Παρασκευή, 11 Ιουνίου 2010

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA


TURKISH PRESS
AND OTHER MEDIA
No. 108/10 11.06.10
A. NEWS ITEMS
1. Bagis warns the Israeli ships which are reportedly preparing to come to Cyprus to protest against the Turkish occupation of the island; The visit coincides with an exercise of the Turkish army in the Mediterranean
2. Bagis says that they should step up their efforts for lifting the “isolation” of the Turkish Cypriots and that many countries want to open representations in occupied Cyprus
3. Bagis says in Brussels Turkey sees the benefits of the continuation of the Cyprus talks from the point they were left
4. Bagis says Turkey will not give up Cyprus during its EU accession process
5. Kucuk briefs the parties on the illegal “KTHY”; Tatar says the debt of “KTHY” will rise to 200 million dollars until the end of the year; Pegasus chairman will reportedly hold contacts on the issue today; Haberdar alleges that the “personal record” of Atlasjet’s boss is bad
6. Eroglu discusses Cyprus negotiations with members of the EP’s High Level Contact Group
7. Eroglu, Talat and Rauf Denktas are discussing the Cyprus problem today
8. A delegation of the so-called parliament to travel to Turkey
9. Turkey’s envoy to the UN states that his country considers 2010 as a good chance for solving the Cyprus problem and asks the setting of a timetable for the conclusion of the talks
10. The Turkish-American Business Association to open a branch office in the occupied areas of Cyprus
11. Turkey’s parliament speaker on the news that Israel was to send civilian ships to the occupied areas of Cyprus
12. Reference on Cyprus at the Turkish – Arab Forum declaration
13. Turkish Foreign Ministry issues a press release regarding Turkey’s position on the UNSC ruling on sanctions against Iran
14. Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon sing accord to form a free trade and a visa – free zone
15. Turkey repays $108.76 million in foreign debt in June
B. COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
1. From the Turkish Press of 10 June 2010
A. NEWS ITEMS
1. Bagis warns the Israeli ships which are reportedly preparing to come to Cyprus to protest against the Turkish occupation of the island; The visit coincides with an exercise of the Turkish army in the Mediterranean
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.06.10) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the European Union, has given a warning “like ultimatum” to the Israeli ships which are reportedly preparing to come to Cyprus in order to protest against the Turkish occupation of the island.

Under the title “If they come they will see”, Afrika writes that in statements at Istanbul’s Airport prior to his illegal visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Bagis was asked to comment on the issue and replied, inter alia, the following:
“I cannot understand the logic of a fleet departing from Israel for Cyprus. In any case, the Israeli vessels are continuously going to south Cyprus. If they will come to northern Cyprus, let them come. If they come they will see. We do not see any harm in their using the ports of northern Cyprus. They will pay the fees, they use these ports and on the other hand they will lift the embargo imposed by the Greek Cypriot sector. Relating Gaza to Cyprus is like mixing apples with pears, it is engaging in futile…

The TRNC citizens have showed in all occasions that they support peace. It is known how both sides voted during the Annan Plan. While 76% of the Greek Cypriots said ‘no’, 65% of the Turks said ‘yes’”.

Mr Bagis expressed the view that Turkey’s EU accession course should be the biggest hope of the Cypriots. He added: “Turkey’s EU accession course is perhaps the soundest insurance policy that they could acquire for Cyprus. If I was Cypriot, either Turk or Greek Cypriot, I would work more than Turkey’s EU Chief Negotiator for Turkey’s EU accession course…”


Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (11.06.10) refers to the information regarding the Israeli ships’ protest against the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and points out that on the same day the Turkish armed forces will be carrying out an exercise in the Mediterranean Sea under the name “Caner Goneyli”. The paper refers to the issue under the title “The waters are warming up”. The search and rescue exercise will be held between 14 and 17 June, writes the paper, noting that the Israeli ships are expected to be in the open sea of Cyprus on 13 June and reports that worry is caused by the fact that the two events will coincide.
(I/Ts.)

2. Bagis says that they should step up their efforts for lifting the “isolation” of the Turkish Cypriots and that many countries want to open representations in occupied Cyprus
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.07.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:
“Turkey's Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said on Thursday that Turkey would not give up Cyprus for the European Union and the European Union for Cyprus.

Speaking at a meeting with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) prime minister Irsen Kucuk, Bagis said Turkey considered Cyprus as a national cause.

Bagis said that the image of the TRNC changed in the past eight years adding that, 'from now on we are not considered as the center of the problem, but the key to the solution'.

