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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-01-22

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. 12/98 -- 22.1.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash asks Turkish Cypriots not to travel to Britain.
  • [02] Turkey said to agree not to attack Greek Cypriot missiles.
  • [03] Talat calls on Madden to review visa regulations.
  • [04] Etkin claims UK pushed itself out of Cyprus issue.
  • [05] Turkey disappointed with UK visa for Turkish Cypriots.
  • [06] British-Turkish parliamentary group reforms.
  • [07] Hannay to relay Blair's EU message to Turkey.
  • [08] Denktash meets Egyptian Ambassador.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [09] Commentary on Turkey's new Cyprus strategy.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash asks Turkish Cypriots not to travel to Britain

    According to KIBRIS (22.1.98) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in a written statement yesterday, urged the Turkish Cypriots "unless there is a vital reason, not to visit Britain until the visa requirements by the British authorities are removed." Denktash claimed that the Turkish Cypriots will show understanding. (MY)

    [02] Turkey said to agree not to attack Greek Cypriot missiles

    According to a report in HURRIYET (17.1.98) Turkey has significantly changed the policy it said it would adopt on the S-300 missiles that Cyprus plans to buy. Considering the US initiatives on the matter and the guarantees given to Ankara that "the Greek Cypriots will never be able to use the S-300 missiles," Turkey has decided not to attack them.

    The view that "the Greek Cypriots will never be able to use the missiles even if they deploy them on the island" gained weight during the assessments that were made in Ankara, particularly after Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz returned from Washington. Considering the US guarantee and the possibility that an attack on the missiles in transit to Cyprus or after they are deployed on the island could create a confrontation between Turkey and Russia and escalate tension between Turkey and Greece to the point where there may be a clash, the civilian officials agreed that the weapons systems should not be attacked. However, it has been reported that military officials have reservations on the matter.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish government's policy on the Cyprus issue will be based on a formula of "two states-three problems."

    The policy will call on the Turkish and Greek Cypriots sides to accept each other's political existence. That will create an opportunity for the implementation of the first stage of the formula, the establishment of "two states". The next stage will call for talks on the most complicated problems: 1. Mutual claims of property ownership 2. Security. 3. Final "borders".

    [03] Talat calls on Madden to review visa regulations

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 21.1.98) Mehmet Ali Talat, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader, has said that it is unacceptable for Britain to impose visa regulations in order to prevent Turkish Cypriots from seeking political asylum and added: "Other preventive measures can be taken instead of the visa regulations."

    Talat met with British High Commissioner David Madden and conveyed his views on the visa regulations. The meeting, which was held at the British High Commission in Nicosia, started at 1000 and lasted for approximately 50 minutes. CTP secretary general Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Feridun Onsal, the CTP official in charge of foreign relations were also present at the meeting.

    Members of the press were banned from entering the British High Commission building and Madden did not issue any statements after the meeting. Meanwhile, those who applied for visas had to wait in line at the British High Commission.

    In his statement to illegal BRT (Bayrak Radio and Television) and illegal TAK reporters Talat claimed: "I explained to Madden that Britain was not just another country for Cyprus.

    Britain, which is one of the guarantor countries, has to honour its commitments. Moreover, as a sovereign country, Britain has just added to the discrimination against the island."

    Recounting that Madden explained that the visa regulations had not been imposed on political grounds, Talat added: "He explained that the visa regulations were imposed on requests for political asylum. Madden said that he regrets the visa regulations, but that there are no other solutions to the problem. I, in turn, told him that we also regret the requests for political asylum. However, I explained to him that demanding a fee for visas issued to Turkish Cypriots weakens the reason for imposing the regulations if they are meant to prevent requests for political asylum."

    Noting that Madden explained that special privileges, concessions, and different measures than those applied to (word indistinct) from unrecognized countries were granted to the Turkish Cypriots, Talat added: "I, in turn, said that th privilege should at least be granted without a fee. In the event that no fee is demanded then it will be easier to claim that the regulations were imposed as an initiative to prevent requests for political asylum."

    Calling on Madden to review the regulation, Talat said:

    "Madden said that he regrets the situation, that he will convey the problem to his government, and that this issue will be taken up by the pertinent bodies in Britain". Noting that Madden stressed that the visa regulations are in no way connected to politics, Talat added: "We, in turn, said that the issue of those seeking political asylum should be settled by implementing other measures Madden said he will convey that to the pertinent bodies in order to reassess the situation."

