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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-01-07

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.3/97 3-7.1.97


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Demirel Vows To Safeguard Turkish Cypriot Rights
  • [02] Turhan Tayan on arms purchases issue
  • [03] Denktash Assesses Latest Developments
  • [04] Economic cooperation "protocol"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Demirel Vows To Safeguard Turkish Cypriot Rights

    According to Ankara Television TRT (3.1.1997), Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, has said that both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are determined to continue to defend the Turkish Cypriots' rights and interests stemming from international agreements. Demirel noted:"It should be clear that nobody can change the legal basis that was founded through the 1960 agreements without the consent of the pertinent sides". Demirel received Dervis Eroglu, the so-called Turkish Cypriot prime minister and his accompanying delegation at the Cankaya Mansion today.

    In a statement at the meeting, Demirel stressed that Turkey seeks a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue. Declaring that such a solution can be achieved within the framework of the UN secretary general's goodwill mission, through the free will of the Turkish Cypriot community in Cyprus, and by means of negotiations, Demirel added: "This is an open stand that is against any imposed solution". Explaining that the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot community should be protected in line with the 1960 agreements, Demirel added:"Moreover, the rights of sovereignty and political equality and the security of the Turkish Cypriots should be guaranteed". Adding that the position Turkey assumed is of vital importance, Demirel pointed out that the continuation of the balance achieved between Turkey and Greece on the basis of the 1960 agreements is imperative.

    Concerning the defence efforts of Cyprus, Demirel said: "Turkey, which guarantees peace and tranquillity on the island in line with its contractual and historical responsibilites, is determined to continue to safeguard the Turkish Cypriots' legitimate rights and interests, which stem from international agreements. In this vein, I would like to call on the Greek Cypriot side once again to renounce its provocations, which undermine the efforts for a Cyprus solution. The Greek Cypriot side has undertaken a comprehensive armament campaign within the framework of the joint defense doctrine it establihsed with Greece. It has been observed that the recent arms buildup is focusing on the purchase of offensive weapons. It is clear that this stand will undermine the efforts for a Cyprus solution and that Turkey will not tolerate the developments that may pose a threat to the security of the Turkish Cypriot community".

    Commenting on Cyprus efforts to join the EU, Demirel referred to a communique he jointly issued with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on 28 December 1995 in Ankara, according to which "Cyprus can become an EU member only after a political solution has been secured for the Cyprus problem and simultaneously with Turkey". "This position, he added, which is based on the 1960 agreements, secures the perpetuation of Cyprus' independence and the subsequent equality of the two communities by safeguarding the balance between Greece and Turkey. It is obvious that nothing can be achieved by disregarding the legal basis that was maintained through this balance despite efforts exerted by the Greek Cypriot leadership to distrupt it for 33 years. It is clear that nobody can change this legal basis, whose foundations were laid by the 1960 agreements, without the consent of the pertinent sides."

    Explaining that the "TRNC" economy should be strengthened, Demirel said:"To this end, the economic cooperation protocol should be finalized as soon as possible."

    [02] Turhan Tayan on arms purchases issue

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (4.1.1997) Turkish National Defense Minister Turhan Tayan has said that the "arms purchases of the Greek Cypriot side undermine peace in the region and that nobody should interpret Turkey's equanimity on the issue as a sign of weakness".

    Tayan, who answered Anatolia Agency's questions on the issue, said that the Greek Cypriots are not displaying the maturity and reserve necessary to secure the desired peace. Tayan said: "This situation will undermine the peace in the region. We warned the countries that sell arms -- the United States, Russia, and Britain -- and the former UN Secretary General Butrus Butrus-Ghali on the issue. You cannot secure peace through the use of arms. We are closely following the developments, and we are determined to fulfill all our obligations."

    [03] Denktash Assesses Latest Developments

    According to Ankara TRT Television (6.1.1997) a meeting held in the occupied areas with the participation of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the so-called Assembly Speaker Hakki Atun, Political Party leaders, the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and others, assessed the latest developments, focusing on the purchase of missiles from Russia.

    In his opening speech Denktash said: "I suppose that the situation is not developing to the satisfaction of the European countries, which claimed that 1997 will be a year of peace and conciliation for Cyprus, since the initiatives launched indicate that a war may still break out on Cyprus in 1997."

    Commenting on the arms purchases, in his statement Denktash said that the Greek Cypriots escalated their arms supplies on the island to a great extent and added: "The Greek Cypriot side now owns more than 500 tanks, the Greek units have become completely automated, more than, 1,000 Greek expert soldiers were brought to the island, and the Greek brigade on the island was upgraded to a division."

    Concerning the agreement on the missiles, Denktash said the following: "Our assessment is that by issuing only statements, not taking any steps, and turning a blind eye to the developments, the West and the UN Security Council (UNSC) have adopted the principle that things have to get worse before they get any better. In other words, there is the possibility that the West and the UNSC are of the opinion that both sides will consent to a conciliation only after they exhaust themselves by engaging in clashes. I hope I am mistaken in my interpretation, because such a stand will destroy Cyprus. Such a stand will destroy both sides."

    Noting that the issue has to be settled at the negotiating table even if such clashes occur, Denktash added: "The Greek Cypriot side should assess the developments very carefully because then the grounds for a solution will not be laid on a federation and the issue will have to be settled from its roots."

    Explaining that the Turkish Cypriot side closely follows developments on the Greek Cypriot side, Denktash added that the necessary measures have been taken. Denktash said:"We put our trust in the motherland and on the fact that the Greek Cypriot side realizes this fact and will never proceed with a crazy idea such as solving the Cyprus issue through the use of arms."

    [04] Economic cooperation "protocol"

    According to "Turkish Daily News" (4/1/96) the Turkish government signed Friday an economic cooperation "protocol" with the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which stipulates swift austerity measures in the occupied areas.

    The "Protocol" underlines Turkey's commitment to revive the "TRNC" economy and sets the target "to enable the Turkish Cypriot economy to stand on its feet", according to Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. The austerity measures and "structural readjustment and application program" cited in the accord, however, resemble the standby agreements Ankara has been making with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The so-called Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said the new "protocol" differed from the previous similiar ones. He said "different and heavy financing conditions were introduced. Ankara has acted like the IMF this time".

    The "protocol" underlined that the "TRNC" would act "with an understanding of austerity and productivity" and would take "all necessary measures" to ensure "effective public spending", would introduce a "single social security mechanism" and would take payments to pensioners outside the "budget".

    The "protocol" stressed that the "TRNC" would "initiate swift budget cuts, reduce public spending the revamp its social security scheme". LL/M.Pat.

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