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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 99-03-10

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. 41/99 -- 10.3.99

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash reiterates ``2-State'' basis for talks.
  • [02] Turkey said considering settlement of Varosha.
  • [03] Turkish Minister: Turkey opposes arming of Aegean islands.
  • [04] Gurel meets Miller; discuss Cyprus problem.
  • [05] Turkey tells Athens: ``No Cyprus solution if terror aided''.
  • [06] Ecevit terms move to postpone elections ``civilian coup''.
  • [07] Turkish Cypriots adopt ``budget'' for 1999.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Miller´s news initiative on Cyprus viewed.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash reiterates ``2-State'' basis for talks

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 9.3.99), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to talk to the Greek Cypriot side on the basis of ``two states''. Denktash stressed that at this stage it is not possible to relinquish the ``state''.

    Denktash reiterated that he will sit at the negotiating table if President Clerides says: `The TRNC exists. I am ready to talk on the basis of two states. I am not the government of the Turkish Cypriots. Under these conditions, I am ready to discuss the exchange of property. I will not touch Turkey´s guarantee.´

    Otherwise, Denktash said, there is nothing to discuss. Expressing the belief that everything will be more beautiful with the support of Turkey, Denktash appealed to the adults not to allow the young ones to forget the past. Denktash declared that the ``TRNC'' will live forever as long as moves are undertaken to keep the flag hoisted.

    [02] Turkey said considering settlement of Varosha

    According to KIBRIS (9.3.99) there is talk in diplomatic circles that work is going on at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the ``TRNC'' so-called foreign ministry for the opening of Varosha to Turkish settlement and that a statement on the issue is expected in the next few days. (See Turkish Bulleting No. 40, dated 9.3.99, item 2).

    Retired Ambassador Sukru Elekdag, one of Turkey´s most experienced diplomats, proposed the ``piecemeal opening of Varosha to settlement as part of measures against Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration for their support of separatist terrorist Apo [lias for Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Workers Party of Kurdistan, PKK] and the PKK.''

    In an article in MILLIYET, Elekdag touched on the colonization of Varosha and said that ``this is expected to shake the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece.''

    Diplomatic circles were unanimous in the view that the subjects touched on in Sukru Elekdag´s article ``comprise important elements selected with a timing rooted in experience''.

    Arguing that it would be impossible for Athens to grasp the seriousness and determination of Turkey unless real pressure was put on Greece, Elekdag said: ``It must, however, be understood that the method of military pressure applied to Syria would backfire if applied to Greece, for the positions of these two countries are quite different. Faced with the threat of force, Greece would be expected to immediately complain about Turkey to the EU, NATO, OSCE and UN Security Council. That would lead to rapid intervention by the United States and the EU and thus to the freezing of the crisis. It is, therefore, not to Turkey´s advantage to give such a direction to the problem.

    Instead, it is possible to put Greece in a tight spot in other areas. One would be for Turkey to stop chartering Greek ships for freight transportation. This measure would be highly effective considering that Turkey pays around $400 million to Greece in freight rates.

    Another measure would be directed against the Greek Cypriot sector. The Greek Cypriots, who abet ASALA [Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia] and the PKK, are as guilty as Greece in supporting terrorism. Therefore, the piecemeal opening of Varosha for settlement should be expected to shake both the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece''.

    [03] Turkish Minister: Turkey opposes arming of Aegean islands

    According to Anatolia Agency (16:50 hours, 9.3.99) Hikmet Sami Turk, Turkey´sNational Defense Minister, said on Tuesday that deployment of missiles on the Greek islands in the Aegean by Greece would violate the Lausanne and Paris Agreements.

    ``Turkey has always opposed Greece`s attempt to deploy missiles on the islands and she will continue her opposition'', Turk told reporters.

    When asked if ``this situation would constitute a reason for a war'', Turk said they cannot go to a war with Greece right away since ``there are stages that need to be overcome before going to a war.''

    Turk added that Turkey had stated, in the past, that Greece´s increasing its territorial waters to 12 miles will be a reason for war.

    [04] Gurel meets Miller; discuss Cyprus problem

    According to Anatolia Agency (15:45 hours, 9.3.99), Turkish State Minister Sukru Sina Gurlel, who is responsible for Cyprus affairs, received Thomas Miller, US State Department special Cyprus coordinator. In a statement after the hour-long meeting, Gurel said they discussed the Cyprus question, Turkish-Greek relations, and other issues concerning the two countries. He asserted that Turkey is very pleased about Miller´s visit and attaches importance to Miller´s and the United States´ views and efforts on Cyprus and on Turkish-Greek relations.

    Replying to a question on Turkish-Greek relations, Gurel said that Miller stressed ``the importance of adopting a constructive stand regarding Cyprus and Turkish-Greek relations''. Gurel added: ``We share this view; however, I explained to him that the Greek and Greek Cypriot support of terrorism, which has been used as a tool in the systematically hostile policy being pursued by Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration against Turkey, created a deep lack of trust in Turkey. I explained that it is impossible to tackle the problems calmly unless this lack of trust is overcome''.

    Replying to another question, Gurel said that the condition for overcoming the lack of trust Turkey feels toward Greece is to see ``certain signs that Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration have given up supporting terrorism in Turkey,'' as he put it.

    Asked to comment on allegations that Rauf Denktash´s proposal for a confederation will be withdrawn, Gurel stressed that the proposal is still on the table, adding: ``We are not at a stage where we need to go into the details of the issue. Nevertheless, Turkey and the TRNC have not given up on the confederation proposal''.

