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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-06-22

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. 114/09 20-22.06.09


  • [01] The UN Envoy Alexander Downer held contacts in the occupied areas: 'The UN does not formally push a time table'
  • [02] Eroglu reiterated that there are two people in Cyprus and two stated
  • [03] Cemil Cicek: Cyprus is our most justified cause
  • [04] A French official said that the postponement of the implementation of the Ankara Protocol is a strong option
  • [05] Mehmet Cakici assesses the Orams case
  • [06] Yalcin Kucuk: It is impossible for Olgac to have killed prisoners of war
  • [07] New hospital to be built in occupied Morfou
  • [08] Turkish Pegasus airline connects illegal Tymvou airport with Brussels
  • [09] The number of the travelers to the occupied areas in May 2009
  • [10] Hurriyet reportage on casinos in the occupied areas. Embargo overcome, income for the illegal regime 500 million dollars
  • [11] The Libem Education Group was accredited by the world famous LCCI and EDI programs
  • [12] The so-called ombudsman of the breakaway regime has participated in an international conference organized in Sweden
  • [13] The occupation regime wants to divert the trade from the government-controlled areas to the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [14] Guls trip to China aims to boost trade

  • [15] From the Turkish Press of 20, 21, 22 June 2009


    [01] The UN Envoy Alexander Downer held contacts in the occupied areas: 'The UN does not formally push a time table'

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.06.09) broadcast the following:

    The UN Special Adviser to Cyprus Alexander Downer was received by President Mehmet Ali Talat at the Presidential Palace today.

    Presidents Special Representative Ozdil Nami and the UN Special Representative to Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun joined the two at the meeting which lasted for an hour.

    Speaking to the BRT newsroom at the end of the meeting upon being asked how close Cyprus was standing towards a political agreement by the end of 2009, Mr. Downer repeated that the United Nations does not formally push a time-table for the Cyprus negotiations process.

    Whats important is to maintain momentum at the talks, Downer noted.Stating that the course of negotiations might seem to slow down sometimes, he said this is in the nature of all negotiations.

    Referring to next Fridays round between President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias, the UN Special Adviser hoped that the meeting will be a useful and productive one which is going to take the negotiations process forward.

    Alexander Downer reiterated the UNs obvious commitment towards achieving a successful outcome from full-fledged peace negotiations as, he said, this has been clear from the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.

    'We will try to see the best' he added.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (19.06.09) reported the following:

    Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun today received the United Nations Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer. The meeting took place at the TRNC Foreign Ministry. UN Secretary Generals Special representative to Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun accompanied Mr. Downer during the visit. Evaluating the meeting, Foreign Minister Ozgurgun said the meeting was held very cordially and added that the latest development on the ongoing Cyprus negotiations were discussed. Noting that they had both agreed that the negotiations process shouldnt be open ended, Mr Ozgurgun said if the negotiations dont succeed, we as the Turkish Cypriot side have other alternatives to consider.

    He also said that MR. Downer had informed him that he had explained to the Greek Cypriot side that if the negotiations arent successful then there will be two separate states on the island. Noting that President Talat and the Turkish Cypriot people knew what issues concessions wouldnt be made on, Mr. Ozgurgun reinforced that the government continues to support the negotiations process in Cyprus.

    [02] Eroglu reiterated that there are two people in Cyprus and two stated

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.06.09) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu held a press conference to announce that his government would continue to work on developing an economic rescue plan for the Republic. All ministers were present at the press conference which was held at the Foreign Ministrys Conference Hall.

    Addressing the most pressing issue of our times, Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said that for the TRNCs economy to be revived there was a need for an expanding economic policy.

    And for this to happen we need a new tax packet that includes the majority of the people to come into affect, he said.

    Pointing to the importance of increasing employment opportunities in the private sector, the Prime minister said the private sector must be supported so it can develop further.Also touching upon his concerns on the Cyprus issue, Prime Minister Eroglu noted that the Greek Cypriot administration was continuing its intransigent stance on the Cyprus issue.

