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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-09-27

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] Eroglus contacts in New York
  • [02] Davutoglu discusses the Cyprus problem with Hague and Downer
  • [03] OIC Foreign Ministers call for lifting of isolation on the Turkish Cypriots. Ozgurgun criticizes Greek Cypriots stance at the negotiations
  • [04] Population enigma
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot columnist comments on Kucuks statements on the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [06] Tore said that if the world does not recognize the TRNC, they will unite with Turkey
  • [07] Turkey signs a protocol with breakaway regime on agricultural loans
  • [08] CTP delegation to attend UK Labour Partys annual congress
  • [09] Irene boat sails from the occupied port of Famagusta carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza
  • [10] Allegations that UK Inland Revenue will confiscate illegal KTHYs London

  • [11] Turkey remembers mosque bombings after generals confession
  • [12] Erdogan on Yirmibesoglus confession
  • [13] Turkey and Arab countries agree to create a free trade zone
  • [14] Highlights


    Top stories in the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend include Eroglus meeting with the UN Secretary-General in New York, Davutoglus contacts in New York, Ozgurguns participation in the OIC Foreign Ministers meeting in New York and the communiqué of the meeting, Kucuks press conference on various issues. Moreover, the papers include comments on Kucuks statements on the population in the occupied areas, Tores statements in Alexandretta on unification of the TRNC with Turkey and a protocol signed with Turkey on agriculture. A CTP delegation to the Labour Party Congress, the boat sailing from the occupied port of Famagusta carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, reports that the UKs Inland Revenue will confiscate illegal KTHYs assets in London office, are other topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Eroglus contacts in New York

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.09.10), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Saturday.

    Following the meeting, Eroglu told reporters that Ban seemed determined, just like the Turkish Cypriot side, to reach conclusion of the talks by the end of this year. Mr Ban is already aware of our intention to intensify talks and get a result by the end of 2010. We will repeat it to Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias at the negotiation table, Eroglu said.

    Eroglu said he informed Ban about the Turkish Cypriot side's proposals on the property issue, and added: Return, compensation and exchange of properties are included in our proposal package. Our urban transformation project has been welcomed even by Greek Cypriot businessmen. What I can say is that we think it would be appropriate to come together as parties and guarantor powers at the end of the talks to launch a give-and-take process.

    Commenting on Cyprus President Christofias' remarks that Turkey is the key country and that he wants to meet Turkish officials to discuss Cyprus problem, Eroglu said: The problem is in Cyprus. People to solve the problem are in Cyprus as well. People to solve the question are sitting around the negotiation table.

    At a press conference at the Turkish House in New York, Eroglu also said that during his meeting with UNSG he repeated his request for a three-party meeting of Cypriot parties and Ban, adding: Ban said he would assess the matter.

    Eroglu also warned about upcoming Cyprus election scheduled for 2011 and said Christofias would focus on election next year which he said could affect Cyprus reunification talks. So, there is a risk of losing another year. In my opinion, talks may come to an end by the end of this year, Eroglu said.

    Noting that Turkish Cypriots were fed up with the course of the talks and that interest in talks is reducing every day, Eroglu said: We must put a time limit to talks now. Greek Cypriots are against it. If we continue the way the Greek Cypriot side wants, we will be at the negotiation table for another 5 or 10 years.

    On the same issue, illegal Bayrak (online, 26.09.10) reports that Eroglu had a meeting with the UN Chiefs Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer who visited him at the TRNC Representative office in New York. Eroglu told BRT that they discussed the negotiations in a cordial atmosphere and that the UN Envoy conveyed his views regarding the Turkish Cypriot sides proposals on property. In response, we explained our proposals to show him how much we are in support of a settlement, Eroglu said, adding that the two sides will hold further discussions on the proposals. He also noted that the Turkish Cypriot side which is in support of a lasting and viable settlement based its proposals on the realities of the island.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak (online, 25.09.10) reports that Eroglu had a breakfast meeting with the Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos in which the Turkish Cypriot views regarding the negotiations were discussed. Speaking to the correspondent of illegal BRT, Eroglu said he told Moratinos that the Turkish Cypriot side demands a comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    President Eroglu also attended a reception by the OIC for the opening of their representation in New York. During the reception, OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin

    Ihsanoglu told illegal BRT that the OIC has been working hard to lift the embargoes of the Turkish Cypriots.

