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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 96-12-23

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.232/96 21-22-23.12.96


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Batu - No peace in Rifkind proposal; winds of war blowing.
  • [02] Denktash comments on `Ploys' undertaken for EU membership.
  • [03] Erbakan briefed on Cyprus, speaks out against EU membership.
  • [04] Turkish fault European Court decision as `impartial'.
  • [05] 1997 fiscal "Budget" adopted.
  • [06] Durduran praises Rifkind's 10-point proposal.
  • [07] Denktash ready to hold direct talks with President Clerides.
  • [08] Denktash warns outside pressure cannot solve problem.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [09] Columnist says process toward Cyprus solution under way.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Batu - No peace in Rifkind proposal; winds of war blowing

    According to Ankara Anatolia (22.12.96) Ambassador Inal Batu, Foreign Ministry deputy under secretary, has said that 1997 will be a critical year for Cyprus and not a year of artificial developments as in previous years. He said: "We may face pressure and coercion against both Turkey and the TRNC in 1997."

    Batu was replying to questions by ARG, the Anatolian radio and Image Services. He stressed that the United States and Britain claim to seek a solution to the Cyprus problem but act without taking other countries into consideration. He added: "This is a new situation. The `Greek Cypriot' appeal to the EU was unjustly accepted. Furthermore, a solution schedule has been posited according to which the EU will start negotiating with the Greek Cypriot Administration, which it calls the Cyprus Republic, six months after the end of its international conference."

    Batu pointed out that the EU stand makes 1997 a critical year for Cyprus, that Turkey and the occupied area may face coercion and that the first sign of this was British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind's visit to Cyprus.

    Batu said Turkey told the United Nations that the Cypriots are arming themselves excessively, that the issue is being taken out of the realm of the United Nations and put in the realm of the EU, and that Turkey must be accepted as the sole guarantee for the Turkish Cypriots. He added that Turkey did not get a clear answer from the United Nations. He claimed: "The Greek Cypriot side's frenzied arms buildup is now moving toward aggressive weapons. The Greek-Greek Cypriot side is carrying out joint maneuvers with aggressive aims. This situation exacerbates the absence of an atmosphere of mutual trust and causes the winds of war to blow on the island. If peace is desired on the island, Turkey's views must be taken seriously. Nobody should expect Turkey to give up its rights. There cannot be peace on the island without Turkey's rights."

    Batu stressed that Turkey will not accept a solution that will lead to domination by the numerically superior Greek Cypriots, adding that any solution must be based on a bicommunal and biregional federation. Asked if there is a possibility of war on the island, Batu said: "The Greek Cypriots are creating a tense situation on the island by spending billions of dollars on arms -- and aggressive arms to boot. We hope that there will not be a war; however, nobody should doubt the fact that the Turkish Republic will protect the security of the TRNC as it has done until today."

    Batu stressed that Turkey and the occupied area agree that the "solution plan" announced by the British foreign secretary is not a peace proposal. He added that Turkey has a direct say over some of the items in the plan. Replying to a question on the policy being pursued by Britain and Greece as guarantor states, Batu said: "They may try to dilute the guarantees, but they will not succeed. We will not agree to negotiate our rights regarding this issue."

    [02] Denktash comments on `Ploys' undertaken for EU membership

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (19.12.96) Rauf Denktash has pointed out to the campaign launched by the Greek Cypriots and added that 1997 will be a very difficult year for Cyprus. Denktash expressed welcome that Ankara is aware of this situation. Denktash addressed a meeting organized by the Edremit Chamber of Commerce in Edremit. During his address, Denktash assessed British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind's contacts in Cyprus and the Cypriot efforts to become a member of the EU.

    Noting that Cyprus has a bizonal structure, Denktash said that Greece is pursuing a new manoeuvre in a bid to have the Greek Cypriot side become a member of the EU. Explaining that the political cause has embarked on a very dangerous level, Denktash said: "Ankara, however, is aware of this situation, the danger awaiting in the future, and the ploys played." Explaining that Turkey declared that it cannot give up the rights it acquired through the 1960 agreements, Denktash called on the world to realize this. Stressing that Turkey will not change the guarantee agreement and that it will not agree to Cyprus becoming a EU member before Turkey, Denktash added: "Turkey, who has revealed all his cards, greatly comforted us. this actually constitutes our cause, and a new agreement without the guarantorship of Turkey is not valid. We have witnessed what the Greek Cypriots are capable of undertaking despite these guarantees. We know that the Greek Cypriots aim at eliminating this guarantee. Becoming a member of a EU, which does not include Turkey, is tantamount to a complete separation from Turkey."

