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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 01-04-06

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. 66/01 -- 6.4.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Papandreou and Cem/s statement on his arrival in Ankara.
  • [02] Greek report on relations with Turkey.
  • [03] Denktash on Economic Crisis.
  • [04] Denktash in Ankara 12-13 April.
  • [05] Denktash meetings in Ankara.
  • [06] Ilkay Ilseven: Forests in the occupied areas decreasing fast.
  • [07] Student protest on exchange rises.
  • [08] Turkey/s Housing Minister/s visit.
  • [09] Cancer week in occupied area.
  • [10] New check-point demanded outside Famagusta.
  • [11] Forged UD dollars.
  • [12] No progress in inquiry into Adali/s death.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [13] Papandreou/s Messages to Turkey.
  • [15] Mixed reactions to Papandreou/s optimism.
  • [17] Denktash Letter: Call for Turkey To Resolve Cyprus issue by 2003.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Papandreou and Cem/s statement on his arrival in Ankara The commercial and independent station NTV in (5.4.01) carried a 20-minute

    live relay of the statements by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem upon the former's arrival at Ankara Esenboga Airport on an official visit.

    Speaking in Turkish, followed by a sentence-by-sentence translation into Greek, Ismail Cem expresses his pleasure at hosting Papandreou in Ankara and adds: "Every meeting we have with my colleague and friend George Papandreou makes a contribution to the relations between our two countries. When we look at the development of our relations, we make positive observations. For example, according to the official figures given by Greece for the year 2000, our trade volume reached $970 million. Compared to 1999, this is a fantastic rise. We may further raise that figure in 2001. The mutual number of tourists seems to have been doubled. Most important of all, the affinity between our peoples is getting stronger. Our artists, school children, sportsmen, and mayors are constantly meeting either in Greece or in Turkey.

    "We will discuss all these issues with Mr. Papandreou. We will discuss new ideas on how to further develop this and how to speed it up. In this regard, we will review our joint work within the framework of the EU. We will discuss the ways of further developing the atmosphere of amelioration and understanding we have been able to establish between the two countries.

    "Meanwhile, we had certain ideas about clearing the mines between the two countries. In this respect, Greece is slightly more ahead of us. At our meeting, we will produce ideas to combine the efforts of the two countries and to do that together. In other words, we foresee simultaneous results.

    "Lastly, let me say this. We have been approaching the rapprochement between our two countries very realistically, very carefully, but in a very determined way. As I said when I was in Athens, we have been able to achieve in one year what was not achieved in 40 years. I said, carefully and cautiously, because as two ministers we know that we may be faced with unexpected problems at times. However, we are confident that we can overcome them all. If we develop this process carefully, cautiously, and seriously, I am confident that we will approach the goal of turning the Aegean into a lake of peace between our two countries -- a goal that is always talked about.

    "I want to welcome my honourable interlocutor and friend to Turkey, and I hope that we will have very good meetings. Thank you."

    Papandreou spoke in Greek followed by a sentence-by-sentence translation into Turkish. He expresses his pleasure at being in Turkey. He welcomes Cem's remarks on friendship and peace. He points out that his visit to Ankara in January 2000 and Cem's return visit to Athens constituted the first official visits between the two countries in 40 years. He recalls that at the time he said they have a historical opportunity to create a peaceful future for the two countries, and adds that now, he believes in that even more. The peoples' message is clear, he says, they want to be friends, to work together, and to live in peace.

    Papandreou says that partnership relations between Turkey and Greece will bring stability to the region. He asserts that the economic cooperation of the two countries will be beneficial to both. He then continues his statement in English which is, in turn, followed by a simultaneous translation into Turkish. (The passages within quotation marks have been transcribed from the English). "Almost two years have passed since we began this difficult process of lowering tensions between our two countries, and I think that as Minister Cem has said and as I would very much agree, we have moved forward with pragmatism, with careful steps. While we continue to hold up a vision, we also set very specific targets which have moderate goals. We have worked to create in this way, in a careful and step-by-step approach, a stable foundation for our relations. I would say that if you look at the results of these last two years, they have gone beyond our expectations. The review of our relations which we will be discussing are certainly positive. Certainly, as Minister Cem has said, we have not solved the big issues but we have developed new conditions. Today, we know each other better. We communicate constantly and consistently. We exchange views and layer by layer we are taking off some of the mythology of the past, some of the fears and suspicions of the past, and we are at the same time building more and more trust and cooperation between the two countries.

