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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-09-13

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] Eroglu holds contacts in Brussels
  • [02] Eroglu: property is one of the most significant issues of the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot press coverage of the referendum
  • [04] Akinci: A coalition between UBP-TDP is wrong
  • [05] Columnist says population in the occupied areas of Cyprus exceeded 800,000
  • [06] So-called minister calls on Turkish companies to claim the natural gas in the open sea between Cyprus and Israel
  • [07] Turkeys Aid Delegation annual report for 2009: 6.2 billion TL to the occupation regime during the past 12 years
  • [08] Foreign trade figures in occupied areas for January-June 2010
  • [09] 400 foreign athletes to participate in the Dr. Fazil Kucuk Games in occupied Cyprus

  • [10] Turkish citizens approve the constitutional amendments package
  • [11] Erdogan: Turkeys democracy strengthened
  • [12] Oppositions comments on the referendum outcome
  • [13] TUSIAD: Turkey needs a brand new constitution"
  • [14] Cyprus two years on


    The results of the referendum in Turkey regarding the constitutional amendments, statements by Dervis Eroglu before leaving for Brussels to discuss Direct Trade Regulation, data on the annual report of Turkeys aid delegation for 2009 and other internal issues are in the Turkish Cypriot press today. Over the weekend, the Turkish Cypriot press covered the statements by Eroglu after the meeting with Christofias, Akincis interview as well as the data on foreign trade in the occupied areas.

    [01] Eroglu holds contacts in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (12.09.10, online) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu travelled to Brussels for contacts with EU officials, accompanied by the so-called foreign minister, Huseyin Ozgurgun. During his visit, Eroglu will meet with the EU term President Belgium's Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere as well as high-level EU officials, to discuss the implementation of Direct Trade Regulation.

    Speaking to the press before his departure, Eroglu said that the main aim of the TRNC is to join the EU after the solution of the Cyprus problem. Noting that the TRNC is closely following Turkeys efforts in its EU membership process with appreciation, Eroglu said Cyprus Turks and Turkey should take their place within the European Union.

    Eroglu also said that during his contacts he will discuss the issue of Direct Trade Regulation with EU officials and will ask the EU to keep its promises on the implementation of the regulation. Stressing that the Direct Trade Regulation is a priority issue, Eroglu said that redeeming this promise will prompt Greek Cypriots towards solving the Cyprus problem.

    [02] Eroglu: property is one of the most significant issues of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (11.09.10, online) reports on the talks between the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and President Demetris Christofias held on Friday (10.9.10).

    Speaking to reporters on his return to his residence after the talks, Eroglu said that special representatives Kudret Ozersay and George Iacovou are tasked with further meetings this month in order to discuss the main aspects of the property issue with the aim of identifying areas of convergence.

    Eroglu responded to criticism for launching negotiations with the property issue and said that property is among the most significant chapters of the Cyprus problem that needs to be negotiated, and that negotiations on other issues will take place once discussions on property are concluded.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot press coverage of the referendum

    The Turkish Cypriot press today (13.09.10) gives extensive coverage to the results of the referendum held yesterday in Turkey.

    Under the title Turkey decided, Kibris reports that the constitutional amendments were approved, with 58% of the voters saying yes and 42% no. The paper writes that these were the expected results and notes that Prime Minister Erdogan thanked the people and said that democracy won.

    The editor-in-chief of Kibris, Resat Akar argues that with the constitutional amendments Turkey has shown to the world its determination in its EU accession course. He notes that the Europeans know that Ankara has other alternatives, if the EU turns its back to Turkey. Akar says that some persons might worry that Turkey will give Cyprus away and save itself, but this will not happen.

    Turkey might give to the Greek Cypriots and Greece another chance for peace. It could say yes to saving Cyprus from the division with a plan similar to the Annan Plan, he argues.

    Afrika refers to the issue under the title 58% yes, 42% no and points out that Republican Peoples Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu could not vote.

    Under the title Turkey said yes, Halkin Sesi reports that the results showed a picture similar to the one of the general elections in 2007 and the municipality elections in 2009. The paper writes that the highest yes percentage was in Agri district and the highest no percentage in Tunceli district.

