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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-16
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 111/10 16.06.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat says Eroglu is not sincere when he talks about a solution in Cyprus until the end of the year; He describes the property as the thorniest issue on which absolutely no work has been doneUnder the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.06.10) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is not sincere when he talks about reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem until the end of the year.
In an interview to Cihan news agency, Mr Talat noted that finding a solution in Cyprus until the end of the year is possible, but one should have the necessary vision for this and work with this aim. Mr Talat alleged that starting the negotiations with the property issue is tantamount to leading the negotiations to a point close to deadlock.
Mr Talat questioned Mr Eroglus sincerity during the negotiating process by saying the following:
Is a solution until the end of the year Eroglus real wish? This is also an issue of debate. In my view, alleging that Eroglu sincerely wants a solution and wants this to happen until the end of the year is a little bit credulous.
Referring to the meeting he held recently with Mr Eroglu and the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, Mr Talat expressed his satisfaction with Eroglus invitation and added that they exchanged views regarding the negotiating process and Mr Eroglus adviser Kudret Ozersay briefed them on the proposals which the Turkish Cypriot side would submit. He noted that he conveyed to Mr Eroglu his experiences after the long lasting negotiations he had carried out and added that holding such meetings during the negotiating process would be beneficial for the Turkish Cypriots.
When he was reminded of the target stated by Turkey and the UN Secretary-General that an agreement should be reached in Cyprus until the end of the year, Mr Talat said:
If intensive effort is exerted, an agreement could happen until the end of the year. What is important is to have this vision, this wish and work with this willingness. We had achieved important progress, because we had this target. We achieved very important progress on the chapter of Governance and Power Sharing. Governance and Power Sharing is the biggest chapter. If this chapter was advanced and a broader agreement was reached, speeder progress could have been achieved on the other chapters.
Mr Talat said the fact that Mr Eroglu started the negotiations from the property issue was a mistake and described the property as the thorniest issue on which absolutely no work has been done. He alleged that starting the negotiations with the property issue means helping the Greek Cypriots. He claimed that starting with the property issue is tantamount to leading the negotiations to a point close to a deadlock and added that Mr Eroglu should not have accepted this proposal of the Greek Cypriots. That is, they want to delay us anyway. In a sense, we are giving them a trump card by opening for debate a delaying chapter. I do not want to say that this was a vital mistake, but the correct thing to do was to continue with the governance and power sharing, because there is a lot of progress in this chapter. Mr Dervis, however, preferred the property thinking let us postpone these issues, because he is too sensitive especially for the issue of single sovereignty.
Mr Talat went on and alleged that the Greek Cypriots do not want an early solution, because they think that as long as they corner Turkey in its accession process into the EU they will acquire more advantages.
Mr Talat claimed that the visit of Foreign Minister, Markos Kyprianou to Israel and the effort he has allegedly exerted for an Israeli fleet to come to Cyprus in order to protest against the Turkish occupation of the island, is a primitive policy and it is the policy of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Mr Talat alleged that the only thing which will be achieved by Israel sending ships is the deterioration of the relations and added that: This process can bring no gain to the Greek Cypriot side because all the world knows that the TRNC is not an occupied area. The TRNC is a country, a state which the Turkish Cypriot people sustain with their free will.
Evaluating the tension in the relations between Turkey and Israel, Mr Talat expressed the view that this should not be assessed as changing of the axis of the Turkish policy.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot Haberdar newspaper (16.06.10) refers to Mr Talats statement under the title It would be naivety and reports that he said it would be naivety to expect Mr Eroglu to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem until the end of the year.
 Bagis alleges that two democracies and two states exist in Cyprus and that the world should support themUnder the title Solution by the end of the year, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.06.10) publishes an interview with Egemen Bagis, Turkeys State Minister and chief EU negotiator, to the papers journalist Can Sarvan. Mr Bagis stated, inter alia, that he is hopeful that a solution can be reached until the end of the year but he also said that the world must understand that there are two democracies in the island of Cyprus.
Asked if a solution can be reached by the end of the year and if an international conference can take place in December (about the Cyprus problem), Mr Bagis said that he believes that if this is desired, a solution can be reached by the end of the year. I do not believe that the actors in Cyprus, both the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot side, have new things to learn. They all know everything. What is important is a common will to be displayed, he stated. He went on and added that a solution which can be beneficial and acceptable for both sides must be reached, even if the sides have some concerns about it.
