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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press And Other Media, 97-01-16

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.10/97 16.1.97


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Akbel: Postponing missile deployment "Does not Change Much".
  • [02] Denktash to visit Turkey 20-22 January.
  • [03] Talat criticizes Denktash's threat to halt talks and settle Varosha.
  • [04] Turkey said to want to also acquire S-300 missiles from Russia.
  • [05] Eroglu on missiles, says occupation army is being reinforced.
  • [06] Cavanaugh in Ankara for contacts on Cyprus.
  • [07] Denktash criticizes Turkey.
  • [08] Occupied area called "mini Susurluk" by Turkish mainland press.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Akbel: Postponing missile deployment "Does not Change Much"

    According to TRT (11:00 hours, 15.1.97) replying to correspondents questions at his weekly news conference, Ambassador Omer Akbel, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the following: "The Greek Cypriot decision to postpone the deployment of the missiles does not change much. As long as the decision to deploy them is valid, our stand on the issue will continue with the same determination and strength."

    He claimed that trying to present the Cyprus Government's decision to deploy the missiles after a specified period as a goodwill gesture or a positive development, or saying that this issue might constitute a factor for negotiations "is an artificial solution."

    [02] Denktash to visit Turkey 20-22 January

    According to TRT (11:00 hours, 15.1.97), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, will pay an "official" visit to Turkey on 20-22 January. Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Denktash will arrive in Turkey "as the official guest" of President Suleyman Demirel.

    [03] Talat criticizes Denktash's threat to halt talks and settle Varosha

    Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat has sent a letter to Rauf Denktash, to Turkish President Demirel, and the leaders of the political parties represented at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, saying that the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey, and Greece will all benefit from peace in Cyprus.

    In his letters, Talat said that instead of remaining outside the EU membership process, the Turkish side must make efforts to take part in the process, to insist on being the side that wants peace, and to prove this to the world. Talat pointed out that if the attitude of boycotting the intercommunal talks in response to the Greek Cypriot arms build-up is adopted as the official Turkish Cypriot stand, "this will accord the Greek Cypriots a way out of their difficult position." He stressed that the stand to open Varosha to settlement was posited in reaction to the missile issue, but it is the Turkish Cypriots who stand to lose from that. The thing to do now, Talat said, is to prevent the escalating tension from turning into a hot war and to achieve a mutually acceptable solution.

    [04] Turkey said to want to also acquire S-300 missiles from Russia

    According to YENI GUNAYDIN (13.1.97) it is being claimed that Turkey too wants to acquire the S-300 missiles that have caused a crisis among Turkey, Greece, and Russia. According to the proposal made during the meeting with the Russian Ambassador in Ankara, Vadim Kuznetsov, Turkey could buy even more of the same missiles to be given to the Greek Cypriots.

    It is being indicated that Kuznetsov has not replied to this proposal and has confined himself to saying that he will convey it to Moscow.

    It is also being indicated that during the meeting the ambassador said that the sale of missiles is normal and that they are defensive in nature.

    It is also being claimed that Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller have displayed different positions on the missile crisis. According to sources close to the RP (Welfare Party), while Ciller pursues a hawkish policy, Erbakan is trying to solve the problem through diplomatic channels.

    Stressing that the request for missiles from Russia should be assessed within this framework, the same circles are noting that Erbakan wants to develop trade with Russia, including arms trade, and for that reason he does not want to heighten the tension.

    However, all the countries, mainly Russia, are wondering what sort of policy Erbakan will pursue if Russia turns down Turkey's proposal and gives missiles to the Greek Cypriots.

