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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-06-16

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. 104/98 -- 16.6.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Maltese ship stopped searched for Russian missile ramps.
  • [02] Turkish Council of Ministers meets on S-300´s: Gurel briefs media.
  • [03] Grey wolves attack Kurds in the occupied area.
  • [04] System ready soon for transferring water from Turkey.
  • [05] Britain doesn´t welcome French proposal on Cyprus-EU negotiations.
  • [06] Denktash, Eroglu address Turkish delegation on economy.
  • [07] Denktash accuses US diplomat, refers to bicommunal contacts.
  • [08] Ambassador Burns says that US will not recognize Denktash as head of state.
  • [09] Turkish warships at occupied ports.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Maltese ship stopped, searched for Russian missile ramps

    According to Anatolia agency (7:48 hours, 15.6.98) the Natasha-1, sailing under Maltese colours and carrying tractors from Russia to Egypt, has been stopped off Gelibolu in the Canakkale Strait. It was suspected of carrying missiles ramps.

    Stopped by the Istanbul Customs Protection Directorate General and the Canakkale Customs Protection units, the ship is being searched. Officials say that the ship may have S-300 missile ramps stacked in its hatchway. Acting on information, the coast guard stopped the ship that was transiting through the Istanbul and Canakkale Straits. It has been learned that even though the ship is carrying a Maltese flag, the entire personnel aboard is Russian.

    While the Customs Protection units are carrying out a search operation, a military expert team has been summoned to determined whether or not the suspicious-looking pieces of equipment are missile ramps.

    Officials say that the nature of the freight will be determined after the military experts search the ship and an extensive search operation is carried out.

    Anatolia (11:57 hours, 15.6.98) reports that it has been ascertained that seven mobile missile ramps were found on the Maltese cargo ship. It was noted that it is not yet clear whether the ramps belong to S-300 missiles.

    [02] Turkish Council of Ministers meets on S-300´s; Gurel briefs media

    According to TRT Television network (17:30 hours, 15.6.98) Turkey´s Council of Ministers met for one and a half hours under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. In a statement on the meeting, Sukru Gurel, state minister and government spokesman, reiterated Turkey´s stand regarding the S-300 missiles which are scheduled to be deployed in Cyprus: ``Turkey will adopt every measure against such a threat, and it will not allow these missiles to become a subject for bargaining.''

    In reply to questions by reporters after the meeting, Gurel recalled that last September, Turkey announced its stand concerning the missiles that are earmarked for deployment in Cyprus and said that there is no change in this stand.

    ``The deployment of these missiles in south Cyprus will constitute a threat not only to the TRNC and to Turkey but to all the countries in the region and all the countries that take an interest in the region. In the face of such a possible threat, our government has tasked our General Staff with the duty of adopting all the additional military measures. The work in this regard is under way in any event. Furthermore, our government will determine its political stand in the event that the missiles are deployed in south Cyprus. In addition, our statement had noted that our government will not allow these missiles to be utilized as a bargaining chip. This sums up our stand with regard to the S-300´s.

    As it stands, there is no question of our searching, stopping, or confiscating commercial ships to this end, because under the Montreux Treaty concerning the straits, they have free passage rights in times of peace. Consequently, if weapons parts are discovered during a search conducted for another purpose, we can acquire information in this regard, but we will comply with the provisions of the Montreux Treaty on the straits. This does not mean, however, that we have not taken any measures regarding the S-300´s. After having declared that their deployment would constitute a threat to us, our government concluded its preparations for the adoption of all the additional necessary military measures that are important to us in the event that the missiles are deployed,'' Gurel said.

    Gurel declared that following a tip, it was decided to search the ship flying the Maltese flag in the Canakkale Strait within the framework of the struggle against narcotics.

    ``The search was conducted. Another reason for the prolonged search was the discovery that the cargo of the ship included certain weapons parts instead of the tractor tires indicated in the bill of lading. However, because the ship, which is transporting weapons parts, was headed for Alexandria and is subject to procedures stipulated by the Montreux Treaty on the straits, the search was concluded and the ship will continue on its way'', Gurel stated.

    [03] Grey wolves attack Kurds in the occupied area

    According to KIBRIS (13.6.98) the members of the Turkish right wing terrorist group the Idealist Grey Wolves yesterday attacked Kurdish settlers in the occupied Zodia village. During the attack four people were injured.

    KIBRIS says that in order to stop the village people from chasing the attackers, Denktash´s ``police'' erected road blocks outside the village and fired warning shots. Six people have been arrested regarding the incidents. (MY)

    [04] System ready soon for transferring water from Turkey

    KIBRIS (25.6.98) reports that preparatory and infrastructure work for the transferring of water from Turkey to the occupied area continues in the pseudostate and the work will be finished within ten days.

    Officials of the contracting firm STFA Maritime Construction Ltd. have said that if everything goes well the system will be ready for trial and commissioning.

    (MY)

    [05] Britain doesn´t welcome French proposal on Cyprus-EU negotiations

    According to Anatolia agency (13:37 hours, 15.6.98) Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, focused on Monday on the economic reforms which foresee the solution of problems facing the European Union (EU) during his farewell speech at the Cardiff Summit, which is being held under the Term Presidency of Britain.

    Britain doesn´t welcome the proposal of France, which wants to discuss the suspension of the full membership negotiations with the Cyprus Government.

    Responding to a question, the British Foreign Office officials said that the Greek obstacle for the financial assistance, which had earlier been promised to Turkey, hasn´t been overcome yet.

