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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-03-17

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.52/05 17.03.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The new so-called coalition government received vote of confidence.
  • [02] Turkish way of deceiving European Union; after getting accession date, democratic reforms in the Turkish Penal Code are being repealed one by one.
  • [03] Gul's statements at the end of his visit to London.
  • [04] Denktas is preparing to establish an above-party organization.
  • [05] A deputy from RPP resigned.
  • [06] European journalists will be visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus through the illegal Tymbou airport.
  • [07] Justice and Development Party deputy describes how he conveyed an ultimatum to the late Archbishop Makarios in 1969.
  • [08] The occupancy of the tourist installations in occupied Cyprus has increased by 9.9%.
  • [09] The " `TRNC´ National Forces" organisation warns Turkey that in case it signs the Additional Protocol of Ankara agreement, a farewell will be said to the pseudostate.
  • [10] A committee from the so-called Assembly will attend a meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Union.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Columnist in CUMHURIYET accuses Mr Erdogan of contradictory policies on the Cyprus problem and of wanting to accede to the EU with the mentality of covering torture.
  • [12] Sami Kohen examines how relations between Turkey and the US are developing after Turkey´s refusal to support the anti-Saddam struggle.
  • [13] Sami Kohen examines whether Turkey is an indispensable ally for the US in the post-cold war era.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The new so-called coalition government received vote of confidence

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.05) reports from occupied Lefkosia that the new so-called coalition government of Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and Democratıc Party (DP) led by the so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat, won a vote of confidence at the "Assembly" on Wednesday.

    While 29 "deputies" cast their votes in favour of the new "government", which was founded on March 8th, 19 "deputies" said 'no'. Two "deputies" failed to attend the meeting.

    RTP is represented by 24 "deputies", National Unity Party (NUP) by 19, DP by 6, and Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) by 1 "deputy" at the 50-member "parliament".

    The so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat, speaking at the "parliament" after the new "government" won a vote of confidence, said: "The new 'coalition government' of RTP and DP represents the majority of the Turkish Cypriots. We will pay careful attention to win support of the 'parliament' and majority of the people."

    Mr Talat also added: "The 'government' will serve for a short period of time --till the 'presidential elections' on April 17th. Our 'government' will give priority to approval of the budget for the fiscal year of 2005. Following the 'presidential elections', a lasting 'government' will be formed for a five-year period."

    [02] Turkish way of deceiving European Union; after getting accession date, democratic reforms in the Turkish Penal Code are being repealed one by one

    Istanbul NTV television (13.03.05) broadcast the following:

    "Headed by the Press Council, media representatives discussed the new Turkish Penal Code (TPC) and issued a declaration, where they say that the new TPC includes many provisions that limit the freedom of communication. Press Council Chairman Oktay Eksi said: "We do not want Turkey to be referred to as the largest press prison in the world."

    The Press Council organized a meeting in Istanbul to assess the new TPC together with media owners and representatives. Addressing the opening session of the meeting, Oktay Eksi pointed out that the improvements that had been made in the Press Law were being removed by the new TPC.

    Mr Eksi said: "We were happy to see the new Press Law because it was democratic and it was good. Two and a half months later, the new TPC was enacted, and once again we have the prisons, the guards, and the iron railings before us."

    The Press Council chairman stressed that he does not want to have Turkey referred to as the largest press prison in the world. He added: "The TPC will go into force on 1 April, but it will have to be amended 15 days later, or a month later. We are ready to wage a struggle to have some of the provisions amended."

    Mr Eksi went on: "The freedom of expression is something worth fighting for, every morning. That is why I am optimistic. That will not be a problem."

    The media representatives issued a declaration at the end of the meeting, saying that in addition to its positive elements that protect individual rights, the new TPC contains many provisions that limit freedom of the press. The media representatives set up a working group which will draw up proposals as soon as possible and submit them to the authorities in Ankara."

    [03] Gul's statements at the end of his visit to London

    Istanbul NTV television (16/03/05) broadcast that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, upon arriving at the Esenboga Airport from his working visit to London, replied to questions on agenda items.

    One of the agenda items concerned the US-Turkey tension over President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's Syrian visit. The Foreign Minister was reminded about US Ambassador Edelman's remarks.

