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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-03-23

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

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



  • [01] Eroglu reiterates his worries about interferences in the so-called elections; Developments in the "election" campaign.
  • [02] DYSI sent a written invitation to Erdogan's Justice and Development Party to visit the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [03] Russia has not changed its policy regarding the Cyprus problem.
  • [04] Rauf Denktas: "I had fallen out with JDP".
  • [05] A delegation of the Green Group of the European Parliament will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [06] VOLKAN supports that the plane brought a British businessmen to the pseudostate did not come directly from Moscow but stopped at Ankara.
  • [07] Ultimatum by the Turkish army regarding the flag issue created during Newroz.

  • [08] Columnist in ZAMAN argues that the Erdogan government let down the US neo-conservatives at the most critical phase of the Iraqi war although they were heading the political groups supporting Turkey.
  • [09] Analysts and politicians predict early elections in Turkey.
  • [10] Columnist in YENI SAFAK argues that the new "crisis" in the relations between Turkey and the US is artificial so that Turkey is forced to accept the new role assigned to it by the US.


    [01] Eroglu reiterates his worries about interferences in the so-called elections; Developments in the "election" campaign

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (23.03.05) reports that Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party (NUP) and candidate in the so-called presidential elections, said, inter alia, the following yesterday during his visits to several trade unions and other organizations:

    "I am saying it everywhere. I hope that in these elections there will not be any interference. There are some parts that are getting ready to interfere. I feel very worried about it and I wish this not to happen. Our state is a reality. If you do not accept this reality you cannot make the others to accept it. Saying that you are without alternatives is extremely wrong in politics. .".

    Meanwhile, in its main editorial, GUNES describes as "wrong" the statements Prime Minister Erdogan made in Brussels after meeting Prime Minister Karamanlis. Noting that Mr Erdogan said that "the real process in Cyprus is after 17 April between Talat and Papadopoulos" and that "they will do the necessary work", GUNES argues that these statements "were not at all elegant".

    Then the paper adds, inter alia, the following: "The elections might not end on 17 April. If Mr Erdogan is exerting efforts to end them on 17 April, this must be made known. We wonder what Mr Erdogan wants to say. Is he trying to influence the election results, even in an indirect manner? .".

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (23.03.05) reports that the election campaign began yesterday without much noise". The parties and the candidates seem to prefer to conduct their campaign through the media, while the Republican Turkish Party is organizing rallies in five regions, including the occupied part of Nicosia. The main opposition National Unity Party (NUP) will be also organizing rallies, but the exact dates and places have not been announced yet.

    The slogan of Mehmet Ali Talat, who is RTP's candidate, is "the period for opening to the world has begun. Let it be happy for all of us". RTP will be organizing rallies in the squares of Kyrenia (11 April), Morfou (12 April), Trikomo (13 April), Famagusta (14 April) and Nicosia (15 April).

    Mustafa Arabacioglu, candidate of the Democratic Party began his campaign with visits to villages in the occupied area of Famagusta. His slogan is "the man with the smiling and unspotted face in politics". Mr Arbacioglu said that they have not decided yet whether or not they will be organizing rallies in the squares of the occupied towns of Cyprus.

    The candidate of the Communal Liberation party (CLP), Huseyin Angolemli began his campaign yesterday in occupied Karpass peninsula under the slogan "First the Turkish Cypriots". The party will be organizing a meeting in occupied Nicosia on 14 April.

    During his visits to villages, the candidate of the New Party, Nuri Cevikel is trying to explain "the dangers of gathering all the authorities in one party".

    The candidate of the Cyprus Socialist Party (CSP) Zehra Cengiz uses the slogan "Listen to this voice" and visits the trade unions, which are "the representatives of the workers".

    The independent candidate, Mr Zeki Besiktepeli began his campaign under the slogan "until where without you not being yourself".

    The independent candidate Mr Ayhan Kaymak is trying to explain his vision through the media and by using the e-mail. In statements to HALKIN SESI he argued that he is very different than the other candidates and that he is modern. He noted that the structure in the occupied areas was "corrupt and rotten", that this must change and that the society must not run after its interest.

    The independent candidate Arif Salih Kirdag began his campaign yesterday in occupied Nicosia under the slogan "justice".