    [02] Davutoglu discusses the Cyprus problem with Hague and Downer

    According to illegal Bayrak (online, 26.09.10), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is New York for the 65th session of the UN General Assembly, had a meeting with the British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

    During the meeting Davutoglu informed his British counterpart about the current situation in Cyprus and told him that Turkey will continue to provide its support to the ongoing negations process.

    Expressing the hope that the Greek Cypriot side will change its policy, Davutoglu said the Greek Cypriot side should be more active in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. He also expressed the need for an immediate solution on the island and asked Britains support as a guarantor power to achieve this goal. The latest proposals put forward by the two sides on the issue of property were also taken up during the meeting.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak (online, 24.09.10) reports that during his meeting in New York with the UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer, Davutoglu reiterated Turkeys support to the UNs efforts, and underlined the need to settle the Cyprus problem as soon as possible.

    For his part, the UN envoy expressed his views over the current situation in Cyprus and said that they are all making their best towards reaching a solution on the island.

    [03] OIC Foreign Ministers call for lifting of isolation on the Turkish Cypriots. Ozgurgun criticizes Greek Cypriots stance at the negotiations

    According to illegal Bayrak (online, 26.09.10), the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries expressed the hope that a fair and lasting solution would be reached in Cyprus by the end of this year. The Foreign Ministers of OIC member countries gathered at the annual coordination meeting held within the framework of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.

    The final communiqué referred, inter alia, to the Cyprus issue. The Foreign Ministers called for the lifting of isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. The Israeli attack the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza was also condemned.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.09.10) reports that self-styled foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, addressing the Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OIC member states, said that the Greek Cypriot stance during reunification talks was not so promising for a settlement of Cyprus problem.

    Ozgurgun said that Turkish Cypriot side has never abandoned its commitment for a fair and permanent solution despite tragic experiences in the past. Reiterating that a comprehensive solution could only be based on political equality and equal status of two founder states, Ozgurgun said: Turkish Cypriots are eager for a settlement to the Cyprus problem the soonest possible. Since the very beginning of the talks, we considered there should be a timetable. We believe there can be a solution before the end of 2010 if we achieve political will and courage. However, the stance demonstrated by the Greek Cypriot side during the talks is not very promising. The language of the Greek Cypriot administration shows that they are still not ready to establish of a new partnership based on the UN parameters.

    Finally, Ozgurgun called on OIC member states to help lift isolation of the Turkish Cypriot state, a move which he said could push Greek Cypriot side towards a solution. He also thanked OIC for its call to members for better relations with the breakaway regime.

    [04] Population enigma

    Under the above headline Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.09.10) reports on Irsen Kucuks statements, at a press conference entitled Development and stability with confident steps, held last Friday. The so-called prime minister, along with other so-called ministers, talked about policies that would shape the future of the TRNC.

    Kucuk said that the main goal is a TRNC with a healthy social and economic structure, which would attain high living standards for its people. He also referred to reforms in the public domain in order to increase its effectiveness, seven new draft laws on EU harmonization, a number of initiatives on education, liberalisation of telecommunications, and the austerity measures implemented.

    The paper notes that Kucuk said that the existence of illegal immigrants cannot be denied and that there are different figures regarding the population. He stressed that it is important to know the exact figure in order to make plans for the future.

    Replying to a question on the population he said it is correct that the country is crowded and that there is need for extra classes and teachers in schools. Regarding the existing workforce agreement with Turkey, Kucuk said that they came to an understanding regarding the right of registered workers to bring their families. He explained that a new law was put into force on 1 July, envisaging that a worker with one year registered residence in Cyprus, can bring his family once he renews his work he permit and finds suitable accommodation.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot columnist comments on Kucuks statements on the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title We are crowded, he said! Turgut Afsaroglu comments in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (27.09.10) on the statements made on Saturday (25.9.10) by self-styled minister Irsen Kucuk and the minister of labour Turkay Tokel during a press conference on the issue of the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus, and illegal workers.

    Noting that Kucuk said that the TRNC has congested population, Afsaroglu points out that even the prime minister does not know how congested this population is. The columnist continues:

    In our view, this crowd is at least one million. According to former president Talat, it was 500,000. The estimation of Serdar Denktas is that it is around 500-600,000.

    According to Ferdi Sabit Soyer, it is 263,000, because they carried out a population census in 2006 and this was the official figure

    According to Afsaroglu, when Dervis Eroglu was prime minister, he said to Prime Minister Erdogan that the budget of the Turkish Cypriots could not meet their expenses, because the population was too big. Erdogan replied: No, no, it is not, we should send you some more.

    The columnist notes that there was more impressive information in Kucuks statements and that the self-styled prime minister explained how their population would get bigger. He pointed out that Kucuk said that according to the existing work force agreement of the breakaway regime with Turkey, a worker with at least one year employment in the occupied areas of Cyprus, who rents an appropriate residence, could bring his spouse and his children to the island when he renews his second work permit. The columnist says that Kucuk recalled that this practice started as of 1 July 2010 and adds:

    You were complaining that your population was too large, ha-ha. Here you have now by legitimate means a population of another 250,000. As you would remember, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) had opened this door. With the fallacy that it would register the illegal workers, it has so-called legalized at least 50,000 illegal workers and when their families came afterwards, the population increased by 300,000 in one moment.

    Referring to the statement made by the minister of labour Tokel that in spite of the controls, the problem of the illegal work force continues to exist, Afsaroglu argues that the problem will not be solved as long as people from Turkey continue to enter the occupied areas of Cyprus by just showing their identity card. He says that no one should doubt that the National Unity Party (UBP) will enact an amnesty law, as the CTP did in the past.


    [06] Tore said that if the world does not recognize the TRNC, they will unite with Turkey

    Under the title Hint by Tore for unification with Turkey, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.09.10) reports that in statements in Alexandretta (Turkeys Hatay province), with Alexandrettas Young Businessmen Association (ISGIAD), during a lunch with Zorlu Tore, self-styled minister of agriculture, has said that if necessary the Turkish Cypriots will be united with Turkey.

    Speaking during the lunch, Tore said: Being owner of a state is very important. With Allahs will, let us make this state live. If [the state] does not live, we will be obliged to do what the state of Hatay did once.

    Moreover, under the title Minister Tore spilled the beans: We shall be bound to Turkey, Star Kibris (27.09.10) refers to the same issue and writes that Tore said that in case the Christian world and mainly Europe and America continue not to recognize the TRNC and impose embargo on it, the Turkish Cypriots might need to take the decision taken by the state of Hatay.


    [07] Turkey signs a protocol with breakaway regime on agricultural loans

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.09.10), Turkey and the breakaway regime signed on Friday a protocol on the criteria for loans to Turkish Cypriot for agriculture and stockbreeding.

    The protocol was signed by self-styled agriculture and natural resources minister Zorlu Tore and Mahmut Demirci, Director General of Ziraat Bankasi in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkish Ambassador in occupied part of Lefkosia, Kaya Turkmen also attended the signing ceremony. Noting that the protocol would provide opportunities for producers, Turkmen said: The producers will take advantage of reduced loans and thus agriculture of the TRNC will recover.

