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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-07-24
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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. 140/08 24.07.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talats interview with CNN TurkTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (24.07.08), under the title The red lines of Talat, reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that his red lines are the guarantees of Turkey regarding the security, the political equality, bi-zonality and two founding states. In statements yesterday to CNN-Turk television, Mr Talat noted that at their meeting with President Christofias on Friday the date for the commencement of the negotiations will be determined and this date will most probably be in September.
Mr Talat said that the comprehensive negotiations will launch a very important new process. He underlined the importance of the political equality with the Greek Cypriot side and said that this should exist in all the decision making mechanisms. Mr Talat noted that no agreement has been reached yet on the issue of the presidential system and reiterated that the abolishment of the system of guarantees is out of the question.
The treaties of Guarantees and Alliance are not between the Greek and the Turkish sides, they are international agreements, he added. Mr Talat said that he has certain red lines in the negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side and added that he is ready to discuss everything except these red lines. He said that his red lines are the guarantees of Turkey regarding the security, the political equality, bi-zonality and two founding states.
Mr Talat criticized some circles who consider the possible partnership state to be established in Cyprus as Greek Cypriot and only one of the founding states to belong to the Turkish Cypriots. He said:
This understanding exists in many quarters. Unfortunately, this frightens me, because this partnership state will exist in the future. I am sure about this. Either with me or after me. If we consider the powers there as Greek Cypriot powers, it means that then we shall actually surrender. If we think that the common institutions are Greek Cypriot institutions, then it means that our job is finished. I do not share this view. The common institutions are common, they belong to both of us, we are equal.
 Statements by Turkish Cypriot organizations on the negotiating process towards reaching a solution in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.07.08) reports that in statements to the paper, officials of Turkish Cypriot trade unions expressed their full support to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for his meeting tomorrow with President Christofias. The paper publishes statements of officials from Kamu-Sen, KTAMS, Dev-Is, the Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, El-Sen, KTOEOS, KTOS and BES.
The trade unions called on both leaders to launch the comprehensive negotiations for the creation of a united federal Cyprus. Furthermore, they expressed their support to the negotiations conducted within the framework of a new partnership state based on the equality of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot states where the two peoples will be equal.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (24.07.08) reports that Ahmet Yonluer, the chairman of the Politics for People Party (HIS) stated that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, does not represent the Turkish Cypriot people. Mr Yonluer made these statements during a visit he paid to the offices of the Yeni Volkan newspaper, heading a delegation of HIS party.
Mr Yonluer evaluated the current political, social and economic situation in occupied Cyprus and stated, inter alia, that in order for an end to be put to the bad course the Cyprus problem and the social, political and economic problems have taken, the coalition government of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (OP) must resign.
Referring to the latest developments in the Cyprus problem Mr Yonluer said the following: There is no validity in the agreements on principle reached by President Talat with Christofias. These agreements do not bind the Turkish Cypriot people, like Talat does not represent the Turkish Cypriot people. Talat must know that the Turkish Cypriot people will not abandon the TRNC and the sovereignty. We are ready to give our life for the TRNC.
Finally, Yeni Volkan reports that the Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT) issued an announcement stating, inter alia, that the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem should end. The organization argued, inter alia, that there is no reason for the continuation of the negotiations unless the red lines of the Turkish side are accepted: These are the separate sovereignty, the two sectors, the political equality and Turkish guarantees and the acceptance of the existence of the TRNC.
 Rauf Denktas on the negotiating process in Cyprus and the illegal visit of Prime Minister Erdogan to the occupied areas of the IslandTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (24.07.08) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that the process between the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat and President Christofias is not a new process and added that he experienced 30 processes similar to this, which every time had been reflected as a new process and a window of opportunity.
Mr Denktas alleged that President Christofias is not different than former President Tassos Papadopoulos. Mr Denktas argued that the two basic aims of the Greek Cypriots is to eliminate the TRNC and get Turkey out of the Island.
