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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-04-21

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

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



  • [01] Erdogan comments on the results of the elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [02] Cicek said that the result of the elections is that there are two different states in Cyprus
  • [03] How the Turkish Cypriot press of April 20, 2009 covered the outcome of the so-called parliamentary elections held in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus on April 19, 2009
  • [04] Todays Zaman: Eroglu insists on government supervision in Cyprus talks
  • [05] The self-styled presidential spokesman comments on Mr Downers statements to the Greek Cypriot press
  • [06] The community of Maronites in the occupied village of Kormakitis will ask for the right to vote in the illegal elections
  • [07] Lagendijk assesses Cyprus, Turkey-EU as he prepares to abandon politics and settle in Turkey
  • [08] Bagis and Babacan to attend the EU Troika meeting
  • [09] Turkish Naval Forces Commander is on an official visit in China
  • [10] The first Lebanese President to visit Turkey after 54 years
  • [11] The Swedish Prime Minister will visit Ankara at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart
  • [12] The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to visit Turkey. Issues on the agenda of his visit to be discussed at Turkeys next National Security Council meeting
  • [13] The Turkish Foreign Ministry prepared a memo on model partnership with the US

  • [14] Turkish columnist on the results of the general elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus


    [01] Erdogan comments on the results of the elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish CNN-Turk television (21.04.09) broadcast live the address of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the parliamentary group of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Referring to the result of the election in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Erdogan said that he wanted to stress that they wish for the result to be a support not a chain to the ongoing process.

    Mr Erdogan added the following: Let no one make speculations on this. The process, which started, should continue in the same manner. That is, wrong approaches, such as a new government has been established now there, this government will end the ongoing negotiations between esteemed Talat and Christofias or these negotiations will continue on a different basis, not on the basis on which they are held until now, could never be correct and we shall not support any step, which will weaken the hand of the TRNC president. I am saying this openly.


    [02] Cicek said that the result of the elections is that there are two different states in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.04.09) reports that Turkish government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Cemil Cicek, in a statement after the Council of Ministers meeting, commented on the so-called parliamentary elections held in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus on the 19th of April.

    Noting that there are two different democracies and two different peoples in the island, Mr Cicek said: Given that the elections were held for a state administration, the natural result of this is that there are two separate states there.

    Noting that 2009 is an important year for Cyprus, Mr Cicek said Turkey supports the ongoing negotiations for reaching a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr Cicek also said: We supported and support these negotiations. We hope that the wish of all of us is reaching to a solution which will meet the expectations of both peoples and according to the realities of the island within the framework put forward by the esteemed president that carries out the negotiations on behalf of TRNC supported until today by Turkey.


    [03] How the Turkish Cypriot press of April 20, 2009 covered the outcome of the so-called parliamentary elections held in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus on April 19, 2009

    Under the front page title May the new era go well!, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.04.09) reports the following on the outcome of the illegal early parliamentary elections held in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus on 19 April 2009:

    The National Unity Party (UBP) achieved a crushing victory in the elections that were held in the TRNC yesterday. The UBP, which won the elections with a large majority after remaining as an opposition party for six years, secured the 44.04% of the votes. Some 26 of its candidates were elected to the Republican Assembly. It will now have the number of deputies it needs to establish the government by itself.

    According to the unofficial results that were disclosed by the High Election Council (YSK), the UBP, which secured the support of the 31.71% of the electorate and had 18 of its candidates elected on 20 February 2005, increased its votes by an average 13% and had 26 of its candidates elected with the support of the 44.04% of the electorate. The party had 13 deputies in the Republican Assembly prior to the elections.

    The ruling Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) emerged as the second party from the elections with 29.26% of the votes. The party lost 10 seats in the Republican Assembly. It had 15 of its candidates elected. The party will be the main opposition in the Republican Assembly in the new era. The CTP won a landslide victory with the 44.45% of the votes on 20 February 2005.