    For his part, Tore referred to serious recession in TRNC agriculture in recent years and that needs in agricultural products are met through imports. He noted that efforts are in progress to overcome the problems and that agriculture should become the first sector in TRNC.

    [08] CTP delegation to attend UK Labour Partys annual congress

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (26.09.10) reports the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) will be represented by general secretary Kutlay Erk and foreign relations secretary Erkut Sahali at the annual congress of the British Labour Party. The congress will take place at Manchester, UK, between September 26 and 30.

    [09] Irene boat sails from the occupied port of Famagusta carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza

    All Turkish Cypriot dailies report on the boat which sailed from the occupied port of Famagusta yesterday around 13.00 carrying Jewish activists and humanitarian aid for Gaza.

    Under the title The boat sailed from Famagusta, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (27.09.10) reports on the issue and writes that a boat named Irene, carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Germany, the US and Britain set sail yesterday from the occupied port of Famagusta for Gaza, hoping to breach Israel's blockade there and deliver aid. The boat flies a British flag.

    Richard Kuper, one of the members of the organization named Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said that the voyage is a "symbolic statement" intended to show that not all Jews support Israeli policies toward Palestinians and to underscore what he called Israel's "illegal, unnecessary and inhumane" blockade of Gaza.

    The boat is carrying a total of nine passengers and crew members planned to deliver to Gaza residents children's toys, medical equipment, outboard motors for fishing boats and books.


    [10] Allegations that UK Inland Revenue will confiscate illegal KTHYs London

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.09.10), under its front-page banner title New scandal, reports that the Inland Revenue Department of the UK, will proceed within a week to confiscate assets of the central office of the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY) in London, due to debts. According to the papers sources, while the personnel of KTHY in occupied Cyprus is on subsidized leave, the personnel in the London office goes to work normally, with nothing to do all day, awaiting news from occupied Cyprus. It was learnt that the so-called government cannot fire the KTHY and CTA Holidays personnel in London because of the great amount of compensation it will have to pay according to the British law.

    The paper also reports that in addition to the cumulative debts to UK Inland Revenue, the KTHY subsidiary company, CTA Holidays, has not yet paid its cumulative debts to tens of tourist agents and hotels to which it had sold holiday packages. Some tourist agents in both the UK and occupied Cyprus, as well as some hotels in the occupied areas, are proceeding with lawsuits against the CTA Holidays. Lawsuits will also be filed against the so-called ministry of public works and transportation as well.


    The main stories in todays Turkish press include statements by Kemal Kilicdaroglu and his proposal for a new constitution in Turkey before 2011 elections, a report on the economic cooperation of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan for a Middle East market, Turkeys Interior Minister contacts in North Iraq on the issue of PKK, and Eroglus contacts in NY and his meeting with the UN Secretary.

    [11] Turkey remembers mosque bombings after generals confession

    Under the above title Turkish daily Todays Zaman (25.09.10) refers to the confessions by retired General Yirmibesoglu s on bombing mosques in Cyprus. The paper recalled the assassination of two journalists Ahmet Muzaffer Gurkan (38) and Ayhan Hikmet (35) and writes:

    In 2005, H1fsiye Hikmet the daughter of Ayhan Hikmet told Turkish Cypriot journalist Sevgul Uludag that she had no doubts that her father was killed by a Turk. They killed him [23.04.1962] so he wouldn't be able to disclose who bombed the mosque. They said they would announce it, the following day. She also said as a child she remembered family members saying that her fathers killer was a Turk and not a Greek.

    Meanwhile, the founding president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Rauf Denktas said that EOKA member Yorgacis had claimed to have evidence that proves that the bomb was detonated by Turks. He said a cross investigation had started, but there was no evidence indicating that Turkish soldiers planted the bomb.

    [12] Erdogan on Yirmibesoglus confession

    According to Turkish daily Zaman (26.09.10-online version), commenting on the confession by former General of Turkish Armed Forces Sabri Yirmibesoglu that he burnt a mosque in Cyprus, Prime Minister Erdogan told reporters the confession will be evaluated and that the subject will be monitored.


