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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-28

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.122/06 28.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader to meet with the parties represented in the Assembly.
  • [02] Talat stated that those who want to export from the ports of the Republic of Cyprus pay a service to the Greek Cypriots.
  • [03] Eikka Kosonen: We have not forgotten the direct trade regulations.
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot BDH is willing to support CTP in the Assembly.
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot Gusella family which lives in the free areas of the Republic, thanks the government for its support and calls on the Greek Cypriot owner of the house it was given in Engomi to take his property back.
  • [06] Anavatan submits a motion to hold general debates on EU and Cyprus.
  • [07] Turkey´s Sezer and Gul to visit Moscow, Cyprus problem on the agenda.
  • [08] US Council of Foreign Relations calls Washington´s contribution for lifting Turkish Cypriots isolation.
  • [09] Jack Straw and Erdogan met in Istanbul on Sunday.
  • [10] A European parliamentarian resource group available for the Turkish Parliament.
  • [11] Screening in transport policy started.
  • [12] Replies by the Russian Ambassador to Ankara to questions on Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] EU finally arrives in Northern Cyprus.
  • [14] Is Russia an EU alternative for Turkey?.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader to meet with the parties represented in the Assembly

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.06.06) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat will come together with leaders and officials of political parties represented at the Republics Assembly tomorrow.

    The announcement was made by the Presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica at his weekly press conference in Lefkosia (occupied Nicosia) today.

    The press conference was held with the aim of informing the public and press about the President´s views regarding the election process, relations with the Greek Cypriot side and the efforts being made by the Greek Cypriot side to export Turkish Cypriot products from Greek Cypriot ports.

    Referring to the meeting that will take place between the President and the leaders and officials of political parties represented at the Republics Assembly tomorrow, Mr Ercakica said that tomorrows meeting aims to exchange views on the problems being experienced on the Cyprus issue.

    Evaluating the election results, Mr Ercakica said that finally a stable political period had been achieved and expressed the President´s hope that more efforts will be made to overcome social problems.

    He added that the Turkish Cypriot side is always ready to negotiate with the Greek Cypriot side as long as its political equality is recognized.

    Referring to the planned visit by the UN Secretary-Generals undersecretary for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari in the coming days, Mr Ercakica said that the Turkish Cypriot side had accepted the invitation to meet with Mr Gambari but noted that the Greek Cypriot side was hesitating on the issue.

    Noting that there were conflicting reports on the issue in the Greek Cypriot press, the Presidential spokesman said that considering that the United Nations had contacted the Turkish side regarding Mr Gambaris visit, then they must have also informed the Greek Cypriot side but obviously they are still hesitating.

    Referring to the suggestions being made that Turkish Cypriot products be exported via South Cyprus ports, Mr Ercakica said this is a political move by the Greek Cypriot side trying to show that the Turkish Cypriot people were able to trade with the world and didnt need to have the international isolation on it removed.

    He added that this move aimed at preparing grounds to pressurize Turkey into opening up its own ports to Greek Cypriot registered vessels.

    [02] Talat stated that those who want to export from the ports of the Republic of Cyprus pay a service to the Greek Cypriots

    Turkish HURR0YET newspaper (28.06.06) publishes a correspondence by Omer Bilge from occupied Lefkosia regarding the demand of a Turkish Cypriot businessman to export potatoes from the port of Limassol and the reaction of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat regarding this development

    The paper writes that the policy of Turkey not to open its ports to the ships of the Republic of Cyprus unless there is a lifting of the embargo of the Turkish Cypriots, has been hit by the initiative of the Turkish Cypriot businessman, Mesut Kafkasa and notes that this development made the Turkish section to rise.

    Mr Kafkasa wants to export two thousand tons of potatoes from the Limassol port and this development made the workers and the truck drivers at the occupied Famagusta port to rebel. Commenting on the issue the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat stated: It is a service to the Greek Cypriots to demand to export from the Greek Cypriot ports while Turkey wants the opening of the ports of the TRNC.

