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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-01-26

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. 14/98 -- 24-25-26.1.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry claims completion of Paphos base is a `dangerous' development
  • [02] UK's Hannay holds `very beneficial' meeting with Yilmaz.
  • [03] Eroglu meets Turkish delegation, views economic measures.
  • [04] Turkish Cypriots leave for COE sessions in Strasboug.
  • [05] Ecevit calls for special judicial body to unravel Susurluk.
  • [06] Atakol calls on Britain to review stand on visas.
  • [07] "Protocol" signed for $60 million loan from Turkey.
  • [08] Sezgin doubts anyone would risk war with Turkey in Cyprus.
  • [09] Etkin speaks of `grave consequences' of handing over Paphos base.
  • [10] Ozgur expelled from party.
  • [11] Denktash repeats threats over Paphos base.
  • [12] Senior Turkish diplomat over opening of Paphos base: "From now on, the military must decide."
  • [13] Denktash interviewed on Paphos base, talks.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry claims completion of Paphos base is a `dangerous' development

    According to TRT (15:00 hours 24.1.98) Turkey has said that, as a guarantor country, it is determined to continue to take the necessary measures against every kind of initiative that endangers the security of the "TRNC" and poses a threat to its territories.

    A statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry says that Turkey is closely watching all the activities undertaken by the "Greek-Greek Cypriot duo" that pose a threat, as it claims, to peace and stability on the island and in the eastern Mediterranean. Noting that the construction of the Paphos military base in the south of the island has been completed, the statement claims: "This dangerous development was brought to the attention of the UN Secretary General and the president of the UN Security Council. Those who undertook these grave steps have taken on heavy responsibilities."

    [02] UK's Hannay holds `very beneficial' meeting with Yilmaz

    According to TRT (18:00 hours 23.1.98) a special envoy from Britain, which is the current EU term president, was in Ankara the other day. Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz received Sir David Hannay, British Prime Minister Tony Blair's special envoy, last Friday.

    His meeting with Yilmaz, which was closed to the press, lasted approximately 45 minutes. As he was emerging from the Prime Minister's Office, the special envoy said that it was a very beneficial meeting. Sir David noted that he conveyed to the prime minister Britain's intentions and hopes of establishing good relations during its term presidency, adding that he will convey Yilmaz's views to Blair.

    [03] Eroglu meets Turkish delegation, views economic measures

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 23.1.98), so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu met Ambassador Yaman Baskurt, Turkish Foreign Ministry deputy under secretary, who is holding contacts in the occupied area, and the delegation accompanying him and conferred with them for some time. Ertugrul Apakan, Turkish envoy, was also present at the meeting in which views were exchanged on the concrete steps to be taken to develop cooperation between the "TRNC" and Turkey and to improve the pseudostate's economy.

    In a statement, Baskurt said that Turkey is ready to help the "TRNC" in every field. He noted that the findings and facts to be ascertained at the end of the talks will be conveyed to the Turkish Government, adding that they will also determined procedures to speed up the development process.

    He noted that during their contacts in the "TRNC" they will work on developing mechanisms to expand bilateral trade as well as to improve services and infrastructure in the "TRNC", adding that on their return to Turkey, they will submit a report to the government on their concrete proposals.

    Eroglu said that the presence of this delegation in Turkey is an indication of the great importance the 55th Turkish Government attaches to the "TRNC" and expressed his pleasure with the Turkish Government stand on the issue. Eroglu said: "When we take our population into consideration, we realize that our economy cannot become self-sufficient without the support of Turkey. Therefore, we are trying to increase cooperation by signing economic cooperation protocols and partnership agreements with Turkey".

    He continued: "Neither we nor our people want to lose time. Our citizens make comparisons by looking elsewhere and, at times, they are demoralized. Our problems are not that big, but it is not always possible to solve them through our resources."

    [04] Turkish Cypriots leave for COE sessions in Strasbourg

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (11:30 hours, 25.1.98) so-called assembly speaker Hakki Atun and the delegation accompanying him left the island yesterday for Strasbourg via Istanbul to attend the Council of Europe (COE) Parliamentary Assembly sessions.

    In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport, Atun recalled that the granting of another assembly seat to the Greek Cypriot side during last year's sessions grieved the Turkish Cypriot side, claiming that this is not an acceptable democratic approach .

    Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot side should be accepted as a "state" with equal political status, Atun said that the COE should take this point into consideration in its future meetings. He noted that in these meetings the Turkish Cypriot delegation will express the views of the Turkish Cypriot side and stress that more courageous steps are needed to help solve the problem. Atun claimed it should be understood that the Turkish Cypriot side can be represented by its own "state" organs both in the COE and in other platforms.

    Atun concluded by claiming: "The Turkish Cypriot people can be represented by their own assembly, which is the manifestation of the people's will. Europe should understand and implement this reality."

    [05] Ecevit calls for special judicial body to unravel Susurluk

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 23.1.98), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has said that the dark ties that have been revealed with the Susurluk report can be enlightened only through a special judicial system. Ecevit was replying to reporters' questions at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. Asked if some parts of the report are being hidden from the public, Ecevit said:

    "There may be certain things in every country regarding international relations. Such things are not revealed in any country in the world". And he went on:

    "Besides that, however, the honourable prime minister discussed everything extensively last night. In fact, there are no more secrets in Turkey. Everything is known. What is important is how these secrets will be enlightened. Actually, the secrets are being enlightened anyway: the question is how the measures will be taken. That is what is important. This Susurluk incident is part of the network of dark ties that has enwrapped the state for years. Every part is being tackled by a different judicial body. However, they must be tackled as a whole. Therefore, I believe that a new judicial organization is necessary. We discussed this with the honourable prime minister as well."

    Ecevit said that there is additional evidence in the Susurluk report as well as interesting analyses and proposals.

    Actually, he said, that is what was expected. It was not a prosecutor, but the head of the Prime Minister's Inspection Committee who drew up this report to inform the prime minister and to make proposals.

    [06] Atakol calls on Britain to review stand on visas

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 22.1.98) Kenan Atakol, National Unity Party spokesman for foreign affairs, has claimed that Britain's decision to demand visas from Turkish Cypriots is wrong and mistaken. "The visa decision totally disregards the special relations that exists between the TRNC and Britain", he alleged.

    In a written statement he issued Atakol claimed: "Britain is discriminating between the people. With this implementation, Britain is actually creating an obstacle for the 100,000 Turkish Cypriots living in Britain wishing to visit their families and relatives in the TRNC. Nobody can claim that this measure is in accordance with human rights."

    Remarking that the pseudostate has a very small population, Atakol further claimed: "It is a source of great concern that Britain implemented such a regulation when it knows very well that there are no reasons for Turkish Cypriots to seek asylum. It is also very worrying that the exorbitant visa fee should be paid in Greek Cypriot currency". British government officials should review this decision, he concluded.

    [07] "Protocol" signed for $60 million loan from Turkey

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 22.1.98) a "protocol" for a $60 million loan, which constitutes the second portion of the $250 million loan slated for the pseudostate, was signed last Thursday. Salih Yilmaz, Turkish Treasury Under secretariat official; Mehmet Burhan, under secretary to the Finance Ministry; and Mehmet Turgut, under secretary to the Ministry of Economy, signed the "protocol."

    In his address at the signing ceremony, so-called finance minister Salih Cosar said that the loan to the tune of $60 million will be used in economic development projects, and added: "The Finance Ministry will revive the economic situation in the country by paying some of the debts". Explaining that the work under way for privatization will be concluded quickly, Cosar said that some of the loan will be used on structural projects.

    [08] Sezgin doubts anyone would risk war with Turkey in Cyprus

    According to TRT (18:00 hours, 25.11.98) at a news conference in Rize yesterday, National Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin was asked whether the air base constructed in south Cyprus could cause a war. In reply, Sezgin said he does not think that anyone would risk a war with Turkey in Cyprus.

