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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-11-27

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 <>



  • [01] TUSIAD leader comments on meeting with EU Parliamentarians
  • [02] EU/s Cohn-Bendit: Unless the Cyprus problem is settled, Turkey cannot be a EU member
  • [03] Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Members Meet EU Envoys, NGO's
  • [04] Denktas contacts in Rome cancelled
  • [05] Denktas wants Greek Cypriots to accept his conditions, as Cyprus realities
  • [06] Cem: I f Forced, Turkey to upgrade ties with Turkish Cypriots to highest level
  • [07] TUSIAD Issues Statement on EU Ties, Faults Turkey's Support for Cyprus' Denktas
  • [08] PUM: Ecevit's and Denktas' statements oppose the will of the Turkish Cypriots
  • [09] Turkish MP's on Friday's closed session; demand for making public the decisions and reaction about the way the voting was conducted
  • [10] Erbakan claimed that the pseudostate should continue to exist
  • [11] The Italian Ambassador in Cyprus visited the Republican Turkish Party
  • [12] The occupation regime will not allow EU to open an office in the occupied areas

  • [13] Turkish columnist on Islamic politics and the Cyprus issue
  • [14] "Avrupa" on the "title deeds" distributed by Turkey
  • [15] Mehmet Ali Birand comments on Barutcu's views on Cyprus


    [01] TUSIAD leader comments on meeting with EU Parliamentarians

    According to KIBRIS (27.11.01)Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) Executive Board Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said yesterday that, ``Cyprus may be an Island having strategical importance, but on the other hand 65 million people have the target to be a member of the European Union (EU), upgrade their living conditions, become a rich country, and be among the civilized countries. Thus, we should not lose those because of Cyprus.``

    Delegations of TUSIAD and European Parliament convened in Condrad Hotel and exchanged views on EU-Turkey relations.

    Speaking after the meeting which was closed to the press, Ozilhan spoke about what Turkey has done, and what it should do.

    Pointing out that the Cyprus issue was brought to the agenda, and that views in this respect were discussed, Ozilhan said they also discussed recent constitutional changes, and described the meeting as beneficial. Ozilhan said, ``we stated our views as the TUSIAD.``

    When journalists recalled his statement which was in a written text distributed to the press saying that ``we don`t find it right for Turkey to support Denktas`s intransigent attitude,`` and asked if Cyprus was an obstacle in Turkey`s membership to the EU, Ozilhan said, ``rather than being an obstacle, we believe that the Cyprus problem should be solved. As the TUSIAD, we believe that solutions for Turkey`s entrance to the EU should be revealed and discussed. I believe that this should be done not by distancing from the negotiation table, but by sitting at the negotiation table.``

    Responding to a question if Rauf Denktas was apart from this process, Ozilhan said, ``as you see at this meeting, Cyprus is very important pertaining to EU candidacy. Thus, we believe that the Cyprus issue should be worked in details. Things are locked on Cyprus.``

    When asked what was the solution, Ozilhan said that was a technical detail, and that Turkey should discuss this issue and find a solution.

    Ozilhan said, "Cyprus may be an island having strategic importance. On the other side, 65 million people have the target to be a member of the European Union (EU), upgrade their living conditions, become a rich country, and be among the civilized countries. Thus, we should not lose those because of Cyprus. Cyprus is important for Turkey. We worked hard for Cyprus for 25 years. That sensitive balance should be discussed and turned into a solution. Turkey exerts efforts to be within Europe for 200 years."

    When asked about the proposal of TUSIAD, Ozilhan said they did not put forward a proposal, reiterating that the issue should be discussed and brought to a point.

    Responding to a question if Denktas was an obstacle to negotiations Ozilhan said, ``what we want from Denktas is to sit at the table and talk.``

    When asked if he found Turkey`s attitude intransigent, Ozilhan said, ``no, I don`t. But I believe that efforts should be exerted for a solution.``

    [02] EU/s Cohn-Bendit: Unless the Cyprus problem is settled, Turkey cannot be a EU member

    According to KIBRIS (27.11.01) Daniel Cohn-Bendit the co-Chairman of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission (JPC) said yesterday that it was not possible for the EU to accept a divided country as a member, adding that "Europe wants the inclusion of Cyprus as a whole to EU in 2004."