Bagis said the TRNC opened representations in various countries of the world and that various countries were trying to open representations in the TRNC. 'Efforts should be stepped up from now on to put the decision made by Council of Europe on April 26, 2004 into force. I mean unjust isolations imposed on Northern Cyprus should be removed from now on'.
Bagis said the world was very closely pursuing Cyprus and that the TRNC and Turkish Cypriot people gave very clear messages to the world for peace and tranquility. 'All the world appreciated the statement of Eroglu that the TRNC would not escape from the negotiation table', he said.

Bagis said Turkey's EU process was the most important civilization project of Turkey after the declaration of the Republic. 'We will not sacrifice Cyprus for the EU and the EU for Cyprus because we are rightful in both cases. I believe that we will succeed in both matters simultaneously', he added.”

3. Bagis says in Brussels Turkey sees the benefits of the continuation of the Cyprus talks from the point they were left
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.06.10) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the European Union, has said that Turkey sees in Brussels the benefits of the fact that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu continued the negotiations with President Christofias from the point the process had left during former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat’s period.

In statements yesterday during a meeting with Mr Eroglu in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Bagis said that the “TRNC” is a national cause for everybody and all institutions in Turkey and added that this will continue to be so. Noting that Turkey benefits and takes strength in Brussels from the fact that the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem continue from the point they were left, Mr Bagis said: “We would face difficulties, if this stance was not so”.

In his statements, Mr Eroglu said they are carrying out the negotiations in cooperation with Turkey in order for a lasting and just solution to be achieved and reiterated that they believe that a solution could be found until the end of the year, but both sides should want this.



The paper further reports that Mr Bagis visited also the former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat at his residence. In his statements Mr Talat said Mr Bagis plays a “key role” in Turkey’s EU accession process and he is the person who knows these issues better than anyone. Mr Talat noted that exchanging views with Bagis is important both from the point of view of the Cyprus problem and the relations of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU.

On his part, the Turkish Minister said that Mr Talat’s share was great in “the acceptance which the TRNC currently enjoys internationally”. Mr Bagis pointed out that the Cyprus problem is important from the point of view of Turkey’s accession into the EU and added that he evaluated this issue with Mr Talat and they always want to benefit from Mr Talat’s views.
(I/Ts.)

4. Bagis says Turkey will not give up Cyprus during its EU accession process
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.10) reported the following from occupied Keryneia:
Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said on Thursday that Turkey would not give up Cyprus during the EU membership process.

Bagis, addressing the Greek Cypriot administration, said that Greek Cypriots should think how to speed up Turkey's EU membership process and how to settle permanent peace with Turkey.

Participating in a ceremony in Girne American University [illegal American University of Keryneia] in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Bagis said that Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not consider the TRNC separate from any part of Turkey, and he attached importance to the development of the TRNC as much as he did in Turkey.

Bagis said that the TRNC would continue to give messages for peace. He added that Cyprus was Turkey's national cause.
Delivering a speech at the ceremony, TRNC's president Dervis Eroglu said Turkish Cypriots did not deserve to live under isolation and they fought for an honorable, free and decent life.

Eroglu said Turkish Cypriots were faced with embargoes while the Greek Cypriot party, which had rejected agreements and made plans to destroy the Turkish Cypriots, had been accepted to the EU. 'We will definitely find ways to break these embargoes together with our motherland Turkey', Eroglu said.

TRNC's parliament speaker Hasan Bozer, prime minister Irsen Kucuk and Turkish ambassador in [occupied] Lefkosia Sakir Fakili attended the gathering as well. After the ceremony, Minister Bagis departed from the TRNC.”

5. Kucuk briefs the parties on the illegal “KTHY”; Tatar says the debt of “KTHY” will rise to 200 million dollars until the end of the year; Pegasus chairman will reportedly hold contacts on the issue today; Haberdar alleges that the “personal record” of Atlasjet’s boss is bad
Illegal Bayrak television (10.06.10) broadcast the following:
“Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk and the leaders of political parties with seats at the parliament have debated the fate of the Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA) at a meeting held in the hall of the republic’s assembly.

The leader of the Republican Turkish Party-Untied Forces, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the Democrat Party leader, Serdar Denktas, Freedom and Reform Party leader, Turgay Avci and the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Mehmet Cakici were briefed about the government’s works regarding the CTA’s financial turmoil.

