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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-11-13
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.219/06 11-12-13.11.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Erdogan during a dinner for the guests to AKP CongressAnkara Anatolia news agency (11.11.06) reported the following from Ankara:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stating that developments in Iraq have greatly saddened him, has said: "There is a need for a solution to this. An average of 60 people are dying every day. We feel very serious pain from this, from the human standpoint."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hosting a dinner in the Prime Ministerial Residence for the foreign guests who attended his party's Second Regular Congress.
Also attending the dinner were KKTC ["Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus"] Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and [Turkish] Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.
Erdogan, in remarks he delivered at the dinner, thanked his guests for their attendance at his party's congress and for standing beside him on significant days.
Erdogan said that [his government] has with the economic policies it has pursued over the past four years reached historic rates of growth and that henceforth, both the experience that has been won, as well as the developments in relations with other countries, will impact this process in an even more favorable way.
Stressing that the developments in Turkey's relations with the EU, as well as developments toward reaching a just and lasting solution on Cyprus, have constituted important steps in Turkey's foreign policy, Erdogan said: "As I always say, the only basis for us on the issue of a solution on Cyprus is the United Nations. We have always said that we are prepared to resolve the Cyprus problem on the basis of the United Nations, and we will say this again."
Noting that Turkey's membership in the EU will be a valuable opportunity not just for the EU countries and for Turkey itself, but over a very broad geographical region extending all the way into the Balkans, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, Erdogan pointed out that Turkey has just such a special position.
Erdogan, asserting that Turkey has been showing sincere efforts in order for the geographical area of Eurasia, in which it sits in the middle, to turn into an area of stability and cooperation, pointed out that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan petroleum pipeline is clear evidence of this.
Relating that the Shah Deniz (Caspian Sea) natural gas pipeline will go into operation as of the end of the year, and that the Samsun-Ceyhan petroleum pipeline will follow shortly thereafter, Erdogan said: "Consequently, Turkey has the characteristic of being a virtual international terminal in this realm. This as well is important from the standpoint of expressing how large a responsibility we are taking on."
Erdogan also pointed out that they will shortly complete the pipeline that will carry natural gas via Greece to Europe, that the work on this is being conducted by both Greece and Turkey, that these projects are linking the countries to one another, and that the ties are being strengthened with steps taken together on strategic commodities.
Erdogan declared that they want to initiate peace, friendship, and cooperation in the nearby geographical region and spread it to the world as a whole, and that they are working in the negotiations process with the EU countries to take this to a higher level.
Relating that political and economic relations with global and regional players, and particularly the United States, Russia, and China, are moving forward on a friendly basis, Erdogan asserted that Turkey conducts its relations with these countries on a basis of friendship.
Stating that they are taking steps that will turn the historical ties with brotherly Asian republics into a regional center of power, Erdogan said that similar relations are being pursued with all the countries of the Caucasus, the Balkans, the Far East, and Africa.
Erdogan, touching upon developments in the Middle East as well, spoke as follows:
"The developments in Iraq have greatly saddened us. I believe that you as well are experiencing the same sadness. There is a need for a solution to this. All of us, from wherever we can take hold, have to become involved from there. An average of 60 people are dying every day. We feel very serious pain from this, from the human standpoint. It is a country that is our neighbor. There are still things that we can do there aimed at the future.
"At the same time, there is a terrorist organization in Northern Iraq, and this terrorist organization is causing serious difficulties for us. On the other hand, you are aware of the things taking place in Lebanon. You have seen the things that have taken place in Palestine in the last few days. All of these things sadden us.
"We have to have a joint struggle against terrorism. The globalization of terrorism is a very great threat to humanity. In contrast, we have to make peace global. I believe that we have to engage in very serious efforts for this. Different beliefs, cultures, and races. No matter what, we have to start here and, without any discrimination, bring about this peace, and take steps for this."
Erdogan stated that he will meet tomorrow in Istanbul with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Spanish Prime Minister [Jose Luis Rodriguez] Zapatero on the topic of the alliance of civilizations, that their efforts will continue for two days, and that after publishing a final communique, the UN will continue this process. Expressing the hope that the efforts at an alliance of civilizations produce results, Erdogan added that in this way, the desires not of those who seek conflict, but rather of those who want an alliance of civilizations will have come to fruition.
