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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 99-03-11

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. 42/99 -- 11.3.99

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Russian Ambassador´s interview to KIBRIS.
  • [02] Denktash comments on meeting with German envoy.
  • [03] Turkish settlement of Varosha said under study.
  • [04] Demirel on electricity cable to the ``TRNC''.
  • [05] Denktash: ``Our right to open some houses in Varosha''.
  • [06] Eroglu is against concessionist policies.
  • [07] German couple back in Germany.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Russian Ambassador´s interview to KIBRIS

    KIBRIS (8.3.99) publishes the full text of an interview with Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Georgiy Muratov by Basaran Duzgun and Umral Akpinar at the Russian Embassy in Nicosia. (See Turkish Bulletin No. 39, dated 6-7- 8.3.99, item 3.)

    In reply to a question on the S-300 missiles, Muratov inter alia said:

    ``The uproar and propaganda on the Russian-Cyprus missile agreement notwithstanding, their offensive use is inconceivable even to the most vivid imagination. We therefore reached the conclusion that behind the aggravation of tension over the air-defense S-300 missiles lies the aim of keeping Russia out of the Mediterranean region and the Turkish arms market.

    I believe that the European stage-managers of this outcry do not have the Turkish Cypriots´ security and interests at heart at all. As known, during that very outcry, an agreement was concluded by Greece for the purchase of Patriot missiles, that is, American missiles comparable to the S-300, and work started on siting the American systems in Turkey as well. All these clearly reveal the real reason behind the kindling of tension over the S- 300. The publication of fanciful claims that air-defense missile systems could be equipped with nuclear warheads was a propaganda at its most unethical. Just imagine, who would try to hit planes circling over his head by using nuclear missiles?

    We respect the Cypriot Republic Government´s decision to deploy the S-300 missiles in Crete. For us, the agreement on the S-300 is a purely commercial deal''.

    Asked if the Cyprus Government wants to buy other arms from Russia, Muratov said: ``No, no such request has come to us. As you might know, Clerides, in a letter to the UN Secretary General, announced the suspension of all arms procurement. No request has been made to us for arms purchases.''

    Asked to comment on press reports about the purchase of TOR M-1 weapons, Muratov said:

    ``We have not been contacted at all about the purchase of the TOR M-1 weapons system.''

    Asked if Russia is planning any diplomatic initiative on the Cyprus problem, Muratov replied: ``Russia has already taken some steps. It was we who had proposed the `basic principles for the solution of the Cyprus problem´ in 1997. And, last year, we put forward the `proposals for the demilitarization of the Cypriot Republic and the safeguarding of the security of its citizens.´ But, regrettably, Russia´s proposals did not find sufficient reflection in the Turkish press, even though they were based on the UN resolutions on Cyprus, and were not supported by the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

    I must say that, in taking these steps, Russia proceeded from a desire to reduce the tension on the island, create a more favourable atmosphere for the intercommunal dialogue, and support talks aimed at solving the problem. Additionally, we also took into consideration the rights and interests of the two communities and other inhabitants on the island. We, therefore, cannot comprehend the prejudice against the Russian initiatives, in particular as regards our proposal for the demilitarization of Cyprus. In view of the expressed concern over the continuous arms buildup in Cyprus, it is very hard to understand the opposition to the initiatives to prevent new arms sales and secure the withdrawal of the foreign troops and the disbandment of the [Greek Cypriot] National Guard and [Turkish Cypriot] Security Forces. We believe that under the present conditions that is, because of the physical separation of the two communities, the existence of the `buffer zone´, and the presence of the UN troops there is no need for so many Turkish troops on the island to ensure the security of the Turkish Cypriots. I believe that most of the Turkish Cypriots have also realized that such a concentrated troop presence in northern Cyprus is meaningless.

    The Russian Federation will continue its efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible. In the near future, rather than working on broad initiatives, we would, within the framework of the UN mission in Cyprus and in cooperation with our Western partners, concentrate our efforts on more tangible issues that would bring the two sides on the island closer.''

    Asked if it makes a difference if the solution is a federal or a confederal one, since the aim is to solve the problem, Muratov said: ``Yes, it makes a big difference. The issues of recognition and of two sovereignties are interlinked. It means that, if there is sovereignty and recognition, then you can secede at any time by using the right of sovereignty. This will not be a viable solution. A detailed discussion of the subject of federation would take much time. This is a constitutional matter. The Russian position is based on the UN resolutions. And, I believe that if, after long debates, the international community has finally settled on the federation formula, we should not backtrack every time and bother ourselves with the demands of this or that side. For, the basis for a solution is already in the open. If we really want the solution of the problem, we have to follow this path, for it is the only one acceptable to all. It is unwise and unrealistic to destroy that foundation and begin everything anew.''

    Asked on the possibility of Russia making any initiative within the framework of confidence-building measures, he replied inter alia: ``We are working on a number of ideas. The implementation of these ideas would benefit the two communities. I must stress that the issues I am talking about have nothing to do with the political aspect of the Cyprus problem. Our ideas relate to the preservation of the island´s unrivalled natural beauty and cultural heritage and the improvement of the living conditions of the islanders without prejudice to their ethnicity and religion.

    In this connection, I might mention our project to make use of the Karkotis river waters for the benefit of the two communities. Our specialist drew up a draft project on the construction of a dam on this river.

    To leave no room for any doubts, the fair water distribution would be carried out under the UN control. I believe that if the project is realized, the Turkish Cypriots, who face a serious water shortage, would benefit from it as much as the Greek Cypriots.

    We could also consider the restoration of the historic sites that are the common cultural heritage of all the Cypriots, both Turkish and Greek Cypriot.

    The cultural and historic sites that are considered holy, such as Hala Sultan Tekke and the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, which are visited by thousands of Turkish and Greek Cypriots each year, could be renovated.''

    [02] Denktash comments on meeting with German envoy

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 10.3.99), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday met Detlev Graf zu Rantzau, Germany´s envoy for Cyprus, and conferred with him for some time. Also attending the meeting, which lasted approximately 90 minutes, were two diplomats accompanying Rantzau, ``presidential secretary'' Ergun Olgun, ``political affairs special adviser'' Necati Munir Ertegun, ``political affairs special coordinator'' Taner Etkin, and ``political affairs director'' Mustafa Evran.

    In a brief statement before the meeting, Denktash said that he is meeting with Rantzau as Germany´s special envoy for Cyprus, and not as the EU representative. In reply to a question, Rantzau said that he views Denktash´ confederation proposal with respect.

    In a statement after the meeting, Denktash declared that he conferred with Rantzau as the representative of Germany and the EU issue was not mentioned.

    Denktash noted that he conveyed to the German envoy that transforming Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot republic via the EU is not a solution. He added: ``There is nothing to applaud in the Greek Cypriot move not to deploy the S-300 missiles, because by appearing to have renounced the S-300 missiles, they are now planning to purchase more longer-range missiles. We conveyed this clearly to the envoy''.

    He claimed that the ``state-to-state'' principle must be accepted if an atmosphere for negotiations is to be established.

    [03] Turkish settlement of Varosha said under study

    According to KIBRIS (10.3.99) the issue of the piecemeal opening of occupied Varosha to settlement is being discussed at high-level meetings.

    According to information obtained from reliable sources, the paper says, an advanced stage has been reached in the technical work to open some quarters of the city to civilian settlement. It was, however, impossible to obtain detailed information about the work being carried out in great secrecy.

    It is being said that a hotel at the entrance of Varosha most of which allegedly belongs to the Vakif [religious trusts] Administration will be handed over to the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot correspondents and turned into a multi-purpose press center.

    [04] Demirel on electricity cable to the ``TRNC''

    According to KIBRIS (11.3.99) Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, speaking to the members of the Turkish National Committee of the World Energy Council who paid a visit to him, said: ``It is a must to transmit electricity to Cyprus''.

    Demirel instructed the chairman of the committee to proceed with laying the cable that will supply electricity to the occupied area.

    Noting that the distance between the ``TRNC'' and Turkey is not that much significant, Demirel said: ``Let us take to Cyprus both electricity and water. Let the world not recognize the TRNC. If it has bread to eat, water to drink, light and everything, this means it has power as well.''

    Demirel told the council members that whenever they are ready to supply electricity to the ``TRNC'' he will be backing them all the way through. (MY)

    [05] Denktash: ``Our right to open some houses in Varosha''

    According to KIBRIS (11.3.99) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said that it is possible to use some houses in the closed region of occupied Varosha for social and humanitarian purposes.

    In a statement to illegal Bayrak radio Denktash claimed ``it is our right to open some houses in Varosha. This does not mean to swallow, to eat Varosha''.

    Expressing the view that some houses in Varosha could be opened for use only with a decision of the so-called government, Denktash said that the ``government'' has yet to take such a decision.

    To another question regarding Thomas Miller´s visit to Cyprus, Denktash said that this was a courtesy visit because Mr. Miller was appointed to another post. ``He will neither bring nor will take anything'', Denktash said. (MY)

    [06] Eroglu is against concessionist policies

    According to KIBRIS (11.3.99), so-called prime minister, Dervish Eroglu, has said that they will continue the ``national cause'' in cooperation with Turkey, with a view to promoting the ``TRNC''. As ``government'', said Eroglu, they will continue in a decisive manner to defend the ``TRNC''.

    Stressing that they are in favour of dialogue and reconciliation, Eroglu added however, that they will continue to oppose concessionist policies.

    ``What we are after is not communal opposition, but communal peace'' Eroglu said. Speaking to a group of so-called former fighters, Dervis Eroglu said:

    ``What could happen during the coming days we are not in a position to know. However, we know one thing; that is our firmness. Neither the USA and British pressure nor the EU´s different stance nor UN officials can change anything. As long as the people of the TRNC own their state and put forward in an unequivocal manner what they want, it is not possible to have a different formula''.

    (MY)

    [07] German couple back in Germany

    According to KIBRIS (11.3.99) the German couple, who sought refuge in occupied Lefka in order not to let their six month old baby have an eye operation in Germany, returned to Germany yesterday after consultations with the officials of the German Embassy in Cyprus. The couple, who are followers of Nakshibendi order of the Sunni Sect, agreed to return to Germany and let the baby undergo treatment.

    The baby will be treated at a special eye clinic in Essen. (MY)


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


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