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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-25

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 rejects proposed dates by President Christofias for a three-party meeting; He arrives in Berlin
  • [02] Downer: A referendum may be held in 2011
  • [03] Irsen Kucuk accuses President Christofias of insincerity
  • [04] Illegal Tymvou Airport to be privatized
  • [05] DP leader on the negotiations: It seems like it is the end of the road now
  • [06] Cyprus Turkish Cultural Association wants to discuss TRNCs recognition
  • [07] Gulten Plumer Kucuk: Not all the missing persons will be found
  • [08] Hadjioannou says Easy Hotel may be opened in the occupied areas
  • [09] Atun says the regime will build two wind-farms

  • [10] Egemen Bagis: The Cyprus issue is not a joke any more
  • [11] EU Enlargement Commissioner discussed in Turkey; Cyprus issue
  • [12] Turkey, Lebanon angle for Cyprus offshore energy resources
  • [13] Healthy man of sick Europe
  • [14] Turkish FM Davutoglu to visit China
  • [15] Turkey and the UK sign MoU on EU Environment Chapter
  • [16] Turkey, and Egypt sign agreement for joint chamber of commerce
  • [17] Highlights


    Statements by Dervis Eroglu rejecting the dates suggested by President Christofias for a three-party meeting with the UN Secretary-General, an interview by Alexander Downer in Kibris, statements by Irsen Kucuk on the Cyprus problem and the economy, statements by Serdar Denktas and the Cyprus Turkish Cultural Association asking for the recognition of the breakaway regime, and other internal matters are the basic issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend.

    [01] Eroglu rejects proposed dates by President Christofias for a three-party meeting; He arrives in Berlin

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.10.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu rejected the dates suggested by President Christofias for a three-party meeting in New York with the UN Secretary-General. Asked yesterday in Istanbul, on his way to Berlin, to comment on the dates proposed by President Christofias, 15-17 November, Eroglu said that 15 November is the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC. We have celebrations on that date. If the esteemed Secretary-General has received such a message, I think that he should take our view as well, he added.

    Eroglu alleged that at first President Christofias said did not accept Ban Ki-moons invitation, but later on he stated that he would participate. Eroglu claimed that he made proposal for a three-party meeting to the UN Secretary-General and expressed his satisfaction that Ban Ki-moon conveyed the invitation to the leaders, in order to intensify the process of the Cyprus talks.

    Kibris reports that Eroglu arrived in Berlin yesterday. He was received at Berlin Airport by the Turkish ambassador in Germany, Ahmet Acet and other Turkish diplomats. Last night Eroglu attended a dinner given in his honour by the co-chairman of the German Greens Party Cem Ozdemir, who is of Turkish origin. Today he is expected to address a meeting at Ritz Carlton Hotel on The Turkish-German Perspectives. Eroglu will meet with the President of the Greens Party, Claudia Roth and tomorrow he is expected to meet with the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guido Westerwelle.

    In his statements in Istanbul, Eroglu said that with the German Minister he will discuss the Cyprus problem and the issue of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. We will try to inform him on the issue of the negotiations in Cyprus and have his views, he noted. Eroglu said that during his visit he will meet with the media and parliamentarians of Turkish origin.


    [02] Downer: A referendum may be held in 2011

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (23.10.10) publishes in its front-page an exclusive interview of Alexander Downer, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus by Can Sarvan.

    Downer said that if there is convergence on the property chapter by the end of the year, a meeting with the guarantor countries will be followed and then a referendum may be held in 2011.

    [03] Irsen Kucuk accuses President Christofias of insincerity

    Under the title Federation at the table, unitary state abroad, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (24.10.10) reports on statements by so-called Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk who said that sincerity is necessary for the solution of the Cyprus problem. He added that while the Greek Cypriots support the Federation at the negotiation table, it shows its inconsistency when it demands a unitary state at international fora.

    Irsen Kucuk made the above statements while receiving a delegation from the Association of Correspondents of Turkish Diplomacy. He pointed out that although the Turkish Cypriots proposals at the negotiation table are receiving great support from the international community, the Greek Cypriot leader, as he called President Christofias, is continually rejecting them.