Mr Denktas alleged: Papadopoulos did not go away. He was the number one and became number two. Christofias was number two. He agreed with Papadopoulos that there will be no change in the policy and became number one. And he made the man of Papadopoulos Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Asked to comment on the fact that the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan did not meet with him during his recent illegal visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Denktas said his relations with the Turkish authorities could not be cool and added: A Prime Minister being angry with this or that is something which I cannot understand. For example, I am fourth in the protocol. Asked whether the internal problems in Turkey will create weaknesses in its foreign policy, Mr Denktas said that every government crisis will influence them and added that the fact that Erdogan has made this landing operation in this confusion is sending the message to the whole world that we may face internal issues, but we will not forget Cyprus.
 Avci said it is out of the question for them to stop their openings abroad because negotiations are under way; The vice-president of ORP accuses President ChristofiasTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (24.07.08) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs and leader of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Turgay Avci has said that for 30 years they have not been able to approach a foreign country and that when one compares the foreign representations which were opened during the last few years with the representations they opened within 30 years, he sees a great difference.
In statements to Sefa Karahasan of Genc TV television, Mr Avci said yesterday that it is out of the question for them to stop their openings abroad because negotiations are under way. Mr Avci noted that they will open new representations abroad and that the target is political and economic struggle. He alleged that they should carry out this struggle together with all the institutions of the country.
Mr Avci referred to the growth experienced recently in the occupied areas and argued that the Turkish Cypriots are strengthening every day their existence on these lands. He argued that investing in the occupied areas is tantamount to real national task and showed as example for this the investments of the illegal Near East University.
Referring to the accusations by a newspaper which related the illegal immigrants from Syria with the occupied Famagusta Latakia port line and described them as friends of Turgay, Mr Avci said: The friends of Turgay to whom they are referring have given the TRNC a support which no one had given before. This stance is merely the stance of an opposition without a vision.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.07.08) reports that the vice-president of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Mr. Ramazan Ozcelik, in a written statement issued yesterday accused the President of Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias of making unacceptable and unfortunate statements during his recent interview with the CyBC television. Mr. Ramazan Ozcelik alleged that Mr. Christofias with his statements denied several elements of the agreement reached by the two sides, and by making statements to the press on the issues that will be discussed at the negotiation table, he tries to create faits accomplis.
 Cyprus on the agenda of discussion between Turkish FM and UN Secretary-GeneralAnkara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (24.07.08) reports on yesterdays meeting between the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan with the UN Secretary-General in New York and writes that Cyprus was among the issues the two men discussed.
According to A.A., Ali Babacan has repeated to Mr. Ban the parameters Ankara sets for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, which are bi-zonality, political equality and Turkeys quarantorship.
 Soyer said that they have completed eight out of the twelve chapters of their negotiations with the EUIllegal Bayrak television (23.07.08) broadcast the following:
Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that a failure to prepare for the EU membership before a settlement is found in Cyprus will be a communal and national murder for the Turkish Cypriots.
The Prime Minister received Ambassador Oguz Demiralp, head of Turkeys Undersecretariat General for EU Affairs who is in the TRNC to provide technical assistance for harmonization work.
Speaking during the visit, the Prime Minister said that EU harmonization work under 12 chapters was continuing despite political problems and difficulties being experienced with the bloc.
He said that the EU Coordination Centre will be informing the public about progress achieved in the harmonization process with a press conference in the coming days.
Underlining the importance of preparing for the EU membership before a solution to the Cyprus Problem is found, Soyer warned that failure to do so will have dire political and economic consequences for the Turkish Cypriots.
Because Greek Cypriot side is a member of the EU, Turkish Cypriot sides failure to complete preparations for the EU membership may bring Turkish Cypriots to the brink of losing its economic and political equality achieved on paper.
For his part, Ambassador Oguz Demiralp pointed out that the TRNC was going through an important phase and expressed the hope that a date for the start of comprehensive negotiations will come out of Fridays meeting between the two leaders.
