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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-11-25
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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. 222/13 23-25.11.13
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 A drilling platform has reportedly arrived in the open sea of occupied KeryneiaUnder the title "Jupiter against Aphrodite", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (25.11.13) reports that Turkey "has pressed the button" for carrying out researches for hydrocarbon resources in the open sea of occupied Keryneia. The paper writes that after taking positive results in the explorations which had been conducted secretly and meticulously by a Turkish seismic exploration vessel, a drilling platform named "GSP Jupiter", belonging to Rumanian "Sonnat offshore" company, arrived yesterday in the open sea of occupied Keryneia.
According to information obtained by the paper, the Romanian company cooperates with the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO). "GSP Jupiter" platform is expected to start working within the next few days. TPAO leased the above-mentioned platform last April with the aim of conducting drilling in the Black Sea.
Citing "information from reliable sources", the paper reports that "GSP Jupiter" has been sent to Eastern Mediterranean simultaneously with Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa vessel for carrying out explorations for hydrocarbon resources.
The paper recalls that the Turkish Minister of Energy, Taner Yildiz had stated in September that they aimed to extend their explorations for hydrocarbon resources up to the area around Cyprus, in case Prime Minister Erdogan agreed. The paper writes that Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa and GSP Jupiter, which concluded their explorations in the Black Sea after the approval of Prime Minister Erdogan, were given a directive to come to Cyprus.
 Yildiz: TPAO will carry out seismic explorations in the sea south of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (25.11.13) reports that the Turkish Minister of Energy, Taner Yildiz has said that the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa vessel, which had been purchased by Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) for 130 million dollars, is carrying out seismic explorations in Mersin and Alexandretta and that "the vessel will carry out seismic explorations in the area south of Cyprus as well".
Yildiz, who had held some contacts in Paris after the meeting of the International Energy Agency, said that the French GDF company wants to make an investment of around 7-8 billion euros (in Turkey) and added that they will have two investors from Paris. He noted that the one investment will be related with explorations for oil in the Black Sea and the other for coal on shore.
Yildiz also said that TPAO will start producing oil in Siberia together with the Hungarian MOL company.
 Davutoglu: the participation of the "TRNC" in Economic Cooperation Organization's meeting in Tehran is "very important"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.11.13) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu has said that the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, will participate for the first time in a meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). In statements at Esenboga airport before departing for Qatar, Davutoglu noted that the regime will participate in ECO's meeting in Tehran as an observer. He argued that this is "a very important stage in the sense of the international visibility and recognition of the TRNC".
Davutoglu said that today he would meet with the Emir, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar and in the afternoon he would depart for Bahrain. He added that after meeting with officials from Bahrain, he would participate in the meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue and then he would go to Tehran for ECO's meeting. Noting that he will hold bilateral meetings in Tehran on Wednesday, Davutoglu pointed out that an increase is observed recently in their high level contacts with Iran.
 Eroglu wants a fast solution based on Cyprus "realities"Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (24.11.13) published an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu who commented on the meeting he will have today with President Nicos Anastasiades and on the developments of the Cyprus negotiations.
Eroglu said that he is sending to President Anastasiades the following message via the paper: "Come on, let us solve this job and become a world example [?] Let's make Cyprus an island of peace. Let's complete the procedure in the first quarter of 2014 and go to referendum", he stated.
He went on and said that the Turkish Cypriot side wants a solution based on the "realities" of Cyprus. He also said that they want a solution, but in case the problem is not solve, obstacles must not be put on the place of the Turkish Cypriot side in the world and the Turkish Cypriots must stopped being subjects of "isolation" and "embargoes".
He also accused President Anastasiades for the delay regarding the negotiations' launching. He claimed that the Greek Cypriot side firstly demanded a gesture on Varosha in order to return to the negotiation table and then put the issue of a common declaration as a prerequisite. "We said we can meet without the common declaration and discuss everything", Eroglu said and added that the Turkish Cypriot side believes that the Greek Cypriot side have no intention to reach an agreement with them on equal basis.
He went on and claimed that primarily the Greek Cypriot side must abandon its dream for return to the 1974 situation.
