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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press And Other Media, 97-01-17

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.11/97 17.1.97


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Tayan calls for economic cooperation with Greece.
  • [02] Ecevit claims US aims to force concessions in Cyprus, Aegean.
  • [03] Cavanaugh says Cyprus crisis defused, problem unresolved.
  • [04] Feissel says UN still concerned about missile issue.
  • [05] Erbakan - Ciller coalition in danger of falling.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Columnist says Turkish reaction to "missile crisis" will harm the "TRNC" more than the Greek Cypriots.
  • [07] The strategic importance of Cyprus to Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Tayan calls for economic cooperation with Greece

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 16.1.97) Turkey's National Defense Minister Turhan Tayan conveyed a message to Turkey's neighbouring countries: "In the future we would like to discuss our views on economic cooperation and not our security concerns with our neighbours".

    Tayan conveyed this message at a meeting on defense industry in Ankara which was also attended by the Constitutional Court president. He noted that Turkey exerts great efforts in a bid to develop regional peace. Tayan stressed that Turkey has the power to deter threats that might come from every direction. He added that despite this power Turkey is determined to pursue the policy of not being the party that will block peace.

    "For us all our neighbours constitute above all, economic cooperation partners and inalienable milestones for establishing regional stability and peace. Therefore, in the future we would like to discuss our views on economic cooperation and not our security concerns with our neighbours", he stated.

    [02] Ecevit claims US aims to force concessions in Cyprus, Aegean

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 15.1.97) Democratic Left Party (DLP) leader Bulent Ecevit has claimed that efforts are being made to force Turkey to make new concessions in Cyprus. Addressing a DLP Assembly group meeting, Ecevit charged that US envoy Carey Cavanaugh did not even try to dissuade the Greek Cypriots from buying the S-300 missiles.

    "The missile agreement is still valid. Cavanaugh just told them to take some time, to deploy the missiles in 16 months' time. In view of the claim that the Greek Cypriots plan to deploy these missiles for fear that Turkey will attack south Cyprus, have the Greek Cypriots decided to deploy these missiles in 16 months because this attack is scheduled to take place 16 months from now? There is no logic to that. As I said before, the United States put this 16-month term in order to force Turkey to make new concessions both in Cyprus and in the Aegean. I hope the government will not fall into this trap", he alleged.

    [03] Cavanaugh says Cyprus crisis defused, problem unresolved

    According to TRT (10:00 hours, 16.1.97) Carey Cavanaugh, US State Department director for southern European affairs, has concluded his contacts in Ankara.

    At a news conference, he said that his contacts in Ankara were very fruitful. He stressed that the United States is opposed to the Greek Cypriot purchase of missiles from Russia. Cavanaugh said that to improve the situation on the island, the two communities must first activate the confidence-building measures.

    Cavanaugh stated that during his talks with the Cyprus Government he told the Greek Cypriots that it is a wrong decision to bring the missiles to the island, and that this decision will harm the diplomatic situation. He added that the Greek Cypriots gave him guarantees that the missiles will not be brought to the island before 16 months.

    The US official said that he did not make any recommendations during his talks in Cyprus, Greece, or Turkey regarding the policies they should pursue. He pointed out that at the end of his contacts, the crisis was defused but the problem was not completely resolved. For the problem to be resolved, he said, Turkey, the United States, and the international community must take diplomatic steps. He stressed the importance of having the two sides sit at the table and resume their bilateral talks as soon as possible.

    [04] Feissel says UN still concerned about missile issue

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 16.1.97) Gustave Feissel, the UN Secretary-General's deputy special envoy in Cyprus, has said that the United Nations is still concerned about the Greek Cypriot missile purchases from Russia. Feissel announced that Han Sung-chu, the UN Secretary General's special envoy in Cyprus, will arrive on the island on 29 January.

    Denktash met with Feissel yesterday. During the one-hour meeting, they discussed the latest situation in the Cyprus problem. Also present at the meeting were Feissel's political adviser (Peter Schmidt); Denktash's political advisers Necati Munir Ertegun and Ergun Olgun; and Mustafa Evran, the "presidential political affairs director."

    Replying to questions at the end of the meeting, Feissel said that the situation in Cyprus is unbalanced now and that steps must be taken fast toward a solution. He said that Han Sung-chu will come on 29 January and leave on 6 February, and that his own contacts with both sides are aimed at preparing the ground for the visit.

    Asked if the United Nations feels that the crisis is over, Feissel said that the United Nations is still concerned about the matter. He stressed the importance of disarmament on the island.

    After his meeting with Feissel, Denktash met with British High Commissioner David Madden.

    [05] Erbakan - Ciller coalition in danger of falling

    According to MILLIYET (17.1.97) the leader of the Nationalist Great Unity Party of Turkey, Muhsin Yazicioglu, has declared that his party is withdrawing its support from the Erbakan-Ciller coalition government.

    With the help of Yazicioglu's seven MPs the Erbakan-Ciller coalition secured a vote of confidence from the Turkish Assembly.

    With this new development it is highly possible that the Erbakan-Ciller coalition will face very serious problems in continuing its existence.

    It might fall. (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Columnist says Turkish reaction to "missile crisis" will harm the "TRNC" more than the Greek Cypriots

    Turkish daily ZANAN (13.1.97) publishes an article by Guntay Simsek under the title "What Cyprus needs" which says: "I have not been able to visit the Greek Cypriot side. But those who have been there have been unable to avoid drawing attention to the difference between the TRNC and the south. Turkish Cypriot businessmen have been particularly affected by that state of affairs. Caught between the policies of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials, TRNC businessmen regret that the economic structure that could help north Cyprus stand on its feet has not been established. They became convinced long ago that statements such as `we are on the brink of war with Greece', `we are about to strike', and `tension exists in Cyprus' are nothing, but empty remarks. They are aware that similar statements will be made from time to time if Turkey fails to establish healthy relations with the TRNC.

    Let us now consider Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller's statement and the effect it has had on those circles: Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller reacted strongly to the Greek Cypriot decision to buy S-300 missiles from Russia. The Greek Cypriot side's decision has worsened the tension. But Ciller's statement will further strain Turkey's relations with Greece and complicate the solution of the problem. Even Washington has reacted to the Greek Cypriot side's arms purchases. (That may be due to the Greek Cypriot decision to buy missiles from Russia, not from the United States). But it said while doing so that Ciller's statement, implying that Turkey might attack, has created unease. Obviously, some of the words we select when we accuse the Greek Cypriots create the impression that we are the side that should be blamed.

    The Greek newspapers and radio and television networks gave wide coverage to Tansu Ciller's statement that `if we have to strike to stop the Greek Cypriots then we will'. Obviously, it worsened the Greek people's syndrome against Turkey. They have drawn up a map to indicate the targets Turkey might attack. Can such statements help the solution of the Cyprus problem? That is unknown. But it is a fact that they will harm the TRNC more than the Greek Cypriot side. Obviously, the entrepreneurs will be discouraged.

    The problem is friction between the Greek Cypriot side and Turkey. There is nothing more to it. Apparently, the problems the Greek Cypriots have with Turkey add to the interests of Greece and the Greek Cypriot side.

    The Greek Cypriot side is a leading country in maritime transport. The Greek Cypriot fleet's capacity is nearly 50 million tons, deadweight. That is five times more than the capacity of Turkey's maritime ships. The profit made by the Greek Cypriot vessels is many times more than the overall profit Turkey makes from tourism and maritime activities. That also applies to the Greek Cypriot side's income from tourism.

    What does all that mean? Obviously, the Greek Cypriot side, in addition to being able to stand on its feet in the economic field, is capable of buying arms and missiles.

    TRNC President Rauf Denktash informed us when we visited north Cyprus a short time ago that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side wasted time for 22 years. Foreign tourists still find it difficult to travel to the TRNC. That problem has not yet been solved. The TRNC is confronted with difficulties when it exports its agricultural and industrial products to Turkey. That situation too has not been resolved.

    Turkey is fully responsible for the point the Cyprus problem has reached. Naturally, high-ranking TRNC officials who have received their salaries from Turkey for many years are also responsible. North Cyprus existed as a closed country for many years. Turkey was forced to recognize the TRNC as a result of the effort made by Rauf Denktash in 1983. It now needs to improve itself. So Turkey should decide to make investments in north Cyprus to help it stand on its own two feet instead of transferring trillions of Turkish lira to the TRNC treasury every year. It is common knowledge that the TRNC produces lemons, oranges, artichokes, potatoes, etc. Its products are well known. Britain buys all its potatoes. So Turkey must properly assess the TRNC's products without creating a problem. That will significantly help the effort to improve the TRNC's economy.

    Turkey has made several statements in connection with the missiles the Greek Cypriot side will acquire. Unfortunately, what the TRNC stands to gain through such an approach will not be much. Meanwhile, the improvement of the TRNC's links with Turkey is more important than the decision made to deploy missiles in south Cyprus".

    [07] The strategic importance of Cyprus to Turkey

    In an editorial in YENI SAFAK daily (12.1.97) under the title "Cyprus, its strategic importance, and the problem of missiles", Ahmet Davutoglu writes that Cyprus' importance to Turkey could be viewed in terms of two major elements. The first is the human element aimed at safeguarding the security of the Moslem Turks living there. "Any weakness to be shown on the subject of the Turkish Cypriot people's security and defense would spread like a wave to Western Thrace, Bulgaria, and even to Azerbaijan and Bosnia. For this reason, the protection of the Turkish Cypriots is of great importance not only from the viewpoint of the defense of these people, but also from the viewpoint of the fate of other Ottoman-remnant Moslems", he argues. And continues:

    "The geostrategic importance of the island constitutes the second important element of the Cyprus problem. This element is of vital importance in its own right, independent of the human factor. Turkey would have had a Cyprus problem even if no single Moslem Turk ever lived there. No country can remain indifferent towards an island located at the heart of its geographic sphere. Inasmuch as 12 islands, where not many Turks have remained, continue to be important to Turkey, and inasmuch as the United States is involved in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where it has no human extension, so too Turkey can be expected to be strategically involved with Cyprus regardless of the human element.

    This geostrategic importance includes two important elements. The first is the narrow-angle strategic importance confined to the balances between Turkey-Greece and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus-Greek Cypriot sector in the eastern Mediterranean. The missiles to be deployed here will transform the military potential of the Greek-Greek Cypriot alliance into a force that can threaten the Anatolian lands which fall outside the range of the Aegean islands. For Turkey, this creates a threat to south and central Anatolia. The direct or indirect support to be given to this alliance by either Armenia, Russia, or Syria will result in Turkey losing a security zone against such an alliance.

    The island's regional and global strategic importance constitutes the second significant element of geostrategic importance. No global and regional power that makes strategic calculations over the Middle East, eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Gulf, will ignore the island of Cyprus. Cyprus is at such an optimum distance from all these regions that it has the potential to directly influence all of them. For this reason, the missiles intended to be deployed in Cyprus will not only secure a military advantage for the Greek Cypriots vis-a-vis Turkey, but also will considerably increase the Greek-Greek Cypriot front's diplomatic weight in the international balances. It should not be forgotten that Turkey will suffer a serious loss of diplomatic flexibility in these regions if it loses on this issue.

    Hence the Greek Cypriot missile problem in Cyprus is fraught with danger of threatening Turkey's future horizons, something that goes beyond the sterile discussions of domestic agenda. From now on people interested in this country's future should renounce the unproductive and artificial agenda aimed at creating tensions in Turkey. Maybe some people abroad are trying to create a preoccupied and polarized public at home as a preparation for the blows to be dealt to Turkey abroad. A society which has lost the ability to display common feelings and reactions on common goals and threats cannot be certain of its future."

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