As he said the Annan Plan was a case like this and the Turkish side took the risk and accepted it while the Greek Cypriot side rejected it because it had nothing to win and nothing to lose. There was nothing for the Turkish Cypriot side to lose anymore, he said and added that from now on the award and the punishment, the carrot and the stick must be set clear at the negotiating table. He said that the punishment of the Greek Cypriot side must be clarified in case the negotiations end up without success again and the side which prevents the solution is the Greek side.
Asked if everything functions democratically in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Bagis stated that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, can be seen as an example by the world and added: I say this to everyone: In Cyprus, when the sun is born in that beautiful island it is born for two separate states and two separate democracies. The world may see it or may not see it; however, it is born for two separate democracies, two separate states, two separate parliaments, two separate schools and higher education systems. But the most important of all is that two separate democracies are born. And the world must protect these democracies.
Mr Bagis went on and added that the Cyprus problem is a national cause and called on all the politicians in occupied Cyprus to cooperate for this cause. He said that he saw that the current Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu approached very positively his proposal regarding sending the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to Brussels for contacts with circles which he influences.
He also said that Turkeys accession process to the EU is not important only for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, but it is a target of national strategy. He added, however, that Cyprus is important for AKP as well.
Finally, Mr Bagis stated that it is too early to criticize Mr Eroglu either for his negotiation team or for his efforts for the negotiations. On this the journalist asked him: So you do not consider as a big mistake the fact that during the first meeting (of the negotiations) he accepted the decisions of the UN Security Council. Mr Bagis replied: I say that at this point is too early to make evaluations.
 Statements by Dervis Eroglu after the second meeting with President Christofias within the framework of the negotiating process aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problemTurkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (16.06.10) reports on statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu following the new meeting held on Tuesday with President Demetris Christofias within the framework of the negotiating process aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
During yesterdays meeting, President Christofias and Mr. Eroglu discussed the property issue and according to Mr. Eroglus statements from occupied Lefkosia, the Turkish Cypriot side made a presentation to the Greek Cypriot side benefiting from the latest verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights (ERHC) on the property issue in Cyprus. Mr. Eroglu, further, added that the special aides of the leaders, Mr. Iacovou and Mr. Ozersay, will evaluate the presentations and discuss further the issue of property during their next meetings.
Touching upon the issue of occupied Limnitis crossing point, Mr. Eroglu said that during the meeting, the Turkish Cypriot side proposed the special aides of the leaders, as well as the UN representatives in Cyprus to inspect the works that are being carried out for the opening of the Limnitis crossing-point.
Mr. Eroglu also said that the leaders agreed on holding four new meetings, which will take place on June 23, and July 9, 22 and 28. Importance was attached on scheduling the leaders meetings during the dates the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer will be in Cyprus, Mr. Eroglu noted.
The Turkish Cypriot leader also said that on Friday, June 18, he will visit Ankara for one-day visit to hold contacts on Cyprus with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
 A campaign aiming the recognition at the breakaway regime will begin on July 20 in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (16.06.10) reports that the so-called TRNC Recognition Association is ready to launch a campaign under the title, We want to be recognised, aiming to gather 80 thousand signatures for the recognition of the breakaway regime in Cyprus. According to the paper, the campaign will begin on July 20 the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and it will last for 80 days.
As it is reported, the signatures that will be gathered during the campaign, as well as the letter that will demand recognition, will be presented during a press conference in New York, where a group of at least 100 persons will travel. Moreover, the signatures of the letter will be conveyed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. As it was announced by the chairman of the association, Mr Efgan Bilgi, in order for making their voice on this issue stronger, they plan to convey the signatures and the letter to the foreign ministries of the counties where the breakaway regime has representation offices.
 Observers from seven foreign countries, including Iran, are attending a search and rescue exercise organized in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.06.10) reports that the Martyr Lieutenant Caner Goneyli Search and Rescue Exercise started yesterday in St. Hilarion Castle area in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus. The second and third stages of the exercise will take place in the sea of Famagusta, south of occupied Rizokarpaso.
Major General Abdullah Recep, commander of the so-called security forces (GKK), briefed the press yesterday at the headquarters of GKK in occupied Bogazi regarding the exercise. He said the exercise is held every year with the aim of de facto testing TRNCs search and rescue possibility and capability and stressing its authority in the field of search and rescue activities in Eastern Mediterranean.
