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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 99-01-19

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. 9/99 -- 19.1.99





    Illegal Bayrak Radio (18.1.99) reports that the "police" has made another successful haul in its fight against narcotics. It seized about 6 kg of what it believes to be heroin. Nicholas Peter, a 36-year old British citizen who entered the "TRNC" from Kyrenia Port, was found to be hiding what is believed to be heroin inside his jacket.


    In an interview to TRT TV (17.1.99), Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem referred to the situation regarding the Kurds and asserted that they are supported by Western European politicians, especially Greek and Italian. The entire Turkish state, he said, and we will not make the mistake of ignoring them, but we must not think that Turkey can be affected by a few organizations' coming together and referring to the Lausanne and Sevres agreements. This would be an injustice to ourselves, Cem said that Turkey's concept of minority is not based on race. "When we say minority we refer to non-Muslims. We do not differentiate between the different races."

    On the contrary, he said, Western European history shows that the race factor is very important. "Race has been decisive in determining identity, in causing clashes, and in reaching compromises. In Western European history, people have been massacred because of their race. Many millions were exterminated in gas chambers because of their race. Traditionally, race has been the decisive factor in the definition of minorities in Western Europe."

    And he continued: "Please do not export an ugly side of your history and characteristics to us. Turkey may have its shortcomings and mistakes, but not this. Western Europe is still afficted by this malady. Racist parties are still emerging there; xenophobia is still rampant; and France is still discussing the position of its racist party. We do not subscribe to this bad habit. This point must be underlined." To strengthen his argument Cem added: "French State Minister Moskovici delivered a speech at the Council of Europe at the end of 1996 or beginning of 1997. In the speech, France rejected the Council of Europe treaty on minorities. By way of explanation, the French state minister said that France is a unitary state and that there are no minorities in France. Turkey does not even say that. We say that we have minorities, but our definition is different. France, which refuses to take part in the treaty on minorities on the basis of this stance, is considered one of the most distinguished members of the EU and the Council of Europe in the field of democracy."

    Regarding Cyprus, Cem said that "Together with the TRNC we have been establishing the infrastructure that will allow us to explain our Cyprus cause more effectively in 1999. Various issues are on the agenda at the moment. The first is the weapons issue. They tried to use the S-300 issue as a bargaining chip, but we pursued a determined and serious stand. We declared that this is not a subject for negotiation. Various bargaining points were mentioned in return for not deploying these missiles, but we rejected them. Finally, they were unable to deploy these missiles, which became a problem for them.

    The UN Security Council claims that the Turks are very strong and that they are arming themselves. This is not correct. In recent years, the Greek Cypriot side and Greece have engaged in intensive armament efforts. We must be able to explain this to the world, and we have begun to do so. Furthermore, the Greek and Greek Cypriot sides are trying to introduce new weapons. They described the S-300 defeat as a Waterloo. In order to compensate for this defeat, they want to import the Russian-made S-100 missiles which have a shorter range. Therefore, there is no reason for us to be shy with regard to armament and the military makeup of the island. On the contrary, perhaps we should be the side to make demands, because it is the Greek side that is continuously arming itself.

    Second, as mentioned by the TRNC prime minister, the confederation proposal raised by TRNC President Denktash is based on the principle of two states. Moreover, as you will recall, for years we had been advocating a bicommunal and bizonal federation. A confederation is a different matter. It consists of two sovereign units. The TRNC raised a proposal and incorporated it into the agenda. For the first time, the TRNC proposed a solution model to the international platforms. We accorded full support to this proposal. In my opinion, Mr. Denktash displayed an important product of his significant political experience and wit. Now I can comfortably tell my interlocutors that there should be two states rather than two communities."

    Cem went on to say that the method of a bizonal and bicommunal federation - has been tried for decades and failed. As a method, he added, we are offering the principle of two states. This proposal allowed us to make progress and on several occasions, some important countries were influenced by this proposal, although they did not actually accept it, and are seriously discusing it, he claimed.

    Continuing the interview, Cem referred to the relations between Turkey and the Middle East and said that there are great possibilities in connection with the Middle East.

    He said relations with Israel are good and the volume of trade with Israel will be close to $1 billion this year. The volume of trade with Egypt will be close to $1 billion. It is close to $1.2 billion with Algeria. The same situation is valid with the Gulf states and the other countries in the region. The Middle East is very important to us, he said ading: "We are part of the Middle East with our history, culture, and faith. We can advance our relations with the Middle East to much higher levels.


    DISI leader Nicos Anastasiades, in an exclusive interview to KIBRIS's (18.1.99) Bazaran Duzgun, stressed that the solution of the Cyprus problem will not be reached through force of arms.

    When asked whether the non-deployment of the S-300 missiles in Cyprus, which President Clerides and DISI supported strongly, could be considered a defeat, Anastasiades said: "Yes, it is a defeat, however, the real defeat for you, Turkish Cypriots and for us, Greek Cypriots, is that in Cyprus there is an arms race, the real defeat is the fact that there is a need to bring in weapons, to increase the troops presence to construct military bases and installations. The defeat is in the absemce of a solution which will permit us to live in peace, in mutual trust and prosperity. The defeat is in the fact that the sides are not on the negotiation table. The Cyprus problem is not a problem that could be settled through force of arms. Asked if, in order to overcome difficulties, DISI is considering more concessions, Anastasiades answered: If you mean on military issues, yes. We are ready to disband the National Guard, sell the weapons, put an end to purchase of arms, if the other side reciprocates, that is if there is withdrawal of occupation troops and replacement by an international force which will protect both communities. If you mean political concessions, I believe we have made enough concessions as a goodwill gesture expressing our readiness to live with the Turkish Cypriots together in a bizonal state having single international identity and nationality."

    When asked about the Turkish demand for separate sovereignty and administration, DISI Leader said: We are against separate sovereignty to the Greeks and Turkish Cypriots. I believe, we are a people who could live in a federal system, without separate sovereignty".

    To another question Anastasiades said: We are worried about the presence of Turkish troops and the ever increasing number of settlers, we defend Cyprus's demilitarization, as eagerly (may be more) as we supported the arrival of the S-300 missiles.

    As for Turkey's EU membership aspirations, Anastasiades said: We will be the last state that will oppose Turkey's EU membership if one day Turkey fulfills membership preconditions. We will feel safer if Turkey becomes an European Union member.


    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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