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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-01-15

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>


TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.7/98 15.1.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Corruption charges involve illegal Bayrak.
  • [02] Denktash: "Clerides stated he will not discuss sovereignty with me".
  • [03] Turkish Embassy by passing pseudo-government in aid distribution.
  • [04] British High Commission on demand for visa from Turkish Cypriots.
  • [05] Another Turkish Minister in the occupied area.
  • [06] Turkish Cypriots to Strasbourg for Parliamentary Assembly.
  • [07] Orthodox Church conversion to Mosque in Turkey.
  • [08] Serdar Denktash: The `Cyprus Struggle' is endangered by problems in tourism

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Corruption charges involve illegal Bayrak

    According to Turkish Daily News (10.1.98) parallel to debates on the political corruption charges which may reach as high as the Turkish parliament itself, allegations concerning a new Turkey-connected corruption charge has appeared in the occupied area of Cyprus. A Jewish-origin Turkish MP has allegedly been involved in this event.

    These allegations have their source in "Cyprus Teleglobe Network", a television station founded in June, 1997. The owner of this company, Huseyin Macit Yusuf, held an opening ceremony last year, and promised that the "Cyprus Teleglobe Network" would broadcast on 16 channels, increasing its network and carrying the world to homes soon.

    However, the company started business by broadcasting hard pornographic films, and its other promises still have not materialized.

    In addition, the "Cyprus Teleglobe Network" company also agreed to pay $5 thousand monthly to illegal BRT for the right to broadcast.

    Over the last six months of broadcasting the "Cyprus Teleglobe" allegedly has not paid a penny.

    In this context, corruption charges have begun to surface. In its January 1998 edition, a monthly magazine named "Voice of the Cyprusi Turk" claimed that the "Cyprus Teleglobe Network" was part of a corruption scandal. According to this magazine, a Jewish origin "TRNC citizen" who was related to the company has revealed that he was acting in the name of Jefi Kamhi, a Jewish origin Turkish citizen and MP. He allegedly went on to say that their real aim was trying to sell "Teleglobe Network" company to illegal BRT, meaning the "TRNC".

    Following confessions from the latter, the magazine investigated the background of these allegations. According to the magazine, which is responsible to illegal BRT, Ismet Kotak, so-called director of illegal Bayrak, recently fled to Turkey in order to meet with Jefi Kamhi. Following this meeting Kotak wrote a letter to the Turkish Embassy asking Turkey to buy "Teleglobe company" for illegal BRT for the sum of $7.5 million. The cost of purchasing "Teleglobe" was planned to be paid by the Turkey Help Committee in accordance with the financial support programe to the pseudostate.

    Furthermore, the Voice of Cyprusi Turk Magazine revealed that the real price of the "Teleglobe broadcasting foundation" was less than $500 thousand. And so the magazine asks the serious question of who was to pocket the other $7 million dollars. Other questions one might ask are why this money should be paid by the Turkey Help Committee, and what the connection was between this allegation and Jefi Kamhi's transfer operation from DYP to DTP led by Husamettin Cindoruk, junior partner of the present tripartite government in Turkey.

    [02] Denktash: "Clerides stated he will not discuss sovereignty with me"

    Illegal BRTK television (19:10 hours 13.1.98) carried a live interview with Turkish Cypriot community leader Rauf Denktash, "prime minister" Dervis Eroglu, "foreign affairs and defense minister" Taner Etkin, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat, and Communal Liberation Party (TKP) leader Mustafa Akinci by Mete Tumerkan.

    Speaking first, Denktash said that Turkish Cypriots are proud and happy for the political, economic, and moral support extended to them by Turkey with the "protocol" signed the day before yesterday. He added that a possible peace and accord with the Greek Cypriot side "is possible with the confirmation and acceptance of their equality, and not just by word or on paper".

    Denktash said that at Troutbeck and Glion President Clerides stated two things: The first is that he will not discuss sovereignty with Denktash. The second is that he wants to form the basis with regard to bizonality, and that he will not discuss the exchange of property with Denktash, saying that this is a matter of human rights. Denktash added that he will not accept this, as another principle will have been removed from the Set of Ideas, he claimed.