General Recep said that the exercise will be carried out in two stages and three scenarios which will be open for press and foreign observers and added that as GKK they invited 56 countries to follow the exercise and that ten observers from seven foreign countries came until now to the occupied areas of Cyprus for this reason.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (16.06.10) refers to the issue under the title Iran is observer, Israel is not attending the exercise in the TRNC and reports that while 56 countries have been invited to observe the exercise, Israel was not among these counties and reminds of the warmed up Eastern Mediterranean Sea due to the military operation organized by the Israeli army against the Mavi Marmara ship. The fact that Iran has sent an observer to the exercise after the voting at the UN drew the attention, writes the paper.
 Trade unions reject the proposal of the self-styled government on the issue of the illegal KTHYTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.06.10) reports that no agreement could be reached in the platform established for rescuing the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines regarding the proposals made by the self-styled government. A group of trade unions which rejected the proposals issued a joint statement describing them as intimidating and calling on the government to resign. The statement is signed by trade unions such as KTOS, KTOEOS, DEV-Is and KTAMS, which argue that the government is preparing the ground for deduction from the salaries of the employees and the pensioners and turned the KTHY employees into hostages in front of all the other employees.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.06.10) refers to the same issue and reports that 12 trade unions called on the government to resign.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.06.10) reports that Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) said he is satisfied with the governments proposals but they should be developed. He said the deduction from the salaries of the politicians should be 15% and not 10% as the government suggested.
Moreover, Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), stated that they support the proposal regarding the 10% decrease in the salaries of the politicians, but they are not in favour of the 5% deduction from the salary of the public servants.
 Tore said that TRNC would be protected no matter what was being discussed at the negotiation tableIllegal Bayrak television (15.06.10) reports the following:
The Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Zorlu Tore has stressed that claiming the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the most important duty. The Ministers comments came during a visit paid to him today by a delegation from the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Society.
Tore pointed out that a government which believes in the TRNC was in power, adding that the main objective was to perpetuate the state.Complaining of injustice done to the Cyprus Turkish People for years, the Minister said the TRNC would not be abandoned no matter what was being discussed at the Cyprus negotiation process.
For his part, the Society President Vural Turkmen wished the Minister success in his new position and stressed that the Society maintained their backing to the political will shown during last years parliamentary elections in support of double sovereignty in Cyprus.
He also underlined the need for all to claim the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 German students visit the occupied areasIllegal Bayrak television (15.06.10) broadcast the following:
A group of students and teachers from a German school has been received by the minister of national education, Youth and Sports Nazim Cavusoglu. Students and teachers from the Euskirchen Georgschule in Koln are in the TRNC as guest of its sister school Gazimagusa Turk Maarif College.Welcoming the visiting group, Cavusoglu said that such visits were making important contributions to world peace.
The minister explained the students that the Cyprus Turkish youth was suffering under restrictions imposed on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 Turkey and South Korea signed nuclear energy cooperation agreementAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.06.10) reports the following from Seoul:
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak formally welcomed Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Seoul on Tuesday.
Following the ceremony, the two presidents co-chaired a meeting between Turkish and South Korean delegations. Turkish State Minister Hayati Yazici and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz also attended the meeting. Turkey and South Korea signed several agreements during the meeting.
Yildiz and South Korean Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Kyung-hwan signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in nuclear energy regarding the power plant which is planned to be built in Turkey's northern province of Sinop.
The two countries also signed agreements on cooperation and assistance in customs, and on cultural exchange program between 2010 and 2012.
Turkey's MTA (General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration) and South Korean KIGAM also signed a cooperation agreement.
Moreover, A.A. (15.06.10) reports the following from Seoul:
The Turkish president said on Tuesday that Turkey and South Korea had 3.1 billion USD of trade volume.
Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said Turkey's exports to South Korea constituted 93 percent of that trade volume. We must sign a free trade agreement this year, Gul told reporters on the sidelines of his formal visit to South Korea.
Gul said South Korean executives and he had agreed to sign the free trade agreement soon. President Gul said he focused on defence industry during his talks with South Korean executives, and Turkey was purchasing the armours of tanks manufactured in its territories from South Korea.
