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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-09-01

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 166/08 30-31.08-01.09.08


  • [01] Talat back from Turkey trip
  • [02] Ankara is planning to undertake an initiative for the recognition of the breakaway regime in Cyprus in case the negotiations fail
  • [03] Turgay Avci on President Christofias statement regarding the return of Morfou, Karpass peninsula and Varosha
  • [04] On the Turkish sides no to the citizens of Tilliria
  • [05] The Russian Ambassador to Cyprus stated that the Russian Federation shall recognize the pseudo-state right after Turkey recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Statements to Cumhuriyet newspaper
  • [06] The Greek Cypriot applications to the so-called immovable property commission reached 353
  • [07] A Bulgarian MP is visiting the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [08] Turkish delegation to visit Armenia
  • [09] Statements by Turkish Minister in Beijing on trade with Russia and China

  • [10] Turkish Cypriot columnist says the decision not to let the Greek Cypriots use the Limnitis area to visit Saint Mamas Church was taken from before and it is a messenger of very important difficulties in the 3 September meeting
  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 29-30 and 31 August 2008


    [01] Talat back from Turkey trip

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.08.08) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat has returned to the occupied areas of Cyprus at the end of his contacts in Turkey.

    Upon his arrival at occupied Tymvou Airport, he said the Turkish Cypriot side will be taking part in the negotiations process with good will and also underlined the need for the Greek Cypriot Side to show the same good will and political determination.

    He expressed the hope that a solution will be found to the Cyprus problem in the near future, but said that the Turkish Cypriot side's efforts will not be enough on its own and that the Greek Cypriot Side should show the same political will towards reaching a settlement.

    [02] Ankara is planning to undertake an initiative for the recognition of the breakaway regime in Cyprus in case the negotiations fail

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (30.08.08), under the title The contacts of Talat, The latest trump cards were discussed, reports that according to diplomatic sources, during his contacts in Ankara the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat discussed with the Turkish officials what he should do in the comprehensive negotiations which will start on 3 September. The paper writes that Ankara advised Mr Talat not to make a step backwards especially on the issues of the presidency and the presidential council. According to a plan prepared by Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side, the presidential council should be formed by seven persons and the rotating presidency of the Republic of Cyprus should be taken over by a Turkish Cypriot once every three years. The paper argues that the Greek Cypriots are working on a formula which provides for the existence of a Greek president and a Turkish vice president.

    Cumhuriyet goes on and reports that Ankara and the Turkish Cypriots are estimating that the comprehensive negotiations will last for ten days and a timetable has been prepared according to this. The timetable provides for the Turkish Cypriot side to begin with the most disputable issues and emphasize the issues which create the least trouble. The first issue which will be discussed on 3 September will be the presidential system and the council, notes the paper adding that the work of the Turkish side on this matter is based to the Annan Plan to a great extent while on the issue of the administration the system of Zurich and London Agreements 1960 was taken as basis.

    The paper argues that the administration will cause a great problem at the negotiations because in the work of the Greek Cypriot side on this issue, there is no provision for a Turk to become president of the Republic.

    On the other hand, Ankara has started to plan the steps it will be making in case a negative result comes out from the negotiations, reports the paper and concludes: According to this, in case no result is achieved at the negotiations, the Turkish side will send to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter both on behalf of Turkey and the TRNC and ask for the launching of the procedure for the recognition of the TRNC.


    [03] Turgay Avci on President Christofias statement regarding the return of Morfou, Karpass peninsula and Varosha

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (01.09.08) publishes a reply statement of the self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime Turgay Avci to the statement made by President Demetris Christofias regarding the return of Morfou, Karpass peninsula and Varosha to the Greek Cypriots. Mr Avci said that in 2004 the political situation was different than in 2008. He said that they have made the biggest investments in the history of occupied Morfou and Karpass peninsula.

    The paper reports that following the Cyprus summit in Ankara Mr. Avci answered questions put to him. Referring to the investments carried out in the occupied Morfou and Karpass peninsula, Mr. Avci said that during the last four years these regions most probably witnessed the biggest investments in their history.

