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

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

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>


TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 121/97 5-6-7.7.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash in Ankara for consultations with the Turkish Government.
  • [02] Denktash, Demirel issue joint declaration.
  • [03] Denktash leaves for New York Summit, outlines aims.
  • [04] Denktash: "Peace line" is a condition for successful talks.
  • [05] Denktash goes to New York; Warns Greeks against conditions.
  • [06] Foreign Ministry denies reports on Oymen remarks on EU.
  • [07] Former Turkish Foreign Minister speaks about Cyprus.
  • [08] Turkey's plan about a naval base in the occupied area.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash in Ankara for consultations with the Turkish Government

    According to TRT (15:00 hours 4.5.97) Rauf Denktash went to Ankara on an "official" visit as the guest of President Suleyman Demirel. Bulent Ecevit, deputy prime minister and state minister, State Minister Sukru Gurel, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, and other officials received Denktash at Ankara's Esenboga Airport.

    In his statement at the arrival ceremony, Ecevit said that Denktash' visit, which is undertaken on the eve of very important meetings on the Cyprus issue, is extremely beneficial.

    Explaining that Denktash can count on Turkey's support during the talks in New York, Ecevit added that Turkey attaches special importance to the Cyprus issue. Ecevit wished Denktash success during the New York talks.

    Moreover, KIBRIS (5.7.97) further reports that Ecevit told Denktash: "I know that you are sure of Turkey's support at the talks you are going to attend. We as government attach special importance to the Cyprus issue.

    As I have stated recently, it is not only Turkey that is the Turkish Cypriots' safeguard, but the TRNC is Turkey's safeguard as well. The intensive arming in the Greek Cypriot sector has rendered Cyprus very important for Turkey from the strategic point of view.

    The governments of the TRNC and the Republic of Turkey will continue their relations in close cooperation, not only out of responsibility towards the Turkish Cypriots but for Turkey's own security as well", said Ecevit.

    Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak radio (5:00 hours, 5.7.97) Rauf Denktash is happy with the official one-day, visit he paid to Ankara. He said: "We fully agree with Turkey in connection with our common national cause".

    In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport on his return, he pointed out that for Turkey, Cyprus is a major security cause. He noted that Turkey does not want the Turkish-Greek balance over Cyprus upset.

    He claimed that what the Greek Cypriots want is to eliminate the guarantee system. "They think that they can do it through membership in the EU, but that is a big mistake. We hope they will realize that we will not fall into their trap and come to New York in order to sign a nice and balanced agreement acceptable to both sides", he said.

    Denktash noted that he had the opportunity to hold his first contact with the new Ankara government which is very sensitive about the Cyprus issue. He concluded by saying: "As the honourable Demirel has also said, the Cyprus question cannot be resolved with pressure. As long as there is no outside interference, the two sides can sign an agreement with their own free will, an agreement that will take into consideration their common interests and past experience, and one that will prevent a return to the past."

    [02] Denktash, Demirel issue joint declaration

    According to TRT (17:00 hours, 4.7.97) an official ceremony was held at the Cankaya Mansion for Rauf Denktash, who went to Ankara as the official guest of Suleyman Demirel. During his address at the ceremony, Demirel said that an assessment on the Cyprus issue will be made with Denktash prior to the direct meetings to take place in New York.

    "The main concept, the principles, and the parameters necessary for a political solution to the Cyprus issue were clearly defined within the framework of the UN goodwill mission.

    The principles of bizonality, bicommunality, political equality of the two sides, and the effective guarantee of Turkey constitute the essential foundations for a solution. Therefore, Turkey thinks that the New York meetings constitute an opportunity for the two leaders to reach a solution through their own free will, without being subjected to any outside influence. Cyprus, which is indispensable in terms of Turkey's security interests, has been a key factor in the balance established between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean since the Lausanne Treaty", Demirel said.

