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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-08

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] Talat argues that Turkey will not open its ports for Cyprus
  • [02] Bagis argued that Ankara had fulfilled its responsibilities towards Cyprus and expressed the view that the opening of the Turkish ports will not mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] Eroglu: We will not abandon the sovereignty
  • [04] The British High Commissioner visited the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture of the occupation regime
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot Coordination Council was established in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [06] Figures on the imports and exports between Turkey and the illegal regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] European analyst says suspension of Turkeys EU negotiations is unlikely
  • [08] AKP is reportedly looking to support other candidates than Toptan for position of the speaker of the TGNA

  • [09] Columnist in Sabah assesses the US Stance on the Army-Government tension in Turkey
  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 06 July 2009


    [01] Talat argues that Turkey will not open its ports for Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.07.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that he does not think that Turkey will open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus in case the non-solution of the Cyprus problem continues until the end of the year.

    In statements yesterday during a breakfast with a delegation of journalists of Kibris, Mr Talat evaluated the opening of the Turkish ports as taking a step backwards at the Cyprus negotiations and argued that such a step would create a handicap in the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the lifting of the so-called isolations of the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Talat said that this means the opening of the illegal Tymvou airport for international flights and the operation of the occupied port of Famagusta without objections.

    Mr Talat referred to the negotiating process between himself and President Christofias and said that the concessions given in the Annan Plan on the territorial issue are not valid now. Mr Talat said that five years passed since 2004 and that the people settled more in their areas and noted: Our aim is a mechanism, a map and a territorial adjustment where less of our people will be relocated. Mr Talat said that some criteria will exist on the issue, after the settlement of the property problem and gave as example that the discussion of the map will be carried out during the last stage, after establishing the criteria of the property to be returned to the Greek Cypriots. He added the following:

    There are adjustments on the map in my mind. We worked on them during the period of the Annan Plan as well. During that period we even discussed many alternatives. However, I have not brought these to a complete, concrete point in the conditions of today. The drafts are ready, work has been done on them, but they have not been turned into a concrete proposal.

    Mr Talat said that they are exerting efforts to keep this issue very secret at this stage and pointed out that if there is going to be no solution, discussing a map and causing worry to the people is meaningless.

    Reiterating that they want to secure that less people comparing to the Annan Plan will be relocated, Mr Talat reminded that the number of these people in the plan was 45 thousands and added that they will exert efforts to bring this number down as much as possible. Mr Talat did not reply to the question of how he thinks to reduce this number and on whether he thinks of doing this by reducing the number of the areas to be returned.

    Mr Talat said that the non-solution does not suit the Turkish Cypriots and that if a solution is not reached the doors will never be opened for them. He claimed that they do not have to accept the unacceptable suggestions of the Greek Cypriot side saying that the solution is the only alternative and noted that they are trying to carry out the negotiating process within the framework of their reasonable and moderate proposals and policies.

    Pointing out to the importance of having views which could be accepted by the world, understood by the United Nations and explained and propagandized in as many countries as possible, Mr Talat claimed:

    If all these happen, we could keep to the minimum level the damage caused to us by the non-solution. In fact this is what we are doing now. This is also the source of keeping to the minimum the isolation faced since 2004 with the Turkish Cypriots saying yes to the Annan Plan and of minimizing the damage caused from this isolation. We should not spoil this.

    Mr Talat referred to the example of the process regarding the declaration of independence of Kosovo and said that Kosovo carried out this process in cooperation with some member-countries of the UN Security Council and some other countries and in the end it declared its independence and it was recognized by many countries. The messing up of the international law which with the declaration of independence of Kosovo is not less than the messing up we caused, he claimed and alleged: The UN Security Council should have accused Kosovo at least as much as it accused us, but it did not do it.

    Mr Talat referred to the expenses of the breakaway regime for lobbying abroad and said that the annual expenses of his office are 200 thousand pound sterling.

    Referring to the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Mr Talat argued that because of the fact that the role of the Church in the elections has been marginalized, this role is limited and the Church has lost its influence.