    The Democratic Party (DP) emerged as the third party from the elections. Five of its candidates were elected with the 10.65% of the votes. It lost one of its six seats in the Republican Assembly.

    The Communal Democracy Party (TDP) emerged as the fourth party from the elections with the 6.87 % of the votes. Two of its candidates were elected. The TDP was established when the Communal Liberation Party (TKP), which failed to have its candidates elected in the previous elections, and the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH), which had only one of its candidates elected in the previous elections, decided to merge. The party had two of its candidates elected the first time it contested the elections.

    The Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), which was established in September 2006, managed to surmount the threshold with difficulty. This was the first time the party contested the elections. It had two of its candidates elected with the support of the 6.21% of the electorate. The establishment of the ORP and its decision to form a coalition with the CTP created a political upheaval in the country. It now has the right to be represented in the Republican Assembly with two deputies.

    The United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the Politics for the People Party (HIS) failed to surmount the election threshold with 2.42 and 0.49% of the votes respectively.

    Some 81.29 % of the electorate voted in the early general elections in the TRNC yesterday.

    The YSK disclosed the participation in the elections in the districts as follows: Nicosia 81%, Famagusta 82.7%, Kerynia 78.38%, Morphou 81.75%, and Trikomo Larnaca 81.3%.

    The country has 161,373 registered voters. Some 50,653 voters are registered in Nicosia, 42,325 in Famagusta, 30,428 in Kerynia, 21,017 in Morphou, and 16,950 in Trikomo.

    The number of deputies elected in the districts is: Nicosia 16, Famagusta 13, Kerynia 9, Morphou 6, and Trikomo 6.

    The outcome of the elections is also reported in the rest Turkish Cypriot dailies (20.04.09) as follows:

    Afrika: CTP overthrown. Ankara brought CTP to power, Ankara removed it from power.

    Kibrisli: Democracy won!

    Halkin Sesi: Overwhelming superiority of UBP.

    Yeni Duzen: Once again, we returned to what was past.

    Star Kibris: UBP is 1st.

    Gunes: UBP establishes government by itself.

    Havadis: The UBP era.

    Bakis: Special thanks to the TRNC.

    Volkan: The Turkish Cypriot people made its selection; Not a Unified Cyprus, but TRNC.

    Ortam: Be proud of your achievement!

    A five-year journey full of betrayal of the people, abuse of authority, partisanship and plots CTP, which came into power with the great support of the people with the aim to abolish the status quo, has again delivered the administration of the country to the old supporters of the status quo.

    Vatan: The people said UBP.

    [04] Todays Zaman: Eroglu insists on government supervision in Cyprus talks

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (19.04.09) reported, inter alia, the following:

    Dervis Eroglu, whose nationalist National Unity Party (UBP) is most likely to top today's parliamentary elections in Turkish Cyprus, has said he would support President Mehmet Ali Talat in reunification negotiations with the Greek Cypriots if his party ends up in the government, but insisted that he would appoint a representative to join Talat in the talks so as to have a say in the negotiation process.

    Surveys show Eroglu's UBP leads the polls by more than 45 percent, well ahead of the ruling Republican Turks Party (CTP), which is estimated to receive 27 percent. The CTP said the polls are doubtful and insists that the winner will be known only at the end of the voting, but the fact that the UBP will have a strong showing and will be a major candidate to form the government is hardly disputed.

    A UBP-led government, on the other hand, is raising concerns over the fate of the Cyprus reunification process and eventually Turkey's European Union membership process, which is inextricably linked to the Cyprus dispute. The UBP called for a "no" vote against a UN reunification plan in 2004 (the Annan plan) and insists that the recognition of the sovereignty of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) is a must for any solution. President Talat, on the other hand, is negotiating for a federal solution and agreed in principle that the new Cypriot state will have a single sovereignty.

    Eroglu, in an interview with Sunday's Zaman, said his party will not oppose the ongoing negotiations, but added this does not mean that there is no alternative other than reunification. We have our own state, and our main duty is to maintain and strengthen our state, he said. Everything will be easier if it is universally accepted that we are a nation and that we have a state, he continued, emphasizing that the KKTC should protect its sovereignty as a constituent state in a federal settlement with the Greek Cypriots.

