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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-07

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>



  • [01] The Turkish Prime Minister is against the Greek Cypriots returning to their homes and properties.
  • [02] Ismail Cem denies the existence of a US plan for Cyprus.
  • [03] Ismail Cem is not optimistic or pessimistic, but rather realistic on Cyprus developments.
  • [04] The National People's Movement's views on the solution of the Cyprus problem.
  • [05] Cosar says that HSBC's opening a branch in the occupied areas of Cyprus is "a positive political and economic event".
  • [06] Former Turkish ambassador to Washington sees the Cyprus problem to be the first issue to be discussed during Prime Minister Ecevit's visit to the USA.
  • [07] Gurel does not want interference of "others" in the Cyprus problem
  • [08] The industrial sector of the pseudostate is shrinking.
  • [09] YENIDUZEN criticizes so-called member of the pseudo-assembly for using a British passport while the users of Cyprus Republic passport are called traitors.

  • [10] Columnist in CUMHURIYET assesses that Turkey will try to turn its foreign policy credits into economic ones.


    [01] The Turkish Prime Minister is against the Greek Cypriots returning to their homes and properties.

    CNN Turk television, (3.1.02), carries a 50-minute interview with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Mehmet Ali Birand on the "32d Day" program.

    After Ecevit views the economic crisis in 2001, Birand asks him about the changes in his stand compared to the 1970's. He points out that Ecevit's ties with the IMF, for example, were not so good then, and that he did not approve of foreign capital at the time. He asks: "Who changed? Ecevit, the IMF, or Washington?" Ecevit replies: "The world changed, and Turkey changed together with the world."

    Birand then asks: "What happened during that incident with the president on 19 February? Why did you get so angry? You are such a calm person."

    Ecevit replies: "I will ask you not to delve into that. That was an unprecedented incident in the history of the state. I do not think it is right to delve into that."

    The prime minister also refuses to comment on his relations with the president.

    On Turkey's relations with the EU, Birand asks if Turkey will submit a new democracy package by March. Ecevit replies that Turkey is already working on that, has already carried out many reforms, and enacted more than 300 structural reform bills. He points out that the Assembly is working day and night to enact some more reform bills by 15 January, not because that is the date I leave for the United States, he says, but "in order to be able to conduct Turkey's relations with the IMF smoothly." He goes on to say: "The United States did not posit conditions, but the IMF expects certain steps from all the countries with which it conducts relations. We carried out many of these steps, but some are yet to be taken. Of course, we also have bills that we must enact for our membership in the EU."

    Asked if capital punishment will be abolished, Ecevit replies: "Capital punishment will be abolished, I have no doubt about that. First of all, all the parties in Turkey sincerely want our full membership in the EU. One of the sine qua non conditions for that is the abolishment of capital punishment." Ecevit explains that Turkey did not execute a single death sentence ever since the mid-1980's, and that the Turkish public does not want capital punishment. He regrets that the EU member countries failed to appreciate Turkey's stand in not executing death sentences despite its problems with terrorism for so many years.

    Prompted by Birand about the Nationalist Action Party's [MHP] objection to the lifting of the death sentence, Ecevit admits that the MHP is against it but notes that the MHP too wants Turkey's membership in the EU.

    Birand asks why torture is not finished in Turkey, to which Ecevit replies that some things cannot be solved at one go. Stressing that torture has been mostly eliminated, he says he is confident it will be completely eradicated. He adds: "I believe that Turkey's full membership in the EU will not be delayed because of political obstacles but maybe because of economic obstacles." He later notes: "The more we can overcome our economic difficulties, the closer we can get to full membership in the EU."

    Asked if he, as the prime minister, and the government are determined about joining the EU and producing the democracy package, Ecevit replies: "That is why we are working so hard, day and night." He lists all the democratic and economic reforms carried out so far, and notes his confidence that Turkey will join the EU. He points out that the EU finds it a little difficult to admit Turkey to its midst because they are different in terms of religion and culture. However, he adds, "the EU realizes that it cannot manage without Turkey because Turkey's strategic and geopolitical position is so important. For example, if the EU does not want a contribution from NATO in terms of the European Security and Defense Identity, it will leave Turkey out and reach certain decisions. That seems to be its intention. It wants to leave us out, but that is impossible, because the areas where the EU can act are the Balkans, the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East. However, the EU cannot take a single step in those areas without Turkey. The United States realizes that and is trying to explain it to the Europeans. I think that it has succeeded in explaining it to a great extent."

    Birand notes that most of the policies being pursued today fall counter to the MHP's policies before the elections and asks Ecevit if it was difficult to persuade the MHP. The prime minister replies that it was a matter of conciliation and praises the spirit of harmony within his coalition. He also notes that he has "very good relations" with MHP leader Bahceli.

    On the issue of Iraq, Ecevit says that he is opposed to a military operation, and that he is "not at all interested in whether Saddam is toppled or not." In reply to a question, Ecevit says: "If a military operation is mounted against Iraq, whether we want to or not, we will find ourselves involved in it due to geographical reasons. We have a common border with Iraq. Beyond that, we have ethnic relations. If a military operation is launched despite our objection, it will affect us negatively. I do not want to think what will happen to the stock exchange."

    Ecevit denies that he was ever pro-Saddam and recalls that on several occasions he tried to persuade him to take the steps the world expects him to take.

    Birand asks Ecevit if he did not, in a way, sell Saddam out now. The prime minister replies that a lot has changed in Iraq today, that Saddam does not control north Iraq. He also notes that Turkey supports the US measures against Saddam's arms buildup. "Going beyond that would create serious problems for Turkey in terms of its domestic structure, political structure, national unity, territorial integrity, and economy," he says.

    Birand asks: "Can I summarize our position as follows: Iraq must remain united, but if he wants, Saddam can go?" Ecevit replies: "That is not our problem."

    Asked if Saddam is not dangerous for Turkey too, given his arms buildup policies, Ecevit replies: "Yes. Actually it is a meaningless arms buildup. The Saddam administration has waged meaningless wars. It fought Iran for years and then gave back everything it gained from the war. Then it attacked Kuwait triggering the entire world's opposition. All this shows that the Saddam administration hurt our region, Turkey, as well as the Iraqi people."

    Asked if he thinks the time has come for a change of administration in Iraq, Ecevit replies that this is the affair of the Iraqi people and he does not want to comment as the prime minister of a neighbouring country.

    Birand then refers to Ecevit as the "conqueror of Cyprus" to which Ecevit objects and alleges that he went to Cyprus for peace and he really established peace there. He reiterates that for peace in Cyprus today, the realities of Cyprus must be accepted, namely that "there exist two separate states and two separate nations in Cyprus." If this is accepted, he says, "the historical, religious, language, cultural, and structural differences between the two communities may slowly diminish and disappear, and different solutions may become possible in the future."

    Ecevit also stresses: "The existence of a separate state in north Cyprus is very important not only for the security of the Turkish Cypriots but for that of Turkey as well."

    Birand notes that everybody seems to agree that the two communities should live side by side, and asks if anyone wants them to live intermingled. Ecevit answers that certain circles want the Greek Cypriots to return to their old homes and says that this would happen if, through EU pressure, a Cyprus republic ruled by the Greek Cypriots is established. This would also lead to renewed genocide, he claims, adding: "The Cyprus issue should not interest the EU. It interests Turkey, Greece, and the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. Cyprus is not creating any problems for any other country, nor for the Cypriot people."

    Birand asks the prime minister if he is hopeful about the Cyprus talks that are scheduled to begin on 16 January or whether the talks are just for show. Ecevit says: "They are definitely not for show." He goes on to say that the meeting of the two leaders as two old friends on the island and not in a faraway place is encouraging in itself. "A solution may not be reached if the Greek Cypriot side refuses to accept the Cyprus realities, but a dialogue is an educational factor in itself. If this dialogue goes on, the two sides will begin to understand each other better. As you know, Clerides went to dinner in Mr Denktas' home a little while ago. The Turkish Cypriots welcomed him with doves of peace. On the other hand, when Denktas went to Clerides' home, there were serious demonstrations against him. However, once the dialogue process goes on, the demonstrations will subside, and the two sides will begin to produce specific ideas -- in a better atmosphere and without involving others -- on how they can turn the island of two communities, two states, and two nations into a place where the two can live together peacefully and comfortably. I believe in that."

    Birand asks why Turkey continues to save some banks and close others, why the society pays banks for their losses incurred as a result of mismanagement. Ecevit points out that State Minister Kemal Dervis will issue a statement in connection with that, but explains that banks must be able to extend loans to the real economy and to enable them to do that, the state will give them funds but only after the owners of the banks come up with a considerable sum themselves. He also stresses that banks that cannot contribute toward their own rehabilitation will not be supported by the state.

