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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-11-20

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.222/01 20.11.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader to meet on December 4.
  • [02] Retired Turkish Vice Admiral stresses that the EU is the guarantee for Cyprus.
  • [03] The Turkish Minister of Defence speaks of negative developments if Cyprus becomes EU member.
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot leader tries to exploit the national feelings of the Turkish Cypriots against youths who took part in a programme of Mehmet Ali Birand.
  • [05] The pseudostate/s external trade deficit reaches 271 million dollars. Inflation at 80%.
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce: "Talks on the Cyprus problem should begin".
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot Tradesmen protest; support by CLP, RTP, KTTO.
  • [08] Ertugruloglu to leave for Germany.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to meet on December 4

    Istanbul NTV television (19.11.01) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides will get together at the green line separating the two sides of the island. Alvaro de Soto, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy in Cyprus, will also be present at this critical face-to-face meeting, which the two leaders will be holding after an interval of four years. The leaders will directly convey to one another their views on the solution of the Cyprus problem at this meeting to be held without an agenda and without preconditions at the residence of the UN envoy.

    Clerides responded to Denktas' proposal to hold a face-to-face meeting this evening. The two leaders decided to meet at the buffer zone under UN control on 4 December. The UN envoy is expected to be present at this meeting. He will, however, not intervene in the meeting and will only take notes.

    Denktas thanked Clerides, who accepted his proposal for a meeting, and expressed the hope that the 4 December meeting will be beneficial, reported NTV from occupied Nicosia.

    [02] Retired Turkish Vice Admiral stresses that the EU is the guarantee for Cyprus

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (19.11.01) carries an interview of Retired Vice Admiral, Mr Atilla Kiyat, by Nese Duzel. Following are the introduction of the report and the replies given by Mr Atilla Kiyat to questions on Cyprus:

    "Retired Vice Admiral Atilla Kiyat was one of the most brilliant commanders in the Armed Forces. And even after he retired two years ago, Atilla Kiyat became one of those respected members of civilian life who is able to courageously make diagnoses on the country's problems and propose clear solutions for them, and who expresses his thoughts with full sincerity. His lengthy military experience and his success in civilian life have given him the capability of looking at the issues from different points of view. I discussed with Atilla Kiyat those serious foreign policy issues and the solutions that are being proposed for them, such as the Afghanistan and Cyprus issues, which closely concern civilians; we also discussed as well how he sees our military and the internal and external problems of the military, as well as how the generals approach a number of issues. Kiyat, who retired in August 1999 from command of the Northern Naval Region, had earlier served for three years as the Head of the Turkish Military Delegation in Brussels. A Cyprus veteran, Atilla Kiyat participated in the second operation in 1974 and fought on the island for two and a half months. During his forty years in the Turkish Armed Forces, he also served as Commander of the Aegean Region, Naval Logistics Chief, and Commander of the Fleet. Kiyat, who is also well acquainted with the sporting world, is a member of the executive board of the Fenerbahce Sports Club, as well as its press spokesman.

    Question: At a time when the world is changing rapidly, the Cyprus issue is also taking on a new form. The European Union [EU] is getting ready to take the Greek Cypriot Sector in as a member. As for our own Minister of Foreign Affairs, he is saying that we could give up on the EU for the sake of Cyprus. How do you evaluate Turkey's Cyprus policy?

    Answer: The EU correctly is thinking that "This is a family; we don't want members of the family to be at odds with one another, so first peace, and then membership". However... Two years ago, at Helsinki, the EU made a mistake. They said to Turkey that "In order to enter into the EU you have to resolve the Cyprus problem and your problems with Greece. But we're going to take Southern Cyprus into the EU even if the problem is not resolved." If, in terms of two parties who are at odds with one another, you tell the one that you will take it in even if it does not work out its differences with the other, but you tell the other that you will accept it only if it works things out, then you've given to one of these parties an advantage at the outset. This was where Turkey made its own error. Turkey said "The EU is prejudiced, so we are walking away from the negotiating table on Cyprus." In other words, Turkey did what the Greeks should have done. But the impasse in fact benefits Southern Cyprus, and not Turkey. Turkey should have, by producing alternatives, forced Southern Cyprus to stay at the table. Turkey should have told the word "Look, we're trying everything, but they just won't compromise." But now what is Turkey doing? Turkey is saying "First Southern Cyprus will recognize the TRNC ["Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus"], and then we'll sit down at the table, and then we'll stand up from it as a confederation." This is in fact saying "I don't want to resolve the problem."

    Question: How is it that Turkey can be so lacking in a shared wisdom on this issue?