    [04] Etkin claims UK pushed itself out of Cyprus issue

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 21.1.98) Taner Etkin, so- called minister of foreign affairs and defense, has claimed that by imposing a visa requirement on the Turkish Cypriots, Britain pushed itself outside the Cyprus issue and terminated its impartiality. Etkin called on the British Government to review its decision once again.

    The Turkish ambassadors who visited the "TRNC" prior to leaving for their assignments departed for Ankara yesterday.

    At a dinner he hosted for the ambassadors the other night, Etkin said that the "Cyprus cause" has reached a critical stage, and that this is the result of a major struggle. He alleged that the present stage was reached because the negotiations did not yield any results despite all the so- called goodwill and because of the EU decision. He further claimed that with the decision it reached and the attitude it adopted, the EU completely destroyed the basis of the intercommunal talks. Etkin alleged: "At the point we have reached now, we must strengthen and promote to the world the Turkish Cypriot presence. We are right, and the world is beginning to realize that we are right."

    He added that at this stage, the Turkish Cypriots may be subjected to certain pressures. Britain's visa decision will be assessed within this framework, he said, adding that the Turkish Cypriots the "TRNC", and the "TRNC Government" have (word indistinct) such stages and know how to cope with this situation. Etkin concluded by saying that the Turkish Cypriots expect the British Government to review its decision once again.

    [05] Turkey disappointed with UK visa for Turkish Cypriots

    According to TRT (11:00 hours, 21.1.98) Turkey has reacted to Britain's decision to impose visas on Turkish Cypriots:

    "The visa decision has created disappointment."

    In his weekly news conference, Ambassador Necati Utkan, Foreign Ministry Spokesman, declared that Turkey fully concurs will the statement issued by the pseudostate following Britain's visa decision. Noting that the British Ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, Utkan said that Turkey's disappointment in this regard was conveyed to the Ambassador.

    "We stated that it is our impression that this is a collective penalty for the Turkish Cypriot people and it therefore constitutes a political decision: that the regrettable part of the decision is the obligation to pay the visa fees in Greek Cypriot currency, which is not valid in the TRNC; and that we hope Britain will lift the decision to impose a visa requirement on TRNC passports." Utkan said.

    In reply to a question, the spokesman announced that Sir David Hannay, British Prime Minister Tony Blair's special representative for Cyprus, was to arrive in Ankara and he was to be received by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz.

    [06] British-Turkish parliamentary group reforms

    According to Turkish Daily News (22.1.98, Internet version) the British- Turkish parliamentary group had its first meeting on Tuesday after it was reformed with the new parliamentary members.

    The chairman of the group, Labour MP Ben Chapman, said they were aiming to raise awareness about issues relating to Turkey in the British Parliament.

    "The group is going to focus on a variety of issues. But we will, in the first instance, try to be educative in relation to those many members of parliament who have come in with a great interest in Turkey, but no great knowledge of it. We will be teaching them through the Turkey's ambassador to London, Ozdem Sanberk, about Turkish affairs. But we will also be hearing from British ministers about Britain's attitudes on Turkey," Chapman said in a press conference launching the group. The previous British-Turkish parliamentary group came to an end where most of its members retire from politics, or were not reelected in the general elections held in May, 1997. The new group will have its second meeting in four weeks time. Turkey's efforts to accede to the EU will be the major subject of the group's meeting. Chapman said that in the future they will also be looking at issues such as Cyprus and bilateral trade relations and hoped to organize exchange visits with Turkish ministers.

    Referring to the critical stand the majority of the Labour Party MPs take on Turkey, Chapman said that the Labour government was taking a realistic approach to Turkey while in office. "Labour will take a realistic approach to Turkey in government. We are a very strong ally of Turkey and there are realities we have to face, especially in terms of Turkey's EU membership. There are Copenhagen criteria and the Luxembourg decisions, which Turkey is called to abide with," Chapman pointed out.

    He said that although the group was a friendship group, the purpose of it was to provide an opportunity for dialogue.

    "And there will be issues where we will be critical. But I hope that we can work together and find solutions for these problems.

