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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 99-12-29
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 240/99 -- 29.12.99
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Cypriot leaders exchange new year greetingsAccording to Ankara Anatolia (28.12.99) President Clerides called Mr. Denktash yesterday to extend his best wishes for the new year, but he could not reach him because Denktash was in Ankara.
Later on Denktash returned the call to Clerides and conveyed his best wishes for the new year.
 Turkish policy based on two states in CyprusRauf Denktash yesterday received Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, Turkish National Defense Minister who is visiting the occupied area.
According to Ankara Anatolia (28.12.99) Denktash described the announcement of Turkey´s candidacy to the European Union as a positive development.
For his part Cakmakoglu stressed, ``the EU has accepted Turkey as a candidate country knowing that Turkey has not changed her policy regarding the Cyprus question. Our loyalty to the facts on Cyprus continues. We are in favour of dialogue and negotiations for lasting peace and a solution of the problem on the island. Our policy is to defend a future which will be formed by two separate sovereignties and states on the island''.
Cakmakoglu added that with its status of candidate country Turkey will have a better opportunity to express her case and problems. The world, he said, understands Turkey´s increasing importance day by day''.
 Turkey will defend the Cypriot cause in EUAccording to Ankara Anatolia (28.12.99) Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who is in the occupied area for a holiday, met with Rauf Denktash, Ertugrul Hasipoglu, the ``Speaker of the TRNC Republican Parliament; Salih Cosar, the Acting Speaker of TRNC Parliament; Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu; Ertugrul Apakan, the Turkish Ambassador to the TRNC; and Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the TRNC Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister''.
Following the meeting, Cem and Denktash held a press conference.
Cem said they evaluated developments in 1999. He said Turkey will voice the just Cyprus case in the European Union more effectively now that Turkey is a candidate and added: ``We will bring the confederation proposal on the agenda of the EU for the first time. There can be no excuse to justify the embargo imposed on the TRNC. We are determined to continue our initiatives for the embargo to be lifted''.
Noting that the Turkish team was very successful in the proximity talks in New York, Cem asserted that ``the EU´s decisions have encouraged the Greek Cypriot side to digress from the negotiation table. We have concerns that the Greek Cypriots could withdraw from the negotiations by making excuses''.
Reviewing events Cem, made a reference to the confederation proposal, the S- 300 missiles issue and said trouble was prevented by the determination Turkey showed. He also referred to decisions to improve further relations between Turkey and the ``TRNC''.
Cem went on to say that ``the United Nations Security Council said in its last resolution that Cyprus was made up of two sovereign states, and that the TRNC´s approval was necessary for any activity in northern Cyprus. As we approach to a new century, Turkey and the TRNC are more optimistic about the Cyprus case. Our long-standing struggle is gradually nearing to its target.''
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that a new period has started which is full of new parameters, hopes, problems, and facilities. Pointing out that Turkey´s EU formal candidacy is an important development, Cem said Turkey is stronger than it was in the past and will be more powerful in the future. Cyprus he said is a common cause and the strengthening of Turkey will strengthen the ``TRNC''.
Underlining that Turkey considers EU candidacy and Cyprus case as two separate issues, he added: ``Nobody should think or expect us to change our position regarding the Cyprus issue even if we solve our problems with the EU.''
Turkey and the ``TRNC'', he said, do not oppose a solution based on the compromise of the two sides on Cyprus, and again recalled the confederation proposal.
Cem said the embargo imposed on the ``TRNC'' is uncivilized and added: ``We expect support and effort from everybody to lift this embargo. ``We are resolved to bring the issue to the world and especially to EU platforms in the year 2000''.
For his part Denktash reiterated his views that ``the only way for reconciliation in Cyprus is to accept the truth about the island.(…) Cyprus was divided into two because Turkey and the TRNC did not allow Greece and the Greek Cypriot side to colonize the island''.
He repeated his allegation that by accepting Cyprus application, the EU considered Cyprus as the island of Greek Cypriots and added ``if the EU want Cyprus to become a member as a whole, it should recognize the TRNC´s status and sovereignty.
The EU, he alleged, ``gave the Greek Cypriots the right to colonize and to reduce the Turkish Cypriots to the level of minority by deeming them as the legitimate government. The EU which turned a blind eye to armaments of the Greek Cypriots, is not aware that the Greek Cypriots were preparing for war.
We went to New York as two equal sides. But the Greek Cypriot side assumed an uncompromising attitude because they are being considered as the only government of Cyprus. There will not be a compromise unless this changes.''