    "As for the European prospects of Turkey, Greece has been playing a role to support this prospect." Papandreou says that Turkey's EU membership will create new opportunities for bilateral relations and "work as a catalyst in solving the Cyprus problem." He says that the two countries' cooperation in regional issues will be beneficial and recalls that when Greece and Turkey worked together in the Balkans, they showed that they can be useful and effective.

    Papandreou says that he and Cem decided to make their meetings more regular, more routine. This should be viewed as a positive step, he adds. He then says that they will evaluate their relations and the agreements they have signed. He adds: "I very much look forward to discussing the issue of the mines. I will have the honour of meeting the Prime Minister Mr. Bulent Ecevit and also the deputy prime ministers Mr. Yilmaz and Mr. Bahceli. Finally, I would like to close this statement by simply bringing a message of friendship to the friendly Turkish people. We know that there may be some times of difficulties and economic difficulties. We want to bring you a message from the Greek people and government of solidarity and close cooperation." Papandreou says they will discuss the economic problems and ways of helping Turkey both at the level of bilateral relations and at the EU level.

    Papandreou then turns to Cem and says: "Thank you Ismail for this warm welcome and I look forward to our discussions."

    [02] Greek report on relations with Turkey A report by Yorgo Kirbaki from Athens in MILLIYET (5.4.01) allegedly

    prepared by the Greek Embassy in Ankara and containing many negative points about Turkey, has been leaked to the Athens press on the eve of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou/s two-day visit to Ankara. The timing of the leak has generated apprehension in Turkish circles, it was said.

    The report which appraises the course of Turkish-Greek relations in 2000 says that significant progress was made in developing economic relations and dissipating the atmosphere of distrust between the two nations. However the report goes on to level charges against Turkey on the Aegean, Cyprus, and the issue of minorities.

    Secret Services in Action The report which was drafted as an internal memorandum says that attempts were made to create a ``Turkish problem'' on the island of Rhodes and Istankoy, that Turkey/s toughened its position on Cyprus, and that Turkish secret services, the Turkish army, and extreme nationalist groups were active in Western Thrace where the Turkish minority lives. Below is a summary of the report:

    --Rhodes and Istankoy: Certain circles trying to inflame the Turkish issue attempted to isolated Turks who have good relations with the Greek government.

    --Aegean: Ankara/s insistence to maintain its former position on the Aegean is a consequence of the system/s failure to produce new policies and its preoccupation with preserving the existing regime. The reduction in the number of violation incidents in the Aegean is a result of a change not in Turkey/s policy but its military tactics.

    --Politicians: Except for Foreign Minister Ismail Cem there is no politician in Turkey who is trying to contribute to the improvement of relations with Greece.

    --Cyprus: Turkey has shown that it does not intend to cooperate on finding a solution to the problem. Ankara toughened its stance on Cyprus in 2000. It is apparent that references to Cyprus in the EU/s Accession Partnership Document will not bring about a change in Turkey/s policy.

    [03] Denktash on Economic Crisis Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI (4.3.01) says under the title ``Stop Seizing

    Property'' that the devaluation of the [Turkish] lira following the floating of the exchange rates has caused huge losses to our ``country''. We have reached a point where everyone is encountering an uncertain future. Citing their economic woes, the paper said:

    ``The hopes that were raised during the first stages of the crisis have now faded, thus shrouding our future in a thick mist. While the economic crisis continues to worsen, the lawsuits filed with the aim of recovering debts are growing like an avalanche, thus disrupting the social peace.

    Thousands of citizens who are unable to repay their debts due to the present economic crisis have been referred to the courts. Thus, the number of incidents involving the seizing of properties owned by citizens who are unable to repay their debts has grown.(.)

    However, the ``government'', which does not think about anything other than staying in power and serving the close circle around it, has turned a deaf ear to Denktash' call. This stand on the part of the government has crushed the people, who have already suffered losses as a result of the economic crisis,the paper said.

    In a statement he made to KIBRISLI newspaper (3.4.01), Rauf Denktash called on the so-called government to enact a new law aimed at overcoming the current difficulties. Denktash said the following in his statement: "We are encountering unusual circumstances in the economic field. The purchasing power of our people has diminished dramatically. People who have borrowed money in the past are encountering serious difficulties.

    "Despite all these developments, there has been a failure to take the required urgent measures. I have earlier conveyed my views to the ``government'' regarding the measures that must be taken. I waited for the ``government'' to take these measures, but nothing happened. Members of the government told me that this is a matter between the debtors and the creditors and that the ``government'' cannot intervene regarding the matter.

    "What the ``government'' says is true under normal circumstances. However, let me reiterate that we are encountering unusual circumstances. Moreover, the ``government'' or the ``governments'' have played some role in bringing about the present situation.

