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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-07-03

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. 117/98 -- 3.7.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Dentkash claims UN resolutions render issue more difficult.
  • [02] Russia said curbing suitcase trade with Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [03] Turkish paper on Oslo meeting, Holbrooke´s approach.
  • [04] Turkish column views Cyprus resolutions, US Stance.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash claims UN resolutions render issue more difficult

    According to Anatolia Agency (16:05 hours, 2.7.98), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash held an hour-long meeting with Diego Cordovez, UN Secretary General´s special representative in Cyprus, who arrived on the island yesterday.

    In a statement after the meeting, Denktash said that he will meet again with Cordovez over dinner today.

    Denktash said that he explained to Cordovez the Turkish Cypriot stand and ``how the recent UN Security Council resolutions have rendnered the issue more difficult.''

    Denktash noted that Cordovez told him that ``the continuation of the contacts will be beneficial.''.

    In reply to a question, Denktash noted that Cordovez could not be made to say that ``he met with the TRNC president because there are UNSC resolutions that prevent this. However, let no one expect me to say that I am not the president of the TRNC. Therefore, I told him that I had earlier announced that after the adoption of these resolutions I would only see him as the president of the TRNC. He told me that he understood.''

    Noting that the conditions under which talks can be held with the Greek Cypriots were discussed, Denktash said that these conditions are clear and recalled the pseudo-assembly decision on the ``two state principle.''

    Denktash continued: ``It is claimed that no one will accept these conditions. We do not accept their conditions. In other words, we do not accept negotiations with the Greek Cypriot administration, which they refer to as the Cyprus Government, under the title of the Cyprus Government.''

    After his meeting with Denktash, Cordovez was asked ``whether he met Denktash as the president of the TRNC''. Cordovez avoided answering the question by saying that ``he would hold a news conference on Saturday.''

    [02] Russia said curbing suitcase trade with Turkey

    According to HURRIYET (1.7.98), the suitcase-driven exports, already in decline in recent months, have virtually come to a standstill over fears of ``retaliation against the Natasha-1'' incident. A ship that had gone to Russia with goods it picked up in Istanbul was not allowed to berth and sent back to Istanbul. And when the Russian suitcase-carrying tourists wanted to return their goods, the tradesmen in Salipazari market were dumbfound. Following this incident, another Russian ship canceled its departure from Istanbul. The Salipazari tradesmen claim that after the search of ``Natasha-1'' ship in the Dardanelles for the Greek Cypriot S-300 ramps the Russians have stepped up efforts to curb the trade done by suitcases.

    The Russian ``Professor Vise'' ship, which sailed off from Salipazari quay last Thursday with hundreds of (metric) tons of goods ranging from toys, to cars, construction material, to fruits returned back to Istanbul after three days. The Russian suitcase tourists said that when they approached Novorossiysk, the Russian customs officers told them ``either to dump their goods in the sea and approach the port or return back.''

    It is being reported that the ship preferred to return to Istanbul rather than face the fully equipped Russian customs officials. The goods on the Russian ship were unloaded. Upon this development, another Russian ship, ``Vittes'', postponed its departure after having made preparations to sail off. And a further report that another Russian ship ``Vernadsky'' has also been turned away from Russia shell-shocked Salipazari.

    Miran Celikbas, a vendor of construction materials at Expo-98 in Salipazari, said: ``At the very time when Natasha-1 was stopped in the Dardanelles, the ships loading goods for transportation to various Russian ports stopped the loading and started to unload them. And those that took up the cargo and set sail confronted fully equipped policemen and soldiers, said to have been dispatched from Moscow, when approaching their country´s ports.''

    Noting that the Russian citizens have the right to carry $1,000 worth of goods through the Russian customs without paying any customs duty but that they have found various ways of freely passing $10,000 to $20,000 worth of goods through the Russian customs, Miran Celikbas said: ``This trade, which enormously contributes to the Turkish economy, is now on the verge of dying. We want the Turkish government to take measures. We are unable to pay $150 rent for one square meter in our business premises.''

