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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-01-29

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. 19/97 29.1.1997


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Facts revealed about state gang in Turkey.
  • [02] Tayan: Peaceful stand on Cyprus must not be misinterpreted.
  • [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry denies press reports of a Kinkel apology.
  • [04] Russia reportedly to reassess arms sales if Cyprus disarmed.
  • [05] Atun repeats threats to open Varosha.
  • [06] Denktash addresses military ceremony aboard Turkish warships.
  • [07] Turkish Cypriots protest "police" inability in combating crime.
  • [08] Ayia Anastasia Church and surrounding land to be leased.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [09] More on the army commanders meeting in Golcuk.
  • [10] Erbakan said using RP firms for "secret defense projects".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Facts revealed about state gang in Turkey

    Turkey's Show Television (20.30 hours, 27.1.97) broadcasted a recorded interview with Huseyin Baybasin in Amsterdam, by Cuneyt Arkin.

    As reporter Cuneyt Arkin says, "the Baybasin family is one of Turkey's best known families even though it is from the underworld. It has land in the southeast. We would not be lying if we said there is not a single member of that family who was not involved in the drug trade at one stage or another. Huseyin Baybasin was the first to be caught with drugs". Arkin further says that Baybasin was the first to talk of the state gang -- to the press -- when nobody had even heard of it. When we asked him if he was a member of this gang, Arkin says, he replied without blinking:

    "It would be more correct to say that I was one of the highest ranking officials. The business I was involved in frightened me at one point. While I was in prison in Britain, I realized that the world is not the way we were told it was".

    Baybasin said he was in this gang for a while. However, after his arrest in Britain, he said he decided to sever his ties with the gang. He claims that all his problems began at that point.

    "I am telling you that they tortured me because I told them I was not going to be part of the drug trade. So I was protected when I was in the drug trade, not when I was out of it. I was treated with respect when I was in the drug trade, when I was together with the state officials -- which you will see from the photographs I will show you".

    Baybasin does not hide the fact that he shared all his experiences with the British and Dutch officials. This is how he explains the role he played in causing concern about Turkey in Europe -- from Germany to Britain:

    "I found a British law firm that I could trust. I financed its services, and I told all the world about the goings on. I brought several former high-ranking members of the Turkish Security Directorate and had them talk to the law firm. The law firm taped the telephone conversations I had with numerous people. The law firm then explained all this to the world states, or rather, to those states that have a say in the world. That is how the present situation came about".

    Baybasin shows several photographs from past years. At different times and in different places, Huseyin Baybasin or his brother, Mehmet Sirin Baybasin, are always seen together with the bureaucrats of that period, including Mehmet Agar (DYP deputy and former security director and interior minister).

    Baybasin says all these photographs were gathered to be sent to the Susurluk committee. He adds that he can testify at the Susurluk committee either in Turkey or in Europe if certain conditions are met. He claims he is beginning to receive certain messages from the Susurluk committee.

    "They asked me indirectly if I could meet with them. I always say I will. All the documents are here in my bag. I keep them so I can give it to the committee. l do not give most of the documents to the press in order to prevent those thieves -- the gang leaders -- from taking measures. If my safety is ensured, I will go to Turkey to meet with the committee. Another point I want to make is that there is no state mechanism in Turkey in the real sense of the world. So, I will not go there without my safety being ensured. No power can make me go there", he said.

    He also said he has a lot to say about the unknown aspects of the underworld, ranging from the unknown links of Abdullah Catli to the current role of the occupied area in Cyprus in laundering money. Asked if he knew Catli, Baybasim said:

    "I saw him. At the time, he was used as a gunman in the case with Agca (who shot the Pope) in the 1970's. He used to be in Mehmet Agar's cadres. The population of northern Cyprus is less then 100,000. With the soldiers, policemen, and tourists, it does not add up to more than 100,000. I am talking of only that part of Cyprus that is controlled by Turkey.

    There are more than 100 banks, though, and all of them without exception deal with drug money laundering. Not dirty money laundering in general; only drug money laundering. They have branches in Europe. The money is deposited in Europe and the central branch in Cyprus does whatever in necessary".

    Arkin concludes his report by saying: "Today Turkey officially and insistently asked the Netherlands to extradite Baybasin on the grounds that he is a PKK (Workers Party of Kurdistan) member. It is strange, however, that he used to be interviewed on the state's GAP (Southeast Anatolia Project) television while he was involved in drug trafficking. Baybasin, who reveals the dark side of the underworld today, used to be introduced as a businessman at the time. What Baybasin told us and the documents he gave us are not restricted to what we have just broadcast; we must study most of them and have them confirmed. After we complete our study, what we have told you will be nothing next to what we will tell you".

    [02] Tayan: Peaceful stand on Cyprus must not be misinterpreted

    According to TRT (18.00 hours, 28.1.97), Turkey's National Defense Minister Turhan Tayan received officials of the War Veterans Cultural and Solidarity Foundation. Engin Alptekin, director general of the foundation, thanked the minister for the stand Turkey and the National Defense Ministry adopted during the latest developments in Cyprus.

    Tayan claimed that Turkey adopted a serious and peaceful stand after the Cyprus Government reached an agreement to buy missiles from Russia, but that this stand must not be misinterpreted.

    "As an element of stability in the region, we want peace, stability, and tranquillity everywhere. We call on our friends, neighbours, and the entire world to make peace. We never resort to arms unless it is necessary`", he alleged.

    [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry denies press reports of a Kinkel apology

    According to TRT (13.00 hours, 28.1.97), Turkey's Foreign Ministry has issued a statement in the wake of the inconsistent reports that appeared in the press in connection with the telephone conversation held between Tansu Ciller, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and German Foreign Minister Kaus Kinkel a few days ago. The statement says: "In our statement we had reported that Mr Kinkel had called Mrs Ciller, expressed his regrets over the latest developments, and expressed the hope that the latest developments would nor hurt the close relations between the two countries.

    Our statement was issued, naturally, in line with the information and instructions received from the honourable Minister herself.

    As you can see, in our statement we did not say that Mr Kinkel apologized. Not our Foreign Minister's remarks nor the Foreign Ministry statements on the issue indicate that there was an apology".

    [04] Russia reportedly to reassess arms sales if Cyprus disarmed

    According to TRT (22.00 hours, 27.1.97) Russian Foreign Ministry officials who went to Ankara to conduct an exchange of views on recent developments concerning the Cyprus issue have declared that the S-300 missiles were sold to the Cyprus Government solely on the basis of commercial considerations but that if the disarmament of Cyprus is discussed and implemented, the sale of the missiles will be reassessed.

    According to a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement, Vladimir Tishivov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Third European Desk, and Aleksadr Orlov, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry International Organizations Desk, held contacts in Ankara with Ambassador Ahmet Ermisoglu, Director General of the Cyprus-Greece Maritime and Aviation Directorate General.

    The Russian officials were also received by Ambassador Inal Batu, Foreign Ministry deputy under secretary.

    Turkey's concern over the agreement pertaining to the sale of Russian S-300 missiles to Cyprus was voiced during the talks.

    The Russian officials, in turn, stated that they intend to discuss the Cyprus problem in all its aspects and stressed that they will also visit the pseudostate in this context. They declared that they support the intercommunal talks in Cyprus. Expressing the wish to assist the UN negotiating process, the Russian officials said that, as in the past, they are in favour of the protection of the legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    They noted that a solution must be attained through the free will of the two communities living on the island.

    [05] Atun repeats threats to open Varosha

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (16.30 hours, 28.1.97) so-called Assembly Speaker Hakki Atun has repeated that the Turkish Cypriot side will open Varosha to settlement in the even that the Greek Cypriots purchase the S-300 missiles. In an interview he granted to the Greek Cypriot radio, Atun, who is heading a so-called assembly delegation in Strasbourg, claimed that the purchase and deployment of the S-300 missiles pose a danger for the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey, and peace in the region.

    In reply to a question on the reasons behind the Turkish Cypriot opposition to the demilitarization of the island, Atun alleged that this issue can be taken up only after a political solution is found to the Cyprus issue. Claiming that the necessary environment for launching direct negotiations between the two leaders is existent, Atun said that the grounds for these negotiations was provided by the Boutros-Ghali set of ideas.

    In reply to another question on his views regarding the United States' initiatives, Atun stressed the importance of the United States adopting a realistic and neutral stand toward both sides and added that the United States should further the issues pointed out in the set of ideas.

    [06] Denktash addresses military ceremony aboard Turkish warships

    According to illegal Bayral Radio (11.30 hours, 28.1.97) Rauf Denktash visited the Fatih frigate and Gurbet and Dogan gunboats belonging to the Turkish Navy anchored at the occupied Famagusta port yesterday.

    During his address in the Fatih frigate, Denktash expressed hope that such visits will be more frequent in the future. Denktash added: "In this way, the ties of affinity between the people and motherland will be strengthened and the Turkish Cypriot people will be more at peace". Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey want nothing from the Greek Cypriots, Denktash alleged: "We are against the Greek Cypriots embracing the fake title of the Cyprus Government. We will also not give up the guarantorhip of Turkey and the equality and sovereignty rights in line with the 1960 agreements".

    [07] Turkish Cypriots protest "police" inability in combating crime

    KIBRIS (29.1.97) reports under the banner headlines "S.O.S. Police!" and says that in the face of the ever increasing thefts, burglaries, and unaccounted killings, the Turkish Cypriot community has lost its patience.

    It reports that a group of Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied area, in the face of this situation, went out to collect signatures and protested that the "police" was unable to deal with the thieves. (MY)

    [08] Ayia Anastasia Church and surrounding land to be leased

    According to KIBRIS (29.1.97) the historic Ayia Anastasia Church and the surrounding buildings in occupied Lapithos village will be leased for a period of 30 years.

    It is put up to tender by the Vakifs Religious Administration.

    The lease will be for thirty years and the tenant will pay 100 sterling pounds rent per annum for the first three years.

    According to the tender conditions the one who wins the tender shall built a hotel on the church land. The church and the surrounding buildings cover an area of 7722 square meters.

    The church and surrounding buildings will be restored in such a way that they will be suitable for tourist and cultural use. Restoration plans should be approved by the so-called Antiques Supreme Council. (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [09] More on the army commanders meeting in Golcuk

    Turkish magazine Aydinlik (26.1.97) writes: "Chief of General Staff General Ismail Hakki Karadayi, accompanied by force commanders, left for Golcuk, from where ships will go to the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) for a 'show of force and determination'.

    The fact that the General Staff Presidency issued two deparate statements on the issue of the commanders' departure to Golcuk drew attention.

    The first statement, issued on 22 January 1997, said: 'Chief of General Staff Ismail Hakki Karadayi left for the Golcuk-Kocaeli Fleet Command on 22 January 1997 for inspections and fact finding. General Karadayi is accompanied by Land Forces Commander General Hikmet Koksal and Air Force Commander General Ahmet Corekci.

    On the same day, NTV television reported that the major-generals and higher ranking commanders from all the forces will gather in Golcuk over the weekend.

    After NTV's report, the General Staff issued a new written statement. This statement announced that General Karadayi, accompanied by force commanders, left for Golcuk to observe "the war games of the Fleet Command".

    Naval Forces Commander Vice-Admiral Guven Erkaya was already in Golcuk. The Gendarmerie Commander General Teoman Koman was among the commanders observing the 'war games'. General Koman was supposed to brief the Turkish Parliament's commission on Susurluk. In a written statement sent to the commission, he said that he will be out of Ankara for manoeuvres. He said that he could reply to the commission's question in writing.

    The gathering of all the high-ranking commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in Golcuk created excitement in Ankara's political circles.

    It has been reported that the commanders in Golcuk also assessed the future of the Ergakan-Ciller government. Some claim that the commanders may ask President Suleyman Demirel 'to take the initiative in his own hands'.

    A high-ranking military official said the following to Aydinlik: 'The participation of all the high-ranking commanders in a ceremony to send peace vessels to the TRNC is naturally not normal. You may have noticed that General Koman could not accede to the Susurluk commission's invitation. He was face to face with a meeting that he could not have refused to attend. But, on the other hand he had to go to Golcuk. Otherwise, neither Koman nor the TAF has any inclination of turning down a call from the parliament.

    There are some problems, primarily secularism, that worries the TAF, such as the Ramadan dinner hosted by Erbakan for the sect leaders, the Susurluk scandal, and the gradual detachment from the West. These will be discussed in Golcuk. It is not correct to compare this meeting to the pre-12 March (1971 coup) or pre-12 September (1980 coup) period. We are working with a different approach'."

    [10] Erbakan said using RP firms for "secret defense projects"

    Turkish weekly Aydinlik (26.1.97) publishes a report claiming Prime Minister Erbakan is using RP firms for "secret defense projects". Inter alia, it says:

    "People are saying that Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, who cut the Defense Ministry budget by 50-trillion Turkish Lira, money he placed under his own control, will distribute the cash to holdings controlled by the RP (Welfare Party). Reportedly, Sedat Celikdogan, chief adviser at the Defense Industry, Research and Development (Ar-Ge), will play the main role distributing this secret fund connected with Erbakan's defense industry project.

    According to information obtained by Aydinlik, first, a National Armament General Secretariat will be set up under the Prime Minister's Office in connection with this issue. Kombassan Holding, know for its closeness to the RP, is behind the project to produce arms, including tanks. Hasim Bayram, head of the administrative board of Kombassan Holding, which is active in most fields from aviation to financing, submitted a secret defense project to Erbakan some time ago. Mine-clearing equipment, laser night-vision binoculars, the establishment of an arms factory to produce conventional weapons, and the production of spare parts for tanks are included in the project. The project will be put into effect with appropriations secured from the Ar-Ge fund.

    Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan's defense projects are being prepared by Sedat Celikdogan, chief adviser at Ar-Ge. Celikdogan is supervising the research and development work on aircraft production on behalf of Erbakan, who concluded an agreement with Indonesia during his Far Eastern tour on the joint production of a warplane.

    Another interesting point about Chief Adviser Celikdogan is that he was the agent of the Indonesian aviation company IPTN in Turkey. Celikdogan, who was a student of Erbakan at the ITU (Istanbul Technical University), later worked in Tumosan, Hema, TUBITAK's (Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council) Defense Industry, Research and Development unit.

    Celikdogan told Aydinlik's correspondent: 'In the past we worked with IPTN. Yes, I was its agent. I have left that job. We are not working to produce a warplane. But we are working on civil aviation. We are working to form a consortium with Europe, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The night-vision binoculars are already being produced in Turkey. Besides, there is no need to prepare a project in this connection. Besides, these are not issues that can be discussed in the passing'.

    Kombassan Holding came to the public's attention after the RP's success in the local elections in 1994. Previously it won only municipality tenders. But after Erbakan became Prime Minister Kombassan Holding began to go after 'big projects'.

    Hasim Bayram, a former chemistry teacher and now head of the Holding's administrative board, is very close to Erbakan. They meet often. Bayram consults Ergakan before tendering for big projects.

    There are two big companies under RP control: One is Kombassan and the other YIMPAS, which owns Kanal-7.

    YIMPAS mostly works for the domestic market. Whereas Kombassan acts like the RP's arm extending to north Africa, particularly Central Asia. Some are saying that Erbakan will give Kombassan the key role in trade within the framework of the D-8. It is being said that Kombassan will get the lion's share of trade to be developed with the D-8 countries".

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