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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-01-21

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.13/97 21.1.97


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash in Ankara, joint declaration issued, joint defense concept formed.
  • [02] Denktash interviewed on Cavanaugh visit, developments.
  • [03] Erbakan says warships to visit Cyprus soon.
  • [04] Panel discussion on Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash in Ankara, joint declaration issued, joint defense concept formed

    According to TRT (11:00 and 18:00 hours, 20.1.97) Rauf Denktash arrived in Ankara in his statement at Esenboga airport, claimed that the Greek Cypriot initiatives to deploy missiles on the island constitute a dangerous stand, which can change the balances in the entire region, not just in Cyprus.

    Noting that "Turkey will never hand Cyprus over to Greece or to the Greek Cypriots", Denktash added that the Greek Cypriots in Cyprus and Greece should play its cards in full realization of this fact. Denktash further added that at the meetings he will hold with Demirel in Ankara, the message will be given to the effect that Turkey will not recede on the Cyprus issue and that the Turkish Cypriots will not be allowed to recede as well.

    Asked about his remarks to the effect that parts of the missiles were brought to the free areas through Syria, Denktash said: "I did not say that these parts were brought to south Cyprus. I only said that information along these lines reached us and that measures to that effect were being taken in Syria."

    In reply to another question, Denktash claimed that the Greek Cypriots did not guarantee that missiles will not be deployed on the island before 16 months and that President Clerides himself denied this.

    When asked about the statements issued by Carey Cavanaugh, the US State Department director for south European affairs, to the effect that the missiles will not be deployed on the island before 16 months, Denktash said the following: "The issue is that Clerides is shouting loudly and continuously that he did not give any promises to postpone the deployment of the missiles, that the deployment of the missiles was not postponed, and that deploying them will take 16 months. Moreover, it is Clerides who denies the American statements not me. Cavanaugh has played his part.

    This is the way of the diplomats. Nobody should take offense. Their duty is to dilute and muddy the atmosphere. Their statements comply with the duties they assume. His role was to lower the tension and muddy the situation. He has succeeded in his endeavours through the dissemination of this small bit of information. He even managed to deceive our own people. Even Turkey is talking about a time period of 16 months.

    There are reports and interpretations to the effect that we should not worry because we still have 16 months before us. We should worry but not panic."

    Recalling that he had repeatedly said that the time had arrived not to sit at the negotiating table, Denktash said that "the Greek Cypriots would be given another chance" if the Turkish Cypriots agreed to resume the talks. Meanwhile, a welcoming ceremony was later held for Denktash at the Cankaya Mansion.

    In a statement addressing the ceremony, Turkish President Demirel drew attention to the fact that Denktash's visit is taking place at a time when negative developments are taking place in Cyprus.

    He claimed that the purchase of the S-300 missiles is a new link in the chain of the policy of tension which is being pursued with insistence.

    "Turkey will protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots based on agreements and will fulfill its obligations on the issue. Let no one have any doubts on the issue and let no one make erroneous calculations" he said.

    After the ceremony, Demirel and Denktash conferred alone for some time. Later, the delegations headed by them held a meeting.

    After the talks between the delegations, Demirel and Denktash signed a joint declaration. The declaration said that, "in line with the 1960 system of guarantees, Turkey will, without fail, continue to give effective and de facto guarantees to the TRNC and it will not allow threats against the security of the Turkish Cypriot people. Within this framework, an attack to be launched against the TRNC will be viewed as an attack launched against Turkey." The joint declaration noted that Turkey will not hesitate to take reciprocal military and political measures "against the Greek Cypriot-Greek side's continuing moves to endanger the security of the Turkish Cypriot people".

    According to the declaration "in the event activities on the Greek air and naval bases and on Greece settlement in north Cyprus (as heard) continue then activities to establish similar air and naval bases in the TRNC will be undertaken. Attacks and faits accomplis directed against Turkey and the TRNC will be jointly prevented and the joint military coordination and planning necessitated for this prevention will b e carried out. A joint defense concept will be formulated between Turkey and the TRNC with that goal in mind", the declaration says.

    The joint declaration claimed that there has been no joint state, government, parliament, judiciary and administration that is entitled and authorized to speak on behalf of the island since in 1963. The declaration claimed that, therefore, all the acts undertaken by the Cyprus Government on behalf of the State of Cyprus are illegal from the viewpoint of international agreements. The declaration claimed that "every step to be taken unilaterally by the Greek Cypriot administration on the path to EU membership will speed up the TRNC's integration process with Turkey".

