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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-13

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] Lord David Hannay was interviewed by Mehmet Ali Birand on CNN TURK. He described the Cyprus problem as the biggest wound of Europe.
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader replied to statements made by Lord Hannay. He insists that there is no progress in the talks.
  • [03] Tansu Ciller: Ecevit is creating problems for Turkey/s EU membership by not resigning.
  • [04] Thomas Weston is having contacts in Ankara.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot organizations will raise the issue of CMC at IFFA 2002 in Istanbul
  • [06] The Turkish Lira/s value is falling.
  • [07] Ankara keeps on watching ESDP debate on Athens-Madrid line.

  • [08] Columnist in CUMHURIYET assesses Ecevit/s press conference. He believes that the "conqueror of Cyprus" will not alter his hawkish stance.
  • [09] Columnist in HURRIYET calls on Turkey to fulfil the EU criteria so as to be able to postpone Cyprus/ accession to the EU.
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot columnist sees the increase of the value of the dollar as a means for exerting pressure on Turkey.
  • [11] Cyprus price very high for Turkey.


    [01] Lord David Hannay was interviewed by Mehmet Ali Birand on CNN TURK. He described the Cyprus problem as the biggest wound of Europe

    CNN TURK Television (12.06.02) carried a 20-minute recorded interview with Lord David Hannay, Britain's special envoy for Cyprus, by Mehmet Ali Birand in Ankara on the 'Headline' program.

    In reply to Birand's question on "whether there is real progress in the Cyprus issue," Hannay says that his "assessment" is that this year can yield a "great success" with regard to finding a solution. Expressing belief that "very important developments" took place, Hannay adds: "In my opinion, the progress is slow. There is a great deal of hesitancy." Explaining that there are various opportunities to achieve a solution, which will safeguard the "vital interests" of both sides, Hannay says that he truly believes that the "talks are serious and that they will yield a solution by the end of the year."

    Birand then asks: "Let us look into the issue step by step. What is your assessment of Rauf Denktas' latest statements?" In reply, Hannay says that he does not wish to assess those issues which make up the bulk of the talks in line with the UN Secretary-General's directives, and adds: "However, I would just like to say that the structure everybody is looking for is clear and the will to this end is there. We are talking about a central government in Cyprus, a new government."

    In reply to Birand's question on whether Hannay is talking about "a government, which is different from the old one with a new flag," Hannay says: "Yes. A new government with a new flag, a new national anthem, and even a new name perhaps. It will not be the Cyprus Republic anymore. I do not know what the new name will be, but the name of the new central government will be different. These are old symbols, but, as you know the symbols are very important in politics. Consequently, these symbols will show that a new partnership has really been established. The Turkish Cypriots have been saying that they seek a new partnership all along."

    Hannay says, in reply to Birand's question on whether there will be two states with one central government, that this should not be transformed into an "unproductive discussion of which comes first, the chicken or the egg," adding that "there will be a central government. There will be two complementary states as described by the United Nations. I am saying that two separate states will make up this government."

    Responding to a request by Birand to expand on this new structure, Hannay says: "I believe that the United Nations is talking about a temporary solution when it refers to complementary states. Once a solution is found, the situation will be different. Of course, there will be two states, the Turkish Cypriot state will be in the north and the Greek Cypriot state will be in the south. They will assume responsibility and a right of say on several issues such as health, education, transportation, and police forces. They will be running their own affairs. They will be sovereign over their own regions." Asked by Birand whether they will have their own parliaments, Hannay says: "They will have their own parliaments and they will make their own decisions on administration." Noting that it will be a "completely different Cyprus," Hannay says that "it will be a Cyprus, which is completely different from the past one. In this way, both communities -- both sides -- will be sovereign in their own region with regard to their internal affairs. They will work jointly on limited issues. They will, of course, be able to make contributions in Brussels as an EU member. They will be included in the collective EU decisions made by all the members."

    Birand then says that he did not know that a "new Cyprus" will be formed and asks: "Are Denktas and Clerides approaching this goal you have been talking about?" In reply to this question, Hannay says that he does not wish to assess this question, expressing belief, however, that "both leaders are aware of the importance of the issues being discussed in the talks. I think that they will be able to reach a joint agreement in the coming weeks and months because I believe that this will be in the interest and advantage of everybody. It goes without saying that there are risks if the talks fail and no solutions produced."

