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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-12-10

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.236/01 8-9-10.12.01


  • [01] Denktas believes that the Greek Cypriots are `sincerely/ trying to reach a solution.
  • [02] Statements by Sukru Sina Gurel and Rauf Denktas on Cyprus, EU.
  • [03] Ismail Cem clarifies statements he made on Cyprus.
  • [04] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister on Cyprus.
  • [05] Ankara/s position said to be `crucial/ in determining outcome of Cyprus talks.
  • [06] Ilter Turkmen: "A Blessed Week".
  • [07] GeneralTolon: "We Will Not Make Concessions on Cyprus".
  • [08] Gurel: "Britain Is Acting in Hypocrisy".

  • [09] Mehmet Ali Birand: Cyprus is not Turkey/s "ticket" to the EU.


    [01] Denktas believes that the Greek Cypriots are 'sincerely' trying to reach a solution

    Turkey's Star TV, in a link-up with the illegal BRTK TV 1, (9.12.01) carried a one-hour live interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas on the "Red Armchair" program hosted by Umit Aslanbay and Isin Gurel. The interview takes place in Rauf Denktas' residence in occupied Nicosia.

    After discussing the menu at the dinner he hosted for President Clerides, Denktas is asked when he will go to south Cyprus. Denktas says: "I understand that it will be for our meeting on 16 January. However, Clerides said that he would call me if he wanted anything before that."

    Denktas explains that they will probably discuss procedure at the first meeting. He adds that they agreed with Clerides not to divulge to the press what they will discuss at the meetings. He notes that holding the meetings in Cyprus as opposed to New York or somewhere else will be very convenient.

    Aslanbay asks Denktas what is different this time. The Turkish Cypriot leader replies: "Faced with our determination and with Turkey's determination, it seems to me that the Greek Cypriots are trying to see whether they can take us with them to the EU. The possibility is growing that some of the EU members will object to the Greek Cypriot membership before a solution is reached in the Cyprus problem. This is the Greek Cypriots' soft belly. The possibility is growing thanks to our and to Turkey's determination. Everybody can see that if the EU admits the Greek Cypriot Administration unilaterally before a solution is reached, there will be a major crisis. That is why I believe that the Greek Cypriots are sincerely trying to reach a solution this time."

    Denktas stresses that he was not pressured to extend the invitation to Clerides, and that the only pressure he felt was a "sense of responsibility to prevent a catastrophe." He says he knows that Turkey is not bluffing, and denies that he acted the way he did because of US pressure.

    Gurel asks him what risks he took when he extended the invitation. Denktas replies: "When we extended the invitation we did not ask for our recognition but for the acknowledgment of our existence. We told them that we would not meet unless there was an acknowledgment [last word in English] of our existence. There was a decision on principle, however, and it was approved by our Assembly. I took a risk when I took that step -- I took it to prevent a fire before it erupted. Had the Greek Cypriot side rejected my invitation, then I would have had to resign both because I had disobeyed an Assembly decision and because I failed. That was the risk."

    Aslanbay notes the economic imbalance between the occupied and the free areasand asks if the Greek Cypriots will not make significant political or territorial demands from the Turkish Cypriots. Denktas responds by saying that the ball is now in the hands of the EU which created and developed the imbalance in the first place. He adds: The minute we held our meeting with Clerides, Verheugen immediately said that the EU would step back. We will now see how far back they will step. The EU must make the Greek Cypriots feel that it is the responsibility of both Cypriot sides to conduct the negotiations with a view to reaching a positive solution, and that the two sides are starting the negotiations on equal ground. "Clerides is 83 years old and I will soon be 78. We must conclude this issue. It is our responsibility. Nevertheless, there are some principles I cannot give up, just as he has some principles that he cannot give up. Regarding those points, the outside world must help by protecting our equality."

    Commenting on the criticism levelled at him by the Turkish media, Denktas says that all he has done is fight to protect the equality between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots and between Turkey and Greece in relation to Cyprus. He denies that he is an obstacle to peace and says that the obstacle is created by those who want enosis, and who want to turn Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot republic. He says the Turkish columnists who criticize him either do not know the facts or they are guided by certain circles. He says he can take the criticism as long as the Turkish nation is on his side.

