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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-01-30

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.20/97 30.1.97


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish National Security Council warns Greek Cypriots over "consequences".
  • [02] Turkish Fatih Frigate, gunboats leave for Turkey.
  • [03] Fight against PKK paid for by drug trade, says French research group.
  • [04] More on the allegations of relations between Turkish state and drug smugglers.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] US Policy on Cyprus, threat of crisis viewed by columnist.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish National Security Council warns Greek Cypriots over "consequences"

    According to HURRIYET (28.1.97) Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) has decided that Turkey should immediately react to even the most insignificant attack against the "TRNC" and threatened the Greek Cypriots as follows: "You must be careful. Otherwise, you will have to accept the consequences."

    It has been ascertained that the section entitled "the necessary measures" in the disclosure the MGK made after it met under President Suleyman Demirel the other day outlined several decisions related to the measures that will be taken between Turkey and the "TRNC", from economic integration to the establishment of air and naval bases in the occupied area.

    [02] Turkish Fatih Frigate, gunboats leave for Turkey

    According to TRT (11:00 hours, 29.1.97) the Turkish Fatih frigate and Gurbet and Dogan gunboats, which were dispatched to the occupied Famagusta port last week, have left the island on their way to Turkey.

    [03] Fight against PKK paid for by drug trade, says French research group

    Turkish Daily News (29.1.97) reports that according to a Fench research group, drag trafficking in Turkey could not have come that far if it had not been for some "support" from the Turkish state.

    The Geopolitical Observatory of Drugs (Observatoire) has also carried out research on Turkey for a report to be published in April. The Observatoire's claim that drug trafficking through Turkey also had a "political dimension" follows similar claims from both London and Frankfurt, where a German magistrate claimed that Turkish government was involved protecting those trafficking in drugs.

    Despite the protest and denial of Ankara, a high-level researcher of the Observatoire, who requested anonymity, said that the fight against terrorism was also partially financed by drug trafficking. The claim, which was already been published in the 1996 report, alleges that when the Turkish security forces uncovered a drug operation and obtained the narcotics, they do not declare it but use the income to finance the fight against the PKK. This information is attributed to some "Kemalist" soldiers within in the Southeast.

    Another important assumption in the Observatoire is the link between government circles, in particular former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar, and ultra-right gangs which also have a hand in drug trafficking. The report also made a reference to the Susurluk case, saying it displayed the "complexity and the darkness" of the struggle in Anatolia.

    The Observatoire said the report was based on their large network of information, which ranged from Europe to the Caucasus. A high-level official for the Observatoire described the research group as an objective and scientific one. "We have sources in every country, also in Turkey, which range from official circles to academics. We carefully watch the information in the media and the statements of politicians. None of the allegations in the report are new, unknown, or not published", he said.

    The research organization carries out research for various international organizations, as well as publishing periodical reports on its own.

    [04] More on the allegations of relations between Turkish state and drug smugglers

    According to Turkish Daily News (29.1.97) Turkey has reacted strongly to allegations that there are connections between international drug smugglers and the Turkish state itself as well as slamming claims that the government is not doing enough in the war against drugs.

    Britain, meanwhile, kept pointing an accusing finger at Turkey, saying three-quarters of the drugs reaching Europe were either coming from Turkey or through it. Similar accusations from German and French officials have already caused angry retorts from Ankara which demanded concrete proof or apologies.

    Tuncay Yilmaz, head of the police Anti-Smuggling Department, speaking at a press conference last Monday, claimed the drug trade via Turkey was controlled by organized groups such as the PKK.

    Yilmaz then turned his attention to Britain, saying that British authorities did not give sufficient information to Turkish authorities regarding those caught for drug smuggling.

    He also accused the British secret service of using Huseying Baybasin, a famous drug smuggler, as an agent. Meanwhile, British Foreign Office officials said on Monday they were very concerned with the high rate of drug trafficking from Turkey to Europe.

    "According to figures, 75 percent of the drugs seized in Europe is coming either from Turkey or through Turkey, which is a very high percentage and worrying", a Foreign Office official told the Turkish Daily News.

    He underlined that the Foreign Office had expressed its worries concerning these high amounts to Turkish authorities in Turkey and to Turkish Embassy officials in London.

    "We believe that a determined and co-ordinated action would provide solutions in preventing such a high rate of drug smuggling from Turkey or through Turkey", the official pointed out.

    Tuncay Yilmaz, speaking to the Turkish Daily News after his press conference, refuted the British claims, saying they were impossible.

    Tom Sackville, the Home Office junior minister was quoted by Turkish Dailies last weekend saying that some Turkish authorities might be involved in promoting this trafficking into Europe.

    Sackville paid a two-day visit to Ankara on October 13 and met with then-Interior Minister Mehmet Agar, Chief of Police Alaatin Yuksel as well as Tucay Yilmaz.

    Diplomatic sources commenting on the subject told the paper that Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller was told to take the necessary steps against drug smuggling as well as money laundering during her trips to the United States.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] US Policy on Cyprus, threat of crisis viewed by columnist

    Leyla Tavsanoglu, writing in CUMHURIYET (28.1.97), refers to US policy on Cyprus, Greek-Turkish relations and says: "It has been reported that Ankara plans to adopt a long-term international policy in the next few months in light of the extremely unfavourable situation regarding the Cyprus problem and the relations between Turkey and Greece. According to several high-ranking diplomats in Ankara, the serious problems that have been created by the Greek Cypriot Administration's application to join the EU, the Turkish side's persistent argument that `the Greek Cypriots cannot join the EU before Turkey becomes a member', and the possible deployment of S-300 missiles in south Cyprus within a period of 16 months may drag Turkey into a serious impasse or even kindle a war with Greece.

    The diplomats expect the United States, which declared 1997 as `a year of peace in Cyprus', to make initiatives on the island's problem with the support of the EU and the UN organization. However, the steps that may be taken will come to light during the March to August period.

    Turkey has to consider two calendars. The first is related to the Greek Cypriot side's accession to the EU. The talks on south Cyprus joining the EU may start six months after the intergovernmental conference. The second is related to the deployment of Russian S-300 missiles on the Greek Cypriot side. Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides has reassured Carey Cavanaugh, head of the US State Department European Affairs Desk (title as published), that `the missiles will be deployed in 16 months, not before'. Carey Cavanaugh later visited Turkey and reassured Ankara that `the missiles will not be transported to south Cyprus even after 16 months'.

    According to high-ranking diplomats, Turkey will take action to destroy the S-300 missiles after they are transported to south Cyprus. And since Greece will not remain inactive, a war will be fought between the two countries. It will be catastrophic. It will cost Turkey at least $200 billion. Meanwhile, Greece also will suffer extensively. However, it is an EU country and it will find a way to redeem its loss through the organization.

    The diplomats have said: `The war will completely break the ropes. In other words, a state of war will exist between Turkey and an EU country. This may be one of the objectives of the US strategic plans. Does the United States want to convert Turkey into a Middle East country under its wing after such a development?'

    Reports said that during Carey Cavanaugh's recent visit he made strong hints to Ankara that it should not consider Turkey's accession to the EU. A high-ranking Foreign Ministry official has said: Cavanaugh informed the officials that `the process requires a very long time. So Turkey should not consider it.' Not considering it will pave the way for the Greek Cypriot side's accession, which will completely sever Turkey's links with Europe.

    The diplomatic officials have described Turkey's argument that `the Greek Cypriots cannot join the EU before Turkey becomes a member of the organization' as a wrong approach. They said: `It will be more appropriate to insist that a formula be drawn up for Turkey's accession five years after the Greek Cypriots join the organization.'

    According to the diplomats, the government, particularly the Welfare Party (RP) wing of the coalition, is very satisfied with the developments. They are convinced that they will create a very good opportunity for the TRNC's integration with Turkey as a new province. They also will create a very good opportunity for Turkey to end the `Western adventure'.

    The same diplomats emphasized the following: `That is why the government has moved to increase its spending. The former governments, including the one headed by Bulent Ecevit, failed to do so. Some $ 250 million will be transferred to the TRNC. The government plans to kill two birds with one stone. The officials have laid the foundations of a new mosque in Girne (Kyrenia). They want to have schools for imams in north Cyprus. They want to have the TRNC annexed to Turkey, just as Kemal Ataturk annexed Hatay Province in the past. They believe that they will get rid of Europe if they do so. The direction of developments is exactly what the RP wing of the government wants it to be'.

    An important question is as follows: How will Greece react to the TRNC's annexation to Turkey? The high-ranking diplomats responded as follows: `Greece is not mad. Why should it annex Cyprus? As far as defense is concerned, south Cyprus has integrated with it through the joint defense doctrine. The Greek Cypriot side's accession to the EU will complete south Cyprus political and economic integration with Greece. The Greeks and the Greek Cypriots will have two Hellenic countries in the EU. That will mean two votes for Greece. So why should it annex south Cyprus? Greece is not considering ENOSIS (Union of Cyprus and Greece). Everyone must realize that'.

    It has been reported that the complicated developments have confused Europe. The European countries will ask the United States to solve the problem, just as in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, what may happen after that is very unclear.

    The diplomats have said that Prime Minister Simitis has preferred to act like a `hawk' since he came to power, regardless of the fact that he was known as a `dove' in the PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) in the past. They asserted: `After all, he was created by PASOK. He has even failed to protect Deputy Foreign Minister Christos Rozakis, whom he supported so much. He accepted his resignation. Deputy Foreign Minister Georghios Papandreou held secret talks with Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Onur Oymen for 60 minutes when he visited Istanbul in November 1996. Their meeting failed to yield any results. Papandreou fears that he may lose his position.'

    That is the picture for Turkey in the region at the present time". Tavsanoglu says. EF/SK

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