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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-06-14
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 110/11 11-14.06.11 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS
[B] TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESSStatements by Eroglu regarding the 7th July tripartite meeting in Geveva, Ozersay's statement that the Cyprus problem can be solved within 3 months if there is political will and the results and comments by politicians for Turkey's 2011 general elections are the main subjects in the Turkish Cypriot press 11-14 June. There are also reports on the continuing distribution of land in the occupied area, a new housing project in occupied Syngrasi village, a "search and rescue" exercise with the participation of Turkey, the ongoing reactions regarding the DAU and other internal issues.
 Eroglu said that the UNSG will make certain decisions at the Geneva SummitAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 13.06.11), during a visit, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu announced that he believes the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will be making certain decisions during the Geneva summit which is scheduled for the 7th of July.
Eroglu also said that he is searching for a solution that will secure the future of the Turkish Cypriots and pointed to the importance of finding a viable solution.
Recalling that the Turkish Cypriot side has put forward many proposals at the Cyprus negotiations process, Eroglu claimed that "the Greek Cypriot administration [the Government of the Republic of Cyprus] was acting extremely passively during the talks being a recognized country and a unilateral member of the EU", illegal BRT reports.
Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side was under the belief that the Turkish Cypriot side will eventually make concessions for not being a recognized country and under "embargoes", Eroglu said the Greek Cypriot side insisted on waiting for the outcome of the elections in Turkey in the hope that the outcome would be in favour of them.
"If you take into consideration the interest of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, it is not possible to say yes to everything the Greek Cypriots want but if the Greek Cypriot side is serious about finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, then it is possible to find an agreement", said Eroglu.
According to illegal BRT, Eroglu said everything depends on intentions, if there is no intention to find a solution then it is not possible, adding that "if they are playing for time in the hope that we will yield to their desires, this will not benefit the Cyprus talks or the two sides".
 Ozersay evaluates his contacts in USAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 12.06.11), after completing his contacts in Washington and in New York, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's special representative Kudret Ozersay gave a press conference and evaluated his trip abroad.
During the press conference, Ozersay said that generally the messages that he received during his contacts in both New York and Washington were similar, adding: "The Cyprus negotiations process will not be open-ended, at the 7th of July tripartite meeting in Geneva. A road map should emerge so that the steps to be taken will be defined and for the real give and take process to begin and finally the Cyprus negotiations process to be completed."
Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side is not receiving any instructions from anyone during the Cyprus negotiation process, Ozersay said: "The proposals we put forward at the negotiation table, was tabled by us and this issue has to do with our existence therefore the Greek Cypriots should know that we are their collocutor and no one else."
Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A., 11.06.11) reports that in an exclusive interview with the A.A correspondent, Ozersay said on Friday that the most important thing regarding the Cyprus negotiation process was to put forth a political will and leadership.
Ozersay said that the Cyprus negotiation process was "consumed" with respect to the methods that have been used and with the models that have been displayed. "If there is a political will and a solution will be found, we do not need more than three months," Ozersay alleged.
Ozersay said he met with officials from the U.S. State Department and also attended meetings in think-tank organization, adding "I have relayed them my views regarding the course of the Cyprus talks in my meetings with U.S. officials and talks in the UN. I explained them what kind of steps were needed for the success of the talks and our expectations from the United States and the international community on the matter."
Recalling that the negotiations are continuing for more than 40 years, Ozersay said that all the related parties, including international actors, should make some meaningful steps for the success of the process.
Ozersay said the problem was power imbalance and lack of motivation among the sides, noting that the "Greek Cypriot side is accepted as the legal government, a member of the EU which will take over the rotating presidency of the EU and has some kind of instruments which may have an influence on Turkey's EU process". "It is extremely hard to make a party, which owns all those instruments, to accept a compromising solution in which reciprocal concessions will take place," he claimed.
 Turkish Cypriot politicians and journalists assess the results of the parliamentary elections in TurkeyTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (13.06.11) reports that Irsen Kucuk, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, has said that Cyprus had always been an above party issue for Turkey and no election result ever changed Turkey's point of view on Cyprus. In statements during a ceremony at a football club, Kucuk noted that the results of the elections in Turkey yesterday were not a surprise and congratulated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) victory. He added that Erdogan is expected to officially visit the occupied area of Cyprus this year, but the date of the visit has not been determined yet.
