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Antenna: News in English (AM), 97-05-27

Antenna Radio News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Antenna Radio <http://www.antenna.gr> - email: antenna@compulink.gr

News in English, 27/05/97


TITLES

  • The Turkish government repeats its claims to Greek islands.
  • The son of the former Greek king wants to visit Greece.
  • And, Greece's fine showing in women's gymnastics.


TURKEY/OIMEN

Turkey's deputy foreign minister has repeatedly spoken of his country's claims to Greek isles in the Aegean.

Onour Oimen wants Greece to negotiate over isles he says are not guaranteed to Greece by any international agreements.

Oimen is in Greece at the invitation of the Political Research and Information Centre.

He held a public discussion on Greek-Turkish relations with the Greek alternate foreign minister. Giorgos Papandreou told Oimen to start respecting Greece's rights.

The public meeting between the Greek and Turkish ministers was the first of its kind. It touched on all the issues. Once again, Turkey repeated its call for a bi-lateral dialogue on all issues between the country.

And once again, Greece defended its sovereign rights, telling Turkey to respect international law, and take any claims it has to the international court.

Turkey still has its eyes on the Greek isles in the Aegean.

Onour Oimen says many of the smaller isles are not mentioned as going to Greece in the international treaties that state Greece's Aegean rights.

He wants Greece to sit down and re-negotiate its rights to some 130 uninhabited islands.

"It is said that behind a certain line all the islands are Greek. There's no such reference in the treaties".

Greek alternate foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou responded, repeating Greece's position:

"We therefore understand the Lausanne Treaty as .. all island from the border on".

Oimen also repeated that Turkey will not recognise the international law of the sea, which gives Greece the right to extend its maritime borders in the Aegean from 6 to 12 miles from land.

If Greece does so, he says Turkey will consider it an act of war.

Papandroeu also responded to that:

"Greece has the right to extend to 12 miles. It's also said it doesn't intend to do so".

Turkey is in military occupation of northern Cyprus, but Oimen says that the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots communities should be left alone to find a solution. But Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus is not recognised as a state by anyone but Turkey.

Asked about Turkey's military landing on the Greek rocks of Imia last year, which took his country and Greece to the brink of war, Oimen says only that Greece would be surprised if Turkey released the documents it has concerning Imia.

Greek alternate foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou took up that claim, saying that if Turkey is in possession of such documents it should feeli confident about taking them to the international court, to once and for all resolve the issue.

Papandreou also repeated the three conditions Greece and the EU have asked Turkey to meet to improve relations between Greece and Turkey. The first is that Turkey stop threatening Greece with violence, as it did over Imia; Turkey must respect international law; and it must take any claims it wants to make on Greece to the court.

If Turkey stops issuing war threats, respects international treaties, and removes its troops from Cyprus, says Papandreou, then Greece is ready for dialogue.

The public meeting between the Greek and Turkish ministers was the first of its kind. It touched on all the issues. Once again, Turkey repeated its call for a bi-lateral dialogue on all issues between the country.

And once again, Greece defended its sovereign rights, telling Turkey to respect international law, and take any claims it has to the international court.

DEMIREL INTERVIEW

Last week, we brought you the first part of the Turkish president's interview with Antenna's Nikos Megrelis. In that first part, Suleiman Demirel repeated Turkey's claims to Greece's sovereign rights in the Aegean.

In the second part of the interview, Megrelis asked him if it isn't time the Cyprus problem were solved. Turkey has been in military occupation of northern Cyprus for 22 years.

Turkish president Suleiman Demirel told Nikos Megrelis that the Turkish side is willing to enter UN dialogue to solve the Cyprus problem.

He says Turkey is ready to talk about a bi- communal, bi-zonal federal solution.

Yet the reality is that Turkish barbed wire cuts the island, and Nicosia, in two. But when aske if it isn' time the wall came down in Nicosia, just as the walls have come down across Europe, Demirel skirts the issue, saying it's not Turkey's business, but a matter for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to settle.

Demirel also dismisses the fear Greek-Cyriots have that there could be another Turkish occupation, fears that were heightened last August, when two Greek-Cypriots were murdered in the neutral zone.

Demirel simply says if Turkey wanted to take the whole island, it would've done so 22 years ago. Turkey just wants to protect the Turkish- Cypriots, he claims.

Nikos Megrelis pointed out that if Cyprus becomes an EU member, as it wants to, then the secrutiy of everyone in Cyprus will be guaranteed.

Demirel's response to that was, Cyprus should not become an EU member before Turkey, even though the EU is ready to start Cypriot admission talks soon. Demirel says that a 1960 EU agreement states that Cyprus should join no international organisation before Turkey.

And Demirel threatens that if Cyprus joins before Turkey, then the Cyprus problem will be drawn out for years and years, indefinitely.

One issue of concern to Greece and Cyprus, is that of the Greek-Cypriots missing since the Turkish invasion in 1974. Turkey has never clarified what happened to those people.

Again, even though it's the Turkish army sitting in northern Cyprus, Demirel says the missing have noting to do with Turkey. He adds that the matter's been dealt with.

Turning to the issue of Turkish entry into the EU, Demirel says Muslim fundamentalists pose no threat to Turkey's EU orientation.

Mergrelis points out that before Turkey can get closer to the EU, it must solve its problems with Greece.

Demirel rejects that EU condition, because it could take years for those problems to be sorted out.

Megrelis also asks whether the strong presence of the military in Turkey's political life will impede its EU course.

Megrelis points out that the military recently asked for a coup against the government.

Demirel says the military has no connection to politics in his country. As for the coup proposal, he says everyone has a right to his opinion.

Megrelis also asked the Turkish president why Turkey refuses to recognise the ecumenical nature of the Greek orthodox patriarchate in Constantinople, even though many nations and religions 4;2H7mmC7m.m recognise it.

Demirel's answer to that is, Turkey has never agreed to recognise the patriarchate as ecumenical. He adds that Turkey has no intention of doing so right now.

Demirel has met a number of Greek leaders during his 40-year-long political career. He has high regard for two former prime ministers, Konsantinos Karamnlis, and Konstantinos Mitsotakis.

He says Karamanlis had agreed to a resolution of the Cyprus problem. He adds that if archbishop Makarios had honoured the 1960 London-Zurich accords on Cyprus, then there wouldn't be any problem today. And when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974, Demirel belives it was Karamanlis who kept Greece and Turkey from going to war. "Karamanlis was very wise", Demirel recalls. "We learned that conflict benefits no one, and politicians in both countries have always been very careful in addressing bi-lateral relations".

Asked if Turkey is willing to make a show of goodwill toward Greece, Demirel again avoids the issue, saying Greece needs to show goodwill too. He repeats that Turkey wants dialogue on all issues between the two countries.

Greece has rejected that dialogue, because Turkey considers Greece's rights in the Aegean issues to be discussed.

Turning to the issue of Turkish entry into the EU, Demirel says Muslim fundamentalists pose no threat to Turkey's EU orientation.

Mergrelis points out that before Turkey can get closer to the EU, it must solve its problems with Greece.

Demirel rejects that EU condition, because it could take years for those problems to be sorted out.

Megrelis also asks whether the strong presence of the military in Turkey's political life will impede its EU course.

Megrelis points out that the military recently asked for a coup against the government.

Demirel says the military has no connection to politics in his country. As for the coup proposal, he says everyone has a right to his opinion.

DEMIREL REACTION

A number of Greek leaders reacted to the FIRST part of Demirel's interview, in which he repeats Turkey's claims on the Greek Aegean.

Demirel said some 130 uninhabited Greek isles are of questionable sovereignty. He also repeated Turkey's threat of war, if Greece exercises its right to extend its maritime border from 6 to 12 miles in the Aegean.

Despite that threat, he also said he's ready to sign a "no-attack" agreement with Greece.

The Greek defence minister says Greece is ready for dialogue with Turkey, but on issues that can be discussed - NOT on matters of Greece's sovereign rights.

Akis Tsochatzopoulos adds that Greece claims nothing, but nor will it allow Turkey to make claims on its borders.

Pasok MP Giannis Kapsis calls Demirel's comments provocative but also naive. The provocative part is talking about a "no-attack" agreement while repeating the threat of war over the 12 miles.

And Pasok MP Stelios Papathemelis says Demirel repeated nearly all Turkey's claims on Greece, and then offered the agreement. Thanks, but no thanks, adds Papathemelis.

TSOCHATZOPOULOS

Foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos says Turkey's "no-attack" proposal is a good idea, if Turkey quits threatening Greece with war over the 12 miles in the Aegean.

In an interview with the daily "Ta Nea", Greek foreign minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos cautioned Turkey to be careful as far as the status quo in the Aegean is concerned. The minister adds that an attempt to upset that status could rebound negatively for Turkey, and lead to a changing of the status quo in the Aegean-Black Sea straits.