 Erdogan reelected AKP leaderAnkara Anatolia news agency (11.11.06) reported from Ankara that at the AKP [Justice and Development Party] Second Regular Congress, Siirt Parliamentary Deputy Recep Tayyip Erdogan was again elected as General Chairman.
Erdogan, by receiving 1,330 of the 1,332 votes cast, became Chairman once again, while two delegates' votes were counted as invalid.
Prime Minister Erdogan, coming to the podium following the voting, made a short speech to express thanks.
Quoting at the outset the words of Asik Veysel [a Turkish folk minstrel] that "We are on a long and narrow road, and are proceeding day and night", Erdogan spoke as follows:
"We still have a long road ahead of us. There are many obstacles that confront us. Together with you, we are going to overcome these obstacles, and are not going to be thwarted by any barriers. Just as we overcame the obstacles in the past, we are going to achieve new successes in the elections that will be held in the year ahead. You have accomplished things that had not happened until now. We are going to bring these things about by embracing our people. You weren't all able to get into this hall; those following things from tents outside, our shivering brothers and sisters, should do so willingly.
Meanwhile, the candidates for the Central Disciplinary Board (MDK) and the General Headquarters Intra-Party Democracy Board (GMPDHK) also became clear.
The MDK list was as follows: Belma Sekmen Satir, Enver Yilmaz, Hakki Koylu, Ismail Safi, Kemalettin Goktas, Mehmet Ali Bulut, Ihsan Arslan, Muammer Kaki, Mustafa Unal, Ramazan Toprak, and Remziye Oztoprak.
The GMPDHK candidates were Fehmi Uyanik, Mustafa Zeydan, and Nurtopal Doganoglu.
In addition, as Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (13.11.06) reports, during the annual general congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) important messages were given regarding the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogans becoming the next President of the Republic of Turkey. MILLIYET further reports that at the congress there were important gestures towards the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. The paper reports that Gul entered the Congress Hall with slogans Gul: Prime Minister of the 58th Government, and also that names close to Gul were left in the partys Central Committee. These gestures strengthen the scenario that Erdogan will leave his post to Gul and he will be the President of the Republic of Turkey.
 A new political Party to be formed in TurkeyTurkish daily SABAH newspaper (13.11.06) reports that, the head of the Turquoise Movement Ali Mufit Gurtuna, said that he will be forming a new party and it will be ready until the new elections. He said that he has names which will cause sensation in the political life of the country, among them, he said, Mustafa Sarigul, mayor of Sisli district in Istanbul who is in loggerhead with the Republican Peoples party of Deniz Baykal.
 The UN Secretary-General visited TurkeyIllegal Bayrak television (12.11.06) broadcast the following:
The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is in Turkey attending the meeting of the High Level Group of the alliance of Civilizations in Istanbul.
The UN Secretary-General is meeting about now with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Dolmabache Palace on the Bosphorus. As part of his other contacts in Istanbul, the UN Secretary-General will also be meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.
Commenting earlier on Mr Annans visit to Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Minister Abullah Gul said that the visit created the ideal opportunity to convey Turkeys views on a number of issues including the Cyprus Problem.
Explaining that he will be briefing the UN Secretary-General on the latest developments on the Cyprus Problem, Mr Gul said the visit was important for this reason.
Answering a question as to whether the EU Commissions latest progress report on Turkey and its aspects related to Cyprus will be taken up during the meeting, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that this was unlikely as the report did not directly concern the UN Secretary-General or the UN.
Mr Gul however added that the United Nations was the only platform on which the Cyprus Problem could be solved; and therefore its views were of great importance to the European Union.
 Gul hopes Annan will leave a positive file for Turkey regarding the Turkish occupation of CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.11.06) reported the following from Istanbul:
"U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has the Cyprus file. We hope he will leave a positive file before his term in office ends," Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said on Sunday while commenting on the scheduled visit of Annan to Turkey.