Meanwhile, under the title: "Different expectations", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.06.11) refers to the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot political parties from the new Erdogan government. The paper reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and the Democratic Party (DP) want a revision of the "package of economic measures". On the other hand, the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) support the continuation of Turkey's aid.
Ertugrul Hasipoglu, UBP's general secretary, said that the good relations of Turkey with the breakaway regime will continue during the new AKP period, that Prime Minister Erdogan always states that Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey and that no change will happen in their relations. He noted that the economic package and the cooperation "protocol" have been prepared by technocrats in Turkey and the occupied part of Cyprus and possible problems could be discussed with the "motherland".
Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the CTP, said that the new Turkish government should revise the "protocol" taking into consideration the interests of the Turkish Cypriot "people". He noted that measures should be taken for the economic restructuring of the breakaway regime and pointed out to the importance of the Turkish Cypriots and their political will being "more active" in the formation of the above policies.
Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the TDP, said that the correct policies of the AKP won the elections and added that this victory will not bring any change on the issue of the economic package for the occupied area of Cyprus.
Serdar Denktas, chairman of the DP, said that the Turkish Cypriots should first agree among them what they will want from Turkey. He argued that what will happen in the occupied area of Cyprus from now on depends on the stance of the Turkish Cypriots.
Turgay Avci, chairman of the ORP, said that Turkey, because of its stability, will become economically stronger and a more respectable state in the world. He argued that the "TRNC", breakaway regime in occupied Cyprus, will also become stronger in this process and its infrastructure will be supported with more projects. Avci expressed the belief that, like in 2004, the AKP will support towards the solution in Cyprus to be reached by the end of the year. He argued that the "opening of the Turkish Cypriots to the world" will be the new alternative in case the "intransigent stance" of the Greek Cypriot side continues. He said the demand of the breakaway regime from Turkey could be stronger support to tourism and higher education sectors so that a sustainable economy is created, and making "more respectable" the regime's position in the world.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.06.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk and the chairman of the ORP. Turgay Avci have sent congratulating messages to Recep Tayyip Erdogan for AKP's victory in the elections. In his message, Eroglu expressed the belief that the election result in Turkey will contribute to promoting the "friendly and brotherly relations" between Turkey and the breakaway regime, and benefit the region and the world.
Furthermore, in a statement commenting on the result of the elections in Turkey, Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), said that the AKP government should behave sincerely and consistently as regards the Cyprus problem and it should stop using Cyprus as a trump card for bargaining.
Meanwhile, in statements to Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (14.06.11), Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the CTP, said he wants to see the new Turkish government to be "more aggressive" on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem. He noted that there could be an initiative on the issue of the opening of the Turkish ports to Cyprus ships.
In statements to the same paper, Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the TDP, said that the same policy will continue in Cyprus, because the same party continues to be in power in Turkey. He argued that days of confusion lie ahead for the breakaway regime as long as the practices regarding the economic package continue.
Columnist Ahmet Tolgay comments on the election results in Turkey in his column in daily Kibris (14.06.11) and writes that the results were not a surprise. He says that Erdogan is considered to "have taken a visa" to become President of the Republic in Turkey. "We could perceive him from now as the future President of the Republic of Turkey", he notes. He said that Erdogan's speech after the AKP's victory was more moderate than his speeches during the pre-election period and showed a tendency of amending the Constitution through consensus with the other political parties.
Columnist Aysu Basri Akter writes in her column in daily Yeni Duzen (13.06.11) that from now on Turkey will be "Erdogan's Turkey". She notes that Erdogan will do whatever he wants on issues such as the constitutional amendment, the presidential system and the presidency of the Republic.
 Kibrisli newspaper reports on the proposed pardon and white card "bill"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli over the weekend reported on the issue of "citizenship" and how it is related to the proposal by the "council of ministers" to offer pardon and register illegal workers and immigrants.
On Saturday (11.06.11) the paper hosted the views of Dr Mustafa Arabacioglu, a "deputy" with the Democratic Party who argued that in the long term the purpose of this pardon is to give citizenship to illegal workers. He accused the so-called government and added that it holds great dangers to prepare such a "bill" without first carrying out a population census. He added that such a legislation will lead to a population explosion in "TRNC," since if you take in mind the best possibility that there are 50 thousand illegal workers and then you add their wives and children you get a population of 200,000. Finally, Arabacioglu supported that Turkish Cypriot legislators could not prepare such a "bill", rather it is prepared by other known cycles and then brought to the agenda of the "ministry of interior".