At the end of the meeting, the prime minister told the press that the government has not yet finalized its works over the issue and another meeting with political party leaders will be held after the works are completed within a few days. 'This is an urgent matter, so we shouldn’t keep it long on the agenda', Kucuk added.
In a separate development, the minister of public works and communications, Ersan Saner, said the CTA got involved in debt that reaches over 100 million dollars.

He went on saying that the reason for keeping the period of the bid for a new business partner short was to allow CTA to survive by protecting its current slots.

The minister also reminded of the decision of the council of ministers on the resumption of bargaining talks with the Atlas Jet, which was the only company that joined the bid with a proposal.”

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (11.06.10) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of finance, has said that the debt of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines (KTHY) will reach 200 million US dollars until the end of the year. In statements to Kanal T television, Mr Tatar noted that the “government” cannot give any money to the “KTHY” and added, inter alia, the following:
“It is a must for the KTHY to find a partner until 18 June. The debt of the KTHY will rise to 200 million dollars until the end of the year. The KTYH is a property of the people, but people must know what the cost of this is. We do not have the possibilities of meeting these costs. We have met with Pegasus and other companies, but no one saw positively the issue. The Turkish Civil aviation has sent a letter to KTHY for correcting its deficiencies. For this reason we are experiencing a great pressure”.

Furthermore, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (11.06.10, internet version) reports that Ali Sabanci, president of the administrative council of Turkish Pegasus Airlines is visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus today in order to hold contacts on the issue of the tender regarding the “KTHY”. The paper writes that Mr Sabanci’s visit is a result of a “reproachful invitation” by the self-styled minister of finance Ersin Tatar, who complained to Mr Sabanci asking him why his company is not submitting a proposal for the “KTHY”.

Under the title “The record is bad”, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (11.06.10) reports that Murat Ersoy, boss of Atlasjet Airlines, who applied for the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines and pledged that he will make an investment and save the company, had leased land in an area belonging to Evkaf religious foundation called Lara Beach, where he pledged to make an investment but did nothing.

According to the paper, during the period of the former self-styled government, a land of 186 donums [Tr. Note: A land measure of about 1000 square meters] was leased for 49 years to a company named Mersoy Turizm and Otelcilik Ltd which pledged to make an investment. The deadline for making an investment was extended tree times, twice by the former “government” and once by the current UBP “government”, but no investment was made. The land, which is overlooking on the beach, was leased by Murat Ersoy and his brother Mehmet Ersoy from Evkaf religious foundation. The information was confirmed by Mustafa Kemal Kaykamzade, general director of Evkaf.
(I/Ts.)

6. Eroglu discusses Cyprus negotiations with members of the EP’s High Level Contact Group
Illegal Bayarak television (10.06.10) broadcast the following:
“New members of the European Parliament’s High Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriots were received by president Dervis Eroglu today. No statement was issued to the press before or after the meeting.

The EP delegation headed by the Vice-President of the European Parliament and Coordinator of the High Level Contact Group, Libor Roucek, was received this morning by Dervis Eroglu.

The president’s special representative Kudret Ozersay, the presidential spokesman Osman Ertug, the head of the prime minister’s EU Coordination Center Erhan Erchin, and members of the negotiating team were present at the meeting.
Yesterday the members of the contact group came together with representatives of some Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties at a routine round table meeting organized by the Slovakian Embassy.

The ongoing Cyprus negotiations process topped the agenda of the meeting.”

In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.06.10) reports that the Coordinator of the High Level Contact Group, Libor Roucek, speaking during a meeting in occupied Geunyeli “municipality”, stated that the Turkish Cypriots are paying a price despite the fact that they said “yes” in the referendum. He also said that while looking for a way in order for the Turkish Cypriots to become a part of the EU institutions, efforts must be exerted for the improvement of their situation.

During the meeting Mr Roucek gave also information about the goals and the activities of the High Level Contact Group. He said that the main aim of the Group is to help the Turkish Cypriots and added that during its contacts in Cyprus the Group had the opportunity to meet with people and exchange views.

On his part, the self-styled Geunyeli mayor, Ahmet Benli, made statements about Geunyeli’s accomplishments and its relations with the EU. He stated that Geunyeli’s population has increased rapidly; that it has reached 20 thousand people and it has become the fourth biggest town in the occupied areas. He also asked for the High Level Contact Group’s support so that the Turkish Cypriot “municipalities”, which are not known in the EU institutions, to be represented there.
(CS)

7. Eroglu, Talat and Rauf Denktas are discussing the Cyprus problem today
Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (11.06.10) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu and the two former Turkish Cypriot leaders Rauf Denktas and Mehmet Ali Talat are expected to meet today over lunch. The three leaders are expected to exchange views regarding the Cyprus problem and the negotiations. The meeting will be close to the press.
(I/Ts.)

