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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 96-12-04

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.219/96 4.12.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] EU officials meet with Eroglu, Atakol.
  • [02] Greek Deputy Foreign Minister discusses relations.
  • [03] Sami Kohen: "A new Cyprus initiative is in view".
  • [04] Erbakan turns down EU invitation for Dublin dinner.
  • [05] Talat issues statement after meeting EU's Heaslip.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Mehmet Ali Birand: "We must decide what we want in Cyprus."

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] EU officials meet with Eroglu, Atakol

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (3.12.96) Kester Heaslip, the representative of the EU Irish Presidency for Cyprus, and his accompanying delegation met with various political party officials this morning. The EU officials arrived at the National Unity Party headquarters and held a meeting with UBP leader Dervis Eroglu and Kenan Atakol.

    In a statement after the meeting, Atakol said he told Heaslip and his delegation that if they want to help solve the Cyprus problem they should clearly tell the Greek Cypriots that they cannot join the EU before the Cyprus problem is solved. Reminding the EU officials that the Union is extending aid to south Cyprus, Atakol said that the EU should help the economy of the Turkish Cypriots as well. Atakol noted that the delegation delegation was also told that the problem cannot be solved through one sided approaches. Furthermore, Atakol reminded the EU delegation that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash made frequent appeals to President Clerides calling him to the negotiating table. He stressed that the time has come for the President to heed these appeals and exert efforts to solve the Cyprus issue.

    Heaslip and the delegation accompanying him later visited the Communal Liberation Party headquarters and met with leader Mustafa Akinci and the deputy secretary general. In a statement after the meeting, Akinci said that the EU officials were clearly told that from the legal or moral point of view the Greek Cypriot side has no right to unilaterally join the EU or discuss the issue.

    Akinci continued: "Turkye's importance in the solution process cannot be denied."

    Replying to a question by a journalist Heaslip said they have not attained any newsworthy results so far but that they listened to the views of the parties concerned. He said that, therefore, he would not like to make any statements. Replying to a question on why they did not meet with Democratic Party officials, Heaslip said this party was not shunned but that they could not agree on a convenient time for a meeting.

    [02] Greek Deputy Foreign Minister discusses relations

    Following is the interview given by George Papandreou, Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece to CUMHURIYET (1.12.96) correspondent Leyla Tavcanoglu.

    Tavcanoglu: There has long been hostility between Turkey and Greece. Can you explain what caused it? Why have the two countries been hostile to each other instead of sharing the resources in their areas?

    Papandreou: I do not believe there is any tradition of hostility. The Greek and the Turkish people have enjoyed traditional friendship. They have much in common. They have lived as neighbours. There are problems. I believe we might be enemies in various respects but we must also be friends. Considering our approach to the existing problems, the question as to why we have not been able to establish an atmosphere of friendship is very appropriate. The fields in which the two countries can cooperate are many. For example, we can cooperate in tourism and trade. We can also cooperate against illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and terrorism. Turkey and Greece can cooperate to strengthen peace and stability in the region. We can cooperate, just as the European countries cooperated after World War II. In that context, Greece wants the norms of international law to be respected. Let us consider the Imia crisis. Turkey was aggressive. If a border problem exists, then there are legal ways to solve it. According to international law, such issues should be referred to the International Court of Justice at the Hague. The borders were established through treaties. They were not drawn up by themselves.

    Tavsanoglu: Your father, Andreas Papandreou, and former Prime Minister Turgut Ozal agreed in Davos that talks should be held on all the problems that concern the two countries. That process has not been maintained and the contacts between Turkey and Greece have been suspended. Can you explain why?

    Papandreou: We were ready to hold talks to cooperate in tourism and trade. But we were not prepared to discuss our right to sovereignty. A crisis broke out over Imia. Turkey later claimed rights to an island south of Crete and far from the Turkish coast. The Lausanne Agreement placed all islands more than three miles from Turkey's coast within Greece's territorial waters. Gokceada and Bozcaada are exceptions. They are particularly outlined by the treaties. All that must be respected. That is the point where the dialogue broke off. Instead of having mutual interests discussed, it was used as a means to make claims on Greece's right to sovereignty.

    Tavsanoglu: Foreign Minister Pangalos has accused Turkey of maintaining an expansionist policy in the Aegean Sea. Do you sincerely agree with his accusation?

    Papandreou: What our Foreign Minister said is not the problem. How does Greece regard Turkey's behaviour? That is the problem.

    How would the Turkish people feel if a country claimed a right to a piece of territory that traditionally belongs to Turkey? That is what should be seriously considered.

    Tavsanoglu: You mentioned the crisis over Kardak (Imia) and the Gavros islets. Would you not say that the media in the two countries worsened the situation?

    Papandreou: I believe the media created hysteria in the two countries. Naturally, they are free to do anything they want to attract attention. But they must be very careful not to provoke a war between the two countries. The behaviour of the media almost kindled a war between Greece and Turkey.

    The media can play a positive or a negative role, depending on the situation. Nevertheless, each government is responsible for its own behaviour. Our relations will be unstable if Turkey maintains its argument over borders. Greece will be Turkey's ally and it will strongly support Turkey's interests in the EU if the problems between the two countries are solved. But the problems must be solved first. Greece and Turkey are neighbouring countries. So they must benefit from their common interests.

    Tavsanoglu: The Greek Cypriot administration is preparing for Cyprus' accession to the EU as a full member. What situation will accession create between the two communities in the island.

    Papandreou: Three possibilities should be considered. The first is to have the Cyprus problem solved before the island joins the EU, the second is to move to solve the problem after the talks on accession begin, and the third is to solve the problem after Cyprus joins the EU. Naturally, I want to see the problem solved before accession is realized. That will allow the Turkish Cypriot community to join the Greek Cypriots in the talks that will be held on accession. The Turkish Cypriot community, which is a small but important entity, will be a part of the EU. As such, it will become a bridge between the EU and Turkey. As a full member, the Turkish Cypriot community will benefit from all the advantages in the organization. In view of that, the necessary will must exist to solve the problem. Rauf Denktash has created a small chiefdom for himself. He does not want to lose it.

    Tavsanoglu: Turkey has disclosed that it will regard Greece's move to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles as a cause for war (casus belli). Do you sincerely believe that the Greek Government can extend Greece's territorial waters to 12 miles?

    Papandreou: Turkey has misread the situation. The International Marine Law, which has been adopted by the UN, must be considered. Turkey has not signed it but many other countries have. It allows the extension of territorial waters. Greece has acquired that right by law.

    Tavsanoglu: You know the Aegean has a unique geographical status.

    Papandreou: That is right. But the law clearly outlines that the countries that will extend their territorial waters will definitely not be able to obstruct any country, particularly their neighbours, from using the sea.

    [03] Sami Kohen: "A new Cyprus initiative is in view"

    Sami Kohen writing in MILLIYET (29.11.96) under the title "a new Cyprus initiative is in view" says inter alia:

    "The TGNA Foreign Affairs Committee held a one-item meeting yesterday in order to tackle the Cyprus issue and conduct preliminary preparations for possible developments in the near future. Following an account of recent initiatives it was concluded that "it is becoming clear that the Anglo-American initiative will take the Dayton agreement on the Bosnia issue as an `example' and that the Western diplomats will exert efforts to use their `persuasive powers' along this line. The Dayton agreement grants a great deal of autonomy to the Bosnians, the Serbs, and the Croats within the framework of a federal system and equal sovereignty (including deploying their separate military forces and rotational elections of their heads of state). Actually, the Greek Cypriots (for this reason) are not very favourably inclined toward the Dayton peace agreement. It is possible to take up this `model' at the negotiating table provided that it is `improved' in a manner suitable to Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot side (and Ankara) is busy assessing this issue now.

    It is impossible, however, for the Turkish side to accept and therefore achieve results if this initiative - as detected - will contain proposals along the lines of replacing the Turkish forces with a `multinational force' and changing the rotational election system.

    Cyprus is an issue that has remained unresolved for long years. The reason why the West - and especially the United States - seeks a final solution to this issue and even `speeds up a Cyprus solution ' is because of fears that an unresolved situation may prompt clashes and serious crisis in the island - and even between Turkey and Greece. Whatever the reasons, intensive activities will take place in - and pressures applied on - Cyprus in 1997.

    It is imperative that strategies be formulated as of now in order to be ready. It would be better, perhaps, to assess these initiatives as an opportunity instead of worrying about them."

    [04] Erbakan turns down EU invitation for Dublin dinner

    According to Ankara radio TRT, (3.12.96) the Turkish Prime Minister turned down EU invitation for Dublin dinner.

    While announcing his refusal Erbakan said: "I want to inform my friends of the following: Today, I received a formal letter inviting me to the EU meeting in Dublin. Here is the letter, in my pocket. Let me tell you what it says: It is the Irish prime minister who is sending the letter. Ireland, as you know, is the term chairman of the EU. It says that the Irish Prime Minister discussed with the Prime Ministers of the other countries the issue of inviting the Turkish Prime Minister to the meeting in Dublin. It says that all the Prime Ministers decided that Prime Minister Erbakan be invited to a dinner to be hosted by the Irish Prime Minister at 18:00 on Saturday, 14 December, to discuss the relations between Turkey and the EU on the occasion of the Dublin summit. We would like to inform him of this decision, says the Irish Prime Minister.

    This invitation has arrived. I want to immediately say that Turkey is a great state. The situation is as follows: The EU Prime Ministers meet for three days and discuss European issues. Turkey is not at that meeting. Then a dinner is hosted and the Prime Ministers say let us meet with Turkey at the dinner. That is wrong".

    Erbakan said that he would not attend this meeting in order to warn the EU about this wrong act, and that Turkey would be represented at the Summit at the level of Deputy Prime Minister. He claimed that it was time the behaviour toward Turkey and the double standards changed.

    [05] Talat issues statement after meeting EU's Heaslip

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (3.12.96), Kester Heaslip, the representative of the EU Irish Presidency for Cyprus, has concluded his contacts with various political party officials with a visit to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat, CTP foreign relations secretary Feridun Onsal, and Hasan Karaca were present at the meeting with Heaslip.

    In a statement he issued after the meeting, Talat said that various issues regarding Cyprus were discussed with Heaslip and his accompanying delegation. Recounting that the advantages of the EU membership and the favourable results that could be achieved if the process of membership in the EU motivated a Cyprus solution were explained to the EU officials, Talat added that they especially stressed the fact that a solution process should be launched on the Cyprus issue. Explaining that they also stressed the condition of granting equal rights to Turkish Cypriots in the EU membership process, Talat said: "We emphasized that the EU should undertake initiatives which will encourage both sides in order to achieve a solution to the issue."

    Stating that they explained to Heaslip and his accompanying delegation that the Greek Cypriot side sought to join the EU for political reasons and that the Cyprus issue should be resolved between the two communities, Talat added: "We told them that the EU should adopt the same approach on this issue."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Mehmet Ali Birand: "We must decide what we want in Cyprus"

    Mehmet Ali Birand writing in SABAH (29.11.96), under the title "We must decide what we want in Cyprus" says:

    "What do Turkey and the TRNC want regarding the Cyprus problem? We must not be confused. Let us look at the developments relating to the Cyprus problem.

    The EU has revealed that the talks on Cyprus' accession will begin soon. The representatives of 15 countries are meeting. Their talks have been described as the intergovernmental conference. The convocations are expected to end during the first half of 1997. The talks on Cyprus' accession will begin six months after the conference ends. They will be held with the Greek Cypriot administration, which represents the Cyprus Republic.

    The EU has a condition: The Turkish and Greek Cypriot administrations must reach an agreement on the solution of the problem.

    What will happen if they cannot? That is not clear. The EU has adopted the policy of the carrot and the stick. It has made no clear statement other than to say that the side that does not contribute to the solution will suffer. That approach has made the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides dance to the tune of the tango. Each side manoeuvers to prove that its approach is right.

    Considering the confusion, the United States, Britain, Europe, the EU, and the UN have appointed representatives to follow the developments and put pressure on the sides to force them to find a way to solve the problem. That is because the Western countries are convinced that accession will mark the end of the road for Cyprus. Either the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities will reach an agreement and move to join the EU or the Greek Cypriot community will do so and the Turkish Cypriots will be left out. The natural outcome of that will be the TRNC's annexation to Turkey.

    In other words, the Cyprus problem will be excluded from the Western world's agenda in one way or another.

    The process will begin during the second half of 1997 and end in 1998 or 1999.

    A very delicate policy must be adopted.

    The Greek Cypriots are very confident. They can take risks because the Western countries believe they represent Cyprus. But the Turkish Cypriot people are treated as second class citizens. No one seems to remember the situation before 1974. That aspect of the problem has been forgotten. The Turkish side is regarded as an entity that has occupied a territory that does not belong to it.

    We will be confronted with a sensitive situation. So we must move to take action.

    We Must Adopt a Common Approach (subhead)

    There is no common policy on which Turkey and the TRNC fully agree. They only agree on a few general concepts and lines. That is all. But that is not enough. Turkey and the TRNC must hold talks to establish their bargaining margins in the next round of the negotiating process. They must establish the conditions under which they might agree to make concessions and, what is more important, the extent to which they might agree to make concessions. Otherwise, achieving success in the negotiating process will be impossible, because they will be confronted by pressure from almost all the sides. The United States, Britain, and the EU will put pressure on them. They have the means they need to do so. That is the only way they can resist their pressure and achieve what they want. At least, that is the only way they can avoid losing what they have. They must quickly adopt a common strategy and tactic. We will maintain our course if we can. Other wise, we will lose Cyprus.

    Establishing the ultimate objective is another condition to avoid losing Cyprus. Turkey and the TRNC must establish their ultimate objective. It must be one that will leave nothing to chance and prevent Turkey from being confronted with an even more difficult situation.

    We have these alternatives: The establishment of a federation in Cyprus or the continuing existence of two separate states on the island.

    The Western countries support the idea of federation. To be able to close their file on Cyprus, they plan to create the impression that the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities are living together again.

    But the continuing existence of two separate states will create a very difficult situation for the Turkish side.

    Which alternative should we choose? MY/SK

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