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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 96-12-16

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.227/96 14-15-16.12.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ledra Palace closed to all entrances, exits due to census.
  • [02] Delegation returns from OIC meetings in Jakarta.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriots pleased with Annan nomination.
  • [04] UN's Han holding contacts on Cyprus in Ankara.
  • [05] Denktash: Upcoming Rifkind visit is very positive development.
  • [06] Britain's Rifkind comments on EU membership, solution.
  • [07] Denktash "strongly" protests Russia's "inhuman" arm sales.
  • [08] Eroglu claims Rifkind remarks on occupation constitute insult.
  • [09] Russian ambassador on arms purchase from Russia.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ledra Palace closed to all entrances, exits due to census

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (6:00 hours, 15.12.96), the first general comprehensive population census was held in the occupied area yesterday. For this reason, a curfew was imposed from 05:00 (3:00 GMT) to 18:00 (16:00 GMT). Legal action will be taken against those who do not abide by the curfew.

    A total of 2,521 "civil servants" were to be on duty on census day. The entire local and foreign population inside the "borders" of the "TRNC" would be included in the census as a requirement of the de facto census system, which was carried out within the framework of the protocol signed with the Turkish State Statistics institute Chairmanship and through this institute's technical support.

    The 29-question survey questionnaires were divided into four parts and compiled into booklets with green, yellow, pink covers in order to make them more practical. The infrastructure of the census was concluded previously and buildings numbered. The lists of streets, neighbourhoods, villages, and cities had also been issued.

    A census coordinator was responsible for each census official, thus enabling the inspection of all officials taking part in the census and avoid probable questions.

    A 13-person Central Census Committee headed by Ahmet Zeki Bulunc, "undersecretary" to the so-called State Planning Organization, and District Census Committees had taken the necessary measures so that mistakes are reduced to a minimum during the census.

    Air and maritime traffic was conducted as previously planned and all passengers entering the pseudostate from occupied Tymbou airport and sea ports were registered. Those passengers leaving the pseudostate were registered by census officials at the ports in the event that they were not registered counted beforehand at their homes.

    The Ledra Palace check point was closed to all entrances and exits until 1600 GMT. The curfew included tourists as well as diplomats.

    [02] Delegation returns from OIC meetings in Jakarta

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 15.12.96) Taner Etkin, "minister of foreign affairs and defense", has expressed his pleasure over the supportive decision adopted by the 24th Foreign Ministers Conference of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) regarding the Cyprus problem. Etkin, who participated in the OIC Foreign Ministers Conference in Jakarta, returned to the occupied area yesterday.

    Speaking at a news conference at occupied Tymbou airport, Etkin said that a Turkish Cypriot delegation participated in the conference, adding that in their contacts in Jakarta, "they defended the just cause of the Turkish Cypriots". Noting that the delegation also met with the director of the Islamic Development Bank to discuss various projects there that were prepared in advance, Etkin said that contacts with the OIC member countries will continue through correspondence.

    Etkin stated that a resolution on the Cyprus question was issued at the Jakarta meeting, adding that this resolution was also included in the joint communique. Etkin noted that the resolution confirms the previous OIC resolutions, in which support was extended to "the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot people", and supports the goodwill mission of the United Nations. He said that the resolution recognizes the UN package of proposals as a basis for a solution. He said that a "draft resolution" stressing the "undeniable equality" of the Turkish Cypriot side was also adopted, adding that this resolution also notes the importance of granting the Turkish Cypriot side equal right of expression at international forums.

    [03] Turkish Cypriots pleased with Annan nomination

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (6:00 hours, 14.12.96) it has been announced that the "TRNC" is pleased with the UN Security Council's proposal of Kofi Annan as the next UN Secretary General.

    Osman Ertug, so-called "TRNC representative" in New York, said that Annan is an experienced diplomat, adding that he will be taking over the post at an interesting time from the viewpoint of the Cyprus question. "We know he is familiar with the Cyprus problem because of the UN Forces in Cyprus", he noted. He further expressed the hope that Annan will succeed in bringing Rauf Denktash and President Clerides to the negotiating table.

    [04] UN's Han holding contacts on Cyprus in Ankara

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 13.12.96) Han Sung-chu, the UN Secretary-General's special representative for Cyprus, is holding contacts in Ankara. Han, who is trying to determine the 1997 work timetable regarding the Cyprus issue, concluded his contacts in Cyprus and Athens and went to Turkey.

    Han met with Ambassador Inal Batu, Foreign Ministry deputy under secretary. In a statement prior to the meeting, Batu said: "We are on the eve of a significant period in the Cyprus problem". Pointing out that international initiatives with regard to the Cyprus problem are expected to be intensified next year, Batu noted that at the meeting he will tell Han about the timetable Turkey envisions in the coming year, adding that he will ask the UN Secretary General's representative whether he is optimistic about the resumption of the talks. Batu drew attention to the fact that the joint defense strategy which the Cyprus Government is conducting with Greece is continuing in full force, claiming that the Greek Cypriot armament efforts have reached "extensive dimensions".

    "We will brief him on our grievances and concerns on the issue. We will also tell him that we expect the United Nations to put a stop to this madness. Moreover, there is a tendency to weaken the guarantee agreements, which are important for Turkey. There are initiatives in that direction. We will tell him that these are unacceptable to us. Finally, we will draw his attention to tendencies and initiatives to draw the Cyprus issue from the UN axis to that of the EU. We will ask the United Nations to assert itself with regard to its mission on the Cyprus issue", he said.

    Replying to reporters' questions after the meeting, Han Sung-chu termed the meeting as very beneficial. He said he conveyed the impressions he got as a result of the contacts he held with the two sides in Cyprus and those in Greece.

