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TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA (Cyprus PIO review) 96-01-03

From: Panayiotis Zaphiris <pzaphiri@Glue.umd.edu>

Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Directory

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.2/96 3.1.96

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Foreign Minister denies being by-passed on Cyprus.

  • [02] National Security Council cautions Ciller on Cyprus.

  • [03] Pauline Green on Cyprus.

  • [04] Pseudostate's economy collapsing.

  • [05] Denktash meets Italian Ambassadress to Cyprus.

  • [06] Gilles Anouil's interview (continued from (29.12.95)


  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Foreign Minister denies being by-passed on Cyprus

    According to Turkish Daily News (1.1.96), the allegations that the Turkish presidency has by-passed the government in formulating a declaration of solidarity with the "TRNC" are unfounded, the Turkish Foreign Minister said over the weekend. Foreign Minister Deniz Baykal, in a press conference aimed at summing up the foreign policy issues of 1995, said that the government and the Foreign Ministry had decided to invite Rauf Denktash before the meeting of the National Security Council.

    Baykal's words refer to newspaper items that it was President Demirel, by-passing Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, who urged Turkish support for the "TRNC". It was also claimed that Ciller only learned of the visit during a National Security Council meeting a day before the visit.

    When Denktash visited Turkey, he and Demirel made a joint summit declaration saying Turkey will match all armament efforts of the Greek side. The declaration also repeats opposition to Cyprus' EU membership before Ankara joins the European Union.

    Baykal, speaking to the private television channel ATV, said that the joint declaration had been ready for a long time but kept quiet until the Turco-EU customs union was signed.

    "Some issues should have to cease being used for domestic propaganda," Baykal said, adding that people who knew their job and their responsibilities were in charge. "The president can, without any doubt, warn the Foreign Ministry on an issue of national importance, such as the Cyprus question," Baykal said. "However, this was not the case. The government does not need to be warned on the Cyprus question." The customs union should never be used for domestic political consumption, according to Baykal.

    "For us, the customs union is a phrase. It is neither an economic accord nor an end in itself. The new government should take this issue further, rather than freeze it or back down from it."

    [02] National Security Council cautions Ciller on Cyprus

    According to CUMHURIYET (29.12.95), it has been ascertained that the Turkish Coalition Government, which is headed by Tansu Ciller, has been cautioned several times by the National Security Council (MGK) not to take an approach to the United States and the EU that will give the impression that it is prepared to make concessions on the "TRNC". Claims that the Coalition Government has "sold out Cyprus" sparked heated arguments before the elections that were held on 24 December. According to the paper, reliable sources have informed CUMHURIYET that the MGK cautioned Prime Minister Ciller several times against giving the impression that it is prepared to make concessions over the "TRNC" in return for the conclusion of the customs union between Turkey and the EU on 1 January 1996.

    The Coalition Government sent a Working Paper to the "TRNC" on 28 March 1995 on the establishment of free trade between Turkey and the pseudostate. The Turkish Cypriot leadership rejected the document because it referred to Cyprus instead of the "TRNC". It has been ascertained that "TRNC Prime Minister" Hakki Atun reacted to Ankara's failure to use the term "TRNC" by saying: "I will tear up any document that does not refer to the TRNC". In a statement to CUMHURIYET, a diplomatic source has said that Turkey's failure to refer to north Cyprus as the "TRNC" and its effort to establish "unpublicized" relations with the Turkish Cypriot "Administration" in order to avoid negatively affecting the EU's decision on the customs union have been described as "a significant weakness in Ankara's policy."

    Claims that Tansu Ciller has made concessions to President Clinton-who is to launch an intensive diplomatic initiative on the Cyprus problem in January - and Labour Party leader Tony Blair for the solution of the Cyprus problem have made the "TRNC" uneasy, the paper says. Turkey prefers to have "unpublicized" trade relations with the "TRNC" to avoid prompting the EU to add to its conditions for the realization of the customs union, such as the commencement of talks on the Greek Cypriot side's accession to the EU and the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Ankara and the Cyprus Government within a period of five years. The "TRNC" regards that as "a significant weakness in Ankara's policy".

    It has been ascertained that the MGK and other high-ranking circles have cautioned Ciller "not to make concessions on Cyprus," while reassuring the "TRNC" that Turkey will continue to act as a guarantor power. It has been reported that Munif Islamoglu, minister of state on Cyprus affairs and one of the leading "hawks" in the True Path Party's parliamentary group, strongly criticized Ciller's policy at one of the MGK's meetings, the paper concludes.

    [03] Pauline Green on Cyprus

    According to Turkish Daily News (30.12.95), Pauline Green, leader of the strong socialist group in the European Parliament, in an exclusive interview to the paper's London correspondent, inter alia replied to a question on Cyprus as follows:

    "Green: If Cyprus becomes a full member (of the EU) before Turkey does and before a solution is found on the island, it should not affect the relationship between Turkey and the EU. Cyprus is a sovereign country. I resolutely refused to have the issue of Cyprus become involved in the debates on the customs union. Because (they) have nothing to do (with each other). Similarly, the EU relationship with Cyprus has nothing to do with Turkey, and I utterly reject any attempt by Turkey to stop Cyprus from coming into the EU. Any attempt by Turkey would be viewed extremely badly in the EU.

    We have a date set for starting negotiations (for Cyprus's full membership). They will begin six months after the ending of the intergovernmental conference, probably around 1997 or 1998, the first possible date. And then Cyprus will join the union. I hope that the problem of Cyprus will be resolved and that Turkish and Greek Cypriots together will come into the EU and that the Turkish side will be able to play its part, which it has been denied for the past 20 years, which is to be part of the government in their country and in international bodies.

    But if there is no solution, then Cyprus will join the union anyway. All the pressure is on for the next two or three years to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. This has to be good for Turkey as well, it has to be good if the problem is resolved and Cyprus joins the Union. It would remove at one stroke so much tension and conflict internationally with Turkey ... Of course we all know that it is not that easy to find a solution overnight. But it certainly cannot be more difficult than the Middle East, not more than abolishing apartheid in South Africa.

    (Then one can) see that Turkey can exercise leadership in the region, they can exercise vision, they can demonstrate their regional importance by taking a risk for peace in Cyprus and in the southeast of Turkey. Just imagine how Turkey would be perceived by the world if it takes such a step."

    [04] Pseudostate's economy collapsing

    CUMHURIYET (3.1.96) reports that the pseudostate's economy is on the verge of collapse. According to a report submitted to the Presidency of Turkey by Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Munif Islamoglu, who had visited the pseudostate on 17 last December, not even the salaries of the Turkish occupation army soldiers had been paid and Turkish President Demirel had to intervene the last moment so that 405 billion Turkish lira be sent to Cyprus for this purpose.

    This sum of money, the paper says, was promised to be sent to the pseudostate by the Ciller-headed coalition government a long time ago but it took Demirel's intervention to do so.

    Besides, KIBRIS (2.1.96) reports that the pseudostate has no cash money with which to pay "civil servants" and "pensioners".

    Salih Cosar, so-called Finance Minister, claimed this shortage of cash is due to excessive foreign exchange buying.

    KIBRIS (3.1.96) reports that teachers, "civil servants" and "pensioners" will today go on a 3-hour strike protesting the fact that they have not been paid. TH/EF

    [05] Denktash meets Italian Ambassadress to Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (3.1.96) Rauf Denktash yesterday met with the Ambassadress of Italy to Cyprus, Mrs Graziella Simbolotti.

    During the meeting they discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus problem as well as Cyprus - EE relations. TH/EF

    [06] Mr. Gilles Anouil's interview (continued from 29.12.95)

    "Question: (Suleyman Erguclu): Let us return to the issue of guarantees. We fear as Turkish Cypriots that, if we enter into the EU, in one way or another the Turkish guarantees, which are very important to us, will be watered down. In other words, at present Turkey has the right to unilateral intervention. In what ways will this be effected? Gilles Anouil: This depends on you. We have declared that as the issue is under the UN auspices, as the UN initiative is under way, UN resolutions are adopted, and the effort by UN Security Council is going on, we as EU, or another mediator, we will not get involved in the process. As for your question, if an agreement regarding the guarantees is reached between the two communities, we as EU, will not blow it up. The issue was regarding part of a paper given to both sides by the Americans ten days ago. If the sides reach an agreement on the issue of the guarantees, which is an indivisible part of a comprehensive settlement, we will accept it also. The Troika, which represented the Council of Ministers, at a meeting with both sides last May openly told to Clerides and Denktash (mainly to Denktash) the following:

    "The EU membership is aimed at increasing your guarantees and not limiting or decreasing them".

    Let me go back to the basic issue, the issue of signing an agreement between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. We, especially me, have time and again said that we will not solve your problem. At the end of the day, with the hand of same countries, we can be helpful. The UN might work to establish a dialogue between the two leaders. We can be of help by providing new guarantees and perspective, when the two leaders won't come together. The aforesaid economic perspective is important and it could be integrated into the future version. But we will not negotiate for you at the end of the day. The agreement will not be between the Americans and the Turkish Cypriots or the British and the Greek Cypriots, but between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    I reiterated this during the last meeting: As EU we are in the process of developing the union's security and defence. We are at the beginning of this process. There exists no danger that we will reduce the guarantees. If the Greek and Turkish Cypriots agree on guarantees, we cannot come and tell them `no, the agreement you have reached on guarantees is of no use, you have to renew it and from following aspects reduce it'. This is not possible. Quite the opposite... Question (Suleyman Erguclu): Is this EU approach valid for the other aspects of the Cyprus problem? For example, for the freedom of movement and settlement, at least for a certain period of time. Is the EU approach valid for this issue as well? Gilles Anouil: Yes, yes, we will debate the basic aspect of the EU. The very core of the EU. One of the basic aspects of the EU is to establish an integrated market with complete freedom as regards human beings, goods, capital and services. However, at the same time, we are not radical. We know the limits of taking into account or refusing the new member state's special demands. Let me give you an example. I think this example was given by a British professor who visited Cyprus sometime ago. In Finland, in the OLAN islands, people of Swedish descent live there, despite the fact that Finland is a unitary state. According to the Finnish system, if you are not approved by this island community you cannot live and settle on the island.

    So, we can accept, in the case of north Cyprus, a transitional period or an exception or some reservations."

    (to be continued) (MY)

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