    Speaking in the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission meeting, Bendit said that "we also favour full membership of Turkey to the EU, this is a difficult task. It is not enough to just say we support it", we must also create the necessary conditions for that".

    Bendit said that he shared the view of Turkey which thinks that the EU Commission didn/t fulfil the decisions it took in economic issues towards Turkey, adding that the EU should fulfil its obligations on the issue.

    Referring to the studies undertaken by Turkey in its membership process to the EU, Bendit said that the constitutional reforms were important steps.

    "But these are not enough, torture in prisons didn/t disappear. The right to assembly and demonstrate are still far from being the reality of the daily life", he said.

    Referring to the Cyprus issue, Bendit said that European countries have to do something for their own security and in this respect Cyprus constituted an important place. Bendit said that all the European governments attribute importance to the decision of the Turkish government on the issue. "European countries are uneasy about this issue, which has to be sorted out before the Christmas or the Ramadan Holiday", he said and noted that the EU is also against the division of Cyprus.

    "The rumours saying that `EU wants the membership of the Greek Cypriot side and it does not care about TRNC/ are not true. We want both sides to solve the problem. Europe wants the inclusion of Cyprus as a whole in the EU in 2004. This is not against Turkey, Greece, northern of southern Cyprus. This is a repercussion of our security understanding. It is not possible for us to accept a divided country/, he said.

    Bendit, while going to a dinner hosted by the "TUSIAD" Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association, told the waiting journalists that "if a solution is not found to the Cyprus problem, Turkey/s EU membership is not possible".

    When asked whether Turkey would be able to become an EU member if the Cyprus problem is not solved, Bendit said: This is not possible, this a contradiction, Cyprus becomes a member, Turkey is still a candidate country. A country that wants membership should find a solution. The island/s wholeness should be preserved, the only solution is that both communities should be represented together".

    Turkish co-Chairman of the Commission Kursat Eser explained the reforms undertaken by Turkey to join the EU, adding that the parliament undertook a record number of constitutional reforms in a very short time.

    Eser said that surveys also reveal that a majority of the people want to joint the EU, and added that Turkey favours the solution of the Cyprus issue by negotiation between both sides.

    [03] Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Members Meet EU Envoys, NGO's

    According Anatolia News Agency (26.11.01) European Parliament member Ozan Ceyhun claimed on Monday that Turkey`s threats regarding the Cyprus issue did not seriously affect the European public opinion.

    He said, ``Turkey is a very important country in regard to the interests of the European Union. If a crisis happens due to Cyprus, this hurts not only Turkey but also the EU.``

    European Parliament members who came to Istanbul to attend the 48th meeting of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, met with ambassadors of EU countries to Turkey and representatives of non-governmental organizations at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul.

    Following the meeting which was closed to the press, Ceyhun told reporters that they had discussed developments about human rights in Turkey and briefed about the fields related to human rights and the Copenhagen Criteria.

    Noting that they had exchanged opinions on the Cyprus issue with the EU countries` ambassadors to Turkey, Ceyhun said, ``as the members of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, we are aware of the importance of the Cyprus issue to Turkey. Cyprus is an issue which has key importance regarding EU`s enlargement. We expect both sides to pay utmost attention on a solution to this question.``

    When asked how Turkey`s reactions were evaluated, Ceyhun said, ``Turkey`s severe threats regarding Cyprus issue did not seriously affect the European public opinion. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli expressed that developments might create very serious and strong reactions in Turkey. The European public opinion is now not ready to understand this.``

    Noting that the European public opinion was thinking about why a solution was not found, Ceyhun said that but there was an opinion that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas was not ready for a solution.