    He stated that the UBP would ask Talat to continue with the talks by protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and added that a government representative should be with him so that the government knows what is going on in the negotiations. We will definitely know what is being discussed, and we'll do whatever our constitutional duties and responsibilities require us to do, he said, adding that his party intended to work with Talat until his term in office expires in April 2010. We will do our share to work in harmony. I expect Mr. Talat will do the same as well.

    Huseyin Ozgurgun, a senior deputy within the UBP, said a government representative does not have to be a source of problems for Talat. On the contrary, if the ongoing talks with the Greek Cypriots result in an agreement to be put to referendum, the chances for its approval by the Turkish Cypriots will be increased because it will be signed not only by Talat, but also by a representative of the UBP. Besides, he said, it is not in line with democratic traditions to let the president act without supervision from the government, and thus the Parliament, in an issue that concerns all Turkish Cypriots.

    Talat has held more than 20 rounds of talks with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias so far. He said there is progress, mostly in identifying the disputed areas, and expects a "give-and-take" round to begin as early as August for the resolution of the identified areas of disagreement. Analysts say the UBP, if in government, could hamper a deal by raising objections to possible concessions in the give-and-take negotiations.

    In addition, Turkish daily Milliyet paper (21.04.09) in its front page and under the title Eroglu: We want the EU publishes a report by its correspondent in occupied Lefkosia, Sefa Karahasan. The paper reports that the leader of the National Unity Party, Dervis Eroglu, who made a statement exclusively to Milliyet paper after he won the elections in the TRNC, stressed the need for the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat to continue his duty on the negotiations table with the Greek Cypriot side during his term at the presidency and said: However, nobody should expect from us a step which will condemn us to the Greeks. Moreover, Eroglu called on the EU and the Greek Cypriot side by saying that Turkey should become a member of the EU. Eroglu stated that the will of the Turkish Cypriot people was reflected in the ballot box and he also gave the following messages:

    Ties with the EU: We support our accession to the EU after a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached. The Turkish Cypriot side will exert efforts for an agreement text to come up. UBP wants the EU from 1987 until today. We want Turkey to be in the EU.

    Agreement: The Greek Cypriot leadership is playing on the negotiation table with the non-solution policy by using the advantage of its membership to the EU. They should take into consideration the honour of the Turkish Cypriot people. We support an agreement under equal conditions. Greek Cypriots should not see us as those who will enter under the Greek Cypriot Republic, they should learn to share and compromise with Turks.

    Talat´s duty: Our President Mehmet Ali Talat, will continue his duty as a negotiator during his term at the presidency. There is no problem from our point of view.

    More friendly with Turkey: We are a Party which has always supported a close relation with our motherland Turkey. Our relations with Turkey will be friendlier. For us, Turkey is very important.

    The paper further reports on the statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat who has said, inter alia, that no problem will be experienced in case the vision of the people for the solution continues by the new government which will be formed by the UBP. Mr. Talat said also the following: Mr. Eroglu has this vision and he has said that (the vision of the solution) will continue, I think that there will be no problem.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (21.04.09) reports on the same issue and publishes the statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and the leader of UBP, Dervis Eroglu under the title Elections come to an end, the eyes are focused on the negotiations.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.04.09) reports that the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) and winner of the parliamentary election, Mr Dervis Eroglu, in a written statement, said Ankaras and his partys parameters for a solution are in harmony and added: There are two peoples, two states, two democracies on the island of Cyprus. We support any kind of solution that will last within this framework. Mr Eroglu said that elections showed once more to the world that the democracy in the occupied areas operates in a healthy manner.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (21.04.09), under the title Eroglu: We lost at the last minute the 28, reports that the leader of UBP, Mr Dervis Eroglu, in a statement at the Turkish Cypriot local television channel ADA TV, said that their target was to have 28 deputies, but they could not achieve it as a result of meddling from those who came from here and there during the past three- four days.


