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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-01-23

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

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] National Security Council backs pursuit of special ties with "TRNC"
  • [02] Talat sends letter to Annan, Blair on Cyprus view.
  • [03] Ergun Olgun appointed `presidential under secretary'.
  • [04] Denktash sees no need for more casinos in the occupied area.
  • [05] Cem: We have not pushed aside the federation issue.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] National Security Council backs pursuit of special ties with "TRNC"

    According to TRT Television network (16:00 hours, 22.1.98), Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) convened under President Suleyman Demirel at the Cankaya Mansion yesterday. The meeting lasted about five and a half hours. A statement issued by the NSC Secretariat General at the end of the meeting says that at the meeting, the security and public order situation in the country in general, as well as the domestic and foreign developments that affect that situation, were reviewed.

    The statement continues: "At the meeting, foreign policy developments in the world and in the region that closely concern Turkey's security were assessed. It was agreed to continue the work that was started in all fields, in the wake of the EU's Luxembourg decisions of 14 December 1997, to develop the special relations between Turkey and the TRNC.

    The report drawn up on the petrostrategic analysis of the Caspian-Caucasus energy region and on the energy transportation lines was discussed. It was deemed appropriate to take the necessary measures to develop the work and projects regarding this issue in line with Turkey's national interests, and it was decided to inform the Council of Ministers of this decision.

    At the meeting, the illegal smuggling of persons to Italy and other European countries through Turkey was discused, and agreement was reached to take the measures necessary to prevent Turkey's being used as a base in this affair and to prevent the political campaigns started against Turkey using these incidents as a pretext."

    The NSC meeting was attended by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz; General Ismail Hakki Karadayi, chief of the General Staff; Ismet Sezgin, deputy prime minister and national defense minister; other ministers who are members of the NSC; the forces commanders; the Gendarmerie commander; the NSC secretary general; and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. State Minister Sukru Gurel and Cumhur Ersumer, energy and natural resources minister, were also present because certain items on the agenda concerned their ministries.

    [02] Talat sends letter to Annan, Blair on Cyprus views

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 21.1.98) Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat sent letters to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Tony Blair, British Prime Minister and EU term president, outlining his party's views on the Cyprus issue.

    According to a statement issued by CTP Press Bureau, in his letter to Annan, which was conveyed via Gustave Feissel, UN Secretary General's assistant special envoy for Cyprus, Talat says that the efforts exerted by the United Nations in the long Cyprus process have helped in achieving progress. Explaining the negative effects of the EU decision adopted at the Luxembourg summit, the letter stresses that a federal solution based on the political equality of the two communities in Cyprus - a solution that must be acceptable to both sides will serve a good example for all the peoples of the world.

    Talat's letter to Blair, in turn, wishes the British prime minister success in his new task as EU term president.

    Talat notes that Britain is expected to make a positive contribution to the solution of the Cyprus problem, one of Europe's bleeding wounds. The letter reminds Britain that it has a special interest in the issue, as it is a guarantor country for Cyprus. The letter claims that the latest EU decision encourages the misunderstanding on the part of the Greek Cypriot leadership, "which wants to be the sole ruler on the island and which, therefore, regards the Turkish Cypriots as a minority."

    [03] Ergun Olgun appointed `presidential under secretary'

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 22.1.98) Ergun Olgun has been appointed "presidential under secretary". He was "acting under secretary" for some time.

    [04] Denktash sees no need for more casinos in the occupied area

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 22.1.98), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said that there are more than enough casinos in the pseudostate and there is no need for any more. He pointed out, however, that if a five-star hotel is built after the proper permits are obtained from the "authorities", then the hotel can have a casino that is open only to its guests.

    Denktash was asked by illegal TAK to comment on the concern that the casinos closed in Turkey will reopen in the "TRNC". He claimed that the "TRNC" is based on tourism and that its hotel capacity and number of tourists can be increased in this way.

    [05] Cem: We have not pushed aside the federation issue.

    In an exclusive interview to the Turkish Daily News

    (23.1.97, Internet verison), Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said Turkey will not attend the European Conference in March because this would mean "we have accepted Greek Cypriot candidacy and membership in the EU as the sole representative of all of Cyprus."

    He claimed that the EU had discriminated against Turkey while naming other countries as candidates for full membership. He said the EU had set preconditions for Turkey to even become a candidate while the same conditions were set for other countries only at the full membership stage.