    Denktash reiterated that President Clerides rejects the guarantee system, which is vital for the Turkish Cypriots, and feels that if the Turkish forces are to remain in Cyprus that they have to remain only as a guest under an international force. He added that they are very serious and that the condition that they are a "state" should be accepted. "Otherwise, intercommunal talks cannot not be held, for no community will exist if the Greek Cypriot side is considered as the Cyprus government before the world", he claimed.

    Denktash added that negotiations consist of stages, that even the stage of sitting at the table contributes to negotiations, and that bargaining during the stage of sitting at the table is made with those other than the opposite side. He said that President Clerides "has achieved this in a very successful manner for two and a half years between 1994 and 1996, and, claiming that there are no bases on which to hold discussions with the Turkish Cypriots, in spite of the existence of the Set of Ideas, has bargained on his own." Denktash asserts that President Clerides has in this way succeeded in having the international forces issue accepted by the United States, Britain, and the UN, in having eliminated the "most favoured nation" between Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus, and in having the pressure directed toward the Turkish Cypriots by telling them that Cyprus' EU membership will be beneficial for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Denktash continued: "As such, while saying that there is nothing we can discuss with the Greek Cypriot side, we state a reality: We have introduced the bases on which we can meet with the Greek Cypriots, and, due to the fact that they did not heed to our proposal to talk about and accept our sovereignty, we say now that we will meet on the basis of two states and are ready to meet to prepare parameters regarding this issue. However, they have not left any parameters for sitting at the table with the Greek Cypriot side."

    Mustafa Akinci touched on Denktash's statement to the effect that the main issue is the problem of bargaining before sitting at the negotiating table, adding that the coming period will witness a process for bargaining after the Greek Cypriot elections. This bargaining will also continue in the relations between Turkey and the EU. Akinci says that they should make decisions regarding current policies in light of the assessments of the results they would get from these decisions, adding that if their policies resulted in having the Greek Cypriots approach the EU, then it means that there is a problem in their policies, and, if the Greek Cypriot enter the EU alone, then they should be convinced that their policies were certainly not correct, and should discuss this issue with Denktash.

    Akinci touched on the fact that thousands of Turkish Cypriots have taken Greek Cypriot passports and that this process will even increase if the Greek Cypriots succeed in entering the EU alone. He says that two things should be assessed as one. The first is the existence of the "Turkish Cypriot citizen" and his equality and security. The second is Turkey's historic rights in Cyprus, as he put it. "Thus, the Turkish Cypriots, together with Turkey should develop policies taking into consideration these two points", Akinci said and added that the Turkish Cypriots will be harmed if they get into a position of completely rejecting participation in the EU talks.

    Eroglu claimed that if the Turkish Cypriots participate in the EU talks within the Greek Cypriot government delegation, that would mean they recognize that government as the representative of Cyprus as a whole. He also claimed that the Turkish Cypriots are migrating for economic reasons and not because of the political situation. Indicating that there are some people who say that all the problems of the Turkish community will be over when it joins the EU, Eroglu alleged that the unemployment in some of the EU countries is higher than that in the pseudostate. Touching on the federation issue, Eroglu hinted at the bloody division of some countries of the former Soviet Republics and says that federation is an outmoded system.

    Taner Etkin said that the Turkish Cypriots have the right of protecting the status of the occupied area as a "state", and that the political parties should make an effort to protect this right.

    CTP leader Mehmet Ali TAlat said that the recognition of the Greek Cypriot side as the legitimate Cypriot Government let President Clerides have some trump cards with him.

    [03] Turkish Embassy by passing pseudo-government in aid distribution

    According to daily AVRUPA (14.1.98) the Turkish Embassy reportedly has assumed responsibility for distributing some $80 million that will come from Turkey.