    Isin Gurel asks him what will happen if the talks fail. Denktas replies that he will not discuss such a possibility and adds: "It is my duty to try to ensure that they will not fail. If they fail, we will discuss the reasons with you in this room again. However, we must try to make them succeed. And this calls for the protection of the balances. I am saying this clearly: the balances must be maintained, that is the first thing. Also, we are not and will not be a minority in Cyprus. The balance between Turkey and Greece must be maintained with Turkey's admission to the EU. There is no other way."

    Asked if Cyprus can lead in Turkey's EU membership, Denktas points out that it is a matter of status. He notes that the Greek Cypriots present the Turkish Cypriots to the EU as a minority. "We cannot lead as a minority," he adds. Furthermore, Denktas stresses, if the Turkish Cypriots accept to join the EU before Turkey, they will be helping the Greek Cypriots who have been trying to disrupt the Turkish-Greek balance over Cyprus.

    Denktas goes on: "Consequently, we say that if we reach an agreement with Clerides and our status is set, we will tell the EU that we are ready to join it. Turkey is telling us that it will help us in the following way: if it is not yet a member when we decide to join the EU, then it will ask the EU to accept the 1960 agreement on the guarantees, and to make sure that Turkey exercises the same rights as Greece over Cyprus until Turkey becomes a member. In other words, a semi-agreement must be signed between Turkey and the EU. All this is designed to maintain the balance."

    Aslanbay asks if Turkey should have helped the Turkish Cypriots more since 1974. Denktas says that the Turkish Governments did all they could in terms of the budget. Our expectation was that the Turkish businessmen would invest in Cyprus, he says, and that our products would be easily sold in Turkey. We were able to do that during Asil Nadir's time, Denktas notes, and we were all happy. Nevertheless, there were no investments or investors from Turkey, he adds. Asked what the reason for that could be, Denktas replies that it turns out that it was very easy to make money in Turkey by means of corrupt practices, and therefore the businessmen did not want to come to Cyprus and try hard.

    On the stand of TUSIAD, the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association, regarding Cyprus, Denktas says: "I would have regretted their stand had they represented the entire Turkish world. I regretfully saw that the Turkish businessmen do not realize the meaning of the Cyprus problem for Turkey." He then criticizes the decision by Turkish authorities who, pressured by the sector producing household electrical appliances, set a quota for electrical appliance exports from the pseudostate.

    Asked if he is tired of dealing with the Cyprus problem, Denktas replies that at times he feels lonely. Especially when I fail to receive the support of "the relevant authorities who should support me," he says, noting that his wife is "sick and tired" of the whole thing because the entire responsibility of raising a family was left to her. He adds: "We lost three children. A daughter at the age of two and a half, a son at the age of seven, and our eldest at the age of 33. All this was extremely hard on her. Therefore, she helped me more than she could. Now she is helping me by remaining in the sidelines. She knows that if she stays on my side and constantly voices her complaints, that will disrupt my enthusiasm for work. We have learned to live with each other; I with the Cyprus problem, and she with me."

    Asked if he is more hopeful about the talks than before, Denktas replies: "It will not be easy, but we may reach a solution, and we must. That is what I will strive for."

    In reply to a question, Denktas affirms that at the moment he has the support of all in the occupied areas and adds that there is heightened expectation at the moment. Denktas warns: "The greatest danger is for the expectations to become super expectations; to assume that the problem is solved seeing that the two leaders had dinner together, and to think that they cannot make the people wait any longer. I do not want to disappoint the people who have immediate expectations. This is a difficult business; and it will take time. We must approach it cautiously and with goodwill. We must not disrupt our goodwill."

    Prompted by the hosts, Denktas says that when he will go to south Cyprus, he will not go with the "presidential flag". "It seems to me that it would not be right," he adds.

    To the criticism levelled at him that he has not won the case even though he has been defending it for so many years, Denktas says that he won a state for the Turkish Cypriots and that now he is defending a case not to sell the state. Asked to comment on the Turkish Cypriot opposition press, he brushes it off by saying that the Turkish Cypriot opposition is not more than 15 percent.

    He concludes by saying that Clerides must accept "the reality and not the precondition" that the Turkish Cypriots are not a minority, that they are equal, and jokes "we will try until we make him say it."

    [02] Statements by Sukru Sina Gurel and Rauf Denktas on Cyprus, EU

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (6.12.01) carrie live interviews with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas in Nicosia; Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish state minister in charge of Cyprus affairs, at the Ankara Studio; and Hurriyet journalist Ferai Tinc at the Istanbul studio by Nurzen Amuran on the 64-minute "Dossier" program.

    Nurzen Amuran begins by asking Denktas about the content of the conversation during the 5 December dinner. Noting that the dinner conversation did not include political issues, Denktas says that they reminisced the past, adding: "The only issue discussed was that we will meet on 16 January and not on 15 January. We emerged from the dinner having decided that we shall meet on 16 January."

    In reply to a question on whether the task seems easier now that both sides have goodwill, Denktas notes: "Naturally, this is a 36-year-old cause. Both sides have built defenses which they want to safeguard. They have principles which they want to safeguard. It will not be easy to reach a result taking into consideration all these issues. If, however, there is goodwill, if an agreement is reached on certain common denominators, and if we insistently continue with the talks, then, I believe that we can get somewhere. Naturally, Clerides is faced with a great difficulty. He has a national establishment composed of the political parties. I believe that the Church is also represented in this entity. He has to discuss the issues with them and receive their approval as well. Whereas, what I want is for us to discuss what we can do and reach a decision. Only then should we take the decision to the institutions to which we answer and seek their views. If these institutions are consulted at every stage, then I am sure that we might be obliged to remain in the former borders and trenches on many issues. Whatever the case, let us embark on this process with goodwill, and time will show how far we can advance." Denktas goes on to add: "Both sides had their own reasons to agree to the resumption of the talks. Clerides must have had his own reasons for accepting my invitation. I had my reasons. I saw that the issue was not advancing in a positive manner. We were heading for a crisis instead of a conciliation, because EU statements were encouraging the Greek Cypriots to be intransigent. They were irresponsibly being told that they should not take Turkey into consideration, that Turkey is bluffing, that the Turkish Cypriots are on the brink of destruction, that they are ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of the EU. These intimations were wrong and dangerous. Therefore, I took a step in a bid to counter this danger. I am pleased that Clerides responded positively. I hope that we will continue on this course and reach results. When I say results, naturally, it is evident that we shall not become a minority within the Greek Cypriot administration or within a Greek Cypriot Republic. Everyone should be aware of this fact."

    Nurzen Amuran turns to Gurel , who is at the Ankara studio with her, and asks whether the Cyprus issue should be discussed as a package together with all the Turkish-Greek issues. In response, Gurel notes: "I do not agree with that because the Cyprus issue has its own internal dynamics, its own characteristics. Moreover, it is not an issue that concerns only Turkey and Greece but the two peoples on the island. Naturally, the governments of the motherlands, namely the Turkish and Greek governments, are involved in this issue. The Cyprus question is an issue that can create a balance or a imbalance between Turkey and Greece. There are problems between Turkey and Greece that have a bilateral characteristic alone such as the problems pertaining to the Aegean. These are concrete and tangible issues that definitely need to be solved. I believe that the Aegean issues should be discussed as a separate package in a bid to reach an equitable solution because the issues in the Aegean are interlinked. A step backward in one of the issues can cause a setback in the other fields. Therefore, trying to solve the Aegean issues separately can lead to great injustices and the solution might lead to further complication. The issues should be taken up as a whole in order to reach a solution. I believe that, however, the Cyprus issue, should be separated from those issues."

    Asked to comment on what the common points he referred to might be, Denktas says that it will not be beneficial for him to discuss these points with the media thus opening the door to assessments and interpretations in the Greek Cypriot side and rendering the work of Clerides and consequently that of the Turkish Cypriot side more difficult.

    Amuran touches upon the intervention of third parties, such as the EU, in the issue and asks whether this has contributed to the nonsolution of the problem.

    Denktas responds: "It has contributed hundred percent. The ball is still in their court. The ball is in the court of foreign circles. It is in the court of those who view Cyprus as the Greek Cypriot Republic, who view us as a minority, who disregard the 1960 agreements and the supremacy of the law, and who have, for so many years, turned a blind eye to the violation of human rights in Cyprus. I hope that, with the commencement of these talks, they will also open their eyes and decide not to intervene so much. The statement Mr Verheugen made two days ago to the effect that they should step down in their intervention since the sides have decided to resume the talks is very appropriate and right."

    Amuran points out that Turkey has taken a step in the Cyprus issue as well as in the issue concerning the European army and that now the ball is in the European and Greek courts and asks Gurel to explain Turkey's stand: "These two issues should be separated. Our goodwill on these issues were probably never doubted. I believe that others had certain ulterior motives because Turkey has, both on the issues of Cyprus and the European Security and Defense Identity [ESDI], shown its goodwill way in advance. Naturally, it is out of the question for Turkey to allow the use of its own resources, the resources of NATO, to create a military force that might be used against Turkey as well. Subsequently, we asked for guarantees. We also specified on the kind of guarantees we want. Now, I believe that there are those who are ready to give us those guarantees. Greece, however, has certain reservations. I believe that now the issue of whether these guarantees will be given to us has become the internal affair of the EU. It is an issue that it should solve with Greece.

    "As for the Cyprus issue, Mr Denktas is extremely right because we, namely Denktas and Turkey which has been supporting his efforts, have shown great goodwill. Why was the Cyprus issue not discussed since 1997? In July of 1997, the EU Commission took this issue off the hands of the parties involved and put it on a different course eliminating the will of the Greek Cypriot side to discuss the issue with the Turkish Cypriot side. There was no need to discuss this issue because they began to hope that they could get on the EU train and reduce the Turkish Cypriots to the status of a minority." Alleging that the EU must have realized the wrong steps it has taken on the Cyprus issue, Gurel continues: "Now the EU chooses to step back. Had they continued with the steps they had been taking until now and had they taken Clerides into that train, then we would have reached the point of finalizing the division on the island. We and the Turkish Cypriots would then have felt much freer than in the past about our future outlook. Now, I believe the EU will stand back expecting the Denktas-Clerides meetings to yield positive results. Then EU will modify its former moves with a series of new moves. In other words, EU will modify its course regarding the Cyprus issue and begin to think about the EU-Cyprus-Turkey link after a political solution is reached and having itself supported a solution based on the sovereign equality of the two peoples."

    In response to a question on whether Turkey will accede to the EU, Gurel alleges that Turkey has more goodwill on the issue than the EU and adds: "The EU will actually not make a decision on Turkey, it will actually make a decision on its future identity. Do they want a multicultural Europe with many religions, or do they want a Europe that is similar to the current one? They will decide on this issue, only then will they be prepared for Turkey's membership."

    [03] Ismail Cem clarifies statements he made on Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia (9.12.01) reported that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem informing

    the Parliamentary General Assembly on the developments about the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) issue during the budget talks, Cem said: ``I am aware that the latest developments about the ESDP were not explained clearly. The reason is that we are still talking about a document which has not been announced officially yet.`` Noting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair`s letter was being mentioned in connection with the ESDP issue, Cem said: ``Such a thing is out of the question. Our policies were not formed and will not be formed in accordance with a letter of any president or personal instructions of any prime minister.`` Recalling that the issue of ESDP had started when the European Union (EU) had wanted to form a new military organization by making use of the NATO`s facilities and capabilities, Cem said that there had been a process of negotiation between the EU and NATO.

    Noting that there was no written document, promise or word prepared jointly by Turkey, the United States and Britain, Cem said: ``We directly wrote down NATO`s decision. The three countries prepared this document on what NATO`s decision on this issue would be. We have not received any recommendations from anybody.`` Recalling that the matter had been firstly taken up at the NATO Summit in 1999, Cem said: ``The matter has an EU dimension, too. The EU`s point of view toward the matter is in question. There was such an obligation to form a document that everybody would agree on. As Turkey, we did not want to be excluded from the European Army due to security reasons and it had been beneficial for us to remain in this army. However, this is not so simple. Under which conditions will we remain in it? We will remain in it by not inviting them to make use of some of NATO`s capabilities but by getting things in return.`` Recalling that the process of negotiations had lasted two and a half years, Cem said that no progress had been recorded in the first one and a half years but they had opposed the document presented to them at the meeting in Brussels one year ago.

    ``We wanted the matter solved in a way meeting our demands,`` Cem said and added that they had received serious criticisms from some circles in Turkey during this process but they had done the right thing. ``Three meetings took place among the United States, Britain and Turkey in the last six months. Important progress was recorded at these meetings. Some circles claimed that Turkey made some concessions. These claims are totally baseless,`` he said.

    Cem said: ``The issue was comprised of three categories. The most important of these categories was Turkey`s concerns about security. Turkey/s concerns were totally met. If NATO and the EU will set up a cooperation, Turkey`s security should not be damaged. We reached the desired point in the last one month. Later, we requested some corrections. These corrections were not vitally important, but they were made,`` he said.

    Cem noted: ``The second category included military and technical issues. How will soldiers participate in decision-making mechanisms? How will countries be represented at headquarters? We worked together with the General Staff. The text on which Turkey, Britain and the United States reached agreement, was the text on which a compromise was reached between the Foreign Ministry and the General Staff. We agreed that Turkey`s requirements were totally met. The third category concerned the EU`s autonomous operations in which NATO`s capabilities will not be used. An operation will be launched without using NATO`s soldiers, aircraft and airports. How will non-EU NATO allies like Turkey participate in such operations? We could not get what we wanted on this issue, although we exerted great efforts,`` he said.

    Stressing that Turkey`s priority was to take its place in the EU Army, Cem said: ``According to our point of view, Turkey`s exclusion from the EU Army will be totally wrong. Turkey has taken what it wanted on the issue of taking place in decision-making mechanisms.

    Consequently, an agreement prepared by three countries, was signed.

    Some circles claimed that Turkey made a mistake by signing the agreement. High-level officials including Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, examined the issue, and they agreed that Turkey`s signing the agreement would be beneficial.`` Cem added: ``At the last meeting of NATO, Turkey, Britain and the United States were congratulated because of the agreement. Turkey has done what it should do. Meanwhile, Greece`s criticisms are not justified.``

    Cem said on Sunday that his statement almost one month ago in which he had said, ``we are ready to pay the cost`` regarding the Cyprus issue was misunderstood.

    ``What I meant to say with the word of cost is not about our not becoming a European Union (EU) member. You can remember the year 1974, a weapon embargo was imposed on Turkey in that year. I said that we can pay the cost by thinking of a similar embargo and by thinking that Turkey can pay the cost in such a situation, of course we can pay the cost for Cyprus and for the Turkish Cypriots,`` he said.

    Noting that Rauf Denktas` latest initiative was ``very right and successful initiative launched at the proper time``, Cem said that such a point had not been reached coincidentally.

    Ismail Cem recalled that together with Denktas, they had put forward the ``Confederation Model`` for Cyprus in August of 1997.

    He recalled that Turkey had given the whole world the messages that ``we want a joint solution on which the two communities in Cyprus can reach a compromise. If you accept Greek Cypriot administration`s EU membership as if it was the only ruler of the island, we won`t say yes to it and we won`t allow it. This is not a threat but expression of reality``, Cem said: ``In the end, the whole world has started to see in the last few months that there cannot be a solution on Cyprus like the one on people`s minds and there is a need for a solution on which the two sides should absolutely reach a compromise. Those who called on Denktas to sit at the negotiating table to reach an agreement, have started to make the similar call to the Greek Cypriot administration and recommended it that everybody might face difficult days regarding the future of Cyprus if there would not be a compromise.`` ``As a result of this, Denktas launched an initiative which brought a very good result for the moment in first stage. I hope that on this basis, Denktas and Clerides will find a solution on which the two communities reach a compromise,`` he said.