    We are very embarrassed that the Greek Cypriot administration is being accepted as the only legal government in Cyprus by the United States, Britain, Russia, China and the European Unions, said Eroglu.

    Now the Greek Cypriot Administration is using this situation to give permission for researches to be carried out for natural gas and petrol. This behavior of ignoring international law is negatively affecting the negotiations process in Cyprus, he added.

    The Prime Minister said his government is determined to continue its stance on the Cyprus issue in harmony with President Talat and Motherland Turkey.

    Our parameters are clear; there are two peoples in Cyprus and two states. Due to this fact we want a new partnership to be established based on equal sovereignty, bizonality should not be diluted and Turkeys active and effective guarantees over the island should be safeguarded, said Eroglu.

    He stressed that we continue to support the negotiations process with good will but this does not mean that we will give up our rights and interests.

    He concluded by saying that we cannot wait forever for the Greek Cypriot side, we want our people to be sure of their future. Either the ongoing negotiations process brings a positive and balanced outcome and a viable solution is found, or everyone goes on their way.

    [03] Cemil Cicek: Cyprus is our most justified cause

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI (22.06.09) reports on statements made by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State, Responsible for Cyprus, Cemil Cicek, on Cyprus during the 3rd Congress of the Kahramanmaras province of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    Cyprus is our national issue. It our most justified cause. Whenever there was a voting in the UN, we could not take more than six votes despite the fact that there were approximately 55 Islamic countries which seemed to be our friends. That means that Turkey could not make itself explained. It did not support itself sufficiently, Mr. Cicek stated and added that Turkey is following closely the Cyprus problem.


    [04] A French official said that the postponent of the implementation of the Ankara protocol is a strong option

    Hurriyet (22.06.09) reports the following:

    Long opposed to Turkeys entrance into the European Union, France has called on Turkey to "see the reality" and ponder a new option it formulates as 'the most possible association' with the EU.

    'Calling it a privileged partnership is wrong. Turkey is already in a customs union with us. What we seek is a relationship that would make Turkey associated as much as possible with the EU', Pierre Menat, director of EU affairs for the French foreign ministry, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review in an interview conducted last week in Paris.

    'It would be much better if we could discuss it. But its not possible, as the Turkish authorities are too emotional on this issue. If we can see the reality, then we can have better relations', he said.

    French President Nicholas Sarkozy is known for his firm opposition to Turkeys admission into the EU, a stance in which he is joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Sarkozy says Turkeys full membership in the EU would destabilize the blocs future by enlarging its borders to the fragile Middle East.

    Many conservative and far-right politicians exploited the issue during the elections for the European Parliament, stirring disappointment and anger in Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested the possibility of canceling Frances 'Turkey Season', a nine-month-long campaign initiated by Paris to promote Turkey in all its facets.'We have worked a lot for this project. We knew we had to be careful about the dates. I mean the European elections', Menat said. 'Actually there was nothing new that has been said during the campaign. But those who were talking once in a year spoke every day. And we have talked about it with the Turkish authorities. It would have been a pity if it would have been annulled.

    'Having said so, France, during its EU term presidency, did not hinder the negotiations', he said.

    According to Dorothey Schmid, head of the Turkish-studies program at the French Institute of International Relations, or IFRI, it is not Turkey itself that French public opinion opposes but the entire enlargement process. 'The last enlargement processes were not liked here, either', she said. 'The first reason is the economic crisis. The second is France, like other countries, does not want to have more immigrants. And Turks are seen as potential immigrants'.