    Birand asks if Kemal Dervis made a difference in the economy. Ecevit replies that it was a good decision to invite him to Turkey, and that the initial lack of harmony between him and the government is now a thing of the past. He affirms that Dervis was useful in leaving the economic crisis behind.

    Ecevit points out that at the beginning he invited Dervis to join the Democratic Left Party [DSP] but Dervis "did not give a positive reply."

    Birand asks Ecevit who will take over the DSP after him. He replies that he and Rahsan Ecevit tried hard to make the DSP a party that can stand on its two feet without them. That is why it became the number one party in Turkey, he says, and adds "I believe in the future of the DSP. The rest is up to God." Birand persists in asking him if he will not appoint a successor, but Ecevit says he will not.

    Birand then asks him about his health, to which Ecevit replies: "It has been alleged for long years that I am sick. If these allegations were true I would have been dead long ago." He goes on to say: "I am continuing to work with all my might. I have no complaints. There is no problem. However, some circles must have found me looking very healthy recently because they now ask why I am so healthy."

    Ecevit admits that it is natural for the public to be curious about his health, but says certain columnists continuously harp on the issue, hurting political stability.

    Birand asks: "So Bulent Ecevit is not suffering from any disease needing treatment?" to which Ecevit replies: "No, definitely not."

    [02] Ismail Cem denies the existence of a US plan for Cyprus

    TRT 1 Television (6.1.02) carried a live studio interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem by Nermin Tuguslu and Mustafa Balbay.

    After an introduction to the history of the US-Turkish relations, which are reflected in an extremely positive and favourable light, Tuguslu asks Cem to give some information on the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the United States. In reply, Cem says that the "main issue will be a joint assessment of the changing strategic balances in the world." Noting that he also attaches importance to this issue, Cem recounts his previous contacts in the United States. "In addition," Cem says, there is "nothing to complain" with regard to the US-Turkish relations "except trade." Explaining that the cost of trade with the United States is very expensive, Cem says that the United States imposes "extremely unjust and unfair restrictions" on trade with Turkey. Noting that this should not continue in this way, Cem says: "This is an unhealthy relation and unhealthy relations do not last long."

    In reply to a question by Balbay whether the Untied States will be asked to grant Turkey an EU-country status as reported, Cem says that "everything starts with politics. Economic relations are based on a suitable political platform." In reply to the same question, Cem says that it is very important for Turkey to know the US policies, whether it concerns Afghanistan or the Middle East.

    In reply to a question on whether there are any changes in Turkey's policies with regard to Iraq, Cem says: "There are no changes in our policies." Explaining he finds the claims that the United States will not launch an operation into Iraq without Turkey's consent a bit far-fetched Cem adds: "Will the UN Security Council give its approval?"

    Commenting on the EU relations, Cem says that Turkey is on the right track on this issue, adding that "there is no reason to quarrel with the EU because they are fulfilling their responsibilities except some issues." Explaining that there may be a problem on the EU stand on the terrorism issue, Cem starts explaining the grounds on which the EU took its decision not to include the list sent by Turkey.

    In reply to Tuguslu's comments to the effect that Verheugen said that the Greek Cypriot side can join the EU on its own if necessary, Cem says: "He has always said so. We, in turn, have always said a Turkish Cypriot minority under Greek and Greek Cypriot sovereignty is unacceptable." Expressing the belief that the EU can assume the role of a facilitator in the event that Denktas and his counterpart advance to a reconciliation, Cem adds that all the United States and the EU want is for both sides to reach an agreement. In reply to another question on reports that the United States has a plan concerning Cyprus, Cem says: "We have not received anything."

    [03] Ismail Cem is not optimistic or pessimistic, but rather realistic on Cyprus developments

    Turkish Daily News (7.1.02) publishes an interview with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Ismail Cem.

    Asked whether he was optimistic that the forthcoming talks on Cyprus will achieve a breakthrough towards a solution, Mr Cem replied:

    "I am not optimistic or pessimistic, but rather realistic. Objectively, to reach a joint solution is extremely difficult, for both nations in Cyprus. This is to be acknowledged in order to contribute to a positive settlement: The global trends, both ideological and practical, are for the fragmentation of societies, not for their integration. Beginning with the 1980s, the internationally acclaimed and promoted concepts were those of diversity, of subcultures, of ethnic rights, auto-determination, etc. The over-emphasis of ethnicity and ethnic values became a fashion. Societies were encouraged to split on ethnic lines, rather than to conserve their integrity. I have to add that I always opposed these trends, philosophically and politically. But, this is a reality. Yugoslavia is an example. With the prevailing ideological atmosphere, even countries or regions which were the result of divisions, were inclined to subdivide, as it was observed in the cases of Macedonia, Bosnia- Herzegovina Kosovo, Montenegro. The breaking up of Czechoslovakia was facilitated by a conceptual environment, by an overall affirmation that legitimised and encouraged divisions and secessions.

    Given these disintegrating trends throughout Europe and the persistence of problems even between peoples of same ethic origin, same religion but different sects, or between peoples of same religion but of different ethnicity, Cyprus seems to be an impossible case: Two different nations, two different cultures, two different religions and a heritage of mistrust and of bloody feuds. Therefore, objectively, the quest to unite those that are radically different, in an environment where even those that are alike are splitting, is almost an impossible mission that required utmost caution.

    As a guarantor country (Zurich Agreement of 1960) and the motherland of Turkish Cypriots, Turkey supports the quest for a mutually acceptable solution in Cyprus. In order to move forward in the actual process of dialogue, I believe that an effort by the two leaders to reach a common vision for the future of Cyprus and to define the end-result they want to achieve is the essential precondition for progress. Unless there is a common vision and an agreement on the essential end-result, the process would most probably be unsuccessful. On the contrary, if there is a common vision and an agreement on the end-result, conditional to the overall agreement on all pending issues, then, to address all difficult and intricate matters would be facilitated.

    I do not consider Cyprus to be an impediment on Turkey's path of integration to the EU. If some EU circles consider Cyprus to be an impediment on Turkey's path of integration with EU, this is wrong but it's their business. Formally, there is no such condition in the EU acquis in regards to Turkey(Helsinki Declaration, Accession Partnership). Politically, I had declared solemnly on November 30, 1999, ten days before the Helsinki Summit, that Turkey's eventual candidacy will not alter our position on the Cypriot issue. I remember sending this text to EU countries as well. For Turkey, "Cyprus" and "Turkish - EU relations" are not and will not be potential subjects of a trade-off".

    [04] The National People's Movement's views on the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (4.1.02) broadcast that Taner Etkin, general coordinator of the National People's Movement [NPM], has said that the new process on the Cyprus issue should be resolved in line with two separate states, equal sovereignty, and political equality. Etkin assessed the developments concerning the Cyprus issue during a news conference he held today.

    Noting that the political equality and the equal sovereignty of two national peoples in line with their state structures should constitute the basis for the upcoming direct talks, Etkin emphasized that Turkey's effective and de facto role as guarantor should not be changed when formulating a solution.

    Explaining that the issue of the EU membership should be placed on the agenda only after an agreement between the two sides is reached, Etkin said that full EU membership should be secured simultaneously with Turkey.

    Commenting on the missing persons issue, Etkin explained that the Greek Cypriots are raising this issue only for purposes of propaganda. Etkin further said that it can be seen, once the Greek Cypriot lists are studied, that those still living are included in the list. For this reason, Etkin added, the Greek Cypriot leadership should apologize to its people. Etkin recounted that more than ever now unity, togetherness, and union is needed during the new period of negotiations.

    Recalling that the NPM launched a new system movement, Etkin said that all the attacks and accusations will be referred to the judiciary from now on.

    [05] Cosar says that HSBC's opening a branch in the occupied areas of Cyprus is "a positive political and economic event"

    KIBRIS (06.01.01) reports that Salih Cosar, so-called deputy "Prime Minister" and responsible for the economy, has said that the fact that the British bank HSBC has opened a branch in the occupied Cyprus is a "very positive event from the political and economic point of view".

    Talking to KIBRIS Mr Cosar noted, among other things, the following:

    ".HSBC has bought Demirbank. This name does not exist any more. HSBC has taken its place. HSBC is one of the biggest banks of the world. It has branches everywhere in the world. Demirbank had a branch in Cyprus. Consequently this branch of Demirbank became a branch of HSBC. .In my opinion despite the fact that HSBC is a foreign bank, it is a big one. Its capital is foreign. This is very positive. It is a great event both from the point of view of our recognition and as a reference. We are happy about it. The Greek Cypriots do not recognize us, they call us 'pseudostate' and this is why they do not want foreigners to come to the north. .The fact that HSBC has a branch in our country is an extremely beautiful event. I estimate it as a positive event from the political and economic point of view. .".

    [06] Former Turkish ambassador to Washington sees the Cyprus problem to be the first issue to be discussed during Prime Minster Ecevit's visit to the USA

    Nuzhet Kandemir, former ambassador of Turkey to Washington, has expressed the opinion that the Cyprus problem will be on the top of the issues to be discussed during the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the United States, reports the Turkish mainland "Milliyet" (07.01.02). Asked about the expectations of Turkey from Ecevit's visit to the USA, the former ambassador said:

    "What are the expectations of the USA? They are the country, which has addressed the invitation. In my opinion, when they were addressing the invitation they considered Cyprus and the relations between Turkey and Greece to be more important issues on their agenda than Iraq. The Greek Prime Minister Simitis is going to Washington before Ecevit. On 16 January Denktas and Clerides will meet in Cyprus. In the US administration nothing is left to the chance. The calendar has been adjusted very well. The upper level actors to play role in taking the decision in order to come to the decision making stage have been gathered there and the ways for a solution will now be searched. Efforts will be exerted for the creation of a formula leading to a final result in Cyprus".

    Asked what could this formula be, Mr Kandemir answered the following: "Now we have proposed a new formula. We are calling it the United State of Cyprus. The formula of two independent communities which will live in the island side by side, internationally they will represented as one state and they will have to a great extent internal autonomy. If Denktas and Clerides could reach a reconciliation, a lasting and optimistic solution could be achieved".

    Mr Kandemir, however, expressed the opinion that it is much more important for Turkey to solve her economic problems than the issues of Cyprus and Iraq. "I hope Mr Ecevit explains to Bush the economic expectations of Turkey before Cyprus and Iraq", he noted.

    Furthermore, the former ambassador alleged that after the 11 September Turkey was able to make some of her views accepted especially in the European Union through the "USA channel".

    [07] Gurel does not want interference of "others" in the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (07.01.02) reports that Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkey's State Minister responsible for Cyprus, has said that his country wants the negotiations in Cyprus to be conducted "without giving the chance to others to put any documents (onto the table) outside the agenda".

    Talking yesterday to Turkey's TRT state television, Mr Gurel claimed that a solution in Cyprus could be found with face-to-face talks between the two leaders "without the interference of third persons and countries".

    The Turkish State Minister characterized also as "a justified reaction" the intransigent stance of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas who had abandoned the proximity talks procedure rejecting the invitation of the UN Secretary - General.

    [08] The industrial sector of the pseudostate is shrinking

    According to KIBRIS (07.01.02), the industrial sector of the pseudostate is becoming smaller every day, due to the economic crisis. Invoking reports of the Turkish Cypriot Industrialists Chamber, the paper notes that 500 industries are now functioning in the occupied Cyprus. In these industries about 8 thousand people are being employed.

    The number of the industries and the workers in them keeps decreasing since 1995, writes KIBRIS adding that while in 1994 a total of 767 industries were operating in the pseudostate in 1998 their number decreased to 463. Furthermore, while in 1994 13 thousand people were employed in the industrial field, their number fell to 8 thousand in 1998.

    [09] Yeniduzen criticizes so-called member of the pseudo-assembly for using a British passport while the users of Cyprus Republic passport are called traitors

    YENIDUZEN (7/1/02) in its front page leader under the title "With a British Passport to Paris" reports that the so-called National Unity Party (NUP) Kyrenia deputy travelled to Paris for a speech on Cyprus on behalf of "TRNC" with a passport of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain".

    The full text of the article is as follows:

    "The 'NUP Kyrenia deputy' travelled to the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Paris with a British passport with the excuse that 'he didn't have time to issue a visa'. The 'Assembly speaker' Vehbi Zeki Serter attented the meeting with the Turkish red-diplomatic passport that does not require a visa.

    The same 'Deputies' who submitted to the 'Assembly' proposals for punishing with two years of imprisonment those who carry a passport of the Cyprus Republic by saying to the citizens that the 'TRNC passport' is sufficient, approved it now by attending a meeting on Cyprus with British passports.

    The departure of the delegation to Paris, in order to attend the meeting during which PACE will discuss the draft resolution on the Cyprus issue, came to the agenda last Friday. 'The Council of State' convened in 'urgent'. There was no time for a British visa! . Because the 'ministers' and the 'deputies' of the opposition parties did not have a 'passport that does not need a visa', the eyes turned to the Vehbi Z. Serter, who carries a Turkish diplomatic red passport. And Ilker Nevzat had a British passport! . The Republican Turkish Party (RTP) proposed only Serter to go to Paris; NUP, DP and CLP (Communal Liberation Party) agreed that Ilker Nevzat also must fly to Paris with the British passport.

    Now the question that arises is the following: 'Those who accuse the people who carry a passport of the Cyprus Republic of serving of the Greek Cypriots, will they accuse those who carry a passport of the UK of serving the British?

    The 'central committee of the Assembly' approved the proposal of NUP, DP and CLP and rejected that of RTP.

    Serter flew to Paris with a Turkish passport and Nevzat with a British passport. In our country only the 'President', the 'Assembly Speaker', the 'Prime Minister', the 'deputy Prime Minister' and some special people have Turkish red diplomatic passports. The delegation headed by Serter will express their views on the draft resolution on the Cyprus issue which has already been approved by the PACE Political Affairs Committee. The draft resolution of the Political Affairs Committee will be discussed at the meeting of the General Council of PACE, which will be held in Strasburg between 21-25 January."


    [10] Columnist in CUMHURIYET assesses that Turkey will try to turn its foreign policy credits into economic ones

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET (5.1.02) publishes the following commentary from the column "Agenda" by Mustafa Balbay under the title: "The U.S. Senate Delegation and Credit Begging":

    While "reckless optimism" continues to rage at home there are foreign policy developments that may offer opportunities or present bills to Turkey. Today let us discuss developments related to Cyprus, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

    The series of dinner talks between Denktas and Clerides will apparently continue. In the past the two leaders would nag each other whenever they got the opportunity. Now they sit around nice dinner tables.

    If there are no last minute changes, representatives from political parties from the two sides will meet at the Ledra Palace today. Evidently the climate created by the summit meeting is spreading to lower levels.

    The latest news from the Greek Cypriot sector included the following item: "Three-quarters of the Greek Cypriots approve the Denktas-Clerides meetings."

    That shows that a large proportion of Greek Cypriots outside the young people conditioned by the church will approve the agreement reached. Although we should still not abandon caution things appear to be on a positive course. Most importantly we are no longer the "intransigent side" in Cyprus for the near future.

    Let us move on to Afghanistan. The following questions still remain unanswered: --How many soldiers are we going to send?

    --What will be the function of the soldiers we send?

    --Will Turkey have a role in the restructuring of Afghanistan?

    Answers to the first two questions are expected next week. We have learned from French Defense Minister Alain Richard's remarks on Wednesday that Turkey will take over the command of the peacekeeping force in three months.

    The answer to the last question remains vague. We will contribute infrastructure work to build a regular army and police force in Afghanistan. The phrase that is continually mouthed by U.S. officials is: an Ataturkist model for Afghanistan.

    That is fine but it appears that Turkey will not be so active in the economic restructuring of the country. Turkey has reiterated at every opportunity that it does not view Afghanistan with concerns about "winning a share" or "gaining advantages." However it is obviously not very civilized to let us think about civilized behaviour while other participant countries take over infrastructure investments.

    When to Say 'No'

    Now let us now look at Iraq. A ten-member U.S. Senate delegation headed by Sen. Joseph Liebermann visited Ankara on the eve of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to the United States. Our friends were engaged in intensive talks yesterday. The main theme of these contacts was preparation for the days when hot military contact will be required in Iraq.

    The messages the delegation sent to Turkey are like the "table of contents" of the dossier that will be placed before Ecevit on January 16. Our officials want to bring the "contents" in the phrase "table of contents" forward. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem says that "the economy will be one of the main topics" but the senators started with the inevitability of overthrowing Saddam Husayn and concluded with Iraq's territorial integrity. In the meantime Ecevit hinted that he could accept the discarding of Saddam by saying that "Iraq, not Saddam, is important for Turkey."

    The three topics we mentioned above are all related to the United States in the natural flow of events. However Iraq will apparently take top priority. Turkey must not give the impression of acting like Iraq's lawyer in defending its national interests. On this issue a Turkey that knows when to say "yes" must also know when to say "no."

    In view of the role the U.S. Senate delegation has assumed we can call it by the word cartoon "SeNATO [same word as Senate in Turkish] delegation."

    Ecevit's U.S. visit will show in a real sense how 2002 will begin. We will resist any concessions on the foreign policy portion of the trip and we will press for larger economic slices and maximum possible loans from the IMF. In other words we will try to turn our foreign policy credits into economic ones. We can make the following word cartoon out of that: credit begging [kre-dilenme].


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