    Pointing out that Turkey will take the necessary steps to ensure the unification of the "TRNC" with the international community, the declaration added that Turkish Cypriot representatives will be included in every Turkish delegation that will participate in international forums which concern Cyprus and in which the Turkish Cypriots are not granted the right of speech.

    Demirel, in a statement after the signing of the joint declaration, said that the efforts that have been continuing for the last 23 years to find a political solution on the island have not yielded any results.

    "Turkey will defend the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people based on the agreements and will fulfill its obligations on the issue. I would like to immediately state here that any attack directed against the TRNC will be viewed as an attack against Turkey", Demirel said.

    Tansu Ciller, foreign minister and deputy prime minister, State Minister Abdullah Gul, National Defense Minister Turhan Tayan, and Taner Etkin, so-called foreign affairs and defense minister, were also present at the talks held between the two delegations.

    [02] Denktash interviewed on Cavanaugh visit, developments

    Illegal BRTK Television (19:00 hours, 16.1.97) broadcasted a live interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash by Mete Tumerkan on the AKIS program.

    In reply to a relevant question, Denktash inter alia said: "Turkey has said it will withdraw its troops when an agreement is reached. The UN Secretary General's parameters include a calendar for the withdrawal of Turkey's troops after an agreement is reached. If the Turkish troops are a problem for the Greek Cypriots, then they must realize that the calendar for their withdrawal can be placed on the agenda after an agreement is reached. So they must consider everything and move to reach an agreement to be able to rid themselves of the Turkish troops.

    However, that must be on the condition that the Greek Cypriots agree to the system of guarantees and accept the provisions of the Ghali Set of Ideas which call for the reinforcing of the military regiments by an agreed number of men. They can be made up of 3,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 men. The system of guarantees has to be maintained and applied for that to be achieved."

    In another part of the interview Denktash claimed: "We have established a republic. Its existence will have to be considered if an agreement is to be reached. No other alternative exists. Meanwhile, Turkey's guarantee is being maintained and the Turkish military forces are in north Cyprus. So, the Greek Cypriots must not make a frenzied move. They will significantly suffer if they do so and there will be widespread destruction. That is unnecessary."

    After making a personal attack on President Clerides, calling him "a nationalist who has sworn to die for the sake of Enosis", Denktash was asked to comment on his approach regarding Varosha, he claimed: "The approach we have adopted is normal. We should have said that the talks have ended and that the Greek Cypriots should approach us if they have a proposal on the problem that complies with our parameters, which the UN Secretary General has accepted. However, we have not adopted such an extreme approach. We left the door open just in case the EU and the United States see the realities and move to do something. What we said is as follows: You have claimed that the concept of confidence-building measures does not exist. We believe that it does. That is why we have not touched Maras (Varosha) thus far. However, you said that you will not agree to it.

    You said that you will not allow our planes to directly use the Nicosia airport. So, we are no longer committed to the concept and we have suspended it.

    We are serious on the matter. It will be useful if that is realized. I wanted to inform the Greek Cypriots that the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey can counter each and every step they take".

    On the EU accession issue Denktash repeated his claim: "We will be in a position to discuss the balances and links between Turkey and Cyprus if we join the EU as two separate states. Of course, a condition has to be considered. A program has to be drawn up for Turkey's accession in the near future. The Democratic Party's statement was actually a call for a debate on what may happen if we are recognized as a republic. I immediately moved to prepare the necessary framework. Many things will change if the TRNC is recognized by the world. We will then be able to hold talks with the EU on accession as a sovereign state. The system of guarantees and Turkey's rights are a part of our sovereignty. We will conclude an agreement with Turkey for security. However, those who claim that we can and must join the EU before Turkey becomes a member must not take that as an opportunity to weaken our case. We must concentrate on whether or not we will join the EU before Turkey becomes a member. We will not and cannot do so. That is impossible. What if we are recognized as a separate state in the future. Well, we will consider the matter when the time comes. We will consider our rights, our relations with Turkey, and everything else and adopt the necessary approach. They have said that the matter should be considered. I have said that we must discuss everything among ourselves, provided that we agree that the Turkish Cypriots will not and cannot join the EU before Turkey becomes a member."