    Yeni Duzen covers the issue under the title New period with the yes vote. Commenting on the results, columnist Aysu Basri Akter says that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) received a vote of confidence and points out that there is no excuse now for the AKP not to take real steps on the Cyprus problem, which was one of its Achilles heels for its deterioration during the period it is in power, and on the issue of the openings.

    Commenting on the results, Ortam reports that the demilitarization won in Turkey.

    The rest of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers cover the issue under the following titles:

    Gunes: The Turkish people said yes

    Havadis: The yes vote beat all hollow

    Star Kibris: Turkey said yes

    Haberdar: Turkey decided: YES!

    Vatan: Yes to the constitutional amendment in Turkey (The paper points out that the results are unofficial)

    Kibrisli: Key victory for Erdogan

    Yeni Volkan: Yes came out from the referendum in Turkey

    Demokrat Bakis is the only Turkish Cypriot newspaper which did not publish the results of the referendum.


    [04] Akinci: A coalition between UBP-TDP is wrong

    Under the title It is a mistake with UBP, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (11.09.10) in its front page publishes an exclusive interview with Mustafa Akinci who criticized a possible coalition of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) with the National Unity Party (UBP). Akinci believes that it is a mistake for Cakici to form a coalition government with UBP.

    Akinci, who has been absent from politics for three years now, said to the paper that TDP should examine whether UBP really has the need to cooperate with TDP or whether UBP will use TDP as a front.

    Noting that TDP had criticized a protocol signed between UBP and Turkey, Akinci wonders how TDP will form a coalition government now with a political party which it (TDP) opposed it whatever it (UBP) used to say in the past.

    Recalling that TDP cooperated again with UBP ten years ago, Akinci said that he was deputy prime minister for 2.5 years and there were a lot of problems with the UBPs stance during that period.


    [05] Columnist says population in the occupied areas of Cyprus exceeded 800,000

    Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (13.09.10), columnist Mehmet Levent reports that the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus exceeded 800,000. Under the title Nothing is enough for this population, Levent refers to the statement made recently by the trade unions in the health sector that health services were offered to 100,000 persons in 2000 and 700,000 persons in 2008.

    Levent writes, inter alia, the following:

    The population which Turkey accumulated here and settled on the looted properties captured from the Greek Cypriots knowing that this is a war crime, is over 800,000. There is no need for any other research and investigation in order to confirm this number. The fact that in 5-6 years only the number of persons who were (offered) health services increased from 100,000 to 700,000 persons, clearly and openly indicates the dimension of this terrifying accumulation of population...

    Levent adds that if an annual increase of 100,000 persons continues, the hospitals in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be forced to offer services to one million persons by the end of 2010. The columnist points out that the Turkish Cypriots, who are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, use their rights and visit the hospitals in the free areas of the Republic, while the Turkish settlers seek care, in the hospitals of the occupied areas of the island, because they have no other option. Levent notes that this proves that the population accumulated in Cyprus from Turkey paralyzed the health services in the occupied part of the island. Levent notes that the money sent by Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus is not enough even for the population it has accumulated on the island.


    [06] So-called minister calls on Turkish companies to claim the natural gas in the open sea between Cyprus and Israel

    Under the title Claim the natural gas in the open sea of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (13.09.10) reports that the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus, mobilized following information that natural gas reserves of about 300 billion cubic meters have been found in the open sea between Cyprus and Israel.

    Sunat Atun, so-called minister of energy and economy of the breakaway regime, has asked the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), which had been granted a research permit by the regime, to begin explorations. He also called on the Turkish energy companies to be active on this issue. Atun alleged that the TRNC and the countries with which it cooperates have the right to carry out explorations for energy resources in the exclusive economic zone of the TRNC. He recalled that they had given a permit to TPAO in the past to carry out explorations and added that they will evaluate this permit within the framework of the agreements they made with Turkey.

    The reserves of the Mediterranean Sea are under no ones monopoly, alleged Atun adding that they want the Turkish firms to be active on this issue.