    Answer: The Cyprus problem has always been used as material for extremist positions in domestic politics. Those who implement such a policy are more concerned with their own futures than with the future of Turkey. They consider that the slightest change in policy on Cyprus will lead to their being stamped as traitors, and so they don't change the policies. But today's world is not the world of forty years ago, nor is Cyprus the Cyprus of forty years ago. By keeping pace with the changes in the world, and by giving something up on both sides, there could be a solution reached on Cyprus that would be to everyone's interest. But today, in 2001, we're still going about saying that there can be no solution other than that of two separate states, or else there'll be genocide carried out there. If you really think that there would be genocide carried out on Cyprus, I pity you. A country is going to be a member of the EU and then carry out genocide against 200 thousand people in Northern Cyprus. And to top it off they're going to use terrorist means to do this. It's truly frightening to be so mired in the past.

    Question: It was Prime Minister [Bulent] Ecevit who said that there would be a genocide carried out. What, in your view, is the guarantee that there would be no genocide today?

    Answer: The guarantee is the EU. It's the changes both in the world as a whole and on the island itself. In the past there was genocide, but at that time Greece and the Greek Cypriots had the goal of linking the island up with Greece. Let them go and ask today: Is there anyone in Southern Cyprus, where the per capita income is higher than in Greece, who wants to join up with Greece? And then why would Greece want to join up with another country that's joined the EU? I don't believe that the Prime Minister was being sincere when he spoke of a genocide. In my opinion, the real thing he's afraid of is this: While they have created, in Southern Cyprus, a country where the per capita income is 13 thousand dollars, we haven't been able to accomplish anything in the 27 years since 1974. The real fear now is of the wealthy people in the South coming and buying up the North, and thus of the island of Cyprus being taken back not in a military operation, but rather with an economic operation. They are keeping this fear at bay by means of pretexts, such as talk of genocide. For then otherwise people would ask: "What have you accomplished in the past 27 years?" Well, the only thing they really have accomplished has been to raise a stepchild that's like us in every way. Whatever we are from the standpoint of democracy, human rights, and the economy, that's what Northern Cyprus is today. The number of Turkish Cypriots who've taken out Southern Cyprus passports has reached seven thousand. We're trying to prevent it by means of prohibitions, but the Turkish Cypriots are in fact trying to flee the island.

    Question: The Prime Minister is constantly speaking of the strategic importance of Cyprus. Just what is the strategic importance of Cyprus?

    Answer: It's on important transport routes. They are asking "How can Southeastern Anatolia be defended without Cyprus?" But I ask them "In the defense of Southeastern Anatolia, against whom is Cyprus important?" If you're still living with the fears of World War Two, and if you say that the world could split into two camps again, the Soviets could send a fleet down into the Mediterranean and attack here, well, all right... But do the Crimea or Limnos have no strategic importance? You can't go around today thinking that every piece of strategically important territory just has to be in Turkey's possession. To see Cyprus as some topic which somehow surpasses all of Turkey's various other interests is simply wrong. Cyprus is a component of our overall policy, and Turkey simply has to find solutions to it that will not damage this overall policy. To sit down at the table and work out an arrangement whereby the two communities would be able to live with equal rights under one flag is not the same as giving Cyprus away. But it's [TRNC "President" Rauf] Denktas who determines Turkey's policies on Cyprus.

    Question: In Turkey, there exists a National Security Council [NSC} that rules in concert with the civilian government. According to the law, every sort of policy that is involved in our life is determined in it. Is not Cyprus policy then determined in the NSC?

    Answer: Cyprus policy must certainly be discussed and determined in the NSC. There is no harm in stating the truth. On all these issues, officials from the Foreign Ministry and the General Staff come together and make a decision on a given topic, then go and present it to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister says "Bravo!", and then they all go together to present it to the President and get his approval. And later this becomes state policy. If my thoughts on this are incorrect, and if it should be the case that the policies that they carry out are in fact based on certain information or documents, then let them reveal to the public just what this information and these documents are comprised of. For this topic impacts on our future.

    Question: Should Turkey give up Europe for the sake of Cyprus?

    Answer: It mustn't. Turkey is right now playing its most dangerous game ever. I support joining the EU, for the sake of my children. But right now the policy is to say "We're going to join the EU" and then do everything in order not to join. If we were to say "We're not joining" and then do what that entailed, we would cause less harm to the country. Cyprus is very quickly turning into a topic that is being used as an excuse not to enter the EU.

    [03] The Turkish Minister of Defence speaks of negative developments if Cyprus becomes EU member

    According to KIBRIS (20.11.01) the Turkish Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, has threatened that if the Cyprus Government continues its EU membership efforts, it will inevitably give way to negative developments during the coming period in Eastern Mediterranean.

    Speaking at Ankara/s Military Airport, prior to his departure for Brussles, Belgium, to take part in a conference organized by the EU, Cakmakoglu referred to Cyprus/s membership efforts and said: "We evaluate that continuation of the EU full membership efforts by the South Cyprus Greek Cypriot Administration, which is supported by the EU, will be inevitable to give way, contrary to our wish, to undesirable developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    We are of the view that the only way out to stop these possible negative developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, is to correct this wrong approach".

    When asked whether he will raise the issue of Cyprus/s membership at the Conference, Cakmakoglu said that if they bring it up then he will refer to it.

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot leader tries to exploit the national feelings of the Turkish Cypriots against youths who took part in a programme of Mehmet Ali Birand

    According to KIBRIS (20.11.01) the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas, in the face of unprecedented criticism launched against him here in Cyprus and in Turkey by press for his handling of the Cyprus problem, resorted to his old tactics of exploiting people/s national feelings.

    Speaking to the representatives of the Association of Martyrs and War Veterans, Denktas claimed that the programme recently prepared by Mehmet Ali Birand (Tr. Note, see Turkish Mass Media Bulletin date: 16.11.01, Comments and Editorials item No.3) hurt most of the people. He said that it was the duty of the older people to tell the young generation the realities. "It is our duty and yours to tell these realities to our youths.

    If we do not do this, then we are the guilty ones and not the youths", Denktas declared.

    Admitting that the occupied area was going through an economic crisis, Denktas said: "However, no one in no country, puts on sale his state, because there is an economic crisis and unemployment problems".

    Denktas, urged the people to answer to criticisms not by getting angry but through logic and by telling the truth and the reality.

    [05] The pseudostate's external trade deficit reaches 271 million dollars. Inflation at 80%

    KIBRIS (20.11.01) reports that the so-called finance, budget and planning committee of the illegal "Assembly" started yesterday to discuss the pseudostate's budget for the year 2002. According to the paper the external trade deficit of the pseudostate is expected to reach 271 million dollars within the next year.

    The so-called Ministerial Council approved a budget, which reaches the amount of 638 trillion and 623 billion Turkish liras, higher by 43.92 % compared with the 2001 budget.

    According to Mehmet Bayram, the so-called Finance "Minister", within 2002 the goal of the occupation regime is to achieve a development growth rate of about 5 %. By the end of 2001 the growth is expected to be - 3.6 %.

    Mr Bayram said also that the annual per capita income is expected to increase to 3.699 dollars in 2002. It is worth mentioning that within the year 2000 per capita income was 4.978 dollars, while in 2001 it decreased to 3.561 dollars.

    Salih Cosar, so-called deputy "Prime Minister" and Minister responsible for the economy, however, said yesterday at a meeting of the Social and Economic Council that it is estimated that within 2002 the economy will decline by 4 % and the inflation rate will reach 80 %.

    [06] Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce: "Talks on the Cyprus problem should begin"

    KIBRIS (20.11.01) reports that Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), has said that an effort which is different from those efforts exerted within the past 40 years should be made on the Cyprus problem and expressed the opinion that "serious changes" will take place by the end of 2002.

    Talking yesterday at a Press conference before departing for Ankara where he is expected to have contacts, Mr Erel argued that the recent statements of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem show the fact that "serious changes" will come about by the end of 2002 and added the following:

    "It is now very evident that we are entering a stage where decisions should be taken. Turkey and the TRNC must exert a serious effort for the resumption of the talks and the solution of the Cyprus problem. The solution must be a new partnership based on two equal states. The equilibrium between Turkey and Greece must be preserved on the island of Cyprus and at the same time despite the existence of the Cyprus problem the current rapprochement between the two countries must be supported and intensified.".

    [07] Turkish Cypriot Tradesmen protest; support by CLP, RTP, KTTO

    KIBRIS (20.11.01) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Tradesmen/s Chamber (TCTC) will organize tomorrow a protest under the slogan "that's enough", by which a series of protest actions is to be launched. The paper writes that the tradesmen are protesting against the economic situation in the pseudostate and the package of economic measures announced by the pseudogovernment.

    The tradesmen are demanding, among other things, the following: 1) taxes to be frozen, 2) no more imports of goods which are produced in the occupied areas, 3) the creation of a committee which will only be dealing with the problems of the tradesmen etc.

    Meanwhile, the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) have expressed their support to the demands of the tradesmen.

    [08] Ertugruloglu to leave for Germany

    According to KIBRIS (20.11.01), the so-called Foreign and Defence Minister of the pseudostate Tahsin Ertugruloglu, is to leave the occupied area on 22 November for Munich, Germany as the guest of the Cyprus Research Association.

    KIBRIS reports that Ertugruloglu will take part in the symposium on "The forgotten TRNC State on the Edge of Europe".

    He will also hold a press conference there during which he will inform about current developments in the Cyprus problem.

    Ertugruloglu will have contacts with the representatives of the Turkish Association in Germany. He will return to the occupied area on 27 November.

    KV/SK


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