    Claiming that the Greek lobby in the United States has great influence on the issue of Cyprus becoming a EU member, Denktash said: "The US Administration, in turn, supports the 10-item statement of Rifkind. The United States, which is turning a blind eye to all the realities, is extending support to the Greek Cypriots". Noting that 1997 will be a difficult year, Denktash said: "However, we will join hands and make the Greek Cypriot ploy fail."

    [03] Erbakan briefed on Cyprus, speaks out against EU membership

    According to Ankara TRT (21.12.96) Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan has said that it is out of question for South Cyprus" to become a member of the EU without Turkey's permission. Should such a step be taken, Erbakan continued, the integration of North Cyprus with Turkey will be speedily carried out if necessary.

    Erbakan was briefed on the Cyprus issue. Speaking during the briefing, Erbakan explained that Cyprus is Turkey's national cause and is of vital importance. Stressing that Turkey will stand beside and together with the occupied area under all circumstances, Erbakan added that every assistance necessary will be extended to the baby homeland so that it can undertake the expected initiatives in 1997.

    "The Turkish Republic, which acts as the guarantor of the island of Cyprus, will definitely not allow any disquiet in Cyprus, and it is out of question for South Cyprus to become an EU member without Turkey's permission. Should such a step be taken, North Cyprus' integration with Turkey will be speedily carried out if necessary.".

    Explaining that he will meet with the so-called prime minister of the pseudo-state in light of the joint studies they conducted, Erbakan stressed that the necessary support will be extended so that the baby homeland will undertake its planned initiatives in 1997.

    State Ministers Abdullah Gula, Fehim Adak, and Mehmet Altinsoy, as well as Foreign Ministry officials, participated in the briefing.

    [04] Turkish fault European Court decision as `impartial'

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (19.12.96) the so-called Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry has claimed that the European Court of Human Rights has lost its impartiality.

    In a written statement issued today, the so-called Ministry noted that the decision that was adopted despite the objection of the various members of the Court is opposed to a previous decision reached by the same Court. The statement added: "The decision will encourage the Greek Cypriots to violate the buffer zone under UN control and to continue their aggressive acts. Furthermore, it will seriously endanger peace and the efforts being exerted to reach a solution in line with the parameters determined during the intercommunal talks. Pointing out that the decision is based on political considerations and invalid criteria, the statement stressed that this decision has ignored the existence of the agreements concerning Cyprus and the mission the UNFICYP has been fulfilling in a bid to preserve the peace between the two sides."

    [05] 1997 fiscal "Budget" adopted

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (22.12.96) by a majority of "votes", the pseudo Assembly has adopted the 1997 so-called fiscal budget, which was fixed at 44,832,639 million Turkish Lira (approximately $427 million).

    At its meeting yesterday, which continued until the late hours of the night, the pseudo Assembly debated the "budgets" of the so-called Economy and Finance Ministry, and revenue. After discussing these "budgets" the pseudo Assembly put the 1997 so-called draft budget to an open vote. The so-called budget was adopted with 31 votes in favour and 13 against. Three so-called deputies abstained.

    [06] Durduran praises Rifkind's 10-point proposal

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (20.12.96) New Cyprus Party leader Alpay Durduran has said that the proposal made by British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind to the effect that the sides should contribute to the UN demilitarization activities on the border should be abided by.

    In a written statement he issued today, Durduran said that Rifkind's 10-point statement is a precis that invites respect.

    [07] Denktash ready to hold direct talks with President Clerides

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (19.12.96) Rauf Denktash has replied positively to the call made by UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali to the leaders of the two communities on the island to hold direct negotiations and said: "I have always been ready for such a meeting."

    Replying to a question by an Anatolia Agency corespondent, Denktash called that President Clerides is not ready to hold direct talks.