Asked about the topics that would be discussed with Annan, Gul said, Annan would attend the 4th High-Level Group Meeting of Alliance of Civilizations Initiative.
"This was one of the most important projects of the Secretary-General. Many issues will be discussed with him,"Gul noted.
Stating that he would give information to Annan about the recent developments on Cyprus, Gul said: "This visit of Annan is very important."
Asked if the elements in the EU Progress Report about Cyprus question would be discussed, Gul said: "He is not directly interested in the EU. However, views of the U.N. are very important as the U.N. is the basic platform about the solution of problem in Cyprus. Many efforts were exerted so far. UN Secretary-General also exerted great efforts. He prepared a plan in good will. That plan was resorted to referendum. Unfortunately, rejection of the plan was disappointment. An opportunity about solution with a plan was missed.
Unfortunately, the report could not be discussed in the Security Council. I am sure the U.N. Secretary-General will assess this in the best way."
Asked about his views that the United States vetoed the resolution in the U.N. Security Council condemning the last operation of Israel in the Gaza Strip, Gul said: "The world should not remain indifferent to the Palestine issue. This gives wrong signals to the region. The region needs tranquility. Israel's use of force and unilateral steps unfortunately damages the opportunity to live together in the region. The new generations grow up with the feelings of hatred and revenge.
The steps that would be taken should at least strengthen two state solution."
 Talat to meet Annan on the 20th of NovemberIllegal Bayrak television (11.11.06) broadcast the following:
Its been announced that President Mehmet Ali Talat will meet with the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Geneva on Monday, the 20th of November.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said that the meeting will take place at the United Nations office in Geneva.
 Soyer and Avci addressed the AKP congress. Statements at occupied Tymbou airportIllegal Bayrak television (11.11.06) broadcast that the self-styled Prime Minister
Ferdi Sabit Soyer and self-styled deputy-Prime Minister Turgay Avci were among the foreign guests attending the Justice and Development Partys Congress in Ankara as guests of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In an address to the Congress, Mr Soyer said that the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey will solve the Cyprus problem together and added: The collocutor of the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos is the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat. The Turkish Cypriot `people´ will never bow to pressure from the Greek Cypriot Side. No concessions will be given on the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot `people´. The establishment of a federation in Cyprus consisting of Moslem Turkish Cypriot `People´ and the Christian Greek Cypriot Side will contribute to peace among civilizations and to the regions stability in general.
On his part Mr Turgay Avci addressing the Congress pointed to the importance of bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed the belief that the support being provided by Turkey to the Turkish Cypriot `people´ will continue.
Mr Avci also said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is ready for a solution, adding: We are ready to sit at the negotiations table for a just settlement based on the political equality of the two sides.
Illegal Bayrak television (12.11.06) broadcast that speaking at occupied Tymbou airport upon his arrival from Ankara where he attended the funeral of Ecevit, Mr Soyer evaluated his contacts in the Chilean capital Santiago where he attended the meetings of the Socialist International. He said after 10 years of participation in the Socialist Internationals meetings, with an observer status, the idea of accepting the Republican Turkish Party as a full member into the organization had become widely supported.
Pointing out that the CTPs membership was expected to be approved in next years meeting, he described the development as an important contribution to the Cyprus Peace process.
Explaining that he and his delegation had stopped over in Ankara to attend the funeral of the former Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the Justice and Development Partys congress, Mr Soyer said that he had come together with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at dinner last night at the Prime Ministers residence.
Commenting on the UN Secretary-Generals visit to Turkey, Mr. Soyer said that the visit coincided with an important phase in Turkeys EU accession process.
He said that there was a possibility that the Cyprus Issue will come up during Mr Annans meetings with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.
On his part, in statements at occupied Tymbou Airport upon his arrival from Ankara, Mr Avci referred to his address at the AKP Party congress and said that he had found the opportunity to stress the importance of bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed the belief that the support being provided by Turkey to the Turkish Cypriot people will continue.
He said: Turkeys undying support to the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ gave strength and moral to the Turkish Cypriot `people´.