    [13] Turkey and Arab countries agree to create a free trade zone

    According to Turkish daily Todays Zaman (online, 27.09.10), the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan have agreed to step up cooperation as they move closer to creating a free trade zone, complete with visa-free travel in a cooperation scheme that many say would establish the Middle East's version of the European Union.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking after the meeting with his Arab counterparts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York, said the free trade zone was likely to be formally announced at a summit of leaders of the four countries, to take place in 0stanbul in January. We will declare at that summit that this economic zone is in effect, Davutoglu told reporters at a joint press conference on Saturday.

    Davutoglu said the four-way cooperation will focus on four areas in the coming months: energy, trade, transportation and tourism. According to a scheme of division of labour, each country will be in charge of coordinating efforts in specific areas, with Turkey being tasked with cooperation in trade. In November, ministers of energy, trade, tourism and transportation will meet to review the efforts.

    The planned free trade zone comes as Turkey takes steps to expand its ties with Middle Eastern neighbours and amid claims that Ankara's foreign policy priorities are shifting away from Western objectives.

    On Saturday, the Foreign Minister also reiterated that the agreement to create a free trade zone was not an exclusive one, saying it was open to all friendly countries in the region. They could be full members or join on a sectoral or project basis, he said.

    [14] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 24,25,26 September 2010:

    a) General Yirmibesoglu mosques in Cyprus Denktash reacts

    In an article in Vakit (26.9.10), Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu draws attention to the absurdity of the explanation given by General Yirmibesoglu to his previous statement regarding the bombing of mosques in Cyprus. He argues that Yirmibesoglu inadvertently explained the tactics used by the "Special War Department" in Cyprus and later tried to make a u-turn by giving an unbelievable and absurd explanation that mosques were bombed by the Greek Cypriots to keep EOKA alive, drawing attention to flaw in the logic of the Greek Cypriots bombing mosques to incite their own community.

    According to a report in Hurriyet (24.9.10), former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas reacted harshly to Ret Gen Sabri Yirmibesoglu, the organizer of the Turkish Cypriot resistance in 1960's, who said that the Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT) operating under Rauf Denktas, bombed a mosque in Cyprus in 1964 to provoke Turkish Cypriots against Greek Cypriots. Denktas asks God to punish the general for making such an allegation, declaring that it was the Greek side that bombed the mosques.

    Mehmet Altan says in his column in Star (24.9.10) says that there will be people, as usual, who will deny the mosque bombings, but the general's claim is not far-fetched given recent reports about the military's involvement in the death of Ozal and Gen Bitlis. Altan wonders how anyone can doubt the Sledgehammer cabal on bombing mosques in Turkey now that the general himself says mosques were bombed in Cyprus.

    b) Kurdish Problem

    Milliyet's (26.9.10) Kadri Gursel draws attention to the change in the Republican People's Party's (CHP) approach to the Kurdish issue after Baykal's resignation and notes that as of now the CHP will refrain from obstructing the positive efforts that will be made with the aim of stopping the bloodshed. Explaining that the PKK's no action decision has also enabled the formation of a pro-peace perspective, Gursel also talks about the political defeat encountered by the Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), in the referendum and maintains that the Kurdish overture had been Bahceli's only weapon against the Justice and Development Party (AKP). With the Kurdish movement's no action decision, violence dropped to minimum prior to the referendum and this led to a drop in the support for the MHP, notes Gursel and adds: "Evidently a nonviolent environment prevents the strengthening of those who oppose a solution."