    "Taking all these developments into consideration, I involved myself during my working hours with issues pertaining to people whose properties have been seized by law enforcement agencies. However, the government has done nothing in this regard. This is not fair, Denktash claimed.

    [04] Denktash in Ankara 12-13 April KIBRIS (6.4.01) reports that will be the month of intensive contacts between

    Turkey and the pseudostate. First, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will visit Ankara between 12-13 April. It is expected that the Cyprus policy which Turkey has followed after the withdrawal from the proximity talks will be discussed.

    [05] Denktash meetings in Ankara YENI DEMOKRAT (6.4.01) reports that according to an announcement of the

    illegal Bayrak station, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will deliver a speech on the Cyprus issue to the Foreign Affairs Committee of Turkey/s Grand National Assembly on 12, April at 10.am.

    On the same day, Denktash will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and later with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

    On 13rd of April, Rauf Denktash will give a lecture on the Cyprus problem at the University of Hacettepe. He will return to the occupied areas on same day.

    After Denktash/s visit to Turkey, it is also possible that Turkey/s Foreign Minister Ismail Cem might visit the occupied areas on 17-18 April.

    [06] Ilkay Ilseven: Forests in the occupied areas decreasing fast According to KIBRIS (6.4.01) the chairman of Forestry Engineering Chamber

    Ilkay Ilseven, giving an interview to the newspaper, stressed that due to a wrong policy which is being followed for years now the danger of the forests disappearing is very real.

    Pointing out that the forests in the occupied areas are being reduced speedily, Ilkay Ilseven said.

    ``While an area of 16,000 hectors was being afforested between 1975-2000, an area of 13,000 hectors of forests was burned due to the fires in the same period. Just between 1995-98, 8,500 hectors of ``state forest'' was burned because to the two major fires. The 21 percentage of forests in the occupied areas has disappeared''.

    [07] Student protest on exchange rises HALKIN SESI (6.4.01) reports that university students protested yesterday in

    the occupied areas against the fluctuation of the foreign exchange. Following the recent economic crisis in Turkey, which also affected the economy in the occupied areas, the value of the dollar has steeply increased against the Turkish Lira. The students, who are paying their tuition fees in foreign exchange face harsh times.

    [08] Turkey/s Housing Minister/s visit According to KIBRIS (6.4.01) Turkish State Minister Responsible for Housing,

    who arrived in the occupied area, has started his contacts.

    Speaking at the occupied Tymbou Airport, Bal said that Turkey/s support will continue and the occupied area will overcome the difficulties.

    He had separate meetings with Denktash, Eroglu, Hasipoglu and others.

    [09] Cancer week in occupied area According to a report compiled by KIBRIS (6.4.01) correspondent Dilek

    Cetereisi on the occasion of ``Cancer Week'' in the occupied area, the cancer cases are on the increase.

    According to health data compiled between 1987-2000, 2232 people contracted cancer. Breast, lung and skin cancer are the major types of cancer in the occupied area.

    In the last 11 years 303 people suffered breast cancer, 257 lung cancer and 226 skin cancer.

    The report further says that the rate of breast cancer, compared to last year/s same period has increased 56% and the lung cancer by 68%.

    In the first half of 2000 there were 25 lung cancer incidents and by the end of the year this number reached 42. For breast cancer the figures were 20 and 39. Health experts considered this data ``very worrying'', Cetereisi said.

    [10] New check-point demanded outside Famagusta According to KIBRIS (6.4.01, the ``Association for the Protection and

    Preservation of Old Famagusta'' in an announcement (5.4.01) asked to be given the status of a check-point for the area ``2 1/2 miles'' outside Famagusta, like the one at Ledra Palace check-point.

    The president of the Association Suna Atun said that in case this status will be applied at the ``2 1/2 miles area'', then the British families who live on the Bases and the tourists in the free areas will enter the occupied areas and bring business and livelihood to the market of Famagusta.

    [11] Forged US dollars According to KIBRIS (6.4.01), Denktash/s police confiscated 18 forged UD

    dollar banknotes of 100 denomination. Three people were taken into custody. KIBRIS reports that the ``police'' has opened an inquiry into the case.

    [12] No progress in inquiry into Adali/s death YENIDUZEN (6.4.01) reports that the NUP and the DP are impeding the inquiry

    to be opened regarding Kutlu Adali/s murder and other unresolved crimes in the occupied area.