    In reply to a question on whether this opportunity can be described as a "last train," Hannay says that there will be certain consequences if an agreement is not reached this year. "One of the consequences," Hannay explains, "can be that the Turkish side did not show sufficient flexibility." "From the technical point of view," Hannay says, "it will be a big setback for all of us, in particular, for the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. All the Europeans will try to avoid this. Almost all the EU members seek a settlement to the issue and a united Cyprus. Of course, the solution should safeguard the interests of both sides."

    Birand continues by saying that Hannay's remarks mean that this issue will not be resolved if the Turkish side does not display flexibility, adding: "If I was the Greek Cypriot side, I would not even negotiate because the EU membership is anyway in my pocket." To this, Hannay says: "No. The Greek Cypriots do not consider the EU membership in their pocket." Hannay then says that the "EU will take into consideration various factors," and adds that "the efforts exerted by both sides will be considered. In my opinion, the Greek Cypriot side is aware of the fact that the EU representatives attach great importance to taking this last step for a solution."

    In reply to a question on whether President Clerides does not think that it is easy to become an EU member, Hannay says: "I do not agree with this. Frankly, I am surprised by the interpretations in this country."

    Asked to assess the Turkish side's approach to the negotiations, Hannay says: "I see that the Greek Cypriot side is displaying a serious flexibility. I do not want to categorize the Greek Cypriot side. I have been disappointed by the Turkish side on a number of occasions lately. For example, I find it difficult to understand the reason why Mr Denktas is not accepting that an agreement can be reached until the end of June. In the end, it was Mr Denktas who had set June as a goal. I do not understand what he has to lose and why he does not support the UN Secretary- General's efforts to this end."

    In reply to a question on whether he thinks that Denktas and Clerides are not capable of reaching an agreement without the United Nations, Hannay expresses the belief that the United Nations will assist both sides to find common grounds.

    In reply to another question on a deadline and a final timetable, Hannay says: "In the event that there is a stalemate, the people lose hope and the international community will start to think that there will never be a solution. Consequently, we all have a responsibility to show that the negotiations are advancing, that there is progress on all core issues. I do not want to give a date; however, the June goal is very important. In my opinion, it is in the interests of both sides to reach an agreement by that time. I also do not want to give the impression that nothing can be done after that."

    In reply to another question on why there are constant efforts to unite both sides, Hannay says that "a green line divides down the middle of the island and there are soldiers ready to shoot on this line." "The problem will be solved if both sides are granted independence," says Birand. In reply, Hannay says that "this will not produce any solution."

    "In your opinion," Birand asks, "don't you think that the international community would have separated the sides if there was a war like in Bosnia and other countries?" In reply, Hannay says: "The dispute in Cyprus has been more or less under control for 25-30 years. But, now, we have to surmount this dispute as well." Expressing the hope that the dispute between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots and Turkey and Greece will be settled, Hannay says that this is the last biggest wound in Europe. We all know that only a reconciliation produces a solution."

    Birand explains that the Turkish side seeks independence as a guarantee in order to dissipate its major worry, which is a possible Greek deception. Hannay explains that both sides have their own nightmares concerning an agreement, adding that a return to the 1960 is unacceptable. "I believe that a reconciliation is possible," Hannay says.

    In reply to a question on Turkey and the EU process, Hannay says: "I do not want to link the issue of the negotiations to Turkey and the EU. There is a quite clear connection, however. In the event that there is a settlement in Cyprus, a very important goal would have been achieved. In this way, one of the most important worries of Turkey with regard to its EU membership will have been eliminated."

    As his concluding remarks, Hannay says that "if Turkey seeks to join the EU, it should exert efforts. Never walk away from the negotiations. You should never leave an empty seat and let depression and pessimism take hold. You have to determine your strategic goals and be committed to them."

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader replied to statements made by Lord Hannay. He insists that there is no progress in the talks

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency(12.06.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, replying to reporters' questions, assessed the statement made by Lord David Hannay before his departure from the island on 11 June and the reports on the issue. Denktas responded to Hannay's assessment that "progress has been achieved in certain issues." He said: "There is no point in saying that progress has been achieved in certain issues, because there is no progress in any of the issues so long as progress is not achieved on all the issues." Denktas described as lies and speculations media reports that Hannay had brought proposals on constitutional issues.