Gul said Turkey was selling simulators to South Korea, and was willing to sell Turkish Attack and Reconnaissance (ATAK) helicopters to that country.The ATAK helicopter project was worth 2.5 billion USD, and South Korea was carrying out an investigation regarding the project, Gul said. Gul also said South Korea was also interested in Apache helicopters.
Abdullah Gul arrived in South Korea early on Monday, becoming the first Turkish president visiting this country in 28 years.
Gul met Hyundai Motor Co. Chairman Chung Mong-Koo on Monday, and he was welcomed by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak formally and met Park Hee-tae, the speaker of South Korea's National Assembly on Tuesday. Gul also attended Turkey-South Korea Business Forum, and a dinner hosted in his honor by President Lee Myung-bak.
On the sidelines of Gul's visit, Turkey and south Korea signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in nuclear energy, agreements on cooperation and assistance in customs, and on cultural exchange program between 2010 and 2012.
Turkey's MTA (General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration) and South Korean KIGAM also signed a cooperation agreement.
 ECHR ordered Turkey to reregister historic Orthodox orphanage. Bagis said Turkey agreed with Ecumenical Patriarchate to turn the building into an environment instituteTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (16.06.10), under the title Turkey ordered to reregister historic Orthodox orphanage, reports the following:
The top European court of human rights has ordered the Turkish government to reregister a historic Orthodox orphanage to the Istanbul-based Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and also told Ankara to pay 26,000 euros in total to the patriarchate for both non-pecuniary damages and costs and expenses.
In its ruling issued on Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) referred to its earlier judgment in July 2008 in which it held that the Turkish authorities were not entitled to deprive the applicant of its property without providing for appropriate compensation.
The church had not received any compensation and it had therefore had to bear an individual and excessive burden, entailing a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property). It further held that the question of the application of Article 41 (just satisfaction) was not ready for decision and reserved it. In today's [Tuesday's] judgment, the Court held that Turkey had to reregister the property in question in the land register in the applicant's name and to pay to the applicant 6,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage and 20,000 for costs and expenses, the court said.
Turkey should reregister the orphanage on the Princes' Islands off the coast of Istanbul to the patriarchate within three months, the court also said, according to news reports.
The orphanage, one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, was bought by the patriarchate in 1902 and its management was handed over to the Buyukada Greek Orphanage Foundation in 1903. The title deed of the orphanage has been under the control of the General Directorate for Foundations since 1997 and was registered as a property of the Buyukada Greek Orphanage Foundation by the directorate through a court order dated 2004. While the Turkish government argued that the property was sold at the time to the patriarchate by the Sehzade Sultan Mehmet Foundation for the building of an orphanage, and thus the property belonged to the Buyukada Greek Orphanage Foundation, the patriarchate insisted that the property had been registered as belonging to the patriarchate in Ottoman Empire archives and was also registered in the land office of the Turkish Republic in 1929 following the establishment of the republic in 1923.
On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.06.10) reports the following from Izmir:
Turkey's Chief Negotiator for accession talks with the EU, Minister Egemen Bagis, said Turkish Government agreed with the Fener Greek Patriarchate to turn the disputed orphanage in Buyukada, Istanbul to an environment institute.Earlier Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced its decision on the disputed orphanage. The court held that Turkish government had to return the orphanage to the Patriarchate and to pay it EUR 6,000 for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 20,000 for costs and expenses.Commenting on the ECHR ruling on his way out of a panel in Izmir, Bagis said they expected this outcome.
I spoke to the Patriarch yesterday; we agreed over a formula acceptable to all parties, foreseeing to turn the orphanage into an environmental institute. It will be turned into a structure where prominent scholars and scientists from around the globe conducting research in the field will be able work. The place is a abandoned wreckage, it needs serious restoration. We are working closely with the patriarchate, said Bagis.
 Turkish deputies carry out contacts in the USAAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.06.10) reports the following from Washington:
A group of lawmakers from Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party began talks in the United States on Tuesday.
On the first day of their talks in Washington, Turkish lawmakers, led by AK Party Deputy Chairman Omer Celik, met with Turkey experts from U.S. think tank organizations.
Omer Celik informed experts about Turkey's stance on Gaza issue and Israeli raid on Gaza-bound international aid flotilla.
Celik said Israel exhibited an unfair and aggressive attitude against activists on board Mavi Marmara ship.
Later, Turkish delegation had a meeting with a group of U.S. congressmen where they warned that the crisis in Turkish-Israeli relations would deepen unless Israel apologizes and supports establishment of an international, independent and credible committee to probe the Israeli attack that killed eight Turkish citizens and an American of Turkish origin on May 31.
Celik told U.S. congressmen that it would be very wrong to compare this crisis with Turkey's objection at the UN Security Council which adopted new sanctions on Iran.
He said it would mean ill-will to show these two things linked with each other, adding that Turkey's "no" vote was a result of a will to keep ways open for diplomacy and negotiation.
Turkish lawmakers will continue talks on Wednesday.
 Erdogan comments on Turkey-US relationsAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.06.10) reports the following from Ankara:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: Turkey's relations with the Middle East did not start with the political power of the Justice and Development (AK) Party. This is not a new and different thing.
Erdogan said at the parliamentary group meeting of his AK Party: The United States is one of the countries that can comprehend Turkey's mission in the best way. We have a multi-dimensional cooperation with the United States. Differences of opinion that emerge from time to time stem from our countries' lists of priorities.
Current U.S. administration led by President Barack Obama should well-understand and assess the fact that Turkey's stance in foreign policy would further activate the cooperation between the two countries. Turkey's relations with the Middle East did not start with the political power of the AK Party. This is not a new and different thing. There have always been relations between Turkey and the Middle East before and after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, he said.
Turkey faces a negative campaign whenever it intensifies relations with the Arab world and the Middle Eastern countries. Let's look at some economic figures. Direct investments by the United States in the Middle Eastern countries in the last 18 years amounted to 30 billion USD. Turkey's investments in those countries were about one 50th of this amount (643 million USD). Investments by the Middle Eastern countries in the EU-member countries reached 15 billion USD in the last 8 years. Their investments in Turkey were only 6.8 billion USD. Exports from the United States to the Arab Countries were about 44 billion USD in 2009 while exports from France were 35 billion USD and from Germany were 34 billion USD. Turkey's exports to the Arab countries were only 21 billion USD. All countries have economic and commercial relations with the Arab world. But when it comes to Turkey, they talk about 'Arab capital, green capital and Islamic capital'. They use racist, discriminative and humiliating expressions, he said. Erdogan said, Our axis is the axis of peace, solidarity and law. These axes have never changed throughout the history, and they will not change henceforth.
Referring to recent acts of terror, Prime Minister Erdogan said that it was the terrorist organization itself which caused negligence of eastern and southeastern Turkey.
They prevented investments as well as services of education and health in the region. Now, in a period when we try to further consolidate our unity, they take action to obstruct Turkey's initiatives once again, he said.
Erdogan also called on people in the region to voice their uneasiness and reaction against the terrorism.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Israel made a very serious mistake by equating Turkey with other countries.
Erdogan said at the parliamentary group meeting of his Justice and Development (AK) Party: Israel attacked the six-ship flotilla carrying activists and humanitarian aid to Gaza on May 31 by expecting that its state terror, unlawfulness and piracy in the region would be tolerated, ignored and forgotten once again. But Israel made a very serious mistake by equating Turkey with other countries. It is paying for it now and will continue to pay.In the same period, the United Nations Security Council decided to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. Turkey, together with Brazil, voted against the resolution to defend a diplomatic solution, he said.U.S. President Barack Obama sent letters to me and to President Luiz Lula de Silva of Brazil. We signed the Tehran Agreement based on the content of those letters. We said that the problem should be resolved diplomatically since our region is tired of wars and clashes. We all saw what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of people died. Hundreds of thousands of others lost their beloved ones. They talk about democracy. Then, they carry out anti-democratic actions, he said.
Recently, there has been a defaming campaign against Turkey's axis. Turkey's axis did not change just because it signed the Tehran Agreement. Actually, it was your axis which has changed, he said.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 15 June 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 15 June 2010:
a) Debate over 'Shift of Axis' in ruling AKP's foreign policy
Mehmet Ali Birand of Hurriyet Daily News opposes those who argue that there is a "shift of axis" in the foreign policy pursued by the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP. Birand says in his article that the Turkish "leaders know very well that a Turkey in the process of becoming a full member of the EU and having a close relationship with the West is more attractive." However, Birand urges the government to "pay much attention" to its rhetoric in order not to be misunderstood by domestic and foreign circles.