    YENIDUZEN reports that the so-called ``Parliamentary Committee'' formed to investigate these cases through a unanimous decision of the so-called Parliament, tried to meet yesterday. However, the NUP and the DP members of the committee did not attend the meeting, thus preventing progress of the work.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [13] Papandreou's Messages to Turkey MILLIYET (4.4.01), Sami Kohen: "Crisis Might be an Opportunity"]

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's disclosures to journalists in Athens two days ago showed the kind of "new ideas" he plans to propose to Ankara during his two-day visit to Turkey.

    Papandreou's disclosures included three messages to Ankara prior to his visit. They are:

    [23] The promising process of rapprochement between the two countries must be patiently maintained. The main problems (particularly the Aegean

    disputes) have not yet been taken up by the officials because they differ on the way they should be identified and discussed. The two sides must first reach an agreement on that.

    [30] The two countries must reduce their military spending. Greece took a step on the issue by suspending its Eurofighter project that would

    cost $4.4 billion. Turkey also must take a similar step.

    [35] The Cyprus problem, which seems like a vicious circle, must be solved. The Turkish Cypriot side will be able to join the EU if it is

    settled. Cyprus must be demilitarised.

    Papandreou's remarks showed that Greece now has more confidence in itself than in the past, got rid of its fears, and decided to take the initiative to reshape the relations between the two countries.

    How did it happen? Greece stepped up its integration with the EU (including the European currency system.) Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Simitis planned to improve his country in accordance with the EU standards. So, he decided to avoid creating a dispute with Turkey.

    As indicated in the first point, Athens believes that maintaining the rapprochement will be useful. It plans to be patient, regardless of its unchanged policy on the main problems. It believes that if the problems are not solved by 2004, they will be taken up by the EU in accordance with the agreement reached at the Helsinki Summit. Securing the support of the EU, the Greek diplomats are now more relaxed.

    Meanwhile, the reason that urged Greece to reduce its military spending is a policy Simitis has adopted. The Greek Government prefers to use the available funds to attain EU political and economic standards. It also plans to use the funds to prepare Greece for the Olympic Games. And now it expects a similar approach from Turkey.

    Turkey needs to modernise its army not only because of a possible threat from Greece but also because of the threat its neighbours pose to it. However, avoiding buying arms against Greece is definitely in Turkey's interest. Meanwhile, the present economic crisis might be an opportunity to cut some of Turkey's military spending. That is why the Ministry of Defence began to work on the issue.

    Papandreou's remarks on Cyprus reflect the typical Greek approach on the problem, which has reached a deadlock. New initiatives are necessary to get the two sides back to the negotiating table and find a realistic solution. However, the island cannot be demilitarised before a sign exists for a solution.

    In short, Papandreou's new ideas and messages should be considered. The present moderate atmosphere and the rapprochement have created an opportunity for the sides to solve the main problems.

    [79] Mixed reactions to Papandreou/s optimism HURRIYET (4.3.01) Oktay Eksi: "Questions That Beg for Answers"]

    It must be really spring in Athens. Probably that is why Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou made remarks that was music to everyone's ears ahead of his upcoming visit to Ankara.

    He managed to become the top story in virtually all of our papers yesterday. What does Papandreou say?

    He says: Let us spend the money we have set aside for armaments on solving our social, economic, and cultural problems.

    He says: Let us seek ways of cooperating with each other instead of treating each other as adversaries.

    He says: Let us reach an agreement to demilitarise Cyprus.

    He says: Let us "first define the problems on which we will argue." For example, if you say "let us discuss borders" on the Aegean we cannot settle anything. However if you say "how can Turkey's security in the Aegean be guaranteed" (these are not his words but our interpretations), then we can find a solution.

    First let us underscore one point.

    We believe that both Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Foreign Minister Papandreou are sincere in their belief that "it is better to have good relations with Turkey than to squabble with it." For this reason we see them as a good opportunity for the future of Turkish-Greek relations.

    However when we put Papandreou's remarks together we see that there is still much work that needs to be done to make progress on this issue.

    For example Papandreou says nice things that suggest friendship. He even avoids remarks that may ruin everything from the outset. For example he never says: "Your Assembly should retract its resolution to the effect that you will consider any extension of our territorial waters beyond 6 miles a cause for war."

    Still some of his remarks suggest that he takes Turks somewhat lightly. For example, he pretends to ignore the reality that the Greek Cypriots would swallow the Turkish Cypriots by virtue of their numbers and their superior economic status because of the embargo against Turkish Cypriots if his proposal to "remove Turkish and Greek soldiers from Cyprus" or "to demilitarise Cyprus" is accepted.

    Can Turkey turn a blind eye to the assimilation of Turkish Cypriots?