    When asked whether or not Turkey was setting up bridges, Ceyhun said, ``I don`t think so. Every sensible person in Europe knows that Turkey is a NATO ally and has close relations with the EU. Turkey is a very important country in regard to the interests of the European Union. If a crisis happens due to Cyprus, this hurts not only Turkey but also the EU.``

    [04] Denktas contacts in Rome cancelled

    According to Ankara Anatoia (26.11.01 many contacts of Rauf Denktas in Rome, which were earlier planned, have been cancelled because of the Italian government/s position.

    Denktas, who came to Rome, Italy on Monday for a four-day visit, was due to have meetings with Italian Minister of Communications Maurizio Gasparri, Lazio Regional Director Francesco Storace and Regional Assembly members on Tuesday and meet with Deputy Interior Minister Carlo Taormina on Wednesday. These meetings have all been cancelled.

    The so-called TRNC Prime Ministry Undersecretary Ahmet Aker said that ``the appointments were made with the Italian government very long time ago". He said that the Italian government officials didn't present any reason when cancelling the meetings. The Italian government cancelled the meetings in line with the warnings of the Cyprus Government and the EU", he said.

    Denktas is expected only to address to students of La Sapienza University's Political Sciences Faculty.

    Italian state television RAI also cancelled the appointment with Denktas for an interview without giving areason.

    [05] Denktas wants Greek Cypriots to accept his conditions, as Cyprus realities

    According to KIBRIS (27.11.01), Rauf Denktas has claimed that a solution to the Cyprus issue can be secured through negotiations if the Cyprus government accepts the "realities" and apply the laws. Denktas said: The doors can open on 1 December if there is agreement with Clerides on specific issues. If necessary, we can also open the closed doors".

    After meeting with the officials at the Turkish Embassy in Rome, Denktas said: The foreign diplomats tell us to forget about the past and look into the future. What they mean to say is not to miss the Greek Cypriot train".

    Commenting on the situation before his meeting with President Glafcos Clerides on December 4, Denktas said: "The Greek Cypriot side claims that they achieved success. I wanted to discuss with Clerides whether or not there is a last chance".

    Explaining that he was encouraged by the decisions, attitude, and position of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Denktas said he will inform the Turkish authorities and the Republican Assembly on the situation shortly after his meeting with President Clerides.

    [06] Cem: If Forced, Turkey to upgrade ties with Turkish Cypriots to highest level

    According to KIBRIS (27.11.01), delivering the opening speech of the 48th session of the Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee in Istanbul yesterday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem stressed the importance Turkey attaches to EU membership. Referring to the Cyprus issue, Cem said: We cannot tolerate the kind of events experienced in Bosnia or Kosovo. If forced, we will upgrade the ties between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] and the Republic of Turkey to the highest levels. This is not our first preference. We want the two nations to reach a joint solution".

    Pointing out that in the first part of the 21st century Turkey has two big goals, Cem stated: One of these is to become one of the decisive countries in the center of developing Eurasia, and the other is to become an EU member.

    Cem declared that Cyprus cannot be posited as a condition for Turkey's development within the EU. Noting that Turkey is bound by the Helsinki decision with regard to the Cyprus issue, Cem underlined that this is a supportive decision.

    Cem added: "We cannot tolerate renewed clashes in Cyprus, renewed quarrels between certain members of the two communities, events similar to those we experienced in 1960 and 1974, or, God forbid, the kind of events that occurred in Bosnia and Kosovo. We, as Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot nation, cannot and would not take upon ourselves such a risk or such a possibility. We will not allow such a thing. Therefore, as Turkey, we will exercise our right, and if forced, we will upgrade the ties and the commonalties between the TRNC and the Republic of Turkey to the highest levels in a way that will not allow such a situation to occur.

    If you should ask me: Mr. Minister, is this what you prefer? No, this is not my first preference, nor my government's. We want a solution that both nations in Cyprus will reach jointly. Moreover, we do not view this as an obstacle to our relations with the EU. Naturally, it is up to the EU how it regards this matter. I cannot interfere in that. However, in doing this it is not our objective to quarrel or fight with the EU. Furthermore, we do not have such a commitment vis-a-vis the EU. Our commitment is written down.

