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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-26

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.19/07 26.01.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ali Babacan: For the first time the Greek Cypriots were forced to put their signature regarding the political will for lifting the isolations.
  • [02] EU Commission delegations to inspect the occupied port of Famagusta and Tymbou airport.
  • [03] GIAD on the trade regulation.
  • [04] Turkish General inspected the occupation army. Statements before his departure.
  • [05] Ercakica and Rauf Denktas on the Turkish occupation army. Reply to statements by Karamanlis.
  • [06] Statements by Erdogan during a dinner in honour of ambassadors of EU member states in Ankara.
  • [07] Mr Peter Millet met with Ertugruloglu.
  • [08] Gul conveyed Turkeys views to Steinmeier on the so-called isolations.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Columnist in Zaman sees agreement between the US and Turkey over Kirkuk and U.S. support for Turkey in connection with the EU and Cyprus.
  • [10] Hasan Ercakica: No solution unless there are `two legal entities´.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ali Babacan: For the first time the Greek Cypriots were forced to put their signature regarding the political will for lifting the isolations

    Turkish NTV television (25.01.07) broadcast live statements by the Turkish Minister of State in charge of Turkeys accession negotiations with the EU, Mr Ali Babacan.

    In reply to a question on the so-called isolations, Mr Babacan reminded the decision taken two and a half years ago and stated that nothing was done regarding the direct trade or trade under special conditions, which comes under the lifting of the isolations, in the last two and a half years.

    Asked whether Turkey and the Turkey Republic of Northern Cyprus are pleased with the latest COREPER decision on the issue, he said it is related to the continuation of technical works. Noting that it is not clear yet whether this decision will satisfy Turkey and the TRNC, Mr Babacan said: There is the following important thing. For the first time the Greek Cypriots were forced to put their signature regarding the political will for lifting the isolations and the trade with the north under special conditions.

    In reply to another question, Mr Babacan said this is a positive beginning but nobody knows how long the discussions will last and whether there will be an agreement.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.01.07) reports statements made by the Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan to the A.A correspondent in the Davos town of Switzerland where he has been attending the World Economic Forum.

    Underscoring that the World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz would visit Turkey shortly, Babacan said Wolfowitz was expected to hold talks with Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday and meet him afterwards.

    Moreover, Babacan stated that important developments took place in EU relations concerning the negotiations' gaining clarity and speed. Babacan emphasized that Turkey had fine prospects before itself technically in all chapters and uncertainties were eliminated.

    "In 8 chapters, the EU Commission will give reports to us and inform us about the benchmarks if there are any. EU's term presidency will also tell us what has to be done in order to open the 8 chapters. A compromise has been reached between them now," Babacan stated.

    Babacan said, following the decision taken on December 15th, the items expressed verbally were being activated step by step.

    Noting that invitation letters on three different chapters; statistics, economic and monetary policy, enterprise and industrial policy, were received after that date, Babacan said the Commission was ready to start negotiations on another chapter without requiring any opening criteria, the "financial control".

    Babacan stressed an invitation letter on such chapter could be sent if the member countries reached a compromise on the issue.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.01.07) reports from Ankara that Turkey's Secretary General for EU, Oguz Demiralp said Thursday Turkey's EU accession process continues with acceleration at technical level.

    Speaking at the closing of a twinning project regarding strengthening the corporate and administrative capacity of the State Planning Organization (DPT) on regional development, Demiralp said completed screening process revealed what is required to be done in Turkey.

    Demiralp said cooperation is necessary with the European Commission and friendly countries for activities in harmonization.

    On the other hand, Flippo Bubbico, Italian Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Economic Development said they saw Turkey's potential and important role by the help of this project.

    Bubbico underlined the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's visit to Turkey this week to emphasize improving relations between Italy and Turkey.

    Bubbico indicated that they conveyed Italian experience to Turkey in removing regional differences in terms of development.

    "Difficulties that both countries faced are similar," said Bubbico.