On Sunday (12.06.11) the paper published an interview with Sonay Adem, a Republican Turkish Party "deputy" and former "minister of labour". Adem characterized these developments as steps against the economic, social and cultural identity of the Turkish Cypriots, and that it is obvious who imposes this packet to the "TRNC." He argued that with these measures they are trying to lead to extinction trades and crafts small business and handover the backbone of the economy to immigrants. Furthermore, he supported that "citizenship" should be given only through marriage and that all other allocated "citizenships" should be cancelled because these are eroding the Turkish Cypriot identity;also he adds that they should not try to alter the political will of the Turkish Cypriots by playing with the population.
 German Foreign Ministry's official to hold contacts in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.06.11) reports that Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and deputy chairwoman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), will visit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for contacts. According to the paper, Pieper will pay a visit tomorrow morning to the "House of Peace and Friendship" of the "Naci Talat foundation", which activates in the field of culture. There, Pieper is expected to meet with various NGOs, as well as with representatives of the "Ozker Ozgur Peace and Democracy foundation" and the "Turkish Cypriot union of -artists and writers". Pieper, who is to be accompanied by a 14-persons delegation, will be briefed on cultural issues.
 An increase of 30% of tourists in the occupied area of the Republic of CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 13.06.11), self-styled minister for tourism, environment and culture Unal Ustel, in a press release, announced that there has been a 30% increase in the number of foreigners, who visit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus from third countries, compared to last year, thanks to chartered flights from Germany, Italy, Holland and Belgium.
He said that after the 15th of June, new chartered flights, from Azerbaijan, Iran and Poland will lead to a 35% increase in tourists by the end of the year.
Explaining that for years the tourism industry in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus had been kept alive due to the tourism market in Turkey and the UK, Ustel said "we cannot continue with only two markets we need to expand and search for new markets".
Referring to the so-called embargoes enforced by the international community due to the Republic of Cyprus, Ustel said that "chartered flights from Iran to the TRNC via Turkey will not be obstructed".
He also announced that the latest phase of the project to enable Iranian tourists to come to the occupied area via a ferryboat from Antalya is also on the verge of completion.
 The breakaway regime allocates rural area plotsAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 11.06.11), the self-styled government is continuing to allocate rural area plots for young people with the aim of keeping the youth in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Young people living in the occupied villages of Vathylakas and Melanagra in the Trikomo region were "granted" rural area plots after a ceremony yesterday.
Speaking at the event, self-styled minister of interior and local administrations Naz1m Cavusolgu said that "the mission of the National Unity Party (UBP) was to enable the Cyprus Turkish people to strike roots in their country", adding that the plots were "granted" with this aim.
Self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, also addressing the event, pointed to the importance of having houses close to the families of the youth and said that the main aim was to encourage the rural life and to increase the population of the villages.
Explaining that "the government was working towards eliminating the difference between cities and villages", Kucuk noted that nearly 400 young people were given rural area plots so far to support them for setting up their housekeeping.
 1.500 houses to be constructed at the occupied village of SyngrasiAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 13.06.11), self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, during the inauguration ceremony of the picnic grounds at occupied village of Ayios Andronikos yesterday, said that "the more we claim our land, the more the youth stake a claim of the land and the more they establish their home's here, that is when these lands become a nation".
Naz1m Cavusolgu, self-styled minister for interior and local administrations, addressing also the event, said that a housing project that foresees 1.500 houses being built in the occupied village of Syngrasi will aid to the development of the area.
 Durust comments on the latest education issuesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.06.11) reports that the so-called minister of national education, youth and sports Kemal Durust participating in a television program, justified his earlier statement that "Turkish Cypriot students who study in the south will definitely not benefit from this new ruling [regarding entrance to Turkey's universities with only GCE A Level results]."
Durust said that this situation derives from Ankara's decision and that it was not their request. "Turkey is free not to include students who study in a country not recognized [by Turkey]? We are not comfortable with students going to the south, we do not do subcontracts with the south, our duty is to reduce with measures the number of students going to schools in the south," said Durust.