    Cem added: We have always worked for a common settlement in Cyprus. God willing we will find this agreed settlement, as well as we will become EU member. We want to reach both of them together. We are working on this". Referring to Denktas/ call to face to face meeting with President Clerides, Cem claimed: "What I would like to ask you (EU parliamentarians) is that, give the necessary warning to your candidate Greek Cypriot Administration.

    Cem, then answered questions put to him by EU parliamentarians, when asked whether Turkey will accept the EU to act as go-between regarding the Cyprus problem, Cem said that he believed that the EU has a role to play in the negotiations (Cyprus) and said:

    "The role to be played by the EU could only be the role of convince the Greek Cypriot side to hold negotiations aimed at solving the problem".

    [07] TUSIAD Issues Statement on EU Ties, Faults Turkey's Support for Cyprus' Denktas

    According to Ankara Anatolia (26.11.01) administrators of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) on Monday met the members of the European Parliament who are currently in Turkey for the 48th EU-Turkish Joint Parliament Commission meetings.

    The TUSIAD delegation and European Parliament members led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the Co-Chairman of Joint Parliamentary Commission, exchange views on EU-Turkey relations.

    TUSIAD issued a written statement and distributed it to the journalists.

    Pointing out that the EU membership was the most important aspect of Turkey`s 200 year old modernization project, and that Turkey would not give up its EU target, Ozilhan said the parliament performed an extraordinary effort to materialize constitutional changes.

    Stressing that this was only a start, Ozilhan said, ``efforts are underway to issue adjustment laws following the constitutional changes. Let us not forget that all those radical changes take place under serious economic crisis conditions. Our parliament took important steps to re-structure economy. The Turkish private sector resisted the competitive pressures stemming from the Customs Union in this process. The private sector expended support to the main implementations of the economic program.``

    Ozilhan pointed out that next year would be a critical year in Turkish-EU relations, adding that, ``next year will be recorded in history as an important year in Turkey-EU relations. Even more, it will be clarified if those relations will have a future. We are aware of the steps taken by Turkey to adjust to the Copenhagen criteria.

    However, it is not difficult to estimate that the most critical issue would be Cyprus. We don`t find it right to set up a link between Cyprus and Turkey`s membership. All the steps which are needed to be taken for the solution of the problem, should not be expected only from Turkey. On the other side, we also don`t find right Turkey`s support for TRNC President Rauf Denktas` intransigent attitude. We feel concern that there will be damages that can not be repaired in Turkey-EU relations in case the Greek Cypriot side is accepted to the EU membership. We hope the meeting of Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader, which will take place in the coming days, will be the first step for solution.``

    [08] PUM: Ecevit's and Denktas' statements oppose the will of the Turkish Cypriots

    "Avrupa" (27.11.01) reports that Izzet Izcan, General Secretary of the Patriotic Union Movement (PUM), has expressed the opinion that the recent statements made by Prime Minister Ecevit and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas are opposed to the will of the Turkish Cypriots.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Izcan strongly criticizes the fact that Mr Ecevit, Mr Denktas and "the hawks which support them insist on the partition and annexation policy (translator's note: partition of Cyprus and annexation of the occupied areas to Turkey), which is annihilating the Turkish Cypriots".

    "Maintaining his intransigent stance and the outworn mentality of a conqueror, Ecevit is saying that there is no difference between Turkey sacrificing her own land and sacrificing TRNC and he is declaring that Southern Cyprus is under occupation", stresses Mr Izcan.

    [09] Turkish MP's on Friday's closed session; demand for making public the decisions and reaction about the way the voting was conducted

    KIBRIS (27.11.01) reports that Sadi Somuncuoglu, Nationalistic Action Movement (NAM) MP, has asked the publication of the conclusions of the Turkish Grand National Assembly's closed session on Cyprus, while Yasin Hatipoglu, MP of the Islamic Felicity Party (FP) reacted about the way the voting was contacted after the discussion.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Somuncuoglu said that it would be useful for the Turkish public opinion to know the decisions of the session and added that this way some allegations would be answered. Mr Somuncuoglu noted that everybody knows that all the political parties of Turkey and the Turkish nation will not make any concessions on the Cyprus issue.