    We are not investing there in vain. Every inch of the TRNC is a piece of gold and will continue to be so. In the course of time each region of ours will witness economic development so the view that this or that region is ready to be sacrificed definitely cannot be accepted. The Greek Cypriots should rethink the solution process. The Turkish Cypriots with their economic development are continuing their course. The Turkish Cypriots with their developed infrastructure look into the future with more confidence. From the Turkish Cypriot point of view, we are stronger than in 2004. From the economic point of view, in 2008, we are better than in 2004. We are in better conditions as far as economy, infrastructure, investments, opening to the world, in foreign policy issues and in rapprochement with the European Countries. We do want solution but not any solution. The conditions in 2004 and in 2008 are different Avci said.

    Mr. Avci went on and declared that in the new process that a settlement will be reached they will not back down even an inch from the gained rights of the Turkish Cypriots. The backing and the strength we have received from Ankara is the full support to this negotiation. The second thing that Ankara and its institutions put forward is that they will support a solution where the Turkish Cypriots will not be forced to take even a step back. This support is very important, Mr. Avci said

    Referring to Turkeys guarantorship rights Mr. Avci declared that this should not be even discussed. Turkeys quarantorship rights should continue as in the 1960 Agreements, he said.

    As for the so-called citizenship issue Mr. Avci said: The Greek Cypriot administration has no right to talk about my citizens. My Citizens cannot be a subject for argument. A citizen is a citizen. The Turkish Cypriots do not have pre- or after 1974. Those who were born in Turkey or came from elsewhere are one integral whole. There is no such thing like the Greek Cypriots say I accept this or that number so many, the Turkish Cypriots are one integral whole. Avci concluded.


    [04] On the Turkish sides no to the citizens of Tilliria

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.08.08) broadcast the following:

    The Greek Cypriots demand to use the Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] Gate to cross into the TRNC next week for religious ceremonies at the Ayios Mamas Church in Guzelyurt [occupied Morfou] has been rejected.

    Ozdil Nami- an aide to President Talat, told BRT that the Greek Cypriot Sides demand was rejected as the necessary preparations for crossings havent been made yet.

    The Turkish Cypriot sides response was conveyed to the Greek Cypriot Side through the United Nations.

    Ozdil Nami and George Iakovou, senior aides of the two leaders met again yesterday to continue their talks, which also included discussions on the opening of the Yesilirmak Gate for crossings and new regulations in the mixed village of Pile.

    Mr Nami told BRT at the end of the meeting that they havent reached the decision point on these issues.

    Yesterday, the Greek Cypriot Side shared the work it carried out on these issues with us he said, adding that they agreed to continue their discussions.

    Mr Nami said the Turkish Cypriot sides response to the Greek Cypriot Sides demand to use the Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] Gate for religious ceremonies at Ayios Mamas was negative, when he was asked whether they reached an agreement on the issue.

    He said that the demand was rejected as the necessary preparations for the crossings havent been made yet and that the TRNC Foreign Ministry conveyed the decision to the United Nations.

    On the same day illegal Bayrak broadcast the following:

    Some reactions have been made by political parties from both sides of the divide over the TRNC authorities rejection for crossings by Greek Cypriots at the Yesilirmak crossing border.

    The Secretary General of the United Cyprus Party Izzet Izcan claimed in a written statement that the refusal by Turkish Cypriot authorities for crossings at the Yesilirmak crossing border was due to military sources.

    The leader of the Communal Democracy Party Mehmet Cakici for his part criticized the Turkish Cypriot authorities for their stance regarding the Yesilirmak crossing.

    Greek Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou at a press conference today noted that the decision made by the Turkish Cypriot authorities on the eve of the negotiations process was not a positive element.

    He said that both sides must show good will at the negotiations table in order for progress to be made on the Cyprus issue.

    Furthermore, on 31/08/08 illegal Bayrak broadcast the following:

    The religious ceremony planned by Greek Cypriots to be held Ayios Mammas Church in Guzleyurt [occupied Morfou] on Tuesday has been cancelled. This was announced by the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias.

    Speaking at an event last night, Mr Christofias said President Talat assured him that the Yesilirmak Gate will be opened for crossing but had not given an exact time for the opening.

    Mr Christofias stated that the Bishop of Morfou decided not to hold the Mass.

    He also claimed that the good will moves by the Greek Cypriot Side have not yet found response from the Turkish Cypriot Side and Turkey.

    Turkish Cypriot Side rejected the Greek Cypriot Sides demand to use the Yesilirmak Gate to cross into the TRNC on Tuesday for a religious ceremony at the Ayios Mamas Church in Guzelyurt.

