Talks on Cyprus could start again, but Turks rule out UN plan. Turkey is negative on new talks, but leaves door open
| Istanbul, Turkey
With the breakdown of the Cyprus summit, Turkey is worried that Western leaders will pressure Ankara to push Turkish Cypriots into new negotiations with Greek Cypriots. These Turks want to tell the world that it will be pressuring the wrong party. It was the Greek Cypriot leader, Spyros Kyprianou, not Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who wrecked the summit, the Turks say.
``The Turkish Cypriot side has from the start shown a responsible and reconciling attitude and agreed to the draft agreement proposed by the UN Secretary-General,'' a Turkish government statement said Tuesday.
It blamed the Greek Cypriot side for failure of last week's talks and added, ``The Turkish government considers the loss of this historic opportunity as a severe blow on the chances of a settlement of the Cyprus issue.''
It seems clear that Turkey will support Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash's statement that any new talks would push aside the draft agreement worked out under the United Nations Secretary-General Javier P'erez de Cu'ellar and force the two sides to start again. Ankara would support Mr. Denktash in ``withdrawing'' concessions agreed to for last week's talks.
``We are now back in Square 1,'' says a Western observer here.
Turkish commentators say Ankara might now give Turkish Cypriot leaders a green light to consolidate the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Such action, including a public referendum on a new constitution and elections for a new assembly, had been postponed because of last week's talks.
In analyzing what went wrong last week, one Turkish official said: ``We were expecting some insistence on the Greek Cypriot side on issues such as acceptance of Turkey as a guarantor power and the timetable of the withdrawal of the Turkish forces from the island. But Mr. Kyprianou's request for a renegotiation of all the points of the draft agreement, including points on which Denktash had already made concessions, was a surprise.''
Turkish analysts view Kyprianou's stand at the talks as a sign that the Greek Cypriot position has not changed even on such basic points as the two-zone status of the federal system and the extent of the territory the Turks have agreed to concede.
Kyprianou's refusal to sign the draft agreement seems to have produced some relief among critics of Turkish government policy. And Turkey now regards the UN draft agreement on Cyprus dead.
However, Turks are concerned that Greece's lobbyists in Washington might try to push Congress to reduce aid to Turkey in the next fiscal year. The worry is that the Reagan administration might pressure Ankara for progress on the Cyprus dispute, which would heop to reduce any congressional resistance to aid.