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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-14

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 109/10 12-14.06.10


  • [01] Eroglu meets with representatives of Turkish Media over lunch and asks for their support in explaining to the world that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution
  • [02] Eroglu says a just and lasting agreement would be possible only if the so-called economic embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots are lifted
  • [03] Eroglu is reportedly visiting Turkey on Friday
  • [04] EPs High Level Group delegation discusses the Direct Trade Regulation with the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce
  • [05] Enlargement Commissioner Fule stated that the solution of the Cyprus problem could facilitate Turkeys EU negotiation process
  • [06] The houses built by a Turkish company in occupied Keryneia and Morfou were locked up and sealed; Houses are once more sold in public auction
  • [07] Businessmen from Turkey complain that they could not find workers in the occupied areas of Cyprus and therefore they bring from Turkey
  • [08] The breakaway regime signs protocol with Turkey for the restoration of Ottoman monuments
  • [09] University in Uzbekistan presents award to the illegal GAUs chairman
  • [10] Erdogan and Obama to meet in the framework of the G20 meeting
  • [11] TUSIAD chairperson will meet with the U.S. Secretary of State
  • [12] Turkish daily assesses Turkeys new role
  • [13] Bagis said that a new chapter will be opened on June 30 in Turkeys negotiations with the EU
  • [14] Turkey and Syria agreed to build a new border crossing

  • [15] From the Turkish Press of 11, 12 and 13 June 2010


    [01] Eroglu meets with representatives of Turkish Media over lunch and asks for their support in explaining to the world that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.06.10) reports that within the framework of his contacts in Istanbul, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu met on Saturday with representatives of Turkish media at a lunch hosted by Bahcesehir University. Mehmet Ali Birand, Sedat Ergin, Oktay Eksi, Tuncay Ozkan and Ruhat Mengi were some of the Turkish journalists who attended the lunch. Mr Eroglu briefed them on the Cyprus problem and the negotiating process.

    Referring to those who expected that the negotiations would end if he was the winner of the illegal elections in April, Mr Eroglu said: Do not worry. I am not going to be the side which will run away from the table. He noted that everybody expects some things at the negotiating table and claimed: Perhaps it will fall to my share to put the signature (to the agreement). In any case, we would end this issue a long time ago, if the Greek Cypriot side wanted.

    Mr Eroglu alleged that the world should see this lack of will of the Greek Cypriot side and added that the Turkish Cypriot side works in harmony with Ankara, which indicates that a solution should be reached in Cyprus until the end of the year. He claimed that Ankara might come to the point of being fed up with the lack of will of the Greek Cypriots and reiterated the Turkish view that the so-called isolations of the Turkish Cypriots should be lifted in order for the Greek Cypriots to be motivated for the solution.

    He said he wanted for the negotiations to start with the chapter of Governance and Power Sharing, but they started with the property issue upon a request by the Greek Cypriots.

    If the Greek Cypriot side and esteemed Christofias does not want to agree and it is only looking for an opportunity to blame us, I will not allow for this to happen, said Mr Eroglu adding that during the meeting he held recently with the two former Turkish Cypriot leaders, Rauf Denktas and Mehmet Ali Talat, he informed them on the proposals he will take to the negotiating table next Tuesday. Mr Eroglu said he wanted to benefit from Denktas and Talats experience and added that Mr Talat knows that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution and he told him so.

    Mr Eroglu asked for the help of the Turkish press in their effort of explaining to the world and the EU that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution.


    [02] Eroglu says a just and lasting agreement would be possible only if the so-called economic embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots are lifted

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.06.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the Greek Cypriots do not want a just and lasting solution to be reached in Cyprus and claimed that the main reason behind this unwillingness is related to economy. Speaking during a ceremony in Turkey where he was given the Statesman of the Year Award by Ekovitrin Magazine, Mr Eroglu alleged that the Greek Cypriots use unilaterally the resources of the European Union and do not want to share this economic wealth with the Turkish side.

    Mr Eroglu went on and said that they have tried to launch a great economic attack in the occupied part of Cyprus knowing that the military victory after the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island would be insufficient as long as it was not supported by economic development. We have covered a great distance, but unfortunately we were oppressed under heavy embargoes and we were not able to reach the point we wanted, he claimed and added that the way for a just and lasting peace in Cyprus passes through the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots.

