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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-07-23

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.133/97 23.7.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash comments on EU decision, to meet President¤ Clerides 28 July.
  • [02] Talat says attending the second round of talks is¤ the only path for them.
  • [03] Pseudostate said to fear declaration remaining on paper.
  • [04] Denktash to Talat: There is nothing in Geneva, why go.
  • [05] Akinci to EU: "Tell Greeks membership will follow¤ solution".
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Declaration said to denote `change' in Cyprus policy.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash comments on EU decision, to meet President Clerides 28 July

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (22.7.97) Rauf Denktash has said that the Turkish Cypriots will not be defeated in the face of the "injustices" being committed against them for years, adding that they will continue their struggle courageously and with determination. Denktash made a significant announcement and said: "Whatever the Greek Cypriots will do, so will we. No one can question us about what we did."

    In a statement to the "Akis" program broadcast on illegal Bayrak Television last night Denktash assessed the recent EU decision, his direct talks with President Clerides, and the recent developments in the Cyprus problem. He said that if the EU begins membership negotiations with Cyprus the Turkish Cypriot side will sever the negotiations.

    Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot community is an equal and sovereign people, Denktash expressed the hope that a better atmosphere will be created in the second round of talks to be held in Montreux. Denktash said that if the EU suspends and postpones its decision, then we can meet and talk. He noted that of the three choices facing the Turkish Cypriot side, the best is to ask that the talks be postponed. Denktash earlier cited three options: not going to Switzerland; going and explaining the situation; or asking that the talks be postponed to enable the EU to review its decision.

    Noting that Feissel, special representative of the UN Secretary General, visited him and informed him that President qClerides wants to discuss certain humanitarian issues with him, Denktash said he will me Clerides at Feissel's house on 28 July.¤ Denktash also warned the EU, saying that it should postpone the membership application of Cyprus in a bid to secure the continuation of the intercommunal talks. He stressed that the EU should suspend Cyprus' application while the intercommunal talks are in progress.

    [02] Talat says attending the second round of talks is the only path for them

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11.7.97) Republican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that there is only one path in front of the Turkish Cypriot community, and not several as claimed by Rauf Denktash. He added: "This path consists of embarking on the second round of talks in a bid to find a solution to the Cyprus issue by adopting a constructive stand."

    Explaining that a favourable atmosphere was created in Amenia, New York, with regard to finding a solution to the Cyprus issue, Talat added that the two community leaders' approach and the UN initiatives had contributed to this atmosphere. Talat stated that the world will support the Turkish Cypriots if they embrace a constructive stand on the Cyprus issue solution, adding:

    "Although past experience has proved us right in this sense, discussions were nevertheless launched on whether or not to participate in the Geneva talks on the basis of the EU Commission's report, whose contents were already known and which did not contain any new elements."

    Noting that issues such as the representation in foreign relations and autonomy were put on the public agenda after decisions were made, Talat added: "Turkey will attain full EU membership once it adopts appropriate measures and once the Cyprus issue is resolved. Enforcing a solution of the Cyprus issue and putting obstacles on the path of the Turkish Cypriot community is not the right approach."

    [03] Pseudostate said to fear declaration remaining on paper

    According to MILLIYET (22.7.97) the pseudostate fears that the declaration envisaging partial integration between the two sides, announced during Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to the island, may remain on paper like the ones before it. Rauf Denktash has said during the talks held in the "TRNC": "We have announced a great many declarations like this one. Let the implementation of this one not be delayed. The important thing is not the announcement of integration, but its implementation".

    Denktash requested that the partnership council, created as a technical and political organ that will discuss relations between the two sides within the framework of the declaration, meet as soon as possible.

    The declaration has been way below the "TRNC" expectation. During the inter- delegation talks held after the celebrations, so-called deputy prime minister Serdar Denktash complained against the declaration, saying: "This declaration does not qualify as an answer to the EC Agenda 2000 report."

    Mostly economic issues were discussed during the inter-delegation talks, in which Ecevit participated with seven ministers. According to information received, the "TRNC" side has requested that the 1.5 trillion (Turkish) lira needed as compensation for the drought be sent to the island as soon as possible, and that urgent steps be taken to meet the water needs of the island. Indicating that the first $50 million portion of the $250 million credit envisaged to be extended by Eximbank has been given but that the first repayment date is January 1998, the Turkish Cypriot delegation indicated that the term of the credit is very short and that they will not be able to make the first repayment. So-called finance minister Salih Cosar said: "The TRNC economy cannot be improved by extending a six-month credit.

    This is good only for covering some holes. Turkey must give us blood." The Turkish side for its part indicated that the decision to obtain credit from Halk Bank and Ziraat Bank on Turkish terms has now been opened for signature. Also being aware that communication conditions should be improved in order to develop the tourism sector, the Turkish Government indicated that it will take measures regarding this issue too. State Minister Sukru Gurel, responsible for Cyprus affairs, said that they THY (Turkish Aviation Lines) will organize internal transportation lines within the "TRNC" and that ease will be secured regarding this issue.

    [04] Denktash to Talat: There is nothing in Geneva, why go?

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (22.7.97) Rauf Denktash has commented on a statement by Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), who urged him to go to Geneva.

    Denktash said: "There is nothing in Geneva, why should we go? If there is going to be a meeting in August, the place is not Geneva. Why does Mr. Talat want to send me to Geneva?"

    In a written statement to illegal TAK, Denktash said: "I regret to say that since Mr. Talat has still not realized that the meeting is not going to be held in Geneva, it is natural that he did not understand the basic principles cited in the statements issued on 20 July and on the reasons for protecting these principles."

    The CTP leader replied to a statement by Mr. Denktash who had said that after the EU opened the doors to the Greek Cypriots for membership, one of the alternatives is not to go to the second round of the direct talks. The CTP leader said:

    "There is one alternative before the Turkish Cypriot community, not a few. And that is to go to Geneva for the second round of talks and to adopt a constructive stand."

    [05] Akinci to EU: "Tell Greeks membership will follow solution"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (22.7.97) Communal Liberation Party (TKP) leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the EU is an important factor in determining whether the Cyprus problem will be resolved or not. In a statement he issued Akinci alleged that by assuring Cyprus government that it can become a full member even if there is no solution to the Cyprus problem, the EU eliminated all possible sources of threats to the Greek Cypriot leadership for a conciliation. Akinci maintained that any step toward the membership in the EU will automatically make the occupied area more dependent on Turkey. If the EU wants to contribute toward a solution in Cyprus, Akinci claimed it must make clear that full membership can come only after a solution.

    The TKP leader also said that Turkey must be given a membership perspective at least as much as Bulgaria.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Declaration said to denote `change' in Cyprus policy

    MILLIYET (22.7.97) columnist Sami Kohen writes under the title "Now the Ball is in the EU's Court" and says: "The joint declaration that was released in Nicosia two days ago and the speech Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit delivered on that occasion, mark an important change of approach and style in (Turkey's) Cyprus policy. Some of the points in the declaration envisage the strengthening of economic ties between Turkey and the TRNC. The inclusion of the TRNC in Turkey's development plans, the lifting of customs barriers, easements in transportation, and meeting the TRNC's water needs are measures that have always been considered but could never be implemented. No one can object to the establishment of close cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC in these areas. However, the political portion of the declaration contains some new elements, such as the assignment of the responsibility for the TRNC's defense and external affairs to Turkey and the establishment of a partnership council between the two states. These elements, summarized as "special relations" in the declaration, were verbalized as "partial integration" in the speeches by ECevit and other officials. Although the declaration does not use the term "autonomy", it is evident from the statements made that there is a desire to steer integration in that direction.

    The declaration that was made to the world on the anniversary of the Peace Operation is a result of two factors.

    The first is the decision of the EU Commission to start membership negotiations with the "Republic of Cyprus." The statements behind the joint declaration and speeches delivered on that occasion suggest that the decision of the EU Commission virtually forced Ankara and Nicosia to embrace the policy of "integration".

    The second factor is the change of government and the presence of Bulent Ecevit as deputy prime Minister in that government. It is known that Ecevit has passionately advocated a policy of integration. The appearance of Cyprus on Turkey's agenda as a result of the intercommunal talks in New York and the decision of the EU Commission just as the new government took office has given Ecevit the chance to take the offensive along these ideas.

    As a result of these two factors, a brand new situation has emerged on the Cyprus issue.

    This stage would not have been reached if the EU Commission had not refused to include Turkey among candidate nations for EU membership and had not decided to open membership negotiations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    Ankara warned the EU about Cyprus for a long time. It was plainly foolish on the part of the EU Commission to ignore these warnings and to make such a decision especially at a time when Cyprus talks have resumed, a rapprochement between Turkey and Greece has begun, and a new government has assumed office in Ankara.

    Now EU officials should not even try to blame the responsibility for the new situation that has emerged on the Turkish side. How could the Turks bow their heads and do nothing in the face of the Commission's decision? Our European friends should look for at least part of the blame among themselves and try to correct their mistake. Perhaps, that way, a more serious crisis may be avoided.

    This government appears to be determined to put into effect the measures related to economic cooperation in the joint declaration. There is every expectation that these belated measures will not remain just words and will be implemented.

    As for the measures related to political integration, officials state that this will depend on the posture the EU will take with regard to its ties with Cyprus. Turkey will respond to every step the EU takes toward full membership for South Cyprus with a step toward integration with the TRNC. In other words, medium-term plans on integration will be drafted now, but their implementation status will be decided on the basis of the posture the EU takes in the future.


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


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