    [02] DYSI sent a written invitation to Erdogan's Justice and Development Party to visit the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (23.03.05) reports that the leader of the Democratic Rally Party (DYSI) Mr Nicos Anastasiades, has sent a written invitation to the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) of Turkey to visit the Republic of Cyprus.

    The letter, which was addressed to Mr Saban Disli, the JDP's responsible for foreign affairs, arrived at the party's headquarters yesterday. No decision was taken yet as regards the acceptance of the invitation, however the issue will be discussed at the Central Executive Committee of the JDP. However, it is the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who will take the final decision.

    In case the JDP accepts the invitation, a delegation will probably visit the Republic of Cyprus in April, after the so-called presidential elections of the pseudostate, writes the paper.

    [03] Russia has not changed its policy regarding the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.03.05), in its front page leader under the title "An initiative from Russia", reports that the Russian Foreign Ministry Special Representative on Cyprus, Mr Leonid Abramov, began his contacts aiming to listen to the sides for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Abramov, in a statement to the paper, said that he will also have contacts in Athens and in Ankara, adding that during the weekend he will be in Ankara. He also described his contacts in Cyprus as interesting and productive. Replying to a question whether Russia will take or not an initiative report on Cyprus at the UN Security Council, he said: "We will see the developments that will be initiated by the UN and we will try to help."

    The newly appointed Russian envoy met yesterday with the so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat. Mr Abramov was accompanied by the Russian Ambassador in Cyprus, Mr Andrey Nesterenko and his Adviser Valery Maslin.

    In a short statement prior the meeting, Mr. Abramov said that Russia was keen on seeing a settlement on the island, and stated that a solution would contribute greatly by bringing stability to the region.

    For his part, Mr Talat pointed out that Russia, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, was one of the most important and influential players in the international arena and that it had an important role and responsibility towards solving the Cyprus Problem.

    Reminding that the Turkish Cypriots had demonstrated their willingness to help reunify the island he warned however, that a possible end of the "isolations" will never substitute a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem and added: "We are expecting a positive step from the international community and Russia in helping lift the economic sanctions and the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people."

    Replying to a question about the Cypriot President, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos' refusal to accept the United Nations to act as an arbitrator in solving the Cyprus Problem, Mr. Talat accused the Greek Cypriot side of constantly putting up an intransigent stance and raising preconditions.

    Mr Talat once again underlined his view that "the Turkish Cypriot side does not have to give anything in return as concession to the Greek Cypriot side for direct trade and the lifting of the sanctions, as these are basic and most natural rights for any community".

    He said that the sanctions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot side in the past, should now go, as Turkish Cypriots have demonstrated that they are not secessionists and noted: "This is why handing the closed city of Varosha to Greek Cypriots, should never be taken as a move Turkish Cypriots should make in return for the re-instatement of those rights".

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (23/03/05) reports that Mr Abramov noted that Russia has not changed its policy regarding the Cyprus problem.

    [04] Rauf Denktas: "I had fallen out with JDP"

    The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has accused the Justice and Development Party, JDP of not knowing the Turkish People´s Cyprus enthusiasm. He said that the reason he did not put his candidacy for the so-called "presidency" is the JDP.

    Turkish Daily MILLIYET newspaper (internet issue - 23.03.05 reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, has decided not to run for the "so-called presidential post in the "elections" in the occupied area to be held on 17 April, 2005.

    "I could not go on once I have fallen out with the JDP and as a result of this I decided not to run for the presidency. I cannot go on to fall out with the Turkish government" Denktas said.

    Denktas went on and said that the JDP does not know the Turkish people´s enthusiasm regarding Cyprus.

    In his interview Denktas also explains what he will do when he retires.

    "I had harmonious relations with all the Turkish governments. However when the Turkish government said `yes´ and made us as well to say `yes´ to the Annan Plan naturally, different views and thoughts have surfaced. And the answer to this is my leaving of this post. Since I will not be in harmony with the Turkish government, the natural outcome of this is my departure, from this post. It is unbecoming of me to have this post and act contrary to the wishes of the Turkish government".

    Denktas also complained about the Turkish Mainland press, saying that major newspapers have censured the Cyprus problem.

    He said that the JDP government is unaware of the feelings and the excitement of the Turkish people as regards the Cyprus problem. He went on and said that he will not let the Turkish side to make concessions for the solution of the problem. "Even if I am dead I will be a nightmare to them" Denktas declared.

    [05] A delegation of the Green Group of the European Parliament will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (23.03.05) reports that the Chairman of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Mr De Heer Joost Lagendijk, in a statement to yesterday´s Turkish daily ZAMAN newspaper, said that the European Union had made a mistake by accepting Cyprus' membership to the union before a comprehensive settlement was found to the Cyprus Problem.

    Mr. Lagendijk criticized the European Union for failing to keep its promises made to the Turkish Cypriots before and right after last year's referendum pointing out that the `no vote` of the Greek Cypriot side was an unexpected outcome.

    He also added that the European Union was putting pressure on the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos and the Greek Cypriot side to announce its objections on the Annan Plan.

    Referring to the issue of Turkey signing the Ankara Protocol, Mr Lagendijk expressed his view that positive developments such as the starting of direct trade and lifting of economic "sanctions" on "North Cyprus" could take place once the protocol was signed.

    He stressed that the Greek Cypriot side would be in no position to force Turkey to establish diplomatic ties with it by manipulating the issue.

    Mr Lagendijk also said that he will support Mehmet Ali Talat before the so-called presidential elections and for this reason a delegation of Green Group of the European Parliament, consisting of five persons, will visit the occupied areas on 8-9 April.

    [06] VOLKAN supports that the plane brought a British businessmen to the pseudostate did not come directly from Moscow but stopped at Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (23.03.05) reports that the private plane used by the delegation of the "Store International" firm, which paid yesterday a visit in the pseudostate did not arrive at the illegal Tymbou airport directly from Moscow, but stopped at Ankara airport first.

    A delegation of the "Store International", headed by its director British businessman Michael Bouttcher, arrived two days ago in the pseudostate to search for investment possibilities in occupied Cyprus.

    The paper reports that yesterday the Turkish MILLIYET and HURRIYET newspapers, wrote that the delegation departed from Moscow but landed in Ankara airport. Then it departed and landed at illegal Tymbou airport without breaking any international regulations. VOLKAN writes that with this another lie of Talat's Republican Turkish Party has been revealed.

    [07] Ultimatum by the Turkish army regarding the flag issue created during Newroz

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (23.03.05) reports that the Office of the Chief of General Staff said on Tuesday the Turkish Armed Forces were determined to defend the country and its flag down to the last drop of its blood, just like its forefathers had, warning those who misinterpreted their patience and aloofness.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also condemned individuals in Mersin who had dragged the Turkish flag on the ground on Monday, describing them as "miserable." Kurdish Democratic People's Party (DEHAP) leader Tuncer Bakırhan said on Tuesday that the Turkish flag was also the Kurds' flag, condemning flag-burning attempts in Mersin.

    He said there were some groups trying to instigate incidents in order to realize their criminal objectives, adding that all Kurds honoured the common values of the nation.

    Meanwhile, the police department gave a reward to the police officer who had prevented the flag burning.

    Right-wing groups staged protests in Mersin on Tuesday, declaring their determination to protect the country against those who were trying to divide it.


    [08] Columnist in ZAMAN argues that the Erdogan government let down the US neo-conservatives at the most critical phase of the Iraqi war although they were heading the political groups supporting Turkey

    Istanbul ZAMAN newspaper (21.03.05) publishes the following column by Ali H Aslan in Washington under the title: "Who lost us America?":

    "Ever since the Troops Motion got rejected on 1 March 2003 Washington has been searching for the answer to the question, "Who lost us Turkey?" This is a useful debate containing elements of self-criticism.