    [05] Denktash: Upcoming Rifkind visit is very positive development

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 15.12.96) Rauf Denktash has alleged that "if the EU member countries continue to ignore the Cyprus realities" then the Cyprus that will be joining the EU will be "south Cyprus". Denktash was expressing his opinion on the unity of views reached at the Dublin summit that Cyprus, together with other countries, should be encouraged to join the EU. Denktash claimed: "The Greek Cypriots might be encouraged. There is no such country as Cyprus. There is `south Cyprus' and `north Cyprus'. If they continue to ignore this reality and if they cast aside our rights, our authorities, our status, and our existence, then naturally the Cyprus they will be encouraging will be `south Cyprus'. `North Cyprus' will remain outside. This should be known by all."

    In a statement to illegal BRT (Bayrak Radio and Television), Denktash reiterated the claim that the path chosen by the Greek Cypriot side is mistaken and a dead end.

    He alleged that as a result of the military agreements between Greece and the Greek Cypriots, naval and air bases have been turned over to Greece and there are plans to deploy missiles on the island.

    Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side is following these developments very closely, Denktash added that he will be discussing these issues with British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind. He described Rifkind's visit to the island as a positive development. Denktash noted that Britain, as a guarantor state, should assure the rights and status of the Turkish Cypriots but that it has no such inclinations, and added: "The fact that a British foreign secretary is coming on a visit to the island for the first time in 30 years and the fact that he wants to make an assessment on the spot is a very positive development."

    [06] Britain's Rifkind comments on EU membership, solution

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 14.12.96) Malcolm Rifkind, British secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, has declared that his government does not believe that the 1960 agreements constitute an obstacle to Cyprus' joining the EU before Turkey. Rifkind also stated that there is wide consensus among EU members that it is easier and more preferable for EU membership negotiations to be conducted with a bicommunal federal Cyprus.

    Rifkind replied to questions by illegal TAK (Turkish Cypriot News Agency) via the British High Commissioner's Office. He said that membership in the EU will greatly benefit both communities. Rifkind said that his visit to Cyprus will reassert the British Government's pledge to assist in the solution of the Cyprus problem. "The visit is also an indication of the importance and urgency attached to achieving progress in Cyprus", the British foreign secretary added.

    He remarked that the demilitarization move will contribute to the solution of the problem. Rifkind concluded by saying that the fact that the leaders of the two communities as well as of Turkey and Greece reaffirmed their commitment to a federal solution and that both sides generally expect to hold direct talks during the first half of 1997 are among factors that have encouraged him.

    [07] Denktash "strongly" protests Russia's "inhuman" arm sales

    According to Anatolia Agency (14:25 hours, 13.12.96) Rauf Denktash on Friday "strongly" protested Russian arms sales to the Cyprus Government, calling Russian attitude as "inhuman, immoral and against peace."

    He claimed that "what Russia was doing was war provocation."

    "There are two equal people on the island. The Cyprus problem will be solved by them. I wish the Security Council member (Russia) will see the reality" he said in an interview with the Anatolia News Agency.

    Denktash said the Turkish side "will not keep silent against Greek Cypriot arms stocking."

    [08] Eroglu claims Rifkind remarks on occupation constitute insult

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 14.12.96), the so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu has claimed that the statement made by British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind describing the "TRNC" as a region under occupation is "an insult to the Turkish Cypriot people and its free will". "If Rifkind is coming to Cyprus with these views and understanding, and if he will be visiting the TRNC with these opinions, then one should not expect much from these talks," he alleged.

    In a statement to illegal BRT on the issue, Eroglu said that Rifkind's visit to the island to hold talks with both sides is basically a pleasing development. Pointing out that Britain, unlike the other countries that have shown an interest in the Cyprus issue, has certain obligations deriving from the 1960 agreements, Eroglu added that therefore its approach should be in line with the agreements it has signed. "This above all requires Britain to treat the two equal peoples on the island equally," he continued.

    Referring to a statement by Rifkind in the British parliament a few days ago to the effect that membership in the EU can be achieved through the political will of the two sides, Eroglu expressed the hope that this statement will constitute a message to the EU member countries. Eroglu claimed that it is evident that Greek and Greek Cypriot reactions have forced Rifkind to retreat and to issue appeasing statements. He reiterated that there are currently two states in Cyprus.

    Eroglu continued: "They should encourage the Greek Cypriots to reach a conciliation. This is what we expect from Britain, which is a guarantor country." He added, however, that he was sorry to observe that Britain has so far exhibited behaviour that is contradictory to those expectations. Eroglu alleged that the fact that Rifkind "is so distant from the Cyprus realities that he can make a statement describing the territories of the TRNC as the occupied region, and the fact that such a statement was made on the eve of his visit to the island is, to say the least, an insult to the Turkish Cypriot people."

    [09] Russian ambassador on arms purchase from Russia

    Turkish Daily News (13.12.96) publishes the text of an interview by Russia's ambassador to Ankara, Vadim Kuznetsov. In reply to a question on Russia's supplying arms to the Greek Cypriot side, ambassador Kuznetsov said: "France is also a Security Council member. One should not look for political motivation. For Russian exporters it is primarily a commercial operation. For the exporters the position is that it is an open market. If someone turns away from this market, others will take their place. Anyway I think that the whole episode has been exaggerated. A certain number of tanks - these are Turkish assessments- cannot change the overall balance of military strength in the area concerned. But, and this is also an important part of our position, we support the idea of demilitarization. If there is an international agreement for the demilitarization of the whole island, then such problems will disappear by themselves. Then there will be no place for Russian or other foreign exporters." EF/SK
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