    Twinning project, regarding strengthening the corporate and administrative capacity of State Planning Organization (DPT) on regional development, was carried out by the Turkish State Planning Organization and the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The EU allocated 800,000 Euros for the 18-months project.

    [02] EU Commission delegations to inspect the occupied port of Famagusta and Tymbou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.01.07) reports that two delegations from the EU Commission are to arrive in the occupied area to conduct technical investigations as regards the infrastructures of the ports and the airports in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus. The delegation which will inspect the ports will arrive on 30th January and the second delegation which will inspect the Tymbou airport will arrive on 6 of February.

    (MHY)

    [03] GIAD on the trade regulation

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.01.07), the Turkish Cypriot Young Businessmens Association (GIAD), has declared that the EU, following the approval of the trade regulation should change its basic philosophy as regards its approach to the Turkish Cypriots. it said that the implementation of the regulations should not be as granting rights to the minority but returning rights which were delayed so many years.

    (MHY)

    [04] Turkish General inspected the occupation army. Statements before his departure

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The Commander in Chief of the Turkish Land Forces, General Ilker Basbug, has said that Turkey had a historical and legal responsibility towards the Cyprus deriving from the treaties of Establishment of Cyprus Republic as well as the Treaties of guarantee and alliance.

    The Turkish Commander, who was in the Republic for a 3-day inspection of Turkish Military, units left the TRNC this afternoon.

    The Commanders words came during a press conference he held this morning where he evaluated his contacts in the TRNC as well as the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking at the press conference, the Commander in Chief of the Turkish Land Forces, General Ilker Basbug stated that the Cyprus Problem was the national and shared cause of Turkey and the TRNC.

    Explaining that he had found the opportunity during his short visit to meet with President Mehmet Ali Talat as well as other high ranking state and government officials, the General said the real aim of his visit was to inspect the Turkish Military units stationed across the TRNC.

    Underlining the importance of maintaining the strategic role Cyprus played in stabilizing the region, the General said that the Cyprus Problem was an important security issue for both Turkey and the TRNC.

    Pointing to the importance of maintaining the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people on the island in order to achieve the common objective, the Commander said it was also important to protect the sovereignty, security and the political equality of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Noting that the so-called Cyprus Republic could not claim legitimacy on the island without the consent of both peoples, he said that the European Union has lost its impartiality and power of enforcement to a large extent by allowing the Greek Cypriot Administration to join the block.

    While trying to solve the Cyprus problem, it should be kept in mind that there are two different peoples, two different races, languages, religions and cultures on the island, he added.

    Drawing attention to the fact the Greek Cypriot National Guard had increased its arms purchases; the Turkish General said that the Turkish Peace forces are responsible for defending and maintaining security of the Turkish Cypriot People.

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriot Side is willing to find a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem under the United Nations umbrella, General Basbug said that protection of the bi-zonality, Guarantee and Alliance treaties is inevitable during solving the problem.

    Following the completion of inspections, the Commander in Chief of the Turkish Land Forces, General Ilker Basbug left the republic this afternoon.

    [05] Ercakica and Rauf Denktas on the Turkish occupation army. Reply to statements by Karamanlis

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has said that the statements made on Cyprus by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly did not reflect the realities on the island.

    Replying to the statement made by the Greek Prime Minister that the presence of Turkish Armed Forces in Cyprus was morally, politically and logically unacceptable, Mr. Ercakica reminded that the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus was the only military force whose presence was backed by international treaties.

    In a written statement issued today, the Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica criticized the Greek Prime Minister for distorting the realities on the island stating that a large part of the Greek Cypriot National Guard was made up of Greek Army troops.

    He said that Mr. Karamanlis who feels ashamed of the presence of foreign troops in Cyprus should first try to solve this problem.

    Pointing to the fact that the commander in chief of the Turkish Land Forces Ilker Basbug, who was in the Republic as part of routine inspections, had repeatedly issued statements in support of comprehensive, lasting and just solution to the Cyprus Problem within the UN framework, the Presidential spokesman said lessons should be derived from such statements.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily HÜRR0YET newspaper (26.01.07) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, in a press conference organized by the Turkish Cypriot Culture Association and the Turkish Nationalist Hearth, Antalya Division, criticized Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Mr Karamanlis, delivering a speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) meeting, said: The presence of Turkish troops on the island of Cyprus in the 21st century is morally, politically and logically unacceptable. Denktas said: Karamanlis knows very well that the biggest immorality is the effort of Greece to promote and recognize the Greek Cypriot administration - which has seized by force the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots accorded to them by international agreements - as the legal government of the Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish army is in Cyprus by exercising their rights stemming from international agreements as the protector of the Turkish Cypriots whom their equality and freedom were in danger.

    The paper reports also that the self-styled presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica also reacted to Karamanlis statements and said that the Turkish army is the only army which is on the island on the basis of international agreements. He also added: In the island, there is the Greek army which is kept secret and the Greek Cypriot National Guard which numbers 80,000 including reserve troops, without having any legal ground. If Karamanlis feels shame for the presence of military forces on our island, he must contribute to the disbanding of the Greek Cypriot National Guard, which exists with his support and under his orders, the Greek troops must be withdrawn from the country.

    (DPs)

    [06] Statements by Erdogan during a dinner in honour of ambassadors of EU member states in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.01.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    "As Finland, Germany will also do its best to further improve Turkey-EU relations during the period it assumes the presidency of the Union," said Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Hosting a dinner in honour of ambassadors of EU member states in Ankara, Erdogan appreciated Finland's constructive role in Turkey's EU membership process after it became the president of the EU last July (till January 2007).

    Erdogan noted that start of Turkey's entry talks have speeded up the accession process, and stated that Turkey has made great progress in harmonizing its regulations with the EU acquis.

    However, the expected progress was not made in the second half of last year due to reasons known by every one, he said.

    "The decision made by EU heads of state and government on December 14th (2006) overshadowed the common goal we set with the EU. And our relations with the EU are undergoing a sensitive process due to this decision. I would like to say that this decision contradicts the core and spirit of our multi-dimensional relations. However, the screening process that ended on October 13th (2006) was very beneficial, and helped us prepare a road map of the things to be done to adjust to the EU acquis. The performance of our delegations that visited Brussels has indicated that our negotiation process can be carried out without any problems if held within technical framework," he stated.

    Erdogan recalled that the Finnish presidency of the EU asked Turkey to prepare its position papers about management and industrial policies chapter, and said that preparations continue.

    "After Germany took over the rotating presidency of the EU, we have been invited to prepare our negotiation position papers about statistics, and economic and monetary policy. And, we have received the letters of the presidency regarding 'social policies and employment' and 'agriculture and rural development'. We have started to work on these chapters. We are waiting for the EU to prepare a common negotiation position in return for the position paper on 'education and culture' we conveyed to the Union on May 25th, 2006.

    Implementation of the additional protocol, which has been made an additional criterion, is in fact a matter that has nothing to do with our negotiation process. We will handle the eight chapters, which are each made additional criteria, as other chapters," he pointed out.

    Erdogan said that Turkey expects the EU to send invitation letters or letters about the criteria through which negotiations will be opened in those eight chapters.

    Prime Minister Erdogan added that Turkey also wants the European Commission to convey the results of the screening process on all chapters to the European Council.

    "That 2007 is an election year will not affect our determination to fulfil our targets," said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Erdogan went on that the decision the EU made on December 14th (to suspend negotiations with Turkey on eight chapters) will not have any negative impact on Turkey's ambition to fulfil its reforms.

    Drawing attention that some problems like racism, prejudice, ethnic extreme movements and clashes and anti-semitism have started to be seen again due to the rapid changes caused by globalization, Erdogan said: "We are all facing asymmetric threats in these new days. And, terrorism is the most important of these threats."