Expressing the view that the start of comprehensive peace talks will bring the TRNC closer to the EU membership, Demiralp said that the TRNC will be faced with carrying out the difficult task of conducting negotiations and preparing for the EU membership at the same time.
We, as the Turkish Republics Undersecretariat General for EU affairs, want to help prepare the TRNC for the EU membership, he added.
Warning that a failure to prepare for the EU membership could bear serious consequences, Demiralp said that the EU was made up of a series of norms, which if the TRNC applied well, would be able to experience a smooth transition.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.07.08) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer in statements yesterday before the meeting of the council of ministers said that they have completed eight out of the twelve chapters of their negotiations with the EU. He said that they will enter into the process for the solution of the Cyprus problem with determination and on the basis of the equality of rights and added that together with the solution they will also become a member of the EU.
Therefore we should be ready, he noted. Leaving everything for the period after the solution would be a communal crime, it is not possible, he argued. Mr Soyer said that yesterday they met once more at technical level with Oguz Demiralp, Turkeys General Secretary for EU Affairs, who provides them with technical support.
 Rauf Denktas said that the efforts to include him in the Ergenekon operation in Turkey are in vainTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (24.07.08) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, has said that the efforts to include him in the Ergenekon operation in Turkey are in vain. In statements to Anatolia news agency, Mr Denktas noted that he has made various statements on issues such as the principles of Ataturk and the turban. It seems that I am interfering too much. Therefore, if I have to be silenced, they will take care of it, he argued.
Responding to a question, Mr Denktas said: We are in love with Turkey, we worked for the motherland. The Cyprus question was waged in the direction the motherland said so that it does not cost the motherland a lot. They will not be able to find absolutely nothing else beyond this.
Mr Denktas noted that he had no contact with the retired generals Hursit Tolon and Sener Eruygur after their arrest, whom he described as his dear friends and like brothers to him. Turkey cannot take Guantanamo as example, he argued.
 Emine Erk argued that the decision which to be taken in the Nazire Sofi case might change the situation of the properties in the free areas of the IslandTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.07.08) reports that Mrs Emine Erk, chairperson of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation, has argued that the decision which will be taken in the case of Turkish Cypriot Nazire Sofi, who applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) without exhausting the local remedies in the Republic of Cyprus, might change the situation in the free areas of the Island.
Mrs Erk alleged that after the ECHR announced that it would examine the issue of Mrs Sofi on 22 January 2009, panic was created in the free areas of Cyprus.
She argued that as Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation, they have established that the property rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the free areas of Cyprus are not recognized and added:
However, contrary to the Greek Cypriots, we have not yet registered this situation with a decision of the ECHR.
She said that they as foundation have assisted for the filing of two applications at the EHCR, that these applications are considered very recently filed for the procedures of the EHCR and that the Sofi case was filed in 2003-2004. She said that Nezire Sofi did not exhaust the local remedies in the free areas of Cyprus and that she took the issue directly to the EHCR.
 Soyer met with the ambassador of the NetherlandsTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.07.08) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Mr. Ferdi Sabit Soyer met yesterday at 11.00 with the ambassador of the Netherlands to Nicosia, Mr. Jan Eric Van Der Berg. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in occupied Lefkosia. No statements were made after the meeting.
 Conflict between Eroglu and Ertugruloglu in the UBPTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.07.08) reports that a conflict exists in the National Unity Party (UBP) between the current and former leader of the party, Tahsin Ertugruloglu and Dervis Eroglu respectively. Mr Ertugruloglu accused Mr Eroglu, who has announced his candidacy for the presidency of the UBP, of having ambitions and caprices. On his part Mr Eroglu accused Mr Ertugruloglu of being under the influence of Rauf Denktas, the former Turkish Cypriot leader.
 Ankara hopes a seat at the powerful U.N. Security Council will boost its international credibility and leverage over the status of the divided island of CyprusTurkish daily Todays Zaman (24.07.08) publishes the following report on the contacts at the U.N. headquarters of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan in the aftermath of Prime Minister Erdogans visit to occupied Cyprus and while in Ankara the closure case against the ruling AKP and the investigations over Ergenekon are being speeded up:
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has stepped up efforts to garner support for Turkey's bid to secure a seat on the UN Security Council for 2009-2010, meeting representatives of more than 100 countries at a reception on Tuesday night.
Turkey is one of three candidates bidding for the two seats allocated to the Western European and Others Group (WEOG). Its rivals in the group are Iceland and Austria. The election of the new temporary members of the Security Council will be held in October.
Babacan, who is currently in New York to drum up support for Turkey's bid, met with Srgjan Kerim, the president of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, on Tuesday and was scheduled to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last night as Today's Zaman went to print. Ankara hopes a seat at the powerful Security Council will both boost its international credibility and give it increased leverage in a series of disputes in which it is involved, including the dispute over the status of the divided island of Cyprus. If elected, Turkish officials say, Turkey will work for the alleviation of poverty and contribute to efforts to resolve international conflicts peacefully.
Speaking to reporters at Tuesday's reception, attended by representatives of 118 UN member countries, Babacan said his visit was aimed at securing support for Turkey's bid from as many countries as possible. He said he had already held talks with representatives from the Latin American and Caribbean Group (LACG) and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group at the UN, in addition to Kerim. Meetings with representatives of countries from the African Union, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) are also scheduled. Diplomatic sources said Babacan had told the representatives of different groups that it was values that brought countries together, not geographical location. He also briefed them about a series of Turkish efforts to assist the peace process in the Middle East, including its ongoing mediation between Syria and Israel, as well as its central role in the UN-backed Alliance of Civilizations initiative.
Noting that Turkey has not been a member of the UN Security Council for 47 years, Babacan said at the reception that Turkey deserved to win a seat this time. We have to work until the last minute, Babacan said, noting that he has met with the foreign ministers of 130 countries over the past 10 months to secure their support for Turkey's UN bid. Turkey is working for stability both in its region and the world. I believe we can make substantial contributions to the Security Council. Our membership in the Security Council will help world peace, Babacan said. That's why I am in New York. I will explain what Turkey is doing, our reform process and our contribution to peace and security in the Middle East, the Balkans and other parts of the world, he added.
UN General Assembly President Kerim, who also attended the reception, praised Turkey's positive role in Middle East dialogue, as well as its crisis management in the Balkans, but stressed that, as president of the General Assembly, he was impartial toward all three candidates running for the UN seat in the WEOG.
Representatives of Iceland and Austria were also among the envoys attending the Turkish reception, hosted by Turkey's permanent representative at the UN, Ambassador Baki Ilkin.
Subtitle: Armenian envoy attends Turkish reception at UN
Permanent Armenian representative to the UN Ambassador Armen Martirosyan was among 118 diplomats attending a reception hosted by the Turkish representative in New York on Tuesday.
Martirosyan spoke briefly with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan during the reception, hosted by Turkish permanent representative to the UN Ambassador Baki 0lkin. Babacan is in New York to lobby for Turkey's bid to win a temporary seat on the UN Security Council ahead of elections in October.
Speaking to reporters, Martirosyan said the Turkish delegation at the UN had not asked the Armenian delegation for support for its Security Council bid. We have had no contact with the Turkish government about this issue, he said. Martirosyan also said he attended the reception upon 0lkin's invitation. I wanted to say 'welcome' to your distinguished Foreign Minister, he told Turkish reporters.