    Referring to the Cyprus issue and in reply to a relevant question, Cem claimed:

    "First of all, we have not pushed aside the federation issue, but rather placed it on a more sound and serious footing. Until now, all efforts were to bring together a `state' and a group of people considered by the international society as a `community' and unite the two in a federation. That was wrong. I have explained to the secretary-general of the United Nations, and to the European and American foreign ministers that never, ever in history had a state and a community come together and formed a federation. There is no such practice. There is no such issue in international law.

    International law states that federation is an entity established between two or more equal states or political units. Whatever has been done so far was wrong and that's why a settlement could not be achieved. What we are saying, what should be said with a louder voice, is that if we are to establish a federation, it should be established between two states on the island because that is required by the natural order of things. And, I feel, we are closer to a federal settlement. We are taking the first correct step and saying that if you recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a state and political entity, we can talk about establishing a federation. Otherwise, we will only be spinning our wheels with no end result, as has been the case for the past 20 years. What I see is that we are at a more serious point. Are we approaching or retreating from a federal settlement? Recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a must before the two entities on the island can sit and seek an answer to that question. Perhaps we are approaching that point. Who knows?"

    Asked to clarify the integration issue, Cem alleged:

    "Right from the very beginning our government has been very sensitive on this issue. We are of the conviction that the Turkish Cypriot state and people have equal rights with us as a state. We have no intention, not the slightest intention, of pulling the TRNC into integration because of our influence in northern Cyprus. If you have noticed, as the government we said `coming closer', 'special ties' and `partial integration.' We are determined to develop very close and special ties with the TRNC. Our government has started this process. On July 20 (1997) President Denktash and Deputy Prime Minister Ecevit signed a joint protocol. I have signed an association agreement with the TRNC foreign minister.

    These will develop further. In the meantime, there is of course the economic cooperation dimension, which is being taken care by State Minister Sukru Gurel. All these things will continue to develop. But in doing so we are not aiming to integrate the TRNC with Turkey."

    Asked what are Turkey's anticipations and to a comment that the Americans keep on exerting pressure, Cem said:

    "We have been trying to inform the U.N. more thoroughly about the facts on Cyprus. During the meetings in New York, I was scheduled to see the secretary-general, purely for protocol purposes.

    Protocol meetings are restricted to three minutes. Just a photo opportunity. Despite that, although we had not made such a request, when we entered his room we saw that he had gathered all his advisers and for about half an hour I briefed him on the Cyprus issue. We shall continue our efforts to better inform the world about the facts of Cyprus. This is true of President Denktash as well. He is increasing his efforts to discuss his position with the United Nations. Yes, not pressure but perhaps an effort to influence us may come from the U.N., but the end result won't change.

    To come to the issue of EU pressure, no, we must not be unjust to the EU. We are not under pressure from the EU. Anyhow, we have said we have not discussed and shall not discuss Cyprus with the EU. But there is a misunderstanding here. We have not cut off political dialogue altogether with the EU. Political dialogue is not confined only to Cyprus, the Southeast, and Aegean issues. If the EU considers political dialogue restricted to these issues, it is a very serious situation. We are not discussing these issues with the EU, but apart from these issues we have relations with the EU countries, we have economic ties, bilateral relations. But, we shall not sit with the 15 countries and discuss the Aegean, Cyprus or Turkish domestic issues. We shall not do that."

    On the issue of Russian-Turkish relations, Cem said:

    "Now, our ties with Russia should be increased to the highest level. Both Turkey and Russia will gain a lot through that. I have always said that we had to make contributions to the political infrastructure, on which the economy will find the ground to improve.

    That's a very important function of our ministry. What can we do? How can we reorganize relations so that the economy can bloom.

    Good relations were formed with Russia, which shows that our policies have succeeded.

    Of course, that is not only an achievement for us, our ministry, but we have made contributions to the political base shared with Russia. Then what is the result? As a result of that, many efforts were undertaken to realize some energy projects - new economic decisions were made. I am please with our ties with Russia. We have some barriers - these should be monitored closely".

    To a comment that one such barrier is the S-300 missiles, Cem said:

    "We have all discussed the S-300 missiles. I discussed that issue with Mr. Primakov. All related ministers and our prime minister have talked about it. The Russian answer was that it was a commercial deal. `If they don't buy them from me, they will buy them from someone else. And why do you get angry when they buy them from me, but you do not get angry when Greek Cypriots buy arms from France?'

    I mean, on that point no argument can be made."

    EF/SK


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


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