    Kucuk added that the reason for the ongoing non-solution on the island is the Greek Cypriot sides unwillingness to settle the problem. Reiterating statements made several times that Christofias is only participating in the negotiations for tactical reasons, Kucuk added that demanding Morfou, Keryneia and Varosha does not contribute to the solution.

    Kucuk also referred to the 2004 referendum and accused the EU of not keeping its promises to the Turkish Cypriots, pointing out as an example the Direct Trade Regulation.


    [04] Illegal Tymvou Airport to be privatized

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online 24.10.10), so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk said that the TRNC economy has improved due to the various austerity measures introduced by the government. He said that the economy is expected to further develop following new steps to be taken by the government. Kucuk also pointed out that a 15% increase was recorded in the number of tourists visiting the TRNC despite the fact that the Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY) had ceased operating.

    Receiving a delegation of the Association of correspondents of Turkish Diplomacy, Kucuk defended the austerity measures introduced by the so-called government, pointing out that the economy had improved ever since the measures were introduced. Pointing out that new taxes introduced on luxury items had increased the states revenues, Kucuk said that they also expect growth in the tourism sector following the completion of large resorts currently under construction.

    He said that the TRNCs new national carrier North Cyprus Turkish Airlines would be partly financed by Turkish Airlines with several other private companies contributing as well. Pointing out that the former national carrier, Cyprus Turkish Airlines, had been run by the state and in the process had experienced various difficulties, Kucuk said that the governments shares in the new airline company would be less than 51%. Explaining that the fleet of the new airline would either be made up of rented aircraft or planes to be obtained from the Turkish Airlines, Kucuk said there is a plan to launch flights by March next year. Kucuk also said that there are plans to privatize Ercan [illegal Tymvou] Airport.

    [05] DP leader on the negotiations: It seems like it is the end of the road now

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online 23.10.10) speaking during a meeting with Turkeys Youth Confederation delegation the leader of the Democrat Party (DP), Serdar Denktas said that the stance of the European Union and the United Nations on the Cyprus negotiations have zero hopes, adding that the only guarantee of the Turkish Cypriots towards the future is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It seems like its the end of the road now. No one shall expect us to continue with uncertainty. It is time to break up, Denktas added.

    For his part, Feridun Cevahiroglu, who led the delegation, expressed support to the Turkish Cypriot side in the negotiation process.

    [06] Cyprus Turkish Cultural Association wants to discuss TRNCs recognition

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (25.10.10) reports that the Cyprus Turkish Cultural Association, consisting of Turkish Cypriots living abroad, wants to bring the recognition of TRNC on the agenda of the 2nd International Cyprus Symposium, which took place in Seferihisar, Izmir, from October 21 until 23.

    In a written statement, the Association argues that the problem is intransigence and argues the proposals by the TRNC in the negotiations are constantly rejected. The statement also emphasizes that the solution found must not fall back to the 1959 -1960 agreements, but should create a structure which will ensure two states and sovereign boundaries.

    Moreover, it is added that an agreement, which will leave the Turkish Cypriots in the mercy of the Greek Cypriots, will not last. The statement calls on the issue of recognition to be brought on the agenda, without wasting any more time.

    [07] Gulten Plumer Kucuk: Not all the missing persons will be found

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (25.10.10) publishes an interview with Gulden Plumer Kucuk, Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on the Missing Persons, who said that the most important factor for success in the work of the committee is the information given by the people. She called on the people from both communities to share everything they know with the committee with the aim of alleviating the pain of the families of the missing persons.

    Kucuk noted that they are looking for 502 Turkish Cypriot and 1468 Greek Cypriot missing persons. She added that so far the remains of 690 persons have been unearthed.

    Kucuk said that not all the missing persons will be found. I am very sorry, but some families will not be able to bury their missing persons, she noted adding that the reason for this are the roads or buildings constructed in areas where missing persons had been buried or the fact that some eye witnesses have died. She said that on Tuesday work will resume in the area of occupied Sychari village.


    [08] Hadjioannou says Easy Hotel may be opened in the occupied areas

    Cypriot businessman Sir Stelios Hadjioannou said in an exclusive interview to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.10.10) that he believes in peace and that he is a businessman who does not pay attention to political pressures.