 Eroglu reiterates that the negotiations could resume without a joint statement and that a "new state" should be established in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.11.13) reported the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has alleged that they were exerting efforts with Turkey in order for a referendum to take place in Cyprus within three months and added: "If there is an agreement within three months, there will be an agreement, if there is no agreement, a new evaluation will be made".
In statements to Turkish journalists in Gaziantep, Eroglu replied to questions as regards the meeting he is expected to hold today with President Anastasiades. He claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side will work with good will for having a joint statement, "but the parameters are there". "However, if we cannot agree, we can continue the negotiations without a joint statement", he argued.
Eroglu alleged that in spite of the so-called isolations, the "TRNC" has slowly developed within the years with "motherland Turkey's support" and its own possibilities.
He claimed that the Cyprus problem should be at its last stage and added: "We are in continuous consultations with Turkey. With Turkey's President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister we think of concluding the negotiations in Cyprus within the first quarter of next year and go to referendum".
Eroglu argued that the Turkish Cypriot "people" were tired of asking the question of "what will be their future" and that there could be nothing more painful than this for the community. He went on and alleged: "If the world has justice, negotiations will begin and if there is an agreement, there will be an agreement, if not, a new evaluation will be made? Mr Anastasiades is thinking of taking and force us accepting some things before sitting at the negotiating table".
Meanwhile, in statements during a meeting with army officers, Eroglu argued: "In my view, no joint statement was needed for starting the negotiations, because in the end the UN parameters exist on the negotiating table and it is known what we want to materialize by continuing the negotiations. When Mr Anastasiades put forward such a proposal, we saw in the text of this joint statement he prepared that he thinks of taking some things before sitting at the negotiating table and of forcing us to accept some things. In spite of this, we have accepted the first text for a joint statement prepared in the name of the UN Secretary-General's office. The Greek Cypriot side did not accept it and because it did not accept it, papers started coming and going. Greek Cypriot proposals, Turkish proposals, we could reach nowhere".
Noting that tonight he will meet with President Anastasiades without the presence of the UN, Eroglu said: "Of course, the main issue is to determine the strategy, to try lifting the obstacles in the text of this joint statement, if we can lift them".
Eroglu argued that the Turkish side has been wanting for many years a bi-communal common state based on political equality. According to Kibris, Eroglu said: "One of the founding states is the Turkish side, we are, and the other founding side is the Greek Cypriot side. These two founding states will leave a part of their sovereignty, their actions to the central government in order for a new state to be established, in order for a new state to be able to be built".
Moreover, Kibris writes that on 21 November, Eroglu sent a letter to President Anastasiades replying to the latter's proposal for tonight's meeting. According to the paper, Eroglu conveyed his wish to meet with President Anastasiades the soonest and determine the date for the commencement of the comprehensive negotiations.
 Yorgancioglu: Eroglu-Anastasiades meeting can be a key for negotiations launchingTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.11.13) reports that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ozkan Yorgancioglu commented on today's visit between Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and President Nicos Anastasiades and stated that the meeting can be a key for the launching of Cyprus negotiations.
He went on and added that the position of CTO as regards the Cyprus problem is clear and is referred at the "government program". He also said that they will do anything possible this solution opportunity to have a positive outcome.
As regards the agreement signed between the "Turkish Cypriot Football federation" with Cyprus Football Association (KOP), Yorgancioglu said that he does not agree with Eroglu on the issue, but as he said they cannot agree on everything.
 Ozyigit said that developments on Cyprus problem are taking place by international forces and are hidden by the peopleUnder the title "Cypriots must rise", Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (24.11.13) reports that Cemak Ozyigit, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), stated that there is mobilization in the Cyprus problem recently and added that international forces are trying to make their plan on Cyprus.
He stated that Cypriots must be the main actors on this procedure and added that they must enter into activity for the situation. Ozyigit also said that backstage developments are taking place and are kept hidden by the people.
 Cakici: Turkish Cypriots should not afraid the Republic of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (23.11.13) reports that Mehmet Cakici "MP" with the Social Democracy Party (TDP), commented on the agreement signed between the "Turkish Cypriot Football federation" with Cyprus Football Association (KOP) and stated that the Turkish Cypriot should not afraid the Republic of Cyprus.
Cakici stated that the Turkish Cypriots can make use of the rights rising from the Republic of Cyprus and must try to make this agreement work.
As regards the negotiation for the solution of the Cyprus problem, Cakici said that he is not pleased with the procedure and with President Nicos Anastasiades behaviour. He also stated that an agreement for a just and equal agreement must be signed and added that Varosha must come into the agenda.
 OIC conference was held in occupied KeryneiaAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 22.11.13), the 3 day Conference on Water and Food Security in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member Countries, which had been organized jointly by the so-called foreign ministry and the OIC, took place at the occupied Keryneia.
The OIC Secretary General Professor Doctor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the Turkish Minister for Forestry and Waterworks Veysel Eroglu, took also part in the conference.
Delivering the opening speech at the conference, self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami said the conference is further strengthening the relations between the "TRNC" [editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus] and OIC member countries.
Evaluating the project of the century which foresees water being transferred between Turkey and the "TRNC" via underwater pipelines, Nami said that the project will not only aid the Turkish Cypriots overcome their water shortages but will allow for more cooperation to take place with the Cyprus government as well.
Touching upon the Cyprus problem, Nami claimed despite the Turkish side's positive stance the Greek Cypriot side is continuing its negative stance in order to reinforce its international status and strengthen its EU membership. He also argued: "Turkish Cypriots cannot be forced to live under unjust embargoes and isolations forever and the talks cannot continue open ended".
The self-styled minister for environment and natural resources Hamit Bakirci, for his part, pointed to the importance of water in sustaining life and added that precautionary measures must be taken to protect clean water resources and prevent food wastage. He also expressed his belief that the support given by the OIC will allow the Turkish Cypriots gain their rightful place around the world.
 A cooperation protocol between OIC and the breakaway regimeAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 22.11.13), the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Professor Doctor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Friday morning. Eroglu decorated Ihsanoglu with the self-style state medal in recognition of his long standing support to "TRNC" [editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] and services to the just cause of the Turkish Cypriots.
Making a statement after receiving such a prestigious "medal", Ihsanoglu said he was honoured to be receiving such a "medal" and added that serving Cyprus was a very important duty.
Eroglu, for his part, pointed to the important services given by the OIC Secretary General towards the development of relations between the "TRNC" and the Islamic world.
"We are very pleased to take part in the OIC with an observer status hopefully we will open up to the world as a full OIC member", said Eroglu.
Furthermore, Ihsanoglu had separately meetings with self-styled prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu and self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami.
Speaking during the meeting, Yorgancioglu stressed that the cooperation will continue with the OIC and he also praised Ihsanoglu's services to the "TRNC".
For his part, Ihsanoglu noted that positive developments will occur on the "TRNC" economy once the project of transferring water from Turkey to the "TRNC" will be realized.
During his meeting with Nami, the two men signed a cooperation protocol a first of its kind.
The protocol includes cooperation on education, science and technology, health, tourism and trade among other things.
Meanwhile the OIC Secretary General received an "Honorary Doctorate" from the illegal European University of Lefke.
On the same issue, Turkish state channel TRT (online, 22.11.13) broadcast that Ihsanoglu reiterated the enduring support of the OIC to the "TRNC" in political, economic, social and cultural fields. He also signed Cooperation Framework Agreement between the OIC General Secretariat and the breakaway regime to institutionalize and further develop "TRNC's" relations-as one of the OIC observer member state - and cooperation with the OIC and its member states.
The Secretary General also indicated the OIC's support to the breakaway regime and its people through various projects, including in the fields of education and tourism, highlighting the significance of holding the Conference on Water and Food Security in the OIC Member States in occupied Keryneia.
 Veysel Eroglu carried out contacts in the occupied area of the Republic of CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak (online, 22.11.13), the Turkish Minister for Forestry and Waterworks Veysel Eroglu, who was at the occupied area of the Republic of cyprus, met with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu at his office.
Speaking during the meeting Mr. Veysel Eroglu informed the Turkish Cypriot leader that the water project was on track and added that the project may even be completed before its finishing date.
Explaining that they had also begun a forestation campaign for the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish Minister said hopefully a wonderful outcome will be achieved.
The Turkish Cypriot leader, for his part, thanked the visiting Turkish Minister and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for realizing such important projects.