    In reply to a question on the missile crisis, Denktash said: "Both Turkey and I have disclosed that the missile crisis has not ended. It is like a boiling caldron. According to the information we have, the Greek Cypriots are trying to transfer some of the parts of their weapons systems through Syria. We are monitoring their activities. In other words, we are not sleeping. So, the crisis has not ended."

    And added: "Everyone should rest assured that Turkey and the TRNC are closely following the developments. Turkey has disclosed what it plans to do. Those who act with common sense will realize what its disclosures mean. Turkey is a serious country. It does not make empty statements.

    The united States will not allow Cuba to acquire missiles. Nor will any other country allow its neighbour to do so. In fact, the foreign countries have not allowed Iraq to maintain its missiles. Considering all that, Turkey will obstruct the deployment of missiles in Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot side has to realize that. In fact, its friendly countries must clearly explain the situation to it. Otherwise, Turkey will obstruct its initiatives. Will Turkey's move to obstruct the installment of missiles in the Greek Cypriot side kindle a war? I want to clearly say that Greece will not fight for Cyprus. However, considering its interests, it will encourage the Greek Cypriot side to flight. So, the Greek Cypriots must act with common sense," he claimed.

    To a final question on the recent signing of a new protocol with Turkey, Denktash said": "We have to strengthen our economic standing to enhance our existence in north Cyprus. Turkey has a new approach. Its civilian and military representatives in the TRNC love the Turkish Cypriots. So, we must benefit from all that as much as possible. And, we should do so if we have any common sense."

    He continued: "We have workers from Turkey in the TRNC. We must not look at them and ask whether everyone in Turkey is like them. Do not misunderstand me. I do not want to belittle the workers. All of them are our brothers. However, Turkey is a source of energy. I have held talks with the young businessmen during my visits. They are dynamic. They have studied foreign languages and use modern technology in their business. In fact, they are able to compete in the world. That is how Turkey is. It is everything for us."

    [03] Erbakan says warships to visit Cyprus soon

    According to TRT (22:00 hours, 20.1.97) Rauf Denktash, who is visiting Turkey, met with Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan yesterday.

    Erbakan alleged that the "TRNC" is an independent state and that the 70-million-strong Turkey has mobilized itself to uplift it and make it happy. He noted that Denktash visit is important in that it is being held at a time when important developments are taking place. Erbakan recalled that General Karadayi, chief of the General Staff, visited the island last week, and that warships will be visiting Cyprus soon.

    Erbakan said: "The TRNC and Turkey are tied to each other in very way. The whole world must see and understand this clearly."

    On the missile issue, Erbakan alleged: "The fact that the deployment has been postponed by 16 months does not mean anything. These weapons must never be deployed there, because their deployment would turn the island into a power keg. We want to see the idea given up soon.

    Neither the Greek Cypriot sector nor Greece will gain anything from these provocative programs. On the contrary, Turkey would start to take reciprocal steps."

    The Prime minister stressed that the prosperity of the "TRNC" is of great importance for Turkey. He recalled that an economic cooperation agreement was signed a short while ago, adding that this agreement will be implemented to the letter, and that per capita income in the "TRNC" will be raised from $4,000 to 5,000 this year.

    [04] Panel discussion on Cyprus

    Turkish private TV station KANAL D (2045 hours, 19/1/97) broad casted a live panel discussion with Motherland Party leader Mesut Yilmaz; Abdullah Gul, state minister, deputy prime Minister, and Welfare Party Deputy in charge of foreign policies; Nikos Mara kis, political writer from To Vima; Nicole Poppe, Turkish repre sentative from Le Monde, in the studio, as well as Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Bulent Ecevit, leader of the Demo cratic Left Party (DSP), General Necip Toruntay, former chief of General Staff, Mumtaz Soysal, Denktash's legal adviser and DSP deputy, General Dogan Bayzit, former National Security Council secretary, via satellite. The discussion was moderated by Guneri Civaoglu.

    On his part Bulent Ecevit said that it is clear that the Greek Cypriots purchased these missiles as a means to deter Turkey from launching a new military operation. He said:

    "Let us now look at what America achieved on this issue. The United States did not dissuade the Greek Cypriots from deploying the missiles bu only to postpone their deployment by 16 months.

    The grounds for setting the time limit at 16 months is not clear. The Turkish Cypriot side will have to live in uneasiness and ambiguity during these 16 months. The investments in the Turkish Cypriot side will stop regardless of the economic aid extended by Tukrey in view of the unclear situation. Nobody will invest in north Cypruts because their trust in the future of northern Cyprus will have been impaired. A heavy blow will have been dealt to tourism, which is a main source of income for the Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots take their courage from the joint defense doctrine signed between Grece and the Greek Cypriot Administration some time ago, the opening of the doors to full membership in the EU, and from the Russians, who have embarked on efforts to blockade Turkey from the Caucasus and Serbia to south Cyprus via Greece."