    If the economic embargoes applied on the Turks of Cyprus are lifted and if direct trade and flights start, making a just and lasting agreement would be possible, he alleged.

    He said the support of the entire Turkish world and Turkey on this issue has always been of vital importance for them. Thank God we have a motherland. We see what is happening to Palestine which has no motherland, he noted.

    Meanwhile, replying to questions before the ceremony, Mr Eroglu referred to the possible protest of Israeli NGOs against the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and said: If they undertake such action, let them come to the port of Famagusta since they will enter into our waters and let them see the Turkish hospitality. We shall offer them the necessary treating, not with weapons, we are absolutely determined on this. There will never be an armed intervention.

    Moreover, Kibris reports that Mr Eroglu and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul attended a lunch in Istanbul organized by the people from the city of Kayseri. Mr Gul alleged that Mr Eroglu surprised the world and that he acts knowing that everything will be solved at the negotiating table. He noted that they will continue to be by Eroglus side and support him at the Cyprus talks.

    In his statements, Mr Eroglu alleged that the Turkish side is the side which is right in Cyprus and added that he will not abandon their rights at the negotiating table. He said that they are carrying out the negotiations in consultation with Mr Gul and the Turkish government and added that they want a solution which protects the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. He said that the roots of the TRNC were strengthened with the support of Turkey and that they are experiencing the happiness of living under the security of the Turkish armed forces.

    The paper reports that both Mr Eroglu and Mr Gul come from Kayseri. Mr Eroglu said that he is still meeting with his relatives there.


    [03] Eroglu is reportedly visiting Turkey on Friday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (13.06.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu is visiting Ankara on Friday upon an invitation by the Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Citing information it acquired from reliable sources, the paper writes that views will be exchanged on the Cyprus problem during this visit.


    [04] EPs High Level Group delegation discusses the Direct Trade Regulation with the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (13.06.10) reports on statements made by the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Gunay Cerkez, according to which the European Union should keep its promises given to the Turkish Cypriots and establish direct trade with the breakaway regime. Mr. Cerkez made these statements during a meeting he held in occupied Cyprus with a delegation of the European Parliaments High Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriots.

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriots do not want the financial aid of the EU, but the establishment of trade relations with the EU member countries, Mr. Cerkez, further, added that the trade conducted in the framework of the Green Line Regulation is limited and full with troubles and alleged that the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation can assist in bringing closer the economies of the two sides in Cyprus and decrease the cost of the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Cerkez alleged that the embargo and isolation should be lifted and the Direct Trade Regulation should be implemented in order for the economy of the breakaway regime to be developed.

    On his part, the head of the EP delegation, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Coordinator of the High Level Contact Group, Libor Roucek, stated that he will inform Brussels on the positions and the views of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and added that their visit in Cyprus aimed at investigating how they could assist and support the solution the Cyprus problem. He also sound that they understand the stance of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce on this issue and therefore they believe that everything necessary should be done for the two economies in Cyprus to come closer to each other.


    [05] Enlargement Commissioner Fule stated that the solution of the Cyprus problem could facilitate Turkeys EU negotiation process

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper, (08.06.10) reports that the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, gave an exclusive interview to Sabah newspaper and was asked about the impact of the Cyprus negotiations to Turkeys EU bid.

    Mr Fule was asked whether Turkeys negotiations with the EU could be interrupted in case the talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem come into a dead-end by the end of this year. Cyprus, of course, is an important element. The solution of the Cyprus problem could, of course, facilitate (Turkeys EU) negotiation process, he stated and added that however the opening of some chapters depend on Turkey. He went on said that he is not pessimistic about the solution in Cyprus and added that he was encouraged by the statements by the new Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu and by the first meeting between President Christofias and Eroglu.