    [05] Eroglu on missiles, says occupation army is being reinforced

    Turkish weekly news magazine NOKTA (12-18.1.97) publishes an interview with so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu. In reply to a relevant question, Eroglu, inter alia, said that "Turkey has been following the Greek Cypriot arms purchases. And it has been reinforcing its army corps in north Cyprus according to the arms the Greek Cypriots buy. Turkey has not reacted only to the Greek Cypriot side's acquisition of S-300 missiles. It has protested the Greek Cypriot arms purchases from time to time. Turkey has now moved to take measures because the Greek Cypriots have undermined the peace in Cyprus by acquiring several S-300 missiles. The Greek Cypriots will not launch the missiles they will acquire against Turkey. Neither Turkey nor any other foreign country believes that they will take such an action. That is out of question."

    Asked if the Turkish occupation forces on the island are prepared for such an action, Eroglu said that the Turkish military forces in the occupied area are always prepared for war. "Turkey reinforces them with the modern arms it acquires. So we cannot say that they have recently prepared for such an eventuality because the threat has always existed", he claimed.

    To a question on the pseudostate's poor state of economy, Eroglu said: "It is true that the TRNC has an economic problem. The problem worsened in 1994. Our income from tourism has decreased. Establishments and businessmen have become bankrupt. We need resources to save our economy. The protocol we have signed with Turkey will reactivate our economy. We have discussed the possibility of the TRNC benefiting from resources that are available to the investors in Turkey. We will be able to improve our economy if that can be realized."

    To a comment that Turkish investors continue to invest in the pseudostate particularly in the tourism domain, regardless of the economic problems, and if that is due to the expectation that the pseudostate can be annexed to Turkey in the future, Eroglu, inter alia, said:

    "Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan disclosed a few days ago that the TRNC can integrate with Turkey if a problem arises. That has made us very happy. Actually, two alternatives exist. We will either maintain the TRNC's existence or integrate north Cyprus with Turkey if a peace agreement cannot be reached. No other alternative exists."

    Asked to comment on the arrival in the "TRNC" of a group of idealistic youths during the incidents last August, Eroglu said that the idealistic youths have established associations in Turkey and the "TRNC" which are legal establishments. "Some of them arrived in north Cyprus during the incidents that took place at the border. Anyone can travel from Turkey to the TRNC, except criminals. The idealistic youths were carried away by the reports that 7,000 or 8,000 bikers from Europe planned to cross from south Cyprus to the TRNC. That stirred them to action. Our door is open to all Turkish citizens, except those who are wanted by the police", he claimed.

    [06] Cavanaugh in Ankara for contacts on Cyprus

    According to TRT (16:00 and 18:00 hours, 15.1.97) Carey Cavanaugh, US State Department director for southern European affairs, arrived in Ankara to hold contacts on the latest Cyprus developments.

    In his statement at Ankara's Esenboga Airport, Cavanaugh said that the measures that have to be taken in order to eliminate the tension on the island will constitute the main issue, which will be discussed at the meetings he will hold with Turkish officials. He expressed the belief that his contacts will yield favourable results.

    In reply to a question, Cavanaugh said that his personal views were along the lines that the ballistic missiles should never be deployed on the island. Stressing that there are no missile bases in south Cyprus, Cavanaugh recalled that the Greek Cypriot side guaranteed that the missiles will not be deployed on the island before 16 months.

    Cavanaugh also answered reporters' questions later upon emerging from the Foreign Ministry, where he met with Ambassador Inal Batu, deputy under secretary to the Foreign Ministry, and Ambassador Onur Oymen, under secretary to the Foreign Ministry.

    Explaining that the meetings were favourable, Cavanaugh said that he briefed Ambassador Batu and Ambassador Oymen on his contacts in Greece and Cyprus. Noting that his recent contacts contributed to dissipating the crisis atmosphere in Cyprus, Cavanaugh said: "However, not all the issues have been solved". Reiterating that the US Administration was against the Cyprus Government's purchasing missiles from Russia, Cavanaugh stressed that he hoped that the missiles in question will never be deployed on the island.