    Britain is a firm ally of Turkey and working to assure a place for Turkey in the EU", Chapman expressed. Meanwhile, Sanberk emphasized the importance of the Turkish group established in the British Parliament. "This is another step, adding to the positive bilateral relations between the two countries. Parliaments are the key players in achieving success in foreign policy. There are few all-party groups in the British Parliament and the Turkish group is one of these few," he said.

    Addressing the bilateral relations between Turkey and Britain, Sanberk said Britain was one of the allies and friends of Turkey. "We made it clear that we will not take up issues such as Cyprus, the Aegean and human rights with the EU. However the bilateral channels of communications with a country like Britain, which is an ally and friend, are wide open. Turkey is definitely going to use all the channels of communications, not through the EU but through the bilateral level, especially on the issues that concern the two countries. When there are diversions of views with the EU, it does not mean that we will stop bilateral dialogue with individual members of the EU. Turkey's position is very clear; unless there is a change in the Luxembourg summit decision, Turkey will not open a dialogue and will not participate into the European conference to be held in March in London," Ambassador Sanberk stated.

    There are 54 members of the group from both of the houses of Britain's parliament. The majority of the members are from the Labour party.

    [07] Hannay to relay Blair's EU message to Turkey

    According to Turkish Daily News (22.1.98, Internet version) Britain's envoy to Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, will meet Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz on Thursday as British Prime Minister Tony Blair's "special envoy" to deliver a message, possibly in the country's troubled relations with the European Union.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan hinted, while talking in the weekly press conference on Wednesday, that the visit was linked with Britain's term presidency of the EU and had no connection to Cyprus matters. .../..

    Utkan underlined that the visit had nothing to do with Cyprus and that Hannay is only expected to meet Yilmaz, and not other Turkish officials.

    He noted that the government's announcement, regarding freezing political dialogue with the EU, is still the official line Turkey is following in its relations with the 15-nation block.

    [08] Dentkash meets Egyptian Ambassador

    According to KIBRIS (22.1.97) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, had a meeting yesterday with the Egyptian Ambassador to Cyprus, Fadel el Kadi.

    KIBRIS reports that it was a routine meeting with foreign diplomats accredited to Cyprus. (MY)


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [09] Commentary on Turkey's new Cyprus strategy

    Sami Kohen, writing in MILLIYET (15.1.98) under the title "The new Cyprus Strategy", says that Turkey has begun to openly show the signs of the complete change it has introduced in its strategies regarding Cyprus.

    The `Functional and Structural Cooperation Protocol' signed recently is one of these signs, he adds and continues that in the statements of Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Korkmaz Haktanir, who has signed the protocol on behalf of Turkey, there are two important points:

    The first is the elimination of the concept for a solution that Turkey has been using until now; that is, the idea that a bizonal federal solution is not valid any more for the Turkish Cypriot side, that there are "two states" in Cyprus at the present time, and what they are looking for is that peace should be maintained between these "two states".

    The second point is the fact that the intercommunal talks concept does not exist any more, and the methods and bases of the negotiations that have been going on until now have been changed together with the former parameters. That is, the Turkish Cypriot side will not participate in negotiations held under the old system.

    "It seems that Ankara, together with the so-called administration of the pseudostate has decided to put into practice the envisaged measures without waiting for the start of the accession negotiations between the EU and the Greek Cypriots," he says. And continues:

    "The most important change in Turkey's and the TRNC's new strategy is the abandonment of the search at intercommunal talks for a federal solution. What does this mean practically? For example, what will be done against the proposals and pressure by the UN, the United States, and the EU for the resumption of talks after the elections in south Cyprus?

    The answer of the officials in Ankara and Nicosia to this question is as follows: The initiatives based on the old parameters and methods will be completely rejected. The condition that the TRNC will sit at the negotiating table with an equal and sovereign state status will be insisted upon.

    What if the related countries, like the United States, and the institutions, like the UN, do not accept this condition?

    The answer is that no meetings will be held, and the TRNC will continue to go along its course, that is, integration. This means the realization of the initial de facto division of the island.

    As a matter of fact, it seems that the events that ensued following the EU decision are behind the situation reaching this point. The fact that the EU's hypothesis that `the EU membership of the Republic of Cyprus will take care of the Turkish Cypriots, and in this way a solution will be facilitated' is wrong has been laid bare before everyone's eyes," he claims.


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


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