8. A delegation of the so-called parliament to travel to Turkey
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (11.06.10) reports that a delegation of the so-called parliament of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus is travelling to Ankara today.

During its visit, the delegation will meet with the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Mehemt Ali Sahin, the State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, the vice chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Group Bekir Bozdag, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu and the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli. On Saturday, the delegation will pay a visit to the Mayor of Kecioren province in Ankara, Mr Mustafa Ak, and then will attend the “26th TRNC Cup Race Award Ceremony” organised by the Jockey Club of Turkey.

The delegation is headed by the self-styled parliament speaker Hasan Bozer and it is expected to return to the occupied areas of Cyprus on Sunday.
(EA)

9. Turkey’s envoy to the UN states that his country considers 2010 as a good chance for solving the Cyprus problem and asks the setting of a timetable for the conclusion of the talks
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.10) reported the following from the United Nations:
Turkey's permanent representative to the UN said on Thursday that Turkey believed that there was a good chance to reach a comprehensive agreement in Cyprus talks by the end of 2010.


Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan told reporters that negotiation process between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders was going well, and a progress was recorded in the process.

Apakan added that the two leaders were exerting efforts to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem on the UN parameters and within the scope of the UN Secretary-General's goodwill mission.

Apakan expressed belief that the UN Security Council would encourage both parties to reach a consensus. He added that Turkey appreciated the role of the UN Secretary General within that scope.

He said that Turkey believed that a timetable was necessary to reach a conclusion in Cyprus talks, adding that such a timetable would encourage the leaders.”

10. The Turkish-American Business Association to open a branch office in the occupied areas of Cyprus
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (11.06.10) reports that the Turkish-American Business Association (TABA/AmCham) announced that it will open a branch office in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. According to a statement issued by TABA/AmCham, during the association’s extraordinary general assembly, Mr Ugur Terzioglu was re-elected as its president. Speaking at the meeting, Mr Terzioglu stated that they decided to open an American University in Turkey and a TABA/AmCham branch office in the occupied areas of Cyprus. “We will open the curtain of the window of the TRNC that has been opened towards the USA, part way,” Mr Terzioglu said.
(EA)

11. Turkey’s parliament speaker on the news that Israel was to send civilian ships to the occupied areas of Cyprus
Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.10) reports the following from Ankara:
“Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin said on Friday that Turkey followed the right way in foreign policy. Sahin replied to questions of reporters during his meeting with Hasan Bozer, the parliament speaker of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Asked to comment on Turkey's decision on Iran in the UN and discussions on ‘axis shift’, Sahin said, ‘Turkey is located on 780,000 square kilometers area. Any axis shift of Turkey is regardless of question. Turkey is not a wagon but an engine country from now on. Turkey will continue works to contribute to world and regional peace.’

When a journalist said Israel was trying to send ships carrying civilians to the TRNC territorial waters, Sahin said, ‘Turkish Cypriot people will welcome them. TRNC people will show them how a welcoming should be’.

TRNC parliament speaker Bozer, when asked to comment on reaction of Turkish government against Israel's attack on ships carrying aid to Gaza, said, ‘we support stance of Turkish government because they were ships carrying aid and they were armless.’"

Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.10) reports the following from Ankara:
“Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin said on Friday that Turkey expected Cyprus talks to achieve a fair and permanent solution. Speaking at a meeting with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) parliament speaker Hasan Bozer in Ankara, Sahin said the elections that took place in the TRNC were important as it showed the democratic maturity of the Turkish Cypriot people.

Sahin said there was no other country but Turkey that recognized the TRNC, adding that, ‘The TRNC is more democratic country than many others which did not recognize it. The will of people is reflected in the ballot boxes in a very healthy way.’


‘Actually, what all the international agreements expect is the presence of a functioning democratic mechanism. To this end, the TRNC gives a very successful test. Of course there are problems. The TRNC is under blockade in economic and social sense. Talks in the TRNC which continue for a long time should be concluded. Turkey expects a fair and permanent solution in a way that will protect the interests of both parties. The talks could not be concluded because of the hindrances of the Greek Cypriot party. Turkey supports rightful cause of Turkish Cypriot people and will continue to back them in the future,’ Sahin said.

Bozer referred to the importance of Turkey for Turkish Cypriots and said, ‘the motherland is the biggest assurance for us in the world. We manage to eliminate the problems working hand in hand. Cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC is very important.’"

Bozer said the TRNC people was willing for a solution in Cyprus, adding that, ‘we have always been and will be on a negotiation table aiming to restore peace on the island.’ Bozer also underlined importance of Turkey's support in this process.”

12. Reference on Cyprus at the Turkish – Arab Forum declaration
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.10) reported the following from Istanbul:
“A final declaration issued at the end of the 3rd Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum (TAC) condemned Israel's raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza.

The final declaration said that an international independent commission should be established to investigate Israel's raid and blockade of Gaza should be ended for peace and stability in the region.

The 3rd article of the declaration said ministers who attended the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum meeting had great concerns over Israel's raid and condemned the attack.
It said Israel's attack meant violation of the international law and the incident must be investigated.

The final declaration issued at the end of the 3rd Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum (TAC) on Thursday welcomed commitment of Qatar to meet expenses to be made in media and legal area to bring forward Israel's guilt to the agenda of international public.

The statement also included condemnation of Israel and took up issues such as Iran's nuclear program, Iraq and Cyprus question.

The statement said Turkey and Arab League member countries will make cooperation regarding removal of embargo imposed on Gaza Strip and referred to the solution process of the Middle East problem.

Article 8 of the statement said Turkey and Arabic countries were of the same opinion on restoration of confidence and stability in the Middle East and referred to an independent Palestinian state which has East Jerusalem the capital city.

Article 12 of the statement underlined importance of compromise in Palestine and called on the groups in Palestine to make contribution within this framework and asked support to efforts of Egypt in achieving compromise.

The statement emphasized Iraq's territorial integrity, independence and political unity and condemned acts of terrorism targeting Iraq people. The statement welcomed the agreement signed between Iraq and the United States envisaging withdrawal of the U.S. troops. The statement also extended support to political process in Iraq.

Article 16 and 17 of the final statement referred to Iran's nuclear energy program stating that all the countries have the right to have nuclear energy for peaceful targets. The statement said talks between Iran and P5 countries should continue.
The statement expressed pleasure over the swap deal signed between Turkey, Iran and Brazil and called on international community to support this statement.

The final statement also referred to situation in Yemen and Somalia and Article 23 said the participants favored a fair and permanent solution on Cyprus question within the scope of the UN Secretary-General's good will mission.

The final statement also said the next meeting would take place in Morocco in 2011.”

13. Turkish Foreign Ministry issues a press release regarding Turkey’s position on the UNSC ruling on sanctions against Iran
Turkish Foreign Ministry issued the following statement regarding Ankara’s stance on the UNSC ruling on sanctions against Iran on its website (www.mfa.gov.tr) on 09.06.2010:
“The UNSC today (09 June) passed a resolution including some additional sanctions against Iran. During the vote on this, our country, which has from the outset maintained that this issue be solved through diplomacy, voted negatively.

Our Prime Minister spoke with world leaders including US President Barack Obama, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad and Brazil's President Silva de Lula about Turkey's decision and engaged in consultations concerning the process. Our Prime Minister underscored the fact that sanctions would only harm the diplomatic process and would make it hard for the agreement arrived at with Iran through Turkey's and Brazil's endeavors to be put into effect. Our Minister consulted with his counterparts in the same vein.

Turkey is worried that the UNSC resolution may harm the window of opportunity, announced by the Tehran Joint Declaration dated 17 May 2010, for a peaceful solution through diplomatic means to the issue concerning Iran's nuclear program, and that it may damage diplomatic efforts.

Our country believes there is no alternative to diplomacy on the path to a solution, and to this end thinks that all pertinent sides carry serious responsibility with respect to regional stability and international legality. The only exit is for dialogue between all the pertinent parties to be maintained and for all opportunities in the diplomatic field to be exploited fully.

It has been stated by us before that we consider positive the steps taken by Iran on the basis on the 17 May Joint Declaration, which is a confidence building step towards the recommencement of the diplomatic process between Iran and the P5+1 [Permanent Five plus One]. The UNSC Resolution does not constitute a response to these steps. Our country knows intimately well in the light of past experience that sanctions do not contribute to regional peace, accord or stability.

Furthermore, we expect Iran to adopt a position that dispels the doubts relating to its nuclear program by continuing to abide by the Tehran Agreement, by adhering to the basis of a diplomatic solution, and by fulfilling its obligations arising from international agreements in the period ahead.

Turkey, which has from the outset endeavored to facilitate a diplomatic solution to the issue between the pertinent sides and has played a fundamental role in ensuring concrete progress for the first time since October 2009, is ready to play its part in the subsequent stages of the process. It is our solemn expectation and hope that despite the heavy atmosphere created by the sanctions resolution all sides starting with Iran will from now on continue their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the problem without forsaking dialogue.

At this point, Turkey will continue sincerely advocating the need not to let this opportunity for diplomacy and compromise escape by heeding the calls of world public opinion, which believes in peace and dialogue.
Today is not a day for reducing the entire process to the latest resolution passed by the UNSC, but a day for giving diplomacy a chance without severing mutual dialogue as a world public that believes in peace and equality.”

14. Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon sing accord to form a free trade and a visa – free zone
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.10) reported the following from Istanbul:
“Turkey’s Foreign Minister said that the zone of free movement of goods and persons, on which Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon agreed, should not be considered an alternative to the European Union.

During the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum in Istanbul, these four nations signed a joint declaration on Thursday to launch an initiative to form a free trade zone and a visa-free zone. These nations also agreed to set up a joint council for cooperation.

At a press conference after the meeting of foreign ministers of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum, Davutoglu said that the joint declaration, signed following months long talks, was an indicator of strong political will which he said would cement long-lasting cooperation in the region.

Davutoglu said such a formation cannot replace the EU, reaffirming Turkey's commitment to the EU integration. He expressed Turkey's determination to join the bloc.

He also said that Turkey's EU membership process could not and should not restrict its relations with other regions, adding: 'On the contrary, our better relations would bring benefits to both EU and other countries when we become an EU member in the future'.

'We had a dream and now it is coming true. A person departing from Istanbul will be able to travel to Aleppo, Damascus, Amman and Beirut without any restrictions', he said.
'Once any other countries; Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Egypt, whoever joins this formation, this zone will become larger and our region will see a success story', he added.

Upon a question, Davutoglu denied news reports claiming that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal came to Turkey just before a convoy of ships, which were raided by Israel on May 31, set sail for Gaza to carry humanitarian aid. ”

15. Turkey repays $108.76 million in foreign debt in June
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.10) reported that the Turkish Central Bank said on Thursday that Turkey had paid $108.76 million in foreign debt from June 1 to 9.

The bank said Turkey's foreign debt payments since the beginning of 2010 totaled nearly $5.44 billion, of which some $4.21 billion was made by the Turkish Treasury alone. Turkey repaid a total of $11.72 billion in foreign debt in 2009.

B. COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
1. From the Turkish Press of 10 June 2010
Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 10 June 2010:
a) Turkey's negative vote at UNSC on the UN sanctions against Iran:
In an article in Vatan, Okay Gonensin assesses the meaning of the negative vote cast by Turkey at the UN Security Council, UNSC, noting that Turkey has become the "sole supporter" of Iran in the region. Noting that the negative vote cast by Turkey at the UNSC has placed the country together with Iran and HAMAS in the eyes of the Western world, Gonensin wonders whether the Justice and Development, or AKP, government and the prime minister have well assessed the consequences of that vote.

The opposition in Iran will be in a more difficult position in the aftermath of the UNSC resolution last night, writes Yasemin Congar in an article in Taraf, predicting that the sanctions will cause the most extensive damage to the opposition. Noting that the sanctions will not facilitate the change advocated by the opposition in Iran, Congar argues that the international policy of isolating Iran will lead the nation to adopt a joint national stand. Congar goes on to examine Turkey's stand against the sanctions, noting that Ankara portrayed an image of being distant from the Iranian people but protective of the regime.

In an article entitled "We applaud Turkey once again", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul praises the Turkish government for "standing firm" behind its policy toward Iran by voting against new international sanctions against this country. He condemns the resolution adopted at the UN meeting as a declaration of war against Turkey's recent "peace initiative" in the form of a uranium swap deal with Iran. He also asserts that the resolution will end in a "fiasco" in practice and that the architects and supporters of the latest sanctions against Iran both at home and abroad will eventually come to recognize Turkey's position as the right one.

b) Turkey’s foreign relations:
Viewing the issues over which Turkey and the United States disagree in an article in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever cites these issues as the Kurdish overture, Turkey's hesitation to assist the United States in Afghanistan, Turkey's stand regarding the protocols signed with Armenia, the nuclear swap deal signed with Iran, and Turkey's stand regarding HAMAS. The Erdogan government, especially during the Davutoglu period, has begun to confuse the concepts of ideological foreign policy and real foreign policy, writes Ulsever, arguing that this is the reason for the current state of bilateral relations.

Viewing the development of Turkish Russian relations since the 1984 natural gas agreement in an article in Radikal, Fehim Tastekin argues that these relations have yet to be transformed into a joint synergy in global and regional issues. Viewing Russia's lack of cooperation with Turkey on the issues of Cyprus and Gaza in particular and on the Middle East in general, Tastekin notes the need for exerting special effort to receive the support of Russia for Turkey's dynamic foreign policy. Describing the Caucasus as another sphere where relations could not be transformed from competition to opportunity, the writer underlines that the two countries have been treating this region as a "confidential region" in their bilateral relations. The writer then goes on to examine Ankara's position in Trans-Caucasia, the Circasian minority in Turkey.

The deterioration of Turkish-Israeli relations and the bloody Israeli attack on the aid flotilla did not come as a surprise, writes Okan Muderrisoglu in an article in Sabah, adding that the goal of controlling the energy sources in the Middle East, the new power balance between the United States and Russia, and the desire to design the Islamic communities can be seen behind these recent developments.

Viewing the Global Peace Index prepared by The Economist with the help of a jury composed of British experts and the Institute for Economics and Peace in an article in Sabah, Erdal Safak details the criteria according to which the 149-country list is prepared annually. Pointing out that Turkey ranked the 92nd in 2007, the 115th in 2008, the 121st in 2009, and 126th this year, Safak notes that Turkey belongs to the group of the most unstable countries in the world. This picture clearly shows the importance of the policy of zero problems with neighbors, underlines Safak, adding that the normalization of relations with Armenia and the solution of the Cyprus problem will seriously repair Turkey's image.

Turkey has rapidly begun to lose its positive image in the West, writes Gungor Mengi in an article in Vatan, explaining that Erdogan gambled on two issues which he believed would advance him on the road to the leadership of the Islamic world, one being his enmity toward Israel and the other his advocacy of Iran. Detailing the general offensive launched by the Western media against Turkey, Mengi argues that Turkey's image has suffered because of the manner in which Turkey chose to manage the crises. Viewing the recent Western reaction as a blessing in disguise, Mengi concludes: "The fact that the West, till recently, ignored the AKP image that was at odds with the secular republic provided the party with a certain ease and an advantage within the country. The fact that it has now lost this support that was unrealistic might be detrimental to Turkey, but is a lucky break for the regime. The decline in foreign support will speed up the awakening of the people."

Explaining the structure and functions of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, CICA, in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Gulay Kilic goes on to view the CICA summit held in Istanbul. Noting that the CICA chairmanship fits very well into Turkey's much lauded foreign strategy of "zero problems with neighbors," Kilic argues that, "regardless of the latest developments on the Turkish-Israeli front, CICA can provide opportunities for Turkey to build confidence in Asia."

4 σχόλια:

  1. Turkey: Jihadi State Rising
    Scanning news reports this week, I was surprised to learn that according to much of the press, Turkey had been Israel’s "staunchest ally in the Muslim world,” until the Gaza aid flotilla debacle. According to the Associated Press, the UK’s Daily Mail and other media, the Gaza aid flotilla crisis has irreparably damaged the "close” relationship between Israel and Turkey.

    The fact is such reports are simply untrue and misleading. It was not the Gaza aid flotilla that irreparably damaged relations between Turkey and Israel. The relationship had already been under severe strain for the past seven years, since the now ultra-conservative Islamist AK Party led by Turkish Prime Minister Erodgan took power in 2002.

    Indeed friendly relations between Turkey and Israel prior to the flotilla incident had already, for the most part, been over.

    Turkey, the country that led the flotilla initiative, has shown absolutely no interest in continuing peaceful relations with Israel in the past year, resorting to hostile rhetoric and policies against the Jewish state. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan barred Israel from annual military exercises on Turkey’s soil last year, while signing a military contract with Syria. At the World Economic Forum in Davos last year, the Turkish PM Erdogan verbally attacked Israeli president Shimon Peres about Gaza and stormed off the stage. In October 2009, Turkish national television aired a drama casting Israeli soldiers as sadists set to kill Palestinian children.

    Not that Turkey’s human rights’ record is so squeaky clean. In 1974, Turkey invaded northern Cyprus, creating 160,000 Greek Cypriot refugees. Turkey still denies these refugees’ rights to return to their homes, as well as access and use of their property. Since the Turkish invasion, a large number of Turks have been brought to occupy the homes of the Greek Cypriot refugees, in violation of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention.1e2e3

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  2. In 2009, the Orthodox Church of Cyprus launched legal action against Turkey for destroying 522 churches during the invasion. The Cyprus Church states that Turkey continues to destroy those remaining churches, converting them into "morgues, stables, night clubs, and chicken coops.”

    But in addition to human rights abuses, it is those who Turkey counts as its friends, not its enemies, that should truly worry the West.

    Turkey has announced that it would not join any sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and has warmly welcomed Iranian president Ahmadinejad to its capital city. But in May, Turkey went a step further and actually attempted to forestall UN economic sanctions against Iran much to the chagrin of the United States.

    Back in February, the Turkish daily, Today’s Zaman wrote that the Turkish State Minister, Cedvet Yilmaz stated that his government was committed to working on improving relations with its neighbor Iran. The driving force behind this commitment, indicated Yilmaz, were the mutual gas transfer projects, which both Yilmaz and Iranian Foreign Minister, Manoucheher Mottaki agreed will bring both countries to a "historical era.”

    Turkey and Iran have signed a number of deals to facilitate the flow of gas through Turkey to Europe, including agreements to allocate some Iran’s South Pars gas field to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, where Iranian gas will be trasported across Turkey.

    The Turkey-Iran pipeline transfers natural gas worth around $2 billion every year. "We believe that the projects for the tansfer of Iranian natural gas to Europe via Turkey will give a momentum to relations between the two largest economies in the world,” Yilmaz has stated. Another Turkish government official, Zafer Caglayan, stated that bilateral trade with Iran has grown to $10 billion in the past eight years

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  3. In 2009, the Orthodox Church of Cyprus launched legal action against Turkey for destroying 522 churches during the invasion. The Cyprus Church states that Turkey continues to destroy those remaining churches, converting them into "morgues, stables, night clubs, and chicken coops.”

    But in addition to human rights abuses, it is those who Turkey counts as its friends, not its enemies, that should truly worry the West.

    Turkey has announced that it would not join any sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and has warmly welcomed Iranian president Ahmadinejad to its capital city. But in May, Turkey went a step further and actually attempted to forestall UN economic sanctions against Iran much to the chagrin of the United States.

    Back in February, the Turkish daily, Today’s Zaman wrote that the Turkish State Minister, Cedvet Yilmaz stated that his government was committed to working on improving relations with its neighbor Iran. The driving force behind this commitment, indicated Yilmaz, were the mutual gas transfer projects, which both Yilmaz and Iranian Foreign Minister, Manoucheher Mottaki agreed will bring both countries to a "historical era.”

    Turkey and Iran have signed a number of deals to facilitate the flow of gas through Turkey to Europe, including agreements to allocate some Iran’s South Pars gas field to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, where Iranian gas will be trasported across Turkey.

    The Turkey-Iran pipeline transfers natural gas worth around $2 billion every year. "We believe that the projects for the tansfer of Iranian natural gas to Europe via Turkey will give a momentum to relations between the two largest economies in the world,” Yilmaz has stated. Another Turkish government official, Zafer Caglayan, stated that bilateral trade with Iran has grown to $10 billion in the past eight years.

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  4. But its not only economic ambitions or a record of human rights abuses that Turkey shares with Iran. Turkey’s government has grown more and more totalitarian in recent years, seeking not only to control economic and political matters but also attitudes, values and beliefs of its population. According to a recent article in Forbes, Melik Kaylan reports that the ruling pro-Islamic AK party has over 100,000 Turks wiretapped, thousands arrested and questioned, and over 200 reporters, intellectuals, academics and military officers jailed, all accused of a military coup.

    "If you try to talk over the phone to people in Turkey about their current government, they will likely refuse to do so. The ruling pro-Islamic AK Party is now tapping phones so liberally that everyone is paranoid,” writes Kaylan.

    A Washington Post blogger writes about similar observations of the Turkish government regime. Professor Susan Brook Thistelwaite reports that "far more Turkish women are wearing headscarves and religious dress than a decade ago. As one Turkish businessman observed about his university-age daughter, ‘They want to put a headscarf on her mind.’ He is thinking about sending his daughter to the United States to complete her education (...)

    Posted June 9th, 2010 by hd ΤΑΛΩΣ

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