    Another problem, Schmid said, is the strategic dilemma over Turkeys geographical positioning. 'Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden are trying to sell Turkey [to the EU] for strategic purposes', she said. 'But in France, it does not work. Many French simply do not want to have borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria'.Recalling that U.S. President Barack Obama and Sarcozy publicly discussed the Turkey issue during the American leaders visit to Paris last month, she said: 'Instead of Obama and others, you should be able to talk about Turkey; explain why Turkey is strategically important'.Talks began in 2005

    Turkey began membership talks in 2005, but was only able to open 10 out of 35 policy chapters. Eight of these were suspended in 2006 when Turkey refused to implement the Ankara Protocol and allow Greek Cypriot vessels and aircrafts to use Turkish ports and airports. France has blocked five chapters, arguing that they are related to Turkeys full membership in the EU, something Paris opposes.

    'Technically speaking, there are few chapters that could be opened. Because now we face more difficult chapters that require more difficult legislation for Turkey', Menat said. Among the five policy areas, he noted, only the economic and monetary-union chapter might actually be ready.

    In December, the EU Council will review the state of negotiations in accordance with its decision made in 2006 to introduce the implementation of the Ankara Protocol as a condition to open the eight frozen chapters. Many expect that at a time when the leaders of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots have committed themselves to a settlement and negotiations, the council will postpone the review. France confirmed that it shares this view, making postponement a strong option.

    Postponement'If the talks [in Cyprus] go in this direction, then the decision to postpone the review would be made', said the French director.

    'We can wait. There is no need to hurry. Of course, it will be in the hands of the Swedish presidency, and it is equally important what Cyprus will say. We hold this position for this reason: We dont want to run a new big public debate. It wont be useful'. The foreign ministry official also made sure, however, to note that this postponement would not be forever and that the main expectation from Turkey was to implement the protocol.

    [05] Mehmet Cakici assesses the Orams case

    Under the front page title No title deeds should be given for Greek Cypriot properties, Turkish Cypriot Afrika newspaper (22.06.09) reports on statements made by the General Chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici, on the verdict of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the Orams case.

    Evaluating the decision of the ECJ on the Orams case, Mr. Cakici said that the policy followed by the regime on the property issue in the northern part of Cyprus after 1974 has gone bankrupt and added that the verdict of the ECJ has brought the Turkish Cypriots into a difficult situation. Underling that this situation is the outcome of political decisions taken without bearing in mind the future, Mr. Cakici said that the responsibility is to be blamed on the governments of the National Unity Party (UBP), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Democratic Party (DP), which, starting from 1977, have made historic mistakes on the property issue.

    Noting that Turkey and the TRNC are bound by the international law and its decisions, Mr. Cakici also added that the international agreements have supremacy over the TRNC Constitution, therefore the ECJ verdicts are above our laws and are accepted.

    Mr. Cakici also noted that the verdict of the ECJ on the Orams case, does not only apply to the Orams couple itself, but it affects everyone who has built on Greek Cypriot property in the occupied part of Cyprus.


    [06] Yalcin Kucuk: It is impossible for Olgac to have killed prisoners of war

    Hurriyet (22.06.09) reports the following from Istanbul:

    Prof. Yalc1n Kucuk has testified to the prosecutor in the case of Turkish actor Atilla Olgac, who declared that he killed Greek Cypriots in 1974.

    After giving his testimony to prosecutor Ali Cak1r, Kucuk told reporters that it was impossible for Olgaç to have killed prisoners of war. 'This cannot happen in the war or in Turkish traditions', Küçük said. The two men served in the same military department in Cyprus. 'Atilla acted like he did his whole life. He takes the war as a theater', Kucuk said. Olgac admitted on a television show that he killed ten Greek Cypriot prisoners of war during Turkeys 1974 military operation in Cyprus. In January, the Bak1rkoy district s prosecutor s office initiated an investigation into the actor.

    The actor later retracted his statement, saying it was part of a role he was working on and claiming he would have said that during the television show, but did not have a chance because the program ended.

    Nevertheless, the prosecutor initiated the investigation based on the Geneva Convention. After the investigation, Olgac decided to request retirement.