    He also said that Easy Hotel may be opened in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus and that he is looking for a partner. However, he added, EasyJet cannot operate for the moment in the occupied areas for political reasons.

    [09] Atun says the regime will build two wind-farms

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (25.10.10), Sunat Atun, self-styled minister of economy and energy, stated that before the end of this year the breakaway regime will call for tenders for the construction two wind-farms.

    In an interview to the paper after his return from Turkey where he signed, with the Turkish Ministry of Energy, a protocol for the transfer to electricity from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus, Atun noted that at first 20 megawatts of electricity will be produce with the wind and added that the wind-farms will be built in the western occupied part of the island where, according to experts, the wind is more powerful and continuous. He noted that the wind-farms will be built by the private sector following the Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) method.



    The stories highlighted in the Turkish press include the talks between Turkish and Greek prime ministers on a solution over the territorial waters in the Aegean, President Christofias proposals regarding a possible date for a tripartite meeting in New York and statements by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn that Turkey is the most powerful candidate for the Board of Directors. Moreover, the renewed Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), which holds its first meeting today and is set to devise a road map to solve chronic issues of the legal system in Turkey, Hisarciklioglus statements that Turkey aims at boosting the trade volume with Egypt, and other internal issues are also in todays Turkish press.

    [10] Egemen Bagis: The Cyprus issue is not a joke any more

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.10.10) reported from Istanbul on statements of the Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for the European Union talks, Egemen Bagis, during a dinner hosted prior to the 7th Bogazici Conference on Turkey- EU relations.

    Speaking at the dinner, Bagis said "Europe's need for Turkey increases day by day. Now, Turkey feels itself more determined, more powerful and more courageous, both economically and politically, in its EU accession process than ever. Turkey reached an 11% growth rate in the first half of the year. Under the light of the difficulties faced by the European Union, we have a new slogan: Turkey will save Europe.

    Bagis added that it is a shame that Turkish citizens still have to deal with visa proceedings while citizens of countries which have not yet even started accession talks with the European Union are able to travel to the EU countries easily. We do not expect all 27-member countries to put an end to visa proceedings in a day. But we need to start to find a solution, he said.

    Commenting on Cyprus, Bagis said that this issue is not a joke any more, adding that some of the EU countries are hiding behind this island. Noting that the Greek Cypriot leader rejected a recent invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to hold a tripartite meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader in New York, Bagis said that this was another failed initiative, adding that this was another objection to international communitys initiative to end the division in the island.

    Bagis said that if British Airways and Air France were ready to fly to Ercan [illegal Tymvou] Airport in the TRNC, then Turkey was ready to open its ports to Greek Cypriot traffic. He said that the Greek Cypriot administration is preventing other members of the EU to set commercial relations and to travel to the TRNC.

    Bagis noted that Turkey could not advance in its EU membership negotiations because of the veto of the Greek Cypriot administration, adding that Turkey could not open energy chapter because of the Greek Cypriot veto. He pointed out that with the current energy crisis in Europe, Turkey was able to meet nearly 70% energy demand. It is now time for the EU to wake up, said Bagis, adding that the bleak days are over in Turkey.

    Recalling that services were held in Sumela Monastery in Turkey's Black Sea province of Trabzon a month ago and in historical Armenian church in eastern province of Van a few weeks ago, Bagis said that Turkish people near Black Sea and Lake Van hosted thousands of Christians and displayed hospitality during their rites, adding that this was a good indicator of the change in Turkey.

    [11] EU Enlargement Commissioner discussed in Turkey; Cyprus issue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A. 23.10.10) reported from Istanbul on the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with the European Unions chief enlargement commissioner, Stefan Fule.

    Speaking to reporters before the meeting, Davutoglu, inter alia, said that he had held frequent meetings with Fule over the last months, adding, Because we have a common perspective and a common goal. Mr Fule, too, wants Turkeys EU integration to happen in the shortest possible time. Davutoglu said the latest developments in Turkeys accession talks, Turkey's political reforms, developments in Cyprus and the Balkans, would be discussed during the meeting.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia reported that the EU commissioner met also with the leader of the main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Speaking to news media after the meeting in Istanbul, Kilicdaroglu said he presented Fule several reports over a recent election of the members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), problems regarding the press freedoms, as well as the Cyprus issue. Kilicdaroglu said he also conveyed to Fule CHP's expectation over the adoption of an EU regulation that would allow direct trade between the EU and the TRNC.