Mr Avci also added that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will be attending this years celebrations for the unilateral declaration of the secessionist regime in occupied Cyprus on the 15th of November.
 The American diplomacy has reportedly got into action to prevent the suspension of Turkeys accession negotiations with the EUTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (13.11.06) reports that the non-solution of the Cyprus problem keeps harming the interests of the big states. The US administration has got into action because of the possibility of the suspension of Turkeys accession negotiations with the EU.
Invoking reliable sources, the paper writes that the American diplomats are prepared to launch a new procedure under the UN umbrella in order to prevent the crisis in the EU and open Turkeys way. As the first step of this procedure, a meeting between President Papadopoulos and the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat will be secured.
The paper alleges that the Greek Cypriot side, which does not favour the beginning of a new procedure under the UN, is expected to create difficulties. On the contrary a meeting between Mr Talat and the UN Secretary-General has been arranged for next week. It is reported that the new negotiations procedure will begin with Talats visit and that this is extremely meaningful.
 Gen. Buyukanit wants a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problemIllegal Bayrak television (10.11.06) broadcast the following:
The Chief of General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces General Yasar Buyukanit has drawn the attention to the fact that pressing for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem has long been Turkeys policy over the Cyprus issue.
The Turkish general was speaking at a reception party in Ankara yesterday afternoon, when he was asked to comment on the latest developments affecting the Cyprus issue.
General Buyukanit stressed the Turkish sides strategy for a comprehensive settlement to be found within the United Nations framework, and said the Cyprus issue was not raised at talks with his Greek counterpart during his recent visit to Athens.
Rejecting the press reports that quoted him as having said he was not hopeful of a positive outcome of Finlands Cyprus initiative; the commander in chief of the Turkish Armed Forces stressed the need for a solution to the problem to be found within the UN framework. He said that any solution must be based on a comprehensive settlement and not on a piece by piece process.
Expressing the view that the Greek Cypriot administration has been trying to involve the European Union in the issue, general Buyukanit refrained from commenting on Finlands reported proposals. He said he doesnt want to speak on newspaper reports.
 Businessmen complain about investments by foreigners in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (13.11.06) reports that the chairman of the Hotel Owners Union, Turhan Beydagli has stated that the tourism in the occupied part of Cyprus began passing into the hands of foreigners and that the new government does not attach the necessary importance to tourism.
The bad course of tourism and the fact that the hotel owners have debts, pave the way for the foreign investors, said Mr Beydagli who described the situation as unfair competition. He noted that the state gives great support to the investors who come from outside, that the proportion of land which is in the hands of the Cypriots decreases and that the biggest danger is the property issue. He noted that the hotel owners are forced to sell or lease their hotels, in order to reduce their debts or because they need cash.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.11.06) reports that Ali Ozmen Safa, a well-known Turkish Cypriot businessman in London, has stated that he believes the illegal Tymbou airport will be opened for international flights within 2007.
Speaking to journalists during a dinner, Mr Safa said they must be very cautious with the foreign investors in the occupied areas. Otherwise, in the future we might lose our power in our own country and become workers under the foreigners, he added.
He pointed out that especially the aim of the investments of the Jews is very different and that the important thing for them is the geopolitical position of the island. Had I cooperated with the Jews for investments in Cyprus, 90 % of the island would belong to us, he noted and added: In spite of the rumours, I am opposing to them.
 Statements by the arrested French journalists to YENI DUZENTurkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (13.11.06) reports that in statements to the paper, the two French journalists who had been arrested because they were filming the occupied closed city of Varosha near the Palm Beach Hotel said that it was as if they lived 40 years ago.
The journalist and the cameraman of ARTE television, David Muntaner and Frederic Back said: It was as if we lived 40 years ago, because someone gives you documents which you do not understand and asks you to sign them, you cannot explain to the police what you were doing, you cannot call anyone. It was just like in some films. They noted that they took pictures because they saw that there were a lot of tourists on the beach, who were also taking pictures.
 Huge quantities cigarettes were to be smuggled in the occupied territories from DubaiTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.11.06) reports that the Mersin police in Turkey has seized 100 thousands of illegal cigarette cartons, which would have been brought to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus from Dubai through Mersin.
The two containers in which the cigarette cartons were found belong to a firm located in the TRNC. It is estimated that the cost of the cigarettes is about three million New Turkish Liras.
 The so-called European University of Lefka signed a Higher Education Agreement with the Technical OTA University of BerlinTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.11.06) reports that the so-called European University of Lefka (LAU) in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus has signed a Cooperation Agreement in the field of Higher Education with the Technical OTA University of Berlin, Germany, which is one of the universities included in the Bolognia Process.
Based on the agreement which was signed the other day in Berlin, exchanges between the teaching staff and the students of the two universities will be performed, while common research and projects are also going to take place. The agreement also includes the possibility of internships for the LAU students at the Technical OTA University.
According to the rector of the LAU, Dr. Ali Riza Buyukuslu, this is a very important success in the pace of the TRNC harmonization with the EU education, since it is the first time that an agreement is reached between the TRNC and Germany in the field of Higher Education.
 Soyer will fly to London for the celebrations of the UDITurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13/11/06) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas will visit London between 15 and 19 November as a quest of the Council of Turkish Cypriot organizations in Britain in order to participate in the celebrations for the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).
Moreover, KIBRIS (11.11.06) reports that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer will also fly to London on 15 November to attend the celebrations of the 23rd anniversary of the occupation regime. Mr Soyer will be accompanied by the self-styled Minister of Interior Ozkan Murat and the self-styled Minister of Finance Ahmer Uzun.
 The church of occupied Thermia will be turned into a cultural centreTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (11.11.06) reports that a historical church in the occupied village of Thermia will be restored and turned into a cultural centre. The self-styled headman of the occupied village of Thermia, Mr Halil Anildi took the initiative to convey the request of the inhabitants of the village to the occupation regime for the transformation of the church into a cultural centre. Mr Anildi said that because of the indifference of the occupation regime to their request they took also the initiative to form a committee consisting of two Turkish Cypriots and two foreigners to raise funds by organizing some activities.
 New arrival of illegal immigrants in the occupied areasIllegal Bayrak television (11.11.06) broadcast that a group of 35 refugees, who entered the occupied areas through an illegal port in the Karpas region, was arrested by police.
According to the information obtained from police, the group included 24 Syrian, 7 Georgian, 2 Iraqi and 2 Lebanese citizens.
The group which was detained by police yesterday, appeared in the illegal Famagusta District Court on Saturday.
 Main provisions of the new Turkish law on foundations´ propertiesIstanbul RADIKAL newspaper (10.11.06) publishes the following report under the title: "Foundations Law provides for conditional return of properties":
The Assembly has approved the Foundations Law, which is part of the EU adaptation legislation package. The law makes the return of properties to [minority] community foundations conditional on the "1936 declarations [of assets]," "deadlines," and "the opinion of the Foundations Assembly." Also, the principle of international reciprocity will be sought in the implementation of the law. Submitted by the government to the National Assembly last year, the Foundations Law was enacted yesterday with a vote 241 to 31 on the general floor of the Assembly. CHP [Republican People's Party] deputies tried to block the bill by exercising every right granted by the Assembly bylaws. The major provisions of the law, which, for the first time, gives 161 community foundations the right to be represented on the Foundations Assembly with one member, are as follows:
- The description of community foundations now includes the phrase "citizen of the Turkish Republic." The law bars individuals who are not residents of Turkey from serving on the administrative bodies of community foundations.
- Properties that were included in the 1936 declarations but with title deeds registered under "pseudonyms" or in the name of "fictitious persons" as well as properties that were purchased, deeded, or donated after the filing of the 1936 declarations were transferred to the Treasury or the Directorate General of Foundations on the grounds that [foundations] were barred from acquiring property [on the basis of a 1974 ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals]. [The new law allows] these properties to be registered in the name of community foundations. However, foundations are required to apply for these properties within 18 months and obtain the approval of the Foundations Assembly.
- Foreigners will be able to establish new foundations in Turkey, subject to the principle of de jure and de facto reciprocity. The majority of the administrators of these foundations must be residents of Turkey.
- Acquisition of property by foundations whose the majority founders are foreigners will be subject to restrictions of the Title Deed Law. Within that framework, foundations will be able to obtain real estate of up to two and a half hectares.
- The dismissal of foundation administrators will require a court decision.
- Foreigners will be able to serve on the administrative bodies of foundations established in Turkey.
- Foundations will be able to acquire property, take any action with respect to their properties, form enterprises and corporations, and join any existing corporations without obtaining any permissions.
- The law prohibits the confiscation of or liens on foundation properties used for charitable purposes. If requested, foundation properties that are not fully or partially used for charitable purposes may be transferred to another foundation belonging to the same community with the approval of the Foundations Assembly.
- If the custodian of any property whose title deed contains any challenge by any foundation has died without heirs, disappeared, abandoned the property, or become subject to any population exchange, the ownership of the property will be transferred to the foundation that registered the challenge.
- Any foundation will be able to engage in international activities or cooperation, open branches or representative offices overseas, and join overseas organizations provided that such activities are "stated in the founding charter of the foundation."
- Foundations will be able to receive in-kind or cash donations or assistance from individuals and organizations in Turkey and abroad.
- Historic works that are associated with any foundation and that have been transferred to the Treasury, municipalities, special administrations, or villages for any reason will be transferred to the foundation on record.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in MILLIYET on the impact of the US electionsIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (11.11.06) publishes the following column by Sami Kohen under the title: "The new situation with the United States":
How will the results of the Congressional elections in the United States impact Turkish-American relations?
The answer that official spokesmen give to this question, which many people in Turkey are wondering about, is as follows: "The Turkish-US relationship will continue within the framework of the alliance... And both sides ascribe great importance to cooperation."
Those who attended a dinner given the evening before last by the Turkish-U.S. Business Council (TAIK) in honor of American Turkish Council Chairman and retired General Brent Scowcroft, who was visiting Istanbul, sought the answer to this question in discussions they held amongst themselves.
Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is whether or not Nancy Pelosi, who is seen as certain to head the Democrats in the House of Representatives, will put the "Armenian Genocide Resolution" onto the agenda.
Scowcroft and the American diplomats with whom I talked clearly expect such a thing. The California politician promised this in her election campaign.
Well, then, what is the likelihood of such a resolution being adopted in the House? The answer given to this was that this likelihood is high. In the previous House session, some Democrats had introduced this resolution. But at that time, the Republican Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and with intervention by the Bush administration as well, had succeeded in "blocking" the effort. Now, just to the contrary, Nancy Pelosi is going to push this.
What is the way to prevent the resolution from making it through the House? Certainly with Turkey's pushing for it, the Bush administration and the pro-Turkey lobbies in the Congress will become involved. Meanwhile, General Scowcroft told us that as soon as he returns to Washington, he is going to roll up his sleeves and begin discussions with "important individuals."
In spite of this, it clearly seems very probable that the new House of Representatives is going to adopt a resolution calling for "the acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey" by April of the coming year.
What will Turkey do in that event? This has to be considered now. It is a reality that, to date, it has not been possible to prevent a good many countries from passing pro-Armenian resolutions, and even laws, and the reactions shown have not done any good. In the end, relations with these countries have entered into crises, and have been harmed. Accordingly, there is now a need for comprehensive assessments on this topic, for different approaches, and for efforts to find a new strategy...
Apart from this issue, in analyzing the likely effects of the elections on Turkish-US relations, the topic of what form Washington's policies toward Iraq and the region might take must also be taken up.
Bush cannot be expected to change his Iraq strategy fundamentally in the short term. But there could be some new arrangements in the strategy, and signals of a "phased withdrawal" could be given. And the naming of Robert Gates, a member of the "Baker-Hamilton Study Group" which has this view, to replace Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is considered significant from this standpoint. Gates is also expected to take up more seriously the resolution of the PKK problem in Northern Iraq.
One recommendation of the Baker-Hamilton team is for Washington to establish dialogue with Iran and Syria in order to get out of the quagmire in Iraq. Although this is not firm, within an atmosphere in which it is being discussed, Turkey's becoming involved, and its making initiatives with these two countries, with which it established ties earlier, could be considered. Such cooperation would impart a practical significance to the "Turkish-US Shared Vision Document", which General Scowcroft mentioned in the address he made before TAIK...
 Columnist in BUGUN on the outcome of the elections in the USAIstanbul BUGUN newspaper (11.11.06) publishes the following column by Cengiz Candar under the title: "Change of staff in Washington, change of course in Iraq policy, and the implications for Turkey":
The fact that the Democrats won the US Congressional elections and that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose name has become identified with the Iraq War, was deposed right after the elections and replaced by Robert Gates, who served as CIA chief during the term of Father Bush, has created a strange wave of joy among certain quarters as though the clashes in Iraq had ended and the US troops were returning home.
This is not the case and will not be. Actually, President George W. Bush has announced that withdrawing from Iraq would be perceived as defeat, that he would not accept it, and that the United States will pull out of Iraq only after Iraq has become a country able to govern itself, stand on its own feet, and defend itself. It is like "three Sundays in a week."
The way things have turned out no doubt indicates a failure in the United States' Iraq policy and heralds a change of policy. This is what Rumsfeld's deposition signifies. Because this Congressional election has been turned into a referendum on the Iraq policy, the fact that the Democrats have won means in itself that there will be a change of policy in Iraq. However, it does not mean that the US troops will pack up and leave Iraq next year. There is no such thing. The fact that there will be a change of policy does not mean that.
One of the most prominent indications of a change of policy in any country or in any given situation is the replacement of the "governing team." This is what has been done in the United States. However, it is not as if the Republicans have gone and the Democrats have come to power. One wing of the Republicans has been removed from the most effective and powerful positions and replaced by another wing. We could also say that the team that Bush junior has worked with since 2000 has been sent away and Father Bush's closest aides have come to the fore. Bush Junior's team, who followed a political course charted out by circles referred to as "neo-cons," have stepped down from critical positions and been replaced by members of the realist team of Father Bush's term.
The new Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, belongs to those circles led by General Brent Scowcroft, Father Bush's Chief National Security Advisor. It should not be forgotten that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is also a protégé of Brent Scowcroft. The Scowcroft team is known mostly for its closeness to former Secretary of State and strategist Henry Kissinger. Incidentally and interestingly, General Scowcroft is Chairman of the Turkish-America Business Council and he was in Turkey while these very important changes were taking place in Washington and his team was coming to the fore. He provides remarkable clues in the interview he gave to Semih Idiz.
While pointing to the fact that it will become increasingly difficult for the United States to stay in Iraq because of the fluctuations caused in US domestic policy, he says: "However, we should stay in Iraq and manage the situation until a solution that provides relative stability in Iraq has been found." General Scowcroft is not open either to the formula proposed by certain important Democrats (Peter Galbraith, Les Gelb, Joseph Biden, and lastly Richard Holbrooke) that could be simplified as "one country, three states" and that envisions the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq or to the relocation of the US troops to northern Iraq. Leaving Scowcroft aside, the change of policy to be implemented in Iraq will become clear mainly after the Baker-Hamilton Commission has disclosed its report. New Defense Secretary Robert Gates was a member of this commission.
James Baker, co-chairman of the commission, was the Defense Secretary of Father Bush and together with Scowcroft he was opposed to the war in 2003. The members of this team of Father Bush's devotees, who are taking their place on both sides of Bush Junior, are mainly pro-status quo. Rather than resorting to weapons as deemed necessary in order to force change like the neo-cons, they tend to preserve and manage what they have.
Under the circumstances, it appears that the following change of course will take place in the United States' Iraq policy: 1. Emphasizing stability instead of maintaining the project to spread democracy, which smacks of idealism and inevitably requires regime changes in the Middle East. For this team, the key word is stability not democracy. 2. Assigning the US troops to rear areas to a large extent and bringing the Shiite-dominated new Iraqi army to the fore. Iraqifying the conflict in Iraq, in a sense. Reducing the number of the US troops commensurately with the achievement of this purpose. 3. Establishing relations with regional and neighboring countries like Iran and Syria in order to contribute to stability in Iraq. Convening representatives of Iraq's neighbors in Iraq and marshaling them to establish stability in Iraq. (Let us not forget that James Baker was the architect and co-chairman of the Middle East Conference in Madrid in 1991, which included Israel, Syria, Jordan, and Palestinians.) With these characteristics, this team is one to which the current political class in Turkey can adapt itself more easily. Moreover, with its past experience and political tendencies, this team is more open to cooperation with the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] than Rumsfeld's Pentagon. It would be useful also to note the implications of the change of team in Washington for Turkey apart from what it means for Iraq. For Turkey, where anti-Americanism is in vogue, a new chapter in relations with the United States could begin, as it will in the US relations with Iraq.
 Columnist in YENI SAFAK on the results of the elections in the USAIstanbul YENI SAFAK newspaper (11.11.06) publishes the following column by Fehmi Koru under the title: "Would the US go to war against Turkey?":
You can see what a small place the world has become. An election took place in the United States and the world has been discussing the result that came out of the ballot box for days.
George W. Bush regarded the United States as an empire and acted like an emperor. He did not rely only on the constitutional powers he enjoyed thanks to the presidential system; he owed it more to the fact that his party had the numerical superiority in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Today, the situation is different. The Democrats have an unquestionable majority in the House of Representatives. They are expected to achieve numerical majority also in the Senate despite the fact that only one-third of it has been renewed. Bush has really has his work cut out.
This shock in the United States has not annoyed only Bush and those close to him. There are many people here in Turkey who are in mourning as well. They cannot be said to be wholly wrong in this. Democrat presidents and a Democrat-dominated Congress always make things difficult for Turkey whenever our roads cross. As for the Republicans, they traditionally pursue policies that are defensive and supportive of Turkey. If the news that "Bush has lost" is being interpreted as meaning that "Turkey has lost" in our country, the reason should be sought in this historical background.
If we take the results of the elections held on Tuesday as a criterion, Turkey should brace itself for the worse. The next presidential elections will most likely see a Democrat go to the White House. Turkey should prepare itself for a United States where the president is a Democrat and the Senate and the House of Representatives are dominated by the Democrats.
You probably are not saying to yourselves, "What do we care about the developments in the United States?" The relations between Turkey and the United States are many-side. More importantly, the United States has been giving support to Turkey in the international arena in recent years. Despite occasional problems and tensions, it is in Turkey's interests, too, to ensure that bilateral relations are not harmed.
How, though, could it be possible to conduct bilateral relations with a Democrat-led United States without letting interests come to any harm. For example, how will the House of Representatives, which will be chaired by California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate, where James Biden will be a key figure, be prevented from placing the Armenian bill on the front burner? How is the US support for Turkey in relations with the IMF and the EU to be continued?
What could be said at this point is this: it is not only the United States that has changed; Turkey has changed, too, and the change in Turkey could enable relations with Washington to proceed more smoothly than before. Why should a Turkey that has moved up to a higher league in democracy, human rights, and the rule of law and has a decent economy not be able to find a better basis of communication with the Democrats so as to make way for dignified cooperation with the United States?
Nobody should be misled by the way this looks easy on paper. It is certain that the US-Turkish relations will enter a difficult period. There are many thorny issues and both sides will be trying to find the right mode of relationship by testing one another. Particularly Turkey should undertake an extraordinary publicity effort and marshal all its resources.
Would the shockwaves in Washington escalate to the point of causing Turkey to radically change its traditional foreign policy? Faced with a Democrat-led United States where the political class did not show any understanding, would Turkey have to look for other alternatives if it also failed to get what it wanted from the EU? These are questions that could not be easily ignored.
Turkey is one of those countries that are highly susceptible to all shocks and upheavals in the world. Just look at how we are concerned about the fact that political balances have changed in the United States.