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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-04-13

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. 70/00 -- 13.4.00

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash comments on "TRNC elections".
  • [02] Cem on Cyprus issue.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot leaders debate "election".
  • [04] Turkish diplomatic sources report on Moses visit in Ankara.
  • [05] Moses/ visit to Ankara before "elections".
  • [06] New paper to promote tourism.
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot press on "election campaign".
  • [08] Tree planting at Ledra Palace.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [1] Denktash comments on "TRNC elections"

    TRT 1 Television (5:48 hours, 12.4.00) reports that during a telephone interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the studio, the latter inter alia said that he was leading by two to one as regards the forecast for the forthcoming so-called elections. He further said he is faced with a powerful opponent, Eroglu, and that Turkish Cypriots will have to decide who is capable of better doing the job because their policies are the same.

    "One of the other two party leaders, in turn, pursues a different approach with regard to the agreement we signed with Turkey. The second one has adopted an even more different policy. The third one, on the other had, has put in his candidacy just to have a chance to insult me. This colleague is 180 degrees against Turkey, the military, and me. There are also two pawns, who are there to help Eroglu and who paid their way into the elections. For this reason, the race is really between Eroglu and myself, as it was last time as well. Mr. Eroglu, however, is trying to turn these elections into a party race. I believe the majority of the party members realize that this is a mistake. I hope that it will be so and that the elections will be concluded in the first round", Denktash said.

    In reply to a relevant question he said:

    "We have embarked on a formation, which makes it possible to secure peace with the Greek Cypriots. The protocol agreement, which I signed with Mr. Demirel in Turkey and which was adopted by the Turkish Assembly, has laid sound foundations to this end. In this way, we reached the stage in which we can engage in negotiations more comfortably. The Greek Cypriot side, however, should come down from up above in order to secure a conciliation and accept the fact that they are not our government. The extent that our confederation proposal is reasonable is being discussed in Brussels and documented in reports. The Greek Cypriot side is under a great deal of tension because of our advanced steps. In our opinion, the track we are pursuing will lead us to a solution eventually, even if not in May. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of pressure. We will have freedom of manoeuvre, however, as long as we know well how to defend our pieces and squares."

    [02] Cem on Cyprus issue

    TRT 1 Television (10:00 hours, 12.4.00) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has said that if Turkey is quick in making its choices, then developments in Turkish-EU relations can be accelerated. Cem, who participated in the Turkish-EU Partnership Council meetings in Luxembourg, returned to Turkey and in a statement at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, said that the meeting in Luxembourg was better than expected.

    Inter alia, he said: "I can say that at the meeting today I got the impression that our approaches to issues such as human rights and democracy are beginning to be better understood. Up until now there was mention of a political solution. There are other phrases which are used and which I do not like, but I have noticed a considerable change in the EU stand regarding the Cyprus issue. I found that the stand was more realistic. To tell you the truth, the statement Mr. Verheugen made at our joint news conference is significant. When all these are added up, one can say that our relations with the EU are on a good track".

    [03] Turkish Cypriot leaders debate "election"

    Illegal BRTK Television network (18:10 hours, 10.4.00) carries a 160-min. live panel discussion in the studio on the "Election 2000" program with Turkish Cypriot "presidential candidates" Dervis Eroglu, from the UBP (National Unity Party); Sener Levent, independent; Ayhan Kaymak, independent; Mehmet Ali Talat, from the CTP (Republican Turkish Party); Turgut Afsaroglu, independent; Mustafa Akinci, from the TKP (Communal Liberation Party); and Arif Hasan Tahsin Desem, from the YBH (Patriotic Unity Movement).

    Rauf Denktash had sent a letter to "BRTK" through his lawyer saying that he will not joint the debate because the equal time that has been allocated to him is not enough for him to reply to the possible accusations of the other candidates who all have chosen him as their target, and that he could only join the program if he is reconized more time than the other candidates.

    Speaking first, Dervis Eroglu inter alia said he believes that the Turkish Cypriots should also make their desire for talks, peace, and agreement known more emphatically to the world but without "renouncing the rights they have so far gained" and without "making concessions on our sovereignty, political equality, Turkey/s effective and de facto guarantorship."

    The Turkish Cypriots should stay at the negotiating table, conclude the proximity talks as quickly as possible, and enter the direct talks on the basis of the foundation laid at the proximity talks, he added.

    Speaking next, Sener Levent protested Denktash/s refusal to join the debate and his demand for privileged airtime. Sener Levent wondered if Denktash was watching the debate to draft a report for the Turkish Ambassador and Ankara. Levent said that by accusing the opposition candidates of being traitors to the "motherland" and by calling on the Turkish Ambassador to intervene, Denktash had already cast a shadow on the "elections".

    Sener Levent repeatedly asserted that Denktash has always acted as an informer on his own community. "In acting as an informer for Turkey, Denktash is trying to give the world the message that the north is not an independent state but a satellite, or a Turkish province, run by Ankara/s representatives here", Levent observed, adding: "Whereas I am doing the opposite. I am trying to do everything to secure independence for our country. Yet, the person occupying the highest state position is trying to prove to the world that we are a province like Adana or Antalya. I am opposed to this. That is why I become a candidate at these elections. To show to everyone, at least to him, that this is not so, to tell the world that Denktash is issuing wrong messages. If he is again sitting in front of the screen to protest us to the Turkish Embassy or the military authorities, let him do it. I myself protest his rudeness. If he had anything to say he should have come here and say it to our faces, not at our back. He hopes to get something by pillorying us as anti-Turkey. This is an extremely wrong behaviour. We have already announced that with the end of Demirel/s rule in Turkey, the Denktash era here is also coming to a close".

    Sener Levent then got up and left the studio in protest of Denktash/s refusal to join the other candidates in various television debates.

    Speaking next, Ayhan Kaymak refuted the idea held by Denktash and Eroglu that Cyprus still enjoys a strategic importance and it could be used as a trump card to achieve demands. Kaymak argued that Cyprus had a strategic value only during the Cold War in 1950s when the West invested the Turkish Cypriot community with equal rights as a bulwark against a possible communist threat in Cyprus and Greece. "But now the world has changed, the EU is becoming a single state, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey are being integrated into the EU and therefore the West has no more interest in using Cyprus against anyone", Kaymak noted and stressed that if the Turkish Cypriot side wants a solution it could only find it with the Greek Cypriots. Noting the civilized nature of peaceful existence, Kaymak emphasized that it is to the interest of the Turkish Cypriots to want peace with the Greek Cypriots, for "if we fight we would remain isolated from the world and become Turkey/s underling, and once we fall into that situation we would start falling out with Turkey, for that would not be a dignified relationship".

    Taking his turn, Mehmet Ali Talat too criticized Denktash refusal to join the debates, saying that Denktash is not participating in the discussions because he has not convincing ideas on how to attain a solution desired by the people. Talat underlined that Denktash is still a Cold War warrior unable to bring himself to uttering the word peace.

    Talat stressed that after the Helsinki summit the Cyprus problem is inexorably moving toward a solution, "This is inevitable" he said "for the Helsinki decision calls on the candidate countries to peacefully resolve their differences and border problems. This means that if Turkey wants to enter the EU then it has to solve its problems with the EU members and candidates. This in turn means that if the Cyprus problem is not solved Turkey cannot easily join the EU. And because Turkey wants to enter the EU and has accepted the Helsinki decision it is under obligation to solve this problem."

    Noting Cyprus/ inevitable move toward a solution, Talat said that if the Turkish Cypriots want to speed up that process they should immediately commence the negotiations with the EU, "The moment the Turkish Cypriots join the negotiations with the EU with their political equality intact, their economic level would rise dramatically".

    Turgut Afsaroglu, who is running as an independent candidate at the chagrin of TKP leader Mustafa Akinci as he was still a founding member of the TKP when he announced his candidacy and has thus the potential of dividing TKP/s votes, said the Cyprus problem has entered into a good course after the Helsinki decision and it could be solved easily "only if the pro-Enosis Clerides in the south and the pro-Taksim Denktash in the north were not around."

    Afsaroglu said Denktash would definitely be eliminated at these "elections" because "for the first time ever Ankara has no intention of interfering in the elections. Once Denktash is thrown out, the remaining parties should forge a united front in showing the world that it is the Turkish Cypriot side that really wants the peace".

    Another Turkish Cypriot objective, he added, should be "to strip Clerides of his legal title of sole representative of the Cyprus Republic. This is the second issue where we can push the Greek Cypriot into a corner. They have convinced the entire world that it was not they who threw us from the government but we voluntarily renounced our legal rights in the government. If this is so, and if we have given up those rights voluntarily, there is no article in the constitution and in the Treaty of Guarantee stipulating that a side forgoing its rights loses them for good if it does not return in 24 hours, or in 24 years to the government. So, we will now declare that we want our rights back, starting with our rights to have passports, and then we will send our president with his veto powers, our deputies, and ministers over there. And we will do this without any prejudice to the TRNC. We would tell them: You are a federated state in south Cyprus, and we would preserve our status in the north, only that we are now also demanding our partnership rights in the legal government.

    Next, we have to join the EU process before a solution. This is very important. Once we send over there our vice-president with veto powers then there will be no reason why we should not join the EU process. We can then channel all the EU aid to the north and improve our economy. Only then the Greek Cypriots would show a reluctant interest in peace".

    Afsaroglu also left the studio in protest of Denktash/s refusal to join the debate.

    Speaking next, Akinci also criticized Denktash for not attending the debate.

    Noting the changes on the international arena, Turkish-Greek rapprochement, Turkey/s ties with the EU, the new international precept of solving the problems rather than living with them, Akinci said that if elected he will use all these newly emerged international factors for solving the Cyprus problem with the EU goal in mind. Expressing support for the confidence building measures, he said he would support the renovation of Apostolos Andreas Monastery and Hala Sultan mosque, and propose tourism between the two sides.

    In reply to the criticism of the leftist groups that he wants a EU membership only after a solution, Akinci explained: "The reason why we insist on EU membership after a solution is to ensure that we enter the EU with rights obtained at the peace agreement, so that these rights would not suffer an eventual erosion".

    Akinci warned at the same time that if the Turkish Cypriot side keeps on repeating the erroneous policies of the past, the Greek Cypriots would join the EU on behalf of the whole Cyprus.

    He also warned that if the elected "president" follows an adamant policy of not entering the EU before Turkey that would only facilitate the Greek Cypriots/ accession to the EU.

    Arif Hasan Tahsin speaking next said that under the British rule in Cyprus only a British could have become an Army commander, and now under Turkey/s rule the army and police chiefs must be Turkish citizens, a Turkish Cypriot cannot become a commander. Monetary policy is also under Turkey/s control because the head of the "TRNC Central Bank" must also be a Turkish citizen. The head of the Civil Defense Organization also cannot be a Turkish Cypriot. The entry and exit ports, postal services, banking, and almost everything else in the occupied north are also under Turkey control, Tahsin said and reminded that the British rule was called "colonialism" and in his opinion the present form of administration in the occupied north is also a "colonialism".

    Tahsin argued that the Cyprus problem is still outside the control of the Cypriots as Turkey is really in charge of the talks.

    Noting that the United States is trying to restructure the region after the demise of the Soviet Union and for that purpose is behind the current Cyprus talks, Tahsin said that something will eventually come out of these talks but it would be wrong to call it a solution. He said a US-imposed solution would keep the British, Turkish, and Greek troops here and recognize the United States the possibility of using Cyprus whenever it wants. "This means that the US, Britain, Turkey, and Greece will take as much as they want and leave the crumbs to us."

    Tahsin said he believes the Cypriots/ only chance rests with the EU. "If Cyprus immediately joins the EU then it might somewhat mitigate the fatalism in its 10,000-year history, and secure a humane existence inside the EU. Otherwise, it would be wrong to expect the Cypriots to be very happy in a solution to be found by the United States, Britain, Turkey, and Greece without regard to the wishes of the Cypriots".

    Tahsin said efforts for solution should be supported, but to prepare the ground for it the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots should meet and debate their problems and reconcile their differences. A solution without first effectuating a reconciliation between these two communities would be a fragile one like the 1960/s. Therefore, Tahsin adds, "We should immediately join the EU, and in seeking a solution we should not advance confederation because the confederation means the continuation of the present situation. We must prefer federation for a solution".

    During the discussion that followed, Akinci rejected Tahsin/s comparison of Turkey to British colonial rule, warning that this sort of talk "will not win the people over to the leftist parties".

    Besides, Akinci adds, "an elected president can only achieve something if he cooperates with Turkey. Anyone looking at the map can realize that".

    Akinci argued that such talk about Turkey should stop, but at the same time an end should also be put to the "motherland-daughterland" relationship by trying to make the "TRNC" stand on its own feet.

    Tahsin said that the Turkish Cypriots lost more than half of their members to emigration in the last 25 years because no dialogue in the form suggested by Akinci has ever taken place with Turkey. "In the face of these realities, as a Cypriot it is impossible not to revolt. How long more should we wait, how long? Shall we reconcile to our complete destruction?" In an indirect criticism of Denktash who considers the displacement of the indigenous Turkish Cypriots with settlers from Turkey as something normal, Tahsin said that a "president" should above all protect the existence of a community, its independence, freedom, and right to self-government. He stated that a "president" stands to lose his legitimacy if he tries to replace the existing community by another population. He added that if he gets elected he will not work for confederation. "Why? Because confederation gives the constituent"states the right to conclude military and political agreements with foreign powers, which means that any disgruntled state can conclude a military pact and introduce a few thousand soldiers prompting the other side to retaliate in kind. That would bring us back to square one. (passage omitted). So we support a bizonal federation in place of confederation, which the foreign powers will use to separate us and pit us against each other to advance their own interests. We want a federation so that we can have a say on the whole of the island".

    Talat on his part listed some confidence-building projects. He declared he will definitely open Varosha and the Nicosia International Airport to the joint use of the two communities. He said he will also turn the old Nicosia within the walls into a joint free trade and cultural centre. But he hastened to clarify that this will be done "without prejudice to security of the community as the northern part of this zone will still remain under the Turkish Cypriot administration".

    Tahsin intervened and said: "All my colleagues here, be they independent or party representatives, claim that they can solve the problems even before gaining the right to solve the problems. Whereas, we are saying that our first task should be to secure the right to solve the problems. It is impossible for us to have any say in anything or solve any problem before we could retake from Turkey our right to solve these problems. Because of the truth of what I am saying the people should elect me.

    For a community to regain its honour it should be able to administer itself. This too is something defended by us exclusively. We insist that the community should govern itself. We say this country belongs to us. That is why the people should elect me. We say Cyprus belongs to the Cypriots, before it belongs to the United States, Britain, Turkey, and Greece. We say this country belongs to the Cypriots. That is why the people should elect me.

    Whether we should enter the EU before or after a solution is important because presently we have no right of say in a solution. Mr. Mumtaz Soysal said some days ago that even in case of confederation there could be no Cyprus solution before Turkey joins the EU. He wants to say that the Turkish Cypriots cannot join the EU. This means the annihilation of the Turkish Cypriots and is a sign that there would be no solution. Turkey wants to say that it will not allow a solution before it enters the EU. And since we have no right of say no solution would occur. That is why we say that we should fast enter the EU and thus protect our community/s existence and provide it a happier existence."

    [04] Turkish diplomatic sources report on Moses visit in Ankara

    Anatolia Agency (17:39 hours, 12.4.00) reports that Alfred Moses, US President Bill Clinton/s Special Representative to Cyprus, held contacts in Ankara and wanted to learn the view of the officials to give a "UN framework paper to the concerned sides". Diplomatic sources told A.A. correspondent that Moses conveyed the message to Ankara that they were expecting an "action" in third round of proximity talks, foreseen to take place in New York on May 23.

    Sources said Moses wanted to learn the views of the officials to submit a UN framework paper to the concerned sides for this action, yet, the Turkish side was not positive toward this.

    Diplomatic sources said it was impossible for Turkey to accept this, and noted that facts on the island should be accepted first of all to implement such a proposal.

    Another issue which Moses wanted to learn the views of the officials was the form of the proximity talks. Moses wanted the talks to continue in the form of proximity talks, yet indirectly proposed the talks to take place in a campus, like Camp David. In response to this proposal, Turkish side said this method may have provided a solution for Israel and Egypt, but it will not give a positive result for the Cyprus issue.

    Meanwhile, membership of Turkey and Cyprus to the European Union (EU) was discussed during the contacts of Moses. The Representative advised the Turkish side to solve the Cyprus question to record improvement on the way of membership.

    In response to the statement of Moses, theTurkish side pointed out that improvement of relations with the EU did not depend on the Cyprus issue.

    [05] Moses/ visit to Ankara before "elections"

    CUMHURIYET (13.4.00) reports that US Ambassador Alfred Moses, President Clinton/s special emissary for Cyprus, during his visit to Turkey the so- called elections, tried to feel the pulse of Ankara as regard the next round of Cyprus indirect talks that are scheduled for May 23.

    Moses met yesterday first with state Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and then with the Undersecretary at Turkey/s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. O. Faruk Logoglu and his advisor Yigit Alpogan.

    A press conference followed the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which lasted an hour and a half .

    Replying a reporter/s question, Moses said that they were there to exchange views regarding the third round of Cyprus indirect talks.

    On the "presidential elections", Moses made a comment, "Let the best win".

    During the meeting with Alpogan, Moses said that they were informed about Turkey/s views on the Cyprus problem.

    According to the article, Moses/ visit to Turkey before the so-called presidential elections is not a coincidence.

    [06] New paper to promote tourism

    According to HALKIN SESI (13.4.00) a newspaper called "The gazette of North Tourism" will begin circulating in the occupied area with the aim to promote tourism.

    The first edition will be monthly and the paper will then become weekly. Some of the pages of the newspaper will be published in English.

    The articles will focus on tourism in the occupied area, international fairs, promotion of the "TRNC" and activities regarding tourism.

    The newspaper will also be distributed in London.

    The editor in chief is Resat Akar and the publisher is Gunes T. Onur.

    [07] Turkish Cypriot press on "election campaign"

    The debate among the Turkish Cypriots on "who will be the winner of the presidential elections" continues.

    The front page article of AVRUPA (13.4.00) under the title "This job is finished" refers to the fact that at Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash/s rally in the occupied part of Nicosia the other day, there were not even a thousand people. It calls this rally a fiasco.

    The front page of BIRLIK carries a photo of Eroglu/s rally yesterday, where approximately 5,000 people participated.

    On the other hand, KIBRISLI publishes a photo of Denktash/s rally and says that this rally was a big success and was the answer of the people to those who put at stake the destiny of the "country" and the "nation" by selling votes.

    ORTAM and YENIDUZEN report on their front pages about the rallies of Akinci and Talat with the same optimistic messages.

    [08] Tree planting at Ledra Palace

    According to KIBRIS (13.4.00), on 1 May, Labour/s Day, there will be tree planting at the Ledra Palace checkpoint by Greek and Turkish Cypriot unionists.

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


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