    [12] Turkey, Lebanon angle for Cyprus offshore energy resources

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (HDN 22.10.10) reported from Ankara that as Lebanon and Greek Cyprus put the final touches on an agreement for oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has begun weighing its own options for energy development off northern Cyprus. Diplomats denied, however, that the countries were engaged in a showdown over the regions resources.

    We have our own views on the issue of exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. First of all, Greek Cyprus does not represent the entire island and it cannot strike deals that concern the interests of the whole island, a Turkish diplomatic source told HDN. Thats an attitude we have often shared with our Lebanese friends and I think they will take this into consideration.

    This is not a showdown. Our relationship with the north of the island is obvious, a Turkish diplomat told the Daily News, speaking on condition of anonymity. We also want Greek Cyprus to reunify with the north and act in a fashion that will protect the rights of the islands two communities, but at the current stage, we believe it is not correct for Greek Cyprus to forge a long-term engagement regarding the sharing of the islands natural resources while there is no comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    HDN reported the following: (...) The seabed splitting Lebanon and Greek Cyprus is believed to hold significant reserves of oil and natural gas. The two countries signed an exclusive zone agreement in January 2007 to demarcate an undersea border in order to designate where each country could carry out exploration activities once energy resources are discovered. Ankara disapproved of that deal, with the Foreign Ministry saying in a written statement at the time that Turkey was determined to protect its rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean and would not allow attempts to erode them.

    Following Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariris statement, however, officials downplayed the potential for conflict over the Lebanon-Greek Cyprus agreement. Lebanon is a sovereign state and can meet with any country as it wishes, but well continue to convey our views and attitudes in a fashion that protects the entire island and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, Turkish Ambassador to Beirut Inan Ozyildiz told the Daily News on Friday. Lebanon is a friendly country, and we do not believe it would act against Turkey. Turkey is closely following the matter and will seek information from and share its opinions with Lebanon, Ozyildiz said. The two countries enjoy friendly ties, signing a visa-free travel agreement during Hariris visit to Turkey in January.

    The exploration agreement needs to be ratified by the Lebanese parliament, which Hariri said would receive the law once a deal is reached with Damascus. Turkish diplomatic sources said, however, that they did not expect to see immediate ratification of the agreement. At the moment there is no reason to hurry. The agreement needs to pass [the Lebanese] parliament. If we consider the current political situation in Lebanon, we dont believe there is an urgent situation, but we are continuing to closely follow it, one source said, adding that the deal might be rejected or end up a low priority on the parliamentary agenda.

    [13] Healthy man of sick Europe

    In an article in Turkish daily Todays Zaman (25.10.10) entitled Healthy man of sick Europe, Yavuz Baydar argues that there is confusion within the EU about Turkey, and a fading desire to accept its progress as an indication to speed up membership talks. He considers that this is due to the lack of leadership within the EU, its aimlessness, fatigue over political direction, short-sighted foreign policy and weakening coordination of economic management. The enlargement policy suffers as a result, Baydar adds pointing out that while Turkish society is debating the role of religion in politics and developing ways to deal fairly with diversity, the old continent is sending out signals of increasing intolerance.

    He cites a declaration by the leader of a powerful member that the integration policies of its immigrants and new citizens failed fully, as the emerging far-right finds momentum to expand and use Turkeys accession prospect as a political weapon to build a base against Islam. He argues that the lack of decisive leadership will help revive the old ghosts of Europe, as the xenophobic, selfish, small-minded far-rightists from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Bulgaria, etc., will push for a referendum in order to block Turkey altogether from the EU.

    Referring to the issue of direct trade (along with forgotten promise by the EU), Baydar maintains that the real issue is: The mood, reflected by the vote, tells Turkey and Turkish Cypriots that the EU is now entirely controlled by a membership, whose desire is to pit the EU against the UN, in order to make the latter dysfunctional in reaching a settlement on the island. Had the decision been reversed, it would have paved the way for Turkey to open its ports to Cypriot vessels and aircraft, and sped up both the negotiations for a solution on the island, and membership for Turkey in the union. The difference between the Europeans choice at the committee level is that simple.

