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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-07-28

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. 134/98 -- 28.7.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Italy´s Prodi on Turkey´s EU membership, S-300´s.
  • [02] Fundamentalism targeting the pseudostate.
  • [03] Drop in pseudostate´s tourism linked to missile issue.
  • [04] Document on improving Turkey´s EU ties conveyed to EU Presidency.
  • [05] Joint declaration issued after Turkey-Turkish Cypriot ``Partnership Council'' meeting-23 July.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Italy´s Prodi on Turkey´s EU membership, S-300´s

    According to TRT Television network (17:00 hours, 27.7.98), Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi responded to questions after making statements at a joint news conference yesterday. Responding to a question, Yilmaz said that Turkey has various problems regarding the issue of human rights, however, he added, the government is exerting intense and sincere efforts on the issue. Responding to a question on Turkey´s full membership in the EU, Yilmaz said that although some progress was made at the Cardiff Summit, it was not sufficient to change Turkey´s relations with the EU, adding that it is, therefore, impossible for Turkey to participate in the EU meeting, which will be held in Vienna.

    Prodi said that the modest steps, which will be taken between Turkey and the EU, may lead to the resumption of the dialogue process in the near future. Prodi, who arrived in Turkey on a one-day working visit, replied to reporters´ questions at Istanbul Ataturk Airport before his departing. He noted that Turkish-Italian relations are at a very good level, adding that efforts will be exerted to solve the problem of highway transport transit documents. He said that cooperation with the Turkish Government on illegal entries into Italy continues.

    In response to a question on his views `` on the armament activities of Greece in Cyprus and on its encouragement of the deployment of the S-300 missiles on the island'', Prodi said: ``We should first decrease the armament activities and gradually reduce the tension''. Pointing out that Italy is exerting efforts to, at least, postpone the deployment of the missiles on the island, Prodi added that the escalation of tension will be dangerous for the region. In reply to a question on Turkish-EU relations, Prodi said that Italy has always supported Turkey´s application for full membership.

    [02] Fundamentalism targeting the pseudostate

    According to a report in SABAH (Internet version, 25.7.98) in the past two years religious orders and communities have stepped up their activities in the pseudostate, focusing on the youth.

    Investigations by intelligence agencies have identified the following religious orders and communities active in the pseudostate:

    ``Suleymanists, Nurists, Nakshibendis, Wahabis, and Bahai''. The commercial and reactionary activities of religious orders and communities in the pseudostate have been placed under close surveillance. The religious orders and communities and their areas of activity were enumerated in intelligence reports:

    Suleymanists: The Suleymanists expanded their operations into the occupied area of Cyprus in 1990. Their leader (in the occupied area of Cyprus) is Recep Bolsuren. The ``Association to Help School-Age Students'' is affiliated with the Suleymanists. Large numbers of students stay at the Selimiye Student Dormitory, which is affiliated with this association. Students in this dormitory are taught courses in Arabic, the Koran and other religious subjects. The religious order has the financial backing of Tunahan Limited, the Tunahan Store, and Mevlevi Ticaret. The order is active primarily in occupied Morphou, Pentayia, Avlona and Karavostasi.

    Nurists: The Nurists are primarily interested in university students in the occupied area of Cyprus. As the most powerful political Islamist group, the Nurists are active principally in occupied Famagusta. They operate four bookstores, and two student dormitories.

    Nakshibendis: The leader of this order in the occupied area of Cyprus is Sheikh Nazim Adil. The order has been active in Cyprus since 1950 and publishes a journal called Hakkaniyet (Justice). Their efforts to start radio and TV stations are continuing. They sell their own publications in the two bookstores they own. They also derive substantial income from the sale of audiocassette recordings of Sheikh Nazim´s sermons. The order is active primarily in occupied Nicosia and Morphou.

    Wahabis: A Syrian named Abdel Joulha brought this order to the pseudostate. The order has a foundation called: ``Cyprus Supremacist Center''. The order has 300 to 350 adherents dispersed all over the occupied area of Cyprus. The order receives financial support from Saudi Arabia.

    Bahais: Their leader in the occupied area of Cyprus is Hasan Sasmaz. They started the Banai Center in occupied Nicosia in 1992 with the support of foreign nationals. They have 150 to 200 adherents.

    [03] Drop in pseudostate´s tourism linked to missile issue

    According to a report in HURRIYET (Internet version, 25.7.98) every week approximately 3,000 people from Turkey arrive in the pseudostate to gamble. Turhan Beydagli, the president of the ``Association of Hotel Operators'', said that gambling addicts improve occupancy rates at 17 hotels with casinos on weekends, but that these visitors do not contribute much to

    the tourism industry. Beydagli said: ``Gamblers come, move into their rooms, gamble, and go home. They do not go out to the street or the market. They do not spend money on the market.''

    The S-300 missile issue, coming on top of the transportation and infrastructure problems, has struck a heavy blow on tourism, which is the backbone of the pseudostate´s economy. The missile issue has led to a large number of cancellations of reservations and has reduced the occupancy rates in hotels to around 30 percent. Noting that no tourism facility can make a profit with occupancy rates of less than 45 percent, hotel and tour operators have called for urgent measures. Stating that this year virtually no tourists from any country other than Turkey have come to the pseudostate, the operators claim that this is the worst season of the last 23 years.

    According to data, provided by the so-called ministry for tourism and the so-called office of the deputy prime minister, the occupancy rate of hotels was 31.1 percent in the six-month period from January through June 1998, and 39 percent in June 1998.

    So-called deputy prime minister Serdar Denktash said that the sector has problems, that there have been declines (in occupancy rates) since June, but that the situation should not be described as ``grave''.

    Stating that Turkey and the free areas of Cyprus are experiencing the same problems but that they have the strength to endure them, Denktash said: ``We do not have any endurance power. That is why we will take measures.''

    [04] Document on improving Turkey´s EU ties conveyed to EU Presidency

    According to Anatolia Agency (16:25 hours, 23.7.98) the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that a document named ``Development Strategy to Improve the Turkish-EU Relations'', prepared under the leadership of Sukru Sina Gurel, the Minister of State Responsible for the EU, was conveyed to Austria, the EU Term President and to the EU Commission, and expressed readiness to hold ``technical'' negotiations on the features in the document.

    The Foreign Ministry statement said that all the proposals included in the document, prepared with the contribution of all the related institutions, developed within the framework of the decisions of the government made after the Luxembourg Summit.

    The statement said that the document contained many proposals including cooperation in justice and domestic fields, adding that ``our proposals are aimed at strengthening integration between the sides.''

    The Foreign Ministry statement identified the document as a response of Turkey to the European Strategy for Turkey prepared by the European Commission.

    The statement asked for the negotiations to start soon and expressed the hope of recording concrete developments due to the constructive attitudes of the sides.

    Gurel earlier said that this document reflects the tendency related to how Turkey will arrange her relations with the EU and expressed readiness to hold negotiations with the EU within this framework.

    The package submitted by Turkey to the EU includes detailed proposals in agriculture and the service sector as well as the functioning of the Customs Union and the free circulation of workers.

    The most important article of the document is the ``Consultation Mechanism'' which is thought to be arranged.

    [05] Joint declaration issued after Turkey-Turkish Cypriot "Partnership Council" meeting - 23 July

    KIBRIS (24/7/98) publishes the full text of the joint declaration issued after the "Partnership Council" meeting on 23 July:

    "The Agreement on Partnership Council, signed between the Turkish Republic and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in Nicosia on 6 August 1997 pursues the aim of deepening the existing cooperation and solidarity between Turkey and TRNC in the sphere of foreign policy, security, defense, economy, and finance.