    (C/S)

    [03] Eikka Kosonen: We have not forgotten the direct trade regulations

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.06.06), under the title Kosonen: We have not forgotten the Direct Trade Regulations, reports that Finland's permanent representative to the European Union, Mr Eikka Kosonen yesterday outlined to the Brussels-based think-tank, European Policy Centre (EPC) his countrys priorities when it takes over the EU presidency on 1st of July.

    Replying to a question on EU pledges to start direct trade with the illegal regime in the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Kosonen said: This is a very difficult issue. We will do our best and evaluate all opportunities for a solution. We have not forgotten the direct trade regulations but concluding it depends on the will of all parties.

    Commenting on the recent statements made by EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Mr Olli Rehn that Turkey will face a train crash in its EU accession process this autumn, Mr Kosonen said: We do not want the train to crash but to proceed on its track.

    (DPs)

    [04] Turkish Cypriot BDH is willing to support CTP in the Assembly

    Turkish Cypriot VATAN newspaper (28.06.06) reports that the Central Executive committee of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BBH) the day before yesterday issued a written statement assessing the results of the recent self-styled elections.

    In its statement BDH expressed its readiness to support the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) by offering its vote without anything in exchange, if the CTP presents a concrete programme on the issues of the solution to the Cyprus problem, the EU policy , the democratisation and the transition of power to the civilians.

    Based on information given by the BDH Press Office, as the paper reports, the Turkish Cypriot BDH leader, Mustafa Akinci, will not be a candidate during the second congress of the BDH´s Central Executive Committee, which will be held in November.

    The written statement was issued right after the meeting of the BDH´s Central Executive Committee, during which the results of the general elections were evaluated.

    (M/L)

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot Gusella family which lives in the free areas of the Republic, thanks the government for its support and calls on the Greek Cypriot owner of the house it was given in Engomi to take his property back

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (28.06.06) writes about the Turkish Cypriot Gusella family which lives in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus for four years now and which calls on the Greek Cypriot owners of the house they were given in occupied Cyprus to go and get their property back.

    The paper writes that the family is ready to give back to its Greek Cypriot owner the house which was appropriated to them at Engomi village in occupied Cyprus in return for the house they have in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Cengiz Gusella stated that he talked some time in the phone with the Greek Cypriot owner but they have not yet met face to face.

    The family, which lives for four years now in Larnaka, has property in the free areas of the Republic, including the ground that Anorthosis Football team does its training. In order for this property to be returned back to them, the family has filed a lawsuit at a court in the free areas. Cengiz Gusella stated that AKEL hired a lawyer for the family but the lawsuit has not ended yet.

    The family lives in Sittika Street in Larnaka in a Turkish Cypriot house they repaired paying seven thousand Cypriot pounds.

    Cengiz Gusella thanked the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus for the support they have offered him and his family.

    (C/S)

    [06] Anavatan submits a motion to hold general debates on EU and Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.06.06) reported that the Motherland Party (Anavatan) has submitted a motion to the parliament, and requested a general debate on the issues of the EU and Cyprus.

    Omer Abusoglu and Suleyman Saribas, deputy group chairmen of the Anavatan, claimed in their motion that the government had made serious concessions from Turkey's international interests in the EU accession process.

    ''The government failed to give information about these issues. It refrained from sharing developments with the public opinion.

    Therefore, we call on the parliament to hold a general debate on the issues of EU and Cyprus,'' they added.

    [07] Turkey´s Sezer and Gul to visit Moscow, Cyprus problem on the agenda

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.06.06) reported the following from Moscow:

    There is some good news that Russia will give to Turkey during Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's visit to this country, said Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    Gul is actually visiting Russian capital of Moscow upon the invitation of his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

    Foreign Minister Gul did not reply to questions of reporters about what the good news is, while he said that Lavrov and he discussed Iran nuclear program controversy for several times.