    Meanwhile, speaking to the CNN-Turk television channel (9.12.01) Cem spoke about the ESDP, Cyprus issue and Turkey/s European Union (EU) process.

    Regarding the issue of the kind of right the non-EU member NATO allies will have in the EU/s autonomous operations in which the NATO capabilities and facilities won/t be used, Cem said that they could not get what they exactly wanted.

    "We stand at a point where when they want to carry out an autonomous operation we don/t exist automatically in that operation when we say that we want to be in it", Cem said and added that he had exerted great efforts for this matter and that also the EU was right in some points.

    Stressing that there was a clear timing about the ESDP issue, Cem said that they had tired to find a solution to the issue before the summit meeting on December 6, adding, "for us, ESDP has been solved".

    Noting that at the NATO foreign ministers meeting, almost everybody had thanked Turkey for the compromise, Cem answered the question, "are there any signals about the General Affairs Council meeting which will be held tomorrow?" by saying, "Turkey does not aim at damaging benefits of Greece, NATO allies or the member countries to the EU".

    Recalling that he had held a brief talk with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou during the meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Cem said that both Papandreou and he had expressed their pleasure with recent developments on Cyprus.

    "Restricting efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus question with the United Nations did not record any progress. A new ground is needed to reach an agreement. We have been working for a long time to this end. We have been following a serious policy on the issue since August of 1998. We explained Turkey/s determination to the whole world that an acceptable solution should be found", he said.

    "These efforts have yielded results at last, and positive developments have occurred regarding the Cyprus question. However, a final solution could not be found on Cyprus. Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides/ holding a face-to-face meeting is not adequate. This meeting was the most necessary step that should be taken to find a solution. Turkey extends full support to developments on the island", he emphasized.

    Referring to parallel developments on the issue of ESDP and the Cyprus question, Cem said: "In international relations, a positive development can naturally affect another development. However, it is a serious mistake to link the Cyprus question to the relations between Turkey and the EU".

    "It will be wrong to make a bargaining in our relations with the EU because of recent developments on Cyprus. Such an attitude will damage both our relations with the EU and Cyprus", he said.

    Noting that Turkey would record more progress on the issue of the EU full membership in 2002, Cem stressed that it would be wrong to seek a different candidacy formula for Turkey.

    Cem added that the EU was an important factor that would enable Turkey to reach its targets easily and in a short period of time.

    [04] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister on Cyprus

    Istanbul NTV (7.12.01) carried live a 45-minute news conference by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit with unidentified correspondents at the Prime Minister's Office.

    Referring to the issue of the European Security and Defense Policy [ESDP], Ecevit says that "the difficult meetings on the ESDP yielded positive results after more than two years. This is an important development. It cannot be denied now that Turkey assumes a significant place in the security of Europe. It has been understood that Turkey cannot be ignored in terms of Europe's security. Turkey's right of veto in NATO will continue. Turkey will be consulted on those operations which the ESDP will launch on its own without using the NATO facilities. It is out of the question for the ESDP to launch any operation against Turkey. As you know, the meetings were led by Britain on behalf of the EU. The United States, in turn, assisted. We hope that both the EU and NATO will ratify these results."

