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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-08-09

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

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu says meeting with Ecevit would be good for Turkish Cypriot morale.
  • [02] Denktash interviewed on economic, political developments.
  • [03] US House of Representatives officials hold contacts in Cyprus.
  • [04] Turkish politician rules out Turkey/s making concessions on Cyprus.
  • [05] Fish farm.
  • [06] Claims about Varosha opening.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Columnist holds Turkey responsible for situation in pseudostate.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu says meeting with Ecevit would be good for Turkish Cypriot morale

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (15:30 hours, 7.8.00), so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu has reiterated that it is not right to place the presidential system on the agenda at a time when the pseudostate is debating how to solve the existing economic problems. Interviewed on NTV, Eroglu said that there is no problem between him and Denktash and that they confer all the time.

    Asked to comment on the deadline of 8 August given by the bank depositors to the "government" for the repayment of their deposits, Eroglu disclosed that the "government" is going to have a meeting with the representatives of the depositors on 8 August.

    Eroglu pointed out that technical teams from Turkey and the pseudostate will assess the economic package in Ankara on 9 August. He noted that the "TRNC" needs outside support to be able to solve its economic problems, adding that he believes motherland Turkey will continue to extend the support it has extended until today. Eroglu pointed out that the "TRNC" has limited resources, that it was stricken with drought for years, and that the bank crisis came on top of that.

    Eroglu noted that he confers with Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit from time to time. He said: "I do not know whether we will meet with Prime Minister Ecevit, but I think it will be useful if we do. It would be important for our people/s morale".

    Eroglu stressed that the money coming from Turkey is used in the designated areas. He explained that the designation is noted in the agreements on the loans.

    [02] Denktash interviewed on economic, political developments

    Istanbul NTV at 19:05 hours on 6 August carries an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash by anchor Ahu Ozyurt broadcast live from the occupied part of Nicosia on the domestic political and economic developments in the "TRNC" as well as ties with Turkey and the Geneva talks.

    At one point during the interview Denktash said: "I have heard that the bank victims will establish a party. I was amazed to hear that. These victims come from all the parties. If they express their views within their own parties and if they activate, warn, and channel in the right direction the party organs instead of trying to establish a party of their own, then we will have a functioning democracy. Democracy does not mean that every sector facing a problem should establish a separate party".

    When reminded that the proposal of a presidential system was submitted to him twice in the past and that in both instances he rejected those proposals, Denktash acknowledged the rejections and added that while the "constitution" was being drawn in 1995 the general view was that a parliamentary system would be more democratic and he went along with it instead of imposing his own views.

    Denktash went on to note that the current problems are an accumulation of years, adding: "Let me say that at every period, including the British one, there has always been a very small circle within the Turkish Cypriots, who has attacked those who say that Turkey is the motherland, who stress their Turkish ethnicity, and who have advocated the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. They have attacked us as well as Turkey. This has always been so. What is happening now? The activities in that direction are being expanded in a systematic manner and supported by large funds". Denktash went on to claim that these "provocateurs" infiltrating the bank victims have deceived the people.

    In reply to a question on how Turkey, which should have been aware of all the economic developments in the "TRNC", allowed the situation to reach the current state and on what Turkey should do now, Denktash said: "On one hand they complain about Turkey/s interference in our domestic affairs, and, on the other, they ask why Turkey did not intervene. Turkey issued a warning. So did I. The sectors that are facing problems, namely the farmers, the industrialists, the investors, those in the tourism sector, the artisans and small shopkeepers, came to me when they did not receive the attention they want from the government. They even went to the (Turkish) Embassy. We informed the government that these sectors have called on us and that they should be dealt with. The necessary interest was not forthcoming. The expected knowledgeable approach was missing. No action was taken. Therefore, the crisis exacerbated". Denktash went on to note that a "government" within a parliamentary regime should shoulder the responsibility of its actions, adding: "One cannot withdraw to the background and pretend that it is a Denktash-regime, a Denktash-government, and that Denktash is responsible for all their actions. This is the reason why I am forced to speak out. You are asking me whether the necessary warnings were issued. Warnings were issued time and again, you can follow them in our dailies, our people as well as all the sectors are aware of it. What happened each time an warning was issued? The President/s Office received a reply. In other words, it is a situation open to polemics. This is an impossible situation".