    Gul stated that Russia has an important role in efforts to solve Iran's nuclear program controversy, and said that he will express his impressions of his trip to Tehran during his meeting with Lavrov.

    On Cyprus problem, Gul said: "Mr Prime Minister (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) and I are insistently explaining the Cyprus problem to Russia for the last three years. And, we have seen that some positive changes have occurred in Russia's policies, thanks to our efforts."

    On the same issue, Istanbul NTV online (27.06.06) reported that preparations are being made by Moscow and Ankara for an historic visit. President Sezer is going to Russia.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will accompany President Sezer during his visit. Gul leaves for Moscow today.

    Sezer will be making the first visit to the Russian Federation by a Turkish President since the federation was founded. President Sezer will be hosted by Russia's President Putin at the Kremlin.

    In Sezer's meeting with Putin they will discuss relations, which have climbed to the level of "multi-faceted partnership," as well as ways to diversify their areas of cooperation.

    Sezer will ask Russia for support over Cyprus. The President is also expected to ask Putin to place the PKK on Russia's list of terrorist organizations.

    The presidents will also exchange views over Iran and Iraq. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will accompany Sezer during his visit. Gul leaves for Moscow today.

    [08] US Council of Foreign Relations calls Washington´s contribution for lifting Turkish Cypriots isolation

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.06.06) broadcast that an American based Non-Governmental Organization which plays an important role in shaping the foreign relations of the US the Council on Foreign Relations stated that Washington should take concrete steps towards lifting the isolation on Turkish Cypriots and to pioneer the efforts aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In a report published last week under the title of Generating Momentum for a New Era in US-Turkey Relations, the NGO has made a series of proposals aimed at improving relations between the two countries, including Cyprus.

    The NGO stated that the United States should appoint a new coordinator for Cyprus and expressed the need for the encouragement of EU leaders to agree on getting the Greek Cypriot Administration to be more constructive.

    It also calls on the US government to take concrete, politic, diplomatic and economic steps towards lifting the international isolation on Turkish Cypriots.

    [09] Jack Straw and Erdogan met in Istanbul on Sunday

    The New Anatolian newspaper (27.06.06) reported that the former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, now leader of the House of Commons, visited Istanbul on Sunday to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    The Straw-Erdogan meeting was held behind closed doors, and no information about what was said was released to the media.

    Diplomatic sources said that the Turkish premier and the former British foreign secretary came together to exchange views on a previously agreed-upon subject, although they gave no further information about the content of the meeting.

    As Britain's foreign secretary until earlier this year, Straw was instrumental among European Union diplomats in ensuring the beginning of Turkey's EU negotiation process last fall.

    [10] A European parliamentarian resource group available for the Turkish Parliament

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (27.06.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish capital will today witness the inauguration of a new project that aims to provide assistance to the Turkish Parliament to help it fulfill its role in the process of Turkey's accession to the European Union via the first product of the project that is a seminar bringing together both experts and parliamentarians from Turkey and the U.K.

    The British government, through the Reuniting Europe strand of the Global Opportunities Fund, is supporting the project. London considers this project a further manifestation of the commitment of the U.K. to Turkey's EU membership process, particularly following the pivotal role played by Britain in the opening of the accession negotiations on Oct. 3, 2005.

    The project is being jointly implemented by the London-based LINKS (London Information Network on Conflicts and State-Building) and the Turkish Democracy Foundation and is aimed at providing expertise and other technical assistance to the EU Harmonization Commission of the Turkish Parliament.

    Dennis Sammut, executive-director of LINKS, who is in Ankara to attend the first project activity -- the seminar titled The role of Turkish parliamentarians in the process of Turkey's accession to the EU, which will be held today and tomorrow -- described the entire project as a technical project with a political aspect, during a brief interview with the Turkish Daily News.

    Drawing attention to the fact that the parliamentarians played a very important role during the entry processes of the 10 newest members of the EU, who joined the bloc in May 2004 as part of the last enlargement wave, Sammut said there would be a significant responsibility on the shoulders of the Turkish parliamentarians during the upcoming process in front of Turkey.