Taraf columnist Melih Altinok views the debate over the alleged "shift of axis" in the Erdogan administration's foreign policy as an anti-AKP campaign carried out by "neo-nationalist" circles. In his article, Altinok lauds the AKP's foreign policy initiatives, saying that the removal of visa requirements with almost 60 countries, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's warm greeting to the leader of the Regional Kurdish Administration, the steps taken for the lifting of the embargo on Gaza Strip and the reunification of Cyprus, President Gul's visit to Armenia, and the recent swap agreement with Iran are some of the significant political steps taken by the Erdogan administration in the international arena. The columnist asks "whether Turkeys leftist, democratic and liberal circles, which are expected to support the establishment of friendly relations with the international community, Europe, and its neighbors, should be concerned over any of those developments."
An article by Radikal columnist Nuray Mert asserts that she will applaud a "shift of axis" in the Turkish foreign policy if it means a decision to quit underestimating "the East, the Arab world, and the Muslim geography."
Noting that she has always "supported a political and cultural rapprochement between Turkey and the Middle East," Mert warns that a political change will become dangerous if it drags Turkey from democracy to an authoritarian regime. She draws attention to the impact of the change in Ankara's foreign policy on domestic political atmosphere and laments that the government started to use a "threatening" tone against its opponents by describing them "Tel Aviv's lawyer," "Zionist," and "PKK mouthpiece."
In an article entitled "Why was the Axis debate started?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi argues that recent accusations that the ruling AKP has caused a shift in Turkey's political orientation from the West to the East are intended to "scare" the West into distancing itself from the Erdogan government and allying itself once again with Turkey's Kemalist-militarist establishment. He also asserts that while pro-establishment circles are trying to use the Gaza flotilla crisis as a means of accusing the AKP of returning to its Islamist roots, certain "old guard" Islamists are treating the said crisis as an opportunity to get the AKP to take on Islamist attitudes.
In an article entitled "Government's handling of crisis with Israel", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal asserts that the Erdogan government has used the latest "crisis" with Israel over the Gaza flotilla for domestic political purposes to increase popular support for the AKP ahead of the next general elections at a time when it is suffering from "frustration both internally and externally."
In an article entitled "New US strategy: leadership of the world", Milli Gazete columnist Abdullah Ozkan criticizes the new US National Security Strategy as one that defines "virtually" the same goals as the Bush administration tried to achieve and is distinguished from the former US government's "gross and clumsy" policies only by virtue of its "more sophisticated" use of "public diplomacy" tools as a means of accomplishing the same aims. Ozkan notes that the new document replaces "Bush's dream of an American Empire" with the purpose of "global leadership" rather than calling for the establishment of global peace.
b) Turkey-US relations after Iran vote at UNSC
In his column entitled "Will US punish Turkey?" Sami Kohen of Milliyet focuses on the impact of Turkey's "no" vote at the UN Security Council on the Turkish-American relations. Recalling that Washington was "shocked" by Ankara's decision to say "no" to the proposal to impose new sanctions on Iran, Kohen says: "The United States, which even managed to secure the support of Russia and China on the issue, is unable to digest Turkey's failure to extend the backing expected from an allied country." The columnist asserts that despite the presence of a group that calls for certain steps to punish Turkey because of its stance at the UNSC vote, the circles close to the Obama Administration still regard Turkey as an important ally and note the "common interests" of the two countries. Referring to US official Philip H. Gordon's "objective" assessment of the bilateral ties, Kohen says that Washington taking a negative position toward Ankara is unlikely.
An article by Hurriyet columnist Sedat Ergin also believes that Washington is planning to adopt a "balanced approach" toward Ankara despite its "disappointment" with Turkey's no vote at the UNSC. Ergin says that regardless of the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton displayed a "controlled" reaction after the vote, certain US officials' remarks over Turkey's Iran policy show that Washington's "disappointment is deeper" than expected. Noting that Ankara has not yet clarified its position on the sanctions, he says that the issue will be the main topic of discussion between Ankara and Washington in the coming days. The columnist also comments on the US assessment of the Turkish government's role in the Gaza aid flotilla, saying that the Obama administration expects a "fast, realistic, and comprehensive investigation" into the incident to understand if the Turkish government was involved in the aid campaign.