    The considerable widening of the gap between Turkey and America with Ambassador Eric Edelman's resignation actually requires a similar question to be asked on the Turkish front. Who lost us America? It is a pity, however, that there are very few in our country who go for such introspection. On the contrary, on the anniversary of the Canakkale Victory certain circles feel proud that the ambassador of an entente state has been thrown into the sea! There are circles in Turkey as "fascist and Nazi" as Hitler and whose books have recently been selling like hot cakes in Turkey who are rejoicing at the fact that a diplomat of Jewish origin is leaving Ankara. I will not debate just how good a diplomat Edelman was in Turkey. For one thing this would not be befitting of Turkish hospitality. Besides, his performance in office is of more interest to Washington than to us. As far as I am aware Edelman's superiors are quite pleased with him. I can say even now that his resignation was not a demotion but rather the first step of promotion up to higher ranks in either the public of private sector. In fact, let me tall you that Edelman took a one-day trip to Washington last week to talk with the Pentagon for the place that Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is vacating.

    Nor is my aim to speculate on Edelman's future. What I really want to draw attention to is how his resignation should be interpreted with respect to Turkish-American relations. In my opinion this is one of the most dramatic moments in Turkey's fall from grace in America's eyes. Despite numerous crises in the past this is the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic that an American ambassador has resigned this way. The factors that compelled the United States to change horses in Turkey while midway across the stream in the Middle East must be studied into well, as must the new damage that this will cause to our image in Washington.

    The official American line is that Edelman's resignation has nothing at all to do with President Sezer's announcement (some say misconstrued) concerning his trip to Syria. Yes, Edelman may well have initiated moves to resign before this debate occurred. However, my sources close to the ambassador say that his decision was the result of an accumulation of factors. The widespread evaluation is that: "He was prevented from doing his job in Turkey and had no other choice." Rather than making the most of this extremely influential diplomat who was a personal friend of Vice President Dick Cheney to make Turkey's voice heard in Washington we succeeded in breaking him and sending him back!

    So, who was it that prevented Edelman from doing his job in Turkey; who was it that lost us America through this man? Forget providing an answer to this question, our people at home could not even put their finger on the case. The Americans are complaining about anti-American sentiment in Turkey while we are saying: "There is no such thing. The opinion polls are lying." During private conversation the Americans go on about the problems, while we maintain that relations are still good. Most recently a delegation of deputies from various parties went to Washington and said just this at the places they visited. Needless to say their audiences were not satisfied.

    Even if not much is heard in Turkey in reply to the question, "Who lost us America?" you can be certain that the topic is being debated furiously in Washington. If you look at essays that have appeared recently in influential periodicals on the right in particular such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and the Middle East Quarterly it is the Turkish media and the Justice and Development Party [JDP] government who top the list of "losers". One thing that caught my attention was the fact that the military, which was given a ticking off after the Troops Motion affair saying, "Our traditional ally disappointed us" has been comparatively less targeted. The thought that the neo-con circles in particular are returning to the era of "my most faithful darling is the land forces" has not failed to enter my mind.

    In this respect, the meeting to be held on Wednesday by the American Enterprise Institute, known to be close to the neo-cons, is of vital importance. I hope that the JDP's Deputy Party Chairman Murat Mercan comes well prepared to fend off the heavy guns Richard Perle, Robert Pollock and Michael Rubin. I think that the neo-cons have largely lost their faith in the JDP government. The JDP will now find it hard to clean up its "Islamist" image among those circles. Perhaps though by attempting to dispel concerns about rapprochement with Syria, Iran and Russia the storm will at least disperse and lose its force a little.

    Do not say, "So, who do the neo-cons think they are?" The neo-cons head up the political groups that have ensured Washington's ties with Turkey for years. Turkish governments that failed to get on well with them did not fair so well. On top of that they are currently the most influential they have ever been in US foreign policy. Despite the huge mistakes in Iraq President Bush is sending two neo-cons (Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton) to key positions in the UN and the World Bank, two of the world's most important institutions, while completely ignoring the reactions of the international community. In other words, the way to win the White House's heart is to be a neo-con. Please pay attention all those in Turkey who wish to regain America's friendship."

    [09] Analysts and politicians predict early elections in Turkey

    Istanbul NOKTA magazine (20.03.05) publishes the following analysis under the title:

    "Early election looks imminent":

    "The recent resignations of some MPs, especially Erkan Mumcu, which have rocked the JDP [Justice and Development Party] and signs of nervousness stemming from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who seems to be losing his temper in the face of internal and external pressure as well as unrest within the party resulting from some factions, indicate that expectations of an early election will mount in Turkey in 2005. Analysts and politicians share the view that Erdogan's honeymoon in politics have ended quickly and he will, therefore, opt for a snap election in order to remain in power with a parliamentary delegation strictly obeying his instructions.

    Subtitle: A major crisis of confidence

    Aytunc Altindal, a researcher-writer, quoted his reliable sources in Ankara as saying that Erdogan was suffering from a political panic attack.

    He underscored some important facts during his interview with NOKTA. He commented: "The United States was at the starting point of the current phase of Erdogan's political career. He paid a visit to the United States immediately after the JDP's foundation, which was followed by a visit to the White House in his capacity as the JDP's leader and Turkey's prospective prime minister during Abdullah Gul's tenure as premier. It seems that important promises were made during those visits and meetings. This can be seen very clearly. In spite of those promises, the JDP first failed to push through a government motion on Iraq on 1 March 2003. In other words, he initially advised the United States to send his troops by ships, but he later told them to go back. Everybody, who has some idea about the American way of thinking, would know that trust is their primary concern in all their relations. There is now an enormous distrust in the United States towards the JDP and its leader. This lack of trust eventually affected our relations as a whole. Some developments, including Erdogan's statement that he would not visit Israel and his accusation that Prime Minister Sharon was resorting to terrorism caused him to burn his bridges with the biggest power supporting him."

    Subtitle: Signs of a panic attack

    Altindal emphasized that the inclination among center-right politicians in Turkey to use the United States as a springboard for rising to power was a tradition in Turkish politics, citing Adnan Menderes, Suleyman Demirel, and Turgut Ozal as the most striking examples of that tradition. He noted: "Those three politicians eventually got into trouble with the United States. Menderes faced a tragic end. Demirel was toppled twice while Ozal's story is known by everybody. I think that Erdogan is overwhelmed by a similar fear. This is not mere speculation. It is based on information received from very reliable sources. He reportedly had serious panic attacks recently. He was quoted as saying to his aides that he could be sent to the gallows because of their mistakes. According to sources, after suffering panic attacks, he told his aides to stop briefing him in several meetings because he was confused and then left the meeting room. These syndromes do not bode well. They could eventually lead to problems."

    Subtitle: He is not used to working under pressure

    Emin Sirin, who was elected an MP from the JDP in the last general election but later left the party after criticizing Erdogan, also has serious concerns about the Prime Minister: "I am not very close to Erdogan and I am not in a position to get information from his immediate entourage. Nonetheless, I know and observe him. There has been considerable change in his brain chemistry. He is unable to withstand even minimum pressure and therefore displays unpredictable reactions. Furthermore, pressure he is experiencing today has already exceeded the minimum level. He, therefore, looks extremely disturbed and is in an unbalanced mental state."

    Sirin said that he was convinced that the United States was trying to devise a formula to liquidate Erdogan and his close aides one way or another rather than targeting the JDP. He commented: "Everything began on 17 December 2004 because it was difficult to convince the public that Erdogan had achieved a satisfactory result in Brussels. On the contrary, people saw that funds would not flow into Turkey and that they would not be able to travel to Europe freely. It was followed by a list of problems experienced or would be experienced by Turkey in her relations with Europe. They were coupled with the problems encountered in the relations with the United States and Israel, which rankled the business community. Those who had argued that the JDP should come into power alone in order to achieve stability realized instead that the country was heading for greater instability. Major media establishments stepped into the picture at that point, which led to a tension arising from the new Turkish Penal Code."

    Sirin predicted that Erdogan would make a surprising decision to call an early general election taking account of the current situation because economic stability could be undermined as a result of an external or internal intervention. Erdogan would not want to take a risk by remaining in power with the current parliamentary delegation of his party by November 2007, when the next general election is scheduled to be held, because the next president will be elected in May 2007. He perfectly knows that he would not be able to control his party's MPs during the voting to be held for electing the president. He would, therefore, prefer to call a fresh election as soon as possible. In that case, he would purge the party of the rebels and return to the National Assembly with at least 300 loyal MPs. Erdogan would feel safe only if that happened and thus be able to determine the outcome of the voting to be held for naming the next president."