    [07] New hospital to be built in occupied Morfou

    Turkish Cypriot Havadis newspaper (22.06.09) reports on statements made by the self styled minister of health, Ahmet Kasif, that works have been launched for the construction of a new hospital that will serve the needs of the habitants of the occupied area of Morfou and its surroundings. The paper further writes that Mr. Kasif noted that the Turkish Cypriot patients who suffer from cancer and heart problems receive treatment either in Turkey or in the free territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    On the same issue and under the title The cancer patients resort to the south, Turkish Cypriot Halkin Sesi newspaper (22.06.09) writes that Mr. Kasif further added that the number of patients suffering from cancer for the year 2008 in the occupied areas was 110.

    However, according to statements of the president of the Cancer Patients Aid Association, Raziye Kocaismail, the number of persons who applied to the Cancer Patients Aid Association for assistance was 500. Mrs Kocaismail stated that every two days three cases of cancer are determined in the occupied areas but the patients prefer to seek treatment in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. She went on and added that the only hope for the Turkish Cypriot cancer patients is the establishment of a University Medical Clinic at the illegal Near East University.


    [08] Turkish Pegasus airline connects illegal Tymvou airport with Brussels

    Under the title Pegasus connects Ercan with Brussels, Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (22.06.09) writes that the Turkish private airline company Pegasus launches as of today daily flights from Istanbul to Brussels. The paper reminds that the airline is conducting flights from the occupied Tymvou airport to Istanbul, therefore, passengers flying from occupied Cyprus can reach Brussels airport via Turkey.


    [09] The number of the travelers to the occupied areas in May 2009

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.06.09) reports that 182.367 persons travelled to and from the occupied areas of Cyprus in May 2009. According to figures given by the self-styled ministry of transportation and public works, 174.676 of these visitors used the illegal airports of the occupied areas of the island and 7.691 the seaports. According to the same figures, 734 airplanes landed at the illegal Tymvou airport and 733 departed from the same airport in May 2009. The paper writes that 304 ships came to the occupied ports of the island and 173 departed from there during the aforementioned period. The number of those who entered into the occupied areas through the illegal airports was 83.163, while 91.508 departed from there in May 2009.


    [10] Hurriyet reportage on casinos in the occupied areas. Embargo overcome, income for the illegal regime 500 million dollars

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (22.06.09), under the title Gambling was not blocked by the embargo, the TRNC won the poker, reports that the casinos in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus overcame the embargo which is one of the most important obstacles for poker. The paper reports that the occupation regime is preparing to host the The World Poker Tour (WPT), which is known as one of the most important poker tournaments of the world. The players of Texas Holdem Poker will visit the occupied areas. The Grand Casino club from the Net Holding companies, which is the owner of the casinos of Girne Merit, Mercure, Salamis Bay and Merit Lefkosia, took the license of Cyprus for WPT.

    Mr Aydogan Turay, the General Director of Grand Casino Club, said: It is very important that a business in Cyprus took this license. After Barcelonan and Venice, WPT in Europe will create a base in Cyprus. The WPT Merit Cyprus Classic Poker tournament will be held in Girne Merit hotel between 6-12 of September. Apart from this, in two weeks secondary tournaments will be organized for the biggest tournament which will be held in September. The dates of the tournaments in which the participants are mainly French, German, Lebanese, Iranian and Israelis, are announced as the 27th of June, the 11th of July, the 25th of July, the 8th of August and 23rd of August.

    Mr Turay also said that there is a great possibility for the tournament on September to be broadcast live. He also added that there will be overall promotion of the occupied areas with every part of the tournament. Mr Turay said that they want to promote the occupied areas to the whole world. They also became sponsor of the tournament Full Tilt, which is a poker site. Mr Turay explained that they expect around 300 new players for the first big tournament and added: Poker players from Norway, Romania, France, Israel, Greece, Britain, Russia and Kazakhstan will come. The participants will be from 15-20 countries. Thirty thousand people go in order to watch the poker players of the famous tournament which is held in Las Vegas. Our agreement is for three years. Mr Turay said that the poker stars like Daniel Negreanu, Chris Ferguson, Sam Farha will come to the occupied areas for the tournament.