    Erdogan stated that terrorism has also been globalized, and noted that innocent people are killed due to terrorism irrespective of their region, religion or race.

    Underscoring that countries need each other's cooperation today more than ever to fight against these problems, Erdogan said: "The importance of Turkey-EU relations should be sought in a wide vision. Turkey has this vision itself thanks to its economic and social potential and the global impact of its democratic and secular values. We should not forget that our EU membership is closely linked with Europe's medium and long term global identity, interests and future. I would like to say that the EU is today focused on its internal matters, and does not act sensitively by being aware of the importance attached to itself."

    Erdogan emphasized that the Turkey which will become an EU member after negotiations are completed will not be today's Turkey, and said that this will be a long process.

    "EU nations and Turkish nation will decide together on full membership at the end of this process. Concerns that Turkey will cause a problem in EU's enlargement are totally baseless," he added.

    "Problems like Cyprus, which have nothing to do with the process (EU membership process) are being put forward us to slow down the process," Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

    Erdogan noted: "We see that some countries are hiding themselves behind this matter due to their internal policy concerns. This is a wrong and unjust approach."

    According to Erdogan, distinguished statesmen, politicians, businessmen and intellectuals are responding to hesitations and objections to Turkey's EU membership with strong evidence.

    Erdogan stated that the potential of the dynamic and growing Turkish economy cannot be ignored, and forecast Turkey as the sixth top economy in Europe ten years later with a gross national product around 800 billion Euro.

    Noting that energy safety is one of issues that have priority for Europe today, Erdogan said that Turkey has become a terminal for energy shipment, especially transportation of natural gas.

    "Therefore, our membership is important for taking energy transfer to EU countries under guarantee," he emphasized.

    "The Cyprus problem is on UN's agenda for more than 40 years. The problem should be solved under the auspices of the UN. When Turkey signed the adjustment (additional) protocol, it believed that the European Council would stay committed to the decision reached on April 26th, 2004 to end isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

    However, the EU has not implemented this decision in the last two years. And this caused the problem related with implementation of the adjustment protocol. We expect the EU to fulfil its obligations and end isolation of Turkish Cypriots. Views and consent of Turkish Cypriots should also be sought in endeavours regarding the direct trade regulation. I believe that the Council will work to solve this problem," Erdogan said when commenting on the Cyprus problem.

    On the other hand, Erdogan said: "As countries sharing democratic values, we have to find the ways to maintain peace and tranquillity and fight against spreading violence."

    Pointing out that countries can only fight against views and acts threatening values and right to living if they cooperate, Erdogan said: "The reaction our nation showed to prominent journalist Hrant Dink's loss was the product of this understanding."

    Erdogan stated that the bullets against Dink in fact targeted all Turkey, and noted that the nation showed that it would never allow such a thing.

    Emphasizing that Turkey is the heir of a great civilization in which different people and religions lived together in peace for centuries, Erdogan said that an EU member Turkey can make significant contributions to regional and world peace.

    Tens of thousands of Turkish people bade a peaceful farewell to Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink last Tuesday and impressed the whole world, Eckart Cuntz, EU President Germany's ambassador to Ankara said on Thursday.

    Addressing a dinner hosted by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan in honor of ambassadors of EU member states in Ankara, Cuntz also expressed hope that the reconciliatory atmosphere after Dink's funeral would provide an opportunity to initiate a positive momentum as regards Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code and to exert efforts for a Turkish-Armenian compromise.

    "We were shocked by the killing of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Dink has dedicated his life to the efforts for mutual understanding and democracy in Turkish society. He was the symbol of freedom of expression," Cuntz said speaking in Turkish.

    President Germany "will be pleased to carry out negotiations with Turkey," Cuntz stated when commenting on Turkey-EU relations.

    An EU decision last December to partially suspend Turkey's entry talks "have prevented a train crash despite certain unsolved issues," the German ambassador said.

    The Accession process is on track."

    Cuntz also stated that the EU expected Turkey to honor its commitments under the Ankara agreement which extends Ankara's customs union to the ten new EU members which joined the Union in May 2004.

    "EU process is not in Brussels but in Turkey," Cuntz said, adding that economic and political reforms were for the sake of Turkey and the Turkish people. Cuntz also urged the Turkish government to continue with the reforms.

    "Even if 2007 is an election year in Turkey, this has to be a year of success for the EU process. Your government has expressed its determination to make progress on this path," Cuntz noted.

    The German ambassador also said that Turkey's support to Middle East peace process and Lebanon were appreciated and that Turkey had same concerns and goals with the EU on Iran's nuclear program.

    "Turkey is of crucial importance for the EU in matters relating to foreign policy. We stand together in the fight against terror," Cuntz said.

    "EU project needs public support in both the member nations and in Turkey. Let us exert joint efforts in the EU process," he concluded.

    [07] Mr Peter Millet met with Ertugruloglu

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The British High Commissioner Peter Millet has stressed that Britain, as one of the three guarantor powers in Cyprus and an EU member will contribute to all kinds of efforts aimed at solving the Cyprus problem.

    The British High Commissioner was speaking during a visit he paid to the Leader of the main opposition National Unity Party- Tahsin Ertugruloglu today.

    Mr Millet stated that his country has always been closely involved in the Cyprus issue and added that Britain will fulfill its responsibilities regarding a settlement in Cyprus.

    The meeting held today was the first of its kind between Mr Millet and the UBP Leader Tahsin Ertugruloglu.

    [08] Gul conveyed Turkeys views to Steinmeier on the so-called isolations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.01.07) reports the following from Paris:

    A French bill which would criminalize any denial of the so-called Armenian genocide allegations has made a deep impact on relations between Turkey and France, Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Abdullah Gul told his French counterpart on Thursday.

    Gul met French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on the sidelines of an international donors' conference for the war-scarred Lebanon, and expressed his country's concerns over the bill.

    "The approval of this bill is in no one's interest. France is in a wrong attitude," Gul told journalists after the meeting. "We could have had much better relations with France."

    Gul also met U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier.

    "We talked issues such as Iraq, the fight against terror and Lebanon with Rice, and I conveyed to Steinmeier our views on the lifting of the isolations imposed on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)," Gul said.

    Gul is due to participate at NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on Friday.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Columnist in Zaman sees agreement between the US and Turkey over Kirkuk and U.S. support for Turkey in connection with the EU and Cyprus

    Turkish daily ZAMAN newspaper (24.01.07) publishes the following commentary by Melih Can, under the title: "Has Turkey come to an agreement with the U.S. over Kirkuk?":

    The escalating violence and terrorism in Iraq and the issue of Kirkuk were the main items on the agenda of the closed session in the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly] yesterday. There is no doubt that from Turkey's viewpoint the most important items are Kirkuk, the situation of the Iraqi Turkomans, and a possible operation into northern Iraq with that issue in mind.

    The developments in the region appear to have made it essential to discuss the matter behind closed doors. It will become partially clear behind these closed doors, just as it happened 83 years ago, whether the crisis over Kirkuk and the Iraqi Turkomans will drag Turkey into a war. At that time, too, the subject was taken up in secret sessions in Parliament, an interim solution was introduced in Lausanne later on, and the region was abandoned to its fate along with our nationals via the Ankara Treaty signed with Britain three years after the ratification of the Lausanne Treaty. The disagreement, which brought Turkey to the brink of war with Britain and caused it to be plagued with problems like the Shaykh Said uprising and other Kurdish revolts, was concluded when Turkey had to make concessions on the National Pact borders in order to establish relations with the West and sort out problems with Britain. After exactly 83 years, the security of Turkey's south has been placed on the agenda of the TBMM together with the issue of Kirkuk and the future of the Turkomans. This time the Government and the Opposition have a similar stance. Those following the process closely appear indeed to have been surprised by the fact that the situation of the Iraqi Turkomans and Kirkuk has started to dominate the agenda after shuttling between the front and back burner for a long time, that efforts are being made to enhance public awareness of the Turkomans and Kirkuk, that they have become "a matter of greater priority than the EU," in the words of Prime Minister, and that the Opposition is demanding a "imperial campaign."

    Subtitle: Are the facts behind the scenes different?

    Is the real cause of this enthusiasm and excitement really the Iraqi Turkomans and Kirkuk? Is it the approaching elections? Or is there another process of which we are unaware? Furthermore, would Turkey really enter northern Iraq regardless of the United States and its Western allies? Would it carry out such an operation on its own or would it enjoy regional support? How would the countries of the region including chiefly Iran and Syria react to such an operation? Who and what would such an operation be actually against? It is really hard to give a direct and clear answer to these questions. The chaotic state of the region and the complicated nature of events are naturally causing confusion. However, one fact is certain, which is that efforts are being made to use the Iraqi Turkomans and Kirkuk as a means of dragging Turkey into this war and that Turkey is falling for this ruse. This is indicated by all the ongoing developments. Is Turkey really aware that it is falling for it? Of course, it is.

    Turkey is entering a new phase in the Middle East and in its foreign policy. MIT [National Intelligence Organization] Undersecretary Emre Taner gave the most concrete indication of this when he said that the traditional "wait-and-see" approach in the Turkish foreign policy should be replaced with a proactive attitude. It surely cannot be regarded as a coincidence that the latest developments began to take place after this disclosure. The developments also indicate a secret consensus in Turkish-US relations quite contrary to what appears to be the case. They suggest that the sides have reached a certain stage in the negotiations conducted so far over Kirkuk, the PKK, and a Kurdish state, and that particularly Turkey's concerns have been addressed to a large extent. We can understand this from the course of the Turkish-US and Turkish-Iranian relations recently and from the reactions of the Kurdish groups in Iraq.

    The US side's announcement of support for Turkey in connection with the EU and Cyprus and the fact that the reactions in the wake of [the Turkish parliament's rejection of] [the] 1 March [authorization bill on Iraq] have been replaced by a cooperative and supportive attitude more oriented to compromise are indications of an important change in the US foreign policy toward Turkey. The United States appears to be endeavouring to conciliate Turkey rather than alienating it, to define a relationship that could not be defined in the process that followed the Cold War, and to define it from Turkey's viewpoint. The underlying causes of this change of policy are the failures in Iraq, the endangerment of the process in Afghanistan, and the United States' goals regarding Iran. Although it seems to be something of a contradiction for the United States to have goals about Iran while being bogged down in one great quagmire in Iraq, the Iran problem has come to have a key role in the future of the Broader Middle East Initiative from the United States' viewpoint. Either the United States is going to eliminate Iran and the Shiite threat or it will have to bid farewell to the Broader Middle East Initiative. The fact that the United States suddenly changed its mind about Iraq after looking for an exit strategy until a few months ago is the greatest indication of the fact that it will not easily bid farewell to the said project. This decision could be regarded as a great success on the part of the Jewish lobby and Israel. It would not be very correct to link to Iraq the forthcoming deployment of over 20,000 soldiers to this country. The latest troop deployments mean that United States is stationing an armed force of over 200,000 soldiers around Iran. This latest decision by the United States as well as the troop surge in Afghanistan, the decision to send a second aircraft carrier, and the increase in the number of operations against Iranian targets in Iraq point to one thing only: Iran.

    Subtitle: Is what is in question a concession in return for [Support for an operation against] Iran?

    The United States, which has brought forward the date of the operation against Iran and is expected to carry out a campaign against this country within a few months, is very much worried that the Kurds, its new allies in Iraq, will plunge the country into deeper chaos when they are left alone in Iraq. An uncontrollable civil war is not in the United States' interests at the moment. The US administration is exasperated by the fact that the Kurds have compounded their dilemma in Iraq and that they are making unending demands. On the other hand, given that the United States intends to obtain the biggest support for its operation against Iran from the Iranian Kurds, it is important that these groups not to be alienated. For that reason, the United States is looking for a middle way which will not make these spoiled children too unhappy but will keep them under control. The middle way passes through Turkey or more properly through Turkish presence in Iraq. And the way to drag Turkey into Iraq is to create a legitimate reason to involve it in the war in Iraq. That reason would be Kirkuk.

    The United States intends to kill a few birds with one stone in this way. We could list the goals in this way: 1. To destroy the common stance of Turkey, Iran, and Syria, in this way removing one of the greatest obstacles to the Broader Middle East Initiative. 2. Using Turkey as a means of ending the alliance between Syria and Iran and softening the Syrian administration in this regard. 3. Causing Turkey to enter northern Iraq so that northern Iraq becomes a problem between Turkey and Iran, in this way mobilizing Turkish public opinion against Iran and minimizing reactions from Turkey and the Turkish public to a US operation against Iran and even getting the Turkish people to say, "It serves Iran right." 4. Cooperating with Turkey to win the support of the Turks in Iran and conducting operations aimed at the Iranian Turks easily from Turkey. 5. Conducting the process in Iraq from Turkey when the war on Iran starts and causing the resistance against the United States to shift to Turkey and the Turkish army. 6. Cooperating with Turkey to minimize the Sunni resistance and break the Shiite resistance and strength and eliminate the regional Shiite threat. 7. Giving Turkey the leadership of the Sunni world in the Sunni-Shiite conflict and minimizing enmity against and increasing support for the United States in the Sunni world.

    This list could be extended. However, it could readily be said that these are main points and goals. The recent reactions of Iran and Kurdish leaders are among the developments that confirm our argument. To be more specific, although recent problems in Turkish-Iranian relations manifest themselves for the time being in developments like the suspension of natural gas supply from Iran and difficulties in the transit passage of Turkish eighteen-wheelers from Iran, these problems more essentially reveal themselves in Iran's departure from its expectation that Turkey will mediate in its dispute with the United States and the downgrading of relations from the level of ambassador to charge d'affairs. Besides, Iranian President Ahmadinezhad's latest visit to Syria could be regarded as an expression of Iran's annoyance with and concern about the developments involving Syria. On the other hand, Iraqi Kurdish leaders' concern that they will be sold out a second time by the United States and their statements expressing such worries reflect anxieties about the recent course of relations between Turkey and the United States. For this reason, Kurdish groups have stepped up their pressures on the Turkomans, who are regarded as Turkey's natural allies and extension in the region. They are already getting across the message that in the event of Turkey's intervention in the region, a major campaign of massacre will be launched against the Turkomans.

    [10] Hasan Ercakica: No solution unless there are `two legal entities´

    Weekly CYPRUS OBSERVER newspaper (26-01/01.02.07) publishes the following article by Talats Spokesman, Mr Hasan Ercakica:

    In his first speech regarding the Cyprus problem the new United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon talked about `two countries´.

    Of course I will not abuse this I surely know that the new Secretary-General will have to face the reaction of the Greek Cypriot side, he will be warned immediately and will not repeat the same `mistake´ a second time.

    However even this simple `mistake´ proves the existence of two separate entities. The problems between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots have been ongoing for many years and have caused these two entities to become distant. They have caused them to become so distant that even the UN Secretary-General, the person in charge of international politics, talked about the ´two administrators´ of the two countries in Cyprus.

    How will reunification take place?

    Despite Ban Ki-Moon´s mentioning two countries and the difference between the two communities, we know that the permanent division of Cyprus would cause greater problems than the ones faced at present. At least for the time being, no one seems to be supporting such a division. Even if some of the political leaders claim that `division was the right thing to do´ at present the option that much of the world supports is the re-unification of Cyprus.

    Thus the new UN leaders wording lessens the possible reunification of Cyprus, as the Greek Cypriot Leader, Papadopoulos, would put it, through `osmosis´. It will not be with the acceptance of the Turkish Cypriots under the domain of the Greek Cypriots, who consider themselves the `Republic of Cyprus´. It does not seem possible for the Turkish Cypriots to accept such an option. Trying to force a solution on the Turkish Cypriots despite their rejections seems destined to remain a dream. The main reason behind the decades long dispute and the recent use of the wording `two countries´ is the Greek Cypriot administrations demand to rule the Turkish Cypriot community.

    What is left to be done now is to find a comprehensive solution based on political equality by the leaders of the two communities. The basis of this settlement would have to be `a federal solution of bi-communal and bi-zonal nature´.

    Political identity should be acknowledged

    If there is to be a `bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution´ for the Cyprus problem, the political identity of the Turkish Cypriot has to be recognized. The acknowledgement of the Turkish Cypriot identity is not necessary just to come to a solution but it is also important to get the negotiations started. Those without a political identity cannot be a part of the process of forming a new state with full political powers. This is the simple truth the social science suggests.

    When talking about a `federal state´ even Papadopoulos should be aware that he is talking about two semi-legal entities. The members of a Federal State are either called `federate states´ or `founder states´ like in the Annan Plan; or they can be called `federate states´ like in previous UN plans. They are still two legal entities and you do not need to be a Barrister, like Papadopoulos, to know this.

    Recently the Greek Cypriot leader has stated many times that he did not wish any kind of settlement to the Cyprus Problem unless it be through osmosis. The speech he made at a monumental opening ceremony on Sunday held yet another such statement. In his speech Papadopoulos stated that they would not accept any suggestions for solutions which required the existence of two legal entities in Cyprus.

    In one of my previous columns I mentioned that there could not be a solution unless the political identity of the Turkish Cypriots was recognized and this caused a storm in the south. Now I will repeat similar things, there cannot be a solution unless the two legal identities in Cyprus are acknowledged and unless these identities are used to form a new identity and state.

    Political and legal identity

    We need to remind Papadopoulos and his friends once again that the Turkish Cypriots gained this identity through the 1960 agreements even if we forget about the former steps. It is unacceptable for them to behave like they are granting this like some sort of `favour´ to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Even if the 1960 Republic was brought to an end by the Greek Cypriots due to the rights it gave the Turkish Cypriot politically and legally; the Turkish Cypriots have not agreed to accept the domain of the Greek Cypriots and have paid the price on several occasions. Had we accepted the domain of the Greek Cypriots, the Cyprus problem would have been solved and we would have been rid of the results of the ongoing problem. Thus we are continuously paying dues for the lack of a settlement of the Cyprus problem by rejecting the domain of the Greek Cypriots, who have managed to get themselves accepted as the `Republic of Cyprus´ and while we pursue a fair solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Spoiled by EU membership

    As a matter of fact Papadopoulos and his friends understand very well what I am talking about here. Papadopoulos, who had once been a member of the (not so) secret terrorist organisation, EOKA, and who later became a member of the Greek Cypriot communitys political power group, has never signed an agreement that the Turkish Cypriots could approve of apart from those during the 3 year common republic days. Nowadays he can only dream of gaining power over the Turkish Cypriots.

    Despite this well known fact it is a result of becoming spoiled after becoming a member of the EU. Papadopoulos rejects any agreement or procedures that state `there are two separate legal entities in Cyprus´. He dreams that the Turkish Cypriots can be charmed by the lure of EU membership and will come to accept the rule of the Greek Cypriots just because they are an EU member.

    Recent events could clearly show that this possibility is out of the question, yet the Greek Cypriot leader has displayed several times that he is incapable of forgetting the daydreams he has; we should not be surprised that he is once again in a similar state of mind.


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