    [02] Bagis argued that Ankara had fulfilled its responsibilities towards Cyprus and expressed the view that the opening of the Turkish ports will not mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.07.09) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Minister of State and Chief negotiator Egemen Bagis has said that Ankara had fulfilled its responsibilities when it came to the Cyprus Problem.

    He said that the Cyprus Problem should not be set as an obstacle in Turkeys EU membership process.

    The Turkish Minister of State also said that Ankara was prepared to open its ports to Greek Cypriot traffic if direct trade started with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Speaking at a meeting attended by high level representatives of various news agencies and media organizations, the Turkish Minster of State and Chief negotiator Egemen Bagis said he did not believe that Turkey had any deficiencies on the Cyprus Problem.

    He said that the opening of Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot traffic will not mean Ankara will recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    Let direct trade begin with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cypruslet us see their good will, and we will open our ports to Greek Cypriot traffic he added.

    Stating that he did not perceive the end of 2009 as a possible breaking point in Turkey-EU relations, the Turkish Minster of State said that Ankaras EU process was a difficult one that required patience.

    Bagis also expressed the view that a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus Problem will be in time.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.07.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for the EU talks Egemen Bagis said on Tuesday that re-opening of Heybeliada Seminary should be considered as a domestic affair to meet needs of the citizens who share the same territory for centuries.

    Similarly, Greece should take a simultaneous step for the solution of the problems of Turks who are citizens of Greece and who live in Western Thrace. This is a simultaneous goodwill step of a country towards solution of the problems of its own citizens, Bagis said while speaking at a meeting attended by high ranking executives of news agencies, televisions and newspapers.

    Bagis said he opposed to showing of Heybeliada Seminary as an alternative to Cyprus issue.

    Bagis said he did not think Turkey had any deficiency on Cyprus question in EU process, and noted that, If direct trade starts with the TRNC and if we see goodwill, we will open the ports. He said Cyprus question will have a fair solution in time.

    The Turkish minister said EU process would not be easy for Turkey, stating that patience was necessary. Bagis underlined that Turkey was open to dialogue.

    Bagis said 4,000 pages of the 100,000 acquis were translated, noting that a special unit would be formed for the translation of the remaining part.

    [03] Eroglu: We will not abandon the sovereignty

    Under the front page We will not abandon the sovereignty, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (08.07.09) reports on statements made yesterday by the self styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu during a meeting with representatives from the fighters associations in the framework of the celebration activities for the 35th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus. According to the paper, Mr. Eroglu said:

    We are a nation which protects its sovereignty, its state, its freedom. During these days when we are approaching July 20th, we will not stop from protecting the TRNC and its sovereignty and from proclaiming to the world our rights.

    Referring to the negotiation process, Mr. Eroglu said that it should be made known that the Turkish Cypriots could not abandon their earned rights at the table in order for a viable agreement to be reached.

    Touching on the economy, Dervis Eroglu said that a strong economy will strengthen the Turkish Cypriots at the negotiations and added that they exert efforts for the illegal regime to overcome the difficulties in the economy by implementing programs and plans and taking steps slowly.


    [04] The British High Commissioner visited the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture of the occupation regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (08.07.09) reports that the British High Commissioner, Peter Millet, visited yesterday the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture of the occupation regime, Ersan Saner.

    During the complementary visit, Mr Millet was accompanied by David Reed, the Deputy Secretary Responsible for British High Commissions Turkish Affairs.

    According to the paper, the self-styled minister informed the British High Commissioner about the tourist tours and the investments on tourism made in the occupied areas. He also gave him information about the culture, tourism and environmental policy of the ministry. Moreover, Saner and Millet exchanged views on what can be done on tourism regarding the British market which is the second biggest market for the tourism of the breakaway regime after Turkey.


    [05] The Turkish Cypriot Coordination Council was established in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (08.07.09) reports that a new organization under the name of Turkish Cypriot Coordination Council (KTKK) was established in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The new organization is putting under its roof some organizations which are active in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus and abroad. According to the paper, the aim of the new organization is to extend the cooperation of these organizations under the roof of the KTKK and to resist against the dangers which the Turkish Cypriots area facing.


    [06] Figures on the imports and exports between Turkey and the illegal regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title, Our trade is with Turkey, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (08.07.09) writes that the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus continues to carry out the biggest part of its trade with Turkey. The paper refers to data published in the occupied areas regarding the trade that was conducted with Turkey during the last four years. In total, the volume of imports conducted between the illegal regime and Turkey has reached 3 billion 981 million 795 thousand 684 US dollars and only goods of 155 million 697 thousand 642 US dollars value were exported to Turkey during the last four years, the paper writes.

    The paper further writes that while in 2005 the value of the goods, which were imported from Turkey, reached 817.348.068 US dollars, in 2006 the value of the same goods reached 946.978.969 US dollars. In 2007 these goods reached 1.044.965.855 US dollars and in 2008 1.172.502.792 US dollars. In 2005, the value of goods exported to Turkey from occupied Cyprus reached 34.144.201 US dollars, whereas in 2006 this number dropped to 30.875.362 US dollars. In 2007, the volume of the exports to Turkey from occupied Cyprus reached 48.907.443 US dollars. In 2008 the volume of exports dropped to 41.770.636 US dollars.

    In addition, the paper writes that the biggest amount of money was spent for importing fuels from Turkey. In detail, the value of fuels imported from Turkey in 2008 is as follows: fuel oil 134.045.939 US dollars, diesel oil 59.537.987 US dollars and unleaded petrol 47.261.745 US dollars.

    The breakaway regime has moreover imported clothing of 31.878.850 US dollars value, medicine of 25.225.795 US dollars and furniture of 24.651.886 US dollars. According to the data, oranges are the product exported the most by the illegal regime to Turkey. In 2008, the value of goods exported to Turkey is as follows: Oranges 10.709.585 US dollars, kashar cheese 5.786.711 US dollars, raki liquid 5.210.204 US dollars and halloumi cheese 4.050.758 US dollars.


    [07] European analyst says suspension of Turkeys EU negotiations is unlikely

    Turkish Daily Todays Zaman newspaper (08.07.09) publishes the following:

    Turkey will face a crunch point in December as its status is reviewed in the upcoming European Council report evaluating the country's progress in fulfilling its obligations, but a suspension of negotiations is not likely, a European analyst has said.

    William Chislett, a former Financial Times journalist who has written extensively on Spain and Turkey for the Elcano Royal Institute, Spain's leading think tank, stated in his recent report, Turkey's EU Accession Reaches an Impasse, that talk of the suspension due to Turkey's failure to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot ships and aircraft is most unlikely because it would require a unanimous vote by all 27 EU countries.

    Several of the big EU nations, such as the UK and Spain, would not be prepared to go so far, he wrote.

    In the best-case scenario, probably the most likely, he added, Turkey would be warned about the consequences of not meeting its obligations and given more time as both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot presidents are negotiating about the reunification of the island.

    A successful conclusion to these negotiations could lead to another referendum in 2010 on the issue, and a yes' vote on both sides would undoubtedly make it much easier for [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan to implement the protocol, he stated.

    If this happens, the eight chapters blocked by the European Commission as of December 2006 would be opened, he added.

    In 2006, the EU suspended negotiations on eight chapters due to Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to traffic from Greek Cyprus. The relations further soured in the run-up to the European Parliament elections in June when conservative and far-right politicians gained strength in their opposition to Turkey's membership.

    Chislett noted that the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, backed by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants Turkey to have a privileged partnership with the EU.

    The partnership idea, which has never been fully spelled out and is rejected by Turkey, may gain momentum as a result of the greater share of seats in the European Parliament won by extreme right-wing parties in June's European elections, he pointed out. It is assumed that under a partnership deal Turkey would be integrated in European defense, security and foreign policy mechanisms, with eventual full membership in the relevant decision-making bodies.

    However, Chislett stated as a member of NATO Turkey has already spent 57 years defending Europe and stated that it doesn't offer Turkey any privileges.

    A privileged partnership offers no new privileges to Turkey and by excluding it from decision-making enforces the growing feeling in Turkey that the most the country can expect is to be treated as a second-class European citizen because it is poor, large and Muslim.

    He also noted that Turkey has already spent 46 years in the EU's anteroom, since becoming an associate member of the then European Economic Community in 1963.

    Failure to make Turkey a full member, assuming it meets all the criteria one day, like all other countries that have negotiated their membership, would also erode the EU's credibility by showing to the world that it does not keep its word. The basic principle of Roman law pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be kept) is part of the European cultural heritage.

    Ergenekon case: historic opportunity

    In his 32-page report Chislett explores such issues as politics, the reform process, the results of March's local elections, relations with Armenia, the Kurdish issue, Turkey's foreign policy, economy, and the trial of Ergenekon, which is accused of fomenting chaos to trigger a coup to overthrow the government.

    This case represents an historic opportunity to confront what is known in Turkey as the deep state,' a state within a state, and assert civilian control over the army, he stated.

    He also evaluated Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which has adopted a much slower pace of reform compared to its reformist first three years after it won the 2002 general election.

    Once accession negotiations began in earnest, after October 2005, and the economic and political cost of EU reforms began to be felt, the AK Party's initial enthusiasm waned, sapped, to some extent, by the anti-membership statements coming out of Paris and Berlin and a feeling that however hard it might try, the door would never be opened.

    As another reason that may have influenced the AK Party's stagnancy in adopting reforms, he brought up the European Court of Human Rights' decision in 2005 to uphold Turkey's ban on headscarves on university campuses.

    It is said to have marked a turning point for Erdogan [whose wife wears the headscarf] as he had hoped a favorable ruling would have enabled him to relax the rigidly secular norms and usher in more personal religious freedom in the public space.

    He also noted that support for the EU in Turkey is declining, from as much as 71 percent in 2004 down to 42 percent in 2008 according to Eurobarometer surveys. The full report is available at the Web site of the Elcano Royal Institute.

    [08] AKP is reportedly looking to support other candidates than Toptan for the position of the speaker of the TGNA

    Todays Zaman newspaper (08.07.09) reports the following:

    As current Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan's term of office is to end on August 20, discussions about possible replacements have gained momentum within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which is likely to determine who the new speaker will be in the elections to be held in Parliament on August 4-5 since it has the majority of seats in Parliament.

    The first two rounds of parliament speaker elections will be held on August 4 If a candidate receives a two-thirds majority in either of the first two rounds, he or she will be elected. If a new parliament speaker is not elected at the end of two rounds, the candidates who receive the most votes will run in the third and fourth rounds.

    Last time, the ruling party elected Toptan in the first round thanks to the support of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Whether the AK Party candidate will be supported by the CHP during this year's elections depends on the candidate to be nominated. The CHP, which expects Toptan to be nominated again, does not plan to support any other nominations by the AK Party.

    However, some AK Party members have expressed displeasure regarding Toptan. Despite reports stating that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has implied that Toptan will be re-elected and the signs Toptan gave about being re-nominated after a meeting with the party's parliamentary group deputy chairmen, Toptan's performance over the past two years has not satisfied the majority of AK Party members. A number of AK Party deputies are currently working to prevent his nomination and have voiced their displeasure to the party administration at every opportunity. They are planning to boycott the elections if Erdogan nominates Toptan again.

    One of the main reasons behind the AK Party deputies' opposition to Toptan was his stance after the Constitutional Court nullified a package of amendments that would have lifted the headscarf ban. After the nullification decision, Erdogan visited Toptan and said Parliament should not remain silent since its authority had been usurped by the court. Yet, Toptan did not react to the decision as parliament speaker.

    The second reason for the deputies' disappointment was his indecisive stance on a recent law that allows civilian courts to try members of the armed forces. While he was expected to pay visits to party leaders to win their support, Toptan simply issued a general call, disappointing many AK party deputies. Just like CHP deputies, Toptan said he had not been notified about the content of the legislation, drawing huge criticism from his party. Toptan is also seen as an obstacle in the way of bringing a new constitution before Parliament.

    Rather than specific names, AK Party members are discussing the qualities a parliament speaker should possess. According to these discussions, the new parliament speaker should take genuine steps on drafting a new constitution. He should have a democratic and civil worldview. An AK Party deputy who asked to remain anonymous said: The new parliament speaker should be as democratic as Bulent Arinc and as reconciliatory as Toptan. Yet, he should not be as sharp as Arinc or as passive as Toptan.

    Since the stance of the new parliament speaker is of crucial importance for the continuation of democratic reforms to be carried out by the government, expectations for the new parliament speaker are high among AK Party deputies.

    In this atmosphere, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, former Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, former Education Minister Huseyin Celik, Kirikkale deputy Vahit Erdem and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul are among those seen as possible candidates for the post. With the election of the parliament speaker, the AK Party will also determine new deputy parliamentary group chairmen to replace Nihat Ergun and Sadullah Ergin, who have become ministers.


    [09] Columnist in Sabah assesses the US Stance on the Army-Government tension in Turkey

    Turkish Sabah online newspaper (06.07.09) published the following commentary by Omer Taspinar under the title: Democracy in Turkey and the United States:

    As Turkey witnesses the most serious developments in the field of civilian-military ties in the history of the republic, it is necessary to answer the following question: How does Washington look at these developments. Yes, but which Washington are we talking about? After all, there is utter confusion regarding Turkey in Washington. Two different fronts and two different viewpoints are trying to persuade each other. Roughly speaking, the situation is as follows: Circles that do not like the AKP [Justice and Development Party] at all and that believe that there is a serious risk of Islamization in Turkey take place in the first group. Islam and secularity constitute their basic reference points for explaining the developments in Turkey. They believe that the Islamic mentality represented by the AKP is behind developments such as the 1 March motion [for the stationing of US troops in Turkey and the passage of US troops to northern Iraq], Khalid Mish'al's visit, and the Davos incident. In addition to the Neo-Cons who have considerably weakened lately, persons who are not associated with the Neo-Cons in any way whatsoever take place in this group.

    The second front includes a group that looks at the AKP government relatively more favorably and that believes that it is necessary to win back Turkey that had been lost during Bush's term. This front works closely with Obama and Hillary Clinton. Islam is not their reference point in the way they look at the AKP. Unlike certain names in the Bush administration, they do not see Turkey as the rising star of the Islamic world. They use a stronger criterion as a reference point: the EU and the democratic reforms.

    It is necessary to underline this point here. The second front adopts a very cautious "realistic" approach with regard to the civilian-military ties in Turkey due to the fact that it does not want to see political tension, a memorandum, or a crisis in Turkey. According to the second front, Ergenekon is a dark endless well. It creates further tension in the already polarized political atmosphere in Turkey. Therefore, rather than further analyzing Ergenekon, the second front looks at the democratic reforms which are more transparent and which can be monitored. It is exactly for this reason that it takes the EU reform process more seriously than the Ergenekon case.

    The 2007-2009 Process Was Wasted

    Similarly, they believe for the same reason that Turkey has missed an important opportunity in the aftermath of 22 July 2007. They have difficulty in understanding how, rather than preparing a broad constitution that is in line with the EU, the AKP -- slightly because it was trapped by the MHP [Nationalist Action Party] focused on a very difficult issue such as the headscarf. In conclusion, the second front in the United States believes that Turkey has wasted the period from 2007 to 2009 and that it has given the enemies of Turkey in the EU material to be used against Turkey.

    The fact that this group really wants Turkey to become an EU member is what basically differentiates it from the first group. The Neo-Cons from the Bush era hated Europe at least as much as they hated the AKP and they believed that the AKP supported the EU reform process just because it wanted to weaken the Turkish Armed Forces which constituted the guarantee of secularity in Turkey.

    Given all this, it is not difficult to guess what kind of a position had been adopted by the Neo-Con front with regard to Ergenekon and the civilian-military ties. There could be nothing more normal for the EU enemies in Turkey and the EU enemies in the United States to have a natural alliance, but the unity between the ultra-nationalists and the Neo-Cons had not lasted long because both flows had become alienated from their countries. The Neo-Cons in the United States and the ultranationalists in Turkey rowed against the major democratic change in their societies. In conclusion the democratic wave both in the United States and in Turkey was revealed to be stronger than this kind of artificial alliances. Despite everything, there may be certain power centers, albeit marginal, in Washington that want an oligarchic Ankara that may be controlled more easily under military tutelage. The best answer to this is Turkey's fearless progress en route to the EU. In fact this is what the Obama administration wants. There are at least two years without elections ahead of us. There are no more pretexts. We have two long years during which there will be no need for populism. Turkey and the AKP should not miss this opportunity again. Ergenekon is important, but the EU process is more important.

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 07 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 07 July 2009:

    a) On the draft bill allowing civilian courts to try Military Personnel

    Yusuf Kanli pens an article in Hurriyet Daily, reflecting on the possibilities that President Abdullah Gul faces regarding the draft bill authorizing civilian courts to try army officials. Portraying the situation as one where "the president is compelled to get hold of a stick both ends of which are dirty," Kanli maintains that, according to the "leaks" from the presidential office, Gul probably "will not use his veto power."

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily, Mehmet Ali Birand draws a parallel between the reasons behind army's objection to the draft bill allowing civilian courts to try military personnel and the objection of the Justice and Development Party, AKP, to lifting the immunity of deputies. Birand points out that the basic reason behind the objections of the army and the AKP is the "disbelief in justice," that is, the fear that the prosecutors will act based on political reasons. Birand asserts that a reform in the justice system is essential, adding: "As long as justice reform cannot be realized and this country is not placed on stable ground, artificial precautions won't do any good."

    Hikmet Cetinkaya also questions the independence of the judiciary in Turkey in his article in Cumhuriyet. Recalling that Turkey is ruled by the constitution and the laws drawn up by the "military junta" that came to power with the 12 September 1980 coup, Cetinkaya maintains that the real question is whether the civilian justice system is truly independent. He argues that, until now, governments practically made no amendments to the constitution or to the laws regarding elections and political parties, adding that AKP's said draft bill aims at interrogating and prosecuting the military personnel in the judicial system that is dependent on the AKP. Pointing out that democracy can be attained by changing the laws and constitution of the 12 September coup, Cetinkaya urges the parliament to amend the said law based on the principle of "judicial unity" by allowing the civilian courts to try the military personnel as well as lifting the immunity of officials.

    In his article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila writes that President Gul has not yet reached a decision on whether to approve the said bill. Recounting that Gul is keen on exploring the issue thoroughly and asked his judicial advisers to examine if the bill is in accordance with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and EU regulations, Bila notes that the military, on the other hand, argues that the ECHR has no problems with the military judiciary.

    In an article with the title "The General staff's objections", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru disagrees with the General Staff's following objections, as summarized by Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin and Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila, to the recently passed bill that makes civilian trial possible for members of the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK: 1. The arrangement is contrary to Article 145 of the Constitution. 2. It violates the inviolability of military zones. 3. It will cause an authority conflict between the civilian and military judiciary.

    b) Turkey-US-Russia Ties

    In an article in Hurriyet, Erdal Saglam refers to the talks held between the United States and Russia and maintains that these talks have the potential to influence future global policy and the balances of power. All the issues discussed concern Turkey, Saglam notes, adding that the energy cooperation, however, is certainly the issue that concerns Turkey the most. Pointing out that Turkey is recently changing its energy policy and getting closer to Russia, Saglam wonders how the US-Turkish ties will be affected by the "strategic cooperation" between Turkey and Russia. "Strangely, the names of companies and businessmen close to the AKP are mentioned in all the projects," writes Saglam, and concludes that the government should not endanger national interests in favor of party supporters.

    An editorial with the title "Anchoring Turkey to Europe via Nabucco" in Hurriyet Daily views the intergovernmental agreement to be signed in the Nabucco project on 13 July, dwelling on Turkey's energy policy in the future. The editorial notes that signing the agreement will be a historic step in EU's attempts toward forming a coherent energy security policy, adding that it is also a significant step that turns Turkey into an "energy hub in the region, thus increasing its already important geo-strategic positioning." Criticizing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for "linking Nabucco with the opening of the energy chapter for the full membership negotiations," the article concludes: "Turkey should play its cards more openly and prove to everyone that it is a trustworthy partner in transferring energy to the entire world."


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