    [05] The self-styled presidential spokesman comments on Mr Downers statements to the Greek Cypriot press

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.04.09) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has evaluated an expression, which is being used within the framework of the solution process. He said that during the negotiation process the phrase founding state should be preferred to be used.

    Even though various expressions are used while translating, the idea of two equal founding states on the island does not change during the negotiations process, he added.

    Mr. Ercakica issued a written statement after a news article was published in the Greek Cypriot press.

    The Greek Cypriot newspaper published an interview with the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer in which he claimed that the two leaders were negotiating for two federations under a single state.

    Noting that the words state, statehood and province all had different meanings in Turkish, English and Greek languages, the Presidential spokesman said each term can be used in various forms according to their political establishments and their own historical developments.

    [06] The community of Maronites in the occupied village of Kormakitis will ask for the right to vote in the illegal elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (21.04.09) reports that the community of Maronites, which lives in the occupied village of Kormakitis, will ask from the newly elected government the right to vote.

    According to the paper, the Maronites reacted to the fact that they do not have the right to vote although they are citizens of the occupation regime. The paper reports that the Maronites carry out all their citizenship duties, pay their taxes, conform to the laws and thus they will ask to get the right to vote.


    [07] Lagendijk assesses Cyprus, Turkey-EU as he prepares to abandon politics and settle in Turkey

    Todays Zaman (21.04.09) publishes statements by Joost Lagendijk, chairman of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee.

    In an interview with Monday Talk, Lagendijk, who is preparing to retire from politics and move to Turkey in the summer, elaborated on the Cyprus problem and other issues in Turkish and EU politics.

    Currently chairman of the delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, he has been a member of the European Parliament since 1998 for GroenLinks (GreenLeft). He also sits on the European Parliaments various committees.

    Together with Jan Marinus Wiersma (vice president of the socialist group in the European Parliament), he is the author of three Dutch books that have also been translated into English. Their latest book, Travels among Europes Muslim Neighbours: The Quest for Democracy (2007), was also published in Turkish this year.

    As Lagendijk is retiring from politics at the age of 52, he will keep on working on EU-Turkey relations at Sabanci University. He is also working on a new book with his wife, Nevin Sungur.

    He explains: I write as a European politician, she writes as a Turkish journalist on how things are perceived in Europe and Turkey -- which are sometimes very different. It is about how we can overcome our differences. In the end, there is a strong argument in favour of Turkeys EU accession. She has written much more than I did. I have to work on finalizing my mandate in the parliament. I hope after moving to Turkey I can finish the book here before September.

    Following are some of his replies to questions:

    Question: I would like to return to the Cyprus issue. In a recent interview with Monday Talk, Egemen Bagis said the Greek side lacks motivation for progress in solving the problem and that there is a need for a policy of carrots and sticks, which was missing from the Annan plan. Do you think it is possible for the EU to adopt such a policy at this stage to make the Greek side feel more motivated?

    Answer: It is. And I agree with him that it is desirable. The point is how to do it, because you have to be careful not to be seen as the big bully pushing the small, poor Greek Cypriots to accept all kinds of things they do not want to accept. The main role for both the EU and the Turkish government is behind the scenes to make it clear that we would like to have a solution as soon as possible. The same goes for [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. If he says we want [Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali] Talat to do this and that, that would be counterproductive. For the EU, the question is not whether they are able to do it; the question is whether they are willing to do it.

    Question: Are they willing to do it?

    Answer: Some countries like to hide behind the Cyprus problem -- for example, the French government and the Austrians. The majority of EU states who are in favour of Turkish accession should make it clear within the EU, to the French, to the Austrians and, of course, to the Cypriots, that it is in the EUs interest to have this issue solved. The UK, Sweden and the majority of the EU states can do it. It is an important point to stress, because many people in Europe and Turkey have the idea that Mr. Sarkozy and the Austrians are speaking on behalf of the EU.

    Question: You do not count German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

    Answer: Mrs. Merkel is in between, because she cannot speak out fully, since there is a coalition government. That could change after the elections in Germany, of course.

    Question: Do you think the equation might change in favour of Turkey after the elections in Germany?

    Answer: The equation is in favour of Turkey. People tend to forget that all the Mediterranean countries, all the Anglo-Saxon countries, all the Scandinavian countries and the new member states are in favour of Turkeys accession. The problem is in Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Cyprus. These are the five out of 27.

    Question: But these five have a lot of power.

    Answer: They are powerful countries. They have a lot of influence. It means a lot. I am not underestimating the resistance. What Mr. Sarkozy likes to do, if you remember after [US President Barack] Obama spoke out in favour of Turkey in Prague, he said: I remain against [Turkeys membership]. And I am sure I speak on behalf of the majority of the member states. That is not true. Thats why I stress the point that the majority of the EU member states should push behind the scenes, in a diplomatic way, not only Cyprus, but also the countries protecting Cyprus, like France, Austria and Greece -- the Greeks have a bit of double position there -- to make it clear to the Cypriots that its in our interest to solve the issue and its in the Greek Cypriots interest, because if this process fails, if these negotiations do not produce results, you can forget about a solution for the next 10 years. It may even come down to the division of the island. This is not in the interest of the Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots realize that, and that is why they voted in favour of [Demetris] Christofias, not [Tassos] Papadopoulos. If the Greek Cypriots who live in the south want their property back in the north, they had better make a deal.

    Question: If the ruling pro-reunification Republican Turks Party (CTP) loses support in northern Cyprus, is that going to be a major source of trouble?

    Answer: It is worrisome when it leads Talat to the conclusion that he should be tougher or more inflexible in the negotiations. It should be a sign to him that the best way to regain political support is to make a deal. He has the potential to be the Cypriot leader who brought about reunification of the island. That is the only way forward. If he does not deliver at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, he will go down as another Cypriot leader who did not make it, and then he will be strongly punished in the next presidential elections.

    Question: Do you have any ideas about why nationalism has been on the rise in northern Cyprus?

    Answer: It is on the rise everywhere. People want to see a solution, but they do not see one coming. They have the frustration of being isolated. The EU is not delivering on its promises. People are getting fed up with the situation. They were expecting a lot a couple of years ago, and it is not happening. So they think maybe they should not be talking to the Greek Cypriots and they think they should be tougher to gain some self-esteem. But this approach does not give you a solution. It gives you a good feeling. It happens not only in northern Cyprus, but in parts of the EU, as well. You see that in the Balkans.

    Question: If we go back to President Obamas messages in support of Turkey, do you think it might negatively affect the way Europeans think because they perceive it as the US meddling with their own work?

    Answer: One should make a distinction there between the public opinion and politicians. Politicians who are against Turkeys accession will not change their minds because of Mr. Obama. Sarkozy had not said anything about Turkey for nine months or so, but now a little bit of provocation by Mr. Obama and he did. But when it comes to public opinion, they like Mr. Obama and when he makes a case for Turkeys accession, it has a positive influence. Mr. Bush made the same statement in 2004 and then even the ones who were in favour of Turkeys accession said, Please, its for us to decide, not for the Americans.

    Question: How do you evaluate French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchners recent turnabout against Turkey?

    Answer: Opportunism. I am afraid I have to be as tough as that. I do not normally like to accuse politicians of opportunism, but in his case, up to now he was in favour, which was a courageous position to take because, as a socialist, he is a member of a right-wing government that is against Turkeys accession. But using the NATO summit as a reason to change his opinion is unbelievable. Turkey made a point about [newly elected NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh] Rasmussen and his perception in the Muslim world. The Roj TV and the Muhammad cartoons are not strong points, but the fact is that Rasmussens impression in the Muslim world, whether Europeans like it or not, is a point that should be discussed. For a French foreign minister to blame Turkey for doing that is hypocritical. As elections approach, he may have been pressured by Sarkozy to change his opinion and he may have been looking for an excuse.

    Question: The Swedish turn in the EU presidency is approaching. The Swedish government has supported Turkeys accession. Will their term presidency help Turkey in terms of obtaining more concrete results?

    Answer: The Swedish presidency is good. Carl Bildt is very favourable. At the same time, he knows for sure that he has to act as the chair of the EU. So he cannot act as the Swedish prime minister. He has to balance different views. But we know he wants Turkey in and he does not want to create a crisis at the end of this year, especially concerning the Cyprus issue.

    Question: What will happen after the Swedish term presidency? Who will be the next president?

    Answer: Many people, including myself, are hoping that during the Swedish presidency the Lisbon Treaty will be ratified by Ireland. The Czechs may ratify it as well. If the Lisbon Treaty comes into force, we will not have the rotating presidencies anymore.

    [08] Bagis and Babacan to attend the EU Troika meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.09) reported the following from Paris:

    Turkey's state minister and the chief negotiator for European Union (EU) talks will travel to the French capital of Paris. Turkish State Minister Egemen Bagis, will arrive in Paris on Tuesday evening to discuss Turkey-EU relations with French executives. Bagis will meet Michel Barnier, the former minister of foreign and European affairs and current minister of agriculture and fisheries, on Wednesday.Later, he will have meetings with Pierre Lequiller, the chairman of the EU Committee of the French Parliament; and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner. Bagis will then attend a banquet to be hosted in his honour by Bruno Le Maire, the secretary of state for European affairs. The minister will hold a press conference for Turkish journalists living in France, and then depart from Paris.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing that the EU should have a privileged partnership with Turkey.

    Although France has vetoed opening of negotiations on five chapters directly related with full membership, it approved opening of negotiations on two chapters during its EU presidency.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis will travel to Prague on Tuesday to attend the Turkey-the EU Troika meeting.

    The participants will assess Turkey's reform studies, matters on the agenda of accession process as well as daily international and regional political developments.

    [09] Turkish Naval Forces Commander is on an official visit in China

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.09) reported the following from Beijing:

    Turkish Naval Forces Commander Admiral Metin Atac arrived in the People's Republic of China on an official visit.

    Atac will first hold talks in Shian and Shanghai. Later, he will proceed to Chingdao to attend celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of foundation of Chinese Naval Forces.

    Admiral Atac is expected to depart from China on April 24.

    [10] The first Lebanese President to visit Turkey after 54 years

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.04.09) reported the following from Beirut:

    Lebanese President Michel Sulayman will be the first Lebanese president to visit Turkey in 54 years.

    President Sulayman will pay a visit to Turkey on April 21-22. Sulayman will be accompanied by a delegation of 60 people, including Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, Interior Minister Ziad Baroud and Minister of Displaced People Raymond Audi.

    President Sulayman will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, Speaker of Turkish Parliament Koksal Toptan and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During Sulayman's visit to Turkey, agreements on military cooperation, health, tourism and sports will be signed between Turkey and Lebanon.

    [11] The Swedish Prime Minister will visit Ankara at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt arrived Monday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, as the guest of his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    During his two-day stay in Ankara, Reinfeldt will meet Erdogan and the two leaders will appear at a joint press conference. The Swedish premier will also be received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

    The visit comes ahead of Sweden's upcoming take-over of the European Union term presidency. Reinfeldt's talks in Turkey are expected to focus on Ankara's EU membership process as well as regional and international issues.

    [12] The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to visit Turkey. Issues on the agenda of his visit to be discussed at Turkeys next National Security Council meeting

    Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (18.04.09) reported the following:

    The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, will visit Turkey on the footsteps of President Obama.

    The purpose of Mullen's visit is to work out the details of what Obama discussed with the Turkish and Iraqi heads of state during his tour of the region. I would like to convey the information I have obtained from sources I contacted in connection with [Mullen's] visit. Although both Afghanistan and Iraq will be important topics of discussion during the visit, Iraq appears to be a more pressing issue. Both issues were reportedly discussed during Obama's visit to Turkey, but the details were left to diplomats and soldiers.

    [Turkey] will assume the command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan in August. The number of [Turkish] soldiers will increase, but Ankara remains steadfast about not sending combat forces to Afghanistan despite insistent requests from the United States. [Former Chief of the General Staff Yasar] Buyukanit expressed this resolve in the past by saying: If martyrs come back from Afghanistan, how will we explain it to the Turkish people?

    Ankara is more interested in the process in Iraq. US soldiers will begin withdrawing from that country in June. This process is expected to take about a year. Ankara believes that it needs to cooperate with Baghdad closely in this process in order to achieve solutions to the threat of the Kurdish administration [in northern Iraq] turning into a state and the PKK problem.

    The American proposal to Ankara is: We will withdraw our soldiers from Iraq. We can do that through the Gulf. We will indeed evacuate some of them through the Gulf. We will use Kuwait and the Gulf of Basra for this purpose. There is no problem up to this point. However, the Americans add: We also want to use Turkey. They plan to transport armoured units through the Habur gate and board them on ships in Mersin. Some of the military personnel may also be evacuated through Incirlik. Ankara is willing to help, but it has its own expectations from the United States. These can be enumerated as:

    How many soldiers and what quantities of weapons and munitions will be withdrawn from Iraq?

    Where will the soldiers and munitions withdrawn from Iraq go?

    What quantities and types weapons will go to Afghanistan and Somalia and what portion of those will be evacuated through Turkey?

    What will happen to the US weapons and munitions left in Iraq and how will they be protected?

    Ankara wants the establishment of a mechanism to identify the weapons. [Turkey's] biggest concern is that the PKK may gain control of weapons that are in the possession of US soldiers now. [Turkey] is also interested in playing a role in the restructuring of the Iraqi army. Indeed, major progress has been made on the issues of reorganizing and training the [Iraqi] land, air, and gendarmerie forces.

    Mullen will spend 22 and 23 April in Ankara to discuss precisely these issues. The proposals on which work is under way will be discussed in great detail at the National Security Council on Monday. The timetable is very tight and Turkey needs to act quickly.

    [13] The Turkish Foreign Ministry prepared a memo on model partnership with the US

    Hurriyet Daily News (18.04.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey is uncertain what the U.S. president referred to when describing the relationship as a model partnership. The Foreign Ministry penned a wide-ranging memo on the outcomes of Obamas visit that stated no information on the substance of a model partnership.

    Turkey is still uncertain to what U.S. President Barack Obama referred to when he described relations between Turkey and the United States as a model partnership.The Foreign Ministry has just completed a broad memo on the outcomes of Obamas visit to Turkey on April 6 and 7, after analyzing the full records of his meetings with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    One interesting point is that Obama did not actually use model partnership during the talks but mentioned it in the joint press conference with Gul. American diplomats both in Ankara and Washington prefer to use the concept of strategic partnership, according to the memo. It also noted there was no information on the substance of a model partnership.

    On the possibility of recognizing the 1915 Armenian killings as genocide in the presidential statement expected to be issued on April 24, the ministry believes Obama will not risk losing Turkey and thus will not categorize the killings as genocide. Obamas emphasis on the mutual efforts of Turkey and Armenia to normalize ties is evident to this end, the ministry believes.

    The ministry said it was not thinking that Obamas much-criticized description of the Kurdish minority was on purpose. On Iran, Obama said the U.S. intention to talk to Tehran does not mean that Washington would ignore current problems stemming from Irans potential nuclear work.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. top general Michael Mullen is planned to visit Turkey next month to discuss the fight against terrorism. The visit would be coupled with that of Robert Gates, Secretary of Defence, who would raise Washingtons request to use Turkish territory during the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Obama assured Turkey that the intelligence sharing mechanism will go along and that utmost cooperation will be provided to Turkish military.


    [14] Turkish columnist on the results of the general elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish daily Milliyet paper (21.04.09) publishes a commentary by its columnist, Melih Asik who refers to the results of the elections in the occupied areas and the victory of the National Unity Party. The columnist reports, inter alia, the following: The result was a crashing defeat for the President of the TRNC, Mehmet Ali Talat, the AKP, the EU, and the USA. Ahmet Zeki Bulunc, the former Ambassador of the TRNC in Ankara, says the following regarding the pressure under which the election was won:

    A group of MP´s from AKP, and afterwards State Minister, Egemen Bagis, came to the island. They said to the people, sometimes openly and sometimes in a diplomatic manner: ´You should vote for CTP, otherwise, you will experience difficulties´. The USA invited Talat to Washington a week before the elections. Various messages in favour of the CTP were sent from there. The same happened with the EU and Olli Rehn. Even with the UN Special Representative. Finally, Mehmet Ali Talat during his statement on a live broadcast on Saturday night spoke in the same direction. The slander brought up for UBP regarding being a supporter of Ergenekon was of no use. However, nobody has been able to see that this meddling created the opposite reactions.

    How do you evaluate this result in a few words?

    The people in the TRNC have said: ´I support the reconciliation, I want the continuation of the negotiations. However, I definitely say no to an agreement on the basis of one people, one citizenship, one identity I definitely say no to an agreement which provides for the elimination of the status and the garantorship of the motherland Turkey and which ignores my existence´.

    Yalcin Dogan columnist in Hurriyet (21.04.09) reports in his article, inter alia, that the result of the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus is the biggest victory of the UBP during that last 35 years. The columnist writes also that it is as if the future of Turkey is experienced in Cyprus and that Cyprus for the past 6 years was a copy of Turkey. Yalcin Dogan supports also that the election result in the occupied part of Cyprus, is considered so important for the first time after a long period.

    Sami Kohen in his article in Milliyet (21.04.09) under the title What are the changes with the power changing in the TRNC?, assesses on the victory of UBP in the elections and writes that the reasons for the result of the elections should be read very well. The columnist supports that the biggest part of the voters, has shown their anger and their disappointment to the CTP government due to the economic problems they experienced (unemployment, high cost of living, etc). The anger, which was created by the partisanship and the corruption of the CTP, played an important role, according to the columnist.

    Sami Kohen goes on in his article by wondering what the changes will be in the policy of the TRNC, after Eroglus coming to power. Kohen supports that in the short-run there is no doubt that Eroglu will act in the same way and that he will not make a turn of 180 degrees in the policy he follows regarding the Cyprus problem and abandon the negotiating table saying that the non-solution is a solution. However, Kohen is of the opinion that the new government will ask to have a more close supervision in the dialogue between Christofias and Talat, something that will make the work of Talat more difficult, adds Kohen, who notes that the UBP might supervise the talks through its Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Assessing the results of the illegal elections in occupied Cyprus in an article in Hurriyet (20.04.09), Ferai Tinc argues that the Turkish Cypriots withdrew their support from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) not only because it did not govern well but also because the EU did not keep its promises. Had the EU kept its promises and had the embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people been lifted, the outcome might have been different, writes Tinc, adding that, however, the results should not be interpreted as the Turkish Cypriot people's lack of will to find a solution to the Cyprus conflict. The election results create the impression that from now on there will be a two-headed administration in north Cyprus, states Tinc, maintaining that, however, if the new government is effective in resolving the economic problems and achieving political stability, then it might not place the negotiation process on the top of its agenda, thus avoiding the danger of a two-headed administration. Urging the AKP government to abandon the negative stand it adopted against the opposition during the pre-election period, Tinc calls on the Turkish government to support steps toward harmony in occupied Cyprus. She concludes: The election results reflect the disappointment of the Turkish Cypriot people in Europe and the issue of a solution. However, this does not mean that they do not desire a solution and a life free of embargoes."



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