    The fact of the matter, he argues is that Turkey, once labelled the sick man of Europe has now managed to replace sick with healthy. To support his view Baydar quotes extensively from an article in the Economist (21.10.10) in which it is argued that it would be a historic mistake if the EU chooses to exclude its own China, it will be turning away the fastest-growing economy in its neighbourhood. It will also lose any hope of influencing the region to its east. At a time when many Europeans fret about being ignored in the world, this would be a historic mistake.

    [14] Turkish FM Davutoglu to visit China

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (23.10.10) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will pay a week-long visit to China beginning on Wednesday, expected to be key to initiating tangible steps in line with agreements signed between the prime ministers of the two countries several weeks ago. As part of his visit Davutoglu is also going to attend the closing ceremony of EXPO 2010 in Shanghai and visit the Turkic Uighur-populated Xinjiang and Qashqar regions, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

    As the paper reports, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Davutoglu's visit to China following talks with Premier Wen Jiabao on October 8. At their meeting, Erdogan and Jiabao signed a raft of agreements and approved the conduct of trade between China and Turkey in the respective national currencies, while also committing to increase its volume to $100 billion by 2020. The trade level between Turkey and China reached $14.2 billion last year, of which 80% is Chinese exports to Turkey, leaving Ankara with an $11 billion deficit.

    During Davutoglu's visit, it is also expected that he will discuss regional and global issues with Chinese authorities.

    [15] Turkey and the UK sign MoU on EU Environment Chapter

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.10.10) reported from Istanbul that Turkey and Britain signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in environment chapter in Turkeys European Union accession talks. Turkeys Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis and Britains Minister for EU David Lidington signed the MoU after a joint press conference in Istanbul on the sidelines of the 7th Bogazici Conference.

    Speaking at the press conference, Bagis said his talks with Lidington covered Turkish-British relations as well as Turkey's accession talks and the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in closing the environment chapter. Britain is the country that would understand the best the ups and downs Turkey goes through in its accession process. Because Britain's accession talks were not without its pains. Britain is a source of inspiration for us with its commitment to the EU integration, Bagis said.

    Lidington, on his part, said that the MoU aimed at making contributions to Turkey to fulfil the requirements of the policy chapter on environment, which he said would strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

    [16] Turkey, and Egypt sign agreement for joint chamber of commerce

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (25.10.10) reports that Turkey and Egypt have signed an agreement to establish a joint chamber of commerce to boost the trade volume between the two countries while facilitating trade. Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarciklioglu and Federation of Egyptian of Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) Chairman Ahmed Al-Wakil signed the agreement at a meeting in Alexandria on Saturday.

    Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid was also present during the signing ceremony. In his speech, the minister underlined the rapid escalation of cooperation between Turkey and Egypt in recent times. The warm dialogue between the presidents and prime ministers of both countries has carried the relationships to a significantly high level. We also need to escalate our trade relations to match the same levels, Rachid said. He further pointed to Turkey's successful performance in exports and its increasing share in global trade, saying Turkey has achieved significant experience in trade. He then accentuated the dexterity of the Turkish construction sector and praised its achievements in the region, especially through big projects in housing, highways and airports. We can carry this experience to other countries by establishing partnerships. The partnership of Turkey and Egypt will not be based on competition but will be more supplementary. Moreover, with such partnerships, we can also support peace and stability in our region, Rachid said.

    TOBB President Hisarciklioglu said Egypt is a crucial gate to enter the Arab world and the African continent and added that ro-ro transport will improve the trade volume between the two countries.