    [07] Turkeys Aid Delegation annual report for 2009: 6.2 billion TL to the occupation regime during the past 12 years

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (12.09.10) reports that according to the Annual report of Turkeys Aid Delegation for 2009, the Turkish Republic has granted to the occupation regime from 1998 until today the amount of 6,191,576,58 TL as grants and credits.

    As the paper writes, Turkey has contributed in several fields through grants and credits. Turkey granted aid for projects in defence and infrastructure and provided credits to the public sector and the real and financial sector.

    According to Turkeys Aid Delegation Annual Report for 2009, which has been prepared by the Presidency of Turkeys Aid Delegation in the embassy of Turkey in the occupied area, the amount of 1,105,69, 286 TL was allocated. Out of this amount, 928,690,272 TL were expenses.

    The report shows the constant increase of Turkeys annual aid. During 2001, the aid from Turkey was 201 million dollars, during 2006 it doubled and reached 438 million dollars and as of last year the aid tripled reaching 600 million dollars. An amount of 176,613,845 TL was transferred to 2010. From this amount, 15,288,408 TL was for defence, 101,475,578 TL was for infrastructure investments, 36,897,660 TL for credits and 22,952,200 TL for subsidies.

    The paper reports in detail on the amounts of credits and grants given from Turkey to the occupation regime from 1998-2010.

    Furthermore, the report includes the projects which were carried out in the occupied areas. Among them is the restoration of the building of the Municipality of Louroudjina, the construction of the road in the village of Louroudjina, the credit allocated for the renovation of Arasta market and others.

    On the same issue, Hasan Hasguler, in his article in the Turkish daily Kibris (13.09.10) under the title 600 inside, 1000 outside alleges that Turkey earns from the occupation regime millions of dollars each year and that Turkey takes back half of the amount given to the occupation regime.


    [08] Foreign trade figures in occupied areas for January-June 2010

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (11.09.10) the imports during the first semester of 2010 in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus increased by 26% reaching 727.6 million dollars. Exports also increased by 43%, reaching 58 million dollars.

    According to data published by self-styled trade department, 68.7% of imports came from Turkey and the rest from third countries. Of the exports 43.9% go to Turkey and 56.1% to third countries.

    The biggest share in imports is vehicles followed by fuel, medicine, mobiles, garments and construction iron. The biggest share in exports is citrus fruits, dairy products and raki.


    [09] 400 foreign athletes to participate in the Dr. Fazil Kucuk Games in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (13.09.10) reports that 400 athletes from 26 countries will compete in the 12th Dr. Fazil Kucuk International Games to take place in the occupied areas of Cyprus between September 21 and 26. According to statements by chairman of the organizing committee, Askin Burcu, 16 federations from around the world are participating in the games with a total of 700 athletes --around 300 local and 400 foreign athletes-- will participate in the games.


    No papers from Turkey were received today. Todays Turkish dailies (13.09.10-online versions) are dominated by reports and commentaries about the results of the constitutional reform referendum, as well as Turkeys defeat by USA in the final of the 2010 World Basketball Championship.

    [10] Turkish citizens approve the constitutional amendments package

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (HDN, 12.09.10) reported from Ankara that Turkey has approved much-debated constitutional amendments that will redesign the countrys top judicial institutions, providing the ruling party an important political victory ahead of next years general elections.

    HDN reports the following: With nearly all ballot boxes counted after Sundays referendum, held on the 30th anniversary of the September 12, 1980 military coup, 58% of voters backed the 26 constitutional amendments while 42% opposed the changes.

    The overall turnout in the referendum was around 77%, an indication that the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Partys (BDP), call to boycott the vote was influential. ()

    Following months of debate and heavy campaigning by political party leaders, the referendum ended with a triumph for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). As in the 2009 local elections, the main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) mostly found support in the coastal areas around the Aegean and the Mediterranean, which largely voted in line with its no push.

    The ruling party swept the votes in the major cities of Istanbul and Ankara as well as in southeastern Anatolia, where the BDP boycotted the referendum. In Diyarbakir, a BDP stronghold, for instance, there was a 33% turnout, with more than 90% of those who voted casting their ballots in favour of yes.

    Izmir, a traditional base for the CHP, supported the main oppositions campaign against the amendments, with 63% voting no and 36% saying yes.