    Demirel further said that Turkey will continue to support the views expressed in the joint declaration signed with Denktash on 20 January and that he told Denktash that he will have the unwavering support of Turkey.

    Denktash, in turn, stressed that the principles included in the 20 January joint declaration will be defended in New York. Denktash added: "These principles were disclosed so that the Greek Cypriots will know ahead of time what is possible and what is not and so that they will renounce the desire to turn Cyprus into a Greek island."

    The meetings between the delegations started after the official arrival ceremony. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz; Bulent Ecevit, deputy prime minister and state minister; Ismet Sezgin, deputy prime minister and national defense minister, State Ministers Sukru Gurel; Foreign Minister Ismail Cem; General Cevik Bir, deputy chief of the General Staff; Vice Admiral Mustafa Ozbay, the head of Turkish-Greek relations at the General Staff and other bureaucrats attended the meetings on behalf of Turkey.

    Denktash; Taner Etkin, "TRNC foreign affairs and defense minister" and other bureaucrats attended the meetings on behalf of the pseudostate.

    The joint declaration, which was issued following the meetings between the delegations, noted that the grounds of the UN Secretary General's goodwill mission, which concerned the two equal communities on the island, rest on the ability of the two leaders to display free will in discussing a solution acceptable to both sides. The declaration further said that any outside intervention in the negotiation process, which will be conducted in line with a UN solution framework and parameters, is unacceptable. The declaration, which noted that both sides supported the direct talks along the lines of this understanding, explained that the New York meetings provide a suitable opportunity for securing a just and realistic solution to the Cyprus issue.

    And added: "Bizonality, bicommunality, and the political equality of the two sides will constitute the basic parameters of a lasting solution." Claiming that there are two separate peoples and administrations in Cyprus, the declaration alleged that "the approaches that consider the Greek Cypriot Administration the legitimate Cyprus Government and which violate international law in no way assist in finding a solution to the Cyprus issue."

    The declaration claimed: "Within this framework, recognizing the Turkish Cypriot side's equal political and legal status and lifting the sanctions imposed on the TRNC in the international arena will assist and reinforce the efforts exerted for a solution". The declaration noted that a solution that will be secured through free negotiations will be put to the vote of the two sides in separate referendums. Stating that the 1960 guarantee and alliance agreements should be valid and remain in effect under all conditions, the declaration said that Turkey's effective and de facto guarantee should be maintained.

    It further threatened that any steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side toward EU membership will speed up the process of the "TRNC's" integrating with Turkey.

    The declaration claimed: "Within the framework of the defense doctrine signed with Greece, the intense armament efforts under way on the Greek Cypriot side, the construction of Greek air and naval bases in south Cyprus, the possibility of deploying weapons in south Cyprus that can constitute a source of threat to Turkey, and the support extended to terrorist activities pose a threat not only to the security of northern Cyprus and the region but to the security of Turkey as well".

    The declaration announced that it was decided to undertake close cooperation and consultations during the New York negotiation process.

    [03] Denktash leaves for New York Summit, outlines aims

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (10:30 hours, 5.7.97), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash left the occupied area last Saturday en route to the New York summit to hold direct talks with President Glafcos Clerides. Denktash, who flew to Istanbul aboard the TC-GAP plane belonging to the Turkish president, was seen off at occupied Tymbou airport with a "state" ceremony.

    In a predeparture statement to the press, Denktash said:

    "I am going to New York on behalf of my people to defend our long-standing cause, not my own cause. I am going with the aim of reaching an agreement and conciliation, with the aim of paving the path leading to an agreement and conciliation, rather than giving certain things or receiving certain things in return".

    Denktash pointed out that he is not going to New York in order to deceive or accuse the Greek Cypriots and asked, therefore, that the Greek Cypriots, in turn, not attempt to accuse the Turkish Cypriot side. Denktash said that during the summit meetings in New York, he will try to understand what Clerides thinks, what he feels, and what he intends to do.