Meanwhile the Turkish Minister attended a sapling planting event at the illegal Near East University ("YDU") and then paid a visit to the so-called Turkish Ambassador to occupied Lefkosia Halil Ibrahim Akca.
Later, the Turkish Minister had separately meetings with the so-called speaker of parliament Sibel Siber and so-called prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu.
 The breakaway regime will construct a building for the "TRNC representative" at IslamabadTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.11.13) reports that the breakaway regime will construct a building for the "TRNC representation office" at Islamabad, Pakistan. The decision was taken during a meeting of the "ministers council" on November 12, 2013.
Afrika strongly criticizes the decision which is taken while occupation Cyprus faces many financials issues and writes that there is not enough money for teachers at schools and doctors for hospitals but there always money for building mosques and for the construction of a building in Islamabad.
The paper also writes that tenders for the building's construction will be taken for at least three construction firms. It also notes that technical consultant will be asked from Turkey on the issue.
 Blatter: We are expecting approval from the Turkish Cypriot side by the end of this month; Eroglu: it is not possible to accept the agreementAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.11.13), FIFA President Sepp Blatter expects serious steps to be taken in near future for Turkish Cypriot football teams to be represented under the flag of Cyprus Football Association (CFA).
This process is expected to lead Turkish Cypriot football clubs to be recognized officially by Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), AA reported.
Blatter, who spoke to press after visiting Pope Francis in Vatican, said, "We have the solution. We are working on it for six years. CFA has approved it. We are expecting approval from the Turkish Cypriot side, hopefully to be received by the end of this month."
Blatter said the agreement will not lead to a united Cypriot national team, while Turkish and Greek football teams may be playing in a combined league in Cyprus.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.11.13) reported the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has said that he does not accept as unification with the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) the signing of an agreement by the Turkish Cypriot so-called football federation [in Zurich on 5 November]. "It is not possible to accept such unification", he noted in statements in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. He argued that the chairman of their so-called football federation had said that the text discussed in Cyprus was different than the text signed in Zurich.
He went on and claimed: "I do not know whether these mistakes can be corrected in new meetings. However, if these mistakes are not corrected the chairman of the football federation could not take this to the clubs and discuss it, because entering under the CFA, will need first to register at official offices in the Greek Cypriot side and afterwards in cooperation with the CFA you will establish a four-party committee under the roof of the CFA".
 Egypt downgrades diplomatic relations with Turkey, expels ambassadorTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.11.13) reported that Egypt has expelled Turkey's Ambassador to Cairo on Nov. 23, declaring him "persona non grata," in a new peak of tension between the two countries, which has escalated since the military takeover that toppled Mohamed Morsi.
"We are downgrading our diplomatic relations with Turkey," a spokesperson of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said, adding that the decision had been taken after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his sympathy with Morsi in remarks made on Nov. 21. "We have asked the Turkish ambassador to leave the country."
Egypt's envoy to Turkey, who has been recalled for consultations in August, will not be sent back to Ankara, Badr Abdelatty said.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian charge d'affaires in Ankara, who is the senior diplomat at the embassy because the ambassador has not been reinstated following being recalled to Cairo for consultations in August, has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Turkish officials informed to having undertaken reciprocal measures by declaring the Ambassador Abdurrahman Selahaddin "persona non grata," mirroring Cairo by downgrading diplomatic ties.
"The responsibility of this sad situation falls on the interim government, which came into power during the exceptional context of the July 3 coup," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"We hope our ties will normalize after Egypt regains stability and democracy," it added
Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Levent Gumrukcu said that Ankara would take steps in reciprocity "after comprehensive consultations with the Turkish ambassador."
Before his departure to Russia on Nov. 21, Erdogan criticized once again the interim rule for putting Morsi in trial. "I applaud Morsi's conduct at the court. I respect him, but I have no respect for those who put him on trial," Erdogan said.
His remarks were described by Badr Abdelatty as "provocative and interfering in Egypt's internal affairs."
Abdelatty also accused Ankara of attempting "to influence public opinion against Egyptian interests" as well as supporting meetings of organizations that "seek to create instability in the country."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on the subject on Nov. 24, adding that his government stood with the "Egyptian people." Erdogan said those who "act based on emotion" were the ones who lose.
"We never respected coup plotters, and we never will. We will be sensitive about that. It is our duty to enhance freedoms, to raise the standards of democracy," Erdogan said.
For his part, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said such crises were temporary. "The friendship between Turkey and Egypt is eternal. A rule which respects humanity may come to power in Egypt and relations between both countries will improve to a level way more advanced than the one now," Davutoglu said before his departure to Qatar.
"However, the interim rule in Egypt has informed us of their decision. We have responded with the same steps, according to the reciprocity principle," Davutoglu said.
He also explained Ankara's stance aims to defend the will of the Egyptian people. "Our stance against the military coup of July 3 is the result of respect for the Egyptian people, not because we prefer one part of the society to the other," he said, emphasizing Egypt's importance for the region.
"If democracy establishes itself in Egypt, this will give hope to other people, too. But if the democratic process in Egypt is interrupted, this will have a negative impact for the demands in the region."
Ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsal? will be returning to Turkey as soon as possible, Davutoglu also said
Botsal? was summoned two weeks ago by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry over Ankara's repeated calls for Morsi's release. The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated politician had recently appeared in court after being held incommunicado for months.
"Turkish and Egyptian people are brothers. I will continue to pray for the good of Egypt," Botsali told Anadolu Agency in his first remarks after the announcement of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's decision.
"Egypt is a very important country. It is very important for the region and the World that Egypt remains on the path of democracy," Botsali said.
The first Turkish official to react was President Abdullah Gul, who expressed his wish that both countries could get their ties back on track. "Turkey and Egypt are like two peas in a pod. We have been very saddened by what has happened there," Gul told reporters in the Black Sea province of Ordu. "We hope that Egypt can regain democracy," Gul added.
 Cyprus problem was also taken up during the Arinc-Biden meetingAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.11.13), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, who is carrying out contacts in the USA, had also a meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden.
Arinc stated to TRT News that Turkey and the USA are not in a clash but in almost full agreement in issues such as Syria, Iraq or other matters.
He said they took up the issue that the US could not fully meet Turkey's expectations on the Syria issue and added the Vice President will make a statement on this, without elaborating on the issue.
Iraq and Cyprus issues were also taken up during the Arinc-Biden meeting.
 Erdogan to Putin: Take us to ShanghaiTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 22.11.13) reported that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again opened up the debate on Turkey's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), this time demanding a seat from Russian President Vladimir Putin to save Ankara from "the troubles" of the EU accession process.
Responding to a question over Ukraine's recent decision to halt a trade pact with the European Union, Putin said the issue had no political dimension and that they would learn from Turkey's EU experiences.
"We will ask Turkey what we can do. Turkey has great experience in EU talks," Putin said at a joint conference with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg. Erdogan replied: "You are right. Fifty years of experience is not easy. Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and save us from this trouble."
Ukraine abruptly abandoned a historic new alliance with the EU on Nov. 21, halting plans for an imminent trade pact with the bloc and saying it would instead revive talks with Russia.
The prime minister said he had conveyed Turkey's membership request to Putin before. "We care about this."
Turkey became the first NATO member state to become a "dialogue partner" with the regional body ? which is colloquially known as the Shanghai Five ? in April. Turkey said the cooperation would strengthen Turkey's ties with the organization, primarily in the domains of economy and transportation.
The SCO's members include Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
The issue of SCO membership had come to the political agenda of Turkey earlier this year after Erdogan said Turkey might opt to join the SCO. Erdogan raised the issue in January at a time when hopes regarding the EU process were diminishing due to the adamant opposition of a number of members states toward Turkey's membership.
"I said to Russian President Vladimir Putin, 'You tease us, saying, 'what [is Turkey] doing in the EU?' Now I tease you: Include us in the Shanghai Five, and we will forget about the EU,'" Erdogan said at the time. The Prime Minister's remarks fuelled debates on whether Turkey was moving away from its policy target of EU membership. President Abdullah Gul also reiterated that the SCO and the EU were not alternatives to each other at the time.
Accompanied by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, Erdogan met Putin and co-chaired the fourth session of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council, where the two sides signed several agreements.
Under the title "Tired of Brussels, Erdogan asks for Shanghai", columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in HDN (online, 23.11.13), wonders why Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue of his country's entry into the Shanghai cooperation organization and said, inter alia, the following: "It may seem contradicting for Europeans (and Americans, too) looking at Turkish leadership, which renewed vows only a week ago that Turkey was still committed to European democratic and economic principles and did not deviate from its target to become a member of the Union. It is not a contradiction for Erdogan. He thinks those are not alternatives to each other and that's why he asked Putin to allow Turkey to be a part of the trade zone among the Shanghai Group, despite Turkey's Customs Union agreement with the EU. Moreover, Erdogan thinks the Shanghai card is a trump in Turkey's hand and could force Europeans to think twice in order not to miss out on Turkey forever. In fact, the situation is not similar to play the Chinese missile card against the U.S. and EU companies in competition. It is not timely either, as the Turkish government is trying to explain itself once again to its American and European friends that it belongs to the Western system following the Syrian and Egyptian hick-ups in Erdogan's policy."
Yetkin also compared the attitude of Erdogan and Gul as follows: "There is a discrepancy between the attitudes of Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul. Gul was also complaining about the EU attitude in his address to the Atlantic Council Energy Summit in Istanbul a day before when he said the EU should not block the energy chapter's opening with Turkey, which is ready to play a bigger role in Europe's energy security with more pipelines to carry Iraqi and Azeri oil and gas, and perhaps from Israel and Cyprus in future, depending on the political atmosphere. Gul is pointing at a positive alternative, whereas Erdogan, in a sarcastic way implying a break-up, which practically no one believes in its possibility, politically and economically speaking.
The more Turkish leaders talk about the Shanghai option (or non-option), the less the thesis be taken seriously."
 Turkey seeks $100 billion trade volume with Russia by 2020Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 22.11.13) reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey is planning to increase its trade volume with Russia to $100 billion by 2020, an ambitious goal, part that is part of Ankara's bid to be ranked among the world's 10 largest economies.
Erdogan said ahead of a Turkey-Russia High-Level Cooperation Council (UDIK) meeting in the Russian city of St. Petersburg on Friday that relations between the two nations are at an excellent level and that officials from both have sought ways to further advance economic and political ties.
Noting that military, commercial and economic relations with Russia are improving, Erdogan said they plan to reach a trade volume of $100 billion by 2020 from the current $35 billion. He added that thanks to efforts by politicians and the contributions of entrepreneurs, Turkey can achieve this goal.
Trade volume between Russia and Turkey was slightly more than $5 billion a decade ago, and it has seen exponential growth every year. In a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, Erdogan confirmed his earlier remarks on the 2020 trade volume goal and said there is no barrier to accomplishing that target despite a slight drop in trade volume in the first nine months of this year. During the news conference, Putin said the number of Russian tourists who visited Turkey last year was 3.6 million and that he discussed ways to increase this number to 4 million. Erdogan said that the number of Russian tourists to visit Turkey annually will reach 4 million and that he thinks the number of Turkish tourists to visit Russia may also increase as a result of Russian cultural events in Turkey. He added that Ankara is ready to lend any type of support to Moscow's plan to build a cultural centre in Ankara. He said Turkey also has plans to open a cultural centre, to be called the Yunus Emre Institute, in Moscow.
According to Erdogan, bilateral relations are advancing better than the year before, and the two leaders discussed ways to improve ties. He praised Turkish investors in Russia, which he said are currently undertaking work worth $50 billion, particularly in the construction sector. Erdogan attached particular importance on the energy cooperation and hailed Russia for constructing Turkey's first nuclear plant. He said the commercial ties in the field of finance with mutual investments are also noteworthy. The sub-committees of UDIK -- the Joint Strategic Planning Group, co-chaired by Davutoglu and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and the Russia-Turkey Intergovernmental Joint Economic Commission, co-chaired by Yildiz and Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak -- held preparation meetings before the summit.
Putin and Erdogan also had a bilateral meeting before one they attended with their delegations. Putin said that Turkish-Russian relations are moving forward at a "nice pace" despite a lack of direct engagement. He noted that Friday's meeting will not halt this progress and added that their goal is to contribute to the already fast-moving progress in relations. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION