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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-10-14

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] The 56.80% of the persons in the occupied areas do not support the government policy on the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Ercakica tries to exploit the cancellation of the Toros military exercise as a gesture
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot attended a European Liberal Forum organized in Lisbon
  • [04] Initiatives will be taken by the illegal regime to turn the occupied part of Cyprus into an island of information in ten years
  • [05] Abdullatif Sener, chairman of the newly established Turkish Party in Turkey met with the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu.
  • [06] A man was arrested on illegal meat trading from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [07] Egemen Bagis to visit Athens on November 5
  • [08] Joint declaration by Turkey and Syria after the meeting of the Turkish-Syrian Strategic Cooperation Council. Statements by Davutoglu
  • [09] The 13th International Business Forum Congress was held in Cairo

  • [10] The illegal settlers from Turkey are seen as the source of the problems the breakaway regime is facing in all fields; The total population is estimated between 600-800 thousand
  • [11] Lagendijks assessment of the EU-Turkey progress report: EU to Turkey: You should have done more, stick to your promises and stop bickering in Parliament
  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 13 October 2009


    [01] The 56.80% of the persons in the occupied areas do not support the government policy on the Cyprus problem

    Under the title No support, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (14.10.09) publishes today the third part of a public opinion poll conducted by the Redborder Research Company on its behalf, as regards the support towards the policy that the government follows on the Cyprus problem. The paper notes that the researchers met face to face with 500 persons.

    According to the results of the opinion poll, 56.80% of the persons asked stated that they do not support the government policy on the Cyprus problem, 38.90% stated that they support it and 4.30% did not give an answer.

    As regards the distribution of this percentage in the various areas in occupied Cyprus, in occupied Lefkosia the 59.20% do not support the government Cyprus problem policy and the 29.60% supports it, in Famagusta 53.20% do not support the policy and 46.80% support. As regards occupied Keryneia and Morfou the persons asked support the policy that the government follows on the Cyprus problem. In Keryneia by 49.10% while 47.40% does not support it.

    In Morfou 53.70% supports the government Cyprus policy and 46.30% does not support it.


    [02] Ercakica tries to exploit the cancellation of the Toros military exercise as a gesture

    Illegal Bayrak Television (13.10.09) broadcast the following: The Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica has announced that the annual Toros Military exercise will not be conducted this year.

    The spokesman said that decision to cancel the exercise should be seen as an expression of the Turkish Sides determination to improve the political environment, especially at a time when talks aimed at settling the Cyprus Problem were continuing.

    Speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing, the Presidential Spokesman said that the two leaders will continue discussing the issue of federal executive when they come together tomorrow. He said that the two leaders were planning to move on to the issue of external relations at this weeks second meeting scheduled for Thursday.

    Announcing the Turkish Sides decision not to hold this years Toros Military Exercise, he said that the decision should be acknowledged as the Turkish Sides determination to maintain a positive political atmosphere on the island, especially at a time when talks aimed a reaching a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem was continuing.

    Responding to a question regarding the stage of the discussions on the federal executive, Ercakica said that no convergence has been reached by the two sides on the issue. He complained that the proposal put forward by the Greek Cypriot Side on the issue was against the principles of bi-zonality and bi-communality.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot attended a European Liberal Forum organized in Lisbon

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.10.09) reports that Turkish Cypriot Ozgen Gorguner, who is a member of the European Liberals, attended a European Liberal Forum organized in cooperation with the European Liberal Youth Association (LYMEC) in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, the previous week. During the first day of the forum titled, The future of individual participation in European politics, participants had the opportunity to introduce their countries through a presentation.

    Addressing the participants, Mr Gorguner stated that despite the fact that five years have passed since the referendum of the Annan Plan, which was prepared after many years of struggle to find a just and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem and the majority of the Turkish Cypriot people approved it they are still subjected to unjust isolations. Mr Gorguner emphasized the need of providing the necessary support to the Turkish Cypriot youth by the European Liberals, stating that they still cannot attend sporting events freely and that they are not included in the Bologna process, as regards the illegal universities something that can alienate the Turkish Cypriot youth from the world completely.