    Denktash claimed: "There is not much the Turkish Cypriot side wants, but it is no less than the rights we had in 1960, nor is it the rejection of the rights we saved at the cost of our lives or the demolition of the TRNC, which we attained at the cost of our lives and which symbolizes all our rights".

    Noting, therefore, that he wants to go to New York with hope, Denktash said: "This is my hope. Clerides is said to have told diplomats that he is willing to accept the Turkish Cypriots' rights as long as they say and give the Greek Cypriots this or that in return. The statements he issues to his own people, however, are not in this vein. On the contrary, they are based on an attitude adopted by a sovereign Cypriot nation that owns the whole of Cyprus, and they are aimed at convincing the Greek Cypriot people that the impossible will happen. They are asking for the impossible", he claimed.

    Commenting on reports that certain organizations will hold peace festivities with the aim of encouraging him in New York, Denktash said: "Festivities are always a good thing. Let them hold such activities, but let them also define what kind of peace they want. The Greek Cypriots also want peace, but their peace envisages the return of all the refugees to their homes, a situation in which the Turkish Cypriots will be intermingled with them. The principle of bizonality will be limited to municipal borders alone. The Turkish Cypriot side will again be a minority. The Turkish Cypriots will have only minority rights. They want to call this equality. They do not even want to discuss the subject of sovereignty."

    Denktash alleged that any right that is not based on sovereignty is not a right.

    Recalling that the Greek Cypriot side also wants to weaken Turkey's guarantees, Denktash concluded: "Therefore, nothing can be achieved by holding festivities to declare that we want peace. This would only mislead the world into thinking that there are those who want peace and those who do not want peace in northern Cyprus".

    [04] Denktash: "Peace line" is a condition for successful talks

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 5.7.97) Rauf Denktash has declared that the face-to-face meeting he will hold with President Glafcos Clerides will be subject to the condition that the "peace line" delineated in the protocol signed with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel is not crossed.

    Denktash, who left the occupied area en route to New York, held a news conference upon his arrival in Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.

    Denktash expressed the hope that President Clerides will "renounce his attitude" and claimed that there are common grounds for talks. Declaring that the aim of the New York talks is to determine Clerides' approach to the Cyprus problem, Denktash revealed that if the talks are positive, a second round of talks will be held in Europe in August.

    In reply to a question, Denktash claimed that it was the Ecevit government that brought peace to Cyprus. Denktash remarked that since then, Ecevit has been following the Cyprus problem from realistic aspects with the aim of securing peace, therefore, his participation in the government is very positive in terms of the Cyprus issue.

    [05] Denktash goes to New York; Warns Greeks against conditions

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours 6.7.97) Rauf Denktash has said: "The direct talks I will hold with Greek Cypriot Administration leader Glafcos Clerides in New York will be a testing of the grounds."

    Denktash left Istanbul for New York around noon yesterday to attend the direct talks. In a predeparture statement, Denktash claimed that talks were not held until now because the Greek Cypriots posited the acceptance of their membership in the EU and their sole sovereignty in Cyprus as a condition. "If the Greek Cypriots express such views in New York as well", Denktash remarked, "a reassessment may be conducted with the people and with Turkey".

    [06] Foreign Ministry denies reports on Oymen remarks on EU

    According to TRT (17:00 hours, 5.7.97) press reports on Turkish Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Onur Oymen's alleged remarks that Turkey may not object to Cyprus' EU membership before Turkey's own membership have been denied.

    A Foreign Ministry statement on the subject recalled that Turkey has always contended that Cyprus can engage in EU membership negotiations with a delegation comprising the Turkish Cypriots on the basis of equal representation after the Cyprus problem has been solved, adding that this cannot take place before Turkey's own full membership negotiations are under way.

    The statement noted that the joint declaration issued by President Suleyman Demirel and Rauf Denktash on 20 January 1997 contains the same view. The Foreign Ministry statement continued:

    "In all his contacts, Under Secretary Oymen has advocated this thesis, and it is possible to find the minutes of Oymen's meetings on this subject in the archives of our ministry."

    [07] Former Turkish Foreign Minister speaks about Cyprus

    Following is an excerpt from an interview given to CUMHURIYET (6.7.97) correspondent Leyla Tavsanoglu by Turkey's former foreign Minister and retired diplomat Ilter Turkmen:

    "Question: Wasn't it possible to get something on Cyprus on the diplomatic table without carrying out the 1974 intervention?

    Answer: Every problem is solved more or less according to the de facto situation. Look at the Bosnian issue. The Bosnian issue has been solved according to the de facto situation. In fact, in my opinion, the Bosnian settlement is an ideal settlement for Cyprus as well.

    The Dayton Agreement which brought about a settlement to the Bosnian war is very close to the settlement that we wish to bring about for Cyprus. There are the following elements in the Dayon Agreement:

    - First of all, the central government is very week.

    - Second, the de facto situation is accepted as it is.

    - The security is completely left to the three communities there and they have given up calling themselves "Republics".

    - It gives them concluding agreements with the neighbouring countries and a very artificial (cosmetic) federal state has been envisaged. The The Dayton Agreement has been concluded in order to say `Bosnia has been divided into three'.

    Question: Let us return to the negotiations to be held on 9-13 July between the TRNC president Denktash and the Greek Cypriot leader Clerides under the auspices of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in New York. In your opinion, what will be the result of this meeting?

    Answer: I do not think anything will come out of this, because the new UN Secretary General will have more or less as his starting point the Ghali Set of Ideas.

    The Ghali Set of Ideas is not very much against us.

    However, until now the Greek Cypriots did not accept it. In fact the possibility of solving this problem between the two communities is very poor. Let me tell you openly: Neither the Greeks nor the Turkish Cypriots want a settlement. They are forced to show that they want a settlement, because the Greek Cypriots want the land in the north as well.

    Maybe negotiations will be held on a Turkish Federated state with a smaller territory, having its police force and its autonomy. It is extremely difficult that the Greek Cypriots will accept this. If they were ready to accept it, they would not have resorted to arming themselves. The Greek Cypriots are continuously trying to strengthen their negotiating position.

    Secondly, even with a very loose federation, the possibility of Turkish Cypriots accepting to live with the Greek Cypriots is very poor.

    In my opinion if this problem is to be settled then quadripartite negotiations are needed. Turkey and Greece should definitely attend these negotiations.

    Question: Are you saying that Turkey and Greece have important interests in the Cyprus settlement?

    Answer: These interests are at least the same as those of the two communities. Turkey cannot put its relations with Greece on a sound basis if Turkey does not solve this problem.

    Question: The new US Cyprus envoy Richard Holbrooke is very sure of himself that he will solve this problem. He is making statements saying `I will solve this problem in 1998'. Do you share this view, and his self- confidence?

    Answer: Holbrooke is a man who has great confidence in himself.

    He is a capable diplomat. He has the US power behind him. He has a lot of trump cards in his hands, but of course Turkey is not Serbia. He cannot push Turkey around. He might try, but it will not work out. Of course, as a matter of fact, we have a very strong position.

    Question: That is, in that case, will Cyprus continue to exist with this nonsolution status?

    Answer: For a long time we have preferred this nonsolution of the Cyprus problem, because the de facto situation is in our favour.

    Yes, no one but this Turkey has recognized the TRNC's independence, but has not caused any harm. There is a small population there. Had it not been for the EU issue, the non-settlement of this problem would have been preferred. First of all, the EU wants to take in south Cyprus. Secondly, our EU membership is more or less related to the settlement of the Cyprus problem. For this reason he could conclude that the settlement of the Cyprus problem will be in Turkey's favour. However, once this conclusion is reached, we have to chart a new strategy.

    Once it is decided that a settlement is in favour of Turkey's interests, then it is necessary to decide what kind of concessions Turkey should made. Today there is no such thing. No such preparation has been made.

    Question: How come the Foreign Ministry did not make such a preparation?

    Answer: There is no such preparation.

    Question: But the negotiations will start on 9 July...

    Answer: Denktash is one of the greatest masters of the art of negotiation. He will manage it. However, Turkey has to have a position. What do we want from the point of view of Turkey's interests? I am not convinced that we have agreed upon this. On top of this there are some inconsistent statements. Whoever comes, let it be Holbrooke, if this decision is not taken, then there will be no settlement. First Turkey has to take a decision herself. She has to be able to say: `I can go as far as this point, because my interests are more important that this'.

    Question: Was Turkey earlier ready for serious concessions?

    Answer: The first serious territorial concession was decided upon in 1981. This was in a sense against us. In 1981 the soldiers (the 12 September 1980 coup generals headed by Evren was the government in Turkey: Tr. note) and te Foreign Ministry came together and Turkey decided the territorial concessions at that time.

    Question: What were these concessions?

    Answer: First of all, we were giving Varosha. We were giving a part of the Messaoria plain. It was decided to make concessions on six points. In fact these were very important ones.

    Question: Well, what was the percentage of the territory to be given?

    Answer: If I remember correctly, it was 3 percent. Based on this the then UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar first in 1984 and later on in 1986 made a territorial proposal and put forward the 29 percent plus. At that time a very serious study was carried out and then Denktash was informed about it.

    Question: Well, what was Denktash's stance?

    Answer: Of course, Denktash never wanted this. He did not want it but there was nothing he could do. Recently he came for a lecture and when I recalled this case to him, he told me: `What should I have done at that time? You had told me, we are the ones who taken the territory, we will give it'. The TRNC's declaration of independence was a premeditated thing. We knew that the declaration of independence would bring about some difficulties.

    However, after the declaration of independence, Perez de Cuellar came up with a serious proposal. That is, he was envisaging a 29.5 percent of territory to be in the hands of the Turks.

    Apart from this, the declaration of independence was necessary for the Cyprus Constitution as well. Because according to that constitution, Mr. Denktash was unable to get re-elected.

    The Independence paved the way to the change of the Constitution. It would have been very difficult if Denktash was gone.

    Question: If we summarize, you have said that Turkey's interests lie in the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Answer: I believe yes. We have won from the military point of view but the political gains are not that much. For this reason the settlement of this problem suits Turkey's interests.

    We have to make an important territorial concession.

    However, if the Greek Cypriots come up with exaggerated demands then we are not to be blamed for.

    There need to be serious negotiations, but these negotiations cannot be held before Turkey discusses the parameters herself". (MY)

    [08] Turkey's plan about a naval base in the occupied area

    According to CUMHURIYET (6.7.97), Turkey will establish a naval base in the occupied area.

    CUMHURIYET further adds that the plans to establish a naval base was taken up last week in a detailed manner during the visit to the occupied area of vice-admiral Mustafa Ozbay.

    CUMHURIYET further reports that Denktash is going to New York with the bargaining trump card "integration with Turkey", secured from Ankara.

    CUMHURIYET correspondent Lale Sariibrahimoglu quotes a high level official in Ankara who said: "Ankara has a plan according to which the TRNC, without Turkey's intervention, will be able to immediately respond against any attack.

    Sariibrahimoglu further reports that Ecevit's argument of the "Autonomy thesis" has been criticized as hasty.

    CUMHURIYET correspondent says that the naval base will be established either in occupied Kyrenia or in Famagusta.

    In the face of the Cyprus Government's decision to buy Russian S-300 missiles, work has been speeded up to turn the occupied Lefkoniko airport, which until recently was closed, into a military airbase. (MY) MY/EF/SK


    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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