    [06] The houses built by a Turkish company in occupied Keryneia and Morfou were locked up and sealed; Houses are once more sold in public auction

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.06.10) reports that the buildings constructed in occupied Morfou and Keryneia areas by a Turkish company named Tutuska Construction Company have been locked up and sealed, because it was found out that the company had no construction permit. The paper writes that after the boom in the constructions sector in the occupied areas of Cyprus, a boom was also observed in the number of the companies from Turkey which came to the island and started dealing with the construction business. One of these companies was Tutuska Construction Company, reports the paper adding that Tutuska built an apartment bloc named Baris in occupied Keryneia, which is expected to be sold because of debts of the company.

    Meanwhile, Kibris continues its reference to the issue today as well (14.06.10) and reports that a public auction was held yesterday in occupied Keryneia regarding the Baris apartment bloc because Tutuska Constructions has not paid its debt. Many people gathered in Keryneia in order to prevent the sale of the bloc. The victims of Kulaksiz 5 complex, the houses of which had been sold in a similar manner, and members of the Home Buyers Pressure Group participated in the meeting and expressed their support trying to stop the public auction.

    The paper writes that the person who wanted to buy the building changed his mind due to the strong reaction by the participants in the meeting.


    [07] Businessmen from Turkey complain that they could not find workers in the occupied areas of Cyprus and therefore they bring from Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (14.06.10) reports that the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture, Kemal Durust visited the occupied area of Vokolida and inspected the investments made there. In statements during his meeting with Mr Durust, Mr Tunc Ertan, businessman from Turkey who is building the Noahs Ark Hotel in occupied Vokolida, said they bring workers from Turkey because they could not find in the occupied areas of Cyprus, but this increases their costs. That is why he asked for exemptions from the breakaway regime.

    Furthermore, Nihat Berkan, general director of Kaya Artemis Hotel in the same area, has also complained of the difficulties they face in finding qualified personnel.

    The paper reports that it is estimated that approximately 5.000 Turkish Cypriots are working in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and wonders whether the investors from Turkey paid to these people the salaries they are paid in the free areas and the latter refused to work for them. Afrika writes that only personnel from Turkey are employed in the five-star hotels which investors from Turkey build in the occupied areas of Cyprus and adds that the materials for the construction of these hotels are also brought from Turkey.


    [08] The breakaway regime signs protocol with Turkey for the restoration of Ottoman monuments

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.10) reports that Turkeys General Directorate of Evkaf religious foundation and the Turkish Cypriot Evkaf Foundation signed a protocol on Friday which provides for the restoration of the ottoman monuments in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The protocol was singed out of the so-called prime Ministers office in occupied Lefkosia.


    [09] University in Uzbekistan presents award to the illegal GAUs chairman

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.10) reports that an award of outstanding service by the Tashkent University of Economics in Uzbekistan was given to the chairman of the board of directors of the illegal American University of Keryneia (GAU), Serhat Akpinar.

    A protocol of cooperation was further signed between illegal GAU and the Tashkent University of Economics for sharing information and establishing cooperation on students exchanges and scientific research.

    Serhat Akpinar was also awarded by the Uzbek Ministry of Education with the University Medal of Honor for his contribution to the development of the international Özbek Milli Kültür K1yafetleri içerisinde ödülünü alan Serhat Akp1nar 0pek Yolu Yüksek Öretim Projesi'nde de yer alm1t1.higher education.


    [10] Erdogan and Obama to meet in the framework of the G20 meeting

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (08.06.10) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will meet with the US President, Barack Obama in the framework of the G20 meeting which will take place in Toronto, Canada on 27 June, 2010. According to the paper, the meeting between the two leaders was planed prior to the Israeli attack on ships carrying aid materials to Gaza, but the developments took place on the issue changed the agenda of the meeting. The paper writes that Mr Erdogan will discuss with the US President the Gaza Crisis and Iran.


    [11] TUSIAD chairperson will meet with the U.S. Secretary of State

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.06.10) reports from Istanbul the following:

    A delegation of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) will hold a series of talks in the United States on June 16 and 17.

    The delegation led by TUSIAD chairperson Umit Boyner is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on June 17.

    TUSIAD delegation will also hold talks with U.S. congressmen as well as representatives of think-tank organizations and non-governmental organizations.

    Economic and political relations between Turkey and the United States, global financial crisis and efforts to strengthen the structure of G-20 will be high on agenda of talks.