    Noting that the issue of freezing the military flights over Cyprus was taken up at the meeting, Cavanaugh said that the sides were proceeding with the discussions on the issue. Explaining that all countries had a right to defend themselves, Cavanaugh said: "However, this should not be conducted in a manner that will pose a danger to the region. More soldiers and arms in Cyprus will not bring security."

    Cavanaugh concluded his remarks by saying that his country sought to see healthier and stronger relations established between Turkey and Greece.

    Ambassador Akbel, in turn, said that Cavanaugh was briefed on the stand Turkey adopted vis-a-vis Greece and Cyprus at the meetings and added that Turkey's wish that the issues be settled through dialogue was once again conveyed to Cavanaugh. Ambassador Akbel said that Turkey's determination in pursuing its stand within this framework was also explained.

    Explaining that Turkey's relations with Europe was also taken up at the meetings, Akbel said that the US envoy stressed the necessity of Turkey's integration with Europe.

    [07] Denktash criticizes Turkey

    CUMHURIYET (8.1.97) publishes an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash by Leyla Tavsanoglu. Tavsanoglu says that Rauf Denktash made an unusual statement in connection with the Cyprus Government's decision to buy S-300 missiles from Russia. He strongly criticized Turkey's approach. He also criticized the United States for trying to mediate with Britain over the Cyprus problem. Denktash claims, Tavsanoglu writes, that the United States and Russia may have drawn up a scenario for Cyprus similar to that for Bosnia.

    He also claimed that the Greek Cypriot side was recently encouraged by the United States to sign an agreement with Russia to buy medium-range S-300 missiles. According to Tavsangolu, Denktash said: "The United States can obstruct the Greek Cypriot side if it want to. The Russian officials know that. But they have decided to sell their missiles. They want a crisis in Cyprus. They want the two sides to learn a lesson and then decide to do something."

    Denktash alleged that the United States and Russia may have drawn up a scenario for Cyprus similar to the one for Bosnia. He noted: "They designed the situation in Bosnia. They waited two or three years to take action. Meanwhile, many people were killed. So they may have planned something similar in Cyprus, that is, on the condition that the United States will refrain from obstructing it."

    Denktash criticized Turkey for maintaining an unclear policy and an indirect approach. He said: "Turkey must tell the world what it wants on Cyprus. It has said that it will not relinquish its rights, which are based on the treaty of guarantees and the agreement on partnership in Cyprus. That is an appropriate approach. Meanwhile, considering the importance of economic issues, we have signed a protocol for adequate credits for the first time. We hope it will be realized."

    He expressed disappointment over Ankara's stand: "Turkey has done something. But it has failed to make the necessary effort to explain its case on Cyprus to the world".

    Denktash recalled that the United States tried to mediate in the past and noted that Washington has urged Britain to mediate now. He said that the two countries have disappointed Ankara and asserted: "Turkey refused to believe that the United States and Britain could be unjust toward it. I hope that it will now change its mind, because that seems to be the case."

    He further claimed "the Greek Cypriots would not have gone so far if Turkey had obstructed the vessel that transported tanks to the Greek Cypriot side. It could have done that in its straits. That would have made the Greek Cypriots and the rest of the world realize that it was serious. But Turkey preferred to remain inactive. It only protested the issue a few times. It ignored the situation and believed that it was unimportant. It acted only when the Greek Cypriots moved to acquire missiles that can hit Anatolia."

    [08] Occupied area called "mini Susurluk" by Turkish mainland press

    ORTAM (16.1.97) reports that the "Casinos", fourteen of them so far, have started creating problems in the occupied area.

    "Our country is speedily being turned into a heaven for Mafia. This development lead the mainland Turkish press to give us a new name. For years now the mainland press used to call us "daughterland", now they brand us as "mini Susurluk", the paper says.

    ORTAM adds that the occupied area is a heaven for laundering money and that so-called prime minister Dervish Eroglu is supporting the idea of turning the occupied area into a "Casino heaven". (MY/EF/SK)

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