    After reminding that both the Ambassador and the Embassy have confirmed that the intent in the remarks of the American Ambassador was reflected in the press differently and that a correction was made on this issue, Gul brought clarity to Turkey's policy on Syria. The Foreign Minister said that Turkey is a country that acts in tandem with the international community on the Syrian issue, something known to everybody. He added that Turkey wants the peaceful resolution of these problems in the region and wishes the freedom and democracy in the region to come to life. He reiterated that Ambassador Edelman's statement has been presented to the public in a manner that went beyond its intent.

    The developments surrounding Cyprus was another subject on Gul's agenda. Reminding him of Prime Minister Erdogan's meeting with the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Madrid last week and asking him if he was expecting any UN initiative on the Cyprus problem in the new period, Mr Gul said that at present they do not fully know if Kofi Annan has any intention to take such an step, but they have been getting signals in that direction, pointing out that Kofi Annan was previously unsuccessful and hence it might be impossible for him to launch a new initiative under conditions that might again lead to his failure.

    Moreover, Istanbul NTV television (17/03/05) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that agreement was reached with the EU on initialling the supplementary protocol that will expand the scope of the Customs Union. The supplementary protocol is expected to become ready for signing in a very short time. The reservation pertaining to the non-recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, in turn, may be announced through an exchange of letters with the EU Commission or by an appendix to the Accession Partnership Document.

    Mr Gul gave the signal that the supplementary protocol that will expand the scope of the Ankara Agreement to encompass the "Republic of Cyprus" as well is ready for signing. In a statement to the Greek-language service of the BBC, Gul said that Turkey will first initial the protocol and then submit it to the Turkish Grand National Assembly for approval. Mr Gul stated: "We reached an agreement with the EU to initial the agreement. We are not about to play games. When Turkey makes a commitment, it fulfils it."

    Ankara, however, is seeking new formulas to resolve the matter following the confirmation that the reservation on the non-recognition of the Republic of Cyprus cannot be included in the protocol. One of the formulas consists of an exchange of letters with the EU Commission noting Turkey's reservations, simultaneously with the signing of the protocol. Appending the reservation to the new Accession Partnership Document, which is expected to be announced by the end of the year, is another option.

    Another one of Turkey's expectations consists of convincing the Republic of Cyprus to restart the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus issue before 3 October. Upon his return from London, Gul gave the message that UN Secretary-General Annan could undertake a new initiative in this regard.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.03.05) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister, attending a discussion meeting held at Park Lane Hilton hotel in London, said that Britain will carry out important changes in its policy on the Cyprus problem after the British elections. He also added that the Turkish Cypriots, who live in London, are inactive and noted that the Greek Cypriots in London use their power towards the British government.

    [04] Denktas is preparing to establish an above-party organization

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (17.03.05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that after he withdraws from the post of the so-called president he is planning to establish an organization under the name "institutions' federation" where the representatives of all political parties and organizations will be participating.

    In statements he made to illegal Bayrak the night before, Mr Denktas noted that he had done his duty and that he is at ease with his conscience. "I am leaving them a 21 year-old bright state. Let them look after it like their own eyes", he added.

    Asked how he plans to continue his struggle after his withdrawal from the post of the "president", Mr Denktas replied:

    "I intend to go for an above-party organization. I know that it will be difficult. We have to act as a kind of a national congress that will be able to represent all the parties believing in the independence and will include a kind of institutions' federation, all the parties, all the villages and all the clubs. It will be convening when necessary and take care of the affairs of the people. .It will be a very wide, very powerful and polyphonic umbrella. Everyone that wishes will take part in the umbrella. This is what I think. This is what must be done".

    Mr Denktas said also that his duties as negotiator have ended the day he rejected the Annan Plan.

    Replying to accusations that he abandoned the so-called cause of the Turkish Cypriots in the middle, Mr Denktas said that he could not accept these accusations and added: "Our cause has been settled before the Greek Cypriot cause, the day the TRNC was born. The cause of the Greek Cypriots was taking the whole Cyprus. The TRNC prevented this".

    [05] A deputy from RPP resigned

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.05) reports from Ankara that Turan Tuysuz, a member of parliament from Turkey's southeastern city of Sanliurfa, resigned from the Republican People's Party (RPP) on Wednesday.

    After the resignation of Tuysuz, the number of seats of the RPP in the parliament decreased to 168.

    The recent distribution of the seats in the parliament is as follows:

         Justice and Development Party (JDP).....: 361
         Republican People's Party (RPP)............: 168
         True Path Party (TPP)...................:      6
         People's Ascendance Party (PAP)..........:      1
         Independent...............................:    13
         Vacant........................................: 1
         Total......................................:  550
    

    Moreover, Turan Tuysuz, speaking at a press conference after his resignation, said: "There are nearly 25-30 deputies who are planning to resign from the party. The number of resignations may increase to 51." He also added that he would continue to serve as an independent parliamentarian.

    Replying to questions, Tuysuz said that he did not think of joining the Justice and Development Party.

    [06] European journalists will be visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus through the illegal Tymbou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (17.03.05) reports that a delegation of the Administrative Council of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), which is based in Brussels, will be visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus upon an invitation of the Turkish Cypriot Press Workers Trade Union (BASIN - SEN).

    The members of the delegation, which will be coming from their countries on Friday night through the illegal Tymbou airport via Istanbul, are Ferdando de Velenzuela, chairman of the AEJ, Peter Kramer, general secretary, Carmelo Occhino, deputy general secretary, Dogan Tilic, vice president and Recep Guvelioglu, member of the honorary council.

    According to a statement issued by BASIN - SEN, the delegation will remain in the occupied part of Cyprus until 21 March 2005 and will meet with the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, Mehmet Ali Talat and several Turkish Cypriot organizations.

    [07] Justice and Development Party deputy describes how he conveyed an ultimatum to the late Archbishop Makarios in 1969

    Under the title "I carried an ultimatum to Makarios", Turkish daily Zaman newspaper (16.03.05) publishes a report by Omer Sahin from Ankara according to which Nevzat Yalcintas, an Istanbul deputy of the Justice and Development Party (JDP), in 1969 conveyed an ultimatum to the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, the late Archbishop Makarios, from Mr Suleyman Demirel, Prime Minister of Turkey at the time.

    The paper describes how Mr Yalcintas was called by Prime Minister Demirel to convey a three-fold document signed by the President, the Prime Minisiter and the competent Minister to Archbishop Makarios heading a ten-member delegation, and adds:

    "When the ten-member delegation under Nevrat Yalcintas arrived at Lefkosia airport cameras filmed the arrival and photographs were taken. `I am certain 100% that these were British agents´, says Yalcintas. The delegation then went to Kyrenia and sat at the negotiating table at the Ambassador´s residence with an eight-member delegation appointed by Makarios. Yalcintas conveyed demands covering four issues. The demands were about the pressure on the Turks, the lifting of the besiege and the de facto embargo and the normalization of relations. It was conveyed that Turkey will be insistent and decisive on bringing these about.

    The JDP deputy described as follows the mood of the meeting: Our aim was for the other side to learn the real intention, how far we could go on the issue. We did not say openly that we shall intervene, but we made the Greek Cypriots feel this. After the talks a relative improvement prevailed (in Cyprus). Later Sampson, who supported the hard line against Turks, overturned Makarios through a coup and pressures increased".

    Mr Yalcintas also said that the delegation toured the Turkish villages for one week in order to give courage to the villagers and after returning he prepared a report to Prime Minister Demirel and to the Chief of the General Staff.

    And the paper concludes: "In the final part of the report, Yalcintas gives the signs of the almost certain intervention in Cyprus with a critical sentence: `This problem has come to a state of being a Gordian Knot´. In history, Alexander cut the Gordian Knot with a sword. And the Turkish army put an end to the Greek pressure and oppression six years after this report by carrying at an invasion against Cyprus".

    [08] The occupancy of the tourist installations in occupied Cyprus has increased by 9.9%

    Turkish Cypriot AFRIKA newspaper (17.03.05) reports that according to last year's statistical data regarding the occupancy of the tourist installations in occupied Cyprus, in the year 2004 there was an increased of 9.9% and the occupancy reached the 41.2%. In the same period one million 523 thousand 261 overnight stays were registered, a number which is 16.6% higher than the previous year.

    In addition the number of persons who visited occupied Cyprus during the year 2004, from Turkey and other countries, has increased by 27.5% and reached the number of 599.12 thousand of them 434 thousand 744 persons were from Turkey while 164 thousand 268 from other countries.

    [09] The " `TRNC´ National Forces" organisation warns Turkey that in case it sighs the Additional Protocol of Ankara agreement, a farewell will be said to the pseudostate

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (17.03.05) reports that the "'TRNC' National Forces", issued a declaration in which it warns the government of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) in Turkey regarding the steps it has taken as regards the Cyprus problem.

    The new organisation was formed by the Turkish Cypriot Resistance Organisation, the Turkish Cypriot Fighters Association and some civil society organisations.

    In the declaration it is supported that in case Turkey signs the Additional Protocol of Ankara agreement with the new EU members, a farewell will be said forever to the pseudostate and the Turkish people living in Cyprus.

    The organisation also issued a warning to the Erdogan government not to deceive them by saying that "we will include south Cyprus in the customs agreement but we well not recognise it". "A step taken towards this direction means recognition of the south", notes the organisation, which visited yesterday the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and presented him the declaration.

    [09] The " `TRNC´ National Forces" organisation warns Turkey that in case it sighs the Additional Protocol of Ankara agreement, a farewell will be said to the pseudostate

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.03.05) reports that the so-called assembly decided that a committee from the "assembly" will take part in the meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Union, which will be held in Manila, Philippines.

    [10] A committee from the so-called Assembly will attend a meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Union

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.03.05) reports that the so-called assembly decided that a committee from the "assembly" will take part in the meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Union, which will be held in Manila, Philippines.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Columnist in CUMHURIYET accuses Mr Erdogan of contradictory policies on the Cyprus problem and of wanting to accede to the EU with the mentality of covering torture

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (13.03.05) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Arcayurek under the title: "To become European, with this mentality?":

    "A person cannot tell what to believe of the things he (Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan) says. Proclaiming he was going to resolve the Cyprus issue, he took the first step; now he is waiting for the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots to take the first step. And on the same day:

    In his meeting in Madrid with EU Commission Chairman Barrosso, he gives the impression that he is prepared to take the first step.

    Earlier he had invited Papadopoulos to Northern Cyprus to drink coffee, and when he encountered a harsh response, he had -- as he usually does -- made a 180-degree turn and changed his invitation to include the condition that the Prime Ministers of Greece and Great Britain and his tame Cypriot ally, Talat, (the sales assistant for selling out the cause), also be present.

    While responding positively to Barrosso's suggestion that Papadopoulos and Talat meet together, he does not even consider that the correction cited above is inconsistent with the political initiative that he has crammed into a corner of his mind.

    He pretends not to see, or to pay attention to, the fundamental contradiction that is so striking in this.

    The EU, the United States, and the United Kingdom have but one goal: They want the Cyprus issue to be resolved as soon as possible (and in the manner that the Greek Cypriots want, naturally), and for this to be achieved through all sorts of concessions on the part of Turkey. RTE [sarcastic reference to Erdogan] cares nothing for his breaking of the rules, and the contradiction contained in having contact with the Republic of Cyprus, which he has stated he does not recognize.

    How is RTE going to explain this great contradiction? To expect an answer to this question is no doubt an exercise in futility.

    If RTE thinks that he is going to get out of the contradictions by saying that he is prepared to do anything for a lasting peace, even having contacts with a Southern Cyprus that he has announced that he does not recognize, then he is labouring under a very great misconception.

    But is the misconception solely on the Cyprus issue? This false assumption can now be demonstrated with examples of incidents showing that he has lost both his democratic logic and his common sense.

    The head of the government is still characterizing the media's reflection of the violence of the police [against demonstrators], which was simply its duty, as "informing on the country to foreigners".

    You have TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association], which underscores the truths that "The things that happened demonstrated not an isolated incident, but rather the approach of the government... The government, rather than blaming the demonstrators and the media, should demonstrate in the most effective form possible, by taking the political responsibility for an incident that has humiliated Turkey in the eyes of both national and international public opinion, that it sincerely supports high standards of democracy." And then you have a Prime Minister who rejects this by saying "They should restrict themselves to their own area of responsibility", but who then applauds this club of business magnates whenever it publishes statements that praise the government...

    ...Is there any possibility of reaching a common understanding of democracy with a General Directorate of Security that defends police who attack demonstrators with truncheons and kick and beat women who fall to the ground by saying that they were merely upholding the law and protecting themselves against possible attacks by demonstrators?

    The Prime Minister's head is busy with weaving a wholly bogus cloak to cover up the 6 March incident, by saying that "The 60 people there (i.e., the demonstrators), of whom it is known by the security organization 'just where they are in contact with', are still being investigated."

    As if there could be any justification for the violence of kicking and hitting with truncheons a woman who has fallen to the ground, on the basis that she is a member of some organization...