Addressing himself to Clerides, Denktash said there are two equal sides which established a joint republic on Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots cannot dominate the Turkish Cypriots, he said adding that the guarantee system will continue.
Referring to the statement by President Clinton that ``there could be no return to the status quo on Cyprus to the pre-1974 period'', Denktash said, ``if we want improvement, we should start from where we are. There is not just one Cyprus government and one Cypriot people. The concept of two democracies, two peoples, and two state is a starting point''.
``We are ready to form bridges. We are ready to show Cyprus as one confederate state in the UN and in the EU. Our way is a uniting one but the way of the Greek Cypriots is a one which divides Cyprus'', he claimed.
 ``Health Protocol'' to be signedAnkara Anatolia (28.12.99) reports that Osman Durmus, the Health Minister, arrived in the occupied area yesterday as the guest of Gulsen Bozkurt, ``Health and Environment Minister''.
On his arrival Durmus said that cooperation on the issues of exchange of personnel and training, was continuing between Turkey and the ``TRNC''.
Gulsen Bozkurt said that an additional ``protocol'' envisaging cooperation in health, will be signed during Durmus´ visit.
 Cyprus: Yurtbank activities frozenIllegal Bayrak radio (27.12.99) reports that ``following the bank operation in Turkey ``the Council of Ministers has frozen the activities of Yurutbank in the ``TRNC'', and decided to set the deadline of 12 January for the bank to correct its financial structure. If the necessary correction is not effected by 12 January, the bank will be liquidated. (…) Mehmet Bayram, economy and finance minister, said that under the law the state guarantees deposits of up to 7,000 British pounds. He said: If you have 20,000 pounds in this bank, only 7,000 is under state guarantee, and the rest depends on the liquidation situation at the end of the procedures to be conducted.''
 Denktash favours EU. Recognition of sovereigntyIstanbul HURRIYET (Kibris Supplement - 25.12.99) publishes an article by Mete Tumerkan on an interview he had with Denktash on his return from New York.
Asked for his opinion on the EU issue, Denktash replied ``positive''.
Reminded about claims that he is opposed to the EU, Denktash said ``No, I am not. Who is making up these stories?'' Expounding his views on the EU, Denktash stressed that EU´s recognition of Turkey´s candidacy is an important step at the present stage, and added: ``The EU is also our own goal. But, we have to be careful while walking on this path.'' He then dwelled on the importance of the recognition of the (Turkish Cypriots´) sovereignty and the confirmation of Turkey´s rights over Cyprus.
Underlining that he is acting on the authority derived from the people, Denktash noted that in the new phase of the Cyprus problem he has to work even harder.
Acknowledgement of the realities would speed up the solution of the Cyprus problem, Denktash said adding that the problem will vanish once the Greek Cypriot side recognizes the realties in Cyprus.
Asked about the course of the New York proximity talks, Denktash said he was pleased with them because a new page had opened as a result of the firm policies pursued on the Cyprus problem: the intercommunal talks had been replaced by a new process between the two equal sides.
Denktash warned that developments should not be assessed superficially and that views should be expressed only after making an in-depth and realistic analysis.
A struggle is being waged for the recognition of the (Turkish side´s) sovereignty, he said. When the reporter mentioned that the Greek Cypriot press frequently talks about territorial issues, Denktash cut him short, saying: ``No, that is impossible. First our sovereignty has to be recognised, only then we can discuss such things. Do not give attention to the Greek Cypriot press.''
Denktash said no map was tabled at the New York proximity talks.
Asked how he introduced himself when he sat at the table with the UN Secretary General in New York, Denktash replied: ``The way I am. I sat at the table as TRNC President Denktash''.
The article concludes: ``It is obvious that the Cyprus problem has entered a new phase. The internal political bickering must now be put aside. The TRNC´s goal and the steps it needs to take in that direction have become clear. With Turkey an EU candidate, the TRNC too should start readying itself for the EU. Policies have to be formulated and strategies developed for this purpose. Yet another reality that has now dawned upon us is that `the non-solution is no more a solution´.''
 Ali Birand on present situation in CyprusHURRIYET KIBRIS (24.12.99) reports that one of the well-known Turkish journalists Mehmet Ali Birand, during a discussion presented by Turkish Cypriot journalist Resat Akar, on illegal Genc TV (Latest Situation programme) said that the Cyprus problem has reached a point where it can no longer remain without a solution. He said that at this stage, a solution which could be a partition, or joining the EU together with the Greek Cypriots, is inevitable.
Referring to the forthcoming ``presidential'' elections in the occupied area in April, Birand said that this will be in a sense a referendum, those who do not want EU membership will vote for Denktash.
Noting that the EU is not interested in how a settlement will be found in Cyprus nor whether a united or two states in Cyprus join the EU. What it is interested in is a package in which the Turkish Cypriots will have all their guarantees.
Referring to Cyprus´ EU membership Birand said that the ``TRNC'' EU membership is in Turkey´s interests and added:
``Everyone clearly knows that Cyprus is there and is not given to anybody. Entry to the EU will make the Turkish Cypriots prosperous TRNC´s entry into the EU together with the Greek Cypriots is in Turkey´s interests. I prefer a Cyprus government, in which Turkey will have a right to veto rather than a Cyprus government without Turkish Cypriots. Clerides will either cast his vote alone or he will vote together with Denktash. I prefer that they vote together''.
Saying that it is easier to get concessions from the Greek Cypriots regarding a settlement, Birand said that at this point the Turkish side has nothing to lose. On the territorial issue, Birand said that the Turkish side twice offered to return Varosha to the Greek Cypriots and noted that the Turkish side several times admitted that it has occupied more territory for bargaining purposes and that Varosha was captured to be used as a trump- card in the future. ``That is there is land to be given but we say that people are settled there, we should have followed a consistent policy and not let people settle there.''
Birand concluded by saying that Denktash is a very realistic person so much so that ``he knows that if Turkey´s interests are in question, Turkey can turn a blind eye on Cyprus''.
 Demirel on EUIn an interview with Istanbul MILLIYET on Turkey´s EU compliance President Suleyman Demirel said inter alia that the political criteria calls for the existence of stable institutions that guarantee democracy, supremacy of the law and respect for human and minority rights in a given country. Turkey, he said, has formally informed the EU authorities that it would abide by these criteria. He added that Turkey will take steps to eliminate shortcomings in this area.
Asked how Turkey would react if the EU accepts Cyprus´ full membership even before a solution of the Cyprus problem Demirel said: ``The Helsinki decision says that the solution of the problem would facilitate Cyprus´ EU membership. In case of non-solution, it says that the decision on Cyprus´ membership would be made by assessing all the factors together''. He added that before the start of the negotiations with the Greek Cypriots he tried to make the relevant state officials aware of their mistaken policy. Eventually, he claimed, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands adopted a joint position and declared that the Greek Cypriots cannot become an EU member before the solution of the Cyprus problem. Now, he went on, it is time for us to explain our cause well to our partners. I believe that in the period ahead we would create an atmosphere of trust and ensure a better understanding of our problems.
Demirel was asked to interpret President Clinton´s remark that ``Turkey is a country that would shape the 21st century. In his response Demirel said that the Europeans are unable to grasp well the situation that has arisen after the demise of the Soviet empire, the big change in Eurasia, and the possible developments in the years ahead. Whereas, the United States are making a correct analysis of Eurasia in terms of geo-economic and geo- strategic importance, and are drawing the necessary conclusions from it. In that context, he said the United States appreciate Turkey´s importance in the Balkans, Central Asia, Caucasus, and Middle East. The US realized that Turkey could contribute to peace, stability, and security in all these regions because of its strategic position, values, and power. He added that no country other than Turkey could shoulder such a role.
 Denktash denies rift with EcevitOn his return from Ankara where he attended the ceremonies to mark the 80th anniversary of Ataturk´s arrival in Ankara and to receive the order of the keepers of the Sultan´s hounds, Denktash said during his one-day visit he had the opportunity with President Demirel, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, and Foreign Ministry and other military and civilian officials.
Denktash said that prior to his departure from Ankara, a reporter asked him whether he was offended by Ankara and whether those feelings were dissipated during his visit. Denktash said: he did not know how they came up with the story that he was offended. He stressed that there has been no development that might have given cause to such a feeling. Denktash denied rumours that there is a rift with Ecevit and added: ``Mr. Ecevit is the saviour of Cyprus. He has a special place in the heart of every Turkish Cypriot. He has established a throne in each heart. Our love and respect for him is immense. The fact that he has again become the Turkish prime minister makes us very happy. He is a source of great strength for us. There are certain writers who believe that creating confusion and rifts or casting a shadow over the hopes of the Turkish nation and the Turkish Cypriot people for the future is an achievement. Let no one trust them. Let no one attach importance to them''.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/