    In pursuance of that aim, the Turkey-TRNC Partnership Council held its second meeting in Nicosia on 23 July 1998 to review the implementation of the decisions adopted during the first meeting of the Partnership Council (in Ankara) on 31 March 1998, and to make the necessary recommendations to the governments of the two countries.

    The following delegates attended the Partnership Council meeting as representatives of the governments and parliaments of the two countries:

    From the Turkish Republic:

    State Minister prof. Dr. Sukru Sina Gurel, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, State Minister Isin Celebi, Communications Minister Necdet Mensir, Treasury Undersecretary Yener Dincmen, Zonguldak Deputy Mumtaz Soysal, Eskisehir Deputy Demir Berberoglu, Istanbul Deputy Algan Hacaloglu, Konya Deputy Huseyin Ari, and Ankara Deputy Unal Erkab.

    From the TRNC:

    Foreign and Defense Minister Taner Etkin, Finance Minister Salih Cosar, Economy Minister Erdal Onurhan, Interior and Village Affairs Minister Ilkay Kamil, Public Works and Communications Minister Mehmet Bayram, Labor and Housing Minister Onur Borman, Deputy Kenan Atakol, Deputy Irsen Kucuk, Deputy Huseyin Celal, and Deputy Mehmet Emin Karagil.

    The Partnership Council meeting assessed the latest situation in the Cyprus problem and held an exchange of views on the joint position to be pursued in the period ahead. The sides reiterated their agreement to diversify and deepen the commercial and economic cooperation and ties between the two sides with the aim of forging a common economic area.

    Within that framework, they adopted the following observations and decisions:

    1. The sides stressed once again the importance of maintaining peace and stability in Cyprus and in Eastern Mediterranean and of preserving the balances established between Turkey and Greece with 1960 agreements, and noted the urgency of taking every measure necessary to thwart policies that endanger peace. The Turkish Republic reiterated that, in line with the 1960 guarantee system, it will continue to fully provide effective and de facto guarantees to the TRNC, and that it will repel any threat directed against its security and the TRNC. The sides emphasized that they will not consert to the use of such issues as the deployment of the S-300 missiles in South Cyprus and the opening of the Paphos Military Air Base to the Greek warplanes as elements in political and military bargaining. They also noted with enxiety that the EU's decision to begin and maintain full membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side has encouraged the Greek Cypriot- Greek duo to pursue an advernturistic policy and course that threatens peace and stability in the region.

    2. Despite the illegality of the (Greek Cypriot) application, in its Luxembourg summit the EU committed a historic mistake by commencing the membership talks with the South Cyprus Greek Cypriot Administration, and upheld that mistake at the Cardiff summit. With that, the EU rejected the principle of the existence of two separate peoples who enjoy equal legal and political status on the island and constitute the foundation of the negotiating process in Cyprus. It did not take into consideration the need to preserve the balances between Turkey and Greece safeguarded under the 1960 agreements. With this decision, the EU has undermined the foundations of the negotiating process that had been devised after lengthy work to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, created an impasse in efforts to find a solution, and paved the way for the division on the island to become permanent.

    3. Turkey and the TRNC had proclaimed their common views and positions in a Joint Declaration issued at the presidential level on 23 April 1998. With that, the sides had indicated that the Cyprus problem could only be solved on the basis of the reality that two separate sovereign peoples and states exist on the island, and by preserving the balances established between Turkey and Greece with the 1960 agreements. They had noted that the desired atmosphere of security and stability on the island could only be achieved if the priority was given to the solution of the fundamental problems between the two equal sovereign sides on the island, and that only in such an atmosphere could the future-oriented cooperative structures have any chance of success.

    4. The sides will intensify their mutual efforts for the removal of all the obstructive measures imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people in the international arena until the TRNC occupies its altogether rightful place in the international community as an independent and sovereign state. Steps taken to fully integrate the TRNC with the international community will be furthered. With this in mind, the existing efforts exerted by the two countries' Foreign Ministries will be continued within the framework of the Political Consultation and the Structural and Functional Cooperation Mechanisms.

    5. Measures aimed at forging a Common Economic Area - whose purpose would be to ensure free movement of goods, services, and capital, technology transfer, and flow of investments - were assessed, and pleasure was expressed over the commencement of work on introducing the necessary regulations to harmonize the customs and put in place free trade conditions within that framework. The sides noted that in the context of these regulations the issue of the phased protection of TRNC's developing sectors would also be kept in mind.

    With the aim of diversifying and advancing the economic ties between the two states, the sides reviewed the arrangement made within the framework of 3 January 1997 Economic Cooperation Protocol, and confirmed their determination to put into effect the required measures as soon as possible. They also agreed to put into effect measures that would expedite the operation of the Investment Guarantee Agreement, Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, and State Investment Assistance Agreement aimed at ensuring the flow of investments to the TRNC and creating a conducive climate for investments.

    6. A unity of views was reached to introduce the necessary regulations in line with the goals set in these agreements to surmount the difficulties encountered particularly in commercial relations, and harmonize the customs regulations and the commercial regulations in the sphere of agriculture and health.

    7. With the aim of ensuring the operation of the State Investment Assistance Agreement, it was agreed to introduce new incentive regulations to encourage investments in the TRNC, and to harmonize the incentive laws. It was decided to support the private sector's investment efforts with reinforced incentive measures, and to secure low interest credits as part of the incentive system targeting the TRNC. Agreement was also reached to deepen the cooperation between the Istanbul Stock Exchange and North Cyprus Stock Exchange, and introduce measures enabling stock trading from the TRNC as well.

    8. Alongside the completion of the project of water transportation by balloons, which will mostly meet the drinking and household water needs of the TRNC, the progress in the project on transporting water from Turkey via a pipeline has been received with pleasure.

    9. Taking into consideration the fact that the credits issued by the Ziraat Bank and Halk Bank in cooperation with the TRNC institutions have had a positive affect on the economy, a unity of view was reached to expand these credits. It was also agreed that the new lines of credit opened by Eximbank would create additional opportunities to the private sector.

    10. In the econtext of developing the economic relations and harmonizing the laws between the two countries, it was decided to advise the governments to take the necessary measures to enable the TRNC citizens to enjoy all the social and economic rights in Turkey that the Turkish citizens enjoy.

    11. In pursuance of forging a Common Economic Area, the sides decided to expand and institutionalize the existing cooperation in the fields of tourism, transportation, communications, energy, agriculture, industry, trade, investments, social housing, money and banking, and credit financing; they agreed to effectively maintain the existing cooperation in restructuring the agricultural sector and in increasing its productivity; and they achieved a unanimity of views on enhancing the means of air and sea communication and on supporting concrete projects in this field.

    They also agreed to conduct Turkey's touristic activities in an integrated and cooperative manner with the TRNC's touristic activities and marketing efforts with the intention of developing the TRNC tourism, and adopt measures to surmount the TRNC's problems regarding transportation and marketing in this field. It was decided to further the existing cooperation on environmental problems, which negatively affect human health and tourism, through a system of technical assistance programs.

    In addition to the fields of activity noted above, the Joint Economic Committee has been instructed to conduct work to overcome problems encountered in the energy and maritime transportation sector and to open a customs post at Seka Port.

    12. The close cooperation between the two countries in the cultural and educational sphere, including higher education, will be strengthened and deepened. In that framework, the cooperation protocols signed between the two countries in the sphere of education, technology, and culture will be implemented effectively. Moreover, additional support and resources will be allocated to further advance the TRNC universities and raise their competitiveness.

    13. The Partnership Council received with pleasure the efforts and developments for the protection and advancement of the mutual interests between the two countries. In the period ahead it will continue working with resolve and determination for the protection of mutual interests and strengthening the TRNC's economy. The Partnership Council will hold its next regular session in Ankara."


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


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