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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-21

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 14/02 19-20-21.1.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu declares that Morphou will not be returned to its legal owners
  • [02] University students believe that the influences of Ottomans are still alive
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [03] Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the results of the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to the United States
  • [04] The Strategic importance of Cyprus has increased due to regional imbalances

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu declares that Morphou will not be returned to its legal owners

    Ankara Anatolia in English (18/1/02) reported that the pseudostate's so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu visited the occupied Morphou Town Promotion and Development Association, where he held a meeting.

    Speaking at the meeting, Eroglu said that he was in favour of continuation of Cyprus talks with good will and finalization of those talks with an agreement, and added:

    ``This is not a struggle to leave the rights that the Turkish Cypriots have gained, on the negotiating table, but it is a struggle for registration of these rights. ``

    Noting that the concern about sacrificing Morphou, which was felt during every talk process in the region, was baseless, Eroglu said: ``It is beneficial to clearly put forward that Morphou will never be given up. Because, any concern of our people living in Morphou also bothers us. Besides, as long as the residents of Morphou feel concern, it becomes impossible for our entrepreneurs to invest in this place. ``

    [02] University students believe that the influences of Ottomans are still alive

    Turkish Daily News (21/1/02) publishes the results of a survey among students on the Ottoman Empire. The report is as follows: "A survey on the students of the two main universities of Ankara, Middle East Technical university (ODTU) and Gazi University, has revealed that Turkish university students believe that the political and cultural influences of the Ottoman Empire are still alive in the whole geographies of the Ottoman legacy.

    According to the results of the survey, 83 percent of ODTU students and 78 percent of Gazi University students do not agree with the opinion of that the Ottoman State vanished together with its political and cultural affects. While 75 percent of ODTU students believe that the Ottoman State was one of the political and military power balances of the world in any time, just 17 percent of Gazi students agree with this opinion.

    Professor Mustafa Safran, a lecturer in the History Department of Education Faculty of Gazi University, made a survey on 650 students who studied at the ODTU and Gazi Universities.

    As a response to a question in the survey, 27 percent of ODTU students and 12 percent of Gazi University expressed that they would not liked to have lived in any period of the Ottoman Empire. Meanwhile, 80 percent of Gazi students and 67 percent of ODTU students said that their knowledge on Ottoman history had been beneficial for them.

    As 81 percent of ODTU students believed that the social scientist had to know Ottoman history in order to be able to understand an evaluate current developments, this opinion was shared by Gazi students at the rate of 86 percent.

    The survey also revealed that a great majority of the students preferred to learn reading and writing Ottoman Turkish. While it also revealed that the students believed that Europeans feared the Ottomans.

    The opinion that the Ottoman period carried justice all over the world received the support of 83 percent of Gazi students and 48 percent of ODTU students.

    Also, students believed that the minorities played a major role in the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. This view was supported by 83 percent of Gazi and 77 percent of ODTU students.

    Moreover, 90 percent of the students believed that Ottomans gave great importance to science. Students also urged that the modern Turkish arts should be fed by traditional Ottoman arts. 83 percent of Gazi students and 70 percent of ODTU students give support to this opinion."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [03] Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the results of the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to the United States

    Assessing the Turkish Prime Minister Mr Bulent Ecevit/s visit to the United States, Mehmet Ali Birand writes the following in Turkish Daily News (19/1/02):

    "For a week we have been preoccupied with the prime minister's trip to America.

    By the time you read this article, the delegation will have returned to Turkey.

    Since the beginning of the visit you must have read in various newspapers what was expected and what has been gained. Today I want to give you a balance sheet. Those who are curious can learn about the latest situation on an item-by-item basis.

    Economic package

    Here, the following issues were discussed regarding the package that has been unduly exaggerated, creating grand expectations, since the day on which the planned visit was announced:

    * Expansion of the textile quotas.

    * The U.S. granting to Turkey the same trade facilities it has granted to the European Union, and the U.S. concluding a preferential trade agreement with Turkey, especially the creation of joint Organized Industrial Sites.