    In the capital, where the turnout was 80%, some 54% voted yes and 45% voted no in the referendum. The votes in Istanbul followed a similar pattern, with 54% yes votes and 45% for no.

    The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which also campaigned against the proposed reforms, faced a disappointment in most of the provinces where it won mayoral seats in the 2009 local elections. In Osmaniye, hometown of MHP leader Devlet Bahceli, the majority said yes in Sundays referendum.

    The hometowns of other party chiefs followed their leads. In Tunceli, the hometown of CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, around 80% of locals said no, while in Rize, hometown of AKP leader Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the majority said yes.

    The no votes also dominated in Antalya, hometown of former CHP leader Deniz Baykal, as they did in Adana, Hatay and Mersin. The most surprising development came from Denizli and Usak, two cities known for their conservative and rightist voters, which voted no.

    The southeastern provinces of Bingol, Siirt, Diyarbakir, Mardin and Hakkari were among the provinces that cast strong yes votes, while Tunceli, Kirklareli, Edirne, Tekirdag and Izmir had the highest percentages of no ballots. In Kayseri, hometown of President Abdullah Gul, 73% said yes and 26% said no.

    Though the BDPs boycott campaign was influential in southeastern Anatolia, those who did turn up at polling places in the region generally voted yes. In Hakkari, the turnout was only 6.8% while in Sirnak it was 23% and in Van 43%.

    With the conclusion of the referendum process, the government will determine a new road map in the run up to the 2011 general elections. Its two major priorities are expected to be resolving the Kurdish question and dealing with the Cyprus crisis, which will face EU scrutiny in December.

    [11] Erdogan: Turkeys democracy strengthened

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (A.A, 12.09.2010) reports from Istanbul that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country's democracy was strengthened by voting in favour of a referendum on Sunday over a package of constitutional reforms.

    "Our citizens have shown their confidence in our democracy and bolstered it by voting in favour of reforms. Our democracy is now much more powerful. Today, the winner is democracy," Erdogan told the press in Istanbul.

    "Today's referendum is a turning point for democracy and it opened a new and a bright future. The regime of guardianship will be buried in the past. Those who long for military coups will be doomed to lose," Erdogan said, and added: "The referendum had raised the bar of our democracy, the rule of law and justice. The referendum has given the message that our people wanted an advanced democracy where the rule of law prevails, national will rules, and the regime of guardianship ends."

    [12] Oppositions comments on the referendum outcome

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (HDN, 13.09.10) reports from Ankara that the leaders of Turkey's opposition parties expressed their discontent with the referendum results but said they will respect the peoples will, urging the government not to take advantage of the result.

    We respect the will of the people. We have learned lessons from the referendum. But no one can deny the extraordinary pressure put on the public, main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said Sunday at a press conference. Kilicdaroglu also said they were satisfied with the percentage of no votes but added, Of course we wish the outcome were no; the government has taken a step to bind the judiciary to the government.

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, however, preferred to make a written statement about the results and said: The AKP mobilization of state resources, resort to illegal means such as pressure, bribery, lies and threats as well as the abuse of moral values to achieve political ends has become a bleak page in our history. The government-backed constitutional amendments will allow the AKP to create a pro-government judiciary and with the adoption of the constitutional amendments, Turkey has entered a dark period full of vital risks and dangers.

    Meanwhile, a Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy, Sirri Sakik told the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review (12.09.10) that Our message has reached the base of the Kurdish region. What Kurds call for is a new constitution to solve the Kurdish problem and a process for dialogue.

    Sakik noted that the Kurdish region had mostly proven loyal to the BDP boycott call and said that the BDP acknowledges the fact that the majority of Turkey approved the constitutional changes. This means the public is in favour of the governments policies and that it finds the changes to be made important. This means the public thinks there is a need for a new constitution to solve the current problems he added.