    On the issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (01.09.08) writes that the Secretary of the Executive Council of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) Murat Kanatli, in a statement has criticized the Turkish Cypriot leadership for refusing to allow free access to the Greek Cypriot believers who wanted to go to the occupied Ayios Mamas Church for prayers. He accused the Turkish Cypriot leadership for undermining and torpedoing the negotiation process. Mr. Kanatli declared that this was an unacceptable action and added: One only can evaluate this as provocation and act of shame. Mr. Kanatli, commenting on the statement made by Hasan Ercakica to the effect that people crossing the Limnitis crossing-point cannot be registered, said that if this is true 1200 Turkish Cypriots who crossed the Limnits barricade and went to Kokkina had committed crime and legal action should be taken against them as well as against the officials who prepared illegal documents regarding these people.


    [05] The Russian Ambassador to Cyprus stated that the Russian Federation shall recognize the pseudo-state right after Turkey recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Statements to Cumhuriyet

    Turkish daily Cymhuriyet newspaper (31.08.08) publishes an interview by the Russian Ambassador to Ankara, Vladimir Ivanovskiy, to Leyla Tavsanoglu on the latest developments in Caucasus, the decision of the Russian Federation to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and the recognition of the illegal regime established in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Following are the questions referred to Cyprus:

    The Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Ankara, Vladimir Ivanovskiy referring to the recognition of the independence of North Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia has pointed out that the model of the TRNC could also be applied to the two states.

    Tavsanoglu: In 1983, the TRNC had announced its independence, yet, no country apart from Turkey recognizes this independence.

    Ambassador: We are trying to look at the events from a realistic point of view. Of course, we do not consider the recognition to be very easy. We are aware that this procedure will be a difficult one. I want to share with you my personal thought. Perhaps many circles including my ministry shall not accept this point of mine. According to me, there is a change in the way the world order is perceived after World War II. The climate in global developments is changing. This is not launched by Russia. It is NATO that launched this by bombing Yugoslavia. Perhaps we today are following this direction. Indeed, we are not the ones who launched this.


    Subtitle: The example of North Cyprus can apply in the Caucasus region

    Tavsanoglu: There is one last question. When shall Russia recognize the TRNC?

    Ambassador: (Smiling) This issue is frequently brought onto the agenda by my colleagues in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I shall give an answer on this to you as well. Russia shall recognize the TRNC right after Turkey recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It can be a mutual and simultaneous recognition.


    [06] The Greek Cypriot applications to the so-called immovable property commission reached 353

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.08.08) broadcast the following:

    The number of Greek Cypriots applying to the TRNC immovable property commission has reached 353. The Commission has so far settled 43 of the outstanding applications.

    While 37 of these cases have been settled through compensation, the commission offered the exchange of property as a settlement for two applications, both of which belong to a Greek Cypriot named Mike Timvios who had earlier applied to the European Court of Human Rights.

    The commission has decided to return the property of four applicants, one of them after a political settlement.

    Meanwhile, the Commission is considering an application made by a Greek Cypriot who wanted to sell his property in North Cyprus in line with a newly passed law in the TRNC. The Greek Cypriot applied to the commission for the sale of his property after reaching an agreement with a Turkish Cypriot buyer. Following the completion of the necessary procedure by the commission, the title deeds of the property will be handed over to the new owner at the TRNC land registration department in line with the new law.

    The immovable property commission was set up with the aim of providing a domestic remedy for property claims by Greek Cypriots.

    The Turkish Cypriot side has been saying that the property issue which is one of the key issues of the Cyprus problem - should be solved as part of a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    [07] A Bulgarian MP is visiting the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.08.08) broadcast the following:

    Bulgarian deputy Remzi Osman has been received by Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer. The Head of the Bulgarian Refugees Society Osman Tahir accompanied Mr Osman during the visit.

    Speaking during the visit, Mr Osman a deputy from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms - said that the Turkish Cypriot people had gone through a similar process like the one experienced by Bulgarian Turks and that there is a moral relationship between the two. Referring to the new process to be launched in Cyprus, he expressed the hope that the new talks will bring about a good solution to the Cyprus problem.

    For his part, Prime Minister Soyer said that the Bulgarian Turks had suffered a lot while trying to protect their identity and that they had contributed largely to Bulgarias membership to the European Union. He expressed the belief that its possible to establish cooperation with Bulgarian Turkish in the field of politics.