    Another trader Deniz Simsek said that they retook the goods returned by the Russians by considering their own future interests, but in the process the suffered losses.

    Whereas, some suitcase-carrying Russians said that the reason why they were sent back is that the Russian mafia, which controls the trade done by suitcase, is moving out of the Turkish market into the Chinese and Saudi Arabian markets.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [03] Turkish paper on Oslo meeting, Holbrooke´s approach

    Columnist Hasan Cemal, writing in SABAH (1.7.98) under the title ``Can It be a Vengeful initiative by Holbrooke?'', inter alia, says:

    ``Regarding the meeting in Oslo… It is a convocation which brought together many Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Turkish, and Greek buusinessmen. Similar convocations are referred to in the diplomatic field as `humanitarian meetings´.

    I followed the first of these convocations in Brussels in November 1997. That, too, was headed by Holbrooke. However, it failed to achieve a result.

    Will a result be achieved this time?

    US for the First Time… (subhead)

    I will ignore questions like `what can similar meetings be expected to achieve´ and `are they more in favour of the Greek Cypriots?´ for the time being. However, it will be useful to note that nothing can be achieved through them.

    Many statements will be made. Meanwhile, I have observed that something is missing. The Turkish Cypriot businessmen are not attending the convocation. I believe that only one of them has attended. That has made Holbrooke uneasy. Undoubtedly, the Turkish Cypriot side and Ankara have many reasons for that. I will discuss the matter in my columns later.

    Nevertheless, their reasons will not obstruct the Greek and Greek Cypriot propaganda activities. They will claim that `the Turkish side even obstructs humanitarian contacts´ and accuse Turkey of maintaining `an irreconcilable´ approach.

    You may say that there is nothing new in that. However, there is something new from a certain angle. The US has openly moved to confront Turkey on the Cyprus problem. It has indicated that it will not help it in the international community as it used to in the past. In other words, a number of signs in the diplomatic field have indicated Washington´s intention to put pressure on Ankara. That has drawn attention.

    UN Resolution… (subhead)

    The first example of that state of affairs came to light in New York two days ago. The UN Security Council´s resolution on Cyprus made Ankara very uneasy. However, an effort has been made to conceal that. The Greek and Greek Cypriot side must have welcomed it.

    In short: 1. The UN Security Council rejected the Turkish Cypriot side`s conditions for the resumption of the talks. One of them called for the recognition of the TRNC as a state and the participation of the two sides in the talks as `equal political entities´. Another called for the suspension of the talks the EU decided to have with the Greek Cypriot administration on the accession of Cyprus to the organization. 2. The United States intentionally refrained from supporting Turkey for the first time in many years when the UN Security Council moved to adopt its negative resolution, which ignored the Turkish side´s viewpoint and condemned TRNC President Rauf Denktash. Furthermore, it hinted that it may take steps to confront the Turkish side in the future.

    Why? Disappointment…(subhead)

    Many officials in the corridors of the Foreign Ministry in Balgat, Ankara, have described the US approach as a vengeful initiative by Holbrooke. A high-ranking Foreign Ministry official informed me during our telephone conversation yesterday as follows: `Holbrooke played a small trick on us after he failed to get what he wanted from the Turkish side in Cyprus. To a certain extent, the UN Security Council resolution can be viewed as the outcome of the special representative´s disappointment´.

    What did Holbrooke want? He urged the Turkish side to agree to resume the talks without preconditions and refrain from obstructing meetings similar to the one in Oslo…

    He failed to achieve his objective…

    The main reason for his failure is obvious: The EU summit decisions in Luxembourg.

    In other words, the EU decision to exclude Turkey from the organization and hold talks with the Greek Cypriot administration on accession.

    What will happen now? A high-ranking Foreign Ministry official informed me yesterday morning as follows: `It is a fact that the United States has confronted Turkey by adopting an unusual approach. Such a development has taken place for the first time in many years. However, that does not mean that Turkey will interrupt its relations with it. Neither Turkey nor the US would gain from such a development.´

    For Peace… (subhead)

    The same official asserted: `We have seen many similar resolutions. The new one will be transferred to the recycle bin of the computers. What is important can be outlined as follows: The situation in Cyprus may deteriorate. However, an initiative to put pressure on the Turkish side may backfire. The UN Security Council resolution will have negative effects on the UN Secretary General´s goodwill mission and the US initiatives. The approach that allows the Greek Cypriot side to have everything it wants right from the beginning is wrong. That will make it more arrogant and encourage it to adopt an inflexible policy´´.

    In short:

    Talking about auspicious developments for peace in the Eastern Mediterranean is impossible.''

    [108] Turkish column views Cyprus resolutions, US stance

    Columnist Sedat Sertoglu writing in SABAH (1.7.98) under the title ``Great Danger'', says: ``The latest UN resolutions on Cyprus confirmed a trend, the first signals of which we had noted in this column.

    You can argue that `the UN resolutions are not binding as they are taken under Chapter VI of its Charter.´ That is correct. But, for how long can these resolutions be confined to Chapter VI? We heard that some UN members want to include the Cyprus resolutions `in the scope of Chapter VII so as to make them binding on the member countries.´

    And, here lies the real and great danger. Because if a Cyprus resolution is adopted under Chapter VII then it will raise the issue of `Turkey not recognizing the territorial integrity of a UN member´. That might go as far as imposition of sanctions against Turkey.

    Only the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China have the right to veto UN resolutions. And only one of this countries could remove the threat posed by Chapter VII. For the time being let us leave Russia and China aside and look at our relations with the other three.

    The United States: During our talks with Washington (over the Cyprus problem), we offended the Clinton administration by the `recognition precondition´ that we put on the table at the last moment. We hurt such people as Marc Grossman and Holbrooke, who have a direct say in U.S. foreign policy. Now, our ties are not as rosy as they used to be.

    Britain: We quarreled with the Blair administration over EU resolutions. We pushed ourselves into isolation. We have now realized our mistake and the number of those trying to rectify the situation are on the rise. The voice of those who think a dialogue should be established with the EU is now heard louder.

    France: We altercated with Chirac-Jospin duo over the Armenian bill. But the reason why a goal was scored against us in the first round was that Ankara did not awaken to the situation on time, though the French administration itself could have done something from the very start. And when later on we went into action to balance the situation, we said things at first that we should have said as a last resort, such as the threat of `boycotting France´. Just like our rash and wrong reaction upon hearing that S-300 missiles would be sited on the Greek Cypriot sector. There too, Ankara was heedless enough to say from the start what it should have said the last.

    Like the other countries, Turkey too needs outside support to protect its international interests. After all, we too have a hand full of foreign problems. There is, therefore, a need to reassess the handling of the foreign policy. If we do not discuss the mistakes among us to rectify them the present trend could only lead us to disappointment.

    Any foreign service personnel serving as a diplomat cannot digress from the line drawn by the foreign service department, take any initiative contrary to it, or issue statements incongruent with his country´s official policy. Proceeding from this widely known fact, let us put the following question to US Ambassador in Ankara Mark Parris:

    `Considering this, does the US State Department official Henry Barkey`s call on Turkey to negotiate with the PKK (Workers Party of Kurdistan) and his support for a moderate Islamic regime in Turkey conform with the State Department`s policy?´

    Let us continue asking:

    `Had Henry Barkey not been a State Department official, his words would have only bound him. But for him to act this way as a State Department official has, according to what we heard, not only created a problem inside your ministry but also `provoked a very serious concern´ in Ankara regarding the United States´ policy toward Turkey. Is there, therefore, any chance of Barkey being dismissed from his State Department post?´

    Just two simple questions. But, the reply will be crucial for Ankara- Washington ties.''


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


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