    Secondly if you treat the problems in the Aegean in terms of Turkey's security alone you cannot say anything against a Greece that may say:

    "Leave the Aegean to us and we will give you all types of assurances." After all your ships will be allowed to sail anywhere they wish and no one will ask your planes where they are flying. Moreover you will have a chance to sun yourself profusely on Aegean beaches. What more do you want?

    That is all very nice but let us ask a single question to cut a long story short: Who will own the territorial shelf and the potential oil there?

    Oh, there is also the question of Greece arming the Aegean islands in violation of the Treaty of Lausanne. What happened to that?

    [142] Denktash Letter: Call for Turkey To Resolve Cyprus Issue by 2003 RADIKAL (2.4.01) Murat Yetkin: "Letter From Denktash: 'EU Conspiracy on

    Cyprus'"

    A letter has arrived from Rauf Denktash, ``president'' of the ``Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus''. Mr. Denktash started his letter saying that, "In your article of 21 March titled 'The Cyprus problem makes people lose sleep' at the end of a realistic analysis you say that 'Those who do not see the conspiracy, those who do not want to see it and those who are against the EU are contented with the developments'. We are not against the EU. We are sorry and uneasy because the EU has succumbed to Greece's blackmail and there is great injustice against the Cypriot Turk..." He continues thus:

    "There is a conspiracy. This conspiracy has been to make Cyprus (as in the example of Crete) a Greek/Greek Cypriot/Christian island since 1955. With the help of the EU, they have prepared a scenario to obtain what they have not been able to achieve by force of arms, nor by the embargoes that have been going on for 38 years. They have destroyed all the principles that formed the foundation of our agreement with EU norms. With the Loizidou trial they want to obtain a one-sided decision that will enable them to settle again in the north, that is to take us within their community and then they would like to keep the means to intimidate and to destroy us when the time comes."

    After referring to ENOSIS, which was Greece's plan of uniting with Cyprus, and mentioning the secret support the English are offering this plan, he concludes his letter with the following thesis:

    Greece has consented to Turkey's EU membership on condition that the Cyprus problem be resolved 'as the Cypriot/Greek pair and their supporters envisage.

    The columnist said:

    It will be worthwhile to remind the reader briefly about the article of 21 March that has forced the thoroughly experienced politician Denktash into giving such a clear answer. In the article written after 19 March, when the Ecevit government had announced the National Program that Turkey would present to the EU, we pointed out that the most critical problem between Turkey and the EU was not the Kurdish language but Cyprus, since the EU had accepted the Greek-administered half of the divided island as the legal Cyprus government and as member candidate. We announced a scenario spreading out from diplomatic lobbies: According to this, the membership negotiations for the Cyprus Greek partition would probably be completed by the end of June this year, its membership would be announced in the second half of 2002 during Denmark's chairmanship and, in the first half of 2003 during Greece's term chairmanship, Turkey would be faced with a situation where she is incited "either to accept the membership of the Cyprus Greek partition, or risk her own membership".

    This plan is alleged to have been carried out by three British diplomats in key positions concerning the UN's and the EU's Cyprus efforts: David Hannay, who was England's private representative concerning UN Cyprus negotiations, Brian Crowe, who is Vice General Secretary in the EU committee, and Michael Leigh, who is responsible for Romania, Bulgaria and Malta's membership programs together with that of Turkey.

    Britain, which has established Akrotiri and Dhekelia--among the most efficient foreign military bases in Cyprus, is one of the three guarantors until the Turkish military intervention of 1974. Today it is trying to reestablish a presence on the Cypriot scene.

    The critical date approaches Let us say straight away that the impressions we got from our recent contacts with US governing circles are confirming our views: The United States is slowly receding from her role where she forced the parties into reconciliation. This is as valid for Cyprus as it is for the Israel-Palestine clashes, Macedonia and Indonesia.

    And the columnist concludes:

    From a certain viewpoint this can be considered as an improvement. We can assume that if nobody interferes, the current situation will continue as it is.

    Yet, this is misleading because as the calendar for the Cyprus Greek government proceeds, every passing day works not only against the Cyprus Turkish government, but also against Turkey's EU membership process. The date January 2003, when Greece will take over the EU term chairmanship is drawing nearer every day. That marks a juncture: The Turkish side will either start working on solution proposals and protecting her rights starting from today, or she will have to struggle against faits accomplis when 2003 arrives. Everything that Ankara has been through until today because of the Cyprus problem will be wasted. No one in Turkey would want this last alternative. We assume that Denktash will be of the same opinion on this matter.


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


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