    [08] Turkish delegation to visit Armenia

    Hurriyet newspaper internet version (31.08.08) reported that a Turkish delegation would visit Yerevan to hold meetings with their Armenian counterparts to convey Turkey's proposal for a Caucasus alliance. This was stated by Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan on Sunday after meeting with his Georgian counterpart in Istanbul.

    [09] Statements by Turkish Minister in Beijing on trade with Russia and China

    Todays Zaman (01.09.08) reports the following:

    Russia has expanded the coverage of non-trade barriers against Turkish exporters to this country by enforcing a complete inspection of Turkish trucks coming from Europe.

    Already extremely discontent with the tightened controls on Turkish goods at the Russian border -- as this causes serious losses to Turkish trade -- Foreign Trade Minister Kurad Tuzmen's tone was once more that of anger when commenting on this newest development, saying, "This is clearly a non-tariff barrier."

    Speaking to the press after meeting his Chinese counterpart Chen Deming in Beijing, Tuzmen said steps to normalize relations through diplomacy seem to have failed so far. As he announced on Friday, Turkey is poised to initiate a package of measures to counter the Russian obstacles on the basis of reciprocity. In other words, Turkey will place the Russian Federation into the category of high-risk countries and will incur full-fledged inspections to all trucks coming from Russia.

    Russia says lengthy inspections of trucks from NATO-member Turkey, which coincide with tensions between Moscow and the military alliance over the Caucasus, where Russia this month fought a short war with Georgia, are due to a new customs law.

    The minister said in yesterday's meeting that Russia was a top trade partner for Turkey, with $38 billion in total annual trade volume. Therefore, the two nations have to do everything possible to reach a peaceful solution as soon as possible, he noted.

    Many Turkish companies, especially textile manufacturers, are having their goods produced in China or India and packed in several Eastern European nations. These goods are later sold in the Russian market. If Russian customs authorities find goods produced in Turkey among the consignments, they cause difficulties and customs transactions for these goods last longer than usual. This situation will also cause several global companies that use Turkey as a transit point to enter the vast Russian market to step back from their interests in Turkey, fueling losses. This also brings up several problems in the export of famous brands manufactured in Turkey. The Russian move is commonly being seen as further proof that Russia's changed stance is a political one rather than economic.

    As announced by Tuzmen, Turkey is starting reciprocal measures today in response to the increased security measures on Russian customs. The measures package will be open, gradual and progressive. Asked whether Turkey will put limits on its energy imports from Russia, the minister avoided going into details and said, "I believe that explanation is enough for today."

    Subtitle: China hopes for notable trade volume increase with Turkey

    Tuzmen's main agenda, however, was commercial relations with China. He mentioned the revival of the biggest and most vivid trade route of the ancient world, the Silk Road, by creating a modern railway system spanning from Beijing to Mersin. "This is already the shortest and the most economical path possible," he said.

    Turkey really wishes to boost the trade with Asia's rising giant and is working hard to achieve this, the minister underlined. Turkey officially attended 50 business fairs in China while many Turkish companies followed business opportunities in 500 fairs in the last six years. "We are implementing short and longer term measures for a balanced trade with China. The trade volume between the two countries was $7 billion in 2005 and it edged up to $10.4 billion in 2006. Last year the figure jumped to $14.3 billion. This year we are targeting to record $18 billion," the minister said.

    Turkey is opening a trade office in China to help and guide Chinese entrepreneurs targeting the Turkish market while promoting investment opportunities in Turkey. Meanwhile, Tuzmen said, Turkey's president will be visiting this country with numerous businessmen in November.

    Chinese Trade Minister Deming underlined that trade rates between Turkey and China increased notably in recent times and that Turkey had become one of China's important trade partners. Deming said that China wanted to continue its commercial relations with Turkey on a more balanced ground. Tuzmen said Turkey and China have decided to take initiatives to increase bilateral trade volume. Saying that he and Deming discussed issues concerning investments, tourism, foreign trade and transportation in detail, Tuzmen noted that Turkey and China will implement reciprocal projects soon. Tuzmen stressed that Turkey's trade volume with China, which was $7 billion three years ago, will reach $18 billion by the end of this year. He went on to say that the new projects concerning transportation and tourism will bring in a fresh awakening in the two country's commercial relations. Tuzmen also noted that Turkey had already agreed on a multi-directional strategic partnership with China, adding that the two hope to achieve further improvements and strengthen relations on commercial terms.