    Columnist Fatih Cekirge in Hurriyet (26.9.10) cites Kilicdaroglu as saying that as of now the CHP will not obstruct democratic steps and that it is ready to hold talks for a new constitution. "Arguing that the AKP, the Peace and Democracy Party, (BDP), and the CHP are giving "civilian courage tests," Cekirge underlines that the CHP's stand is very important because if Turkey is to become a real democracy, it is in need of a strong and modern social democratic party. Cekirge warns: "the solution of the Kurdish issue, the efforts to end the bloodshed and the preparations for a new constitution have turned into a civilianization and credibility test not only for politics, but also for all the institutions."

    In a report in Star (26.9.10), Sedat Laciner, general coordinator of International Strategic Research Organization. (USAK) asserts that the deep forces in Turkey and in the PKK will try to undermine the process that has begun with the meeting between the government and the BDP. Laciner argues that the justice ministers participation in the meeting shows that the government does not look at the issue only from the standpoint of terrorism. It signals that it may look favourably at legal demands and at the formulas for bringing down the PKK from the mountains. Laciner adds that the PKK's secret agenda is to force Ocalan and Abdullah Gul and Murat Karayilan and Tayyip Erdogan to a "relationship between equals."

    In an article in Radikal (26.9.10) Oral Calislar criticizes the prime minister for saying that the Kurds should learn their mother tongue by themselves and that the Kurdish language will never be included in the education system, Calislar justifies the Kurds' efforts to ensure that Kurdish becomes a living language and says: "To defend a war that will continue for another 25 years just for the sake of avoiding granting this right is an approach that contradicts the common values of humanity."

    c) New constitution

    In an article in Yen Safak (26.9.10), Kursat Bumin, asseses the views expressed by the various political parties regarding a new constitution. He recalls remarks made by Mehmet Sandir, deputy leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), parliamentary faction, that the MHP will never support constitutional articles aimed at meeting the demands of the PKK, and remarks made by Justice and Development Party (AKP), whip Bozdag that no article will be adopted unless it is approved by every member of a conciliation committee composed of representatives of all the parties in parliament which the ruling party proposes to establish. Bumin predicts that unless the AKP intends to emerge from the next elections as the single party there is no chance that a new constitution can be drafted. The writer goes on to underline the difficulty of this mission given the demands of the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, and the declaration made by Prime Minister Erdogan that the government cannot be expected to meet the BDP insistence on education in one's mother tongue.

    d) President Gul's contacts in the US / Turkey's position in the Middle East

    Derya Sazak in an article in Milliyet (26.9.10) argues that Iran and Israel constituted the most critical aspects of Gul's interviews to newspapers and television channels during his visit to the United States. Sazak adds that the US President who is struggling with problems such as economic stagnancy and unemployment and who does not want to face the opposition of the Israeli lobby is very disappointed due to Ankara's deteriorating ties with Israel and the fact that Turkey voted against the sanctions on Iran in the UN Security Council. There is no doubt that Iran was the breaking point in the administration and the media, explains Sazak and says: "Gul's visit was very successful in terms of rebuilding 'confidence'."

    In an article entitled "Gul leaves New York happy", Yeni Safak (25.9.10) columnist Fehmi Koru asserts that US President Barack Obama broke his own rule (of not meeting with foreign leaders at UN events one-to-one for the sake of maintaining neutrality) when he held a private conversation with President Abdullah Gul during UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon's dinner in New York. Koru claims that Obama felt the need to talk with Gul privately because the United States faces a number of serious problems in the Middle East stemming variously from the situation in Iraq following the withdrawal of the US army, the activities of the PKK in northern Iraq, and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The US president realizes that any solution to these problems requires Turkey's contributions. Koru says and asserts that important consequences might result from Gul's private meetings with Obama and Iranian President Ahmadinezhad in the form of increased US support for Turkey's fight against the PKK and new developments concerning the nuclear standoff with Iran.

    Sami Kohen in his column in Milliyet (24.9.10) says this time round the limelight was on Turkey at the UN platforms as leading US papers and channels interviewed Gul and commented on Turkish foreign policy, adding that Turkey's international profile has grown markedly due to its economic and political power as well as its bold foreign policy initiatives. Kohen backs his argument by quoting a 22 September New York Times report, which noted that "If the United Nations General Assembly often serves as a stage for ambitious countries to project a new image, none has grabbed that opportunity this year with as much vigor as Turkey." Using the American press reports again as the foundation for his arguments, Kohen says Turkey's new position on Iran and Israel is, however, causing concern in the United States. Kohen concludes by saying that it was an important success for Turkey to make its voice heard at the UN platform, but it should try to raise its profile without causing new problems.

    Sedat Ergin in a column for Hurriyet (24.9.10) and Aydin Ayaydin in a column for Vatan (24.9.10) focus on the warm reception accorded to Gul at the Balkan Countries' Summit in New York.

    e) UNHRC report on the Gaza flotilla/Turkey-Israel relations

    In an article in Milli Gazete (26.9.10), Ekrem Kiziltas describes the UNHRC report on the Gaza flotilla as a positive development and welcomes the change in the habit of disregarding or concealing every crime committed by Israel. Quoting excerpts from the report, Kiziltas argues that the magic has begun to wear off and that those who have been mesmerized are beginning to wake up. Drawing attention to pro-Israeli elements that might still try to discredit the report claiming that the views of the Israeli side were not listened to, Kiziltas adds: "However, the clear reality presented by the UNHRC report is the following: Israel will no longer be able to do with the same ease the things it was able to do in the past."

    Cengiz Candar writing in Radikal (25.9.10) refers to the UN Human Rights Council's report on the flotilla incident, calling the report a "diplomatic success." Quoting a New York Times article on Turkey's assertive presence in the UN, Candar maintains that the 58% support extended in the referendum by the people made possible Turkey's firm stance in the rift with Israel as well as its confidence in playing a central role in efforts to solve international issues such as Iran's nuclear programme. Candar concludes that Turkey can strengthen its international and regional image only by solving its most important internal problem, namely, the Kurdish issue.

    In his article in Hurriyet Daily (25.9.10), Ilhan Tanir notes that the Turkish-Israeli ties took yet another blow as President Gul and Israeli President Peres did not meet in New York where the two leaders were for the United Nations General Assembly meetings. Maintaining that Turkey and Israel's "strikingly contrasting reaction" to the UN Human Rights Council's report on the flotilla incident did not offer any help to overcome the tension between the two countries, Tanir concludes: "Those who believe the worst is over between Turkey and Israel, after watching the nasty jabs in New York at the highest levels, might be proven wrong sooner rather than later -- if they haven't already been."

    In an article in Vakit (25.9.10), Ahmet Varol emphasizes the importance of the UN report on the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla as a document that has given the lie to the western news media's representation of Israel as the "injured" party by confirming that Israel committed a "war crime" in attacking the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara. Varol also calls on Ankara to launch a resolute diplomatic campaign to make sure Israel is penalized appropriately based on the said report.

    In an article in Vakit (25.9.10) entitled "It is not enough to condemn Israel", columnist Mehmet Kocak describes the UN report on the flotilla incident drawn up by an "investigation committee" as a "first in UN history" in terms of the way it has "exposed Israel's true face" by announcing that the troops who raided the Mavi Marmara staged "unacceptable" acts of "brutality." After recalling how the UN had lost its reliability because of its earlier reports revealing its "bias" toward Muslims and Islamic countries, Kocak argues that the change in the UN attitude is a manifestation of how Turkey's diplomatic influence is increasing thanks to the ruling AKP's recent foreign policy initiatives.

    In an article entitled in Milli Gazette (25.9.10) columnist Mustafa Ozcan asserts that the UN report on the Gaza flotilla incident amounts to a major blow to Israel's international image. He also blasts Israel for the way it is "contributing" to acting PKK leader Murat Karayilan's calls for a "joint struggle" against Turkey instead of taking steps to pay damages to the relatives of those killed in the raid on the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara.

    In a column for Radikal (24.9.10), Murat Yetkin cites an unnamed Turkish diplomat as saying that such an "objective" document from the UN on the Israeli raid on aid flotilla was not expected. Yetkin adds that as soon as the content of the report become public, a senior US State Department official contacted his counterpart in the Turkish Foreign Ministry and said Turkey should be satisfied with the strongly-worded report and not pressure Israel further. The Turkish side replied that Turkey still expects an apology and compensation. Yetkin adds that all these developments show the United States is having a hard time defending Israel against Turkey, especially now that the referendum has strengthened Erdogan's position. Commenting also on Turkish officials' meeting with Iranian leaders in New York, Yetkin says if Turkey also manages to defuse the Iranian crisis then there will be a political upheaval in Israel.

    f) Cyprus

    Writing in Milliyet (25.9.10) Sami Kohen refers to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's interview with Wall Street Journal in which he stressed that the EU should accelerate Turkey's membership talks and to other statements to this effect. He notes that political developments such as the referendum results and efforts toward reaching a political solution to the Kurdish issue as well as recent statistics on Turkey's economic growth played an important role in Europe's change of tone in favor of Turkey. The EU should give some encouraging signals to Turkey without delay, says Kohen and points out that the EU can think of some gestures that will "revive" Turkish people's fading interest in the EU. Kohen maintains that one of EU'S signals should be pertaining to Cyprus, noting that the "Additional Protocol" requesting Turkey to open its ports to Greek Cypriots by end of this year carries the risk of breaking off the Turkish-EU relations. Turkey, in turn, requests that the embargo implemented in northern Cyprus with regard to the "Direct Trade" be lifted, he recalls and concludes that a formula that responds to both requests should be found promptly.

    g) Turkeys EU membership

    Bugun (26.9.10) columnist Cemal Ussak is convinced that the "Wise men" project, headed by former Finnish President Ahtisaari, constitutes a good opportunity for both Turkey and the EU. Ussak writes: "The delegation, through its European identity has the opportunity to explain to the EU in line with a European mentality that Turkey's membership is an opportunity for the Union." The same arguments to be made by a Turk or by someone outside the EU would not be as effective, argues Ussak, adding that although certain parts of the delegation's objective report on Turkey might not be to our liking, it grants us the opportunity to see the realities and to "correct" ourselves.

    h) Freedom of the Press

    In an open letter to Prime Minister Erdogan, Ferai Tinc refers to the speech given by the prime minister to the media representatives and says: "Today the media in Turkey are threatened both by the laws and intolerance. The number of journalists who are in prison because of their articles or reports, their notebooks, and the files in their computers is a shame for Turkey." Citing Erdogan as saying that his criticism against the media merely stems from his anger to unjust criticism, slandering, and insult, Tinc stresses that rather than rage the prime minister should show tolerance to the criticism levelled against him because "this rage may turn into a call that will be issued by the prime minister upon the media bosses to lay off the writers who criticize the prime minister." If Turkey wants to become a regional power in the 21st century, it will achieve this goal only with a responsible and free media, underlines Tinc.

    i) George Soros financial swindler

    In an article in Yeni Safak (26.9.10), Fevzi Ozturk details the financial profit games George Soros, whom he describes as a "financial swindler," has been playing. Describing as financial terrorism Soros' 1992 Sterling operation, his 1997 monetary operation during the Asian crisis, and his 1998 monetary operation in Russia, Ozturk focuses on Soros' gold speculations, writing that he is the fourth largest investor in the SPDR Gold Trust the assets of which exceed 1,300 tons, an amount that is larger than the gold reserves of Switzerland and China. Accusing Soros of terrorizing the world financial markets, Ozturk argues that Soros could not have achieved what he has without support, adding that to understand the extent of this support one has to pay attention to the companies the administrators of the Quantum Fund, owned by Soros, work for. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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