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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-06-10
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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. 105/14 07-10.06.14
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Turkish Cypriot columnist says that the Cyprus talks are about to collapse due to Turkish Cypriot side's stance; Eroglu rejects the allegationTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper's (09.06.14) columnist Sami Ozuslu reports that the Cyprus negotiations held under the auspices of the United Nations are about to collapse. Ozuslu describes as "completely for the show" the decision of the leaders to meet not once but twice every month, which he says is the only "success" of the US Vice President Joe Biden's to the island. "It is even said that this agreement had been reached even before Biden's coming to the island", he notes arguing that "they are meeting twice every month, but actually there is no such a thing as negotiations at the table". Ozuslu claims that neither the leaders nor the negotiators can negotiate and therefore the meeting last week between President Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu was a "fiasco" in the full sense of the word.
Ozuslu describes as "remarkable" the increase of the accusations between the sides and the statement made by the self-styled foreign minister, Ozdil Nami saying that "things are not going as they should".
Ozuslu goes on and writes, inter alia, the following:
"?There was a really strange environment. While negotiator Kudret Ozersay was drawing positive pictures after almost every meeting he had with Mavroyiannis, president Eroglu, to whom he is bound, was in the contrary giving negative messages. Was this a 'signal of contradiction' between Eroglu and Ozersay or were they staging a trick against the community? ?
When I followed all these concerns, question marks and contradictory information and reached 'reliable information', I saw that the scenery was really serious. Let me summarize the data I obtained without entering into details:
- The course in the negotiations is heading towards a dead-end. And the reason for this is the fact that the process which is included in the 'joint declaration' signed by the two leaders is not put into operation.
- The Turkish Cypriot side is the one which does not materialize the 'screening process' that is included in the 'joint declaration' and avoids this. Because this is not done, the Greek Cypriot side is finding ground for bringing to the table 'old' issues. This is the reason for which the 'rotating presidency' issue was reopened.
- Negotiator Kudret Ozersay, by accepting to discuss 'new' moves brought by his counterpart Mavroyiannis regarding 'old' topics, brought the 33 articles agreed between Talat and Christofias to the point of being renegotiated.
- The latest interesting move was the reference to the formula of 'a map for a referendum in return to a geographical map'. It is highly possible for this statement by Ozersay to get ahead of possible progress on other chapters by early bringing onto the agenda the issue of territory which is on the top of the most critical matters.
- It is said that the latest meeting held by the leaders on 2 June was a 'fiasco' in the full sense of this word. The host of the meeting, the UN Representative Lisa Buttenheim was extremely sad and angry and closed the meeting by saying 'there will be no result in this manner'.
- It is said that in the reports, which Buttenhiem will convey to New York, it is highly possible for the Turkish Cypriot leadership to be shown as the 'side that prevents the progress of the process'. The reason for this is the fact that it does not allow the process in the joint declaration to function. Anastasiades and his team seem at least in favor of the function of this process and keep up appearances.
In the light of the above information, the following conclusions arise:
First, the statements regarding 'urgent solution and urgent referendum' which are artificially pumped to the public opinion are extremely far away from the realities and they are even a dream.
Second, the collapse of the negotiating process could be officially announced any moment. This will undoubtedly be made by the UN.
Third, when the UN announces that the process has collapsed, it is highly possible that it will actually accuse the Turkish Cypriot leadership. And the Turkish Cypriot side will be put to sit at the 'position of being accused' once more after many years?"
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.06.14) reports that replying to the above article, Erolgu stated that the allegations that the negotiations have collapsed are not true. In statements during one of his meetings, Eroglu said that the negotiations continue and that he will meet with President Anastasiades on the 23rd of June. Eroglu argued that the columnist expressed his own views in the article.
 Nami: We have no reason to be optimistic in the Cyprus talks; With Turkey's support we can tackle Greek Cypriot tacticsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (10.06.14, online) reports that Ozdil Nami, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that "we are not at the stage of being optimistic about the Cyprus negotiations". According to a statement issued by his office, Nami evaluated the recent developments during a TV program yesterday and said, inter alia, the following:
"There will be good days and bad days in the negotiations. The period we are in now does not give any reason to be optimistic. Unfortunately we have not seen any new convergences or progress since the joint declaration? We can even say that the process went backwards (?)
