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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-08-01

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. 145/00 -- 1.8.00

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Interview with Turkish Cypriot journalist Sener Levent.
  • [02] Eroglu denies accord with two Greek families on opening Varosha.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot organizations launch ``this country is ours'' signature campaign.
  • [04] Denktash says Cyprus without guarantor states, soldiers inconceivable.
  • [05] Ertugruloglu denies map on territorial concessions on Geneva Agenda.
  • [06] Ankara´s plan for future regime in pseudostate.
  • [07] Akinci lists things to be done to overcome crisis.
  • [08] Turkish press on present crisis in ``TRNC''.
  • [09] Eroglu confirms he will not resign.
  • [10] Ankara sends aid to pseudstate.
  • [11] Visa requirements for Turkish Cypriots who ravel to Britain remain.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [12] Economic crisis in pseudostate viewed.
  • [14] Turkish Cypriot paper says ``TRNC'' army must be established.
  • [16] Columnist on economic crisis, political designs in pseudostate.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Interview with Turkish Cypriot journalist Sener Levent

    Ozgur Politika (Internet Version, 28.7.00) reports on an interview with Sener Levent, editor-in-chief of AVRUPA newspaper, who was recently arrested on charges of ``spying''. According to Sener Levent, the assertion that western countries and ``prime minister'' Eroglu support Avrupa is a ``great lie''. He said: ``Ever since its first issue our newspaper has not received help from anyone. At the root of these claims lie my reports and the reports of others on the occupation of Cyprus''.

    Concerning the National Security Council (MGK) report on Cyprus, which was reported in the Turkish press (see item 4 in Bulletin No.142, 27.7.00), Levent said: ``If the claims of the MGK are right, then Denktash is placing dynamite under Turkey. Minister of State Sukru Sina Gurel can present a report that is not based on reality to the MGK, which is the highest-level establishment in the still un-civilianized Turkey. This report was prepared in line with the views of Denktash. They want to mislead the people by providing false information''. He continued: ``If such a report was indeed presented to such an establishment, and this was registered in the reports, then this would be as dangerous as placing dynamite under Turkey.''

    Levent emphasized the connection that exists between how and when the MGK report was presented and the meetings held in Geneva and said that the aim of the assertion, which claims that Ledra Palace is helping the adversaries, is to leave the peace talks that are held in Cyprus unsolved. Levent said:

    ``In order to sabotage the contacts between the Greeks and the Turks they are making false claims'', and noted that this is perpetrated by those who are not in favour of a solution.

    Levent said that he had written in the past as well that Cyprus is currently under occupation; he emphasized that ``Turkey, whose interference in the island was within its rights in line with the 1974 guarantor treaty, did not keep its promises. Not only did Turkey not keep its promises to bring back the constitutional regime and the Cypriot Republic, but it established itself here. It turned our entire land into a military base. It turned the Northern Cypriot Republic into a first, second, and third class military zone garrison.'' Levent underlined that Turkey is usurping the will of the Cypriot Turks. Levent, who noted that Ankara´s constant interference prevented them from holding democratic ``elections'', said: ``It was always Ankara that decided who would make up our government and who would be the heads of organizations. The people who hold the key positions were appointed by Ankara. For example, the Security Forces Commander, the Turkish General, who should normally be attached to the office of the Prime Minister in line with the Constitution, is in practice attached to the Turkish General Staff.''

    Levent, who gave an extensive assessment of recent developments, said that it would be wrong to view the incidents as an operation that was undertaken for the purpose of overthrowing Eroglu and added that the issue is very complicated and so large that it may shock the government in Turkey.

    Levent emphasized that ``the slogan `This country is Ours´ is an indicator of the rising voice of the Cypriot people against the condition in which Turkey is administering Cyprus as if it were one of its provinces''. He completed his words by saying: ``Cyprus should be commanded by the people of Cyprus; we should be the ones who have the first degree right to make comments. Since Turkey has realized this, it is saying, `Even if the local people in Cyprus would oppose us, we will have to defend our strategic advantages´. This was written clearly by Mumtaz Soysal.'', Levent said.

    [02] Eroglu denies accord with two Greek families on opening Varosha

    BIRLIK (1.8.00) reports that so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu has described as ``unfounded and illogical'' claims that he reached an agreement with and is supported by two Greek Cypriot families with regard to the issue of opening Varosha.

    Eroglu issued a written statement in connection with a report concerning him that appeared in a magazine published in Turkey and in Turkish Cypriot daily AVRUPA. (see item 14 in yesterday´s Bulletin No. 144).

    Noting that ``the claims made in the said article are aimed at wearing him down and providing political advantage to a specified circle'', Eroglu said that it is unthinkable for him to be the respondent of such a contact.

    Eroglu said: ``The National Unity Party (UBP), of which I am the leader, and myself have always been opposed to making Varosha an issue for discussion in any way and have rejected the UN proposal, within the framework of the package of confidence - building measures, on transferring Varosha to UN control in exchange for the opening of the Lefkosia International Airport''.

    Noting that just because of his stand on Varosha he was described as ``the intransigent hawk'', Eroglu continued: ``We stressed, not only now but in the past as well despite the opposition of many circles, that a solution on Cyprus can only be possible with the acceptance of two states. We are proud that our current national policy has come to this point''.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot organizations launch ``This country is ours'' signature campaign

    A report by YENIDUZEN (1.8.00) says that a total of 39 organizations, including the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Patriotic Union Movement (YBH), held a joint news conference on the problems facing the pseudostate and noted that they can be surmounted through a lasting solution.

    A signature campaign was also launched at the news conference held at the ``Turkish Cypriot Public Sector employees Union'' headquarters. Speaking on behalf of all the organizations, Ahmet Barcin, leader of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Union, accused all the ``governments'' with incompetence. He charged that a very severe economic breakdown as well as a very low morale are being experienced because of the nonsolution of the Cyprus problem . Noting that the economy was in order in the aftermath of 1974 and that factories, the citrus sector, and other small industrial installations were productive, Barcin said that wrong decisions created a consumerist society. Referring to the socio-economic package, Barcin recalled the actions being staged by the people against the package, adding that these led to further problems. He continued: ``We will continue our legitimate and justified democratic struggle for democracy, a solution, and our economic and political future with a demand for self-government''.

    Noting that they are following the stand Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit adopted in support of Rauf Denktash, Barcin condemned it, adding that the problems of the Turkish Cypriots are not related to a presidential regime. He said that they are determined to safeguard the parliamentary regime. Barcin further announced the launching of a signature campaign under the headline `This country is ours´ which includes demands such as placing of the ``police force'' under the ``civilian authority'' and self- government for the Turkish Cypriots on all political and economic decisions. Calling on the entire population to participate in the campaign, Barcin said that those people who wish to participate in the signature campaign to begin throughout the pseudostate can sign the petition in various stands to be established in certain regions and at the headquarters of some 30 organizations.

    [04] Denktash says Cyprus without guarantor states, soldiers inconceivable

    HALKIN SESI (1.8.00) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has announced that the sides are waiting for the United Nations to express its views to the two parties. Denktash noted that he is continuing his contacts within the framework of the third round proximity talks being held in Switzerland. Pointing out that the sides responded to the views submitted by Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary General´s special Cyprus envoy, during the previous stage, Denktash added: ``Both sides expressed their last stand, presented their case. Now they are working on whether there are points that can be bridged between the views of the two sides. I believe that the UN views will be expressed today or tomorrow''.

    Noting that the delegation accompanying him is working very well in Geneva and that it has said all that can be said, Denktash expressed the hope that all the Cyprus ``realities'' will be taken into consideration. Replying to reporters´ questions on reports that the United States is exerting efforts to speed up the process, Denktash said: ``The Cyprus issue is not linked to anyone else. It was, however, being said that US President Bill Clinton would solve the Cyprus problem prior to the elections. We are not linked to any other issue. Our wish is to reach a solution by taking Cyprus´ history into consideration and by avoiding the approach of `we are the Cyprus Government. The Turkish Cypriots split from us, we did not expel them´. We expect the Greek Cypriot side to make a change''.

    Drawing attention to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side is keeping the EU membership issue on the agenda, Denktash recalled that the Turkish Cypriot thesis on the issue is that it be brought up after the solution of the problem.

    Replying to reporters´ questions on whether the United States has drawn a parallel between the issues of Cyprus and Bosnia, Denktash said that if the military forces in Bosnia withdraw today, then there will be a bloodbath in the region. He continued: ``I hope that they will take Bosnia as an example. The Turkish and Greek soldiers will remain on the island in the aftermath of a solution. This fundamental principle has been accepted. A Cyprus without the guarantor states and the soldiers is inconceivable. From the viewpoint of the security of its southern coast Turkey cannot let go of Cyprus, which has a geopolitical significance''.

    [05] Ertugruloglu denies map on territorial concessions on Geneva Agenda

    According to a report in KIBRIS (1.8.00) Tahsin Ertugruloglu, ``minister of foreign affairs and defense'', has stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side has never discussed the territorial issue at any stage of the proximity talks. He denied reports to the effect that a map on territorial concessions was placed on the agenda of the Geneva talks.

