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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-08

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.26/05 08.02.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Gul tries to present Turkey as the closest ally of the US although when needed it proves to be most unreliable and expects everyone to be Turkey´s subservient .
  • [02] Erdogan raises Cyprus problem in Indonesia distorting the realities of holding Cyprus hostage with 40,000 fully equipped Turkish troops.
  • [03] British members of the European Parliament say that solutions will be found on the regulations of the EU for the Turkish Cypriots during the British term presidency.
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriots continue their campaign for the pseudo elections.
  • [05] Denktas laid the foundation stone in a concrete factory in occupied Famagusta district and stated that this is an example of how the Turkish Cypriots embrace the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [06] Goods produced in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be marketed in the free areas with the mediation of the USA.
  • [07] The Higher Education Council in Turkey rejected Erdogan's stand on the issue of allowing headscarves in Turkish universities.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist in CUMHURIYET speculates on the role Bush expects from Turkey and Erdogan´s warning about Turkey´s concerns to be taken into consideration.
  • [09] Columnist in HURRIYET analyses how Erdogan is publicly critical of the US invoking party grassroots while in bilateral talks he appears soft to get the IMF agreement.
  • [10] Columnist in ORTADOGU describes the Great Middle East Project as an inhuman plan that aims at occupation and massacre.
  • [11] The Deputy Chairman of RPP suggests that Turkey should harden its blackmailing policy towards the US.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Gul tries to present Turkey as the closest ally of the US although when needed it proves to be most unreliable and expects everyone to be Turkey´s subservient

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (07.02.05) publishes an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul by Erdal Safak in Shanghai on 5 February under the title: "We have traditional relations with the United States:

    Following is the full text of the interview:

    Question: Have the Turkish-US relations moved ahead or deteriorated as compared with the situation two years ago?

    Answer: What do you mean by two years ago?

    Question: I mean the situation before the government motion was rejected on 1 March 2003.

    Answer: Firstly, I would like to point out that Turkish-American relations are traditional and are not shaped by prevailing conditions. Our bilateral relations are based on common values such as democracy, human rights, and free market economy. Since both sides still share those values, our relations should not be influenced by the prevailing conditions. We maintained this alliance by spending a considerable of our national income for security since the 1950s, especially during the Cold War era and thus contributed to Europe's security. The US Secretary State would appreciate our contributions more than anybody else. Our relations were put to the test by our contribution to global peace and our strong position within NATO. Turkey is second only to the United States in terms of the number of casualties it suffered in order to preserve peace in the world. Turkey is the second country, which have made the greatest sacrifice in the name of preserving global peace and the United States is perfectly aware of that. Problems were occasionally witnessed in our relations after the government motion seeking permission for Turkey's active involvement in the war in Iraq had been turned down by the National Assembly. The United States respected the National Assembly's decision. President Bush even sent us a letter of gratitude during that period.

    Subtitle: "We provide humanitarian support"

    "Our cooperation in Iraq continued despite the rejection of that motion. It, however, had a certain psychological effect, which cannot be disregarded. Nevertheless, both the United States and Turkey made sincere efforts in order to overcome that negative effect. Thus, Colin Powell, then US Secretary of State, visited Turkey in the wake of that voting. We discussed aid to be dispatched to Iraq. Today, all humanitarian aid and a part of logistical support for Iraq are being provided through Turkey. In addition, the visit I paid to the United States and my talks at the Pentagon and US State Department had a positive effect on our relations. Turkey's proposal to send troops to Iraq in order to contribute to efforts aimed at restoring order was not accepted by the other side, which concluded that it would not make a meaningful contribution. I believe that the problems encountered after the government motion of 1 March 2003 have been overcome."

    Subtitle: "The visit is encouraging"

    "There is no doubt that the United States' mission and job in Iraq still continue. Being a neighbor of Iraq, Turkey has been indirectly involved in the Iraqi issue. The successive visits paid by US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, and General John Abizaid provided an opportunity to review our relations and to exchange opinions on various problematic issues. Now, the forthcoming visit of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be a very encouraging development. It will offer the opportunity to hold consultations on Turkish-US relations, regional issues with a particular emphasis on Iraq, and various international issues. Although the Cold War era has ended and the multi-polar world order has disappeared, there are still many threats and unforeseen developments. Our government is attaching importance to maintaining Turkish-US friendship and relations with greater vigour in the face those threats.

    Question: There has been a change of perspective in the Bush Administration especially after the attacks of 11 September. It is seeking and forming alliances depending on changing conditions and developments rather than maintaining the alliances of the Cold War Era. Could Turkey adapt itself to the Bush Administration's constantly changing concept of alliance, assuming that the bilateral relations are still as strong as they were during the Cold War period and its ensuing demise? Why do you think the Prime Minister has strongly criticized the United States amid mutual efforts intended to further or mend the relations?

    Answer: Anybody, who reads the full text of those comments made by the Prime Minister, would see that the press reports did not reflect his remarks correctly. Nonetheless, the elected prime minister of a democratic country may express our opinions concerning various issues within the framework of friendship. He has said nothing targeting the United States or could hurt our relations. When, however, certain parts of his comments are picked or they are judged by the tone of his voice, different interpretations can be made. I would like to reiterate that the emphasis we are placing on this issue will ensure that our opinions are better understood by our friends too. There could be divergence of opinions between friends and allies. They may not be placing the same degree of importance on a specific issue. But, they should still be taken into consideration adequately. Being one of the dominant countries in the region in the course of history, we know this area much more than others. Thus, sharing our opinions about those issues should not lead to any misunderstanding. We hope that order will be restored in Iraq and it will become a democratic country at peace with its people and neighbors and support efforts aimed at achieving those goals because it would be in our best interest. Preserving Iraq's territorial integrity and political unity during that process will be the cornerstones of our policy. Considering that the United States is trying to achieve the same goals, we can say that there is a convergence of opinion among us.

    [02] Erdogan raises Cyprus problem in Indonesia distorting the realities of holding Cyprus hostage with 40,000 fully equipped Turkish troops

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (08.02.05) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Indonesia and Malesia, had meetings with Indonesian and Malesian officials, and briefed them about the Cyprus problem.

    Briefing the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yadhoyono, about the occupied area, Erdogan had asked for the Indonesian President´s support for removing the so-called isolation imposed on the occupied area. The paper further reports that Erdogan raised the same issue during his visit to Malaysia.

    Indonesian President Yudhoyono had promised his country´s support for Turkey´s bid for the UN Security Council membership for the years 2009 -2000.

    The paper further reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul during his recent visit to China, conveyed the same demand to the Beijing Administration and he received hopeful signs from the Chinese administration.

    HURRIYET further reports that the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, after completing her contacts in Turkey, left for Israel in Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul´s car. The paper reports that this was a fine gesture by Rice because high level US Officials travel in their own high security cars. During the 30-minute travel to Ankara´s Esenboga Airport Rice and Gul had the chance to discuss further issues concerning both countries. Commenting on the half-hour journey, Gul said to his close circle: This time I had the impression that, especially on Iraq and Cyprus, they have understood much better".

    [03] British members of the European Parliament say that solutions will be found on the regulations of the EU for the Turkish Cypriots during the British term presidency

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.02.05) reports that the British members of the European Parliament (EP), Andrew Duff and Chris Davies, members of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, who are visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus, met yesterday with the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, Mehmet Ali Talat, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Ali Erel and the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement, Mustafa Akinci.

    In statements during their meeting with Mr Erel, Mr Duff said that they were trying to convince the Greek Cypriots on the issue of the direct trade with the occupied areas of Cyprus and alleged that if the Greek Cypriots are not more flexible on this issue, at the end they will be isolated, Cyprus will be divided and there will be two communities totally separated from each other.

    Mr Duff noted that after their contacts in the occupied areas of Cyprus they will go to Brussels with important messages on the issues of the trade, the visas and the freedom of movement.

    Noting that in their priorities was to see whether or not the lifting of the obstacles for the financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots and the beginning of direct trade is possible, Mr Duff said that they were open to amendments on the issue of the Green Line Regulation, but he alleged that no amendment on the above-mentioned regulation could substitute the direct trade regulation. He also pointed out that the trade between the occupied and the free areas of Cyprus should be free.

    Stating that they visited the island in order to express their support to all the powers that will contribute to the development of peace and democracy, the British member of the EP reminded that all the efforts at the European Council for changes on the trade and financial aid regulations have been unsuccessful and said that he was hopeful on this issue because in July Britain will be taking over the term presidency of the EU.

    Mr Duff pointed out that they would work on the issue of what could be done during the British term presidency in order to revive again the Annan Plan and reiterated their support to this plan.

    Meanwhile, Mr Davies said that ways must be found so that the obstacles for the direct trade and the financial aid regulations are overcome and pointed out that the promises on this issue must be fulfilled.

    Mr Davies argued that during the past few years progress has been made on the Cyprus problem in favour of the Turkish Cypriots and reminded that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have been considered the source of the problem. He argued that as it has been understood the Greek Cypriots are preventing aid to be granted to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Furthermore, Mr Erel thanked the British MP's for their serious efforts which have began a long time ago and said that they discussed with them the so-called isolations of the Turkish Cypriots and what could be done for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Meanwhile, Mr Talat thanked the Commission of the EU because of the amendments on the Green Line Regulation, but he reiterated his view that this regulation could not substitute the direct trade regulations. Mr Talat alleged that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is preventing the direct trade regulation which is of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr Talat met with the two British members of the EP in the so-called Prime Minister's office. According to KIBRIS, Mr Duff called Mr Talat "Mr Prime Minister" and reiterated that they visited the occupied part of Cyprus in order to wish the Turkish Cypriot political parties which support the Annan Plan success in the "elections".

    KIBRIS writes also that during his meeting with Mr Akinci, Mr Duff promised that they would exert pressure on the Greek Cypriots in the EP and expressed the opinion that the importance of the Cyprus problem increased in Brussels. Mr Duff reiterated that they would be more active on some issues during the British term presidency

    Furthermore, Mr Davies argued that the Greek Cypriot leadership disappointed the EU in the referendum and claimed that the Greek Cypriots are not encouraging the EU that some progress will be achieved.

    Mr Akinci said that some changes could be made in the Annan Plan so that the Greek Cypriot "no" to be turned into "yes", but he pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot "yes" must also not be changed and their rights must not be harmed.

    [04] The Turkish Cypriots continue their campaign for the pseudo elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (08.02.05) reports about the latest developments as regards the forthcoming 20 February "elections" of the pseudostate.

    According to the paper, Mr Salih Cosar, who served as the Chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) in the past, decided to support the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu for the "elections". Mr Cosar, who left the DP and established the Free Thought Movement, along with two other members and "deputies" of the DP, announced this decision after a meeting he had with Mr Eroglu.

    Besides, as VATAN reports, eighty members of the Nationalist Justice Party decided to leave their party and join the DP. This decision was announced during a ceremony with the participation of Serdar Denktas, who said that his party will become even bigger.

    [05] Denktas laid the foundation stone in a concrete factory in occupied Famagusta district and stated that this is an example of how the Turkish Cypriots embrace the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (08.02.05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas laid yesterday the foundation stone in a concrete factory located at the industrial area of the occupied Famagusta district. The factory belongs to the Escon LTD, a four-partners company which has been established four months ago.

    Speaking during the ceremony, Mr Denktas commented on the building of the new factory and said that every investment made in the "country", shows that the "people" embrace the land, they claim to be the owners of the land and that they trust the "state" and the "independence". He also said that the negotiations as regards the Cyprus problem will continue but they will be negotiations for not eliminating the "independence" of the pseudostate.

    In addition, Dr Tahir Celik, who is member of the executive committee of the Escon LTD, stated that the aim of the company is the formation of the foundation for producing an extensive amount of concrete.

    [06] Goods produced in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be marketed in the free areas with the mediation of the USA

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (08.02.05) reports that according to an agreement reached between the so-called Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (TCCI) and the United States of America, goods produced in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be marketed in the free areas with the mediation of the USA.

    The TCCI issued yesterday a written statement noting that the above-mentioned products will be marketed by a company named Marios G. Christodoulou Group (M.G.C Group), which is active in the government - controlled areas of Cyprus, says the paper. This company will receive no money or commission for its services, writes HALKIN SESI noting that this firm will be bringing together Greek Cypriot businessmen, who want to buy products from the occupied areas of Cyprus, with Turkish Cypriot producers.

    The cost of the service will be paid by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

    The TCCI will be organizing meetings as of next Thursday (10 February), in order to bring together the producers who would like to sell their goods in the free areas of Cyprus with the above-mentioned marketing company.

    [07] The Higher Education Council in Turkey rejected Erdogan's stand on the issue of allowing headscarves in Turkish universities

    Istanbul NTV television (08.02.05) broadcast that Mr Erdogan Tezic, the President of the Higher Education Council of Turkey (YOK) has commented on Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks to the effect that a study is being conducted to allow headscarves in Turkish universities. The Turkish Prime Minister had made these remarks to a German newspaper.

    Tezic stressed that enacting a new law on Islamic headdress would not be a good idea. Meanwhile, Justice and Development Party (JDP) whip Faruk Celik said: "We have not been told of this study. Nevertheless, this problem needs to be solved."

    Commenting on the prime minister's remarks, the YOK president recalled the rulings of the Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Council of State on the issue of Islamic headdress and said: "Enacting a new law on Islamic headdress would not be a good idea, because that would create new legal problems and difficulties".

    Replying to reporters' questions on the issue, JDP whip Celik pointed out that the Prime Minister did not tell the JDP deputies of a study that is being conducted. "Nevertheless, this problem must be solved. Issues such as Islamic headdress or occupational schools [reference to the Islamic Imam Hatip schools] are not obstacles on the way to becoming a modern country. The failure to discuss these issues is an obstacle", Celik added.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in CUMHURIYET speculates on the role Bush expects from Turkey and Erdogan´s warning about Turkey´s concerns to be taken into consideration

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (07.02.05) publishes the following commentary by Mustafa Balbay under the title: "Will there be a transformation from an 'Advanced Outpost' into a 'Central Outpost'?":

    "The statements made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prompted me to use this title.

    During the Cold War era, which formally ended in 1991, Turkey was frequently described as an "advanced outpost." Turkey was one of the main front-line countries affected by tension between the Eastern Bloc and the West, which occasionally increased or eased.

    As the world is being redesigned with the United States at its center after the turn of the 21st century, it appears that Turkey is either evolving into a multi-faceted central country or it is urged to assume such a role. In a joint news conference she held with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Rice described the relations as "strategic."

    The Americans took great care not to use that term especially after 1 March 2003. They described it as a multi-dimensional relationship or partnership, but never used the term "strategic."

    How should that be interpreted? It could actually be interpreted in many ways. You can see the picture more clearly if you take a look at the most noteworthy statements made last week without needing to go back further.

    At the beginning of the week, US Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith said after winding up his visit that they wanted to use Incirlik and expressed his hope that Turkey would be on their side while they were taking steps against Iran. He added that they were in favor of having cooperation in Iraq, but Turkey should not interfere in Iraq's internal affairs.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan levelled some criticisms at the United States on Tuesday, cautioning that unpleasant things could happen if Turkey's concerns were not taken into consideration.

    On Thursday, US President George W. Bush called on the Iranian people to rise up and promised that the United States would stand by them. He said that Syria was still a major shelter for terrorists and implied that they would not withdraw their forces from Iraq in the near future. He promised to make every possible effort in order to bring democracy to the other countries in the Middle East and urged them to carry out democratic reforms as soon as possible.

    After her arrival in Ankara on Saturday, Rice expressed the same views I outlined above by using different words. According to Rice, Turkey and the United States were working together in many fields and it should not be surprising if they had some disagreements in some areas. We heard similar assessments more frequently in the past couple of months. A specific comment made by Rice made us anxious rather than happy: "Turkey and the United States will have common interests in the future as well."

    Considering the plan to redesign the Middle East, which Bush has referred to, one could easily predict what those common interests could be. It seems that Turkish-US relations will have the following characteristics in the near future:

    - The United States will use every opportunity to voice its demands of us and will get them one way or another.

    - It will take us to some places together with it as we have witnessed in the Afghan example.

    - The relations will sometimes be maintained in a bilateral context and Turkey's ties with NATO will be used as a catalyst in some other occasions.

    - Turkey will be presented as a model for the countries in the Middle East when conditions warrant. In that context, the possibility of moderating Turkey's regime will be explored.

    - If things change for the worse in Iraq, Turkey will be encouraged to assume a somewhat more effective role.

    - "Tranquilizers" will be used when developments posing a threat to Turkey's interests take place in Iraq, but Turkey's demands will not be met.

    How will Turkey's red lines be treated under this approach? It seems that those red lines will mutate into red lights against Turkey, which will be advised to stay calm at the center and not to disturb the balance."

    [09] Columnist in HURRIYET analyses how Erdogan is publicly critical of the US invoking party grassroots while in bilateral talks he appears soft to get the IMF agreement

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (07.02.05) publishes the following commentary by Erdal Saglam under the title: "Relations with the United States and the economic situation":

    "The United States will hit Iran and Syria after Iraq and then it will hit us." If you were to hear the man in the street make such comments or if this were a casual remark by someone with whom you were having an ordinary conversation, you would not spare a moment's thought on it. Yet, if such a comment were to come from a Turkish minister or if reliable sources were to say: "There are many ministers who think this way. It is even being said that such comments are being made among the higher echelons," you would be startled, would you not? We were startled to hear such remarks last week. Many questions come to your mind when you hear such things. One wonders whether there is serious intelligence to this effect at the disposal of those governing Turkey but of which we remain unaware. One wonders whether certain people are making special efforts to get those governing the country into this state of mind. Who are these people and what might their aims be? If they are not in possession of serious intelligence, why are those governing the country entering such a state of mind regardless of whatever influences might be at work? Is it possible that they could make serious and irreparable mistakes in this state of mind?

    There is no end to such questions. When you take into consideration everything that happened and was said last week and consider particularly the Prime Minister's sharp attitude toward the US administration, you feel that something is going on. Besides, sources close to the United States are saying, "The Prime Minister's remarks have seriously disturbed Washington. A reconsideration process has started."

    The same sources are saying that Deputy Chief of the General Staff Ilker Basbug made criticisms in connection with the same issue, that they found the dose and style of these criticisms "acceptable" but that it is not possible to understand the Prime Minister's sharp statements, which were issued to international press agencies in the bargain. They are adding that the identity of the media organs, to which Erdogan chose to issue his statements, is intensifying these concerns. The measures that the Prime Minister talked about have caused surprise not only in the United States but elsewhere too. When one considers what the measures concerning Iraq could be, the options that come to one's mind are closing the Habur border gate, [restricting] the use of the Incirlik airbase, [closing the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil] pipeline etc. It is known that the closing of the Habur border gate would mainly affect the people in the region while it is being pointed out that the other measures cannot be implemented at all. Diplomatic sources have said: "If you talk about adopting impractical measures and end up not implementing them, you will find yourself in a much more difficult situation. Nobody knows who made the Prime Minister issue such statements in the face of this well-known fact."

    Subtitle: Grassroots reaction

    Foreign affairs bureaucrats do not approve of such mistakes being made in Turkey's relations with the United States in addition to what has already been the poor state of relations with Israel for some time. However, it is obvious that [Erdogan's] advisors have stepped in.

    Prime Minister Erdogan had a meeting the other day with the new US Secretary of State Rice. As far as we have been able to find out, the United States' attitude was one of "let us listen to what they have to say" and as a result of this, it was the Prime Minister who did most of the talking during this meeting. After expressing Turkey's concerns, the Prime Minister said, by way of making an apology, that he had been misunderstood concerning his new style. In other words, this is another case where the Government is getting across a particular message at home and saying to the other side, "this is not what we meant."

    Most likely, the fact that "the public is very sensitive about this issue" is being cited as a reason for all this. Actually, we were in Kayseri on the weekend and we asked JDP [Justice and Development Party] executives to comment on the Prime Minister's attitude. When we asked if there was too strong a reaction among the grassroots, we received the answer that there was a very sharp reaction to the developments in Iraq, the plan to establish a Kurdish state, and the Kirkuk issue. In other words, it could be said that the Prime Minister's attitude has been determined by grassroot sentiments and opinion polls that are said to be frequently carried out nowadays. Yet, the United States sees like everybody else that this attitude is a recurrent one and that Ankara is frequently making apologies. And this is where the need for leadership arises.

    In brief, although the Government is sharply criticizing the United States now, it used to have a soft and friendly attitude toward it in bilateral talks because it took into account the future of the economy and the fact that the IMF agreement had not yet been made.

    Yet, what is important now is how the United States perceives this attitude and whether it finds the responses given plausible. The US administration is obviously going to decide after all these meetings whether it could trust Turkey in the future and we will be able to learn this decision later. We hope that the Government will not let the grassroots drag it down."

    [10] Columnist in ORTADOGU describes the Great Middle East Project as an inhuman plan that aims at occupation and massacre

    Istanbul ORTADOGU newspaper (07.02.05) publishes the following commentary by Ahmet Cakar under the title: "Bloody projects and Rice":

    "By visiting Turkey, US Secretary of State Rice has carried out the dishonorable duty of informing Turkey of the shameful and psychotic demands of the world's imperialist monarchs.

    The Great Middle East Project, which is an inhuman project that aims at occupation and massacre, is a disgraceful and low project that has been prepared in order to ensure that a non-religious new world order is implemented in 22 Muslim countries. The negro secretary of state of the murderer United States, which is trying to take away the Muslim nations' self-determination right and to ensure that they comply with the new slavery order, has caused major anger in our Turkey, which she visited in order to convey the messages regarding the attack that will be launched against Iran and Syria, two Muslim countries. As if the betrayal that it has faced in northern Iraq and Kirkuk is not enough, Turkey, which has been brought to the verge of war with weak and diffident foreign policies, is currently holding meetings that will ensure that it complies with the betrayals that it will face in Iran and Syria. Having almost become the puppet of the cruel bosses of multinational companies, Bush and his administration have turned into an organization that is involved in usurpation and murders.

    The fact that Ms Rice, who carries the title of US secretary of state and who is a specially trained spy, was appointed secretary of state after the occupation and usurpation of Iraq, is not coincidental. This is a sign that the United States is very developed in using every kind of weapon where psychological war is concerned. Bush is the cruel President of the United States which is making preparations for hitting Iran and Syria and for shedding Muslim blood. Yes, being Bush's right hand, it is not Rice's duty to establish international relations. Rather, it is Rice's duty to tell Muslim countries about the United States' bloody attack projects. Using the pretext that Syria and Iran have weapons of mass destruction and that they accommodate terrorists, Bush has openly announced that it will attack these two countries. Going well beyond disgrace, Bush has also called upon the Iranian and the Syrian peoples to revolt against and to betray their state administrations. Bush, the enemy of Muslims whose appetite for bloodshed is never satisfied, has not stopped here. He has also warned Egypt and Saudi Arabia, calling upon them "to make democratic openings." This way, he has made these countries feel that he also intends to attack them in the near future. Turkey and the Muslim world have not yet developed a serious security and defense perception against these global barbarians. I wonder when and how they will come to their senses."

    [11] The Deputy Chairman of RPP suggests that Turkey should harden its blackmailing policy towards the US

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (07.02.05) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: "Turkey's trump cards":

    "US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has completed her contacts in Ankara.

    This visit is being characterized by the Foreign Ministry as a visit to get acquainted and to review the agenda together. In the statements she made in Ankara, Rice did not convey to the Turkish public any new message beyond Washington's known rhetoric.

    Ankara's concerns on Kirkuk and the PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan], to which Turkey ascribes great importance, were conveyed to Rice in a very detailed fashion by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    The message[s] expressed by the US Secretary of State on these two topics can be summarized as follows:

    1- Kirkuk: This is a matter for Iraq. The United States wants an integrated Iraq. All Iraqis have to be able to live together with one another in Kirkuk. The United States wants a single Iraq. The Iraqis themselves have to make their own decisions within the new democracy.

    2- The PKK: The United States characterizes the PKK and KONGRA-GEL [People's Congress of Kurdistan] as a terrorist organization. We will work to take certain steps against them. We will take the necessary measures against those who provide them with financing. We are working, the United States and Iraq together, to form a dual mechanism.

    These messages from Rice make it plain that the United States sees Kirkuk, and even the issue of the PKK, as matters to be solved by Iraq. It is clear that they do not see Turkey as a party to the matter, particularly in terms of Kirkuk. What this means is that the United States is going to see the Kirkuk election results just the way the Kurds do...

    As for the PKK issue, it appears senseless to expect any more a military operation by the United States. This had, in fact, been clear quite some time ago. The promise that Rice gave on this topic was that they will engage in a "financial" struggle against the PKK. That they will take measures against its sources of finance.

    It can be said that these were not Ankara's expectations, either on Kirkuk or on the issue of the PKK.

    Subtitle: Oymen's suggestion

    Can Turkey draw the United States into the approach it wants?

    RPP [opposition Republican People's Party] Deputy Chairman and former Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Onur Oymen thinks that if Turkey were to utilize the trump cards it holds, it could have an impact on the United States. Oymen says that, to date, Ankara has taken an "overly obsequious" stance, and that it is not possible to get the United States to do what it wants in this way.

    According to Oymen, Turkey could play three trump cards:

    1- It could decline to send troops to Afghanistan every time it is asked. And to those who say that this is a NATO responsibility, it could pose the question "Are all the NATO countries sending troops?" It could treat the obligation to dispatch troops to Afghanistan as a matter of reciprocity in terms of its expectations of the United States regarding the PKK.

    2- It could, without waiting for the United States, form a "security cordon" in Northern Iraq in order to ensure border security, just as it did in the past. It has had the political influence to be able to do this.

    3- It could completely suspend the use of Incirlik Airbase until it receives a response to its expectations. This method was employed after the United States placed an [arms] embargo on Turkey following the Cyprus Peace Operation [Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus]. The use of all bases in Turkey was halted. A Turkey that was able to do this after 1974 could do it today as well.

    RPP Deputy Chairman Oymen stresses that Turkey still possesses the possibility of utilizing these and similar trump cards. He says that it is not possible in foreign policy to obtain everything with words, and that in order to get results it is essential that the most effective trump cards be employed. He notes that Turkey has been unable to get results because it has limited itself to merely requesting things. And he points out that even the Kurdish groups in Northern Iraq made the United States do what they wanted by saying that they would not take part in the elections if the United States did not allow them to move Kurds into Kirkuk.

    Oymen, noting that "resolute in substance but soft in manner" is a basic principle in diplomacy, but that Ankara has behaved in the exact opposite manner, proposes that the government utilize the trump cards it possesses against the United States".

    /SK


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