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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-12-28
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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. 249/00 -- 28.12.00
[A] NEWS ITEM
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 `Dark Clouds/ seen hovering over Turkish-Greek relations.
[A] NEWS ITEM
 Denktash - interview KIBRIS (28.12.00) publishes an interview of Turkish Cypriot leader RaufDenktash to the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Basaran Duzgun.
The front page under banner headline ``the condition is the changing of their minds'', KIBRIS quotes Denktash saying: ``Our aim is not to harm anybody. The people must change their minds. I want only that. The people must change themselves. The ones that are able to see the damage they did must be able to put in order themselves.
Asked if he withdraw from the proximity talks procedure, given that the time-limit for a solution on the Cyprus problem is getting narrowed, Denktash said: ``if we hadn/t withdrawn from the negotiation table, we knew that we would have entered the procedure road that Clerides wanted. If we withdrew, we may enter even more quickly. It may be. What is the remedy? For the time being ``you go - I don/t come''.
If EU gets in touch separately with us, then I will explain to EU my accetion conditions.''
Asked: ``If Greek Cypriot side entered the EU, wouldn/t be the Cyprus problem included into EU? Denktash said: As a matter of fact, it would be.''
Question: This situation, would not be an obstacle on Turkey/s membership?''
Answer: Of course, it will be, ``This is the purpose''. Greece can veto Turkey/s membership. But I wonder what are their interests? What is the intention of those who want Turkey to enter and those who don/t. ..If they truly want us to enter into EU and if they want to make an agreement with us on equal conditions, if they accept the existence of our state, then we will immediately exchange properties.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 `Dark Clouds/ seen hovering over Turkish-Greek relations Columnist Ilter Turkmen (Istanbul HURRIYET Internet Version, 26.12.00)writes that the barometer reading that shows the state of Turkish-Greek relations keeps changing between good and bad weather, but dark clouds are on the horizon even on the nicest days.
Turkmen who was in Athens last week to attend the meeting of the Turkish- Greek Forum refers to a very nice ceremony that was held at the Greek Foreign Ministry/s reception halls to present the Greek translation of ``Mevhibe'', a work by Gulsun Bilgehan who is (former President and Prime Minister) Ismet Inonu/s granddaughter. The work was presented by former Prime Minister Mitsotakis/s daughter who comes from the Venizelos family (associated with Prime Minister Venizelos of Greece in the early 1920s). ``Nothing could be more symbolic than the commingling of the descendants of two statesmen who established friendship between Turkey and Greece after a bitter war. At present there are numerous such activities aimed at bringing the two countries together. Personal contacts literary and artistic activities, and meetings between nongovernment organizations have been common since the second half of 1999''. Unfortunately says Turkman, these relations are developing in an increasingly rougher environment. Even as the ceremony was under way for Bilgehan/s book a slander campaign was started against Turkey when old instincts reawakened following the storming operations in Turkish prisons. While (former Greek Foreign Minister) Pangalos led a demonstration, 60 Greek deputies submitted a protest motion to the Greek parliament. The Greek press did not waste any time to escalate the dosage of the criticisms and attacks. When another crisis unfolded during the NATO exercises last October the Greek parliament postponed the ratification of nine agreements aimed at the development of cooperation between the two countries in various areas.
The columnist countinues: ``No steps have been taken to solve problems at the intergovernmental level. No movement is in sight toward discussing the Aegean problem. Meanwhile, the Cyprus problem, which Turkey wants to separate from bilateral relations, has become the touchstone of these relations because of the EU/s enlargement timetable. Greek Foreign Minister G. Papandreou said only recently that ``problems like Cyprus will either unite us or break us apart''.
Turkey and Greece have different interpretations of statements on Cyprus in the final communique of the Helsinki summit and the EU/s Accession Partnership Document''. In the meantime, claims Turkmen, Greece plans to trap Turkey into a corner in 2003 and 2004. ``Its strategy is as follows:
When full membership negotiations with South Cyprus reach their final stage the EU will assess (politically) whether South Cyprus can be admitted into the EU. Because the ``TRNC'' and Turkey have appeared to be the intransigent side in the talks thus far, South Cyprus will probably be admitted. If EU members show any sign of hesitation Greece will block the EU/s enlargement in Central and Eastern Europe at a governmental or parliamentary level. There is an alternative end to this story: the recognition of the TRNC by South Cyprus on the threshold of EU membership. Then the problem will be settled automatically.
At first glance the second alternative may appear to be very attractive to the TRNC and Turkey, but Greece is after a different ploy. It assumes that if this course is chosen either the gates of the EU will be closed to Turkey permanently or Turkey will have to make much larger concessions than it is making now to enter the EU. It recalls that West Germany was an EU member when Germany was divided into two states and became a single Germany later, and hopes that Cyprus will follow a similar process. It expects that after south Cyprus becomes a member of the EU, full membership will be very attractive for TRNC citizens. The Greeks claim that 9,000 TRNC citizens have already applied for South Cyprus passports. They believe that the fort can be conquered from inside.
Greece and South Cyprus have well-defined policies. Does Turkey have any policies in response to possible scenarios? Even if does I do not know of any. I suppose we do not even want to think about bad possibilities''.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/