    Subtitle: Yalcin Kucuk: "Erdogan should be examined at Haberal's hospital"

    Prof. Yalcin Kucuk, one of the most interesting figures in Turkey, was the first person to say that Erdogan was suffering from panic attacks and should, therefore, be examined at Mehmet Haberal's hospital. He made the following comments in his book entitled "Rebellion," which was published last month: "... It appears that there are irregularities in Erdogan's brain. We have witnessed his outbursts. I had noticed that long ago. The latest irregularities and outbursts dispelled my doubts. There is a strange look in his eyes, which seem dull and stare meaninglessly... I think that Erdogan should be taken to Haberal's hospital immediately. In order to prevent him from escaping from the hospital, two soldiers to be assigned by General Aytac should stand guard in front of his room. He should be treated by physicians and a medical report stating that his mental situation does not permit him to work could be issued. It is actually warranted by the country's supreme interests because there seems to be a problem."

    [10] Columnist in YENI SAFAK argues that the new "crisis" in the relations between Turkey and the US is artificial so that Turkey is forced to accept the new role assigned to it by the US

    Istanbul Yeni Safak (22.03.05) publishes the following article by Fehmi Koru under the title: "Pieces of a Puzzle":

    "Sometimes this is how it goes. Different statements that were not planned in advance fall next to each other like the pieces of a puzzle.

    Dr Omer Taspinar, the co-director of the Brookings Project on Turkey at the Brookings Institution, published an article entitled "The Strains Are Exaggerated" [in the 21 March 2005 issue of RADIKAL]. The theme of that article is: "Those who think that there is a crisis between the United States and Turkey are mistaken. In Washington's eyes Turkey is not among troublemaking countries." At the same time yesterday's newspapers gave extensive coverage to US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's statement blaming Turkey for the insurgency in Iraq. At first glance these two views appear to be at odds with each other but they actually complement each other.

    First let us examine Rumsfeld's comments closely

    This is not the first time that Rumsfeld has voiced this view. Earlier he made a statement using the same expressions blaming Turkey for the 1 March [2003] affair. It is not very common for a person in Rumsfeld's position to resurrect an argument that was not taken seriously by anyone the first time he stated it. Clearly the argument is aimed at achieving a result far different from "stating a fact"--a result that we must assume was not achieved between the time this argument was first stated and now.

    Note this down in one corner

    Dr Taspinar's article in Radikal contains many important analyses. One of the conclusions of the article is that the perception of a "crisis" in the Turkish-US relationship is not correct. Another argument is that it is wrong to assume that Turkey suffered a loss of prestige because of the 1 March affair. Another is the following answer to those who have argued that "Turkey would have a say in deciding what happens in northern Iraq if it had approved the 1 March authorization bill": "Such an expectation from Washington would have strained ties between Ankara and Washington even more over northern Iraq. Even in today's circumstances we are upset with Washington's tolerance of Talabani and Barzani. If we were sitting at the same table we would have a crisis with the United States over northern Iraq every second. We would have felt seriously wronged and our anger against an 'ungrateful' United States would perhaps be much more intense than what we feel today. There is not much sense in arguing that everything would be different today if the 1 March authorization bill had been approved."

    Write down this correct assessment immediately next to the previous note Rumsfeld's comments laying blame on Turkey are not based on facts. The fact that the war ended far sooner than expected proves that US plans were not set back because of what happened on 1 March. The insurgency [in Iraq] has many causes but the inability of the United States to open a northern front is probably not a particularly important factor.

    So how should we interpret Rumsfeld's remarks, which were published on the same day as an assessment by an expert who monitors Washington from inside to the effect that "there is no problem that would lead to a crisis between the two countries"? How should we interpret them especially given that these comments did not generate much interest when they were first made? We must not be expected to see these comments as an "assessment of the situation."

    The only possibility that comes to mind is that the Pentagon group that has been drawing plans for the region in Washington has a new plan in which Turkey has been assigned a role. Instead of saying this openly the United States wants to create a pressure environment by sending oblique messages to cause some circles to think that relations are in "crisis." Ironically the 1 March authorization bill was rejected partly because of the passion of that same Pentagon group for oblique messages.

    Washington must stop thinking that Turkey's public opinion can be manipulated."


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