    [17] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 23-25 October:

    a) Cyprus

    An editorial in Hurriyet (23.10.10) argues that "Reunification of two highly literate, economically prosperous, European-focused societies with a combined population of fewer than 1 million, should be the easiest task European diplomats ever took on". The editorial faults the latest European Parliament vote as a "case study in bureaucracy-bred Eurobabble," that reflects "an engineering of procedure in the absence of thoughtful diplomacy and leadership."

    b) Turkish-US relations / missile defence

    Ilhan Tanir in a commentary in Hurriyet Daily (23.10.10), views the latest American-Turkish Council (ATC) meeting in Washington D.C. and quotes Omer Taspinar, one of the participants as saying: "When the U.S. spends much of its time trying to figure out how best to isolate Iran, Turkey aims to triple its trade volume with it. And these very different goals in both countries towards Iran make things very hard to manage." As a result of this and other issues, such as Ankara's ties with Israel, Tanir discerns "growing tension" and a "not too friendly" attitude in the US officials toward Turkey.

    In Yeni Akit (23.10.10), columnist Lutfu Oflaz argues that in demanding permission to install missile defence systems on Turkish soil, the United States is planning to use Turkey as an outpost against Iran in the same way as it used it against Russia during the Cold War.

    In Yeni Akit (22.10.10), Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya argues that Turkey would seriously undermine its own foreign policy strategies if it agreed to become part of NATO's missile defence project against Iran because this would give rise to questions over the sincerity of Ankara's frequent criticisms of Israeli "terrorism" at international platforms. Karakaya also asserts that a recent Daily Telegraph article that claimed Iran had been preparing to donate some $25 billion to the ruling AKP to help it remain in power, has turned out to be part of an effort to coerce Ankara into agreeing to support the missile defence project against Iran.

    A front-paged report in Zaman (22.10.10) is a report quotes Russian Ambassador to Turkey Vladimir Ivanovskiy as saying that strategic stability might be damaged if Russia's concerns about the implications of NATO's missile defence program are not taken into account.

    c) Foreign policy issues

    Mehmet Barlas in Sabah (22.10.10) praises Turkey's new independent policy as politically and economically beneficial and at the same time advises Turkish leaders to avoid making mistakes in the process of advancing Turkey's influence. Barlas writes that the developing ties with Iran should not be turned into an anti-American posturing and Turkey should abide by the UN embargo on Iran. He adds that Turkey should be careful not to turn the flotilla issue into a blood feud with Israel and the United States or threaten to withdraw from customs union over trade disputes with the EU.

    Beril Dedeoglu also argues in his column in Star (22.10.10) that the Turkish government should not adamantly insist that the American embargo on Iran or American plans for missile defence shield are not binding on Turkey, given that Iran itself is not in a position to help Turkey over any issue and could even be that Iran is manipulating Turkey to restrain the United States, Israel, and even Arabs.

    Semih Idiz argues in Hurriyet Daily News (22.10.10) that some Arabs are getting displeased with Turkish policy in the Middle East as they are not sure about the purport of Turkey's strategy in the region. Idiz says: While there is a polite relationship between Ankara and Cairo, and Ankara and Riyadh today, it is clear that Turkey is not part of this lead US axis. It is seen instead, not just in Washington and European capitals, but also among the established regimes in the region, as being part of the Iran-Syria-Hamas-Hezbollah axis. The fact that the Erdogan government is not going out of its way to disprove this perception is telling."

    d) Shift in Turkeys axis / Kemalists

    In an article in Yeni Akit (24.10.10), Abdurrahman Dilipak argues that "the shift in axis is not Turkey's problem but that of the world" and points out: "In the new world order Turkey is a rising value. The United States and the West are declining. Asia is on the rise." Noting that Turkey has captured the spirit of the times, Dilipak writes that "the river has returned to flow in its bed. This is the reason why the economic crisis that has devastated the world has not touched Turkey." Predicting that the next UN Secretary General will be a Muslim with a headscarved wife, Dilipak argues that the West cannot advance by considering the Muslim world to be an adversary and warns that such a trend might be very grave for the West. A Turkey that is close to Russia and that has forged an alliance with China might change the world balance, argues Dilipak, noting that Israel is one of the countries that does not want to understand Turkey's new role in the new world that is being established.