    * Turkey's being left out of the iron-steel import restrictions planned by the United States.

    * Turkey's name being taken out of the "hazardous countries" list prepared for American tourists.

    * Fulfilling of the promises made in the past regarding the financing of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the working out of the credit terms.

    * The writing off of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) debts amounting to some $5 billion.

    This list was explained in full, along with the grounds for these demands. There was no way anyway for the U.S. bureaucracy to prepare all these in a few days and give Ankara a substantial reply. Indeed, that proved to be the case. A commission has been created at the highest level -- that is, at the level of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Matters Larson -- to tackle all these issues. Work will begin immediately in February.

    The Americans said, insistently, that the commission was not being created to stall these issues, and that we will soon see the results.

    Beyond that, American officials, starting with President George W. Bush, announced that Turkey is no longer being seen merely as a big base in the region with whom one would content oneself with establishing military relations, and that a decision has been taken in principle to spread the strategic cooperation to the economic and commercial fields.

    In this respect Turkey has taken a significant step. However, the rest is important. If Ankara fails to follow this up, if it fails to put pressure on Washington, these words can easily be forgotten or there can be stalling. Here is another important point. The United States announced that it would give Turkey all the support it needs to get out of the economic crisis -- naturally, to the extent that Turkey would fulfil its own share of the task, implementing the reforms.

    That was a message required, a message addressed to the international finance circles.

    During the talks, a curious topic was raised all of a sudden: the Turkish contractors' benefiting from the Afghanistan reconstruction pie. The Americans clearly showed that they were ready for that. This is an area Turkey can earn a significant amount of revenues if it presses on. Naturally, one should not forget the fact that Turkey's being taken out of the list of "hazardous for tourists" countries, has made the tourism people happy.

    Military issues

    * Washington gave the green light for the leadership of the 5,000-strong international force, which will ensure the security of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city, to be transferred to Turkey after Britain. To ensure that, talks will be held with Britain and other countries and the efforts in this direction will be discussed at a joint committee.

    * A separate task group was created to look into the financing of the costs of the Turkish troops who will be shipped to Afghanistan along with some other related problems. No definite figure is available on this issue yet. However, the Americans have told the Turkish delegation that they will meet at least part of the cost.

    * The same committee will tackle some other issues such as the attack helicopters, contribution to the Turkish Defence Industry and investments.

    Fight against terrorism

    Washington stressed with special emphasis the importance it attaches to Ankara keeping under control especially the bank accounts of local and foreign groups. Initially Ankara had failed to grasp fully what that had meant. And there had been complaints. Now there is satisfaction since full cooperation has begun.

    In this context, Turkey complained about the fact that the European Union has failed to put on its terrorist organizations list groups such as the PKK DHKP-C. The Americans said they would support Turkey on this issue.

    Political issues

    * In this respect, Iraq came to the foreground.

    President Bush made a promise to Ecevit. He said that they did not reach a decision yet regarding the operation against Iraq, and that when things reached the decision-making stage they would definitely consult Turkey before taking a decision. Ecevit's, "We will not let a Kurdish state to be established in northern Iraq," message was understood at the White House very clearly.

    President Bush did not hide their intention to oust Saddam from the government in this or that manner. However, he gave the assurance that while doing that they would take Turkey's sensitivities into consideration. The Turkish delegation is pleased with what they heard.

    * The American message on Cyprus too was crystal clear: This time the opportunity must definitely be put to good use and the two leaders must definitely find a solution. Washington did not hide its conviction that, generally speaking, it finds "realistic" Turkey's formula for a Cyprus solution. However, it made it clear that this should be a system under which the two communities would live separately under a single external representation -- rather than a confederation consisting of two independent states. At this stage Washington will watch the developments from the grandstand. If fighting breaks out in the field, it will climb down the grandstand and intervene.

    * The Turkish model too was the subject of a lengthy discussion. The United States made it clear that it would do all it could to carry into the Islamic world the "secular, democratic, Muslim country" model.

    In the end, we can say that Turkey has obtained what it wanted in the political aspect, made significant starts in the economic field and obtained renewed international financial support, while the coalition government has lengthened its life span.

    Naturally, for all these, certain conditions have to be met: Turkey must keep up the reform drive, put into effect the decisions it has taken and make a real effort to bring about a Cyprus solution. In other words, if Turkey plays the game well, it will enjoy continued American support in all fields."

    [04] The Strategic importance of Cyprus has increased due to regional imbalances.

    Under the title: "US ties Turkish govt's hands" Turkish Daily News (21/1/02) publishes the following analysis by Kemal Balci, on the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to the U.S.A.:

    "The Bulent Ecevit-led government has tied its hands in return for the "big support" it recently received from the United States administration. Bush administration's show of support to Ecevit in fact increased the responsibility of the Turkish government. Ecevit-led government will not be able to bear any least adventure that may ruin U.S. interests in the region. Due to the very fragile balances in the Middle East, the Turkish government assured the U.S. administration of keeping itself away from every attempt that would pave the way for "bad surprises".

    Turkey-Iraq relations were in a way contradicting with the policies followed by the U.S. in the region. Turkey was seeking to increase its trading with Iraq, especially the cheap oil imports from this country, because of its economic crisis. However, the U.S. administration was very bothered by this attempt that would increase the economic power of Saddam regime. The U.S. was considering Iraqi oil as a major alternative to the Saudi Arabian oil in a state of crisis and developing its plans pertaining to the region in this framework. Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. interest in the region came to a crucial stage.

    U.S. is troubled

    Ecevit was invited to the U.S. in a period when the latter's interests came to a very critical stage in the Middle East. This visit raised the spirits of the Ecevit-led government, which was facing very hard days both at home and abroad. Bush administration's close interest to Ecevit, provided enough visual material that will be used by the government in domestic politics. The U.S. administration, which also hosted Greek Premier Simitis a week ago, showed Ecevit such an interest that opponents of the Turkish government both at home and abroad would envy. However, the government's assurance given to the U.S. administration that the latter would be informed on every move of Turkey was behind this "show of support".

    Following the collapse of the Argentinean economy, the U.S. administration knew that global finance markets would not bear a second crisis that may be faced in Turkey. The front-page article, published in the Wall Street Journal on the day when Ecevit was to meet U.S. President Bush, read that "Turkey is too important that it cannot be handed over to the International Monetary Fund" and pointed out the small piece of the iceberg, which is above the water. Deep down the story, there were the "strategic danger" assessments of the U.S. administration.

    The Afghanistan operation turned the U.S. plans before the Sept. 11 attacks, upside down. U.S. suspected that Saudi Arabia, which was kept under control, was the power behind al-Qaeda terror in Afghanistan and this suspicion urged the U.S. to redesign its security strategies. As it became obvious that the Wahabi society, which Saudi Arabia depended on, was directly linked with every terrorist act against the U.S., the need to revise oil and finance strategies in addition to the security ones, emerged. Besides the fact that al-Qaeda leader Bin laden is a Wahabi, the "secret danger" was proven as the majority of the organization's members was Saudi-born. Saudi Arabia meets 12 percent of world's oil production. The U.S. accelerated its search for "alternative oil resources" since it fears that Saudi Arabia may upset commercial balances by either decreasing oil production or increasing the prices all of a sudden with the pressure of Wahabi society.

    The closest alternative to the Saudi Arabian oil was Iraqi oil. Caspian oil was far away from being an alternative since it will take years to transport them to warm seas. On the other hand, Iranian oil cannot be depended on since the Iranian administration has been continuing its antonymous stance against the U.S. The U.S.'s suspicions were proven true when Iran was understood to have meddled with the ship loaded with heavy weapons that was seized on its trip to Palestine. The suspicions that Iran was trying to corner both the U.S. and Israel by turning Palestine into a new Lebanon, were strengthened.

    When the U.S. started to seek a "trustworthy friend and strategic partner" in an environment where the regional balances were too fragile, it only found Turkey. U.S.'s new strategy was born from the need to ensure Iraqi oil against the danger of overblown oil prices.

    The U.S. administration found it more reasonable and realistic to overthrow the Saddam regime by using force in order to diminish Saudi Arabia's oil threat. The Saudi administration had not allowed the U.S. to use its military force in Dhahran during the Afghanistan military operation and urged the female U.S. officers to wear black chadors and thus prevented radical Islamist domestic opposition to rebel against the King Fahd regime. King Fahd had left his country once the Afghanistan operation started since he feared a revolt. The other small oil sheikhs of the region had preferred to be abroad with the same fear.

    The U.S. planned Iraq operation as a "second front" and tended towards pulling Turkey's major military power to his side.

    Postponement of the Iraq operation for a while was closely related with the Afghanistan operation that could not end. The U.S. administration reckoned that a new military operation that would be launched in the Middle East before al-Qaeda and Bin Laden was totally destroyed, would pave the way for Muslim solidarity and Jihad.

    Demolition of an Ottoman Castle in Mecca by the Saudi Arabian administration created a new opportunity for the U.S. As the Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations were damaged, Turkey's support has been somewhat ensured for a possible operation against a Saudi threat. Under the light of all these developments and assessments, the U.S. administration invited the Turkish government to Washington to inform the latter on the requirements of the strategic alliance.

    Turkey should stay away from adventure-

    The U.S. administration cannot bear the risk, which can shake the oil and finance sector worldwide. That's why it urges Turkey to stay away from any operation that the latter will launch by itself in the region to fulfil its short-term interests. The Turkish government was invited to White House and informed on this assessment. Rather than the meeting with President Bush, the 30-minute meeting made with Vice President Dick Cheney carries greater importance in terms of this new strategy.

    The U.S. administration has already provided loans for Turkey by forcing the IMF sources in order to help the country to overcome its economic crisis after Sept. 11. On the other hand, Turkey's demand on the expansion of textile quotas by the U.S. is beyond the power of the administration necessitating a Congress decision. However, the U.S. administration has put the commercial facilities on its agenda of discussion in return for Turkey's devotion to the U.S.'s new strategy. The transfer of development of commercial ties to a commission can be named as the control mechanism over "full dependent" foreign policy to be followed by Turkey in the following period.

    The Ecevit-led government has already pledged to the U.S. to strictly obey the U.S. policies in the region. Turkey will not be able to feel independent especially on the Iraq policies from now on. As Bush said he would launch any possible operation against Iraq after consulting with Turkey, it is meant to refer that Turkey will have to consult the U.S. on its operations in the region.

    The government is preparing to present his U.S. visit as the full support of the U.S. in domestic politics. This is also meant to refer that the government gained extra time when it seemed to have been exhausted. The government can now easily support that there is no need for early elections because of the sensitive balances in the region.

    Following the U.S. visit, the government's new position can be summarized as follows:

    1- The government will not be able to launch any regional operation without informing the U.S.

    2- It will not support the continuance of the Saddam regime for the sake of Iraq's territorial integrity.

    3- Foreign loans will not be spent for political interests.

    4- Turkey will stay in the line drawn not by the European Union but the U.S., concerning the Cyprus issue, whose strategic importance increased due to regional imbalances.

    5- The government will accelerate the anti-corruption fight at home, while it will provide military and logistic support for the anti-terrorism fight abroad. Otherwise, it will face a new Argentinean deadlock since the control of its external debts has been completely handed over to the U.S.

    6- Reforming its management model, the government will lower the number of ministries and state expenditures. Unlike the U.S., it will increase its revenues by imposing new taxes.

    7- If it strictly implements these measures, which will toughen the living conditions of its citizens, it will receive the full support of the U.S. but at the same time will face the risk of losing public support completely."


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