    The paper also reports that the import trade in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus is 1.5 billion dollars and the export trade is 80 million dollars. The share of revenues from tourism in the gross national product is 378 million dollars. In fact, the 75 million dollars, which come from the casinos, are the 15-20 % of this figure. In this situation, the money that is gained from the casinos is as much as the export trade.

    The casinos pay yearly special license fee. And this forms the 40-50% of the tourism development and promotion fund. In addition to that taxes are paid for every game. Two euro is taken for taxes from the person who enters every casino. The paper also reports that the casinos have an overall contribution to the economy of the occupied areas by 500 million dollars.


    [11] The Libem Education Group was accredited by the world famous LCCI and EDI programs

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.06.09) reports that that the Libem Education Group in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus was accredited by the world famous LCCI (London Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and EDI (Educational Development International) programs which are recognized by 125 countries. The Libem Education Group which gave information on the issue during a press conference described this development as a great success.


    [12] The so-called ombudsman of the breakaway regime has participated in an international conference organized in Sweden

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.06.09) under the title, Ombudsman Onsav attended an international conference in Sweden, reports that Feridun Onsav, so-called ombudsman of the breakaway regime, has participated in the 9th Ombudsman International Conference organized in Swedens capital, Stockholm, by the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) between June 8 and 14. The conference was also attended by the Department Director, Zeki Gursel. According to t statements made by Mr Onsav, the first three days of the conference were for presentations. During the third day, Regional General Councils and a World General Council of the IOI took place as well. The conference was concluded with a ball were Queen Sylvia of Sweden and King Carl Gustav of Sweden attended in order to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Swedish Ombudsman.


    [13] The occupation regime wants to divert the trade from the government-controlled areas to the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (20.06.09) under the title, Measures will be taken to pass to the TRNC the trade that flows to South Cyprus, reports on statements of the newly appointed self-styled minister of work and social security, Mr Turkay Tokel. Mr Tokels statements came during a courtesy visit paid to him by a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (KTTO) chaired by Sua Saracoglu. Inter alia, Mr Tokel referred to the occupation regimes efforts to divert the trade from the government-controlled areas to the occupied areas of Cyprus. The necessary economic measures will be taken in order to pass to the TRNC the trade that flows in South Cyprus, Mr Tokel said. He added that these measures will be shared with the public opinion in the following days.


    [14] Guls trip to China aims to boost trade

    Hurriyet (22.06.09) reports the following from Ankara:

    President Abdullah Güls trip to China from June 23 to 29 will aim to strengthen the image of the Turkish products and its market, a top Turkish businessman said. 'The Chinese considered Turkey to be in the same category as Africa and Asia, instead of Europe. The Chinese saw Turkey as a market full of oblivious consumers and importers', the deputy chairman of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, Yavuz Onay, told daily Referans in an interview.

    Aside from various businessmen, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, State Minister Zafer Caglayan and Interior Minister Beir Atalay will accompany Gül to Beijing, Xian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Urumqi. Businessmen from both countries will also meet at the Turkish-Chinese Business Forum. Onay said expansion into the Chinese market was long delayed and neglected. "The question of image has also been neglected. If China can see Turkey as European, our path will be half opened. Our products will go through the door as European," said Onay. During Güls stay, exporting iron and steel as well as chromium and marble will be discussed to obtain high-technology imports from China.He said there have been problems in the Chinese market waiting to be solved for years and there are no noteworthy Chinese investments in Turkey. Expecting an increase of interest in Turkey from Chinese firms as a result of the trip, Onay said they were anticipating agreements to be signed. Although the agreements will not have a binding form, Onay said through the "build-operate-transfer" model, they are aiming to attract Chinese high-technology investments. He said this could be another dimension to enhance Turkish exports.

    Emphasizing that entrance into the Chinese market was overdue, 'For the ones who turn to China now, it will be difficult. The costs are increased. The firms investing there are bigger than the firms who think they are the greatest firms in Turkey', said Onay.The trade volume between the two countries is around $17 billion, according to 2008 figures.


    [15] From the Turkish Press of 20-21-22 June 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 20, 21, 22 June 2009:

    a) Cyprus problem

    Viewing Turkey's Cyprus policy in an article in Referans (19.06.09), Mensur Akgun maintains that with the exception of the impasses regarding eight chapters in Turkish-EU negotiations one cannot say that Turkey has so far paid a high price for its non-action on the Cyprus issue. If the Cyrus problem is not resolved or if it is not resolved in favor of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots this price can be heavier, writes Akgun, adding that the developments concerning the Orams case and the suits filed with the European Court of Human rights, ECHR, indicate that the financial price Turkey might have to pay will be very heavy. Alleging that the EU supports the Greek Cypriots, Akgun says that the information leaking from the current negotiations being held behind closed doors indicate that the Greek Cypriots do not intend to reach conciliation and that they are trying to impose their solution on the Turkish side. The writer continues: 'The political and diplomatic consequences of the rejection by the Turkish Cypriots of a plan for a solution to be signed without it being well negotiated might be more difficult to bear than the continuation of the status quo'. Urging the Turkish government to apply its diplomatic weight on the Cyprus issue in a bid to alter the balances, Akman stresses the need for diplomatic initiatives that will prevent the Greek Cypriots from feeling strong, adding that placing the Annan Plan once again on the agenda might rescue the Turkish Cypriots from their current isolation. The writer concludes by urging Prime Minister Erdogan to allocate more time to the Cyprus issue and to launch new initiatives.

    b) Assessment of presidential elections in Iran

    Questioning whether Turkey was too quick in congratulating President Ahmadinezhad for his election victory in an article in Milliyet (19.06.09), Sami Kohen notes that unlike Ankara, Western countries are waiting for the protests on the legitimacy of the elections to die down and for the situation to be clarified. Kohen quotes a high-ranking official who justified this hasty congratulation by saying that Turkey is Iran's neighbor and that, therefore, it has different relations and interests, adding that Turkish officials did not expect the opposition to the election results to reach the current proportions. Circles in Ankara that are following the developments in Iran concede that Iran has entered a period of uncertainty, writes Kohen, concluding that countries that are closely interested in Iran, including the United States, have now adopted a "wait and see" policy.

    In an article entitled "Counter-Revolution in Iran: Will heads roll?" in Yeni Safak (19.06.09) columnist Ibrahim Karagul disputes the allegations of fraud in the Iranian elections based on a letter claiming that Ahmadinezhad actually obtained only 14 percent of the vote to come third in the elections rather than winning the support of 63 percent of the Iranian people. Karagul claims that while the election fraud allegations should be taken seriously, there cannot be any state authority in the world capable of misrepresenting 14 percent support for a presidential candidate as 63 percent. He also compares Western objections to the official results of the Iranian elections to "Israel's punishment of the Palestinians because they elected Hamas into power" and argues that the current events in Iran are the result of a Western bid to use the "throes of change" in this country as a means of provoking a destructive counter-revolution.

    In Sabah (20.06.09) Erdal Safak makes an analysis of the structure of the regime and the elections in Iran in a column entitled 'To understand Iran'. He argues that Ayatollah Khamene'i's authority has to be safeguarded so that the complicated structure of the regime, which is based on many balances, can survive and notes: A president supported by the people might pave the way for a debate on the authority of the leader of the revolution. 'That is why Khamene'i determined the winner of the presidential elections before the ballot boxes were opened, in fact even before the people went to the polls'. Stressing that Khamene'i would create a threat to the authority he took over from Khomeyni if he 'surrenders to the street and cancels the outcome of the elections, Safak asserts: 'However, another problem is this: Khamene'i will sow the seeds of a regime crisis if he insists on his decision and continues to support Ahmedinezhad until the end, regardless of the people's reaction'.