    On the Cyprus issue, Ecevit said that "after long years, Mr Rauf Denktas, and Mr Clerides met in their own territories -- Cyprus." Explaining that the meetings held in far off places did not yield any results, Ecevit says: "We always wanted for the two communities to establish dialogue between themselves in their own territory. It was Mr Rauf Denktas who led this development." "We can say that Mr Denktas opened the door to a dialogue at this stage. There are no signs as to the results that can be achieved at these meetings. We have always said that the most important condition for establishing a lasting and positive order between the two communities in Cyprus is to accept the Cyprus reality." Defining the Cyprus reality as "two separate states and nations," Ecevit adds: "A healthy dialogue can be established once this reality is accepted and compromise reached. Another condition is for others not to interfere in the Cyprus issue. The more the states and organizations that interfere, the more the Cyprus issue becomes complex. There are two democratic communities and states in Cyprus and they can settle their differences within the framework of democratic regulations. I believe that they are capable of doing so. We hope the path to positive developments will open as soon as possible. I wish Mr Denktas and Mr Clerides success in the meetings they will hold".

    [05] Ankara's position said to be 'crucial' in determining outcome of Cyprus talks

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET (8.12.01) carries the following report by Leyla Tavsanoglu in Nicosia under the title: "Solution Must be Found by June":

    While the rapprochement between Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides has revived hopes for a settlement in Cyprus, some circles say that this "spring climate" will once again fail to produce any results.

    Some Cypriots in Nicosia argue: "For years these two leaders made matters worse each time they said that they are about to produce results." One political observer underscored the following important point: "Ankara's position is very important. This has been so for many years. The crucial question is whether Ankara really wants a solution in Cyprus. Can Denktas act independently of Ankara this time? He cannot." Then he told us a story from the past: "It was another one of these direct talks in Ledra Palace. The atmosphere was very positive. At lunch both leaders asked for sandwiches. Clerides had two and Denktas four sandwiches. Denktas appeared to be trying to gain time. He asked for four more sandwiches. It was obvious that he was waiting for a word from Ankara but the word was being delayed. Denktas ate 18 sandwiches before the word arrived."

    Some observers note that much has changed in the world since September 11: "The United States is uneasy about the EU parameters being emphasized too much in Cyprus. It is aware that the UN has not been able to make any progress over so many years. Moreover enormous sums of money are being spent on the UN Peacekeeping Force which is essentially vacationing on the island. The talks that begin on January 16 must produce results by June 2002. If that does not happen a 24-hour war may erupt in one way or another. Then a solution may be imposed. A NATO force comes here and the NATO parameters become operative."

    Observers also underscore that Clerides is in a difficult position:

    "Greek Cypriot administrations irradiated their people with hostility against Turks for decades. Now naturally this relaxation is creating uneasiness among a considerable number of Greek Cypriots. We will see if Clerides will be able overcome these negative sentiments."

    Social dinners and backslapping gestures are fine but what will happen when it is time to discuss serious and technical matters? Will Clerides be able to abandon his populist policies and act realistically? What will happen to the freedoms on which the Greek Cypriot side has insisted? Will the Greek Cypriot side continue to insist on the repatriation of immigrants from Turkey and swapping of properties? Some believe that Clerides will be realistic because he wants to sign a settlement with his old friend Denktas. He thinks: "Our successors should take over the rest."

    Some Western or even Greek analysts who note that the EU parameters remain quite alive point out the following: "The two leaders have created a relaxed atmosphere. However what matters is that the entire world recognizes, perhaps not so eagerly, the Greek Cypriot administration as the Republic of Cyprus. Although some Gulf emirates have talked about recognizing the TRNC as a result of some arm twisting by the United States there is nothing definite about it. Consequently the Greek Cypriot administration will have to answer the following questions in its negotiations with the EU: Since the Greek Cypriots refuse to recognize the TRNC or to accept a loose federation on the island what solution have they achieved [as published]? Do they plan to force the Turkish Cypriots to return to the villages where they lived before 1963? Or do they want to herd them into the ghettos where they were forced to live for 11 years?"

    [06] Ilter Turkmen:''A Blessed Week''

    Former Turkish foreign minister and diplomat Ilter Turkmen writing in HURRIYET (8/12/01) under the title'A Blessed Week'' reports about the developments that took place last week which he considers positive as far as Turkey is concerned.