    [13] TUSIAD: Turkey needs a brand new constitution"

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (12.09.10) reports from Istanbul that one of the country's most influential business organizations, TUSIAD (Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association) following release of the referendum results Sunday night, said: "Independent of the outcome, TUSIAD has repeatedly said the need for a new constitution will remain in place," TUSIAD, which came under pressure from the government to reveal its stance on the amendments in the run-up to the poll, said the result reflected the will of the voters and society, and added: "Indeed, both the referendum process and the result have confirmed that the majority of the population, political parties and civil society organizations have a common expectation for a brand new constitution. This gives hope for the efforts toward such a constitution."

    [14] Cyprus two years on

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman (12.9.10) hosts the following analysis on Amanda Paul: Just over two years ago the leaders of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities began a new round of direct talks to try (once again) to find a solution to the intractable, decades-old Cyprus problem.

    Back then there was quite a lot of optimism that a deal was doable within 18 months. However, one should never underestimate the difficulties, sensitivities and emotions that are part and parcel of this problem and, not surprisingly, 24 months on the leaders are struggling to find middle ground on a whole host of key issues.

    Over the years, hundreds of rounds of negotiations have taken place. All these supreme efforts have hit a stone wall and failed. Each side blames the other, Turkey and foreign interference. The result has been a vicious circle that is increasingly difficult to break or move on from. Now it is evident the island has become two states: the Republic of Cyprus, recognized by the world, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), which is only recognized by Turkey. The KKTC has parallel institutions to those in the south, but due to its ongoing economic isolation continues to remain very reliant on Turkey for economic assistance. Many Turkish Cypriots now work in the south, benefit from the healthcare there and use their Greek Cyprus passports. Greek Cypriots travel north to enjoy the cheaper lifestyle and gamble away their money in the numerous casinos. Both sides now have a booming tourism trade. While many tourists still travel to the north via Turkey there is an increasing number that come via ports in the south and cross over the Green Line. However, deep resentment and distrust remain, and the thousands of Turkish mainlanders, now residing in the north, are loathed by Greek Cypriots. Even many Turkish Cypriots are concerned about their numbers and the somewhat conservative trends they have brought to the island.

    The search for a solution goes on and on. The leaders continue to negotiate a new agreement based on the long-standing UN agreement of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. Of course, the talks received something of a setback when former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat was replaced by Dervis Eroglu earlier this year. Mr Eroglu had something of a hard-line approach towards a solution and had no personal relationship with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, who had a long-standing friendship with Talat.

    Unfortunately while there is talk of progress, most people feel this is more lip service than anything and it is just too late. After almost four decades living apart there seems little desire to reunite. But yet there is no alternative but to go ahead as the international community will not support an independent northern Cyprus, nor would the Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots still hanker after a unitary state -- something Turkish Cypriots abhor.

    While some progress has been made and convergence has been reported on issues such as power sharing, relations with the EU, they are still far apart on many others. The latest round of talks has been focused on one of the thorniest issues -- the future of properties abandoned by their owners in the wake of the 1974 Turkish military intervention. Furthermore, they have not yet touched the issues of territorial adjustments, the repatriation of tens of thousands of Turkish settlers and the presence of foreign troops and guarantees.

    Both presidents also continue to come under pressure from opposition parties and others who are not interested in this sort of solution. Christofias has recently received very strong criticism for his three-point proposal to progress the talks that he put to Eroglu, being accused of living in a bubble and being the peddler of the views of the Turkish foreign minister. The proposal included an offer to return the ghost town of Varosha in exchange for allowing the north direct trade with the EU; linking property issues and discussions over territory, citizenship and immigration; and the organization of an international conference to deal with the international aspects of the problem including security and guarantees. While the international community welcomed the proposals, the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey showed very little interest, dismissing them as nothing new. Exchanging Varosha for direct trade was under discussion three years ago. The Turkish Cypriots state that direct trade was an EU proposal, and not a Greek Cypriot concession, and, therefore, does not justify a concession from Turkish Cypriots.

    Reunification would greatly benefit all Cypriots with an increase in the standard of living, tourism and the creation of a flourishing agricultural industry. However, for the international community it has become a low-risk issue given a fresh outbreak of hostilities is unlikely. However, the continuation of the status quo mean stability and security in the region remains unpredictable. It also means that Turkey will never be able enter the EU as the unresolved problem is the biggest obstacle to Ankaras membership. The Cyprus problem has been going on for decades and seems likely to continue for decades more.

    [15] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 10-12 September 2010:

    a) Turkish-US relations

    Cumhuriyet (12.9.10) carries an interview with former Turkish Ambassador to the United States Faruk Logoglu by Leyla Tavsanoglu. Logoglu comments on the current state of bilateral relations, underlining the concern felt in Washington regarding Turkey's foreign policy orientation and the state of the 'model partnership' with the United States.

    In his article in Hurriyet (10.9.10), Mehmet Ali Birand says that high-level AKP officials who are in charge of foreign affairs admit the fact that Turkey's policies on Iran and Israel negatively affected the Turkish-US relations. He also notes that Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu started to lose prestige in the West while they gained popularity in the Middle East. Asking whether Ankara will continue to support Iran's policies on the nuclear issue, he cites an unnamed high-level government official as saying that Ankara clearly informed Tehran that it is "the last country that wants Iran to become a nuclear power." According to this official, he adds, the prime minister even told Ahmedinezhad: "Do not deceive us. We are aware of everything. What we are trying to do is to protect our interests and have this matter solved before it causes a war." Birand concludes by noting that Turkey should have voted in favour of the sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council in order not to further strain its ties with the United States.

    b) Possible presidential system in Turkey

    In his column in Hurriyet entitled "Elected Sultanate," Oktay Eksi criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan for his statement to CNN Turk about adopting the presidential system in Turkey. Eksi maintains that the system will be aimed at making Erdogan president, which will totally eliminate the mechanisms of the parliamentary system. Under this system, there will not be a prime minister, only ministers who will be appointed by the president, and no accountability vis-a-vis the parliament. Eksi says that for the presidential system to work well, the legislative, executive, and judicial organs should not interfere in one another, and moreover, they should balance one another's power. In Turkey, however, Eksi laments, "A mentality prevails that considers even 'the law' as 'shackles' around his feet. What would the 'presidential system' turn into in his hands?"

    Cuneyt Arcayurek writes in Cumhuriyet (12.9.10) that Erdogan is raising the possibility of another referendum with the aim of implementing his plans "to transform Turkey into a state led by religious rules under the name of a republic." Arcayurek claims that Erdogan has not changed, and has been reducing or eliminating the main principles of the republic by hiding behind the shield of democracy and EU's democratic conditions ever since he came to power in 2002. Arcayurek argues that Erdogan is planning to submit the presidential system to a referendum as he wants to become the head of the state and the head of the executive at the same time, adding that this system works in the United States because of the existence of the Congress. Presuming that a parliament that will stand up to the president can be established in Turkey, would be serving Erdogan's goal of political Islam, Arcayurek maintains.

    c) EU's attitude toward Turkey

    Writing in Hurriyet (12.9.10), Ferai Tinc comments on the EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, and argues that as problems such as the situation in Pakistan grow, Europe is realizing more clearly the importance of Turkey's role. She adds that "the fact that Turkey has begun taking steps outside the system are also among the reasons for Europe's awakening." Referring to the article penned by the foreign ministers of Britain and Finland, Tinc concludes that these two ministers want to take advantage of Turkey's growing influence in the Middle East and the Balkans, and especially in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, even before Turkey's membership in the EU becomes final. Tinc concludes: "It is becoming clear that in the coming days Brussels will turn its partnership axis toward foreign policy and economic cooperation spheres with Turkey." However, she adds, "Turkey does not want to be only a 'strategic partner,' but the question of political partnership involves the public opinions. From that aspect, it is not a fortunate period in terms of either side."

    In an article in Hurriyet (10.9.10), Ferai Tinc focuses on EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule's remarks over the constitutional amendments in Turkey. Recalling Fule's remarks that "the approval of the constitutional amendment package will have a positive impact on the Progress Report" on Turkey, Tinc says the European Commission had to issue a written statement when it realized that those remarks conflicted with its principle of remaining "impartial" on the issues concerning the member countries' domestic affairs. Noting that the European Commission's support for the amendment package is "not unconditional," Tinc says that what the Commission actually wants is to see the "implementation" of the amendments. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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