    Upon being reminded about a statement Richard Holbrooke, the former US president´s special envoy to Cyprus, made to the Greek Cypriot media to the effect that they support a federation, Ertugruloglu said: ``If this statement is true, then we assess it as a direct interference in the process of the proximity talks''. Alleging that the proximity talks began within a framework according to which any proposal based on the equality of the sides can be brought to the table, Ertugruloglu said that they are continuing within that same framework. He added that exceeding this framework by putting forth preconditions is unacceptable. Ertugruloglu further warned that if Holbrooke, said to participate in the fourth round of the proximity talks to be held New York, does make such a statement, then the New York process will be endangered.

    Ertugruloglu was then asked to assess the following statement by Holbrooke:

    `Now that Cyprus has advanced in its EU efforts, that the intense efforts have been exerted to improve Turkish-Greek relations, and that Turkey has been granted, at least partially, its rights in Helsinki, I believe that the time has come for the Cypriot people and leaderships to observe us and advance toward the 21st century´. In reply, Ertugruloglu claimed: ``If we act in line with Holbrooke´s statement, then we will advance not toward the 21st century but toward becoming the victims of Hellensim''.

    [06] Ankara´s plan for future regime in pseudostate

    CUMHURIYET (1.8.00) reports under the banner headlines ``Ankara´s TRNC Plan'' and says that with a view to securing a stable administration in the occupied area, Ankara wants the ``presidential'' system to be established in the occupied area. To this effect, it has increased its pressure on Eroglu to tender his resignation.

    Saying that the five million US dollar Turkish aid to the occupied area destined to meet its immediate financial needs will not be released until Eroglu tenders his resignation, CUMHURIEYT notes that so-called assembly speaker Ertugrul Hasipoglu will be appointed by Denktash to form the new ``government'' of technocrats.

    Quoting ``diplomatic'' sources, CUMHURIYET says that the so-called government of technocrats will have three basic responsibilities to fulfill:

    - It will prepare, with the help of Turkey, an economic reform package - to introduce structural changes in the occupied area´s economy.

    - It will draw a repayment programme for those bank depositors who were effected from the bankrupt banks in the occupied area.

    - Its main function will be to realize the necessary ``constitutional amendments'' for the introduction of the presidential system.

    [07] Akinci lists things to be done to overcome crisis

    According to CUMHURIYET (1.8.00) the leader of the Communal Liberation Party and so-called deputy prime minister of the ``coalition government'', Mustafa Akinci, has said that ``the Presidential System is not a solution'' and that it will lead to dictatorship.

    In an exclusive statement to CUMHURIYET, Akinci said that the forceful creation of a 12 March model (Tr. Note: a 12 March model is the government model forced by generals in Turkey in the early 70s) in the occupied area will not be beneficial to the occupied area nor to Turkey.

    He said that at this moment a ``change of regime is not on the TRNC´s agenda''.

    Akinci listed three points that will help overcome the present crisis in the occupied as follows:

    a) Settlement of the Cyprus problem should be realized and serious work should be carried out for EU membership.

    b) Economic measures should be taken by consensus and understanding should be shown for the Turkish Cypriots´ demand to govern themselves.

    c) Parallel to the economic measures, democratization should be on the agenda. The ``police Force should be under the ``civilian authority''.

    The Turkish Cypriots´ demand to have an absolute saying in the

    ``Turkish Cypriot Airlines'', the ``Central Bank'', the ``Civil Defence'' and

    in similar institutions should not be opposed and Turkey should exhibit

    more understanding towards these demands.

    [08] Turkish press on present crisis in ``TRNC''

    MILLIYET (1.8.00) reports that according to impartial observes, both Turkish Cypriots and Ankara committed mistakes that lead to the present crisis.

    According to these observers, Ankara committed the following mistakes:

    - ``Turkey´s lack of trust in the Turkish Cypriots, and making this to be felt

    by the Turkish Cypriots was the reason for the escalation of the

    tension.

    - This lack of trust expressed by Turkey´s official presence in the TRNC

    helped so that the division between Turkish Cypriots and Turks from

    mainland Turkey was clearly demonstrated.

    - Ankara had difficulty in grabbing the democracy understanding of the

    Turkish Cypriots. The criticism directed at the government by the

    commander of the Security Forces and accusing some of the journalists

    of spying made Turkey to lose ground''.

    Meanwhile, Fikret Bila, in his column ``Direction'' in MILLIYET (1.8.00) says that Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit refused Dervish Eroglu´s request to meet him, saying that while Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash is away in Geneva for the proximity talks it would not be appropriate to hold this meeting in his absence, thus conveying the message to Eroglu that nothing will be done without Denktash.