Moreover, when asked regarding the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) and the decision to transfer its pre-university education institutions to Fethullah Gulen's Doga College, he said that although this decision binds the "government" as well, it was a decision taken exclusively by the administration board of the foundation.
 "Gonyeli-2011 Search and Rescue" exercises in the occupied areaAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 13.06.11), the joint land and sea exercises which will be staged between the 14th and 16th of June, will be conducted within the breakaway regime's "territorial waters" and Turkey's "search and rescue region".
According to a press release by the "Security Forces Commandership", the exercises are being held with the participation of both civilian and military elements that are included in the search and rescue organizations of the Republic of Turkey and the breakaway regime. The exercise will be held in the Eastern Mediterranean, off the coast of occupied Famagusta.
A press briefing concerning the exercise will take place at the Turkish occupation Forces Command headquarters in the occupied area tomorrow. After the briefing, the first land stage of the exercise will be held at the occupied region of St. Hilarion at 4pm.
The exercise's sea stage will be held on Wednesday off the coast of occupied Famagusta, starting at 2 pm and ending at 10 pm.
 Asim Akansoy is the new general secretary of the CTPTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.06.11) reports that Asim Akansoy has been elected to the post of the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). The new party council convened last night for the first time after the CTP's recent congress. Akansoy and Teberruken Ulucay, a "deputy" in occupied Famagusta, were the two candidates for the post of the general secretary of the party. Akansoy received 38 votes and Ulucay 24.
The paper recalls that Akansoy was director of former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's office. According to Kibris, after Akansoy's election, political observers said that Talat has an influential position in the CTP.
[B] TURKISH PRESSMain issues in the Turkish newspapers during the weekend were the results of the June 12 general elections in Turkey with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's third consecutive election victory, Erdogan's messages of reconciliation after his party's victory, the congratulatory messages received by Erdogan from all over the world, the increase in the number of women MPs from 50 to 78 as well as other internal issues.
 Final results of Turkey's general elections 2012According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.06.11), after all of the votes counted, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has 49.83% of the votes, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has 25.94% of the votes, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has 12.99% of the votes while independents have 6.58%.
With these figures, the AKP won 326 seats at the 550-seat parliament as CHP got 135 seats and the MHP 53 seats. Independents have 36 seats.
 How the Turkish press covered the June 12 general elections resultsThe Turkish press gave great coverage on the results of the June 12 general elections in Turkey with the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) victory.
The main Turkish newspapers (13.06.11) covered the results in banner front-page titles as follows:
HURRIYET: "Erdogan again"
The paper reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP has won a landslide victory in Sunday's general elections by claiming one out of every two votes of the Turks, getting 49.91% of the total votes. This is the third straight election victory for Erdogan who boosted support from to as high as 50% from 34.28% in the elections back in 2002. AKP, however, won fewer seats than it did in the previous elections by getting 326 seats out of 550. In 2007, a 46.58% vote support gave Erdogan 341 parliamentarians. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) won 25.91% of the votes with 135 seats as opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) won 13% with 53 seats. Independents got 2.8 million votes to claim 36 seats at the parliament.
MILLIYET: "He broke Menderes' record"
The paper reports that Erdogan made history after winning three general elections successively by increasing his votes. Adnan Menderes had won three elections but in the third election, he lost votes. AKP, which came to power in 2002 by getting 34% of the votes, got 47% of the votes in 2007 and has won 50% of the votes in yesterday's elections. Adnan Menderes got 52% of the votes in his first election, 57% in the second and 47% of the votes in his last election. However, although AKP increased the percentage of its votes, the number of his MPs dropped to 326. This figure is below 330, which enables the party to carry constitutional changes by a referendum.
Under the front-page title, "Second winner of the elections is BDP", the paper writes that the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) entered the elections under the platform Labour, Democracy and Freedom Block and won more than 2.5 million votes.
In addition, under the title, "Three messages, one target", the paper reports on the disappointment in the Republican People's Party (CHP) when the election results were announced, as CHP entered the elections with 30% target. That atmosphere of hopelessness was erased with the statements of CHP chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu who said that "the target is to be in power after 4 years".
SABAH: "Go ahead master"
The paper writes: "Turkey wanted stability to continue. Recep Tayyip Erdogan got the visa, which he asked to continue his master period with the votes of one in two electors and came in power for the third time." The paper notes that in his victory speech, Erdogan gave messages of compromise and brotherhood to Turkey. "Either they gave vote or not to AKP, we will be the government of 74 million people. Style of living, belief, and values of each of our citizens are entrusted to us," he said.