    Asked whether he took any initiatives in Turkey in a bid to topple the current "government" Denktash replied: "No, no. Taking such initiatives in Turkey is a disgrace, because toppling and establishing governments in the TRNC are not Turkey/s business. A government is toppled in the event it loses its parliamentary majority. Or, seeing the situation, that government says that it cannot go on any longer and goes to elections". Prompted to predict whether early "elections" will be held, Denktash said: "We shall see whether elections will be held. Those who know Eroglu are saying that he has no such intention. I tried to teach a lesson on the functioning of democracy. In other words, if a prime minister participates in the presidential elections and loses, and if he has told his people that he insists on being the prime minister, if he says that Turkey sent MIT (National Intelligence Organization) agents to threaten him... Whatever... let me not initiate a polemic now. Is this clear? I believe that I have initiated a polemic. The requirements of democracy call for a resignation. He should have at least resigned. Then his party could have rejected that resignation. Had he come to me and said that the election period is over and that he is resigning, maybe I would have asked him not to. But no, he said that he stands erect and that he will continue to serve. Meanwhile, the country has hit rock bottom. I am saying that all this has been left behind and now let us come and discuss what we shall do."

    In reply to a question on whether he would make up with Eroglu, Denktash denied that he is not on speaking terms with the "prime minister", saying:

    "I am on speaking terms with him. I can meet with him. I can discuss official issues. We have never been on non-speaking terms. The reason why he did not come today (to greet him at the airport) was not that he was not on speaking terms. It was just an unusual behaviour. This is the system we have. After all the rumours I would have expected him to come. In the aftermath of the 15-day Geneva talks I would have expected the prime minister to come and see for himself what happened at the talks. The opposite has happened. In his daily, he says: `Thank God our foreign minister and Mr. Soysal were there as well, and we were not left at the mercy of Denktash who would not even read those documents/. Then he claims that he has no quarrel with Denktash. He has no right to do that. I am defending our just cause together with him and Turkey in line with a decision reached by his government. We worked to death, we were crushed in Geneva for 15 days. We worked under the shadow of all that tension. He then goes to say the above in his daily. This is unacceptable. This is not the kind of relations that should exist between a president and a prime minister".

    In reply to the content of his talks with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on the economic package, Denktash said that Ecevit is closely following the economic developments in the "TRNC" and is currently waiting for the report to be submitted by Turkish Treasury officials who were recently on a visit in the occupied area.

    Asked to comment on what kind of urgent measures Turkey can take in the economic field, Denktash said that Turkey should inform the "TRNC" on the decisions it should make in the light of the Treasury report, adding:

    "Turkey will not allow the Turkish Cypriots to collapse. It will help them to develop. The conditions that were valid until now, in other words the policy of `we allocate and you spend as you choose/ will come to an end. I would like to reiterate that the banking crisis was in the offing two years ago. The government was told to enact a banking law. Nothing was done until the banks began to collapse. Therefore, one should not say that Turkey did not warn the government, that Denktash did nothing, and that the current situation is Denktash/s responsibility as well. I am not a person who shuns responsibility. So long as they claim that I am responsible for the actions taken by the government, actions against which I warned the government, I am obliged to defend myself".

    Questioned about the possibility of holding direct talks with the Greek Cypriots, Denktash responded: "We have not yet reached the stage of direct talks because the Greek Cypriots are still advancing on their path claiming that they are the government of the Cyprus Republic and that they can grant certain rights to the Turkish Cypriots in an agreement to be concluded. They are however, not ready to accept that we have a state, a flag, and our territories. They are still persistent on this point. Foreign diplomats and journalists have begun to say that the time has come to see the realities and to act in line with them and to find that the Turkish Cypriot stand is logical. Therefore, we, together with the motherland, will continue on our path with determination and stability.