Turkey and Armenia have had no formal relations for more than a decade, but prospects for dialogue have recently emerged. Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan has invited his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, to a World Cup qualifying game between the two countries' national soccer teams in September, but Turkey has yet to respond. Martirosyan said Sarksyan's invitation was a sincere one, adding that the Armenian administration wanted to see him in Yerevan.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (24.07.08) publishes a report by Dogan Uluc, correspondent of the Turkish daily in New York under the title: The UN Security Council offensive from Turkey and writes that Turkey has entered its last lap in one of its intensive lobbying campaigns in the history of the UN. With a view to securing the support for Turkeys Security Council membership for the period 2009-2010 the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan had arrived in New York and had a series of meetings with the representatives of the Latin American and Caribbean states in the UN.
The paper goes on and reports that Mr. Babacan had a meeting with the UN General Assembly chairman Srgjan Kerim, and will be meeting with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Survey shows the majority of Turks to consider AKP responsible for the ongoing political crisis in TurkeyIstanbul Vatan newspaper (21.07.08) publishes the following survey conducted at the end of June by the Metropoll Strategic and Social Research Center in order to determine who is responsible for the ongoing political crisis in Turkey.
Vatan reports on the survey as follows:
The survey revealed striking results. In response to the question, According to you, who is responsible for the ongoing political tension in Turkey?", 27 percent of the survey respondents answered as "Government, AKP (Justice and Development Party) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan." Some 9.5 percent of AKP's electoral base also showed AKP and Erdogan as being responsible for the crisis.
Prof. Ozer Sencar, founder of Anar and Pollmark companies, which also have business relationships with AKP, later left to found Metropoll. Sencar commented on the survey results and the current goings on to the daily Vatan.
Sencar stated that there have been monthly changes in voter attitudes after the closure case of AKP (14 July) and pointed out that the number of undecided voters rose to 30 percent as of last month. Sencar emphasized those voters who say "I will cast an invalid vote," "I will not vote," "I am undecided," and "no answer" grew to 30.7 percent. Prof. Sencar stressed that the reason behind the increase in the number of undecided voters is due to anger towards Erdogan, Deniz Baykal, Devlet Bahceli, and the judiciary.
Three parties will pass the threshold
Sencar noted that this is the biggest drop of AKP support after the elections of 22 July (40.4 percent). Despite this fact, AKP still holds its position as the first party. If there was an election today, MHP (Nationalist Action Party) and CHP [Republican People's Party] would pass the threshold easily. Sencar also mentioned that 3-4 percent who voted for MHP are moving away from the party because of the controversies surrounding the presidency and the headscarf issue. Prof. Sencar went on to say that CHP is experiencing the biggest upswing of voters since 22 July. CHP voters are "pleased" with the closure case filed against AKP, and the controversies surrounding the headscarf issue and constitutional change. Sencar said: "In this timeframe, the prevailing opinion is that Baykal is successful. In the end, filing a closure case against the ruling party is a pleasing development for CHP voters."
AKP's votes fell, CHP's rose
In December 2007, survey respondents answered the question "If the elections were held today, who would you vote for?" with 51.9 percent saying they would vote for the AKP. In June this year, the percentage of the ones who said AKP dropped to 40.4 percent.
In December 2007, 10 percent had said they would vote for the CHP, while in June 2008 the figure rose to 14.4 percent.
In December 2007, 10.5 percent had said they would vote for the MHP, while in June the figure dropped to 7.6 percent.
A total of 25 percent of the respondents said they are undecided, would cast an invalid vote, or would not vote.
 "The Talented Mr Hadley"Under the above title, Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (21.07.08) publishes the following column by Murat Yetkin on the aim of the visit in Ankara of the US President George Bush's National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley in connection with energy issues:
It appears that when the US President George Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley visited Ankara for less than half a day on 17 July he achieved many great things in very little time. Over the course of his 8-9 hours in Ankara, Hadley met with the President Abdullah Gul, the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and the Chief of Staff General Ergin Saygun, and it later transpired that he also met with the national security advisors of eight NATO countries including Turkey.
Hosted by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Foreign Policy Advisor Amb Ahmet Davutoglu on behalf of Turkey, the meeting took place in the Ankara State Guest House and was attended by officials from the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Romania and Denmark.