    And he continued:

    "Turkey's allies will put heavy pressure on Turkey over the com ing 16 months. They will constantly say that they achieved a postponement of the missiles deployment for 16 months. For this reason, they will say, you have to withdraw most of your soldiers form northern Cyprus. They will also tell us to drop and give up our opposition to Cyprus' membership in the EU. Turkey should take some effective steps against this pressure.

    First, an official statement should be issued to the effect that it is out of question for Turkey to pull out its soldiers from Cyprus. I repeatedly say that Cyprus has great strategic importance for Turkey even if there were no Turkish Cypriots on the island. As Ataturk said in 1937, Cyprus is of vital importance for the security of Turkey's southern shores.

    The strategic importance of Cyprus for Turkey is incomparably greater that its strategic importance for America, Britain, France, and Russia. In addition, Maras (Varosha) should be opened and an autonomy agreement signed between Turkey and the TRNC as soon as possible. In this autonomy agreement, Turkey will assume responsibility for TRNC's external security and foreign relations even though it will remain an independent state. This is actually the de facto situation now. With such an agreement, this de facto situation will have been legalized. Turkey will have to face all the EU countries and not only Greece and the Greek Cypriots in the event that it loses time in taking this step."

    Denktash, speaking on the missile issue, said that there is no such thing as a postponement. "Clerides said that the arrival of the missiles will take 16 months but not that he will postpone their deployment. I would like to make it clear that there was never a question of a postponement."

    To a question on the future of the Cyprus issue, Denktash inter alia said: "Some time ago I said the following in response to reporters' questions about the proposals that America will bring.

    This is not an issue that concerns the two communities in Cyprus. We will either transform Cyprus into a bridge of peace in line with the 1960 agreements or this bridge or peace will be destroyed and transformed into a reason for war, as happened in Makarios' time."

    To a comment by Greek journalist Marakis that certain components of the missiles were going to be deployed within two months, and that the major outcome of the U.S. delegation's visit has been that President Clerides postponed the deployment of these compo nents, Denktash replied: "This is the first time that I have heard of this line of defense. Neither U.S. envoy Cavanaugh has mentioned such a thing nor was it referred to in the Greek Cypriot press. Clerides has said just the contrary. He said that there is no postponement whatsoever and that nothing has changed. If Cavanaugh had been told that the arrival of the components, expected within two months, has been postponed then he would have informed us. We have not been told of such a thing".

    He further claimed the Greek Cypriots have no right to deploy the missiles because he alleged they are not the sovereign government of Cyprus. "If they claim that the 1960 agreements are not valid, then let them state so clearly. Then we can say that the island has been divided into two between two republics and the matter is closed.", he said.

    Mesut Yilmaz, also speaking on the missile issue, claimed: "Now, my personal view is that this missile issue has been raised in order to use it as a trump card against Turkey.

    I do not believe that either south Cyprus or Greece, which is standing behind it, will make such a suicide attempt. This is not logical. No Turkish government can be the least bit flexible regarding an attempt that indirectly threatens Turkey's secu rity."

    He continued: "A solution is being discussed. There are attempts to use the missile issue as a factor in this solution. This solu tion, however, does not have paremeters. As Mr. Denkasth justifi ably said a while ago, it is not yet clear within which legal framework this solution is to be sought. To put it more clearly, it is not clear whether or not the 1960 agreements are valid."

    Speaking on the validity of the 1960 agreements, Yilmaz added: "When you look at the de facto development, you arrive at the conclusion that the 1960 agreements are no longer valid. When you examine the issue, however, from the viewpoint of international laws, then you arrive at the conclusion that these agreements should still be valid. The texts that constitute the basis for the peace operation, as well as the legal foundation for the existence of our troops there, are the 1960 agreements, the Lon don and Zurich agreements. At this current stage, however, it is debatable whether these agreements are valid or not. Since 1964, in other words since the dissolution of the partnership state established by the 1960 agreements, the United Nations has adopted a line of zigzags with regard to the validity of these agreements. Some of the UN resolutions refer to the 1960 agree ments and some do not."

    On the EU membership issue, he said: "... the EU has accepted this application. At a meeting held in Corfu four years after the application, the EU stated that the application for full member ship would be assessed within a year. Here, however, we have only ourselves to blame. The United States might say that the 1960 agreements are not valid. The EU might not consider them valid. Greece and south Cyprus might, of course, not consider them valid. In 1995, however, Turkey for the first time signed a text indicating the invalidity of these agreements for the sake of the Customs Union (CU). According to, I believe, the 16th article of the CU agreement signed between Turkey and the EU in March, 1995, Turkey agreed to establish free trade zones in Cyprus within five years. The Cyprus that was referred to in that agreement was south Cyprus. The agreement referred to the Turkish Cypriots as the Turkish Cypriot community, as a minority.

    Turkey did not even express any reservations in connection with that agreement, that text. The DYP (True Path Party)-CHP (Republican People's Party) government gave in to the domestic political premiums that the CU agreement would have given them at the time. Article 16 of that agreement envisaged the establishment of a free trade zone between Turkey and south Cyprus within five years. Turkey accepted that. At a news conference following the signing of the agreement, a chairmanship announcement was made in which the EU president stated that the Greek Cypriot administration is the legitimate government of Cyprus. Turkey did not object to that either.

    The issue actually began at a five-party meeting held in London in February of that year. Turkey attended that meeting. This issue was solved from the Greek Cypriot point of view since Tur key did not object then to the commencement of the talks between south Cyprus and Europe on full membership. Turkey chose to remain silent. I am drawing your attention to the fact that in February, 1995, Turkey accepted a situation that was contrary to the 1960 agreements. At the time we raised hell. We brought the issue to the attention of the public opinion and the Assembly.

    Our warnings were, unfortunately, not heeded until it was too late. Only on 28 December, 1995, three days before the CU agreement was to go into effect, Mr. Denktash and (President Demirel, in other words the presidents of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), issued a joint declaration."

    "The second step", Yilmaz said, "was taken about two weeks ago. I believe it was on 3 January. A protocol was signed between Tur key and the TRNC. In that protocol, Turkey and the TRNC decided to increase their economic and trade relations. In other words, they decided to take a step toward integration. This means the following: There are now attempts to place on a new axis the Turkey-TRNC relations that were totally derailed from the basis of the 1960 agreements because of the ghastly mistake committed by the Turkish government in 1995. This is a fact. Given the current situation, Turkey has no other alternative. Turkey can neither 1sacrifice the TRNC nor can it renounce its own security. There is only one thing left for Turkey to do. If the Greek Cypriot side is insistent on its stand, Turkey has a single alternative, that being the preparation of the legal foundation for TRNC's integration to Turkey. As Mr. Ecevit has proposed, Turkey is taking these steps. There are, of course, measures that Turkey must take from the viewpoint of security.

    That, of course, is the business of the Chief of Staff. The expert estab lishment on the issue is the Chief of Staff. No government in Turkey can renounce the measures that the Chief of Staff advises be taken."

    State Minister Abdullah Gul on his part said: "Let me first say the following: When it concerns Cyprus, no matter what government or party is in power, the same policy will be pursued. There is a national policy.

    Regarding the security of Cyprus and Turkey, all governments pursue almost the same policy. Therefore, the government had an obligation to react. Another government would have reacted in the same manner as well. As you and Mr. Denktash have pointed out, the issue is not the missiles but the Cyprus question as a whole. The issue in question is a lack of trust."

    And he continued: "Now these two communities are living sepa rately. It is impossible to unite them. It is impossible for Turkey to recreate another Bosnia in Cyprus. This should be explained to the entire world. That is what we are doing. Some, however, refuse to understand and see the realities. When we explain our just cause, they refuse to see. If they choose not to see, we cannot renounce our cause. We all aspire to coexist in peace just as the Turks who settled in Germany and France coexist. These two communities that have been there for a long time, these two communities from two different religions, should live together. We do not insist on separating them. Since, however, they have been unable to coexist, they are now separate. This separation was not willingly achieved. If, however, these two separate communities, countries and states - there are two separate states there now - reach an agreement in the future and if they want to coexist, then let them."

    At another part of the discussion, speaking on the importance of the new protocol with Turkey, Mesut Yilmaz said that "the special character of this protocol is not the $250 million that has been extended in loans. The special character is that Turkey has, for the first time, accepted Cyprus as a special structure that has a preferential status".

    It is conveying the message that there will be an integration, he said.

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