Despite the fact that four months passed since the announcement of the joint declaration new convergences did not come forward. This situation forced the Turkish Cypriot side to shift from the optimistic perspective to a cautious one (?)
The joint declaration is not enough by itself. The convergence papers and the acquired rights through the UN should have been taken into consideration. Acting without them being present on the table the process would be damaged (?)
The Greek Cypriot side constantly puts issues such as land and map forward. This approach completely contradicts with the construction of a healthy process. Prior to those issues, the formation of the federal structure and the details of federal executive and power sharing should be negotiated (?)
The negotiations can be turned into a crisis if property, land and map issues are put forward without addressing the issues of the political rights of the Turkish Cypriot community and their worries (?)
Negotiating EU, economy and share of powers first and leaving the others to the final phases was a strategy that both sides agreed upon and was also confirmed by the UN Secretary-General (?)
[US Vice President] Joe Biden's visit did not produce the expected results and this will also affect [US Secretary of State] John Kerry's visit. In my opinion Kerry's visit is not certain as US officials are reevaluating the issue. But if he ends up coming, as Turkish Cypriot side, we should learn from the past and we should insist on discussing not only one issue but a whole range of headings during Kerry's visit (?)"
Upon a question on whether his so-called government is satisfied with the process, Nami replied, inter alia, the following:
"(?) We don't have the luxury to miss this historic opportunity. We aim to plan the process in coordination with the presidency (?). These challenging days will of course pass. As Turkish Cypriot side, we should act together united without being buried into pessimism. As long as we stand together, and with Turkey's support we can tackle the Greek Cypriot tactics".
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.06.14) reports that Nami described the joint declaration as "a historic step" supported by many international actors, but alleged that problems are created in the process due to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side still brings proposals providing for the election of the president by all citizens and with the implementation of the principle of simple majority. This, he argued, "prevents us from saying that the negotiations are progressing from where it was left".
 Ozersay held a meeting with British EU Minister in London and said that the British interest on the Cyprus problem is increasedTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.06.14) reports that the Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay, who is in the UK having various contacts, held a meeting on Monday with the British Minister for Europe David Lidington. The meeting was held at the Foreign Office headquarters.
Ozersay said that they discussed with Lidington the latest state of the Cyprus negotiations, the ITurkish Cypriot solution visionI and how the process can move forward.
Following his meeting with Lidington, Ozersay met with the Director of European Affairs at the British Foreign Office Jil Morris where ideas on several headings of the negotiations were exchanged in detail. He also met with Ric Todd who has been appointed as the new British High Commissioner to Cyprus.
In addition, Turkish daily Kibris Postasi (10.06.14) writes that Ozersay gave a lecture at the London School of Economics titled as "Missing Elements in the Solution to the Cyprus Problem".
During the conference Ozersay spoke about the developments in the latest round of negotiations which began after the joint declaration. Ozersay underlined the basic principles stated in the joint declaration and emphasized that the steps forward are not included in the joint declaration.
Some of the important highlights from Ozersay's speech:
Pointing out that the most important challenge during the process is the deviation from the past convergences Ozersay said that absence of a road map is a challenge as a road map is essential in structuring the result-oriented process.
"Negotiation process is not just a technical exercise it should be evaluated in a political framework. When we look from that perspective we see that there is a need for a deadlock which would be painful for both sides. For a long time the Turkish Cypriot community is experiencing challenges and therefore is acting with the awareness that the status quo is not sustainable. There are certain steps to be taken so that the same understanding applies to the Greek Cypriot community", he stated.
He went on and said the following: "In 2004 prior to the EU membership a major opportunity was missed. If we don't want to experience the same thing, different approaches to hydrocarbon can be developed in order to create an opportunity. So if extraction and processing of the hydrocarbon is tied to a comprehensive solution or if it happens before the solution it should be tied to the consent of the Turkish Cypriot community that way the process will be lot more simpler. When we look from the political perspective for the new structure to be formed, between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, international actors should take some steps", he stated.
 Eroglu reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side's views on the Cyprus talksAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.06.14), the Turkish Cypriots might lose faith in finding a solution to the dispute over the divided island of Cyprus if the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot communities fail to reach a deal by the end of this year, said Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu at a conference at Cumhuriyet University in Turkey's eastern Sivas province, adding that a "strong Turkey" mattered to a possible resolution.