It is also understood that in addition to these contacts Hadley also held a secret meeting with Mayankote Kelath Narayanan, the National Security Advisor for India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in Ankara that same day. Sources are guessing that some parts of this meeting, which took place at the US Embassy but which not even Amb Wilson was privy to, discussed nuclear cooperation issues including the Pakistan angle and Iran, within the context of the ongoing international talks.
A Narayanan formula?
Narayanan is a powerful figure not just in India but internationally as well. He is known as one of the architects of the US-India nuclear cooperation accord of 2005 and the figure behind the nuclear cooperation agreement signed in 2007. Just as with Pakistan and Israel, India too has not signed the Non Proliferation Treaty, even though it is known to possess nuclear weapons. However, by signing this agreement with the United States, India has agreed to open its civilian nuclear facilities to inspection by the IAEA. In return, the United States agreed to lift its investment embargo on India and give civilian cooperation in the nuclear field. There is much speculation that this agreement between India and the United States will be the foundation for the freeze-freeze formula, which is the foundation for the Iran talks in Geneva this weekend being attended for the first time by US Assistant Secretary of State William Burns. The plan says that if Iran freezes its uranium enrichment program then the sanctions against Iran will in turn be frozen.
Narayanan was earlier in talks with Iran's Foreign Minister Mottaki and with Dr Seyid Celili, who is the Secretary of the National Security Supreme Council, which is running the nuclear talks.
Speaking at a news conference on 18 July with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan following intense talks in Ankara in the evening of 17 July, when he arrived, Iran's Foreign Minister Mottaki spoke for the first time in positive terms about the future of talks with the 5+1 group: the UNSC Permanent Five plus Germany.
Turkey is calling on Iran to open its facilities to international inspection, and on the United States and Israel to fix the problem through dialogue not force, and is making a contribution to the talks. It has already been announced that Foreign Minister Babacan had telephone conversations with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Germany's Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and with the EU's Foreign Policy and Security Supreme Representative Javier Solana following talks with Mottaki but ahead of the talks in Geneva. It is known that during these telephone conversations Babacan told both the United States and the EU what Iran's latest position was.
It is generally believed that by getting all of Turkey's foreign representatives, all its ambassadors, to meet in Ankara for collective talks at the same time, Babacan facilitated this process in a technical capacity.
Turkey-Israel-India energy bridge
To hold a secret meeting with Hadley at a critical time was not the only reason why Narayanan was in Ankara on 17 August. Speaking also with the President Abdullah Gul and the Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Narayanan is also seeking strategic cooperation between his country and Turkey. Top of the list here is energy. One of the world's fastest growing countries, India wants to be partner to a project by which oil and gas currently being transferred to the Caspian and Black Sea ports will be transferred to Turkey by new and alternative routes via Turkey and Israel in order to meet its energy shortfalls.
The India Oil Company (IOC) has applied to invest $5 billion to build a crude oil refinery capable of processing 15 million tons of crude a year in Ceyhan with Calik Energy, still in the hands of Ahmet Calik. The IOC wants to be a 12.5 percent partner in the Samsun-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Project carrying 60-70 million tons a year with authority given to the Calik Group by the Erdogan government. It is also known that Mitsubishi of Japan also wants to be partner to this project.
Black Sea-Red Sea bridge
India's aim here is to receive Russian, Kazakh and Azeri oil and natural gas landing in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea via the shortest and most secure route. This project was first introduced during Prime Minister Erdogan's tour of Israel in 2005. Back then it was considered an oil, gas, water and fiber optic cable pipeline project linking Ceyhan to Ashkelon in Israel (Radikal, 2 May 2005). As a result of the accord signed between Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and Israel's Minister for Infrastructure Ben Eliezer on 13 December 2006 the 250-km pipeline built in 1969 by Israel and then friendly Iran between the ports of Ashkelon on the Mediterranean coast and Eilat on the Red Sea coast was considered for the project (Radikal, 16 December 2006).
Thus, a tanker leaving Russia's Black Sea port of Novorossiisk would have its travel time to Singapore in Southeast Asia reduced from an average of 43 days to just 19. (This time could be further cut to 12 days using Mumbai in India). Furthermore, while the geographical limitations of the Istanbul Bosphorus and the Suez Canal kept oil tankers down to 150,000 tons, tankers of 350,000 tons could access Eilat. What this would mean for India is getting oil twice as quickly as it would otherwise and at $4-5 less per barrel. The energy bridge talks between both countries began to be discussed over maps at a high level during Babacan's visit to India in February 2008.
Russia and Israel in play
On 17 July, when both Hadley and Narayanan were in Ankara, the capital had two other important guests: Israel's Minister for Infrastructure Ben Eliezer and Vice President Alexander Medvedev of Russia's global gas giant Gazprom. Eliezer and Babacan concentrated on the details of the feasibility study for the Ceyhan-Ashkelon pipeline. It is at this stage that the price of the pipeline to be laid along the Mediterranean floor is discussed. Even though the world's oil giants are looking at the cheapness of a landline to Israel via Syria because of the indirect Syria-Israel talks being hosted by Turkey, this currently seems a distant possibility because of security reasons due to Iran's currently high influence over Syria and Lebanon.
It is known that in Medvedev's talks with the Russian government and with Gazprom officials in Moscow on 25 June they discussed the matter of shipping gas to Israel via Turkey right down to the details about stocks and shares. This may see the introduction of a second Blue Stream gas pipeline being laid between Turkey and Russia.
Gazprom's proposal to Turkey is of greater interest to India. Gazprom wants to increase its influence in the oil business through its sister company Gazpromneft. It is likely that the first project to help towards this end will be the Samsun-Ceyhan project. In other words, Gazprom or Russia may be able to guarantee filling the pipeline that Italy's ENI Company failed to despite giving pledges because it could not find a path from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea. India's coming into play is of strategic importance not only for the guarantee of purchase but also for bringing the Samsun-Ceyhan and Ceyhan-Ashkelon projects to life.
Iraq, Nabucco, Azerbaijan and Iran
US Energy Coordnator Boyden Gray's visit to Ankara on 11 July was important for this. Just one day earlier on 19 July the Prime Minister Tayyip Erodgan was in Iraq. Among the topics discussed was the transfer of Iraqi gas and oil to the European markets via Turkey. In fact, there are two oil pipeline between Turkey and Iraq built in the 1970s and linking Kirkuk and Mosul to the Ceyhan terminal. However, both because of the Iraq War and because of sabotage primarily by the PKK neither of these pipelines is in full use.
Following the cooperation reached between Turkey, the United States and Iraq the Turkish Armed Forces have begun to strike effectively at PKK targets on Iraqi soil, and this has altered the balances in the region. Babacan announced that while Erdogan was in Baghdad the first dialogue was established through the agency of federal Kurdistan Regional Administration Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. This rapprochement may see not only the oil pipeline being operated but also the transfer of Iraqi gas to Ceyhan via pipeline as well. Thus, Ceyhan may find itself being turned into an energy supermarket where Azeri (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan), Kazakh and Russian (when Samsun Ceyhan is done) oil together with Russian and Azeri gas plus later on Iraqi gas is offered to the world markets.
As for Iran...If the freeze-freeze formula inspired by India's National Security Advisor Narayanan is accepted for Iran then there may well be a lessening of the UN and US sanctions against Iran. This would mean fewer obstacles to the energy transfer and operation agreements signed between Turkey and Iran. Once Iran's gas flows into Turkey regularly and without obstruction this will mean the lifting of obstacles to European countries' agreements with Iran. This in turn could help bring to life the Nabucco (Transferring Caspian gas to Central Europe via a pipeline through Turkey) project, which has not come into being because it could not be filled with enough Azeri gas.