    They are the ones who carry the political motto to the public as the parliament is the first point of call', Sammut said, while emphasizing, It is not our business to influence the Turkish public's opinion on its decision whether to enter the EU or not, but it is our business to try to help people see that this is an informed decision'.

    Since its establishment in 1997, LINKS has worked in partnership with a wide range of partners including governments, parliaments, civil society organizations, the business community and the media through projects funded by the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, U.K. Department of International Development, the Swedish, Swiss and Dutch governments, the European Commission, the U.K. Community Fund, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and others.

    LINKS is working for the peaceful resolution and prevention of conflicts and is also working in support of democracy and sustainable development in societies in transition.

    Subtitle: A resource group available for Turkish Parliament':

    Taking into consideration the huge amount of legislative and parliamentary scrutiny work that needs to be done by the Turkish Parliament over the coming years as part of the work of approving the EU acquis, the project aims at helping both members of the Parliament and Parliamentary staff to cope with the accession process and to provide them with a better understanding of the issues and mechanisms involved. This will be done through a series of seminars and workshops to be held in Ankara and other parts of Turkey over the next two years, and through specialist experts that will share experiences from other EU states.

    The project also aims to assist the Turkish Parliament in engaging with colleagues in the parliaments of the EU member states and in the European institutions so that they may better appreciate the ongoing processes in Turkey.

    Sammut explained that, with this aim, a working group of European parliamentarians is being established in London under the chairmanship of Denis MacShane, member of Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labor Party in the U.K. House of Commons and British minister for EU affairs from 2002 to 2005, while representing the group as a resource group that will be available for the Turkish Parliament. The working group is expected to be launched formally in London in July.

    Subtitle: EU wants Turkey to win the match':

    When asked about the public's recent pessimism stemming from the ongoing polemic between the Turkish government and the EU figures concerning the issue of Turkey's opening its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes by the end of the year, Sammut said that the message [about the EU] was not being communicated well enough among the Turkish public -- without elaborating on the Cyprus issue.

    He likened the EU institutions to a coach, while likening Turkey to this coach's football players.

    The coach pushes you hard, not because he doesn't like you, only because he wants you to win the match.

    It's a process of let's get you in shape quickly, so that you can join the club quickly, he added.

    The best answer to those cynics in the EU capitals would be Turkey's working hard, Sammut also underlined. If the process that has started very well continues in this momentum, it will be impossible for the EU to say no' to Turkey.

    [11] Screening in transport policy started

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (27.06.06) reported that officials from Turkey and the European Commission started exploratory talks yesterday for the screening of Turkish legislation on transport policy, one of the 35 policy areas on which Turkey and the European Union will hold accession talks. The session in Brussels will last for four days.

    EU transport legislation aims at improving the functioning of the internal market by promoting safe, efficient and environmentally sound and user-friendly transport services. The transport acquis covers the sectors of road transport, railways, inland waterways, combined transport, aviation, and maritime transport.

    The exploratory session on transport policy will be followed by a detailed session scheduled for September 25-28.

    The EU says under its bilateral agreements Turkey should allow the bloc's air carriers to operate from EU member states to Turkey and not discriminate between the air carriers on the basis of nationality. However, political issues such as Cyprus are not expected to be covered during the screening in this chapter, which is extremely technical.

    [12] Replies by the Russian Ambassador to Ankara to questions on Cyprus

    Following are the replies by the Russian Ambassador to Ankara, Mr Petr Vladimirovic Stegniy to questions on Cyprus, from an interview with The New Anatolian newspaper (28.06.06):

    TNA: Press reports say one of the issues Erdogan has asked Putin for is a positive move by Russia on the Cyprus issue to contribute to resuming peace talks and putting an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. What can we expect from Russia in the coming period on the Cyprus issue?

    STEGNIY: As the situation in Northern Cyprus is concerned, the development of economic, trade relations on the municipalities level, and tourism, we've done a lot recently. The Chamber of Commerce of Russia visited both communities of the island and we're waiting for the head of the Turkish Cypriot chamber of commerce to visit Moscow soon. As a result of our reaction to the April 24, 2004 referendum (on the Annan plan), we sent a signal that Russian private companies may establish direct contact with Turkish Cypriot partners, of course with respect for EU legislation, international law and resolutions of the UN Security Council. In fact we're ready to follow possible modifications of the EU's trade policy, we're moving one step or a couple of steps behind the EU. If they take the long-awaited decisions on the trade, I think that we will follow. The legal basis of international law is a requirement for all those who are involved in the search for a solution to the Cyprus problem. We're talking extensively on the Cyprus issue with the Turkish Foreign Ministry and I think the direct results of these talks are increased transparency and predictability.

    Politically we stand for a viable and lasting solution of Cyprus on the basis of the resolutions of the UN Security Council. The principle of free expression of the will of the people who live on the island is extremely important for us. It's a general principle which characterizes now our approach to ethnic conflicts in different parts of the world. I can also tell you that there is a new positive trend at the United Nations Security Council. All members are much more closely working on modalities to resume the peace process.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] EU finally arrives in Northern Cyprus

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (27.06.06) publishes the following commentary by Cengiz Aktan:

    If there are no unforeseen developments, the European Commission will open a full fledged office in Nicosia early next month. Its duty is to coordinate the financial assistance to be provided to the north.

    Two days after Turkish Cypriots approved the Annan Plan at the referendum of April 24, 2004 EU institutions had decided to launch an incentive in response to the European aspirations of the north. In accordance with the European Council's request, the European Commission had prepared a support package and had published it on July 7, 2004.

    The package included a Euro 259 million financial aid allocated to address the capacity building and infrastructural needs on environment, transport and local government in the north and to gradually prepare the north to the EU acquis communautaire. There also was a proposal of regulation to allow Turkish Cypriots to have direct trade relations with the rest of the world, which would have broken the commercial blockade. The Republic of Cyprus, which became an EU member on May 1, 2004, was able to get the direct trade part of the package removed. And on Dec. 31, 2005, Euro 120 million of the aid fell victim to the budgetary procedures.

    Backlash against obstinacy:

    The moment when Republic of Cyprus gave the impression that it achieved its objective, a different process seems to have started. A group of EU countries, including some important members, started to take a stance that could be described as rejection of becoming a hostage of the negative and destructive policies of the Republic of Cyprus. The Commission's positive efforts to find solutions also contributed to this stance.

    Initially, the Euro 120 million cut by accountants was reinstated. There are also discrete efforts to find a middle way on the direct trade regulation. And now the opening Financial Aid Office will constitute the first and most tangible link of the north with the EU.

    The reasons why this attitude became dominant and the developments led to the current state of affairs are on the one hand the exasperating Greek Cypriot policies and on the other the firm policies followed by Turkey and Mehmet Ali Talat administration.

    At this current juncture, we are faced with this new development that is somewhat different from the push and shove going on in the past few months between the EU, Turkey and Cyprus. If in addition, the European Court of Human Rights decides the compensation commissions set up in the north are a viable domestic remedy, we will have again a reason to have some hope.

    Office will be independent from the Liaison Office in the south:

    The Commission's Northern Cyprus desk, together with Croatia and Turkey desks, is under the Enlargement Directorate General's Negotiating Countries Directorate. The office to be opened in the north will be linked to this desk. The Liaison Office in the south is linked to the Directorate for Communications headed by Swedish member Margot Wallström, just like all the other member countries. In short, the boorish Greek Cypriot insistence to ensure they would coordinate everything from the south seems not to have worked.

    The bureau, which will operate from a former tobacco factory in the north, is expected to have 25 eurocrats. They will be headed by a manager with a status similar to a permanent representative. The manager is said to be French. Euro 38 million of Euro 259 will be spent this year. Tenders larger than Euro 5 million will be finalized in Brussels and Turkish Cypriots will be allowed to compete for them.

    Initially, the office's efforts will not be enough to circumvent the Greek stance on direct trade regulation. However, this office, which is a first in every meaning of the word, will definitely become a new beginning that will affect EU's perception of the north.

    There are many people in Turkey who believe the Cyprus issue should be solved through the auspices of the United Nations, which lacks either carrot or a stick. They say the EU cannot possibly be the place where a solution can be found, despite the fact that Republic of Cyprus is a member and Turkey is a negotiating country. The new office in Nicosia is the first tangible development that calls on them to reconsider their attitude.

    [14] Is Russia an EU alternative for Turkey?

    Under the above title The New Anatolia newspaper (27.06.06) publishes the following commentary by Ayhan Simsek:

    Discussions on Turkey's alternatives to European Union membership have so far widely seen as unrealistic, redundant or marginal efforts. In the past couple of years several Turkish political and military figures, and intellectuals, have suggested giving up the EU membership process and introducing a deeper rapprochement with Russia, China and even Iran towards a regional union. However they merely emerged as emotional responses to what was perceived as the EU's unfair and hostile policies towards Turkey and failed to come up with a convincing detailed alternative strategy.

    Despite such a background, recent developments in Turkish foreign policy re-fuel these discussions and necessitate a closer look particularly at Turkish-Russian relations. Two concrete trends deserve particular attention here: First of all, the great loss of confidence among Turkish decision-makers as well as the public on the future of the EU accession talks, largely due to the Cyprus stalemate and new hurdles introduced to the membership process. Secondly, parallel to that we are witnessing much more close political and security dialogue, and deepening of economic ties between Ankara and Moscow.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin five times last year, and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is paying an official visit to Moscow this week. Not to mention dozens of other regular visits between high-level officials of the two countries. Under these conditions, some Turkish analysts started to argue that Turkey should immediately make up its mind, give up an open-ended EU process and work towards other alternatives, mainly deepening relations with Russia.

    However, according to Russian Ambassador to Turkey Petr Vladimirovic Stegniy, for today Turkey's EU process is not something Moscow views as harmful for development of Turkish-Russian relations.

    "In principle we look our cooperation with the EU and your cooperation with the EU as complementary," Stegniy told the TNA in an interview to be published this week. The Russian ambassador says Moscow is not aspiring to become an EU member for obvious reasons, but they have a positive view of Turkey's EU process.

    "This is because first of all Turkey wants it," he said. "Secondly, we have a more predictable neighbor who is playing with European standards. And if we launch an adaptation process in time, we can avoid any possible implication to our bilateral relations."

    This is Moscow's "politically correct" look at the current Turkish-EU relations, if Turkey will continue its desire for EU membership process. However, it is obvious already from now that Turkey's EU process will enter into a much more difficult period in the coming months, mainly due to the Cyprus problem and also increasing Turkey-skepticism in countries like Austria and France. On a larger scale, Europe is going through deeper economic and political problems and an identity question, which further complicates Turkey's EU process.

    On the other hand, Russia is showing more assertive signs in terms of the economy, stronger involvement in regional and global problems and also desire for a closer cooperation with Turkey. Although we had in the past mere rhetoric on the opportunities for closer ties of Turkey and Russia, today we have more practical concrete cooperation mainly in economics and trade, but not limited to that, and also increasingly including politics and security.

    Under these conditions, one could say that the glass is half empty and half full in both Turkey's difficult EU process and its promising relations with the Russia. They are still developing and will be shaped by significant decisions in the coming months and developments in the coming years.

    It would be wrong to derive a simple and quick conclusion for the time being that Russia is becoming an alternative to the EU for Turkey. But one thing is clear: If the EU loses Turkey, Russia is waiting to become Turkey's main partner.

    /SK


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