CUMHURIYET: "Third AKP period"
Although AKP has risen its votes 5% compared with the 2007 elections, the number of its MPs reduced from 341 to 326. AKP, planning constitutional changes and presidential system, could not reach 330 MPs required for a referendum. CHP, which entered the previous elections together with the Democratic Left Party (DSP), increased its votes more than 5%, however this rise was below than expected. Number of CHP's parliamentarians increased from 112 to 135.
ZAMAN: "Strong support to stability with 50% of votes"
The paper writes that the nation said its last word in the elections and wanted stability to continue by giving support to AKP for the third time. The government, which won one of every two votes on Sunday's general elections, also broke the 47% record of 2007. However, the number of MPs changed and this weakened the government's power in the parliament.
RADIKAL: "The master of the ballot box"
The paper writes that Turkey, once more, voted for the AKP. It is also noted that the AKP, led by Premier Erdogan, with almost 50% of the votes in Sunday's elections, won a victory. The AKP became the first party that won three consecutive general elections, in the history of the Turkish Republic.
Furthermore, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (13.06.11), under the title: "What others say" reports the following by Taha Akyol:
"A leftist discourse that has trust in itself can provide a steady increase in votes. The election success of independent candidates supported by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has literally left the 10% threshold in disarray. We will all together see the results of the cooperation of the Kurdish political movement and the socialist left this time with 35 deputies. It can be expected that the national conservative block represented by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will inevitably make the independents and the Republican People's Party (CHP) come closer to each other in Parliament. The AKP, which will cling to a referendum for the presidential system, may make an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
OZGUR MUMCU (Radikal)
Thanks to the mind who found the method in 2007: A regime that does everything it can, since its foundation, to prevent those on the margins from entering Parliament and engages in politics has come across a picture after the June 12 elections. This picture coming out of the elections has an important lesson in it. Voter support of above 6% from all of Turkey was able to send politics addicts such as Sirri Sureyya Onder, Ertugrul Kurkcu and Levent Tuzel to Parliament along with representatives of Kurdish politics. Well done to this election system. It is a "miracle" in a way. But in another much more important way, it is the sign that Turkey has learned the rules of "modern politics".
KURSAT BUMIN (Yeni Safak)
There are many reasons behind the AKP's colossal victory. The injustice caused by the e-memorandum of April 27 was cited as the main reason why the AKP attained 46.6% of the votes in the 2007 elections. This outburst of votes for the AKP demonstrates that one in every two voters is content with the AKP rule, at a time when the AKP has not faced any injustices. It is highly significant that the ruling party has thoroughly consolidated its sway over the Black Sea and Central Anatolia regions, while marginalizing the MHP. Likewise, it is worthy of attention that the AKP has shaken off the disappointment it suffered in coastal regions during the September 12 referendum.
RUSEN CAKIR (Vatan)
The CHP had entered a positive process of change. It wanted to reach out to the sociological base of the AKP, the margins and the border, with the language of the social democracy. It abandoned the "central" secularist discourse and engaged in a discourse focusing on poverty. The fact that the CHP withdrew its secular discourse and the AKP withdrew its headscarf discourse unavoidably brought forward the "service" factor in the eyes of the voter in this elections. There was not much the CHP could say on this theme. The CHP's rhetoric was getting newly accustomed to the "project" discourse. The fact that the "oldies" in the CHP organization did not work and that their footsteps were still strong limited the effect of the regeneration."
 AKP will embrace all, Erdogan saysTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.06.11) with the above title reports that addressing the people after winning Sunday's elections with a great majority of votes, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "We will embrace everyone, whether they voted for the AKP or not."
"The people have won", Erdogan said, adding that unlawfulness and the rule of the "privileged ones" lost once more. "A Turkey with gangs has become a thing of the past by decision of the Turkish people".
The AKP does not distinguish between members of the public and will continue this practise, Erdogan said. "The lifestyles, faiths and values of 74 million people are entrusted to us."
Freedoms will broaden, the Prime Minister said, adding that everyone will be able to express themselves even better. "Our responsibility has grown", he said.