    In an article entitled "Assessing Iran", in Yeni Safak (20.06.09), columnist Fehmi Koru argues that given the complexity of Iranian politics, it does not make much sense to use generalizing labels like "reformist" and "conservative" in reference to Mousavi and Ahmadinezhad. Stressing what he presents as the misleading quality of such characterizations, he claims that describing Mousavi as pro-Western and moderate prompts the question of why Israel's "hard-line" Prime Minister Netanyahu and "many neo-nuts" did not feel the need to hide their expectation that Ahmadinezhad would emerge victorious from the elections. He also argues that regardless of whoever prevails in the ongoing conflict in Iran, Tehran would be well advised to look into establishing closer ties with Ankara in the coming period.

    Despite the fact that following Ali Khamenei's Friday sermon US President Obama has noted that the Iranian Administration should understand that the entire world is monitoring the developments in this country and despite the fact that he has expressed concern regarding the tone used by Khamenei, the US Administration insistently refrains from adopting a clear stand on the developments in Iran in order to ensure that the Iranian leaders do not claim that foreign forces want to create chaos in the country, says Cengiz Candar in his article in Referans (21.06.09). Whether or not the elections were rigged is no longer the problem, argues Candar and adding: "We have reached a point where Khamenei's 'moral superiority' and, in a way, his 'legitimacy' are being debated. The fact that the 'guide' has led the Friday prayers and the fact that he has backed Ahmadinezhad in a 'political sermon' are proofs of the deadlock reached by Iran's spiritual leader." Asserting that even if the Iranian regime chooses to use violence against the demonstrators, Iran will never be the same, Candar underlines that the developments in Iran will have an impact on the balances in Iraq, the entire Gulf, Lebanon, and the Middle East as well as on the entire international system. Candar says: "Is it possible for a Hizballah that has lost votes in the latest elections to continue to become influential with a shaken Iran? Will Iran's influence on Iraq weaken in comparison to the past?" Also questioning whether "the regional axis" that Iran has established together with Syria will maintain its influence, Candar asks whether or not Turkey will be drawn to the "sphere of influence" that Iran will be forced to evacuate. If Iran safeguards its regime by engaging in violence, will it try to reconcile with the West or will it become more aggressive in a way that reaches dangerous dimensions," asks Candar.

    In an article with the title "Musavi should not attempt to change his fate," in Vakit (21.06.09) columnist Ayhan Bilgin says that the United States and Israel were expected to mobilize their collaborators in Iran in order to unseat Ahmedinezhad who they regard as the biggest threat to their national interests because he courageously thwarts all plots hatched against the Iranian regime and thus inspired hopes among all Muslims and the oppressed. Emphasizing that Musavi's supporters will not be able to topple Ahmadinezhad or to change any fundamental characteristic of the Iranian regime, Bilgin says that Musavi should advise his supporters to stop protests immediately. He comments: "If he does not, Husseyin Musavi will probably share Benisadr's fate and gallows will be set up on streets in order to execute his supporters who are being used by the CIA and Mosad. Iran is no longer a country that could be captured by evil powers."

    In her article entitled "Both the groom and the bride in Iran are the members of our community," in Vakit (21.06.09) columnist Sibel Eraslan argues that the presidential election in Iran should be regarded as a democratic experience within the country rather than an issue concerning its regime. Pointing out that Musavi was one of the key advisers to Khomeini and should, therefore, not be expected to change the Iranian regime, she says: "Despite all action and debates triggered by the Iranian election, the winner is the Iranian people. The election is not between Ahmedinezhad and Musavi. We must see that it is between Khomeini and Khomeini."

    Finally Lauding Khamenei for his statesmanlike handling of the crisis in Iran and for taking care to prevent a political divide in Iran in her article entitled "I envied Khamenei's address," in Milli Gazete (21.06.09) columnist Afet Ilgaz comments: "I do not know much about the shortcomings of the Iranian government. I also have no idea about economic problems and whether or not allegations of corruption are true. But, it seems that there are some social rights demanded by young Iranian girls. In fact, they should have no serious problems given that they only cover half of their hair, wear make-up which seems to be more visible than that put up by Turkish women, their right to be elected to Parliament, and appointment of Musavi's wife as a university president. In addition, they took off their headscarves during recent protests. I hope that they will not learn the value of a national government through bitter experience."

    c) On the Obama administration

    In a commentary in Vakit (20.06.09) entitled 'Has the United States changed? ', Huseyin Yazicioglu argues that Obama's election as the United States' new president is a continuation of a new strategic process whose theoretical foundations were laid in the 1990s by arguments about "the end of history" and a "clash of civilizations" and whose practical manifestations have included the more recent 9/11 and the Broader Middle East Project. He also asserts that Obama's election has not entailed any changes in the United States' "imperialist" agenda and that the US effort to represent Turkey as a model Muslim/democratic state to the Islamic world reflects an anxiety to use Turkey as a means of manipulating Muslim countries and isolating Iran.

    In an article entitled "Obama's 'new language' affects the Middle East in Zaman (20.06.09), columnist Sahin Alpay comments on recent developments signaling a trend toward 'peace and stability in the Middle East' such as a recent 'unprecedented' statement by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is 'under pressure from Obama to accept a two-state solution', announcing that Israel might recognize a Palestinian state.

    Barack Obama is the first US President who has apologized to Iran for the 1953 incidents, says Murat Yetkin in his article in Radikal (21.06.09) and recounts how the United States had enabled the Iranian shah to come to power again in 1953 for the sake of oil. The results of the Anglo-American blow that had been struck for the sake of oil against the newly-blossoming Iranian democracy in 1953 continues to change the political balances in all the regional countries including Turkey, says Yetkin and recalls that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had also become aware of how this action, which had then served the strategic interests of the Eisenhower administration, had led to destructive results in the region and that she had almost apologized to Iran in 2000. It may be possible to oppress the demands of the people through interventions and coups for some time, but the results of such interventions have always been destructive and they have taken the countries backward, stresses Yetkin and says: "We are able to establish this fact for the 1960, the 1971, and the 1980 coups as well as the 1997 interventions in Turkey."

    d) On the recent EU Summit

    Ferai Tinc, in an article in Hurriyet (21.06.09), explains that with the inclusion of Turkey's name in the EU Leaders' Summit final communique, Turkey will encounter a new criterion in the negotiation process with the EU and it will be forced to sign an agreement with Europe regarding illegal migration. This will pave the path for the return of the illegal migrants who will illegally cross the border to Greece, notes Tinc and underlines that Turkey has refrained from insisting on simplifying visa procedures for Turkish citizens due to the fact that in return, Brussels wants Turkey to keep within its borders the refugees who want to go to Europe through illegal routes. Drawing attention to the fact that Prime Minister Erdogan announced that he will not attend the opening of the Acropolis Museum following the inclusion of Turkey in the final communique, Tinc says: "Is it true that Prime Minister Erdogan has cancelled his visit due to health reasons? Yesterday in acropolis many tried to solve this riddle."

    e) Withdrawal of US troops from Iraq

    According to a report by Bahadir Selim Dilek in Cumhuriyet (21.06.09) the military airports in Diyarbakir and Malatya as well as the seaports in Mersin or Iskenderun will be used during the withdrawal process. The process will shape in line with the number of troops that will withdraw, whether or not the United States will leave some of the heavy weapons to the Iraqi Army, the troops that will primarily withdraw, and the route that will be used, says that report and adds that an authorization will be required from the National Assembly for the transfer of heavy weapons and armored vehicles by land.


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