    [08] Denktash warns outside pressure cannot solve problem

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (20.12.96), Rauf Denktash has said that the Cyprus problem can be solved through talks to be held between the two sides and not through outside pressure. Denktash alleged that outside interference is encouraging the Greek Cypriots to be more intransigent. Denktash, who was in Turkey to participate in conferences on the Cyprus issue in Balikesir, Edremit, and Izmir and to receive a human rights award in Izmir, returned to the island today.

    In a statement at the occupied Tymbou Airport, Denktash said that he participated in many events in Turkey and conveyed many messages, adding that some of his messages were covered by the press.

    Addressing those who claim that 1997 will be a year of peace, Denktash said that the statements made by the Greek Cypriots that their preparations are not completed and that we have to wait till mid 1997 should be well assessed. He said that 1997 will be a year of waging a great struggle in conjunction with the motherland, adding that significant struggles will be waged to safeguard the rights attained through the 1960 agreements.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [09] Columnist says process toward Cyprus solution under way

    Sami Kohen writing in MILLIYET (18.12.96) under the title "The Process Begins" says: "It is a known fact that Britain, encouraged by the United States, is involved in `preparations' in connection with Cyprus. The aim of this initiative is to make 1997 the year of the solution in Cyprus. British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind took his first important step this week within the framework of this initiative.

    Rifkind discussed his 10-item "ideas" in detail at his meetings with Clerides and with Denktash. He distributed a summary of these ideas to reporters at a news conference he later held at Ledra Palace on the green line in Nicosia.

    Diplomats refrain from describing this document as a "plan" or "package of proposals", emphasizing that it is not a final document but one that contains certain "ideas and recommendations".

    Rifkind's "ideas" aside, the important development is that his was the first visit by a British foreign secretary in 33 years and that he visited the Turkish Cypriot zone as well. The fact that Rifkind crossed the green line into the TRNC as planned in London, despite the initial Greek Cypriot reaction, pleased the Turkish side.

    At the start of his meeting with Rifkind, Denktash expressed his pleasure about that and also did not refrain from saying that such a visit was awaited for 33 years and that Britain, as a guarantor state, failed to show much interest in what was happening on the island during that time.

    Maybe these are small things, but they have a special meaning and importance in Cyprus.

    As for Rifkind's 10 points: If your view them as a whole, they have aspects that will please and disturb both the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. In general terms, these ideas are in line with the famous UN "set of ideas" which the Turkish Cypriot side had accepted. They also have points that were not included in the UN document, however, and that are not completely in line with the "set of ideas". Consequently, the Turkish Cypriot side does not agree with some of Rifkind's ideas. Denktash stresses two points in this regard.

    The first concerns the guarantees. The TRNC insists that the guarantee agreement that gives Turkey the right to intervene must remain in force as it is. The Turkish Cypriots believe this is the only factor that ensures their security. The Greek Cypriots, however, have always been opposed to this and consider the Turkish Army's intervention on the island and its presence in Cyprus within the framework of this agreement as an invasion and an occupation respectively.

    In the fifth item of his draft, which is meant to find "common ground", Rifkind speaks of "international guarantees on one hand and of international collective security measures acceptable to the sides" on the other. In practical terms, this means: The 1960 agreement will not be cancelled for now, but an international force will be sent to the island to safeguard security. This may be a NATO-based or EU-based multinational army. The Turkish Cypriot side is afraid that this will ultimately eliminate Turkey's intervention capability de facto.

    The second point Denktash is opposed to concerns the EU membership as cited in the ninth ad 10th items of Rifkind's draft. Based on his impressions from his earlier talks with British and other "special Cyprus representatives," Denktash believes that this will ultimately mean the admission of south Cyprus as an EU member, leaving Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side outside. Denktash said as much to Rifkind openly and clearly.

    Despite that, the carefully worded draft also says that the negotiations for Cyprus' membership in the EU could be conducted on behalf of the biregional federation if a solution is reached in 1997. In other words, the draft reflects the carrot-and-stick diplomacy being conducted regarding Cyprus-EU relations.

    The Turkish Cypriot side will not reject Rifkind's "ideas", particularly not the "direct negotiations" recommended in the seventh item. This item says that the negotiations must certainly be held during the first half of 1997, under UN auspices, and that preparations must begin during the first weeks of the year.

    In other words, a process will be started for Cyprus immediately after New Year's Day. The wheels of diplomacy will force the sides, including, of course, the Turkish Cypriot side, toward a solution. We must be ready for this." MY/LL/SK

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