    "From this point of view, some allegations and estimations regarding the decisions of the session are not reflecting the realities. In the TGNA, with our full participation, both the government and the opposition parties once again we stressed our seriousness and determination on the issue of Cyprus", said Mr Somuncuoglu.

    Meanwhile, talking yesterday at a Press conference, Mr Hatipoglu noted that voting was not conducted properly, adding that "nothing secret was discussed during the closed session". Even the information in the newspapers seems to be more secret, he argued.

    [10] Erbakan claimed that the pseudostate should continue to exist

    HALKIN SESI (27/11/01) reports that the former leader of the now defunct Prosperity Party, Necmettin Erbakan in a statement yesterday said that the "North Cyprus" would continue to exist as an independent country. At a moment of danger, its unification with Turkey, will be a very natural result.

    When asked to comment on "allegations" that unless the Cyprus problem is settled Turkey will not be accepted as EU member Erbakan said: "These kinds of things are nothing but lies, aimed to deceive Turkey. I hope that the government takes the necessary lesson from the people and acts according to the national policy."

    [11] The Italian Ambassador in Cyprus visited the Republican Turkish Party

    According to YENIDUZEN (27/11/01) the Italian Ambassador in Cyprus Gerardo La Francesca met yesterday morning with the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Mehmet Ali Talat.

    The Italian Ambassador did not make any statement related to the meeting. On the other hand, Talat said that the Cyprus problem is moving ahead to very critical days, and that soon they will arrive at a turning point, and at that point they need to adopt and follow the right policies. He added that because of the incoherent policies they have followed, they are now facing very serious problems. Cyprus' accession to EU is a development that will change the status quo to the level of 1974 events. He said that with this change and with EU membership the Turkish Cypriots should have a role and their interest should be guaranteed

    Talat also stressed that there is no other road than solving the Cyprus problem. Then he accused the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and the Turkish side of their policy, which lead the Turkish Cypriots to peter out and has forced them to emigrate. Finally he asked for the Italian Embassy's help for the Turkish Cypriots

    [12] The occupation regime will not allow EU to open an office in the occupied areas

    The so-called Economic Committee of the "TRNC Assembly" convened yesterday in order to discuss the budget for 2002. According to YENIDUZEN (27/11/01) the Cyprus problem was also discussed during the meeting.

    The General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party, Ferdi Sabit Soyer asked the so-called Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Transportation, Salih Miroglu why they did not give permission to the EU to open an office in the occupied areas. Miroglu replied that the EU holds a hostile attitude towards the Turkish Cypriots and if they have permitted the EU to open a representative office in the occupied areas it would mean that they recognise the Greek Cypriot sovereignty. Miroglu also added that the stance of the EU is wrong and that they exclude the Turkish Cypriots.

    Soyer disagreed with Miroglu's reply and pointed out that they conduct a double face policy. He also wondered if they do not want to recognise the sovereignty of the Greek Cypriots why they open representation offices in London, Brussels and Azerbaijan. Especially their representation in Brussels, which tries to have relations with the EU, he continued. Soyer also reminded him that the sewerage project, in the occupied part of Nicosia, is funded by the EU. "While you are looking for an excuse to apply for visa, you are creating the opportunity for the EU to consider the non-existence of the Turkish Cypriot community", Soyer finally said.


    [13] Turkish columnist on Islamic politics and the Cyprus issue

    MILLIYET (26.1.01) columnist Tuncay Ozkan comments on the Cyprus issue and says:

    "Turkey cannot give up Cyprus. By reason of its strategic importance and for psychological reasons, the topic of Cyprus is a national cause. This cause has not been abandoned because America asked , and is not being abandoned because the EU [European Union] wants it. Resistance has been demonstrated, and this resistance will be maintained.