    According to information reaching the paper, the economic units at the Turkish Embassy have been holding contacts with various establishments to distribute the money without involving the "TRNC government". For that reason the economic units at the Turkish Embassy are holding contacts for the distribution of the money that will come from Turkey. According to the paper's information, 8 trillion Turkish Lira has been allocated to the Cooperative. Embassy officials have reportedly made payment of the 8 trillion Turkish Lira conditional on the Cooperative forgoing 3 trillion from the interest debt owed to it by the pseudostate. The Cooperative has accepted this condition.

    The rest of the $80 million is said to have been set aside for privatization. It has been learned that this money is being used by Embassy officials to privatize "Sanayi (Industry) Holding" and "ETI" (expansion unknown) and that a part of that sum will also be used to privatize the "electricity company".

    The control established by the Turkish Republic on distributing the money and bypassing the pseudo-government is seen as interesting and proof that it does not trust the so-called government.

    [04] British High Commission on demand for visa from Turkish Cypriots

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 14.1.98 the British High Commission in Cyprus has said that it cannot confirm a press report to the effect that the British Government will demand visas from "TRNC citizens" as of 16 January and that it will investigate the situation. This was in reply to a question posed by the so- called ministry of foreign affairs and defense in connection with the matter. In a statement, the British High Commission said that after the investigation, an official statement will be issued if necessary.

    [05] Another Turkish Minister in the occupied area

    According to KIBRIS (15.1.90) Turkey's State Minister Responsible for Social Services and Child Care will be arriving in the occupied area today.

    He will have contacts in the occupied area for establishing a rehabilitation center for children with special needs. (MY)

    [06] Turkish Cypriots to Strasbourg for Parliamentary Assembly

    According to KIBRIS (15.1.98) a so-called Assembly delegation of the pseudostate will be leaving for Strasbourg to follow up the deliberations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

    The Assembly's deliberations will take place between 25 January and 1 February.

    KIBRIS states that the five-man the so-called delegation will leave the occupied area on 25 January. (MY)

    [07] Orthodox Church conversion to Mosque in Turkey

    According to daily HURRIYET (Internet version, 3.1.98) Muhyettin Aksak, the RP (Welfare Party) mayor of Yakutiye, opened to Muslim worship the Orthodox church in Erzurum, defying a Foreign Ministry ban on the conversion of the church to a mosque. Built in 1850 in the Ironsmiths' Market in Erzurum, the Orthodox church was until recently used as a warehouse. During the Refahyol (RP-True Path Party coalition) period, the Ministry of Culture transferred the church to the Municipality of Yakutiye with the purpose of converting it to a mosque. With contributions from tradesmen, Mayor Aksak spent 10 billion Turkish lira to restore the church, renamed it "Fetih (conquest) Mosque" and announced in invitations that it will open on 2 January.

    However, the World Council of Churches protested.

    Following the advice of the Foreign Ministry, the Finance Ministry took action. A memorandum signed by Hasan Fehmi Ezber, Deputy Director of the Treasury and Foreign Trade, to the Office of the Governor of Erzurum, bans the opening of the mosque stating that "the historic church was not transferred to the municipality" and that "the municipality is responsible only for the organization of restoration work."

    As a result, the official opening, which would be attended by RP General Chairman Necmettin Erbakan and 20,000 guests, could not be held. However, yesterday, the first Friday of Ramadan, Aksak opened the mosque (or the former church) to worship. Aksak claimed: "We learned two days ago that the opening was canceled. The invitations were sent out a month ago. It was impossible to revoke the invitation. We did what we had to do as a municipality. There was no official opening of the mosque, but the citizens who came opened the mosque. We attained our goal. May it be auspicious".

    [08] Serdar Denktash: The `Cyprus Struggle' is endangered by problems in tourism

    According to Turkish Daily News (14.1.98) problems of the tourism sector in the occupied area of Cyprus and cooperation with Turkey were discussed at a meeting in Antalya between the two sides. The biggest problems of Turkish Cypriot tourism operators were defined as casinos and a shortage of access routes.