    [12] Turkish daily assesses Turkeys new role

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 14.06.10), under the title "European Union Wakes Up to Turkey's New Role", reports the following article by Fulya Ozerkan:

    As debate flares over Turkey's West-East orientation, EU's foreign ministers convene for their twice-annual meeting. Issues regarding the Gaza flotilla, Iran's nuclear ambitions and Turkey's EU accession are likely to be raised as international observers criticize the bloc for its treatment of the country and Turkish leaders slam doubts about its direction.

    Turkey is likely to be a focal point at Monday's twice-annual meeting of EU foreign ministers as the bloc faces criticism amid international debate that has re-ignited over the country's axis shifting from West to East.

    The debate follows in the wake of the deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed eight Turkish activists and another who was a U.S. citizen of Turkish origin, as well as Turkey's vote against U.N. sanctions on Iran.Gaza and Iran, as well as general feelings toward Turkey, could be raised by some member states at the meeting in Luxembourg, a Western diplomat told the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review, speaking on condition of anonymity.The EU is coming under fire for pushing Turkey out of the West. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently blamed the EU for Turkey's move away from the West. In a separate interview, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon was subjected to the same question.Turkey is no doubt playing a more active role in the region. That is obvious to anybody who pays even cursory attention to what is going on. Turkey is more active in the East, it is more active in its region, said Gordon. I don't think, though, that this is at the expense of the West, that this is somehow a choice, one or the other.

    Turkey's escalating rhetoric against Israel, the climbing tension in bilateral ties, as well as the "no" vote on Iran sanctions at the U.N. Security Council last week are creating doubts over the direction Turkey is heading.This is not a new debate, but it was re-ignited because of the vote Turkey cast on the Iran resolution, said the Western diplomat. Turkey is a major global power. It would be offensive to suggest Turkey looks to one particular direction. Turkey is an influential and moderate voice in the region and plays a stabilizing role that should be welcomed, he told the Daily News.

    Another European diplomatic source, however, said the EU cannot take all the blame and held the domestic agenda concerns of the Turkish government responsible for the recent foreign policy options.

    Turkey could have opened several chapters if it passed relevant laws and opened its ports to shipping from EU member Cyprus. This is a problem of the Turkish government, not in the hands of the EU, he said.

    On debates over a shift in direction, the diplomat said: It is certain that some of the government preferences may be interpreted as Turkey's moving to the East. But don't forget that next year is election time in Turkey.

    Subtitle: Ankara dismisses criticism of change in direction

    Turkish leaders, meanwhile, slammed the debates as artificial worries and repeated that Turkey's route was toward Europe.

    While we are proceeding on our EU objective, establishing good, advanced relations with other countries has nothing to do with a change of axis, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Sunday.

    Concerns over Turkish policy and where it is shifting are only artificial worries. Turkey struck a four-sided free-trade agreement with Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. As well, visas are no longer required. This is in the interest of our country. You cannot talk about a shift of axis here. Turkey's route is toward Europe. Our objective is full membership.

    In the Black Sea province of Rize, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey made huge economic gains from friendly relations with its neighbors and the removal of visa restrictions.

    If we had not pursued a 'zero problem' policy with neighbors, and had not delivered peaceful nuclear energy messages, would our exports have risen from $36 billion to $132 billion? If we had not eased visa restrictions, we could not have expanded threefold over the last seven years, he said.

    [13] Bagis said that a new chapter will be opened on June 30 in Turkeys negotiations with the EU

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (online, 14.06.10), under the title Egemen Bagis: New EU negotiating chapter to be opened on June 30, reports the following:

    Amidst concerns that Spain's six-month EU presidency could end without any new chapters being opened in Turkey's accession negotiations with the bloc, Turkey's chief EU negotiator, State Minister Egemen Bagis, has announced that a new chapter will be opened on June 30, the day Spain's six-month-long rotating presidency ends.

    President Abdullah Gul has approved the Food Safety Law that was adopted last week after long debates in Parliament and sent it to the Official Gazette for publication and implementation, Bagis said, speaking late on Saturday at an award ceremony of the Association of European Journalists held in Istanbul. The EU has required the adoption of the Food Safety Law to open the negotiation chapter on food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy. The aforementioned chapter will be opened on June 30, Bagis said, adding that we are catching up to meeting EU standards on agriculture and food safety.