    Commenting on reports that the advanced stages of the negotiations might continue in Geneva, Denktas said: "There is no such thing. The talks are continuing and will continue in Cyprus. There is no need to leave the country, to make such an expense."

    Denktas then added: "Let the people well assess what we are saying. So long as the Greek Cypriot side does not renounce its claim to being the legitimate government and so long as it keeps on presenting this argument to us, the path will be blocked. Everyone should know that. The `TRNC/ exists, one cannot act as though it does not. Consequently, the difficulties are continuing. We, however, are testing and will test this path to the very end."

    [03] Tansu Ciller: Ecevit is creating problems for Turkey/s EU membership by not resigning

    NTV television (12.06.02) broadcast that True path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller has responded to claims by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the effect that the TPP is creating a lot of difficulties with regard to the EU membership. She said: "Mr Ecevit is creating a lot of difficulties with regard to Turkey's membership in the EU by not withdrawing from the government and not resigning from his prime ministerial position."

    Ciller issued a written statement stating that Ecevit, as the head of the government, missed the opportunity of acceding to the EU in the 70/s and that now another opportunity is being missed because he cannot head the government. Noting that the prime minister should consider the government partners as his respondents for the solution of a fundamental and vital issue such as the EU membership, Ciller continued: We find it odd that the prime minister considers us his respondents and is trying to impose responsibilities on us on this issue.

    Pointing out the EU negotiation process cannot be launched by resolving only the death penalty issue without having taken any steps on issues such as Cyprus and education and broadcasts in the mother tongue, Ciller said that the government has failed to clearly present a joint stand and policy on a fundamental and vital issue such as the EU membership.

    [04] Thomas Weston is having contacts in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (11.06.02) reported that Thomas Weston, the special coordinator of the U.S. State Department for Cyprus, said on Tuesday that he had held beneficial talks on the Cyprus question, adding, ``I believe that we will come to a successful conclusion.``

    Weston who went to Ankara after wrapping up his contacts in Germany, met with Foreign Affairs Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal.

    Addressing journalists following the meeting, Weston said that there has been a very beneficial dialogue between Turkey and the United States.

    Recalling that he would pay a visit to Greece after wrapping up his contacts in Ankara, Weston said that he would proceed to Cyprus from Greece.

    ``I believe that we will come to a successful conclusion on the Cyprus question,`` he said.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot organizations will raise the issue of CMC at IFFA 2002 in Istanbul

    KIBRIS (13.06.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot organizations, environmental associations and scientists have decided to internationalize the issue of the ecological disaster at the installations of the Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC) in the occupied area of Karavostassi.

    The paper writes that representatives of the above-mentioned organizations met yesterday at the offices of the Turkish Cypriot Physicians Union and decided to raise the issue at the International Conference for the Environment (IFFA 2002), which is planned to take place in Istanbul between 8 and 12 July.

    The organizations, which have taken the initiative, are the Turkish Cypriot Physicians Union, the Environmental and Enlightenment Association of Lefka and the illegal "Near East University".

    [06] The Turkish Lira's value is falling

    According to AFRIKA (13.06.02) the value of Turkish lira is falling. One sterling was equal to 2.300.000 thousand Turkish liras yesterday, while the value of one American dollar increased to 1.580.000 liras.

    [07] Ankara keeps on watching ESDP debate on Athens-Madrid line

    Turkish Daily News (13.06.02) reports that the European Union (EU) said on Tuesday it hoped deadlock with Greece over the anticipated launch of a European rapid reaction force may be resolved by the EU summit in Seville later this month.

    The talks between the Spanish presidency of the EU and Greece are being closely followed in Ankara.

    Every detail of the proposals brought by Spain to Greece are being noted down carefully.

    While the EU is expected to take a face-saving step to please Athens, Turkey once more underlines its bottom line vis-a-vis to the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP).

    "We cannot take a step back from the Ankara document. We understand that some additions will be made to that document. We will first see the wording of the addition," Turkish officials say.

