Joint Statement By The Republic Of Turkey And The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus July 20, 1997


The Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey H.E.Mr.Bülent Ecevit, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E.Mr.İsmail Cem, Minister of State H.E.Mr.Hüsamettin Özkan, Minister of State H.E.Prof.Dr.Şükrü Sina Gürel, Minister of State H.E.Mr.Mehmet Batallı, Minister of State H.E. Prof.Ahad Andican, Minister of Finance H.E.Mr.Zekeriya Temizel, Minister of Tourism H.E. Mr.İbrahim Gürdal and other officials have paid an official visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on 20 July 1997 on the occasion of the peace and freedom ceremonies.

The Deputy Prime Minister H.E.Mr.Bülent Ecevit was received by TRNC President H.E.Mr.Rauf R.Denktaş, President of the legislative assembly H.E.Mr.Hakkı Atun and Prime Minister H.E.Dr.Derviş Eroğlu, for consultations and discussions.

During the course of the consultations held with president H.E.Mr.Rauf Denktaş and other officials, the two sides evaluated the direct talks held in New York between 9-12 July 1997 and also the announcement contained in the "Agenda 2000" report of the European Union that the accession negotiations with the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus would be commenced, in contravention of the 1960 Treaties on Cyprus.

The two sides agreed that the stance displayed by the EU, through the "Agenda 2000" report of the EU commission on the commencement of negotiations for full membership with the Greek Cypriot administration, would render useless the process of negotiations recommenced between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders, and that from now on it would be very difficult to reach a positive outcome through this process.

In view of the above, both sides expressed their will and determination to deepen further and to strengthen the existing cooperation within the framework of the 20 January 1997 joint declaration made by the President of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Taking into account that the massive build-up of arms and the support given to terrorism in south Cyprus has reached a level which constitutes a threat directed against Turkey, both sides have emphasized the increasing importance of the TRNC for the security of Turkey, while Turkey continues to provide effective guarantee for the TRNC.

In the light of the above facts, both sides, within the framework of the Joint Declaration of the two Presidents and the resolution adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 21 January 1997, and in parallel to the full membership process between the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus and the EU, have deemed it necessary to implement, step by step, the following measures towards economic and financial integration as well as partial integration, based on partnership in security, defence and foreign policy:

1. The TRNC will continue to exist as an independent state. However, until the TRNC is officially recognized by the international community and takes its rightful place in the family of nations as an independent and democratic state, a special relationship will be established between the two states for the purpose of protecting the interests of the TRNC in the sphere of foreign policy. In all international meetings concerning Cyprus in which the Turkish Cypriot side is denied the right to be heard, TRNC representatives will be included in the delegations of the Republic of Turkey. Towards this end, a framework agreement will be concluded between the two states and the functional and structural cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries will be established by a protocol.

2. Any attack on the TRNC will be considered as an attack on the Republic of Turkey. In this context, a joint defence concept will be established between the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC.

3. An Association Council will be created between the two states with the participation of the two parliaments and the relevant ministries.

4. An economic and financial union will be formed between the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC, in order to counter the effects of the unjust embargoes and restrictions on the TRNC economy. Meanwhile, the TRNC will be included in Turkey's priority regional development macro-economic master plans. The TRNC will benefit from the support and incentives provided for Turkey's priority regions for development.

5. An important trade and industrial center will be established in the Eastern Mediterranean by integrating the free-zones of the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC.

6. Transportation facilities to the TRNC via Turkey will be improved.

7. Facilities provided by Türksat satellite will be utilized to enable Bayrak Radio and Television (BRT) broadcasts to reach the regions receiving Turkish television broadcasts.

8. The water requirements of the TRNC will be met by Turkey at the earliest possible time.

9. In addition to the above, every structural cooperation and harmonization measure to be initiated between the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus and the EU, will be similarly implemented between the TRNC and Turkey.

The aim of the above undertakings and steps is to reach an agreement on the island which would provide for the continuation of peace and guarantees, maintain the balance in relation to Cyprus between Turkey and Greece, acknowledge the equality and sovereignty of the two sides, and prevent the hegemony of one side over the other.