    [10] Turkish Cypriot columnist says the decision not to let the Greek Cypriots use the Limnitis area to visit Saint Mamas Church was taken from before and it is a messenger of very important difficulties in the 3 September meeting

    Under the title A mistake has been committed!!! Turkish Cypriot columnist Hasan Hasturer writes the following in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.08.08) on the refusal of the Turkish side to give permission to the Greek Cypriot inhabitants of Pyrgos village to visit Saint Mamas Church in Morfou through the occupied Limintis area:

    What we were afraid of has happened to us. On 8 August, the anniversary of the battles in Kokkina, some of our people went to Kokkina village overland. However, no permission was given, when the turn of the Greek Cypriots from Pyrgos came for using the same road to go to the ceremony at Saint Mamas in Morfou on 2 September and come back.

    The date was 25 July 2008. The TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and the President of the Cyprus Republic Demetris Christofias came together. After the meeting a joint statement was made. Here is the last part of that statement: Furthermore, they have given instructions to their representatives to discuss issues regarding Limnitis and other crossing points. I am drawing your attention to the fact that while the other crossing points were not mentioned with their names, the Limnitis gate was stressed. After this statement, on 8 August around one thousand and two hundred Turkish Cypriots went to Kokkina village overland and returned.

    Let us remember. During that period, the Greek Cypriots from Pyrgos have insistently expressed their wish for going to the Saint Mamas ceremony and return through the same road. They had even announced that they would prevent the Turkish Cypriots from going to Kokkina overland, if they were not given permission. In the end some people said do not worry, the Turks will go to Kokkina and you to Saint Mamas over the same road. When the Turkish Cypriots were going to Kokkina and during their return, a behaviour of sympathy on behalf of the majority of the Greek Cypriots was witnessed.

    When the turn of the Greek Cypriots came, our side tried to get out of it. Perhaps, no written guarantee was given, but what was reflected to the Greek Cypriots from Pyrgos or what they were made to feel was that they would be given permission to go to Morfou overland. While the crossings from the gates which are open continue without a problem, I did not even want to think that our side would create problem to a crossing conforming to mutual equal special rules. However, in spite of all my optimistic approach that there will be no problem, a fear existed inside me.

    As far as I understood, the decision for not letting the Greek Cypriots using the Limnitis gate was not a last-moment decision. It is a decision taken from before. Since we would not give permission to the Greek Cypriots from Pyrgos, why did we ask and use the same road for Kokkina? If we considered the use of that road dangerous, we should also not have used it. No one can explain why did we used it and then we did not give permission to the Greek Cypriots. In fact, you could easily understand this difficulty, when you read carefully the statements which are being made. Furthermore, how would those who do not have the authority for giving permission for crossing even once discuss the opening of Limnitis gate for mutual crossings? Can this wrong decision be corrected after this point? It is very difficult.

    Some people may not consider this incident to be important. However, the reality is absolutely not like this. When we showed a road of three and a half to four hours to the inhabitants of Pyrgos instead of a road of forty minutes for Saint Mamas, we have scored a goal, but we have scored it in our own goal post, in the goal post of Mehmet Ali Talat. The foreigners who look at the event from outside are not stupid. They are seeing very well the source of the problem and the position of Talat in the process.

    We have not forgotten what we experienced at Lokmaci [Tr. Note: Ledra Street barricade]. No sensible man wishes to experience again what we lived in our own half of the field, among ourselves.

    Our influential centers may be more than one when decisions are produced for the indispensable realities of Cyprus. We respect this reality. However, while we respect the reality, the decision-makers must respect each other and take decisions which do not leave the Turkish Cypriot side as a whole in to a difficult situation. If this is not achieved, Talat will never be as powerful as Christofias at the negotiating table.

    In addition to how the Greek Cypriot side and the third parties see Talat, with what excuses will the forces of the Turkish Cypriot community which support peace and solution give their support to a Talat, whose influence, decisiveness and power are defective and disputable?

    Not giving permission to the Greek Cypriots from Pyrgos to come to Saint Mamas ceremony in Morfou may not seem as very important development at first glance. However, the decision of not giving permission which seems to be not important is the messenger of very important difficulties for the meeting of the leaders which will start on 3 September.

    The responsible persons who speak recently especially in Ankara are drawing their own red lines for Cyprus. After the red lines have been drawn so clearly and obviously in Ankara, how will the stance of Talat at the negotiating table reflect himself and the Turkish Cypriots?

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 29-30 and 31 August 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 29, 30 and 31 August:

    a) Caucasus Crisis

    Drawing attention to the opposing stands adopted by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the Abkhaz and South Ossetian declarations of independence in his article in Milliyet (29.08.08), Taha Akyol explains that Turkish Cypriot leader Talat defended these declarations because of the similarity of the cases to the occupied by Turkish troops part of Cyprus. Noting that Turkey supports Georgia's territorial integrity because of the Karabakh and northern Iraq issues, Akyol predicts that the Georgian problem, which has caused Turkey and north Cyprus to adopt opposing stands for the first time ever, "might trigger new crises in the Middle East and Central Asia." Recalling Russia's attempt to establish a bloc with the Central Asian Republics, India, and China against the West at the Shanghai Summit, Akyol argues that Turkey will be the country most affected by an East-West polarization. Detailing Turkey's interests in maintaining its ties with both the West and the East, the writer questions whether it should pursue a policy of noninterference, a policy which the writer believes will cause Turkey to lose the importance it enjoys through its geography and its alliances. Akyol quotes officials from Ankara to sum up the policy Turkey has been pursuing with regards to the Caucasus crisis: "A policy that is together with the West but without a militant opposition to Russia, a policy that attaches importance to our good relations with Moscow." Akyol concludes by declaring that in the event the crisis escalates and the East-West polarization becomes more pronounced, Turkey cannot continue its "balanced" policy.

    In the fourth of a series of articles on the repercussions of the Caucasian crisis, in Milliyet (29.08.08) columnist Sami Kohen draws a parallel between the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the situation of occupied Cyprus. Pointing out that the timing of the Caucasus crisis has strengthened the hand of the Turkish Cypriot side in the talks to begin on 3 September, Kohen notes that if a solution based on equality and partnership is not found during the upcoming Cyprus talks, then division and a confirmation of north Cyprus's full independence will be inevitable. Maintaining that the Turkish Cypriot side will be in a position of strength to demand recognition from the West and the Russians, Kohen believes that this new situation might force the Greek Cypriots to adopt a more realistic stand at the negotiating table.

    Explaining the two important concepts in the geopolitical doctrine of the Russian Federation in an article in Sabah (29.08.08), Erdal Safak writes that they are the concepts of "close foreigner" and "distant foreigner." Noting that the Central Asian, Caucasian, and Baltic countries and Russia's Western neighbors are included in its "close foreigner concept," Safak points out that the Balkan and the EU member countries make up the "distant foreigner" group. Arguing that countries within the "close foreigner" circle constitute the borders of Russia's "sphere of influence" it will never renounce, Safak maintains that the West, having grasped this reality, has renounced Georgia and is now trying to rescue Ukraine which it sees as the next victim of the Russian bear that has awakened from its winter hibernation. Pointing out that one of the ways to achieve this is to grant EU membership to Ukraine, Safak notes that a "partnership" status might be granted to this country at the EU-Ukrainian summit to be held in Evian on 9 September. In conclusion, Safak predicts that Ukraine, which will be the 31st EU candidate country, will become a member before Turkey, the 29th candidate country.

    In an article in Vatan (29.08.08), Gungor Mengi argues that the crisis that has erupted in the Caucasus cannot be contained in the region. Drawing attention to the meeting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held in Tajikistan on 28 August with the participation of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India, and Iran, Mengi questions whether we are faced with an experiment to establish and "Eastern Bloc." He writes: "The fact that the declaration issued at the end of the summit contains remarks endorsing the Russian actions in the Caucasus indicates that this organization should be watched carefully." Describing the ballistic missile experiment conducted by Russia as a development signaling the urgency of safeguarding peace, Mengi hopes that reason will prevail and that Russia and its allies "will not sacrifice the opportunities and power awarded by globalization."

    Arguing that Turkey is caught up in a cross-fire in an article in the Vatan (29.08.08), Okay Gonensin notes the warning Russia has issued to Turkey in connection with the NATO war ships it has allowed to pass through the straits and the secret embargo Russia has been imposing on Turkey's exports. Recalling Turkey's energy dependence on Russia, Gonensin describes the aspirations of the Justice and Development Party, AKP, government to become a big player in the game as nothing but a delusion. One should expect an energy pressure to follow the de facto exports embargo, Gonensin maintains, adding that this crisis does not only have economic consequences but political ones as well. Declaring that the Cyprus issue and the autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Iraq are the political consequences of the crisis, Gonensin urges the government to abandon its delusions and to concentrate on extricating the country from the rapidly growing crisis.

    Following Russia's warning that Turkey will be held responsible if foreign warships that crossed the straits stay in the Black Sea for more than 21 days, the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the General Staff have begun to ponder what to do even though the Montreux Convention does not hold Turkey responsible for such a situation, says a Cumhuriyet (30.08.08) report, adding that all Turkey can do is to notify the countries concerned about the time limit.

    On the same issue in his column for Turkish Daily News (30.08.08) entitled "Turkey is stuck in between," Ilter Turkmen says: "Apparently, Russian generals too talk out of place. In the treaty, there is no article stating that Turkey could be held liable if warships of the countries not having coastal access to the Black Sea remain in the region more than 21 days. Turkey is not the addressee of Russia in this case, but the United States... In today's complex situation, Turkey should follow a risk-free path in order not to cause any tension with Russia, but should also act on that its national interests can be safeguarded only by solidarity with the West."

    In a column in Istanbul Cumhuriyet (31.08.08), Fikret Gokce criticizes the United States for "trying to place the Bosphorus and the Black Sea under its control." He claims that Washington intends to have a NATO unit deployed in the Black Sea and says: Washington plans to influence the Caucasus because of the energy corridors in that area. Why was Georgia encouraged to move against South Ossetia? The US officials seem to believe that Russia has not recovered from the shock it suffered in the 1990s. The United States has 130 bases in various countries. It acts like a bully in the world.

    A report entitled "Russia uses natural gas as a weapon" in Yeni Safak (31.08.08), features an interview with Vladimir Ivanovsky, Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, who is quoted as expressing his belief that the United States was against Georgia's military intervention in South Ossetia. Asserting that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is the product of an American project, Ivanovsky says: "We have concerns about the Georgian government, not about its people. This project will yield dangerous consequences for the whole world."

    In an article entitled "Have the United States and Russia redefined their own spheres of influence?" in Milli Gazete (31.08.08), columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan analyzes the military conflict between Russia and Georgia and says that the Western Bloc and Russia are acting very cautiously toward each other. He comments: "It seems that Russia lent support to the United States in the past so that it could achieve it goals by not opposing its moves under an agreement they have reached and now the United States helps Russia by remaining silent. Some people may find this idea far-fetched. But, it would be better to keep a close watch on developments without acting hastily."

    b) Turkeys relations with Armenia

    In an article in Taraf (29.08.08), Amberin Zaman assesses the possibility of President Gul visiting Armenia as nil since a response has not yet been given to the invitation. Based on reliable sources, Zaman claims that State Minister Murat Basesgioglu in charge of sports will be going to Yerevan for the 6 September football match. Reiterating the view that the president should accept the invitation, the writer views the implications of not accepting it. Zaman maintains that despite the secret talks being held between Turkey and Armenia in Switzerland for the last few months with the aim of establishing diplomatic relations, Turkey cannot take a step forward because of Azerbaijan's opposition. Arguing that Russia and Iran are the ones to benefit from this inaction, Zaman explains that Armenia, which receives 70 percent of its imports from Georgia, will now have only Iran as its door to the world. Pointing out that Armenia is Russia's sole staunch ally in the Caucasus, the writer explains that so long as Turkey's border remain closed to Armenia, Armenia will get closer to Russia given the current crisis in Georgia.

    In an article entitled "Wait and see: Gul will go" in Yeni Safak (30.08.08), columnist Fikri Akyuz takes issue with objections to President's Gul possible acceptance of an invitation by the Armenian president to watch a soccer game in Yerevan. Akyuz claims that Turkey would not place itself in the position of recognizing Armenia's genocide claims by establishing diplomatic relations with this country. "On the contrary, such a move would be a diplomatic initiative that would strengthen Turkey's argument that it is pursuing peaceful policies."

    In an article entitled "President Gul should go to Yerevan" in Zaman (30.08.08), columnist Sahin Alpay calls attention to what he describes as the serious obstacles facing Turkey's bid to solve the latest crisis in the Caucasus by establishing a "Caucasus Stability Platform." He claims that given the sheer size of the problems between the parties involved in the crisis, Turkey's initiative could be expected to have beneficial results elsewhere in the form of a normalization of relations with Armenia and a positive contribution to the peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia. He goes on to urge President Gul to accept Armenian President Sargsyan's invitation to watch a soccer match in Yerevan.


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