    This is one side of the coin. Naturally, there is another side as well. For years, Cyprus, due to Turkish policies that have been based on one man, has been crudely exploited by Rauf Denktas and his men as a liberated island, a liberated zone. As a result of incorrect economic policies and political decisions, the Turkish side of the island is like a desert, while the Greek side has the appearance of an oasis. The bill for this incorrect approach and all these mistakes has been continually sent to the Turkish Cypriots, and by them to Turkey, but Denktas has never been called to account. Consequently, the Turkish Cypriots are now filled with resentment towards Turkey, to whom they owe their very lives. Rauf Denktas, who runs the island as if he had been selected as a king forcibly imposed by Turkey, unfortunately uses the politics of crisis and chaos very skillfully to maintain his own position. And the Greek Cypriot administration knows very well how to exploit this.

    As if there were no one else who were able to take on the responsibility for solving the problems, the atmosphere is created that, apart from Denktas and those around him, everyone else would sell the island to the Greek Cypriots or to others. But this is not the case. A Cyprus that were rescued from Denktas and his cronies could grow and develop. For these dregs have forced the island into a very different and in many ways very shady network of relationships. The wounds that the economy of corruption has opened in the TRNC are so deep as to be incurable.

    If the TRNC is a state and not the Denktas republic, if it indeed has a citizenry and an administrative structure, then let the words of others on Cyprus as well be heard and listened to. If new blood cannot be brought into play on the island, if the administration cannot be renewed, and if Turkey cannot explain itself in a comprehensive way, then whether we like it or not, the Turkish population on the island are going to abandon us. And in whose interest do you think this would be?"

    [14] "Avrupa" on the "title deeds" distributed by Turkey;

    "Avrupa" (27.11.01) comments on the information published by Turkish mainland "Milliyet" regarding the distribution of "title deeds" of the occupied Cypriot land by Turkey to its current inhabitants. Under the title "The title deeds of Cyprus" the paper writes, among other things, the following:

    "Yesterday during a live radio programme our colleague, Ahemt Karaman asked Prime Minister Dervish Eroglu what those title deeds are. I know nothing on this issue, Eroglu said.

    He says he knows nothing. Everybody knows, but the Prime Minister does not. Doesn't he read newspapers? Milliyet wrote it with huge letters. Turkey is making a survey map of Cyprus, it said. .A 15-member team of the land surveys and deeds office has been sent to our country for this purpose, but the Prime Minister knows absolutely nothing. .

    What is the intelligence of those who rule Turkey if they think that with this move they are going to eliminate the appeals of the Greek Cypriots to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)? That is, the Greek Cypriots are going to go to the European court and say that 'this land is mine' and someone from Hatay or form Sivas will show this false title deed and say 'no this is not yours, it's mine'. And because the judges of the European court are stupid, will swallow this of course. What a plot, isn't it? .

    Ankara, which has no card left in her hand except the rough power, is continuing to fall into her own trap. If Turkey does not save herself form those politicians who suffer from lack of foresight, she is going to suffer even more and she will remain alone in the world. . Those who rule Ankara are trying to make the world approve their inhuman actions. They want the tortures to continue, people to go to prison because of their thoughts, the Kurds not to be Kurds, the death penalty not to be abolished , those who steal from the state not to be punished and no one to interfere in Cyprus which they occupy. And at the same time they want to enter the EU. Is there such a favour made to anyone until now?".

    Meanwhile, Ahmet Karaman of "Avrupa" (27.11.01) writes, among other things, the following on the same issue:

    ".Let us begin from the beginning. Someone may really get mad with us, but let us ask: Whose property you are giving to whom? How you are giving this property. .What is going to happen with the title deed given by the TRNC? Will these title deeds be regarded invalid? How are you going to make the international law accept this? .

    During the trials conducted after applications by Greek Cypriots at the ECHR, Turkey defended herself by saying: 'Your interlocutor is TRNC, not Turkey'. .

    The occupation law is planning to do something by giving official title deeds, but what? Even if this plan, which is opposed to the international law, is applied it is obvious that it will not be accepted. .The occupation is going to be further confirmed. What could happen after that? It is simple. Either Turkey will come to her senses or she will start paying the price. If the second path is preferred, this thing will not last for long. Turkey will be called to account, even if this happens a little bit later.".

    [15] Mehmet Ali Birand comments on Barutcu's views on Cyprus

    In his regular column "Opinion" of Turkish Daily News (27/11/01) Mehmet Ali Birand wrote the following commentary:

    "No one can possibly be more hawkish than Ecmel Barutcu on the Cyprus issue. He persuaded the Ecevit-Erbakan coalition to stage a military intervention in 1974. He prepared and implemented the Cyprus strategy. And now, he is urging everybody to act with common sense.

    Those acquainted with the Cyprus issue even slightly know Ecmel Barutcu, a retired ambassador.

    He was Mr. Cyprus during the Foreign Ministry's 1970-80 period.

    Barutcu's life has been built around the Cyprus issue.

    He was one of the architects of the policies implemented in the 1970s.

    His main role began with the 1974 incidents.

    If Turkey took the decision to launch a military intervention in the wake of the coup the Greek junta staged against Makarios in July 1974, that was due to Barutcu to a great extent. Those who remember those days still say, "If Ecmel Barutcu had not taken part in a Cabinet meeting and persuaded the coalition partners that there was no other way than a military intervention, the operation might have been delayed. It might even never take place."

    Barutcu used to be a hawk when it came to the Cypriot policies.

    Not only had he the power that came from shaping the Foreign Ministry's Cyprus policy but he was an easily-excited man, being of Black Sea origin.

    You can guess his character traits.

    During the operation, during the Geneva conferences and in the aftermath of the operation, Cyprus was always an issue for Barutcu to deal with.

    During last Friday's episode of the Manset program on CNN Turk he made extremely important warnings which must be taken seriously:

    1. Barutcu, believes that both the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot sides cause great harm by speaking through slogans. He underlined the need to leave the slogans aside and focus on the more important issue; the substance of the formula being sought. He urged the two sides to cast the slogans aside and talk on the basis of "concrete data" as soon as possible.

    2. Barutcu stressed that the federation thesis Turkey has advocated for 24 years which calls for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, would do no harm to the national interests at all. He said that the formula which calls for a "weak" federal government where the two sides would tend to their own affairs without interfering with each other's affairs and guarantees would continue for some time, should not be rejected.

    3. Having stressed that the confederation thesis was launched entirely because the European Union took a step towards making Cyprus an EU member, and that it would be useful if the European Union reviewed its own stance, he said, "However, we too must change our 'This is the way I want it and what I want will be done,' kind of attitude."

    It has no importance from the strategic standpoint 4. Ecmel Barutcu expressed striking views also on the strategic importance of Cyprus. There are those who maintain that Cyprus is of vital strategic importance with regard to the protection of the oil pipelines. Barutcu said that Cyprus had no such strategic importance. He said that Cyprus has always had certain significance but that one should not have the "fixation" that Cyprus must be kept in hand in order to protect the oil pipelines.

    5. For Barutcu, a solution would be far better than a lack of solution. Also, he stressed that Turkey's path to Europe must not be blocked.

    I wanted to repeat Barutcu's words in today's article because those governing the country come out and use empty slogans. Those who hear these slogans become astonished and confused since nothing substantial is being said.

    A certain impression is being created. It is as if those governing the country are protecting Cyprus while those who have different views are trying to sell out Cyprus. However, our administrators seem unaware of a certain point: There is the danger that if, in the future, a favourable solution is found, they may not be able to make a U-turn and persuade the public to accept it.

    There would be those who would say, "Was not Cyprus supposed to be our flesh and blood? What happened? Why are we now accepting a compromise?"

    What will our administrators say then?

    I am sure they will still come up and declare, "We have managed to obtain these concessions thanks to the pressure we have exerted."


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