    I would like to address myself to Anatolia. We are a part of you. Nothing and no one can separate us from you. Our people have risked everything in order not to be separated from Anatolia. Our people are fighters, believe in the Ataturkist principles, and are loyal to the motherland. There is no place for provocations. Let no one make little of the suffering of the bank victims. This is a great blow. A solution should be found to their problems. I will do all I can to find that solution".

    [03] US House of Representatives officials hold contacts in Cyprus

    VATAN (8.8.00) reports that the so-called assembly speaker Ertugrul Hasipoglu met yesterday with the officials of US House of Representatives Mary Valentino and Krister Holladay, who are in the occupied area in order to be informed on the Cyprus issue.

    Hasipoglu briefed them on the indirect talks and the occupation regime/s position on the Cyprus problem.

    The US officials will prepare a report on the contacts they will have both in the occupied area and in the free areas of Cyprus.

    [04] Turkish politician rules out Turkey/s making concessions on Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (8.8.00) independent Turkish MP Aydin Menderes has declared that the smallest concession to be made by Turkey regarding Cyprus will result in Turkey/s being cornered.

    He went on and said that "for itself and for the TRNC, Turkey cannot accept as a solution in Cyprus a situation which goes back from the present position."

    Stressing that the occupied area is one of Turkey/s important foreign policy issues, Menderes claimed that it is out of question for Turkey to make concessions on Cyprus.

    Menderes said that regarding foreign policy issues, there are pending decisions that Turkey has to make. He claimed that at present Turkey/s foreign policy was going through a period of "uncertainty and clumsiness".

    He said that the biggest mistake was committed when Turkey turned a blind eye to the fact that Cyprus/s and Turkey/s EU accession were indirectly related to each other.

    He accused the Turkish foreign Ministry of committing major mistakes on Cyprus and the EU. Menderes branded Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem as a "ghost minister".

    He said that Cem/s name exists but he himself does not exist. "Nobody knows what are the views of the Foreign Minister on certain foreign policy issues that need urgent decision taking," he said.

    [05] Fish farm

    According to KIBRIS (8.8.00), Steambox Ltd. of Britain, which is active in the textile sector in Britain, has acquired the fish farm at the occupied Bogazi village and has started to operate it under the name Steambox North Cyprus Ltd.

    The owners and the managing director of the company, Ejder Aslanbaba and shareholder Mustafa Aslanbaba, briefed the journalists about the fish farm which had been idle for some time now.

    Mustafa Aslanbaba said that in order for the farm to operate at full capacity they have to invest 750 thousand US dollars.

    KIBRIS says that the fish farm will produce 40 tons of head bream and sea bass.

    [06] Claims about Varosha opening

    The front page article of KIBRISLI (8.8.00) under the headlines " Is there a cooperation between Eroglu and Lordos" refers to the latest rumours about the opening of occupied Varosha

    According to the article, 5 billion dollars must be invested in order for Varosha to be able to be inhabited again. A known Turkish contractor has shown interest in this investment. Known contractors, like Greek Cypriot Lordos, want to open Varosha, the article claims and further says Eroglu had been to Turkey and had contacts with the said Turkish contractor. The article also claims that the said Turkish contractor is a close friend of Russian Mayor Yuri Sulkov who has alleged links with the Russian mafia.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Columnist holds Turkey responsible for situation in pseudostate

    Columnist Sukru Elekdag, writing in MILLIYET (7.8.00) says: "The incidents that erupted in the TRNC in recent weeks were disconcerting to the Turkish public as well. In the ensuing climate the prophets of doom seized their pens and wrote that the situation in Cyprus is extremely grave. After all the country was being crushed under quite a heavy political and morale crisis, in addition to the economic collapse. These entwined crises were rupturing the TRNC/s foundations and spreading a feeling of rout.

    These writers believed that the community in North Cyprus has also been polarized to the breaking point. And that under these conditions there was a steady increase in the number of those who wanted to board the EU train even without Turkey, thus derailing the national policy pursued by the TRNC to date.

    TRNC/s National Policy (subhead)

    To understand the real situation, I spoke with some of my old friends in addition to the senior Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials in the TRNC. The following general picture emerged: Cyprus is seething internally, but it would be very wrong and dangerous to construe it as North Cyprus/ deviation from the national policy, its desire not to want the Turkish soldiers on the island, or its people/s disenchantment with the Motherland.

    There are two basic reasons for the discontent: The first is the suspicion among the 30,000 bank victims (this is the official figure provided by the Turkish Embassy) that they will not be returned their entire deposits. Almost every family in the 180,000-strong Turkish sector has one bank victim. The second is the worry among the state employees that they would lose various benefits (such as sliding rate scale and 13th salary) under the impending new economic stability package that aims at reinvigorating the economy.

    And what is politically different from the past is that the presidential elections have caused cracks inside the National Unity Party (UBP), which has been running Cyprus for more than 20 years. The supporters of Eroglu waged a fierce election campaign thinking that the Denktash era was over. And the atmosphere of animosity generated thus has settled over Cyprus like a heavy cloud. But the fact that Denktash and Eroglu together received 75 percent of the votes is an indication enough of the policies preferred by the people. If to this we also add the votes of the other rightist parties, it becomes clear that 90 percent of the TRNC population support the national policy. The meaning of this is that 90 percent of the population believe that TRNC/s fate is intertwined with Turkey/s.

    Victims of System (subhead)

    The Turkish Cypriots to whom I talked described themselves as the `victims of the system/ and voiced their disappointment and anger with some Turkish columnist who depicted them as `loafers/, `lazybones/ and `parasites/.

    To tell the truth, they are justified in their indignation. To understand this one has to cast a glance on the evolution of the present economic situation in Cyprus.

    Soon after the Turkish troop landing on the island in 1974, the rendering of North Cyprus into an economically viable entity was set as the primary obejective. The intention, therefore, was to provide the north with the necessary infrastructure and put the economy on its feet through productivity.

    As regards the infrastructure investment, Turkey accomplished some important projects for the north. But at the same time it also committed some unforgivable negligence. For one, the north Cyprus was left dependent on the Greek Cypriot electricity for long years. Power could have been transmitted from Turkey, but it was never attempted. As to the water problem, Turkey only started dealing with this vital issue a quarter century late. Even then it ended up in fiasco. Now plans are afoot on transporting water from Anatolia through pipes.

    The lack of radical solutions to the power and water problems is the main reason for the underdevelopment of agriculture, light industry, and tourism. Moreover, the savage embargo enforced by the Greek Cypriot-Greek duo has impeded the TRNC from exporting its goods to the world markets. The decision of the EU Court of Justice on 5 July 1994 in particular has barred the export of TRNC products to Britain and other EU markets.

    Under this situation, the only way to keep the TRNC economy alive would have been to allow the TRNC, which has a tiny internal market, to export its goods to Turkey with zero rate. But Ankara was too late in making this critical decision. Even after the adoption of this decision, it was never properly implemented until recently because of the Turkish bureaucratic red tape.

    That condemned the TRNC into surviving basically on the aid coming from Turkey. Also by rejecting the TRNC/s proposal to have its own currency, Ankara directly attached the Turkish Cypriot economy to the economy of Turkey. This in turn lead to the unimpeded transfer to Cyprus of all the ills of the Turkish economy, such as the unethical siphoning of the bank deposits.

    The picture that I have drawn above clearly demonstrates that the Motherland is to be blamed mostly for the Turkish Cypriots/ inability to stand on their own feet economically. Though the TRNC rulers are not blameless either. Still, the Motherland is the main culprit."


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


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