    Referring to the Clerides -Denktas meeting and the subsequent dinner in which President Clerides took part, he quotes a Turkish proverb:' When all the other avenues are closed, then what remains is the avenue of discernment '', and says: "This was the case in Cyprus. Denktas and Clerides met and took the first step of a serious and constructive negotiation process symbolized with peace gesture. This development will pave the way for Denktas to come out of his isolation and hold contacts with high level EU and other countries' officials. It will be right for the Turkish Cypriot Leadership to see its county's future in the EU and it should suit its political thinking model on this line. Until now the TRNC did not show any interest in the EU and it considered the EU as hostile foe. As a result of this stance the TRNC bureaucracy did not do its comprehensive and hard EU membership preparatory work and lagged behind. I t should carry out and complete this work as soon as possible.

    Naturally the developments in Cyprus did not emanate from Denktas's sudden changes. Without doubt Ankara was behind the change. Despite the known statements by Ecevit who repeats them from time-to-time, it is clear that after the last National Security Council meeting the Turkish government had reached the conclusion that a solution in Cyprus will be in the long-run interest of Turkey and the TRNC.

    The Turkish foreign policy went around an important bend last week.''

    [07] General Tolon:''We Will not Make Concession On Cyprus''

    According to Cumhuriyet (8/12/01), the commander of the Aegean Army General Hursit Tolon has said that the Cyprus talks have entered into an important process. However he said: "One should openly and clearly know that the Turkish State and its Armed forces which are borne out of people's chest are resolute to secure and safeguard their Turkish Cypriot brethrens rights, freedom and interests. This will be manifested like this.''

    [08] Gurel:''Britain Is Acting in Hypocrisy''

    According to Cumhuriyet (8/12/01), The Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs Sukru Sina Gurel, speaking at a panel organized by the Political Science Faculty of the Ankara University "Turkey and the TRNC In the EU process"

    strongly criticised the EU and the Western counties of hypocrisy as regards the Cyprus problem. He said: "If they accept the Greek Cypriot administration as the sole representative of Cyprus then they will render the division of the island permanent, thus Turkey and the TRNC will be more free to take joint steps together .The EU has started to see this fact''.

    He claimed that the Cyprus problem did not reach the desired solution point because of the fact that the sides look into the issue from their narrow point of interest and they turned a blind eye to the realities. He accused Britain, which is a party to the problem because of the 1960 Agreements, of hypocrisy. In fact one of the important issues that Britain is interested today is still her bases in the island. Had it not been that way Britain should not have been defending part of the existing legal texts and turn a blind eye to others'', Gurel concluded.


    [09] Mehmet Ali Birand: Cyprus is not Turkey/s "ticket" to the EU

    In his regular column "OPINION" of Turkish Daily News (8.12.01) Mehmet Ali Birand refers to the latest developments in the Cyprus problem stressing that Turkey cannot become EU member unless it complies with the Copenhagen criteria.

    After describing the events that led to the meeting between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, and the climate created in Cyprus and Turkey, Mehmet Ali Birand says:

    "With his latest maneuver, Rauf Denktas has gotten himself out of an impasse. Until now he alone has had to endure fully the pressure exerted by the West. From now on the situation will change.

    Attention will focus on Clerides.

    The EU will try to make Clerides adopt a more flexible stance towards the Turkish side/s requirements. They will definitely address themselves to Clerides too from time to time. But the approach will be different.

    Denktas has another advantage in that with his latest move he has drawn to his side both his own community and the public in Turkey. The criticism directed against Denktas, had stemmed from his holding a certain stance that obstructed the negotiating process. This time the shoe is on the other foot. Denktas will use this in his favour as leverage.

    Some of us have a mistaken idea.

    They argue that if the Cyprus problem gets solved, the EU would start accession talks with Turkey at an earlier date.

    Yet, this is out of the question.

    Cyprus is not Turkey/s "ticket" to the EU.

    Cyprus is one of the major obstacles on Turkey/s path to the EU. If that obstacle gets removed we will be able to proceed more easily. However, this process cannot be accelerated only because the Cyprus issue gets resolved.

    The train ticket that will carry Turkey into the EU, is compliance with the Copenhagen criteria.

    We must never forget that".


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