    Asked about the inclusion of Turkey in the final declaration as the ``12th candidate state,'' the British officials said that they aren´t very positive about this issue.

    Meanwhile, Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, phoned Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz before the Cardiff Summit and told him that Britain will do her best to appease the relations between Turkey and the EU.

    [06] Denktash, Eroglu address Turkish delegation on economy

    According to Anatolia agency (9:52 hours, 15.6.98) Rauf Denktash has declared that the Cyprus problem cannot be resolved unless a balance is reached between the pseudostate and the free areas of Cyprus economically and politically.

    An assessment meeting was held in occupied Kyrenia yesterday within the framework of the tour organized by the Turkish Economic Development Fund with the aim of determining the problems of the pseudostate and ascertaining its potential.

    Addressing the meeting, Denktash remarked that the path to peace is under the wings of the economy and that its key is in the hands of businessmen and industrialists.

    Claiming that the Greek Cypriots are using the economy as a weapon, Denktash said: ``This is a false hope. The existing bridges between the TRNC and Turkey should develop in the direction of integration, and bureaucratic obstacles should be removed.''

    Denktash reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side is in no way shunning the negotiating table and is ready to talk.

    Also addressing the meeting, so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu said that the foundations of the ``TRNC'' will become stronger when it gains economic independence and attains the same economic level as the Greek Cypriot side.

    Stressing that the ``TRNC'' cannot exist without Turkey and that Turkey, in turn, cannot renounce the ``TRNC'', Eroglu said: ``The region will become an energy center as a result of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The potential of GAP (Southeast Anatolia project) and the developments it will bring about help to highlight the importance of the TRNC.''

    [07] Denktash accuses US diplomat, refers to bicommunal contacts

    According to KIBRIS (16.6.98) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has alleged that a USA diplomat at the US Embassy in Cyprus is instigating the Turkish Cypriots to rebel against their leadership.

    Speaking yesterday to the Women´s Brussels Contact Group, Denktash said that ``the civil servants´freedom of travel should be limited as well and to this purpose legal arrangements should be made''.

    The Women´s Brussels Contact Group briefed Denktash on their recent contacts in London and exchanged views with him.

    The Group gave Denktash the declaration adopted at the ``London Link'' conference, in which the conference expresses support for the Brussels Declaration adopted on 17-19 April, 1997. Denktash said that after studying the Declaration, he would meet again with the Group.

    Addressing the Group, Denktash said that similar invitations were extended to the Turkish Cypriot businessmen as well and that Turkish Cypriot businessmen had a meeting with Mr. Lordos, who is considered a moderate man. He alleged that during this meeting Mr. Lordos told the Turkish Cypriot businessmen: ``We did not come together with you here to improve your economy. Here we will work for the settlement of the Cyprus problem. Once the problem is settled then economic cooperation could start''. Following this statement the Turkish Cypriot businessmen should have stopped any further contacts. Denktash went on and said: ``Unless you remove the embargo, unless you treat me as a human being, what kind of cooperation the businessmen can be engaged in? Holbrooke, too, is promoting this. He is extending invitations with his signature. For this reason I replied to him: Right or wrong, this government has taken a decision. What is this decision? These contacts should stop. Why should they stop? Because they are using these contacts to issue declarations to the world saying: Trade unions and women meet. There is no problem between them. Let us come together, let there be peace. Do not take into consideration what the politicians, the parliamentarians and the elected say''.

    Denktash went on and said: ``The government has taken the decision, whether right or wrong, that if you want these contacts to progress (I too want them to progress), first you must recognize the decision that I have taken. Do not force my citizens, despite this decision, by extending invitations.'' And he further said: ``A female diplomat at the US Embassy suggests to our people:`Rebel against them. Come to Ledra Palace. Can there be such a decision that is contrary to your freedom?´ What they want is to show to the world that the TRNC has no influence and to create the impression that the government wants one thing and the people wants another. However, if you insist that `Yes, it is our right´ and `we will go´, then you can go.

    What I want from my people is this: It is not the civil servants´ right to go. A civil servant cannot go to such meetings prior to securing a permission. And if need be, the government will enact a law saying that one cannot leave the island for such meetings because such events might harm the right to become a state, an idea that we are trying to defend.''

    [08] Ambassador Burns says that US will not recognize Denktash as head of state

    According to Turkish Daily News (16.6.98, Internet version), Nicholas Burns, the US Ambassador to Greece, said on Monday that Washington will not recognize Rauf Denktash as head of state.

    In an interview with the Greek daily Eksusia, Burns dubbed as ``disappointing'' Denktash´s stance on the solution proposals put forward by US Special Presidential Envoy to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke, who paid an unsuccessful visit to the island in May.

    ``We hope that the Turkish side will adopt a more clear and constructive position on the issue of negotiations with the Cypriot government'', Burns was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency.

    In reference to four Aegean islands whose ownership, Turkey claims, is undetermined, Burns stated that they were inhabited by Greeks and were generally regarded as Greek territory.

    ``We hope that this is understood by all parties in the region… If we consider the issue logically, these four islands should belong to Greece,'' Burns said.

    [09] Turkish warships at occupied ports

    KIBRIS (16.6.98) reports that Turkish warships taking part in the ``SeaWolf- 95'' military exercises will be calling at the occupied ports of Kyrenia and Famagusta tomorrow.

    The public will be able to visit the ships between 14:oo - 16:00, until 21 June.


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


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