developments are happening around Turkey which are food for concern. (MY)

    [04] Dame Ann Hercus went yesterday to Ankara to hold contacts

    According to KIBRIS (6.10.98) the UN Secretary General´s Deputy special representative in Cyprus Dame Ann Hercus went yesterday to Ankara, to hold contacts with the Turkish government officials.

    Dame Hercus will have meetings with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Foreign Ministry´s Under Secretary Ambassador Haktanir and deputy under secretary Ambassador Faruk Logoglu.

    KIBRIS says that Hercus´s visit will be of a fact finding and familiarization visit. (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] Is a Turkish-Syrian war possible?

    In an article under the title ``Is a Turkish-Syrian war possible?'' published in the ``Turkish Daily News'' (5.10.98), Huseyin Bagci writes:

    ``Last week, Turkish foreign policy was dominated by one topic: Is Turkey declaring war on Syria? President Suleyman Demirel´s speech during the opening ceremony of the Turkish National Assembly stressed to the ``whole world'' that Turkey retains her right to retaliate against Syria if time is ripe. Turkey´s press and media covered possible war scenarios towards Syria with headlines such as, ``Generals are waiting for instructions from the government'' in order to give the message to Syria. Such nationalistic statements were also made collectively by political parties who maintained that Syria had gone too far and that ``Turkey´s patience also has its limits'' etc.

    It is a terrible shame that Turkey is mentally in a state of war, and I am afraid that this is going to be the case for the coming months and years. It is probable that this mindset will have domestic implications. There will be sufficient cause for external security concerns and domestic elections will be postponed. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz says that when he resigns at the end of the year, which he has promised to do for the sake of general elections, Turkey ``will be in chaos'', something which is very alarming. In other words, he is the person who is ``preventing'' Turkey from tumbling into chaotic conditions. This ``messianic statement'' implies that the country cannot bear any other government or political leader.

    Interestingly enough, it is actually Turkey which tries to cover its domestic handicaps with foreign policy issues, rather than Syria or any other neighbouring country. Today, Turkey is ``alienating itself'' from the world and has adopted a self-destructive attitude. As Cetin Altan in SABAH Daily sarcastically commented on Saturday, Oct. 2 1998, ``Even NATO countries are now becoming ``Turkey´s enemy''. Indeed, following the latest incidents in Italy, the United States is also more critical towards Turkey, especially since the so-called ``Kurdish treaty'' in Washington last week. It is not a coincidence that suddenly everything is working against Turkey, but rather a very well timed political action by all sides. Turkey is in a deadlock, not over producing diplomatic and political solutions, but rather using its military strength which is after all still the most effective weapon in international politics.

    Syria has always been a troublemaker in bilateral relations. There are enough reasons for this. But one should not forget that Syria was also the hard core of Arab nationalism in the 19th century against the Ottoman Empire. Furthermore, in the mid-50s of this century, Syria was against the banner of Arab nationalism together with Egypt under Nasser and when Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes went to Syria and Lebanon earlier that decade to invite Syria to join the Baghdad Pact, his visit created great anti-Turkish demonstrations in Aleppo and Damascus, many students and policemen being injured during these demonstrations. Menderes cut his visit short and realized that Syria would be one of the major obstacles in Turkey´s Middle East politics.

    He was right, as subsequent events have proved. Turkey was criticized by the Syrian leadership for working against Arab nationalism, being a collaborator of the Israeli government and a servant of western capitalism. Turkish-Syrian relations in this century have never been close and will never be so under the existing circumstances. Support for the Kurdistan Workers´Party (PKK) is Syrian´s greatest asset regarding Turkey, not only in the Middle East peace process but also the water issue which is the greatest ``torn issue'' in the two countries´ bilateral relationship.

    In August 1998, Dr. Sukru Elekdkag, a retired ambassador, outlined very clearly in his column in MILLIYET Daily which problems will soon emerge for Turkey. The Turkish government can undertake military measures, but any conflict with Syria, not to mention a war, would have destructive results for Turkey in the long term. A war amidst the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Turkish Republic would certainly not be welcomed by Turkish society. What the Turkish government has to understand is that this situation is the culmination of many wrong policies over the past two decades. Syria is now just trying to profit from this situation and internationalize the Kurdish issue and the water issue.

    In recent years, Syria has enjoyed international recognition particularly from the European countries and has been successful in covering up its own Kurdish issue by supporting the PKK against Turkey. But this is not a new policy in the region. Kurds have consistently been badly treated by Arab countries in the past and will continue to be so in the future. The main difference this time, however, is that the Kurdish issue has become an international issue and it is because the United States has been contributing immensely since the end of the Gulf War that it remains so.

    Syria is militarily incapable of attacking Turkey. Turkey´s possible attack would help Syria gain the sympathy and status of ``victim''. Turkey should develop other policies, war is not the solution. It is a very difficult period for Turkey´s diplomacy and foreign policy. But, there is one explainable reason for this. Turkey is politically fragmented and on the way to becoming non-governable. When a prime minister states that after him there will be chaos, how can other countries interpret Turkey except as a non-governable country? Such statements create more confusion than neighbouring countries´ statements. This year was bad enough. One should not make it worse with statements which imply war. One should concentrate on real issues in the country, rather than being in conflict with everybody. As Cetin Altan asks, ``who is wrong, `we´ or `them´?'' That is the question.''


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


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