    [05] Turkey tells Athens: ``No Cyprus solution if terror aided''

    According to daily HURRIYET (Ankara edition 5.3.99), Turkey has said that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved ``as long as Greece and the Greek Cypriot side continue to support terrorism.'' Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Sermet Atacanli claimed:

    ``Everyone knows Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan was issued a Greek Cypriot passport. Such behaviour will worsen the lack of confidence between the two sides. Progress on the Cyprus problem is closely linked with the Greek and Greek Cypriot side´s moves to change its policy. The Greek Cypriot administration has to end the support it gives to the terrorist PKK. That also applies to the Greek Government''.

    [06] Ecevit terms move to postpone elections ``civilian coup''

    TRT Television Network (11:45 hours, 9.3.99) aired live a news conference by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit with unidentified correspondents at the Prime Minister´s Office. Inter alia, Ecevit stated:

    ``The petition submitted by 116 deputies to hold an extraordinary session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) at first sight appears to be a request for a general discussion, but everyone knows that the real aim is to bring about the postponement of the general elections. The public, on the other hand, has been anticipating the elections for months. The election calendar has been in effect since 4 January, for over two months. The candidates have been selected. The public officials who wanted to be candidates have resigned their posts. The state has undertaken great expenditures for election preparations. The candidates and the parties, in turn, have worked with a spirit of self-sacrifice.

    If the elections are postponed, all this will have been in vain. Moreover, the Assembly work, politics in general, and the economy will be thrown into chaos. If the elections are postponed at a time when the indicators of our economy are showing positive trends in the face of the global crisis and at a time when inflation and the interest rates are dropping for the first time in many years, this trend may be reversed.

    Harmony has been achieved within the state. Consequently, our state is catching the gang leaders, the Mafia, and the terrorist organisation leaders in every corner of the country and the world. The trust in our state has increased inside and outside the country. If the elections are postponed, this process may also be disrupted.

    Given all these facts, the attempt by 116 deputies to bring about the postponement of the elections is like a civilian coup. I hope that this move will be rendered ineffective at the TGNA and that the coup will pass with only a small tremor. The activist deputies may be justified in having taken offense, but they do not have the right to make the people pay for their anger and affront. They must wage their quarrel within their own parties. Despite everything, we will do the utmost to turn this risky attempt into a positive thing.''

    [07] Turkish Cypriots adopt ``budget'' for 1999

    According to Anatolia Agency (12:02 hours, 6.3.99), the so-called assembly has adopted the ``bill'' on the 1999 fiscal year ``budget'' which was fixed as 176.321 billion Turkish Lira.

    At the budget vote, 31 ``deputies'' voted in favour and 13 against. Six ``deputies'' did not participate in the vote.

    National Unity Party and Communal Liberation Party ``deputies'' voted in favour, whereas Democratic Party and Republican Turkish Party ``deputies'' voted against.

    The ``budget'' will be retroactive to 1 January 1999.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Miller´s news initiative on Cyprus viewed

    Sami Kohen, writing in daily MILLIYET (Ankara edition, 9.3.99), refers to Thomas Miller´s new initiative on Cyprus and reports on a meeting he had with him upon his arrival in Istanbul. Kohen writes:

    ``I met Miller when he arrived in Istanbul yesterday. As usual, he believes that maintaining his mission is necessary and useful, regardless of what the conditions may be. Naturally, he is aware of the developments that are linked with Ocalan and agrees that they might weaken the chances of his success. Nevertheless, he said:

    `Yes, Ocalan´s situation is a threat to the opportunities that exist for a reconciliation in Cyprus. But my mission is to prevent the sides from losing the opportunities they have. Obstacles always emerge in the process. For example, the possibility of the deployment of the S-300 missiles in Cyprus was a problem when I held contacts in the area toward the end of 1998. We tried to obstruct the transfer of the missiles. The effort we made yielded a result that satisfied the Turkish Government. The Cypriot Government decided against having the missiles transferred to the island. The missile problem was seen as an obstacle that prevented the resumption of the negotiations process at the time. We now have the Ocalan problem. Problems will not end. The essence of the Cyprus problem and the contribution of the solution of the dispute toward the real interests of the sides have to be considered´.

    Although Miller agreed that the Cyprus issue is a complicated matter, he said that `the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots believe that it is the most difficult problem in the world. But the disputes in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia are very serious problems. That also applies to the problem in Kosovo. Efforts are being made to solve it. The sides are meeting to find a solution. Talks have to be held on Cyprus. No other alternative exists´.

    An opportunity for the resumption of the negotiations process in Cyprus does not seem to exist now. Miller said that `the reason for that is the reluctance of the two sides to hold talks to reach an agreement. They describe each and every new development as an obstacle. It was the S-300 missiles yesterday. Now it is Ocalan. Nothing can be achieved without talks. On the contrary, the problem will become more serious and complicated. Loss of time will not be in anyone´s interests. That has to b e realized´.

    The message Miller will give in his contacts in the region will convey the points we have just outlined. In other words, Miller will recommend to the two sides, particularly the Turkish Cypriot side, to surmount the obstacles created by the developments and prepare the ground for a new round of talks

    However, the view that will be conveyed to him in Ankara and Nicosia will be very different. The Turkish officials and TRNC President Rauf Denktash adopted a firm policy after Abdullah Ocalan was captured. The Turkish side has clearly outlined that the Greek Cypriots cannot be trusted, even the establishment of a confederation cannot be considered anymore, and the resumption of the negotiations process under the existing conditions is out of the question.

    Obviously, Washington is aware of the situation. Miller is aware of the views that will be conveyed to him in Ankara, Athens, and Nicosia. However, his mission as a conciliator is to defuse the situation (at least obstruct the escalation of tension) and make the sides realize the importance the Clinton administration attaches to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    His mission seems very difficult and even `impossible´ at the present time. However, it will be useful if it is persistently maintained, because it will keep the channels open and prevent a complete breakdown.''


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


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