    ...To become European, with this mentality? If there is anyone who truly believes this, let him please step forward!"

    [12] Sami Kohen examines how relations between Turkey and the US are developing after Turkey´s refusal to support the anti-Saddam struggle

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (15.03.05) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "Confidence in Turkey shaken":

    "Turkey's image and credibility in Washington has weakened. The United States no longer regards Turkey as its "old staunch ally". Within Congress circles, though not within the administration cadres, among analysts working on Turkey and in the press the question: "how far can we trust Turkey" is being asked openly.

    We can sum up the impressions we got from the contacts we held by attending a conference on Turkish-US relations arranged by the Turkish Studies Institute, part of Georgetown University in the capital:

    In contrast to the anti-US mood that has been circulating in Turkey for some time now it cannot be said there is any antipathy in the United States towards Turkey extending to the general public at this point in time at least. The negative views and feelings for Turkey echoed in a few newspapers do not appear to have affected the administration.

    However, the mood in Washington regarding Turkey, despite the best efforts of the administration to stop the adversities, is not good at all.

    Americans disagree with the use of terms used freely in Turkey to describe today's situation as "crisis" or "tension" but they do accept that there are some serious "annoyances". Those saying are in fact circles closely interested in Turkey. Yet, the American people or the "man in the street" (in contrast to the situation in Turkey) have no idea or even interest in where Turkish-US relations are heading.

    Subtitle: Another shock

    The suspicions and concerns about relations with Turkey making themselves known within "knowledgeable" and "interested" circles are based on these reasons:

    Spreading Anti-Americanism In Turkey

    The scale of this trend in recent months has surprised the Americans. Many people in Washington used to know that only "extremists" in Turkey were anti-American. They never guessed that that the broad masses in Turkey - as indicated in many opinion polls - would oppose American or that Turks who were sympathetic towards the United States in the past would ever join them. In the words of one analyst: "The 1 March Troops Motion came as a shock to Americans. This time the situation vis-à-vis anti-Americanism has come as a second shock."

    Analysts believe that what lies behind anti-Americanism reaching this scale (apart from reaction to the Bush administration's policies) is largely a systematic campaign based on partially incorrect or fabricated reporting.

    As one official pointed out the United States has been the target of harsh criticism recently in many friendly and allied countries. But the attacks on Washington in Turkey go beyond the bounds of criticism; they have a provocative nature to them that effects relations. While it was expected that Ankara would make its official reaction and position known immediately in these critical times this too did not happen. However, certain publications and provocative comments by certain politicians did have a "degrading" effect.

    Ankara reeling In turmoil

    It appears that the policies being pursued recently by the Turkish government, in particular with regard to regional issues, have created much suspicion and disappointment in Washington. The latest development here concerns Syria. At this time when the Bush administration is stepping up pressure on Syria for it to comply completely and immediately with UN Security Council Resolution Number 1559, and when it is receiving active support from the international community ranging from the EU to the Arab world, the fact that Ankara is not exhibiting the attitude expected of it on time has created question marks in Washington. At this juncture (when the United States is trying to isolate Damascus) administration circles disagree with declarations in Ankara praising the al-Asad regime being made and with high-level visits (President Sezer) being planned.

    In the words of one official the United States does not want to prevent Turkey developing relations with its neighbors nor does it expect Ankara to oppose it in matters where there is international consensus (most recently in the case of Syria). Washington believes that today's government has failed to make known on time its position and resolve in circumstances such as these. This is why in official American circles (and only in private conversation of course) the word "turmoil" is being used on occasion to describe the Turkish government.

    Subtitle: Opinions different

    The two reasons listed above for the change in mood in Washington with respect to Turkey conflict with Turkey's opinions and priorities.

    Americans accept that in its various forms the "Iraq factor" is playing the leading role in the spread of anti-Americanism in Turkey. However, they also say that not much can be done here except to continue the dialogue. For example, when the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] problem is being talked about they explain the difficulties and limitations faced by the United States in fulfilling Turkey's expectations, and give the message that Ankara should be more patient.

    When it comes to Kirkuk Washington's opinion is essentially close to that of Ankara's. No coercion of any kind (by the Kurds) will change the city's status. This should be a decision made by the residents of Kirkuk and the people of Iraq. What the Americans expect of Ankara with respect to issues concerning Iraq that Turkey gives priority to is for Turkey to say what it has to say not via the press but through dialogue and diplomatic channels.

    What both the administration and the various circles interested in Turkey hope for is for reciprocal efforts to be made in good faith in order to overcome the problems, or as one American official put it "turbulence", in Turkish-US relations.

    However, the air currently blowing in Washington also begs the question: "Might the Bush administration change its attitude towards Turkey?"

    For instance, is the administration going to exert serious effort to obstruct an "Armenian genocide" bill being passed by Congress, as it has done in the past? Or, swayed by the anti-Americanism in Turkey in particular, is it going to give in more to the members of Congress?

    Observers say that for the administration to adopt a pro-Turkey stance depends on how Turkey treats its relations with the United States. In other words, in one respect they are throwing the ball to Turkey to overcome the current problems and put relations back on track."

    [03] Sami Kohen examines whether Turkey is an indispensable ally for the US in the post-cold war era

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (16.03.05) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "Would the United States give up Turkey?":

    "How much importance does the United States attach to Turkey now? Could it be said in light of the latest developments that there has been some decline in Turkey's value in the eyes of the US government and various US institutions? If there has, what will the implications be for Washington's policy toward Turkey?

    Some of our questions in the meetings we had in Washington in order to find out about the new mood in the US capital related to this topic. What brings such questions to mind are the discordant voices that have recently been coming from the United States. Conveyed partly through the press, the recent messages to Turkey suggest that the Americans have actually started to question whether Turkey is an "indispensable ally" and to reassess Turkey's importance.

    According to official circles, there is no change in Washington's "official policy" toward Turkey while there are certain disagreements and problems. In other words, the value attached to Turkey has not decreased.

    In the words of a high-level source, "Turkey used to be considered an indispensable ally during the Cold War. It is not regarded as `non-indispensable´ today. However, there is a need for the two countries to better understand and cooperate with each other."

    As against this "official" talk, US circles interested in Turkey are discussing the questions listed above. As a case in point, a US official could not refrain from saying, "The administration is facing questions from many quarters as to how far it could trust Turkey as an ally in the wake of the latest developments and this is placing it in a difficult situation."

    What is meant by the "latest developments" are the two main issues we pointed out in our article yesterday: 1. The anger and concern resulting from the rising anti-American sentiment in Turkey and the [Erdogan] government's failure to show a timely and adequate response to this. 2. The disappointment caused by Turkey's failure to meet the United States' expectations concerning the current problems (the latest being Syria).

    Analysts in Washington are saying that what with the erosion of confidence in Turkey and the Bush administration's establishment of new points of support along the axis of Central Asia, Caucasus, and the Middle East, Turkey's importance as a strategic ally could undergo a reassessment. To speak more plainly, if the current disagreements and frictions continue to increase, the United States' attitude toward Turkey could change and there could be decrease in the amount of importance it has attached to Turkey to date.

    According to Alan Makovsky, who is currently an expert on Turkey at the House of Representatives, "Turkey has lost its former romantic image in the United States. There are serious disagreements between the United States and Turkey. This is causing disturbances in the 'atmosphere' between the two countries. Yet in spite of this, Turkey has an important place in the United States' strategy and the US administration wants to ensure that this continues to be the case."

    Former US Ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris also believes that Turkey's strategic importance in the eyes of the United States is continuing. The fact that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice included Turkey in her first visit is an indication of this. Parris, who is currently putting together an article entitled "Allergic Partners" for a magazine, says: "We would not want to lose Turkey as long as it continued to cooperate with us. There is a need for constructive dialog at this time. Unfortunately, however, disagreements rather than joint assessments make up the substance of our dialog."

    Indeed, the disagreements that have caused a breach between Ankara and Washington (and are actually causing anti-Americanism to spread in Turkey) are increasing every day. Until now, the Iraq issue (including Kirkuk and the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan]) has been the principal point of dispute. Now, Syria is being added to the matters of disagreement. Official circles in Washington are annoyed by the fact that Turkey is following a more independent and nationalist line on Syria and they believe that this situation is putting Turkey's reliability to the test.

    This is the current mood in Washington. In these articles, we are trying in light of our meetings to explain exactly how the United States is assessing what has lately been happening.

    In discussing and assessing the state of Turkish-US relations, it is useful to learn at first hand what the other side thinks and what it wants to do. If there is no doubt about the importance and value of these relations, we must see the true picture that would help the relations to continue".

    /SK


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