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Denktash: ''They sold me for a Mercedes''
2003-09-05 18:47:05

September 1, 2003

Report by Mustafa Kucuk Istanbul Hurriyet (Internet Version)

Leader of the northern Cypriot community stated that the US and British governments were trying to give him the same treatment they did Palestinian leader Arafat and push him out of the picture and went on: "The Americans and the British never come to me unless they are in difficulty. The biggest difference between me and Arafat is that whereas I am elected he got himself elected."

Stating that in the next 'elections' the opposition will only be able to get 30 percent of the vote Denktas added the other parties had been bought off.

"When I was undergoing surgery the same people who used to ask my help just to buy a newspaper had bought themselves a Mercedes when I got back, on condition they stab me in the back. They sold me out for two villas and a Mercedes. At least I did not come cheap," said Denktas.

I Want it Too

"Entering the EU will open the way ahead for Turkey. That is a just approach being held. But I am trying to secure my status when entering the EU. However, there is pressure here when it comes to Turkey entering the EU. They immediately see Cyprus as an obstacle and accept everything. They say, 'Let us accept Annan and his dog even. Accept anything for the sake of accepting something.'

I am saying that this does not actually help Turkey. When they see this what is the other side going to say? If you want to help Turkey, fine, but what you are doing is illegal. You have to say, 'You cannot do that.' We have declarations from all the lawyers and we have to use them all the way to the top.

"EU member diplomats are also aware of the mistake they made but say they cannot do much about it. They say, 'We shall try and protect your rights.' I say to them: 'What are our rights? How do you see me? We are still seeking the rights they are working to preserve. They see us as 'a sublime minority' and they treat us a 'protected minority'. That we are not. We are founding partners of the Republic (of Cyprus). That Republic is a bird whose wings have been clipped. Not fully independent, it cannot fly. It cannot take the decision to dissolve itself.

Being a fully independent state Turkey could take the decision today to unite with Greece. Cyprus cannot take such a decision. Not with these guarantees and the bans on Enosis. Makarios went to war saying: 'I wanted full independence but I became the colony for three countries.' Talking about the 1960 agreements and the guarantees, the people who read them crowned Makarios as the apostle of independence. They attacked us mercilessly calling us 'imperialist generation'. The results are plain for all to see.

We Too Are Necessary

"Unless and until the EU countries get the reaction they deserve they will continue accusing us. However, if pubic opinion shouts out: 'What you are doing is illegal. Where else in the world do you take one side when the UN has been standing between the two for 40 years and make it a member?' then they will start acting differently. Their only hope in the face of our resolve is an election.

The EU got in contact with us thinking that might not happen. They come over now looking to see how they can raise our economy to the same standard as the Greek Cypriot economy and what else they can do. These people declare, 'Cyprus is geopolitically important for the EU.' If Turkey is that necessary then it is to their benefit to take us in as well.

"Am I Fortunate to be on TL 2 Billion a Month?"

"I look at the 'government' and at our 'people'. You cannot say to a handful of people for 40 years that their national cause is Turkey's cause and secretly arm them, send them underground and spend 50 of our years on the Turkish cause only later to say it was a mistake and that there is no need for it.

You have no such right. If you are going to say it then say it like a man. You call the leader and say: 'You are going to live either under Greek-Greek Cypriot administration or under Turkish administration. You decide. We no longer have a Cyprus issue.

We devoted our entire youth to this. Did I do all this just so I could be 'President'? Or should I count my lucky stars that I am 'President' and on a salary of TL 2 billion. Is that any way to see things?

I Would Take Anatolia Behind me and Fight Again

"Who is inviting us if not Papadopoulos? A man who says he does not want this and that he has changed a lot. He says, 'Denktas should forget reparations and then I will agree.' We are also in favor of rehabilitation but as you go down that road the problem will be just as intractable in 40 years' time as it was before. He says he will not recognize us, so don't then. We can live as a market country between East and West, between Turkey and EU member southern Cyprus as an unrecognized country. They will all come over here and buy cars dead cheap.

I Have Two Years

"The opposition cannot secure more than 30 percent of the vote in the elections. However, if the "government" gets the right number of votes they might well ask me to withdraw from the talks. In that case I will drop everything. I will take Anatolia behind me and take up the fight again.

EU Lost

"On entering the EU the south will abandon its economy and much more besides. It will take 10 years for them to get back to where they are now starting with 4,000 odd offshore accounts. If you really want to take on a single Cyprus then first bring us up to their standards politically and economically then take the island. When you take us on then Cyprus economy will need help. What part of them is ready to join the EU?

I am saying that you made a political decision to take on Cyprus and we too made a political decision. We are not entering the EU like this.

Tayyip Erdogan Has Changed Much

"There are great changes in Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The national policy approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly and followed by all Turkish governments to date has been the same: They say, 'The facts are that there are two peoples, two democracies, two states and Turkey's undiluted guarantee.'The people of Anatolia are right behind you; the press in Istanbul is somewhere else.

With its population, its Anatolian culture and even its religion, Turkey has no chance of getting into the EU. The EU is currently negotiating with Turkey. They are saying, 'Give us Cyprus now.' After Cyprus then see the Greece. The Aegean and other issues. Afterwards you give autonomy to the Kurds. Turkey does not have the strength to say stop to any of this yet.

Press Must Champion us

"Not only the government but the press too must defend this right. But what is the press doing? It pour on the pressure saying: 'Cyprus is an obstacle. Cyprus must be taken into the EU.' This is what they all want. Cyprus had its wings clipped at birth and was not given full independence so that it could not dissolve itself or fall to Enosis. The guarantee agreements were hobbled. Enosis was banned and so was partition.

Did not Makarios say as his reason for starting the war, 'I wanted full independence but I am not fully independent'? All this has been forgotten. There are directives for the prime ministers in the British documents: Makarios is not the government. He is not Cyprus. He must act together with Dr. Kucuk. All of this has been forgotten and they have begun to treat the country as if it were fully independent.

However, I have no right to criticize foreigners. The most famous of my country's newspapers cannot work this most vital of issues. Our press must bring this to the attention all the time and form public opinion. It must defend Turkey's rights and those of the Turkish Cypriots."

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