    In January, at the beginning of its rotating presidency, Spain had said it hoped to open accession talks on four chapters during its six-month presidency. Turkey, which formally began accession negotiations with the EU in 2005, has so far opened talks on only 12 chapters.

    [14] Turkey and Syria agreed to build a new border crossing

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.06.10) reports the following from Istanbul:

    Turkey and Syria signed a memorandum of understanding to build a new border crossing through the method of build-operate-transfer.

    Turkish State Minister Hayati Yazici and Syrian Finance Minister Muhammad al-Husayn signed the memorandum of understanding in Istanbul.

    Yazici said at the signing ceremony: We have seven border crossings with Syria. We decided to carry out the joint border crossing project in Nusaybin-Kamisli region. A ground-breaking ceremony will take place in the coming months. Then, building of the border crossing will be completed within 7-10 months.

    Al-Husayn said on his part that the new border crossing would be used mainly in transportation of goods.


    [15] From the Turkish Press of 11, 12 and 13 June 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 11, 12 and 13 June 2010:

    a) Turkish Foreign Policy issues:

    The free-trade and free-visa agreement signed between Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria in Istanbul at the conclusion of the 3rd Foreign Ministers meeting of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum is reported prominently by Turkish papers. "Is this the first step towards Middle East Union?" asks Radikal (11.06.10) in its report on the conclave. The report quotes Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying that the new formation is not an alternative to the EU, rather it is going to benefit both Europe and the neighboring countries once Turkey becomes a full member of the EU.

    Commenting on Prime Minister Erdogan's citation of a Turkish poem, which says that Turks and Arabs cannot exist separately as they are each other's "right eyes and right hands," Mehmet Yilmaz says in his column in Hurriyet (11.06.10) that the time for such communality has long past as in our times each state pursues its own interests. Such talk by Erdogan is only increasing his popularity among Arab masses desperately looking for a new leader, says Yilmaz pointing out that the Turkish Prime Minister should not be too excited by his popularity among Arabs, for in the past Gamal Abdel Nasser tried a similar feat, which in the end helped neither Nasser nor the Arab people.

    In his column in Hurriyet (11.06.10) on Turkey's UN vote, Mehmet Ali Birand says: "Erdogan for sure made all his calculations. The prime minister is not a politician who only listens to his heart or acts as he pleases and without any consideration. He must have calculated all risks and dangers. If he continues with his present attitude the same way he used to in the past then people will conclude that he consciously wants to change the course of Turkey. Then the entire rules of the game will change. And there is a process ahead of us that does not give us much time. What's important is how Erdogan will make use of the period of time that's left. If it goes into the right direction than Turkey will win and increase its position in the region. If it goes the other way we'll enter a chaotic period."

    Serkan Demirtas says in his column in Hurriyet Daily News (11.06.10): "We do not know whether Washington will seek a payback from Turkey but it would not be surprising if Turkey would face some consequences in the aftermath of the vote. At least we can foresee that Turkey would have difficulty in getting U.S. support on some crucial international issues like the Cyprus problem, the reconciliation process with Armenia, or the EU process."

    Semih Idiz says in his column in Hurriyet Daily News (11.06.10): "It is clear that after the vote at the Security Council, the AKP government will be put even more under the projector light at home and abroad in order to try and understand where it is taking Turkey. If you were to ask us, we would have to conclude that the AKP government has allowed itself to be taken over by delusions of grandeur and has, as a result of this, painted itself into a corner on a number of foreign policy issues."

    Cengiz Candar says in his column in Hurriyet (11.06.10) that Turkey's vote at the UN is unlikely to cause a crisis with the United States which left room for talks with Iran even after the resolution. Candar quotes Davutoglu as saying that Turkish and Brazilian agreement with Iran will be more long-lasting than the UN resolution. Candar then repeats his earlier argument that the emerging powers like Turkey and Brazil with their UN votes are actually challenging the "archaic" international system which the big powers still want to preserve.

    Erdal Safak says in his column in Sabah (11.06.10) that the UN sanctions on Iran will remain ineffective, it will become another "fairytale" like all UNSC resolutions. As such President Obama's declaration that Iran will suffer from the new sanctions does not reflect the facts, whereas Russian Prime Minister Putin is right when he says he has so far seen no sanction that has served its purpose.

    Bulent Kahraman says in his column in Sabah (11.06.10) that there is no question of Turkey distancing itself from the West, it is simply trying to exert influence in the region with its newly-found self-confidence engendered mostly by economic success. Turkey is trying to be a bridge with the regional countries, but in doing so Turkey has to play the game carefully so as not to put itself in a hostile position against the United States and Israel.

    Murat Yetkin, in his column in Radikal (11.06.10), quotes unnamed Turkish diplomats as saying that Obama phoned Erdogan before the UN vote and sought Turkey's support for sanctions but Erdogan turned down Obama's request arguing that voting for the resolution, or abstaining from vote, would amount to Turkey contradicting itself. Yetkin says this principled stance of Turkey is a turning point in US-Turkish relations and it has already created disillusionment in Washington.

    Hasan Celal Guzel also says in his column in Radikal (11.06.10) that contrary to the claim of Zionists and American neocons, Turkey is not shifting its axis, rather as the leader of the Turkic and Islamic world Turkey has become a "central power" and is on the way of becoming a "superpower" and as such it is trying to draw advantages from that position by taking into consideration mostly its own interests rather than the interests of foreign powers.

    Samil Tayyar says in his column in Star (11.06.10) that those who fear a backlash from United States and Israel forget that any damage done to Turkey will also damage the West. The West needs accommodation with Turkey as much as Turkey needs accommodation with the West, but that accommodation will now be possible only if the West agrees to increase Turkey's share in the spoils. Tayyar at the same time warns that Turkey has to play its trump cards well so as not to falter while trying to capture an important position in the new correlation of forces. For one, the government officials should put an end to radical public statements and return to diplomatic language, especially now that the Ergenekon and CHP are seeking foreign support to undermine the AKP and Erdogan.

    Ahmet Altan declares in his column for Taraf (11.06.10) that Turkey has entered a "big diplomatic struggle" in order to secure a role to itself in the new world that will replace the current obsolete, absurd, and shaky "hierarchical" world order established after the Second World War. He says the changing production relationships enriched many small states, which now believe that if they join forces they can challenge the big powers already at odds with each other. Noting that Turkey now has two adversaries, Israel and the United States, Altan says Israel is becoming a burden to the United States and cannot obstruct Turkey's progress whereas the United States is riven by internal divisions and is unable to come up with a united position on Iran. Altan believes Turkey will secure Obama's "secret" support, in which case the United States will be unable to damage Turkey. Altan adds that Turkey in the meantime has to solve its economic, military, and Kurdish problems so as to engage in the new world struggle with greater vigor and emerge from it with least damage.

    Cuneyt Arcayurek says in his column in Cumhuriyet (11.06.10) that Erdogan is pursuing an Islamist policy while trying to dupe the West that he remains attached to the Western alliance so as avoid any backlash against his government. Arcayurek says despite the bravado in pro-government press about Turkey challenging the United States, there is concern among AKP circles that the United States might change its policy on Turkey. Arcayurek recalls Pakistani President Ali Bhutto's statement before his execution that the United States is vengeful, it does not forgive slights.

    In an article entitled "'28 February axis' takes action", Yeni Safak (11.06.10) columnist Ibrahim Karagul slams Israeli "ultra-rightists" and US "neo-cons" for urging the US administration to "punish" the Erdogan government for objecting to new UN sanctions against Iran and ending the Turkish-Israeli "axis." He criticizes this group, which includes "the architects of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan," for calling for the ouster of the ruling AKP through measures similar to those adopted in Turkey during the so-called 28 February process. He also asserts that Turkey's new regional policies are part of a "grand project" that will end 100 years of dependence on the West in an "irreversible ... historic transformation" that the "ravings" of "a bunch of neo-con rogues" cannot stop.

    In an article entitled "Is Turkey turning away from the West: Yes and No", Yeni Safak (11.06.10) columnist Fehmi Koru takes issue with the representation of Turkey's "no vote" on new UN sanctions against Iran as a sign that Turkey is ending its alliance with the West under the ruling AKP. He compares Turkey's objection to new sanctions against Iran to its refusal to let the United States open a northern front on Iraq in 2003 and argues that those criticizing Ankara's stance on Iran today will be benefiting from the results of what will be Turkey's increased maneuvering capacity tomorrow thanks to its policy on Iran. He also criticizes the ruling AKP sharply for allowing Turkish courts to slow down access to Google in a move that has dealt a blow to Turkey's efforts to turn into an "information society." He warns that the Government's Internet policies signal an actual break with the general direction of the world.

    In an article entitled "Pushing your luck", Milli Gazete (11.06.10) columnist Mustafa Ozcan asserts that the UN Security Council's latest resolution against Iran has demonstrated Turkey and Brazil's policy toward Iran to be based on a wrong analysis, adding that while Turkey honored its agreement with Iran in voting against the resolution, there is an "immoral" element in Ankara's opposition to the UN decision, namely the fact that rather than being motivated by a sincere desire to introduce a diplomatic solution to the crisis, the Government's objections to new sanctions against Iran are part of a "calculated" attempt to increase popular support for the AKP at home.

    Addressing the question of whether Turkey is headed East or West given the latest developments and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's statement about Middle East cooperation, Milliyet (12.06.10) columnist Taha Akyol asserts that in the 21st century, the world will become "multi-centered." Akyol explains that the center will shift from the United States toward Asia, with the two sides forging cooperation. It is not only normal but necessary for Turkey to make overtures to 'the wider circle' and also to the Middle East," argues Akyol, adding, however, that Turkey also has "vital interests" with the West, and advises Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to desist from using harsh language.

    Writing in Hurriyet (12.06.10), Ertugrul Ozkok takes issue with Erdogan's latest declaration that Turkey cannot live without the Arabs, and juxtaposes it against the article penned by his adviser "Yasin Dogan," a. k.a. Yalcin Akdogan, in the pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) daily Yeni Safak. Ozkok cites Akdogan who said that the Mavi Marmara affair exposed the passive and collaborationist attitude of the Arab countries which aid and abet Israel's mistakes, and the rising sentiments of the people of these countries are making their leadership uneasy. This is tantamount to inciting these people against their governments, Ozkok maintains. He criticizes the hypocrisy of Erdogan in forging alliances and being friendly with those leaders, while behind their backs his adviser is inciting their people against their governments.

    Cengiz Candar, writing in Hurriyet (12.06.10), attempts to refute the claims that Turkey is shifting from West to East. On the subject of the economic cooperation with Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, Candar says that if Turkey fails to integrate with the EU, this alternative economic union may come into effect. With regard to its foreign policy shift, Candar says that it is the actions of Israel and the EU that actually pushed Turkey away. Candar explains that "in the wake of the Cold War, Turkey emerged as a 'power center' in its own 'close circle' with which it has economic, cultural, historical, and geographical ties within a wide 'geopolitical sphere." Given this, he adds, the relations of one of these "power centers or emerging powers" with the United States cannot be the same as before, and certainly not with a "rogue state" like Israel. Candar goes on to accuse the "neo-cons" in the United States of waging a libel campaign against Turkey and the AKP. Quoting Secretary Clinton's remarks that she believes that Turkey and Brazil will continue to play a diplomatic role with regard to Iran, Candar says that Turkey is not abandoning the West in favor of the East, and "there is no basic difference between Turkey and the United States in terms of their 'strategic goals.'"

    According to Cuneyt Arcayurek in Cumhuriyet (12.06.10), the government's religion-based policies are beginning to yield fruit, and Erdogan's "new goal" is a Middle East Union. Arcayurek dismisses the government's rejection of the claim that Turkey is shifting toward the East and that this union constitutes an alternative the EU. He suggests that Erdogan is trying to change Turkey's value system that is based on democracy and secularism, explaining that the Arab states with which the government wants to cooperate subscribe to different values. Arcayurek further suggests that the government is following in the footsteps of Necmettin Erbakan who advocated an Islamic state detached from the West.

    Writing in Radikal (12.06.10), Oral Calislar lauds Erdogan's foreign policy and the risks he is taking by adopting what he terms a principled stand, but laments the lack of will with regard to the Kurdish problem. At a time when the prime minister is defending the victims of the flotilla vis-a-vis Israel, Calislar states, Kurdish children are still in prison and the clashes with the PKK are intensifying. Erdogan is unable to "break the shell of the traditional conservative structure of Turkey's domestic politics," he contends. Calislar concludes that Turkey cannot pursue a principled foreign policy while it is in conflict with its own Kurds.

    In an article entitled "Erdogan-Erbakan difference in foreign policy", Zaman (12.06.10) columnist Abdulhamit Bilici comments on State Minister and Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis' remarks at a recent meeting in Brussels criticizing the leaders of some Muslim states for failing to exhibit "even the same amount of sensitivity in response to Israel's "bloody" attack on the Gaza flotilla as Pope Benedict XVI did." Drawing attention to the "lessons" for the AKP leadership in Bagis' remarks, Bilici urges the Erdogan government to pursue a more cautious foreign policy line in the Middle East based on the awareness that it "should never trust Muslim governments."

    In an article entitled "At the center of a diplomatic war", Milli Gazete (12.06.10) columnist Mustafa Ozcan comments on claims of cooperation between the terrorist PKK and Israel in carrying out the recent attack on a naval base in the Turkish coastal town of Iskenderun. He asserts that it is highly likely that the PKK is serving as a "hired gun" for Israel just like the Abu Nidal organization, adding that any connection between the PKK and Israel would be in the form of an "alliance of interests" rather than an "absolute alliance." He also claims that the latest allegations of a shift in Turkey's orientation from the West to the East signified by the Erdogan government's recent foreign policy moves are intended to prevent Ankara from distancing itself from Israel.

    In his column in Hurriyet (13.06.10) Cuneyt Ulsever maintains that the fact Turkey has changed its direction toward the Middle East cannot be rejected. "Whichever side you anchor yourself to, you adopt the value systems of that side," maintains Ulsever and condemns government's policy. Ulsever maintains that when the anchor is in the West, liberal-democratic values such as human rights, individual freedoms, and free market economy become one's guiding principles whereas when the anchor is in the Middle East, one cannot reject the practices of disregarding human rights and individual freedoms, silencing the opposition, or committing genocide as in Iran or Sudan and eventually the "supremacy of the law" which is the highest value in the West turns into the supremacy of the powerful. Recalling that Erdogan said "Turks cannot live without Arabs" and "Jerusalem's fate is not independent from Istanbul's fate," Ulsever concludes that not only Turkey's anchor has shifted but its direction in general as well.

    In his article Radikal's (12.06.10) Okay Gonensin criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan for accusing the Turkish media of siding with the Israeli media and maintains that Erdogan's dislike of the media has recently intensified. Recalling that Erdogan said that the "world media" is under the Israeli influence, Gonensin likens the language that Erdogan lately uses to the anti-Semitic style that the Turkish Islamists used in the 70s. If the prime minister is referring to the similarity detected in reports with regard to the "shift of axis" in Turkey's foreign policy, it is only a natural situation, Gonensin writes, and adds that no sane Israeli would want Turkey to turn into one of the radical states of the Middle East. He also notes that sane Turkish citizens would not want that either.

    Kadri Gursel argues in his column in Milliyet (13.06.10) that Turkey could not have voted in favor of the UNSC sanctions because Foreign Minister Davutoglu's "zero problems with neighbors" theory would have collapsed. Maintaining that the "no" vote, which denotes a political and ideological refusal, brought about a historic rupture in relations with the West, Gursel asserts that Turkey should have abstained. Gursel opines that had Turkey abstained Turkey's ties with the "West alliance" would still be seriously damaged, but that the vote would not have such grave consequences as now.

    In an article entitled "Never if not now," Yeni Safak (13.06.10) columnist Fehmi Koru draws attention to arguments that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could face serious troubles if he decides that Turkey should assume the leadership of the Third World rather than acting as a NATO ally and a prospective EU member. Stressing that Turkey is pursuing a new foreign policy which is aimed at standing by countries which have taken a legitimate stance rather than blindly following the West as it did in the past, Koru argues that Turkey is consolidating its position within international organizations while commanding respect in all parts of the world as a result of its new policy.


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