Turkish Press on Cyprus (April - June 1995)



The Turkish press on Cyprus of April-June 1995 includes a series of articles on Cyprus' entry to EU, the Turkish Cypriots' desire for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the so-called elections in the occupied area.
In a poll carried out by Kibris it appears that a large proportion of the Turkish Cypriots favour Cyprus' accession to the EU even if Turkey is not yet a member. "Regarding the EU, 44.3% said that accession to the EU must be realized without waiting for Turkey to become a member if the Cyprus problem is solved" (Kibris. 29.3.95). Furthermore the paper notes that "those who said "we must join the EU without waiting for Turkey to become a member if a peace agreement is concluded' increased in accordance with their educational level".
Mehmet Ali Birand writing in Sabah, 25.4.95 points out that a solution is long overdue. He says characteristically: "The Cypriot people now want a solution. They are fed up with the lack of a solution." Birand adds that "Europe too wants the Cyprus problem definitely solved by the year 2000 when Cyprus' full membership in the European Union (EU) will be realized. Their message to the Turkish Cypriot community is "unless you come to terms with the Greek Cypriots you will be left out of the EU while the Greek Cypriots become a full member' ". Moreover, in another article in Kibris (25.5.95), Durduran "urged Denktash to make public the realities on the Cyprus problem" and adds that "it would not be a wise action of defence insisting on the thesis that "Cyprus should not enter the EU prior to a settlement' ".
Kutlu Adali in article in Yeniduzen on 1.6.95 refers again to the issue of the mainland Turks who have been brought over to the occupied areas and "whose number has reached 100 thousand". The result of this Adali adds is that "the cake called territory has been artificially partitioned and non-solution has beeen encouraged".
Other issues dealt with are the illegal immigrants which continue to arrive in the occupied areas and the lack of improvement in human rights in Turkey.

Newspaper: Sabah, 9.5.95
Title: Turkish Ambassadors' meeting on Europe
By: Mehmet Ali Birand

Mehmet Ali Birand writing in SABAH (9.5.95) under the title "An important warning by 17 Ambassadors" says that Turkey's Ambassadors in 17 western countries recently held very important meetings in Ankara and that since it is common knowledge that they have devoted many years to Turkey's foreign policy and relations with western countries, the Turkish people must be informed about their important assessments and warnings. "Those who act with common sense must seriously consider their views", Birand says and adds: "The 17 Ambassadors seem to be worried. They said that Turkey has arrived at a crossroads in its relations with the western countries and that it will be isolated for a while if it fails to take action. They also said that the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have gradually hardened their approach against Turkey and that the possibility that the European Parliament may reject the agreement on customs union between Turkey and the EU has strengthened... The Ambassadors outlined many other views, which were equally important. What can be done in the light of what they have said?", Birand asks.
And he gives the answer: "The Ambassadors drew up a short-term work programme and established the details of Turkey's medium-term and long-term strategy. Their short-term programme is related to the laws that have to be adopted before the Turkish Grand National Assembly's (TGNA) summer recess. One of the Ambassadors' most important compaints was Turkey's reluctance to take action. They said that it has created the impression that it does not want to take any action. The message they conveyed to the government without making a reference to the administration was: ‘It is time for Turkey to take action'.......
The ambassadors focused particularly on the need to make those changes without loss of time. They said that Turkey's relations with Europe may improve, the European Parliament may approve the agreement on customs union, and the initiative made in the Council of Europe to suspend Turkey as a member may be blocked if the changes are made. Meanwhile, a Foreign Ministry official said: ‘We have a golden opportunity at our fingertips. Our relations with the western countries are about to reach the point where we will be able to secure long-term advantages. We must not miss that opportunity. So, we must quickly make a daring move.' He also said that freedom of speech can be realized in a way that will not pose a threat to Turkey's territorial integrity....
The Ambassadors outlined important views particularly on Turkey's long-term strategy. Many of them said that the problems must be freely debated while the struggle against the Workers Party of Kurdistan's (PKK) terrorist activities is maintained. They asserted: ‘Every problem must be debated in Turkey... That will enable us to realize our mistakes. It will also enable the Western countries to realize their mistakes...'.
And Birand continues:
All that concerned what Turkey must do in the country in the future. However, the Ambassadors also focused on a package of serious initiatives the Foreign Ministry must make in the international arena immediately after the TGNA approves the changes. The package included an intensive work programme aimed at resolving Turkey's problems abroad, from explaining the difference between the Kurdish problem and PKK's terrorist activities to blocking the wrong information given to foreign officials against Turkey."
And Birand concludes: "We hope that the messages the 17 Ambassadors have conveyed will have an impact on Ankara. It will be a pity if they fall on deaf ears.
We agree with the Ambassadors that the western countries are not trying to realize an insidious plan to divide Turkey. We are convinced that we have to realize democratization not because the western countries want us to do so but because we need democratization for ourselves. We are happy to say that the views the Ambassadors expressed fully comply with the views we have outlined in this column for a long time. It may be that certain circles will be upset. However, those who have outlined the realities will win in the end....

Newspaper: Yeniduzen, 1.6.95
Title: Kutlu Adali on the territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem

Kutlu Adali, writing in YENIDUZEN (1.6.95), refers to the territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem and says that if the sides are sincere in their desire to solve the problem, this issue can be solved quickly, on the basis of the Makarios-Denktash High Level Agreement of 1977. He says that some of the Turkish Cypriot villages in the free areas are very fertile land and could be compared to the fertile Morphou plain.
He names some of these villages around the Diarisos valley and proposes the establishment of cantons around these villages in exchange for the Morphou plain.
He says that the creation of cantons should be seen not as a division factor but as areas within the federal state where friendship, co-operation, goodwill and "Cypriotism" will reign.
"For me", says Adali, "the territorial issue is not an issue for non-solution. The problem is the abnormal change in demography. Today, Denktash, based on the agreement he concluded with Makarios in 1977, demands territory. However, there is a huge difference between the number of Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied areas in 1977 and that of today. Around 30-40 thousand Turkish Cypriots have emigrated and in their place mainland Turks were brought whose number has reached around 100 thousand. That is, the cake called territory has been artificially partitioned and non-solution has been encouraged. So, under these conditions one should not be surprised if cantonal arrangements are meted out to the Turkish Cypriots in the south", Adali writes.

Newspaper: Kibris, 29.3.95
Title: Poll: 44.3 percent in the occupied area back joining EU without Turkey

According to KIBRIS (29.3.95), some 42.7 percent of respondents interviewed by COMAR for a public opinion poll held from 11 to 19 March believe that "The establishment of a federation or a confederation in which the Turkish Cypriot people's rights will be protected will be the most appropriate Cyprus solution". Regarding the EU, 44.3 percent said that "accession to the EU must be realized without waiting for Turkey to become a member if the Cyprus problem is solved.
The respondents were asked to express their opinion on "the most appropriate way to solve the Cyprus problem". Some 39.2 percent said "the TRNC must be recognized as an independent state," 15.3 percent said "a federation or confederation must be established with the Greek Cypriots, in which the Turkish Cypriot people's rights will be protected.
Regarding the EU, many of the respondents said "accession to the EU must be realized without waiting for Turkey to become a member if the Cyprus problem is solved." Some 3.1 percent of respondents are convinced that the "TRNC" must not join the EU and 41.1 percent believe "the TRNC must not join before Turkey is admitted as a member". But 44.3 percent are convinced "the TRNC must join the EU without waiting for Turkey to become a member if the Cyprus problem is solved".
Considering the respondents' age groups, the number of those who believe the Turkish Cypriots must join the EU without waiting for Turkey to become a member if the Cyprus problem is solved is above the general average in the 18-24, 25-34, and 35-44 age groups. The educational level of the respondents who replied to the question on the EU seems to be a significant factor. The percentage of those who said "we must not join the EU before Turkey becomes a member" and those who said "we must join the EU without waiting for Turkey to become a member if a peace agreement is concluded" increased in accordance with their educational level.

Newspaper: Kibris, 8.5.95
Title: Illegal workers pour into the occupied area

According to KIBRIS (8.5.95), there are 2,500 illegal workers from Turkey working in the occupied area.
It says that control of these workers is almost impossible since entry into the occupied area from Turkey is done without a passport procedure. "People could come in with a driving licence, a military discharge document, or even with a public bus subscription ticket", writes KIBRIS.
The paper adds that the "illegal workers" issue is the community's bleeding wound from the economic, social as well as the health point of view.
KIBRIS reports that illegal workers come mainly from the Adana and Alexandretta region in south Turkey.

Newspaper: Ortam, 26.6.95
Title: Ortam says 90% of Turkish Cypriots are against integration.

ORTAM (26.6.95) reports under the banner headlines "Sincere confession to Inonu", "The people of the TRNC is against integration", "The poll conducted prior to the presidential elections showed that more than 90% of the people are opposed to the Turkish Republic - TRNC integration. Today nothing has changed. The people first want settlement and EU membership".
It says that Denktash, with his visits to the provinces in Turkey, at the cost of putting Turkey in a difficult position and by conveying the message to the people of Anatolia that "Cyprus is on the verge of being lost … the Greek Cypriots will attack us", is aiming at neutralizing all peace attempts, making the people feel hopeless and at subduing the people through fear …
Another aim of his, the paper says, is to protect the economic interests of a handful of people that function under the present conditions.
"One should not turn a blind eye to the fact that, when Denktash on the one hand calls people to invest in the TRNC and on the other hand is declaring that the Greek Cypriots one night will make a surprise attack, he is forcing his own people to emigrate. For years, Denktash had been precluding the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and now he comes and urges for economic integration with Turkey. This is a manoeuvre aimed at fooling Turkey and putting it in a difficult situation before the world", the paper writes.

Newspaper: Yeniduzen, 17.6.95
Title: Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union opposes integration with Turkey

Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Union opposes integration with Turkey
According to YENIDUZEN (17.6.95) the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) has declared that in case integration with Turkey is realized this will mean that no Turkish Cypriots will remain in Cyprus. KTOS announced that it is against any solution which will make Turkish Cypriots emigrate from Cyprus.
The executive committee of the trade union, in a written statement, accused Denktash of dragging the Turkish Cypriots, through his known tactics, into a dangerous adventure.
The statement further says that Denktash, through his known tactics, is trying to create a situation, using the recent Cyprus EU Association Council decision as an excuse to further his known ideas.
The paper stresses that the EU resolution is not different from previous EU decisions.
The statement urges the Turkish Cypriot leadership, instead of pushing the problem up-hill and rendering its solution difficult, to co-operate and try to solve the problem and enter into membership with the EU.
"Turkish Cypriots can only live in peace and democracy in their own country if a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem is found. If integration with Turkey is realized, the Turkish Cypriots will start emigrating from the island as soon as possible. Consequently there will be no Turkish Cypriots left in Cyprus. Is this the aim of some circles in Cyprus?
KTOS, from the day it was established, has always defended the Turkish Cypriots living in their own country in peace and under democratic conditions. KTOS will continue its struggle for the finding of a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. It will continue to oppose any solution that will result in the Turkish Cypriots emigrating from Cyprus.
We believe and state that a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem is not only in the interest of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities but is in the interest of Greece and Turkey as well", concludes the statement.

Newspaper: Turkish Daily News, 21.6.95
Title: IHD report: No improvement in human rights in Turkey

Turkish Daily news (21.6.95) reports that April and May saw no improvement in the human rights situation in Turkey, according to a Human Rights Association (IHD) report released recently.
Execution without trial, torture or time spent in custody resulted in the death of 20 people over the two-month period, according to the report. Also there were 14 unsolved killings during April and May and 26 people went missing while in custody, the report says. The number of "criminals of thought" in prison is given as 157.
The IHD document notes that "criminals of thought" were fined TL 6 billion and the total length of prison sentences of the 157 detainees is 66 years. The report also indicates that 50 books and publications were confiscated in the period under examination and 75 individuals from the media were taken into custody.
The number of villages burned down and evacuated was 29, according to the report. Also, 20 police raids were organised on associations, unions, and publishing houses and 22 bomb attacks carried out. The IHD's document claims that eight associations, foundations and publishing houses were closed down in the two-month period.
Speaking at a press conference, Akin Birdal, the chairman of the IHD, said the association was under increased pressure. He also criticized the deportation of International Human Rights' Association members from Turkey, referring to Amnesty International's representative, Helmut Oberdiek, who had to leave the country on June 12.
With respect to the debates on constitutional amendments, Birdal, said the planned changes were not an adequate response to Turkey's needs.
"The 1982 Constitution should be changed as a whole. The planned changes would not be a step toward a real shake up of the legal structure nor would they be a step toward democratization", said Birdal.

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Giorgos Zacharia (lysi@mit.edu) © 1995-1999.
Last modified: Fri Jun 21 10:56:11 EDT 1996