Erdogan put special emphasis on Turkey's regional role, saluting people from several countries including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt, and stressed the following:
"We have also been given the authority to make the new Constitution. We have been given the chance to make the new Constitution with consensus. We deem our promises on the rallies hope-inspiring. We will not close our doors just because we have 330 deputies.
I say that if the main opposition and other opposition parties approve, we will sit and talk, and we will have dialogue with the political parties outside the Parliament, nongovernmental organizations and associations.
We will make a liberal Constitution altogether. The east, the west, the north and the south will find themselves in this Constitution.
This new Constitution will be addressed to every single individual in Turkey. In the new Constitution, every citizen will be "the first." This Constitution will focus on peace. This Constitution will be the Constitution of the Kurd, of Turkmen people, of Alevis, of all minorities, which means all 74 million people. This Constitution will be for fraternity, for sharing, for unity and solidarity."
 Columnist criticizes Erdogan's victory speechColumnist Barcin Yinanc writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 13.06.11) publishes the following commentary under the title: "PM poses as a Mideastern rather than a European leader:
"Just as we Turks have turned our eyes to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speech to see whether he would replace his aggressive rhetoric with a reconciliatory tone, the movers and shakers of the international community have also tuned in, to see the first glimpse of how the ruling party's landslide victory will affect its foreign policy.
In his victory speech, which has come to be nicknamed the 'balcony speech', as he addressed his followers from his party headquarters' balcony, the Prime Minister did not mention even once Europe, the European Union or the West.
Well aware that he will be watched by international audiences, he preferred to address the world as a Middle Eastern leader, rather than a European or Western leader.
He started his speech by saluting 'all friendly and brotherly nations from Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, Cairo, Sarajevo, Baku and Nicosia.'
Later on he mentioned The hopes of the victims and the oppressed have won,' and, Beirut has won as much as 0zmir. West Bank, Gaza, Ramallah, Jerusalem have won as much as Diyarbak1r. The Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans have won, just as Turkey has won.'
The fact that he mentioned Sarajevo, while avoiding mention of Europe, clearly shows that he sees himself as the leader of the Muslims and that of those Muslims who are oppressed, not by their regimes, in the view of Erdogan, but by the Christian West. So, Erdogan's world view, based on juxtaposing the oppressed East vis-?-vis the imperialist West, is here to stay.
No doubt, this world view, shared by Ahmet Davutoglu, who is likely to continue as Foreign Minister, will be put to the test. It is becoming harder and harder for them to handle the crises in the Middle East due to the cruel policies of Muslim leaders toward their own people. It took some time for Erdogan to label Bashar al-Assad's policies as 'inhumane and cruel'. The crises in the Middle East will finally show that Turkey's policy of constructive engagement has its limits and Turkey then might feel the need to act in unity with Europe, because by itself Turkey is not in a position to exert sufficient influence to reach a desired outcome. Indeed, asking Gadhafi to leave and calling on Assad to implement reforms have fallen on deaf ears. While engaging with countries that have problematic relations is not wrong, it is equally not right to totally trust them and give them full credit. One hopes that the Erdogan-Davutoglu duo will realize fine tuning their policies accordingly and tune down for more modest rhetoric and avoid grandiose statements like being the 'game changer of the region'.
In addition to the crises in the Middle East, the new flotilla leaving for Gaza, which might flare up the tension with Israel, stands as the most immediate problem the government has to tackle. It is obvious that the government cannot just say it has no influence over the NGOs and stand aside. It is also obvious that once the flotilla leaves the Turkish waters, the government will not watch in silence another possible Israeli attack on Turkish citizens. While some in the government want a further deterioration in relations with Israel, it is probable to speculate that Erdogan as well as Davutoglu will try to stop the flotilla if they see a more visible sign from Israel on easing the embargo on Gaza. Israel should understand that pointing to the Rafah gate and saying Egypt now has opened the second gate to Gaza is not enough. Expect intense behind-the-scene diplomatic traffic between the U.S., Israel and Turkey."
 "EU jury remains out on Turkey's Mideast role, says top analyst"Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review (13.06.11, online) publishes a report by Valerie Hopkins regarding a conference on Balkan integration, in Sarajevo. Speaking to the paper, Alvaro de Vasconcelos, the director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) said the following: "I know the [EU] High Representative [Catherine Ashton] considers her relationship with Turkey very important in the Middle East, but I am not sure the European Union in general, because of a number of difficulties on Turkish accession and because of difficulties on Turkish relations with the EU, is making the best of it."