"This is the last chance," Eroglu said at the conference where he received an honorary doctorate. "The Turkish Cypriots have come to a point where they believe that a solution will emerge. But if the negotiations go on and on and no deal is reached by the end of this year, it is very difficult to see the Turkish Cypriots holding the same conviction."
Eroglu said a United Nations peacekeeping force stationed on the island since 1964 was an obstacle in the way of effective talks with the Greek Cypriot side. Eroglu claimed: "The [force] is not useful for us. The Greek Cypriots have no intention to talk with us as long as it stays there." He also criticized a U.N. Resolution on Cyprus, which recognizes the southern Greek Cypriots but not the "TRNC" as an authority on the island.
He also alleged: "The Greek Cypriots are a member of the European Union and the United Nations and they are not harmed by this deadlock. They need to be conveyed certain messages."
On the same issue, "BRT" (online, 07.06.14) broadcast that Eroglu, addressing the conference, complained that Cyprus President Anastasiadis had refused to continue the negotiations from where they had left off, which in return had created great difficulties at the negotiating table.
Stating that there has been no issue left untouched during the 46 year history of the Cyprus negotiations, Eroglu said: "What is missing is the political will for a solution and I am ready to demonstrate my political willingness on a platform where the UN Secretary General will be present".
Pointing out that the current negotiations process are not aimed at transforming the Republic of Cyprus into a federal state nor is it an exercise to amend the 1960 constitution; Eroglu stressed that the Joint Declaration is important in showing that this is not such an exercise. He also expressed the view that Cyprus could set an example to the region if the current opportunity is utilized.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 07.06.14) reported that Eroglu, during his speech, said also the following:
"Turkey has troops in Cyprus. What do the Greek Cypriots say? 'We don't want a single Turkish soldier to remain in Cyprus', but we say to them that one of our sine qua non is the continuation of Turkey's guarantorship.
They also tell us 'The ones who came from Turkey should not stay' and they bring the issue of citizenship to the table. They say that the only ones they accept as citizens are the ones who were born and raised in Cyprus. Unfortunately they call the ones who came from Turkey as 'settlers'. Our answer to them is simple, our other sine qua non is that every TRNC citizen will have to right to vote during the referendum and will become the citizen of the joint state.
We have waited all these years patiently for an agreement, and we struggled to show our rightfulness at the negotiation table to the world.
Our expectation is to build the roof of a joint state in which two communities can live together side by side in peace. We don't ask for much as we already have our TRNC. We formed the Cyprus Federal State; we did it because the Greek Cypriots didn't want a referendum."
 Eroglu briefed Erdogan on the Cyprus talksAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (08.06.14), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul after his two-day visit to Sivas. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also participated in their meeting. The meeting, which lasted around one hour, was closed to the press and there were no statements prior or after the meeting.
Speaking at a brief press conference after arriving at the occupied airport of Tymvou, Eroglu said: "Considering the future, I welcomed the meeting I had with Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu."
The Cyprus problem was discussed and views were exchanged on the negotiations in Cyprus during the meeting, which lasted for one and a half hours.
Eroglu said, "I informed Prime Minister Erdogan particularly on the negotiations. We found an opportunity to have a good meeting on the continuing talks. There was definitely a need for such meeting." He noted that they also discussed Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the island last month and the fence off town of Varosha issue.
Eroglu said: "Many comments have been made on the island and abroad particularly after esteemed Biden's visit to Cyprus. You must have noticed that we have been satisfied with those comments thus far. Esteemed Biden visited us at the presidential office. We held talks and reached an agreement with esteemed Nikos Anastasiades at dinner... The Greek Cypriots had many expectations particularly on Varosha. The Greek Cypriot press published statements like "(Varosha) moving toward us step by step" three or four days before Joe Biden visited the island. We assessed that as well. Esteemed Davutoglu frequently talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry and meets with him in various European centres from time to time. We found an opportunity to assess and exchange views on their talks."
Eroglu last met with Prime Minister Erdogan on the Cyprus problem in Ankara in January. He said that he only held a telephone conversation with Erdogan since then.
Eroglu asserted: "The tete-a-tete talks we had and the assessment we made on the negotiations and the way they are progressing are very important."
Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriot side calls for a viable and durable agreement and noted that he always wants to discuss the negotiations with Turkey's high-ranking officials.
 Tatar: If the owner of the property has the first say, the Turkish Cypriots will be scatteredTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.06.14) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP), has criticized the information that the economy of both communities will flourish with the solution of the Cyprus problem. In statements to the paper, Tatar alleged that such statements are made "in order for softening, giving hope and deceiving the Turkish Cypriot people to secure that they will say 'yes' to a solution that could be materialized in the future".
Tatar went on and argued that Cyprus has not the things that could "make the economy fly", as the island has no mines or a silicon valley or car industry.
Referring to the property issue, he argued that after the solution, those who had left properties in the area which is currently under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus will be either given back their properties of be compensated. Recalling the position that the owner of the immovable property should have the first say, Tatar said: "If such a thing happens, we will be scattered as Turkish Cypriots. The agreement we understand is a territorial adjustment. A little territory could be given. However, let them not force us".
Regarding the natural gas resources found in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, Tatar argued that the income which will be obtained from the natural gas could be used for compensations by being deposited in banks.
 Siber met with the delegation of the IPU; Meinel: "The EU made a discrimination towards the Turkish Cypriots"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.06.14) reported that the "speaker" of the so-called assembly, Sibel Siber met with a delegation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
The delegation was composed by the chairman of the International Diplomat's Union and EMP, Gunther Meinel, the member of the executive board of the International Diplomat's Union, Lukas Lunne, the chairman of the Turkish Diplomat's Union, Ferhat Bozcelik, the "rector" of the illegal GAU University, Prof. Dr Yildirim Oner, and other members of the executive board of Turkish Union of Diplomats.
Speaking during the meeting, Meinel stated, inter alia, that "north Cyprus" is a friendly "country" for them, adding that they are exerting efforts to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem. Meinel stressed that they are aware of the unjustness made to the Turkish Cypriots by the EU and added that in spite of the fact that the EU aims to protect human rights, instead, in the case of the Turkish Cypriots it had caused a lot of suffering.
Stating that the EU has made a discrimination towards the Turkish Cypriots by unilaterally accepting the Greek Cypriots to the EU, Meinel expressed hopes that by exerting efforts this will change.
Saying that they discussed with the "foreign ministry" what could be done towards this issue, Meinel said that the EU should recognize the rights of the Turkish Cypriots as well, like it recognizes the rights of the Greek Cypriots.
Siber expressed the view that if they were completely being understood by the whole EU, there would not be "isolations and embargoes", as she said.
Stating that beside the fact that the Turkish Cypriots always exert efforts for the solution, their voice is heart in every platform only with the "state identity" of "south Cyprus", as she called the Republic of Cyprus, and they do not have the right to participate in any platform. "They even rejected our demand to have the observer status in some platforms. The voice of the two communities should be heart in order for a healthy solution to be found", added Siber.
 The Austrian Ambassador visited the "Turkish Cypriot Football Federation"Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (10.06.14) reports in its sport pages that the Austrian Ambassador to Cyprus, Dr Harl Muller visited the chairman of the "Turkish Cypriot Football Federation" (KTTF), Hasan Sertoglu.
According to the paper, the "deputy chairman" of the (KTFF), Ali Karavezirler, the "general secretary" Oktay Cocuk, the member of the "executive board" Remzi Cengiz and the "coordinator for foreign relations" of the "federation", Deniz Birinci were also present at the meeting.
 Buffavento castle in occupied Keryneia in a deplorable conditionUnder the title: "No respect to the history", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (08.06.14) reported in its front page on the Buffavento castle in occupied Keryneia and writes that its situation is heart breaking since for years now it lacks of care.
According to the paper, tourists who visited the Buffavento castle were shocked from the scenes they had seen.
As the paper writes, two lawyers named Ozgu Ozyigit and Ahmet Said Sayin applied officially to the "council of ministers", the so-called ministry of tourism and culture and the "Turkish embassy" demanding to hire the "castle". "You fail to do your responsibilities. We will exert efforts to give to the Buffavento castle the value it deserves", wrote the two lawyers in their application.
 "Caner Gonyeli search and rescue exercise"According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 09.06.14), the 2014 "Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli search and rescue exercise has begun".
The exercise, which takes place off the coast of occupied Famagusta in the Eastern Mediterranean within occupied territories and territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, is being conducted with the participation of civilian and military units from Turkey and the "TRNC" as well as the Main Search and Rescue Coordination Centre of the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications.
According to a statement released by the "Cyprus Turkish security forces commandership" (editor's note: the Turkish occupation forces in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus), the press briefing of the exercise was held on Monday at the Bogazi military headquarters. Following the press briefing the land phase of the exercises was conducted in the afternoon. The sea phase of the exercises will be conducted off the coast of occupied Famagusta on Wednesday, the 11th of June between 3:30pm and 11pm. The exercise will end on Thursday, the 12th of June.
 Senior Turkish official visiting Washington for talks; Cyprus talks in the agendaAccording to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 08.06.14), Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu is paying a working visit to Washington this week to meet with US State Department officials and members of the National Security Council (NSC) to discuss issues of concern to both the US and Turkey.
Undersecretary Sinirlioglu was in the US June 8-10 to discuss current bilateral, regional and global issues, according to a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry (June 7).
According to the initial statement, Sinirlioglu will be meeting with high level officials from the US Department of State and the NSC, the Ministry said, without disclosing the officials' names.
The Syrian civil war and foreign fighters going to Syria via Turkey, the situation in Ukraine, Iraqi oil, Iran's nuclear program, Israel-Turkey relations and the Cyprus peace talks are among the issues likely to be discussed, as well as the state of Turkish-American relations.
According to the Milliyet daily, Sinirlioglu may also ask for the extradition of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.
While addressing a luncheon attended by members of the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in Istanbul on June 5, US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said that Turkey and the US need to cooperate on Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Cyprus and the normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations.
 Erdogan: He'll pay the price; Turkish authorities condemn flag removal in Diyarbak?rAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 09.06.14), the Turkish General Staff, President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the taking down of a Turkish flag from inside an Air Force base in the southeastern province of Diyarbak?r during protests June 8, following the funeral of a man killed during clashes in nearby Lice.
Gul called on all people "to act responsibly and avoid provocative, actions and expressions," while the army issued a very harsh statement regarding the incident.
"We strongly condemn the attack on the Turkish flag, the symbol of the Turkish nation and our independence for which our martyrs' blood was shed, by a person who possesses no value. We also want to inform the public that we will pursue the prosecution of finding and punishing this person," said the General Staff in a statement June 9.
"A masked person among the demonstrators, some of them children, jumped in from the main entrance of the base and climbed the flag pole in the vehicle control zone between two wire fences. A team [of soldiers] was sent to the area and fired two warning shots in the air. But the person took our flag from the pole," said the military.
The statement defiantly stressed that the military put every effort to "remain calm" in the face of "provocative actions in which children and women are used with the aim to cause civilian deaths that would trigger massive demonstrations."
For his part, Erdogan vowed that everyone involved in the incident, including the demonstrator and the officials who let him remove the flag, will pay a heavy price for it.
"The Interior Ministry has launched an investigation on the issue. The fact that [the demonstrator] is a child does not concern us. He will pay the price the same way as those who sent him there. We will not remain silent just because the person who has attacked our sacred [symbol] in such way is a child," Erdogan said during a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Ankara.
Erdogan also slammed the military officials who did not get involved during the incident. "He climbs the mast, and then he pulls the flag. All the soldiers and commanders tasked there will pay the price for it," he said.
The Turkish prime minister also slammed what he called provocations attempt against "the non-resolution process," describing road blocks an act of "thugs and terrorists."
Bulent Arinc, PM Erdogan's deputy, said the government is following the events "patiently." "If there was no patience [in the army], if there was no loyalty to the political will of the government, the person who dared to take down the flag could have been instantly punished," Arinc said.
Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Cicek also condemned the incident.
 How the Turkish parties reacted on the flag-removal incident in Diyarbakir-MHP's deputy said that the persons who did it should have been shot like SolomuThe Turkish press writes that various parties and officials condemned the incident where a person in Diyarbakir removed the Turkish flag.
Turkish Cihan news agency (09.06.14) reports that Ahmet Duran Bulut, Deputy with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), condemned the issue and stated that the flag represents honor and pride for the Turkish nation. He went on and added that a bullet was enough for the Greek Cypriot who removed the Turkish flag [Tr. Note: referring to Solomos Solomou who was shot dead for removing the Turkish flag in 1996].
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (09.06.14) writes that Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Cicek condemned the incident while main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?cdaroglu urged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give an explanation concerning the removal of the flag.
"We can never accept such an action. We cannot tolerate the removal of flag [?] because the government is not providing accurate information," he said, while accusing Erdogan of using the peace process as a tool for his personal career and potential ambitions for presidency. "I've been waiting for Erdogan to come up and speak about this matter. Though he has trampled on all kinds of nationalism, I wonder what he will say about the flag issue," K?l?cdaroglu said.
Meanwhile, the "Ulku Ocaklari" (Idealist Hearths), a youth organization with links to the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), called for nationwide "Respect the Flag" rallies.
The People's Democracy Party (HDP) co-chair Sabahat Tuncel said that her party "disapproves such actions." Stressing that "disrespecting a nation's symbols is something nobody can accept," Tuncel said, stressing that the attacker is apparently a child. "We can neither approve a lynch campaign based on this incident. In the end, we're passing through a sensitive time," she added, warning that "a child's act" shouldn't be attributed to all Kurds.
 Turkey and Iran on different page in Syria but ties 'strategic'Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 09.06.14) with the above title reported that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani arrived in Ankara early June 9 for crucial talks on a number of key issues in his first official trip to Turkey since he took over the presidency last year.
Rouhani said Turkey and Iran could play an important role in fight against violence and extremism as part of Tehran's application to the UN to launch a global initiative at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the meeting of High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
Iran's President drew a totally different picture on Syria comparing to the Turkish stance and argued the presidential elections in this country was the first step for the stability and peace. Claiming that Syrian vote was the first step in the right direction, Rouhani said the people will determine the future of Syria after expelling foreign terrorists from the country and ending the violence. He also confirmed that he sent a congratulatory message to President Bashar al-Assad because of his election victory.
Rouhani directly went to the Cankaya Palace where he was welcomed by Turkish President Abdullah Gul at an official ceremony. In line with Iranian protocol rules, Rouhani did not visit the Anitkabir, the mausoleum of the founder Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, even though the visit is part of Turkish state protocol rules implemented for official visits of foreign leaders.
The two Presidents announced they have decided to improve bilateral relations at the joint press conference following their meeting. "[Rouhani] is the first Iranian President who has paid an official visit to Turkey in the last 18 years. This is why the visit is historic," Gul said, describing Iran as "an old, valuable friend."
After stressing that Iran is on the same page with Turkey on the nuclear energy issue, Rouhani emphasized the joint target of increasing bilateral trade from $15 billion to $30 billion. "Instability [in the region] is not in the favour of anyone in the world," Rouhani said, adding that integrating Turkish railroads with Iranian ones in the border town of Bazergan was one of the deals agreed upon during the June 9 meeting.
Describing Turkey as one of the most important countries in the region, Rouhani said his administration's foreign policy priority was to increase relations with neighbouring countries. Recalling his meeting with Erdogan in Tehran in January, Rouhani said important agreements on transportation, customs, tourism, culture, security and political relations would be signed during the talks.
"Everybody acknowledges both Turkey and Iran's geopolitical importance. When these two countries come together, a link between the Gulf of Oman, the Black Sea and to the Mediterranean will be possible. In other words, connecting the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. That's why relations between these two important countries are not only significant for Turkey and Iran but also for the development of the entire region," Rouhani added.
 The breakaway regime did not keep the promises given to AlevisTurkish Taraf newspaper (08.06.14) reports that the breakaway regime did not keep the promises it gave to the 12 thousand Alevis who live in the occupied area of Cyprus for the construction of a Cemevi, a house of worship for the religious group, despite the promises given in 2007.
The paper writes that the Alevi Culture Center begun its construction in 1991 but was not in 1991 but has not been completed yet because the breakaway regime did not offer and material or other support to the Alevi community. Speaking to Taraf on the issue, the chairman of Alevi Culture Center said that Alevis even conduct the funerals of their members in front of their houses. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION