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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 99-06-09

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. 98/99 -- 9.6.99

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey´s possible declaration as EU candidate depends also on solution of Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Pakistani Ambassador starts illegal visit to occupied area.
  • [03] Denktash meets Ann Hercus.
  • [04] Turkish university to open campuses in occupied area.
  • [05] Hepatitis-A in the occupied area.
  • [06] Serdar Denktash meets Slovak Ambassador.
  • [07] ``International Wheelchair Basketball Championship''.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey´s possible declaration as EU candidate depends also on solution of Cyprus problem

    Turkish Daily News (8.6.99) reports that the openly declared enthusiasm of key European Union members to open the Union´s doors to Turkey and the openly declared pledge of the new Turkish government to carry out democratization efforts may have opened a tiny crack in the ice between Ankara and Brussels, but the fate of Turkey´s EU bid at the Helsinki summit is bound to a number of crucial interrelated developments that will take place over the next six months.

    Although Turkey has rejected the three conditions put forward for its candidacy at the 1997 Luxembourg summit and has cut dialogue with the EU on these issues, the developments seen nowadays, which will directly influence Turkey´s possible declaration as the 12th candidate, are related exactly to these three issues - improvement in Turkey´s human rights record, its relations with Greece, and the resolution of the Cyprus problem.

    The new government in Ankara has made it clear that it will undertake comprehensive reforms to democratize the Turkish legal system. Even before winning a confidence vote, it has already taken action on reforming the structure of the State Security Courts (DGMs).

    The final fate of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. will be one of the determining factors regarding Turkey´s relations with Europe. European officials have made it clear that hanging Ocalan would be a disaster. And while Turkish officials continue to assert that nobody can intervene in Turkey´s internal affairs, many local and foreign observers, taking into account the development of the trial, have started to believe that Ocalan may end up surviving execution.

    In Turco-Greek relations, the second area outlined as a condition for Turkey´s candidacy, there is unprecedented movement. The current Greek leadership of two moderates, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, may provide an opportunity for a long-awaited improvement in relations.

    Although Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem declines to refer to his personal dialogue with Papandreou as ``a warming-up'', Cem´s letter to the Greek Foreign Minister offering cooperation against terrorism in the wake of the Ocalan storm in bilateral relations has led to suggestions that Papandreou´s warm messages to Ankara have at least ``influenced'' Turkish officials, if not wholly convinced them of the sincerity of Athens´ declared goodwill.

    The confidence rift between the two countries is still undeniably huge, but the recent overtures are promising. In response to Turkish mistrust, Greek diplomatic sources say that Ankara fails to realize ``what the real atmosphere'' in Athens is, and hint that Greece will focus seriously on bilateral relations following the Euro-elections on June 13.

    Papandreou is expected to convey his response to Cem´s proposal after these elections, when the government will be free from domestic political concerns. The wording of his response will also hint at what Greece´s stance will be on Turkey´s EU bid.

    Turkish and Greek diplomats believe that Cem and Papandreou can come together in the sidelines of a number of international meetings scheduled to take place before the Helsinki summit in December. One of them is the summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which will be held in Istanbul in November. Both Simitis and Papandreou are expected to participate.

    It is hard to imagine Greeks lifting their veto to any rapprochement between Turkey and the EU after decades of obstructions. However, if Turkey really carries out comprehensive democratization reforms, Greece will be stripped of a solid pretext and will have to take concrete action to prove that it really is in favour of Turkey´s ``European orientation''.

    Last but not least is the issue of Cyprus, which can no longer be separated from Turkey´s relations with the EU. This is the issue on which Turkey does not appear ready to make any concessions - at least for now.

    The G-8 summit in Germany on June 18-20 is expected to reveal a comprehensive proposal for a Cyprus solution. Reports about draft constitutions and maps are already in the pages of newspapers. Moreover, Washington is taking every opportunity to assert that it wants to see the Cyprus problem resolved and will undoubtedly increase pressure on the parties involved in the dispute to reach a compromise.

    The new Turkish government has not given any signal that it will yield from its current Cyprus policy. But it should not be forgotten that Turkey´s previous support for a federation solution was cut after the Luxembourg summit, at which Cyprus was announced as a candidate and Turkey rebuffed.

    This leads to suggestions that if Turkey is given a solid perspective for EU membership, a solution to the Cyprus issue in a framework other than confederation may gain momentum. According to unconfirmed reports, Washington is working on a solution outline that will combine aspects of federation and confederation to satisfy both sides. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit´s expected visit to the United States this summer or autumn will remove many of the numerous question marks remaining on the Cyprus problem as well as many other foreign policy matters.

    The EU appears more willing to improve ties with Turkey now that recent developments in the region have once again shown the importance of Ankara in Europe.

    The structure of the new leadership of the European Commission, the EU´s executive body, is also favourable for Turkey. Commission chief Romano Prodi and foreign policy supremo Javier Solana are known to be sincere Turkey supporters. Moreover, they will be reinforced by another official known as a pro-Turkish diplomat, Pierre Boissieu of France, who will be assisting Solana.

    However, it would be an illusion to expect that German and French support, as well as a Commission sympathetic to Turkey, will mean anything without concrete achievements on the aforementioned three issues. There may be six months before the Helsinki summit, but the road will be long and difficult, the paper concludes.

    [02] Pakistani Ambassador starts illegal visit to occupied area

    KIBRIS (9.6.99) reports that Pakistan´s Ambassador to Turkey, Karamutullah Khan Ghori, and his wife arrived in the occupied area yesterday. Speaking at the occupied Tymbou airport, the Ambassador said that he came to the occupied area to investigate the life of Pakistani students studying in the occupied area as well as of those Pakistanis who actually live in the occupied area.

    (MY)

    [03] Denktash meets Ann Hercus

    VATAN (9.6.99 reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had a meeting yesterday with UN Deputy Special Representative in Cyprus, Dame Ann Hercus. There was no statement after the meeting.

    (MY)

    [04] Turkish university to open campuses in occupied area

    KIBRIS (9.6.99) reports that Turkey´s Middle East Technical University (METU) will be opening two new campuses in occupied Lefka and Morphou. To this effect a delegation from the METU arrived in the occupied area to conduct investigation.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash declared that if the METU opens these campuses, this will help in the revitalization of these areas.

    (MY)

    [05] Hepatitis A in the occupied area

    KIBRIS (9.6.99) reports under the banner headlines ``Hepatitis A in Morphou'' and says that hepatitis-A has been diagnosed in an area where a group of 500 people are living and whose way of life and customs are different. (the paper implies gypsies).

    Quoting local paediatricians, the paper reports that in the last 2-3 months forty cases of hepatitis-A have been reported. The doctors said that in this area, where people live close to each other and pay little attention to hygiene, the spread of hepatitis-A is possible.

    The doctors have warned that if the necessary measures are not taken, hepatitis-A, which is a highly contagious disease, might turn into an epidemic. (MY)

    [06] Serdar Denktash meets Slovak Ambassador

    YENI DEMOKRAT (9.6.99) reports that the Slovak Ambassador to Cyprus Rudolf Michalka (Tr. Note: wrong name is mentioned, Slovakia´s Ambassador to Cyprus is Mr. Dusan Rosbora) had a meeting with Democratic Party leader, Serdar Denktash. Yeni Demokrat publishes a picture of the Ambassador and the DP leader and says that during the meeting the latest developments in the Cyprus problem were discussed. The meeting lasted one hour.

    (MY)

    [07] ``International Wheelchair Basketball Championship''

    KIBRIS (9.6.99) reports that the so-called 3rd International Wheelchair Basketball Championship was launched in the occupied area yesterday.

    KIBRIS adds that the interest in the tournament was low. Teams from Germany, Israel, Britain, Turkey, Polland, and Holland are taking part in the tournament.

    (MY)


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


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