Tsochatzopoulos had a briefing with Cypriot counterpart Kostas Iliades, within the framework of the Greek-Cypriot joint defence doctrine.

Tsochatzopoulos also met with New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, briefing him on defence issues.

Citing the growing Turkish threat, Karamanlis urged the government not to delay in going ahead with its new armaments programme.

TURK MILITARY REPORT

The Turkish military acacdemy has listed claims even to Greek islands in the Saronic Gulf, just off the coast of Athens.

An academy book claims that all islands not won by Greece during World War II belong to Turkey.

The claims are so far-fetched that the book was vociferously attacked even in Turkey, and withdrawn.

The book also names small isles near Crete as being Turkish.

The publication goes even further, saying any islands not mentioned by the Treaty of Lausanne also belong to Turkey. Among those are the islands of Imia, Farmakonissi, and Kalolimnos.

ALBANIA/TZAVELLAS

Dimitris Tzavellas has admitted killing fellow- police officer Nikos Markakis.

Markakis was shot in the head last Tuesday in the Greek consulate in Argyrokastro, Albania.

Both men were members of the consulate security team.

Initially, the authorities believed that he had accidentally shot himself.

But a ballistics report showed that the bullet had come from Tzavellas's gun.

Arrested last Thursday, Tzavellas at first denied he had anything to do with the death of his colleague.

Now he says his gun accidentally went off when he was fooling around with it.

PAVLOS

Pavlos, the son of former king Constantine and his wife, Marie-Chantal, say they wish to visit Greece, but with no intention of creating any problems.

In an exclusive interview with Antenna they share their latest news.

As holders of the New York ballet chair, Pavlos and Marie-Chantal attended the opening of the spring season performances this weekend.

Former king Constantine and his wife were also there, as guests of honour. Constantine said he has no plans to visit Greece in the near future.

He refused to comment on the archives of former president Konstantinos Karamanlis from the 1970s, which recently touched off a series of heated exchanges between the two men.

Pavlos and Marie-Chantal told Antenna that they will soon reveal more details about their planned philanthropic foundation to help needy children with medical bills and studies abroad.

Constantine said he's proud of the young couple for undertaking the difficult task of setting up the foundation, which he believes will be a success.

PONTIANS

Pontian Greeks - Greeks from the Black Sea coast - held the 74th anniversary of the Turkish genocide against their people. 350 thousand people were slaughtered by the Turks in the Pontus region, near the Black Sea in Asia Minor.

This day of rememberance was marked by special events in Athens and Thessaloniki. Greek defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who attended the events in Thessaloniki, said that Greece wants the genocide to be recognised internationally; and it wants Turkey to comdemn the tragic slaughter.

The commemoration events included a mass at the Saint Sofia church and the laying of wreaths at the Pontians monument in Thessaloniki.

A memorial service was also held in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens. The Pontians then marched from the Cathedral to the Turkish embassy.

SOCCER

Turning to soccer, Olympiakos made it official this weekend. The Piraeus team ended its league championship season with a 6-nil trouncing of Veria.

And the home crowd loves it all the way: Olympiakos picks up four of its goals in the first half.

Giannakopoulos gets a hat-trick. Alexandris gets one goal, but it's all he needs to win the individual scoring title, edging out Paok's Frantzeskos 23- 22 in that category.

It's a day of festivity for Olympiakos fans, who gathered at the stadium early, anticipating the presentation of the trophy - the first for its team in 10 years.

Olympiakos finishes the season with 26 wins, 6 draws, and just two losses.

It's also champagne day for Paok, which finishes fourth and sews up a place in next year's Uefa cup after its victory over Kastoria. Kastoria finishes last and goes to the second division next year.

As do Aris and Edessaikos.

Loser Ofi will also be in the Uefa cup, by virtue of its third-place finish.

Second-place Aek gets a slot in the European cupwinners' cup tournament.

And fifth-place Panathinaikos gets none: for the first time in 14 years, Pao will NOT be playing in Europe.

In the other two games on the last day of the season, Panachaiki draws at home, and Kalamata triumphs on its own pitch.

GYMNASTICS

Greece won four medals at the European rthymic gymnastics meet in Patra.

Maria Pagalou copped two silvers, one in the ribbon and one in the hoop.

The women's ensemble added another silver.

And the women's youth team came away with the gold in the ensemble, repeating their 1994 triumph.

© ANT1 Radio 1997


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