    Responding to a question after the presentation, Mr Gorguner inter alia stated that the real Cyprus problem began in 1963 and that for 46 years, since 1964, when the UN Peace-keeping Force came to Cyprus, the Cyprus Republic is unjustly occupied by the Greek Cypriots. Meanwhile, the paper reports that in a written statement of Mr Gorguner, it is stated that in the list of participants North Cyprus was written as Mr Gorguners country and that in the list of the members of LYMEC the same title is also used.


    [04] Initiatives will be taken by the illegal regime to turn the occupied part of Cyprus into an island of information in ten years

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.10.2009) broadcast the following:

    The ministry of Public Works and Communications has organized a workshop entitled Information Island 2009 between 23 and 24 October with the slogan Future will come with Information.

    In a written statement, the minister of Public Works and Communications, Hasan Tacoy, said that the aim is to turn the TRNC into an island of information in ten years and to set an example for the whole world.

    Turkish Communications Minister Binali Yildirim and many other guests will attend the workshop.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (14.10.2009) reports that Hasan Tacoy announced that the works for a new undersea fibre optic cable that will connect occupied Trikomo and Alexandretta will be completed by 2010 and for that reason, a protocol will be signed between occupied regime and the Republic of Turkey during the Information Island 2009 activities.

    [05] Abdullatif Sener, chairman of the newly established Turkish Party in Turkey met with the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu

    Illegal Bayrak Television (13.10.09) broadcast the following: The founding leader of the Turkish Turkey Party Abdullatif Sener has been received by the TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu.

    Mr Sener arrived in the TRNC yesterday to attend the National Unity Partys 34th anniversary reception.

    Before forming the Turkish Party, Abdullatif Sener served as deputy-Prime Minister - Minister of State in charge of Cyprus Affairs in Erdogans cabinet.

    During the visit, Prime Minister Eroglu reminded that Abdullatif Sener had provided full support to the people of the TRNC while holding the post of Minister of State Coordinating Cyprus Affairs.

    Reminding that joint initiatives had been launched with Mr Sener for the development of the country, the Premier said these initiatives have started to bear fruits.

    For his part, the Turkey Party Leader emphasized that Ankara has been waging a struggle to make it possible for the Turks of Cyprus to live a happy life.

    He said that the will put forward during last Aprils parliamentary elections showed the Cyprus Turkish Peoples point of view towards their country and future, adding that he appreciated Mr Eroglus achievements.

    [06] A man was arrested on illegal meat trading from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (14.10.09) reports that a person at the age of 40 and with initials Y.Z. has been arrested by the so called police at the occupied Keryneia gate on his attempt to carry 160 kilos of beef from the free territories of the Republic of Cyprus to the occupied areas without declaring the goods to the so-called customs authorities first.

    [07] Egemen Bagis to visit Athens on November 5

    Istanbul Hurriyet Daily (13.10.09) reported the following: Egemen Bag1s, Turkey's chief negotiator for European Union negotiations said on Tuesday that he would visit Greece next month. Speaking at a meeting organized by the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey, Bag1s said it was a positive sign for bilateral ties that newly elected Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held his first visit abroad to Turkey. Saying that his predecessor Kostas Karamanlis was too cautious on relations with Turkey, Bagis recalled that it took three and half a years for Karamanlis to visit Turkey.

    Bagis said he was set to visit Greece on Nov. 5 with the aim of maintaining the pace set by Papandreous Istanbul visit. Papandreou will act also as foreign minister.

    Bagis said Papandreous efforts when he was foreign minister in the early 2000s with late Turkish Foreign Minister 0smail Cem to reconcile bilateral ties were appreciated .

    [08] Joint declaration by Turkey and Syria after the meeting of the Turkish-Syrian Strategic Cooperation Council. Statements by Davutoglu

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.10.09) reported the following from Ankara: A declaration which was issued at the end of the ministerial meeting of Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council highlighted both countries were eager to enhance ties. The declaration said Turkey and Syria decided to boost cooperation on the basis of sound historical, cultural and neighborly relations as well as strengthen cultural ties and solidarity.The next meeting would take place in December, it said.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey's doors were open for everyone.

    Davutoglu said after the first ministerial meeting of Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, we attach great importance to the fact that countries should achieve the necessary ground to be able to resolve their problems on their own. Problems should be resolved by improving bilateral relations between countries. We ended visa restrictions with Syria since the most important thing is to create a concrete ground. Our relations with Syria have turned into a cooperation mechanism." "A similar mechanism can be established with Iraq and Egypt. We also have good relations with Lebanon, Iran and Saudi Arabia. We need to turn bilateral relations into tripartite mechanisms sometimes. Turkey's doors are open for everyone. We will set up relations with all countries which want to establish ties not only with us, but the whole region. Armenia is one of them, he said.

    Davutoglu said that Turkey would maintain its cooperation with the neighboring countries to ensure permanent peace in its region and to take powerful economic steps.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.10.09) reported the following from Aleppo: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that the area between Turkey and Syria borders would be opened to agriculture soon.

    Davutoglu recalled that the issue of clearing Turkey-Syria border from land mines was adopted at Turkish Parliament in May, adding that the technical activities would be completed and the area would be opened to agriculture as soon as possible.

    Davutoglu replied questions of reporters during a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart following the first part of the first meeting of Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Aleppo. He said that sweeping the land mines was important both in symbolical meaning and as an economic resource. He added that there would not be land mines, walls, terrorism and border gates between Turkey and Syria.

    Davutoglu also added that Turkey and Syria were in full cooperation about water management and struggle against drought.

    Commenting on discussions which rose after the international part of multi-national Anatolian Eagle air defense exercise was postponed in Turkish central Anatolian province of Konya, Davutoglu said that everybody in the region were expected to act with common sense, and to avoid attitudes that would harm peace and stability in such periods. He added that Turkey decided to perform the exercise as a national exercise, recalling that Turkish Foreign Ministry already made a statement about the issue.

    When Israel linked postponement of the military exercise (planned to take place between October 12 and 23) to the incidents in Gaza, Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement on Monday, and said that it was not correct to add political meanings to Turkey's decision on postponement of international part of the multi-national Anatolian Eagle air defense exercise, calling on Israeli officials to act with common-sense in their statements and attitudes. Syrian minister Walid Mualem said regarding the same issue that Syria was pleased with the decision of Turkey, adding that it was a Turkey's stance against Israel's attack on Gaza.

    Commenting on the protocols which were signed between Turkey and Armenia, Mualem said they were pleased, adding that transportation to Armenia by highway would be easier from now on. He added that people of Armenian origin who were living in Syria were also pleased with the issue.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that Syria was a door to Middle East and Arab world.

    Replying questions of reporters during a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart following the first part of the first meeting of Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Aleppo, Davutoglu said that Syria-Turkey relations would make Turkey's relations with Arab world improve too. He said that Turkey and Syria would build the future together.

    Regarding relations between Iraq and Syria, Davutoglu said that problems between the two countries should be solved rapidly, and the talks should be pursued by peaceful ways. Davutoglu stressed the importance of dropping the tension.

    Upon a question, Davutoglu said that the highest-level relations between Turkey and its neighbors would mean a good relation between the EU and all those neighbors of Turkey when Turkey joined the EU. Davutoglu said that Turkey was preparing the infrastructure of EU's future in this region.

    [09] The 13th International Business Forum Congress was held in Cairo

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.10.09) reported the following from Cairo: Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan called on members of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to set up a common economic zone. Speaking at the opening session of the 13th International Business Forum Congress in Cairo on Tuesday, Caglayan said that Turkey attached importance to develop trade with neighboring countries during global economic crisis period.

    Caglayan said that Turkey did not have any involvement in the emerging of global economic crisis, but it suffered from the influences of the crisis like other developing countries. He added that the influence of crisis on Turkey was more limited than it was on the U.S. and the EU. He said that Turkey had a strong position especially in banking sector. Caglayan said that Turkey exported products worth of 132 billion USD to more than 200 countries in 2008, adding that total trade volume was 334 billion USD.

    He noted that Turkey's foreign trade volume with 57 member states of OIC increased from 47 billion USD in 2007 to 62 billion USD in 2008. Caglayan said that 1.4 billion people were living in 57 OIC-member states, and this was an important part of world population.

    Noting that export figure of Islamic countries in 2008 was 1.4 trillion USD, Caglayan said that total product export of the world in 2008 was 16 trillion USD. He added that Turkey believed that the export figure of Islamic countries should be increased.


    [10] The illegal settlers from Turkey are seen as the source of the problems the breakaway regime is facing in all fields; The total population is estimated between 600-800 thousand

    Under the title The prohibitions, the problems in education and the reality of the population, Mehmet Levent writes, inter alia, the following in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (14.10.09):

    In absolutely no country of the world can the number of the foreigners, who are brought from outside the country and take the citizenship, exceed even by one person the number of the local people. In spite of this, the number of the citizens of the Republic of Turkey who have been brought from Turkey, settled here and were given citizenship is at least twice as much as the number of the Turkish Cypriots.

    If with a rough estimation we consider the number of the Turkish Cypriots to be 80 thousands - I am saying roughly because the official authorities have never revealed or have not been able to reveal a number on this issue and given that the number of the population was announced to be around 260 thousands, the 180 thousands of them are persons from Turkey. Think that there are at least 300 thousand unregistered illegal persons and some who are on the move.

    The real number is much higher, but if I say 600 thousands with the most optimistic result, you say 800 thousands!

    We have written many times about the issue of the population in this newspaper. Mehmet Ali Talat himself has said that with those who are unregistered the population reaches to approximately 500 thousands. Some civilian organizations have said this at various platforms and at various frequencies.

    During the days when the problem of [working] overtime at the hospitals had reached to its peak, the MP with the Democratic Party (DP), Dr. Mehmet Tancer touched on this issue as well. What did he say? Our hospitals cannot look after 750 thousand persons. We respect very much the citizens, the origin of whose is the Republic of Turkey. However, Turkey should increase its help.

    In brief, the debates on working overtime have become the means for the reality of the illegal population which some people insist on ignoring, to come to the surface.

    Today the trade unions of the teachers emphisize that there is still lack of teachers in spite of the fact that one month passed since the opening of the schools. The uncompleted constructions in the infrastructure and the repairs are nothing. The only reason for the lack of teachers in the schools is the fact that the number of the students increases together with the increase of the population and the number of teachers is insufficient in the face of this.

    I do not know whether it would be of any use to stress once more to ears which are not listening that the source of the problems being experienced in Northern Cyprus in every field, from health to education, is this population which is continuously being pumped into this place where everybody can enter without asking and reached to huge dimensions. This population is the reason for the lack of the energy resources such as electricity and water. Understand this finally. The TRNC economy cannot bear this population. Either you withdraw it, or at least send food for it. You are obliged to do this.


    [11] Lagendijks assessment of the EU-Turkey progress report: EU to Turkey: You should have done more, stick to your promises and stop bickering in Parliament

    Under the title Cherry picking from EU report, Hurriyet Daily (13.10.09) publishes the following by Joost Lagendijk: Today, the European Commission will present its Progress Report on Turkeys achievements over the last year in meeting the EUs accession criteria. It is the first time in eight years that I will not be present at the press conference where the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, will present the report. For years, the challenge for me was to comment on the report on behalf of the European Parliament to as many journalists as possible.

    In Brussels, everybody who is interested in the relations between Turkey and the EU gets nervous about four weeks before the reports scheduled date of release. Who will be the first one this year to get hold of a copy of the report as its draft circulates among EU bureaucrats and diplomats of the EUs member states? Generally, one of the Turkish correspondents always wins. All of them have built up a huge, secret network to find a civil servant or diplomat who is willing to give them a copy of the report as early as possible. The winners newspaper or TV channel proudly presents the most important conclusions of the report. The colleagues that lose the race decide to invest even more in better contacts.

    One week before the report is officially presented, all Turkish journalists working in Brussels manage to get a copy. Then the cherry picking can begin. Lets take this years English-language Turkish newspapers as an example: Todays Zaman was happy with the relatively clearer stance of the Commission on the Ergenekon trial, as well as the EUs repeated criticism of Brussels on the ongoing interventions of the army in politics and the Commissions satisfaction about the efforts to diminish the role of military courts. In short, all the issues that Todays Zaman itself has highlighted over and over again. The Hurriyet Daily News was focused on one issue only: the Dogan Media Group tax case. Would it be mentioned in the report and, if yes, how? There was happiness here as well when it became clear that the EU thinks the high fines are not proportionate and is worried about the economic viability of the group and, consequently, about the freedom of the press.

    It is possible to pick and choose your favorite item from the report because, as is always the case, the European Commission tries to be as complete but, at the same time, as neutral as possible. That makes for difficult reading. Only experienced pundits can grasp the real message hidden underneath all these paragraphs written in this typically spongy Euro jargon.

    Let me present some of my own cherries. The European Commission is worried about the quality of the investigations in the Hrant Dink court case. Brussels is happy with the reinstatement of May 1 as a public holiday but is disappointed about the governments incapacity in adopting trade union legislation that is in line with international standards. But despite some fairly positive assessments, the key conclusion of the report is that there has been only limited concrete progress due to the lack of dialogue and a spirit of compromise between political parties. And yes, though there have been very promising announcements of possible future breakthroughs, what counts is real changes on the ground.

    For all those who fear that the December EU summit could turn very nasty for Turkey because of Cyprus, the message from the Commission is sobering. Yes, Turkey should have opened its ports to Cypriot vessels. And no, we are not proposing any sanctions at this moment.

    Because nobody will ask me today in Brussels what I think of the report, I will give you my sound bite here. EU to Turkey: You should have done more, stick to your promises and stop bickering in parliament! * Mr. Joost Lagendijk is a columnist for the daily Radikal and a senior advisor to the Istanbul Policy Center.

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 13 October 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 13 October 2009:

    a) Turkish-Armenian protocols

    Criticizing the security measures being planned for the Turkish-Armenian soccer match to be held in Bursa in his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik writes: "These are measures that are taken by a third-rate colony receiving its master." Referring to the decision not to allow flags with the exception of the Turkish one into the stadium, Asik recalls that at the Turkish-Armenian match held in Yerevan "the so-called flags of the occupationist Nagorno-Karabakh administration were not banned" from the stadium. Predicting that the Armenians will not be withdrawing from Karabakh now that they have the support of the world, Asik maintains that Turkey will not be able to resist world pressure and will endorse the protocols, thus losing Azerbaijan. Noting that the only hope is for the Armenians to invalidate the protocols, Asik extends his support to the campaign initiated by certain citizens to boycott the match

    Quoting passages from Foreign Minister Davutoglu's book entitled "Strategic depth" underlining the importance of Azerbaijan for Turkey in his article in Hurriyet, Yalcin Dogan says that since Davutoglu sees the Armenian occupation of Karabakh as "Turkey's greatest loss" this occupation has to end for the protocols to be endorsed by the National Assembly. The protocols will have to wait until the occupation ends, otherwise the words of Davutoglu will have no value and the Azeri people will be betrayed, concludes Dogan.

    Viewing the results of the Turkish-Armenian protocols in an article in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever underlines the two positive results, one being that Turkey will not have to worry about the US Congress adopting the Armenian genocide bill and the other being that the borders drawn by the Kars Treaty have now been recognized by Armenia. As for the down side, Ulsever dwells on the opening of the border and the solution of the Karabakh issue, wondering whether Armenia will feel no need to reach an agreement with Azerbaijan now that the protocols have been signed and whether Azerbaijan will now want to punish Turkey for signing the protocols.

    Sabah columnist Erdal Safak writes that he did not even consider the possibility that Armenian President Sargsyan would not attend the 14 October soccer match in Bursa given the fact that he was the Yerevan architect of the process of normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations. Had there been even the slightest possibility that Sargsyan would not come to Bursa, Turkey would not have signed the protocols in Zurich, opines Safak, adding that Sargsyan's visit to Moscow yesterday is as important as his visit to Bursa because the process depends on the solution of the Karabakh issue and that solution depends on the stand to be adopted by Moscow. Safak in his article explains that Russia is in favor of solving the Karabakh problem because it wants to minimize Georgia's importance. Putting an end to Armenia's isolation might open the path to Armenia participating in the Nabucco project, points out Safak, adding that only the solution of the Karabakh issue will cause Armenia to replace Georgia in the energy transport routes

    The signing of the protocols attest to the declaration of an intention and can be viewed as the beginning of a road, writes Ismet Berkan in an article in Radikal, underlining that history will be written only when the protocols are endorsed by the Turkish and Armenian parliaments. Arguing that Armenian-Azerbaijani and Turkish-Armenian rapprochements should be synchronous, Berkan asserts that Sargsyan's visit to Bursa is important in that it demonstrates that the Armenian initiative on the issue is still alive, adding: "However, the same initiative should continue in order to end the occupation around Karabakh." Berkan continues: "Russia no longer wants this problem to continue, it wants it to end. I believe that this is the main initiative that enables all these rapprochements. If Russia does not encourage Armenia to prolong the problem, then the problem will be resolved." Urging the United States and Russia to apply pressure on Armenia and Azerbaijan, Berkan asserts that once the Karabakh problem is resolved Armenia will find out that its best neighbor will be Turkey. The writer concludes: "However, let us not forget that we are only at the beginning of the road and that the road is full of mines."

    The crisis prior to the signing ceremony of the Turkish-Armenian protocols in Zurich has once again demonstrated the risks taken by Erdogan and Sargsyan respectively in their initiative to normalize the relations, writes Temel Iskit in an article in Taraf, showing the Armenian Diaspora and Azerbaijan as the main obstacles to the endorsement of the protocols. Advancing on this thorny path of normalization depends on Armenia, claims Iskit, stressing the necessity of Yerevan to withdraw at least from some of the territories it occupies. Urging the Turkish community to make peace with its history, Iskit concedes that it will be difficult to accept that the "Armenian problem" is not a "foreign policy issue" imposed by foreign forces but a domestic one deriving from our history.

    In an article entitled "Friendship cannot be tied to conditions", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes the Armenian insistence on the inclusion of the term "without preconditions" in the protocols signed in Zurich as an indication of Yerevan's "failure to understand the meaning of rapprochement with Turkey." Koru claims that even if Armenia had succeeded in having the said phrase included in the protocols, this would not have changed the fact that the Armenian occupation of a total of seven Azerbaijani regions is wrong according to international law and must definitely be ended. He also asks whether Yerevan is really ready to stop making "petty calculations" and benefit from the major "possibilities" and "opportunities" to be created by the normalization of its ties with Turkey.

    In an article entitled "A disease called Neo-Nationalism", Vakit columnist D. Mehmet Dogan emphasizes the "diseased" quality of the Turkish "neo-nationalist" outcry against the protocols signed with Armenia in Zurich on 10 October by drawing attention to what he describes as the similarity of this backlash to Armenian neo-nationalists' reaction to the said protocols and Turkish and Armenian neo-nationalists' common perception of 10 October as "a day of mourning."

    In an article entitled "The protocols with Armenia: Pros and Cons", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya objects to the argument that the ruling AKP's efforts to normalize Turkey's relations with Armenia and introduce a "democratic" solution to the "Kurdish issue" are part of a US plan to establish a total of 22 independent states in this region in line with the objectives of the Broader Middle East Project. Karakaya claims that while the United States and Europe may actually have an "insidious" agenda regarding this region, what the Erdogan government is doing is trying to implement a policy of zero problems with neighbors intended to ensure that Turkey remains as little affected as possible by the consequences of the Western plans on the Middle East.

    In an article entitled "Who is afraid of overtures?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi hails the latest steps taken toward establishing diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia as a development which means that "we are overcoming yet another fear used by an authoritarian state tradition as a means of getting the people to acquiesce in all sorts of injustices, restrictions, and poverty. During this process, we will understand that we do not need to fear either our own Armenians or Armenia. As borders keep being opened and we get to know and discover one another, there will no taboos left to break." He also lauds the signing of the Turkish-Armenian protocols as an event that amounts to "a revolution, a mental break with the past, and the state and society's freeing themselves of their pro-Ittihat chains" [referring to the Union and Progress Committee that ruled Turkey between 1908 and 1918].

    Finally, in an article entitled "While Turkey becomes an energy transit country", Today's Zaman columnist Ali Bulac links US, Russian, French, and EU "eagerness" to get Turkey and Armenia to start a normalization process to a perception of the current status of Turkish-Armenian relations as an obstacle to Turkey serving as an energy transit country in the period ahead.

    b) Kurdish problem

    In an article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila relates the reasons given by Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal for his request to televise the meeting expected to be held between Prime Minister Erdogan and himself on the Kurdish overture. According to Baykal it is the right of the people to watch this historic meeting to be held between the prime minister and the leader of the main opposition party regarding an issue that will determine the fate of the nation. Pointing out that it is wrong to hold the meeting behind closed doors as though they are trying to hide something from the nation, Baykal maintains that the government policy on the issue is not sufficiently clear and transparent and that this stand is a source of concern for the public. Summing up the concerns of the public under four topics, Baykal says that these are the concept of the "Turkish nation," Kurdish education, Ocalan's road map, and an amnesty to be declared for PKK members. Noting that the overture should be directed toward citizens of Kurdish origin and not toward the PKK, Baykal concludes by warning that the steps to be taken should not serve the political project of the PKK.

    Relating a conversation he held with Prof Ahmet Ozer, a political scientist known for his close ties with the CHP, regarding the CHP stand on the Kurdish issue, Sabah columnist Mahmut Ovur in an article writes that if the CHP does not extend its support to the issue, then the process will be much more difficult and as a consequence the CHP will be in a difficult situation. A CHP that has extended support to the overture will have a better chance in the early elections that might be held in 2010, argues Ozer, adding that otherwise the CHP might remain outside the parliament.

    Likening Baykal's response letter to Erdogan to an indictment prepared by a Prosecutor's Office in an article in Vatan, Gungor Mengi writes that the prime minister does not have the right to minimize the importance of the assessment made in that letter. Referring to Baykal's accusation that the erroneous policies pursued by the government has granted the terror organization the status of an interlocutor and that this has created unease among Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin living in all parts of the country, Mengi declares that "this is a warning that such be taken seriously." Baykal's letter is sufficiently grave to cause Erdogan to renounced his wish to meet with the CHP leader, writes Mengi, adding: "However, the importance of the problem requires the prime minister to adopt an 'out of the ordinary' approach toward the issue." Referring to Baykal's request to have the meeting televised, Mengi finds this objectionable, explaining that the prime minister and the leader of the main opposition party should be able to discuss the issue as two statesmen expressing their sincere thoughts openly without the fear that they might be used as evidence against them in the future.

    c) Exercise crisis with Israel End of Turkish- Israeli strategic partnership

    In an article entitled "Israel cautioned to 'Know Your Limits", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on the developments involving Turkey's cancelation of the international phase of the Anatolian Eagle annual air defense exercise, a move which means that Israeli warplanes will no longer be allowed to use Turkish airspace. He claims that the Turkish-Israeli strategic partnership has de facto ended, adding that a new regional center of gravity is being established under Turkey's leadership to the detriment of Israeli interests, leading Israel and its supporters in Turkey to try to "frighten" Ankara with the prospect of tension in its relations with the United States and NATO over this move.

    Mr Karagul concludes his article by interpreting the Turkish Foreign Ministry press release on the issue which called on Israel to behave in a common sense as, know your limits.

    In an article entitled "The global trend is looking bad for Israel", Milli Gazete columnist Huseyin Altinalan calls attention to indications of "shocking developments" with "drastic" implications in the offing such as the UN's adoption of a resolution for the first time criticizing Israel's nuclear arsenal, Uzbekistan's issuance of messages during Obama's visit to Russia indicating that it expects a rapprochement with the United States, Kyrgyzstan's acceptance of US demands concerning certain military bases in this country, etc.

    Finally, in an article entitled "The US foreign policy is in synch with Israeli interests", Milli Gazete columnist criticizes what he describes as the United States' withdrawal from the Anatolian Eagle air defense exercise following Turkey's exclusion of Israel from this drill as the latest example of how the United States never fails to align its policies and interests with those of Israel.


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