    Ihsan Yilmaz in Sunday's Zaman (24.10.10), argues that the Kemalists have failed in their most prominent area of work, namely secularism. Faulting the prime minister for doing so little about Alevi demands and for failing to open the Halki Seminary, Yilmaz criticizes him for suggesting that Germany establish Turkish schools for its Turkish minority while he fails to meet the demands of the Kurds for education in their mother tongue, adding: "It seems in his journey of almost 60 years in Kemalistan, either he is also intoxicated with this fatal ideology like many of us, or in his democratization struggle against the Kemalistan establishment, he has also been influenced by the guardians while willy-nilly transforming them."

    e) Wikileaks

    Milliyet (24.10.10) publishes an extensive analysis of documents disclosed by Wikileaks (a media organization which discloses important news and information), and gives the details of "documentation of torture and death" in Iraq. The report highlights that "Turkey's name is mentioned in 128 documents, and these are mostly about people who were captured during infiltrating Turkish border."

    Aksam (24.10.10) report on the same issue, entitled "The United States Approved Torture in Iraq," notes that "civilians were killed and the American officials kept a blind eye" and highlights: "Turkey was mentioned in 100 documents which showed that there were Turkish citizens acting as freedom fighters in Falluja and Alexandria."

    A report in Yeni Safak (24.10.10) points out that the documents also have information related to Turkey. It states that many Turkish citizens have been arrested and that smuggled arms have been found in trucks driven by Turkish drivers.

    f) Afghanistan

    A Hurriyet Daily (24.10.10) by Erisa Dautaj Senerdem quotes a US diplomat on Afghanistan and Turkey's role and writes : "US diplomat says more Turkish trainers needed in Afghanistan." The report says that Anthony Godfrey, political military counsellor at the US Embassy in Ankara, told the daily that "There have been questions in the past about Turkey providing more in the way of combat troops rather than trainers."

    g) Islam/PKK

    Writing in Cumhuriyet (22.10.10), Mehmet Farac argues that the AKP government is planning to employ the Religious Affairs Directorate [DIB] for the solution of the Kurdish problem and that for this purpose the DIB will prepare special sermons and increase Quranic courses in the east and southeast. Farac warns that this will do more harm than good adding that terrorism could be ended by spreading modern education and social service not backwardness. Farac claims the AKP is using the southeast as a pilot region for the eventual establishment of theocracy in Turkey.

    A report in Cumhuriyet (22.10.10) by Erdem Gul says that the DIB, worried that its imams might be targeted by the PKK, has been working on a plan that would ensure the security by either establishing lodgings or mobile religious services. The DIB is also planning to secure the support of local sects, like the Naksibendi and Kadiri, for its new project.

    h) Ozals death investigation

    In an article in Yeni Akit (23.10.10) columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak calls on Parliament, the Government, the police, the National Intelligence Organization, and prosecutors to launch a new probe into the attempted assassination of the late President Turgut Ozal in 1988 as well as into allegations that Ozal's death in 1993 was an assassination. He also asserts that the key to the mystery surrounding the attempted killing of Ozal and "the assassinations of [journalist Ugur] Mumcu, [Major Cem] Erserver, [and Gendarmerie Commander Esref] Bitlis" is to be found in the Turkish Armed Forces' "cosmic [top-secret] rooms" in Ankara.

    i) Mavi Marmara

    Yeni Safak (22.10.10) columnist Ibrahim Karagul blasts certain Turkish newspapers for turning the spotlight on Israeli press reports alleging that the examination of some of the laptop computers seized in the Israeli raid on the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara, en route to the Gaza Strip, revealed that Prime Minister Erdogan and the ruling AKP actively supported the organization of a relief flotilla for Gaza. Karagul also argues that Israel is using the flotilla incident as part of a "black propaganda" campaign against Turkey aiming at destabilizing the Eastern Mediterranean region and seizing natural gas resources in this region that belong to the Palestinian people and Lebanon.

    j) Potential coup-climate

    In an article Yeni Safak (23.10.10), columnist Fehmi Koru draws a parallel between the public meeting in Istanbul that was to be organized by Cuppeli Ahmet Hodja and earlier "provocative" events that set the scene for the military takeovers in 1960, 1971, and 1980. He warns that the same climate that paved the way for the said coups "potentially" exists today, adding that at a time of increasing "normalization" through democratic reforms, Turkey should be prepared to see "even innocent moves" represented as an insurgency against the republican regime. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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