    The phrase to be added to the Ankara document is expected to be about "the use of NATO assets against an EU member state."

    Diplomats speaking to the Turkish Daily News (TDN) in Ankara stated that the addition of a phrase to the Ankara document will not be considered to be enough by Greece.

    Aznar: 'We can reach a deal at Sevilla'

    During a visit to Athens, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, which currently holds the EU presidency, said a deal could be reached by the time of the June 21-22 summit.

    Greece objects to Turkey having a say in the European rapid reaction force. "I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic. There were some positive elements lately and in the coming days we hope to score," Aznar told reporters after meeting Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. "I hope to have a positive outcome (by Sevilla)." He did not elaborate on what gave him hope for resolving an issue which has held back the launch of the force for months, despite efforts by other EU partners to allay Greece's concerns.

    Simitis said there was good will to solve the dispute but avoided setting a timeframe.

    "There is no problem that cannot be resolved if interested parties make an effort," he said. "There is good will, we are negotiating, there will be a solution."

    Greece has repeatedly rejected the so-called Ankara document, drawn up by U.S. and British diplomats last year, which provides Ankara with assurances about any use of the force in its strategic space.

    Aznar said such a force, which was hoped would take over peacekeeping operations in FYROM from NATO in September, was not possible without the support of the Atlantic alliance.

    "The European security policy cannot be developed without close collaboration between NATO and the European Union," Aznar said through a Greek translator. "This collaboration is vital and necessary."


    [08] Columnist in CUMHURIYET assesses Ecevit/s press conference. He believes that the "conqueror of Cyprus" will not alter his hawkish stance

    CUMHURIYET newspaper (Ankara Edition, 10.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Oral Calislar under the title: "Ecevit/s Press Conference":

    The full text of the commentary is as follows: "Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was back in front of the cameras after a 10-day absence. Even if he did confuse some of his words it is a fact that the Prime Minister is mentally healthy. The three main problems troubling Turkey's relations with the EU have really come to the fore now.

    The Prime Minister stated that whereas they [the DLP] were on the same wavelength as the Nationalist Action Party [NAP] on certain aspects of these three problems, they had opposing views concerning others. Ecevit said he would try to get the parties in Parliament to agree on abolishing the death penalty. How high are the chances for such a consensus decision to be made? It can be seen that all parties except the Justice and Development Party [JDP] will want to use the death penalty issue to make political manoeuvres and will play it as a card while bargaining.

    If the DLP and Motherland Party (MP) turn to the opposition for support then Tansu Ciller's True Path Party [TPP] and Recai Kutan's Felicity Party [FP] will play games within games. Because scheming and short-term motivations are the driving force behind politics in Turkey, the opposition will use this issue to corner the government. It does not look like it will be easy to abolish the death penalty.

    Even though the Prime Minister has been claiming that consensus will be easy to reach over the issue of education in the mother tongue, the NAP does not seem warm to the idea. The NAP is trying to win back deteriorating popular support by creating tension in crucial areas of domestic politics. The second problem is not on the verge of being solved either.

    The third, and perhaps the most important problem, concerns Cyprus. Prime Minister Ecevit stated that there was no rift between himself and Bahceli over the issue. That is obvious. Prime Minister Ecevit, alias "Conqueror of Cyprus", will not easily alter his hawkish stance. This, however, implies standing closest to the NAP.

    Political signals coming from the press conference Ecevit held yesterday portray the image that Turkey is not strong enough to achieve the EU target. Is it possible for a political line that rejects abolishing the death penalty, that is against allowing education in the mother tongue and that defends the status quo in Cyprus to be in harmony with the EU? Ecevit did not say anything that would inspire hope regarding these issues.

    We cannot foresee which turn Prime Minister Ecevit's health will take. However, we do know that the Prime Minister, for whom doctors have strictly advised rest, is not fit enough to steer politics at such a critical time. He is forced to watch what is going on from far away. Actually, he could have played a more influential role in paving the way for EU membership with the help of his experience and the leverage he has over the state. This does not seem possible at the moment though.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit tried to prove he is healthy and tried to show he can cope with government work. He also stated that the leadership of the DLP by a second person is not on the agenda yet and said he would be back at work in a few weeks. Let us hope things will turn out the way Ecevit foresaw them.

    Even if the Prime Minister does temporarily recover, it does not look like he can fully carry out as dynamic a duty as being Prime Minister. Turkey is experiencing an extremely critical period--during which the process of joining political camps is getting tougher and fronts are being shaped all over again.

    An anti-EU front, which we can call "the Nationalist Front", is forming a partnership in which the NAP is the centripetal force. Bahceli's resistance on issues such as the death penalty adds to the camp's strength. The front has been approaching such issues by ascribing to it a "patriot-traitor" polemic. The Nationalist Front knows its swords well.

    MP and TUSIAD [Association of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen] lead the pro-EU front. The approaches of the TPP and the FP are not clear. The left is confused. Whereas those circles in the left that are dominated by nationalism have joined the Nationalist Front, others have adopted a wavering attitude with the motto, "Labourer's Europe"--which implies becoming a part of the EU via the left. A small minority within the left is warm to the idea of EU membership. The People's Democracy Party advocates joining the EU. The Republican People's Party (RPP) is among those with wavering attitudes that say, "We are in favor of EU membership but...". It is still not possible to understand their approach to the Cyprus issue and to education in the mother language.

    Prime Minister Ecevit's health has gained significance for Turkey's near future. Even if the Prime Minister recovers, Turkey is not too healthy. That is because those forces in Turkey that are in favour of preserving the status quo due to their fear of democracy and freedom have taken up a more active stance in order to keep the situation static.

    Tension is so high that those like Bayram Meral, who strive to preserve the balance, have no other alternative but to side with both camps.

    Turkey does not seem to be politically healthy."

    [09] Columnist in HURRIYET calls on Turkey to fulfil the EU criteria so as to be able to postpone Cyprus/ accession to the EU

    HURRIYET (Ankara Edition, 10.06.02) publishes the following commentary from the "Footnote" Column by Ferai Tinc under the title: "Fulfilment of the Criteria Will Create an Opportunity in Cyprus".

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "As the deadline for making a decision about the EU's next round of enlargement is rapidly approaching, some circles within the EU, which are against admission of new members, have launched a counter offensive. A motion stating that Slovenia should not be admitted before it has solved its border dispute with Croatia was circulated in the European Parliament in order to collect signatures last week.

    In fact, Slovenia has made the greatest progress among all the candidates.

    It has almost completed alignment of its laws with the EU's acquis communautaire. As regards the Copenhagen criteria, it has carried out very comprehensive studies about the minorities, effectively disproving the allegations made by some circles who, although they have not gained enough insight into the events, claim that the EU is dictating its conditions only to Turkey.

    For example, the rights of the minorities of Italian and Hungarian origin are fully protected by the laws. Article 64 of the Constitution allows the Italian and Hungarian minorities to receive education in their mother tongues. However, in order to conclude the negotiations with the EU, the legal framework defining the areas in that country where the members of those two minorities will start to receive bilingual education needs to be established.

    In addition, Slovenia has to complete some other legal amendments that would guarantee the minorities' rights to use symbols showing their national identities, to establish associations and to carry out economic, cultural and scientific activities before it joins the EU.

    Furthermore, the Slovenian State is required to provide financial support in order to enable the minorities to exercise those rights fully. Last but not least, there is a requirement that the Slovenian State support the minorities with a view to enabling them to acquire capabilities to set up autonomous local governments.

    There are also some other ethnic groups, which are not regarded as minorities, in addition to the Romanies and the German-speaking people as well as the Croatians, Serbians and Bosnians, who have migrated to Slovenia during the civil war. They also have the right to use and receive education in their mother tongues. However, the fact that there are some shortcomings in this field has been put on record.

    Slovenia is not preoccupied with debates whether its accession to the EU would be achieved under honourable or dishonourable terms. It is only endeavouring to acquire the right to become full member at the end of this year.

    However, the motion tabled in the European Parliament last week argues that Slovenia should not be admitted before it had resolved its border disputes with neighbouring Croatia.

    This was not an ordinary event. It represents an initiative which has placed the possibility of deferring the decision on enlargement for a certain period on Europe's agenda.

    Croatia, which is not a candidate for EU membership at present, wants to be admitted simultaneously with Slovenia. It is said that Croatia has commanded the support of Germany and Austria. In fact, the motion was tabled by a German MP and an Austrian MP.

    This motion cites Article 4 of the document issued after the Helsinki Summit as a reference. In other words, it refers to that article which urges Turkey and Greece to resolve their disputes over the Aegean Sea by 2004 and states that they should take their disagreement to the Court of Justice in The Hague if they fail to find a solution.

    This Article, which was included in the document due to a Greek proposal, now puts Europe's enlargement at risk, because the EU will make a single decision for the ten candidates. In other words, admission of each candidate will not be voted separately.

    Of course, this initiative does not necessarily mean that the enlargement process will be reversed. However, debates intensify and details assume a greater importance as time is running out.

    This could provide an opportunity in connection with the Cyprus question. Europe has started to grasp the complicated nature of the Cyprus issue only very recently. Those circles, who are sceptical of the enlargement process, have become aware of the fact that admitting Cyprus without finding a peaceful solution could lead to even bigger problems. Therefore, time is ripe for launching a counteroffensive supported by a comprehensive campaign about the Cyprus issue.

    However, it would not be easy to focus the debate only on that issue as one of the coalition parties has already announced that it would not take any step regarding democratization and human rights. Therefore, it would be extremely difficult for Turkey, whose quest for joining the EU seems to have weakened, to find a common ground with Europe to discuss the Cyprus issue as "partners."

    [10] Turkish Cypriot columnist sees the increase in the value of the dollar as a means for exerting pressure on Turkey

    Under the title "Pay attention to the dollar!" Turkgut Afsaroflu of AFRIKA (13.06.02) writes the following:

    "We have said it before as well. They have divided the undeveloped countries into two. They will discipline some of them by bombings and some others by drowning them into debts. They classify countries like Afghanistan and Iraq in the category of 'the countries for which there is no objection to remain undeveloped'. Therefore, they are trying to make these countries completely flat by bombings. Whereas they regard countries like Turkey, which are regarded as strategic allies, to be in the category of those 'countries which they could not allow to remain undeveloped'. They discipline the countries, which are in this category with the dollar.

    During the last few days, the dollar is going up again, because Turkey began to sway from side to side like a ship without a course. It does not know whether or not it should accede to the EU, to put Denktas in order and solve the Cyprus problem. Kemal Dervish worries. 'I could not claim that the situation is very good', he says. He complains about the administration, which has been torn into pieces, the unproductive bickering and the lack of coordination. And he is not wrong. Prime Minister Ecevit is ill for months. The Council of Ministers cannot be convened. The biggest partner in the government, Nationalist Action Party is against the EU. The small partner favours the EU. The army is waiting. Denktas is playing his own game.

    The situation of Turkey is really serious. The internal and external debts together have exceeded the 200 billion dollars. During the last two years, the interests of the debts were paid by loans supplied by the IMF. And today the debts increased so much that. The incomes from the taxes are not enough to pay the debt installments. During the first five months of 2002, 28 quadrillions went into the treasury of Turkey, whereas 40 quadrillions went out. The 21 quadrillions of this money went to paying the salaries and the current expenses of the state. 19 quadrillions were paid for loan installments and for the interests. The deficit is 12 quadrillion liras. The Turkish economy is surviving now with the support of the IMF and the money coming from outside. Turkey cannot stand on its own feed without this support. The same is valid for `TRNC/ too. Without taking aid form outside neither the mother nor her child can survive.

    What does Denktas say? 'No one could exert pressure on us'. Why can they not do this? Because they are not those who are keeping us alive, give us money and helping us. Turkey does all these, he says. It is as if Denktas is trying to convince a child. Who keeps Turkey alive? He does not say this.

    No one can exert pressure on us, he says. They could exert such pressure that you could be amazed. As soon as they press the button and begin to gather the green dollars, the dollar will raise so much that neither Ecevit nor Bahceli will remain. Here is our advise to Mr Denktas: Continue to create difficulties in this issue and from time to time cast a furtive glance at the exchange rate of the dollar. Then you will understand whether or not there is pressure!".

    [11] Cyprus price very high for Turkey

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (13.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "In yesterday's article, I dwelt on what would happen if no solution could be reached in Cyprus. I stressed that in that case, the European Union, Greece and Cyprus would suffer, but that the main bill would have to be paid by Turkey.

    This bill is hair-raising.

    My aim is not to say, "Let us sell Cyprus off and let anything happen." Let us just know what we will be faced with if the Cyprus problem remains unsolved, and let us determine our stance accordingly.

    The items you will see on the bill are not fictional. These items cover the factors that would materialize, the things we would all go through together.

    Turkey, meanwhile, discusses Cyprus only with slogans and patriotic speeches, without any content. We are uttering empty words. We do not talk about the realities in the outer world. Let us know them and formulate our policies with that awareness, so that we will not be disappointed in the end.

    Now come, let us go through the bill item by item.

    1. We may lose Cyprus in an even worse manner

    From the moment Cyprus becomes a full member of the EU, the island will be considered EU territory. A process of solidarity would be at work among the member countries.

    * Once it joins the EU on behalf of the entire island, the Greek Cypriot administration will, after a while, apply to the EU Ministerial Council, demanding that the northern part of the island be freed from the Turkish occupation. There would be no way for the EU to turn a deaf ear to that call. The EU would be stirred into taking action. A certain process would begin, a process which could go all the way to imposing sanctions on Turkey.

    * In the course of the same process, Greek Cypriot citizens would apply to the European Court of Human Rights, demanding back their property that was left under Turkish occupation. In all those cases the court would rule against Turkey.

    This two-way squeeze would force Turkey to abandon Cyprus. Once the wheels started to turn, it would not be possible to halt that process.

    2. The doors of EU and Council of Europe would be closed

    That process may go all the way and cause the EU to close its door on Turkey completely. Also, Turkey may be expelled from the Council of Europe.

    The EU and the Council of Europe would be obliged to support Cyprus, siding with Cyprus at the risk of tensing all the ropes with Turkey.

    Turkey may have to enter into a fight with the Western World.

    That would mean the severing of the links between Turkey and Europe.

    3. Tension in the Aegean, clashes in Cyprus

    The Aegean and Cyprus are the regions that would be worst hit by a climate in which the ties would be severed and attitudes would get tougher.

    The peace process with Greece would come to an end. In the Aegean, once more a tense period would begin. Manoeuvres would be held more often and, in a bid to assert airspace rights (currently at 6-10 miles), flights would be increased by several times.

    In Cyprus too, tension would mount inevitably.

    Turkey, who came face to face with only Cyprus and Athens in similar instances in the past, would now find itself confronted by the EU.

    4. Turkey and the `TRNC/ will become impoverished

    The aforementioned scenario is not an exaggerated one. In fact, the actual situation may turn out to be even more severe than that. The Turkish economy stands to pay the highest price if the country enters into that kind of climate.

    For one thing, Turkey would become impoverished.

    * Turkey's military spending would rise. Due to the deterioration in foreign relations, tourism revenues would decline. Foreign capital inflow, meagre as it is, would stop altogether.

    * Turkey, which has to survive by obtaining loans from abroad, would have to pay higher interest on these funds due to the risk factor.

    * Due to the closure of the EU door and the tensing up of the relations with the West, the Turkish economy would be plunged into further instability. As markets collapse, the dollar rate would rise.

    * While Turkey would be "condemned" to have a per capita income of no more than $3,000, the citizens of the `TRNC/ too would be further impoverished.

    A daunting bill indeed

    The price to be paid is really very frightening.

    If we want to have a fight with the world and lose our remaining possessions as well, that would be something else.

    The way out of this squeeze is not, "Let us give it away and be off the hook."

    We must put to good use the cards we hold in our hands. We must not sell them below their real value. We must be rational.

    We cannot plunge into risky situations this country or our people, by engaging in acts of heroism without content, by conducting irrational policies. It is high time we woke up from this slumber. We must make decisions on the basis of facts. We must calculate our long-term interests well.

    In yesterday's article I listed the losses the EU, Greece and Cyprus stand to suffer. However, as you see, our own risks are far greater. It was not for nothing that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said, "Everybody would come to harm, but we would be paying more dearly."

    To sum up: Though we are not aware of it, we are rapidly moving towards a disaster. We will wake up when we hit the wall, but it will be too late."


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