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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-07-10

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. 124/97 -- 10.7.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Kohen: "Turkish-Greek agreement in the shadow of the Summit".
  • [02] Denktash on the missiles issue.
  • [03] "If Clerides continues his tough stance I will not be the one who will be blamed" says Denktash.
  • [04] Denktash comments on Cyprus meetings.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Kohen: "Turkish-Greek agreement in the shadow of the Summit"

    MILLIYET (9.7.97) columnist Kohen writes: "Against a background of discussions about problems related to NATO's expansion and internal structure, Turkish and Greek officials have been working intensely since Monday to conclude a new agreement between Ankara and Athens.

    If everything works-that is if a snag does not turn up in the next few hours-this agreement may be signed in Madrid this evening perhaps at the highest level, in the presence of President Demirel and Prime Minister Simitis.

    When the Turkish and Greek delegation arrived in Madrid for the NATO summit, they brought with them a draft which would be scrutinized word by word before being finalized. The principal outlines of this draft were prepared by the United States and relayed to Ankara and Athens. The first foreign policy task of the new government (in Turkey) and the new foreign minister was to work on this draft, that is, in some sense, to do its "homework".

    Here the delegations continued their "indirect contacts" arranged by the United States. It is strange but the Turkish delegation headed by Demirel and the Greek delegation headed by Simitis did not have any direct contacts even though they were "neighbours" in the same hotel, the Ritz. Document drafts and notes were exchanged with US regional specialists acting as intermediaries. This work continued into the late hours of several nights.

    As these lines are written, this work has "matured" considerably, and there is a high probability that an agreement will be concluded by the end of the NATO summit.

    Of course caution should not be abandoned. Several attempts were made recently to create a climate of trust between Turkey and Greece and to begin a serious negotiation process.

    There were even some accords, such as the agreement between Onur Oymen (undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry) and Yeorghios Papandreou (about the formation of a "panel of wise men").

    Unfortunately it was impossible to implement these agreements -- particularly because of last-minute new hurdles raised by Greece. The agreement on which the two sides are working now contains explicit statements about sensitive issues such as creating "fait accomplis" on territorial waters in the Aegean or resorting to military force. If this agreement comes into being, Turkish-Greek relations will genuinely leave tensions behind and embark on a process of rapprochement.

    It is true that the United States played a very active role in the realization of this agreement. Washington is determined to stabilize the southeastern flank of NATO. It believes that such an outcome would also have a positive impact on the Cyprus negotiation process. The change of government in Turkey allowed the United States to accelerate this diplomatic initiative last week.

    Turkey has always been open and ready for initiatives that would normalize its relations with Athens. It is interesting that it was the United States (not the EU) which took the initiative on this issue also and pressed it to a conclusion.

    Will the accord to be reached between Turkey and Greece -most probably under the rubric "unity of understanding"-be implemented this time? Or, will it suffer the same fate as its predecessors.

    There are several factors that inspire optimism this time: 1) an accord text will be signed and officially disclosed; 2) this agreement will carry the signatures of the highest-level officials (foreign ministers) and will have the honour of being approved by heads of state and government; and 3) the United States, by virtue of its initiative, will be in a position to intervene in this process.

    In sum, if realized, this agreement will have a more binding character. This is its principal difference from previous agreements.

    Yes, even as debates continue in the NATO summit over which countries should (or should not) be admitted to the alliance now, Turks and Greeks are working to finalize a draft agreement that carries great significance for the future of relations between the two countries.

    If realized, this will be perhaps "the best news" that will come out of the Madrid summit."

    [02] Denktash on the missiles issue

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (9.7.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has reiterated that the S-300 missiles, which the Cyprus Government plans deploy in Cyprus, will pose a threat to stability in Cyprus as well as the whole region. He made this comment during a meeting with British High Commissioner David Madden in New York.

    He added that deploying the missiles will signal the end of the negotiation process between the two sides.

    According to an Anatolia Agency report, Denktash said at the meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes, that deploying the missiles on the island will undermine the effectivity of NATO and added: The missiles will not only pose a threat to Turkey but also to Israel and the US 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

    Denktash further said that the missile crisis contradicts the process of searching a solution to the Cyprus issue.

    [03] "If Clerides continues his tough stance I will not be the one who will be blamed". Says Denktash

    According to KIBRIS (10.7.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in an exclusive interview to KIBRIS Correspondent has said: "We will see during these four days whether the Greek Cypriots are ready or not to share the government chair with the Turkish partner in a bizonal federation. Accordingly we will make our evaluation and we will convey to our people the necessary message".

    He has said that he feels secure because of Turkey's support.

    Stating that he has received information that President Glafcos Clerides will in no way discuss the sovereignty issue on the negotiation table, Denktash said. "If I found Clerides in this orientation then I will not be the one who will be blamed".

    Noting that the UN as well has realized that the proposals could not be put on a paper having the character of the UN Secretary General's document, Denktash has claimed that no concession will be made on sovereignty, equality, Turkish guarantees, bizonality and on Cyprus' EU membership without Turkey's presence.

    Denktash went on and said: "Their intention was to put forward a paper which will acquire a document character. We have objected to it and said that we will not go (to New York). Let us see it and then go. We have insisted that let us see it instead of going there and then running away let us see it prior to going there. Turkey has supported us as well: The have said: `Their is no document, that is no paper shall be produced having a document character' they have realized that they cannot surprize us. Naturally we feel secure. There is a Grand National Assembly which passed unanimous decisions even at times where inter party struggles were very sharp.

    Esteemed President Suleyman Demirel is the President who has followed the Cyprus problem with great faith and enthusiasm.

    The declaration we have signed with him on 20 January, 1997 has given me a great strength as regards on limits of concessions beyond which I could not go.

    The Greek Cypriot side should understand that Turkey will not allow an island 40 miles away from its shores to be in the hands of people who harbour animosity towards Turkey.

    "Threatening Turkey by deploying missiles is stupidity. Thinking that they will preclude Turkey's fulfilling of its guarantorship rights is naivete", declared Denktash and repeated his known views regarding the legitimacy of the Cyprus government.

    Denktash went on and said: We will see what will be discussed around the negotiation table. We have said the following to the UN: `Let us tell what you want to say, so that we shall not start running counter to...' They do not tell us.

    On the spot we will start talking to them if there is something which we do not approve of or if there is violation or attack against our rights or if there is a wrong assessment against our rights. First we will put these rights. What we want first is, the Greek Cypriot Administration should no more be recognized as the only owner and the government of the island. This should be given up. Or they have to extend us the same status. They have to provide a motivation to the Greek Cypriots so that they establish a partnership with us. They have no such motivation at this stage.

    The points which we will not retreat are: equality, sovereignty, Turkey's guarantees, bizonality, Cyprus' entry into the EU where Turkey is absent, the application made for membership is not made for Cyprus. So the problem before us, as envisaged by the UN Secretary General, is the settlement of the Cyprus problem and not the accession to EU. We are on the decision taking state in the sense that: From these contacts we will understand whether there is a change or not. Or whether the story of grabbing Cyprus still continues. According to the information we have received from the foreign journalists who met clerides, is that Clerides will be tougher, that they are the government, that in no way they will discuss the sovereignty they will reserve the right to deploy the missiles and that in no way the will give us the right to talk about these issues. Let us see: If I find him with this orientation then I will not be the one who will be blamed.

    Since last year the missiles have arrived and there is a threat of war. If the EU lets these people join it, by saying `we have accepted Cyprus' the Greek Cypriots are such a day-dreamer that `they could say, now we have become an EU member, Turkey cannot do anything to us' and could start an operation (military) in Cyprus. They are in the preparation of it. This is my fear and the anxiety. For this reason they should be said `stop'.

    The EU says `First get united and then we will accept you' but in the meantime it says we will start negotiations. To say to start negotiations is, since Cyprus did not apply, to accept the Greek Cypriots as the master of Cyprus. We do not accept this as well. For the time being Holbrooke has come to take our views. We have told him where our difficulties lay. They listen us. They will form an idea from these meetings.

    Holbrooke's involvement at this stage in the Cyprus problem will give him the chance to see closely the damage the Greek Cypriots will cause to the island and the region because of the missiles.

    We hope that his findings will pave the way to America to review its Cyprus view and justify the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. We at least expect them to tell these people who endanger the region "stop".

    As for our meeting with the British High Commissioner in Cyprus David Madden, we have repeated what we have used to tell him in Cyprus. He had once more listened us and left. We said:

    `We are ready to help'. In turn we have thanked him, if they want to be helpful most probably it is not the "Cyprus Government" that they guarantee. We have asked them to help with this understanding in mind and we have repeated that in no way we will accept the Greek Cypriots as the legitimate government".

    (MY)

    [04] Denktash comments on Cyprus meetings

    According to Ankara TRT Television network (9.7.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash answering to questions of TRT reporters on the undergoing Cyprus meetings said that the "TRNC" and Turkey have legitimate rights stemming from the 1960 agreements. And added: "We cannot disregard these agreements and recognize the Greek Cypriots as the legitimate government of Cyprus. We expect that those who suppressed our rights for 34 years by acknowledging the Greek Cypriot side as the legitimate government of Cyprus will now adopt equitable, fair, and just stands. The New York face-to-face meetings constitute an opportunity toward that end. We believe that a fair middle way can be found once the intentions of Clerides become clear".

    In reply to a reporter's question on whether US presidential envoy in Cyprus Mr. Holbrooke had submitted a proposal, Denktash said: "No Mr. Holbrooke has not submitted any proposals. I suppose he is waiting for the outcome of the first round of meetings".

    In the meantime, Taner Etkin, so called foreign affairs and defense minister of the pseudostate, expressed his views on the meetings to TRT:

    "In our view, the past and present statements made by Clerides show that the Greek Cypriot stands have not changed.

    Personally I do not believe that these meetings will yield positive results under these circumstances".

    MY/LL/SK

    ..end


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


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