    [09] Etkin speaks of `grave consequences' of handing over Paphos base

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours, 24.1.98) Taner Etkin, so- called foreign affairs and defense minister, has claimed that the Gyprus Government's initiative to construct the Paphos air base in order to hand it over to Greece "is proof of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo's intentions to disrupt the peace, tranquility, and calm in the eastern Mediterranean". Etkin threatened: "This initiative can prompt grave consequences. We have already drawn the attention of all the concerned sides to such initiatives, which endanger our security and the peace, stability, and tranquility in the region. We have already explained to the concerned sides that such initiatives can prompt adverse consequences." And he went on threatening:

    "In the face of the Greek-Greek Cypriots's daring step today, all the measures necessary for the security of the Turkish Cypriots will be taken within the framework of the determined stand previously expressed without hesitation. These steps will be taken in light of the assurances given by motherland Turkey and without provocations. The responsibility for the consequences of this situation falls upon those who took these dangerous steps and those who encouraged the Greek Cypriots on this issue."

    [10] Ozgur expelled from party

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (16:30 hours 24.1.98) Ozker Ozgur, former leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has been expelled from his party. The CTP Central Administrative Council decided to expel Ozgur from party membership on the grounds that his behaviour ran counter to his duties and responsibilities as a party member.

    In its written statement, the CTP Central Administrative Council said that the decision was adopted after Ozgur left the CTP Party Council meeting after objecting to a second roll call and declaring it illegal. The statement continued: "Ozgur later launched a campaign meant to hurt the party. His expulsion from the party was in line with the authority granted by the party statutes; however, he has the right to appeal to the High Discipline Committee. The CTP is responsible for resolving the issues of the Turkish Cypriot community. The Central Administrative Council regrets that it had to adopt a decision that will be a source of distress for all party members."

    Meanwhile, Ozgur described the decision as a sentence passed without trial. In reply to questions from illegal TAK, Ozgur said he will express his views on the decision on 26 January at 09:30 during a news conference. Ozgur added: "This decision, however, is tantamount to a issuing a ruling without a hearing.

    The CTP Central Administrative Council thinks that it is a judiciary body. This is not in line with the Constitution and the Law on Political Parties. Therefore, I do not accept this illegal decisions." In reply to a question on whether he will raise the decision with the High Discipline Committee, Ozgur said: "I have not decided yet."

    [11] Denktash repeats threats over Paphos base

    According to TRT (22:00 hours 25.1.98) Rauf Denktash has claimed that "the Greek Cypriot-Greek pair is preparing for the murder they are about to commit and the Paphos air base is a measure adopted to ensure the continuation of the murder".

    Denktash made these remarks in a speech broadcast over illegal Bayrak Radio and Television. He claimed that the Greek Cypriots are "attacking" the Turkish Cypriots in order to transform the partnership republic into a Greek Cypriot republic.

    Denktash said that "the Greek Cypriots would be engaging in madness if they touch the Turkish Cypriots". He again threatened: "A plane that will take off from Paphos airport will not find another airport to land in. If a plane that take off from Paphos comes here, it will encounter Turkish planes. This will happen instantly. Let the Greek Cypriots be aware of this; let them not forget it."

    [12] Senior Turkish diplomat over opening of Paphos base: "From now on, the military must decide"

    According to a report in Turkish Daily News (26.1.98), Internet version), a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official briefing the Turkish Daily News on Sunday claimed that the opening of the base in Paphos confirmed that Greece does not expect any solution to the problems between Athens and Ankara to be achieved through diplomatic discussions.

    "From now on, it is up to the military to decide what to do. It has become a matter of military planning," claimed the official.

    When asked whether he sees any possibility for an armed conflict in Cyprus, the official expressed doubts. However, he said, "Some accidents might take place in Aegean".

    "Now, Greek Cyprus and Greece have become a united state, in terms of military and defense", he claimed.

    "The one who strikes first will be the winner in Cyprus," he continued.

    Turkish state minister Sukru Sina Gurel said that Turkey's Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry were prepared to deal with the situation.

    "We were told that the opening of the base would be delayed. However, we now see that it was not true", Gurel told the Turkish Daily News on Sunday.

    The senior Foreign Ministry official noted that despite all the warnings, the S-300 deal between Russia and Greek Cypriots remained ongoing. "Within a few weeks' time, a group of Greek Cypriot officials will go Russia for training on the S-300 missiles. The missiles most probably will be transferred to the island in August", the official said, defining the deployment of S-300 missiles as one of the two moves to deduce Turkey's air superiority. According to the official, Washington is trying to persuade the parties stop the deal.

    Professor Hasan Koni, an expert on international relations, commented that Turkey is obviously being squeezed in its foreign policy.

    "Greece argues that the base has been opened as a measure to prevent Turkish attacks. However, Turkey has no intention of bombing the base. Ankara reversed its decision to bomb the S-300 missile sites. Also, the United States opposes the deployment of missiles in Turkey which can hit the S-300s. It seems that Turkey, which drew closer to Washington after being excluded from the European Union, has lost the way for military resistance," Professor Koni told the Turkish Daily News on Sunday.

    [13] Denktash interviewed on Paphos base, talks

    KIBRIS (23.1.98) publishes the text of an interview with Turkish Cypriot community leader Rauf Denktash by Yesim Erdem.

    Rauf Denktash threatened that if the Cyprus Government inaugurates the Paphos Airbase the Turkish side will retaliate in kind. Denktash added that "their planes will find no place to land, their wings will be broken."

    In reply to a KIBRIS' question on the issue, Denktash said: "Their planes will find no place to land. This is a crazy and hostile investment. They are wasting their money."

    Announcing that a matching base will be established in occupied Lefkoniko in retaliation to the Paphos Airbase, which he described as "exposed to destruction within seconds," Denktash vowed that "even more effective measures could be taken if necessary."

    In reply to a question on "what measures will be taken in retaliation to the inauguration of the Paphos Airbase on 24 January", Denktash said that the divide and separation between the two communities will further deepen over this "nonsense" about the military base. He claimed: "Lefkoniko will be transformed into a matching military base, and even more effective measures will be taken if necessary. From a military perspective, the planes taking off from Paphos base will find no place to land. Effective countermeasures have been taken against the planes to take off first. Their wings will be broken down early in the flight. This is a crazy and hostile investment, detrimental to any reconciliation. They are wasting their money."

    Rauf Denktash replied to KIBRIS' questions at a time of intensified preparations for the talks in March and the inauguration of the Paphos Airbase.

    To a comment that President Clerides rejects the solutions envisaged in the Ghali Set of Ideas and instead is talking about a solution that would secure human rights and ensure the return of the refugees, and asked in what ways could this affect the Cyprus problem, Denktash claimed, inter alia: "That is why we said that `after the EU decision Clerides left no parameters on the table within which to talk, the EU helped him in this regard', and that, henceforth, we could only talk on the basis of two states."

    To a comment that President Clerides is also saying that he will accept no solution that would not guarantee the future of Cypriot Hellenism on the ancestral lands, Denktash alleged:

    "And we, in our turn, are saying that we should live on the ancestral Turkish lands in security and side by side with the Greek Cypriot neighbours by adhering to the principles of freedom and equal sovereignty". And he went on claiming: "Two different religions, two peoples, two languages, two separate democratic establishments (government and state) are the recipe for the solution."

    Asked what preparations does he think the UN is making for the talks, he replied claiming:

    "There is nothing that could be imposed from outside. It cannot be. Everyone is making mental preparations. Our statements are contributions to such preparations. You already know the framework of our preparations and that our motherland fully supports that framework. We cannot allow ourselves to be condemned to the intercommunal talks and give the Greek Cypriot leader, as the representative of the legitimate government, the opportunity to destroy us and claim the ownership of Cyprus."

    Asked if he expects any change in the Greek Cypriot policy in case of President Clerides' reelection, Denktash said:

    "No. I am expecting no change at all. It is already obvious what he stands for."

    Asked what will the Turkish Cypriot side's condition be to join the talks in March, Denktash claimed:

    "Everybody now knows under what conditions the Turkish Cypriots would enter the talks. The conditions and the timing for the talks will be determined by us, not be others exerting pressure from the outside. Let us first of all have confidence in ourselves. We are for the diplomatic traffic. We will defend our conditions. We will not sit at the table under duress. We will work to establish a common ground. We experienced the damage resulting from the lack of a common ground during the face-to-face meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader in Glion. We will not fall into the same trick again."


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


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