    Bila also says that during his meeting yesterday with Ecevit, the latter said that press reports attributed to him regarding the establishment of a ``government of technocrats'' in the occupied area do not reflect the reality. Ecevit said that he did not propose the establishment of such a ``government''.

    [09] Eroglu confirms he will not resign

    BIRLIK (1.8.00) reports that the so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu made a statement yesterday to Turkish NTV television regarding the stance of his ``government'' and the latest developments in the occupied area.

    Eroglu referred to the great difficulties that his ``government'' is experiencing due to the economic problems, but he confirmed the decision of the National Unity Party (UBP) not to resign from the so-called government.

    Meanwhile, Eroglu stressed that he is in continuous contact with Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Sukru Sina Gurel.

    [10] Ankara sends aid to pseudostate

    The front page article of KIBRIS (1.8.00) under the title ``Ankara came to our rescue'' says that according to the so-called economy and finance minister, Mehmet Bayram, tomorrow morning (2 August) they will pay the August salaries and pensions of the 57,000 ``civil servants'' and pensioners, with funds Turkey sent to the pseudostate yesterday.

    [11] Visa requirements for Turkish Cypriots who ravel to Britain remain

    A report in Londra Toplum Postasi (27.7.00) says the visa requirements for the pseudostate are to stay. The London - based ``North Cyprus Turkish Rights Committee'' was told at a meeting with John Taylor MP, chair of the ``Friends of Northern Cyprus'', that it would be difficult for the visa requirements - which require ``TRNC nationals'' to obtain visas before going to the UK - to be dropped.

    Mr. Taylor said as a ``Friend of Northern Cyprus'' though he was opposed to the visa requirement when it was first introduced, after seeing the huge drop in asylum seeker numbers he became convinced the requirement should stay. He added he did not believe much more could be done to get the requirement to be dropped.

    The ``Committee'' told Mr. Taylor the asylum seekers from ``TRNC'' were not genuine but came for economic reasons.

    But Mr. Taylor questioned this by mentioning the arrests of the Turkish Cypriot journalists and the closure of newspaper AVRUPA. He added that in no European state were the police tied to the armed forces.

    The ``Committee'' suggested small steps should be taken to free the ``TRNC'' from ``crippling embargoes'', saying there should be a let-up in areas such as postal and telecommunication services and travel.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [12] ECONOMIC CRISIS IN PSEUDOSTATE VIEWED

    Columnist Sedat Sertoglu, writing in SABAH (29.7.00) under the title ``North Cyprus is Sinking'' says: ``I tried again to establish the realities in north Cyprus on the last day of our visit to the TRNC. I discussed the situation with the travel agents and others in the tourism sector. The TRNC has 107 hotels and 20 casinos. Some 30 of the businessmen in the tourism sector decided last night to either close down or sell their hotels. Although the Erolgu administration has been claiming that nothing is wrong, the situation is quite the opposite.

    I conferred with many hotel owners. They said they secured credits from Kalkinma Bankasi (Development Bank). Some of them transferred what they received with an interest of 6 percent to banks which offered them an interest of 30 percent. Of course, they lost their funds when those banks collapsed. The others, too, seriously suffered from the economic crisis. The hotels worked with an average capacity of 36 percent in June. In other words, they worked at a loss.

    Comical support from Turkey

    The situation of the small hotels is catastrophic. However, the situation of the five large hotels is different. One of their most important problems is transportation. Travel to and from north Cyprus has to be through Turkey. The hotel owners and travel agents are not satisfied with the Turkish Cypriot Airlines Company. The capital transferred from Turkey for investments in the tourism sector is comical. The amount that is transferred for all the hotels totals $30 million. The Net Holding Company planned to construct tourist installations on a plot of land. However, the Government allocated the land to Asil Nadir through his sister. Nadir would have paid his debts if he had money.''

    Sertoglu adds that nothing works properly in the pseudostate. ``The TRNC is a state only on paper. It is a paradise for civil servants. The Goverment´s only objective is to be able to pay the salaries and wages of its employees and workers every month. The civil servants are paid an extra salary at the end of the year, as if the TRNC government is a wealthy institution. Where in the world do civil servants receive an extra pay at the end of the year? The people suffer in north Cyprus. However, the Coalition Government believes that the situation is normal.

    Turkish businessmen arrived to make investments in north Cyprus in the past. They were discouraged by the bureaucratic obstacles on the island. Many of them returned to Turkey. Those who did not plan to do so, leave now. However, the Government still believes that the situation is normal.

    Some 20 casinos exist in the TRNC, which has a population of 180,000 people. Gambling has even been allowed in small motels. It is said that Turkish Cypriots, particularly civil servants and students, cannot enter the casinos. But the laws are not applied. Everyone can gamble in them.

    Some of the hotel owners have found a way to prevent the police from detaining their customers for gambling. They send their gambling customers to their rooms or to the lobby as soon as they are informed that the police are on their way to check their hotels. So, the police officials find nothing illegal when they arrive. They drink what they are served and then leave. The annual contribution of the casinos to the economy is said to be $150 million. Large groups from Turkey travel to he TRNC to gamble every weeken.

    I said that nothing works properly in north Cyprus. Considering that, how can the casinos be expected to function by the book?''

    [75] TURKISH CYPRIOT PAPER SAYS "TRNC" ARMY MUST BE ESTABLISHED

    An unattributed commentary in Kibrisli newspaper (31.7.00), recalling that President Glafkos Clerides is exerting efforts to have a provision included in a future agreement envisaging the withdrawal of the Turkish soldiers from Cyprus and having these soldiers replaced by multinational forces, remarks that diplomatic circles in the pseudostate and Turkey have said:

    "Absolutely no concessions can be made on Turkey's guarantorship. We do not wish to even discuss any formulas seeking to water down or render ineffective Turkey's guarantorship".

    However, the commentary adds, it appears that the officials who have made these remarks have not taken into consideration the globalization processes. "Whether we like it or not, the Cyprus problem has become a part of the EU process. Consequently, the legitimacy of the Guarantorship Agreement may lose or be considered as abolished after a series of economic, political and military agreements are signed with the EU.

    Therefore, we must strengthen our security forces without delay be taking into consideration the possible withdrawal of a part of the Turkish Peace Forces from the island following the likely signing of agreements on Cyprus.

    Measures must be taken from now both in the financial and military fields with the aim of quickly turning the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) security forces into a military division or an army. Taking into account the negligible number of Turkish Cypriot men capable of serving in the army, the military service in the TRNC must be immediately rendered professional and a TRNC army established by eliminating the shortage in the number of soldiers with the help of cadres hired on contract basis.

    This is the only way to eliminate the power vacuum that may come into being after the Turkish Peace Forces become obliged to diminish the number of their soldiers in the TRNC. This would also preclude the disruption of the military balance on the island contrary to the expectations of the Greek Cypriots".

    [112] COLUMNIST ON ECONOMIC CRISIS, POLITICAL DESIGNS IN PSEUDOSTATE

    Sedat Sertoglu, in his column in Sabah (27.7.2000) says that "Everything has hit the bottom in the TRNC, including trade, tourism and industry. A shopkeeper informed me on the way from the airport to Nicosia: 'You would not be able to count the number of TIR (Transit International Highway) trucks and other vehicles that traveled on this motorway in the past. Only 10 trucks drive on this road now. Everything is at a standstill'.

    The community, excluding the wealthy people, has many serious problems. The people point to Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, who has been in office for four years, as the official responsible for the unfavorable situation.

    I asked many shopkeepers to explain why the Government has been unable to successfully collect taxes on property. What they said was astounding:

    'Would the ministers collect taxes from themselves?'

    I said that I was unable to 'understand' the situation. They explained with a painful smile on their faces: 'A group of us visited Esenyali a few days ago. We found a nice area along the beach. We discussed whether we could buy it to set up a business. However, we were informed later that Prime Minister Eroglu bought it some time ago. He owns a lot of land. What will he do with what he has? Eroglu and his colleagues are very rich. Will they agree to pay taxes?'

    Banks have collapsed in the TRNC. Turkey informed the Government in north Cyprus before they became bankrupt. The bank owners transferred the bank assets either to Turkey or to Britain. The community has the trained and experienced labor force it needs. But the Government members do not want to resign. They are wealthy but the people do not believe that they can guarantee their future.

    The chaotic economic situation created an opportunity for a small group of people to incite enmity toward Turkey. They make up a small group but they are able to create a havoc".

    Referring to the recent events that culminated in the storming of the "assembly" building by a group of demonstrators, Sertoglu asks:

    "How do the settlers from Turkey view the developments? The idealist youth clubs warned the 'enemies of Turkey' in some of the newspapers.

    The developments show where the crisis might lead to. Turkey's enemies, who are very few, plan to create a confrontation between the Turkish Cypriots and the mainland Turks. Regarding the Government, its plan can be outlined as follows: 'Let the Turkish troops stage a coup against the Government. That will give us an opportunity to declare Turkey an illegal entity'. I believe that is enough to explain how serious the situation is".


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


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