    So-called state minister and deputy prime minister Serdar Denktash commented, "if this situation of staying in our shell continues for one or two more years, the `Cyprus Struggle' will end with ruin", and called for urgent aid from Turkey. Denktash invited Turkish tourism operators to invest in the pseudostate.

    He said that Varosha, with a 14,000-bed capacity, would shortly be opened for use and promised, "in these difficult times, investors in the TRNC will be given priority in the administration of hotels in Varosha."

    Tourism operators from the pseudostate pointed out the dangers of the decision to invigorate the economy by moving, from Turkey to the occupied area, the casinos which will be completely closed down by the Turkish government in February. "Casinos in Cyprus will be a great blow to tourism, " said travel agency owner Kufi Birinci. "In a place with 7,000 beds, 20 casinos is excessive. Casinos obstruct normal tourism activities. Because of 2-day casino tours, we are unable to find beds for 7-day packages".

    Ahmet Yildirim, so-called honorary president of the "Northern Cyprus Union of Travel Agencies", stressed the importance of the transportation factor in tourism. Claiming that the ticket prices of "Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY)" were too high, Yildirim said that this had reduced the competitiveness of "TRNC" agencies.

    He also warned that a number of pseudostate hotels were unattractive from the viewpoint of service and price.

    "In tourism, our biggest rivals are Antalya and Alanya", Yildirim noted, and insisted that if sea and air transportation services were increased, the occupied area would be a very attractive day-trip destination for tourists coming to the Antalya region.

    Unal Cagigen, a hotel administrator in the pseudostate, suggested that Turkish administrators were responsible for losses suffered by organizations such as "KTHY", which was established in partnership with Turkey. "Why are Cypriots not administering these organizations?" Cagigen asked. "Don't the Turkish administrators trust us? We were educated in Turkey, too".

    Cagigen also pointed out that the aircraft belonging to "KTHY" that had been designated to carry tourists to Cyprus had previously been allocated to an agency in Germany for the transportation of workers. "The result of this is that the hotels in Cyprus are empty. Now these hotels are changing hands", he said continuing: "Turkish administrators frequently use the `offspring nation' slogan to describe the TRNC. Moreover, politicians say every day that they are going to incorporate Cyprus into Turkey. But, on entering and leaving a Turkish port, a tax of $10 dollars is imposed. This is a very high price. In addition, as much as 12 pounds sterling is charged for a visa.

    This `offspring nation' concept means that a foreigner entering Northern Cyprus has already entered Turkey, so why should he have to pay again at a Turkish port?" Cagigen claimed.

    So-called deputy prime minister Denktash praised the current Turkish administration, saying, "Until this, the 55th Turkish government, we never saw a government which did so much to help us and open up our future".

    Denktash declared that the 14,000-bed capacity of Varosha, an area closed for 23 years due to political reasons, would be opened up to tourism again in the near future. "We will give priority to investors in the administration of these establishments", he said.

    In reply to the Turkish Daily News' question as to whether there was a definite date for the reopening of Varosha, he replied: "As you know, the opening of Varosha is connected to the missile crisis. But I have always opposed this. Varosha must definitely be removed from politics and reopened. The Varosha problem is economic".

    Nizamettin Sen, speaking on behalf of the Turkish Union of Travel Agencies (TURSAB), said "if a subsidy is applied to Turkey-Cyprus charters, we will be able to offer Cyprus as an extension to the 2 million tourists visiting Antalya annually."

    He stated that a 100 percent occupancy rate for the 7,000-bed-capacity in the pseudostate could be very easily achieved. Sen wanted Cyprus tourism to diversify by emphasizing "third age" tourism and congress tourism, and remarked, "Cyprus, which was part of the route taken by St. Paul, should be included in the celebration program for the year 2000."

    Turkish Tourism Minister Ibrahim Gurdal also addressed those gathered at the meeting in Antalya, saying that Turkey was open to all types of cooperation. "Northern Cyprus is our homeland", he claimed, "and the homeland of our brothers who live in the TRNC here. We will continue indefinitely to defend the independence of the TRNC, its state structure and the existence of our brothers there."

    EF/SK


    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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