De Vasconcelos said that Turkey should continue serving as a broker in international disputes, especially in the Western Balkans, where Turkish foreign policy has successfully mediated several disputes. However, de Vasconcelos believes that Europe remains divided on Turkey's new role in the Middle East with the same enthusiasm as it does its role in the Balkan region. He was also positive on Turkey's role in the Caucasus. "Turkish gestures in relation to Armenia are also welcomed in Europe," he said. "In general, I would say the new Turkish foreign policy is perceived as a force for good."
Moreover, de Vasconcelos said that if Turkey played a greater role in Europe's Common Foreign and Security Policy, (CFSP) under which the EUISS operates, it would facilitate Turkey's integration with the rest of Europe.
The paper also reports that according to de Vasconcelos, Turkey's EU accession is being held up by larger states which are hiding behind the excuse of the unresolved Cyprus problem. Still, de Vasconcelos believes the general consensus is for integration and that the outlook is positive so long as the Cyprus problem is resolved. "If the Cyprus issue is solved, and that is not just the responsibility of Turkey, it is also the responsibility of Greece, of Cyprus, and the international community, and so on, I would be optimistic in relation to the Turkish integration," he claimed.
 "The Government will have to juggle many hot potatoes at once in foreign policy"Under the above title, Emine Kart analyzes in Today's Zaman (13.06.11, online) the diplomatic challenges that Turkey and its new Government will have to face. "Urgent issues like developments in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly developments in neighboring Syria, will be at the top of the Turkish agenda. In addition to Syria, the deadlocked European Union membership process, the Cyprus issue and the Balkans will have top priority for the Government. Turkish diplomats and their maestro, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutolu, will have to handle these issues in a sophisticated and skillful way", argues Kart and writes inter alia:
"Schedule wise, with the number of Syrian citizens staying at four tent-sites in southern Turkey reaching 6.817 as of Monday, the Syria issue is the hottest potato in the hands of the Turkish Government. Officials said almost 1.000 Syrian citizens have crossed into Turkey since Sunday, and they settled in four tent-sites set up in the towns of Yaylada1 and Alt1n?z? in the southern province of Hatay. [& ]
Meanwhile, due to their special characteristic, the crises in Bahrain and Yemen are by no means secondary issues for Turkey. [& ] Leaders of Turkey have constantly expressed concern over the possibility of a sectarian clash in Bahrain in the name of transformation. In March, Davutolu had stated that turmoil in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain "could have the potential to create an international conflict ... and spread Shiite-Sunni tension across the region." [?]
Ankara has constantly voiced concern over the incidents in Yemen, which have rapidly transformed into a deep and chronic political crisis over the past months. With its principle of "regional ownership," for reaching a viable and permanent resolution to regional problems, Ankara in April welcomed a proposal by Gulf states to mediate in growing tensions between Yemeni authorities and protesters, expressing hope that the initiative will bring a nationwide consensus. In late May, Ankara said it expects the Government of Yemen to act with a sense of responsibility to re-establish peace and stability and start a peaceful process of change and also live up to its commitments it pledged to in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). [?]
The Government has constantly denied suggestions that it is losing its appetite for Turkey's pursuit of becoming a full member of the EU, while underlining that the current stalemate in these relations stems from the current crisis that Europe is undergoing. All eyes will now have to be set on the course of affairs regarding the future of ongoing UN-led negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders in the run-up to the July 7 tripartite meeting in Geneva. [?]
Looking at the issue schedule wise, the six-month long rotating presidency of the 27-member bloc will be held by Denmark in the first half of 2012 and by Greek Cyprus in the second half of 2012. The upcoming Greek Cypriot rotating presidency renders the resolution of the Cyprus issue more and more urgent and vital for Ankara since it doesn't recognize the southern Cyprus Greek administration on the divided island as the representative of the entire island.
Despite the international community's tendency towards considerable indifference when it comes to the Balkans, Ankara has on many occasions displayed its commitment to maintaining stability in the volatile western Balkans. Developments in the region indicate that the Turkish diplomacy may have to spare considerable energy and time in dealing with the situation in the volatile region. [?]" TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio