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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-07-20

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.139/07 20.07.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Celebrations for the anniversary of the 20 July 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation
  • [02] Talats address on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus
  • [03] Talat received foreign parliamentarians who are visiting occupied Cyprus to attend the invasion and occupation celebrations
  • [04] Statements by the Chairman of the Immovable Property Commission regarding an article yesterday in CYPRUS MAIL
  • [05] The talks of the Turkish Cypriot political parties regarding the amendments of the constitution have collapsed
  • [06] President of the European United Left in the European Parliament Francis Wurts called on the European Commission to provide funds for joint projects in Cyprus
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [07] Columnist advises Ankara to bargain with the U.S. the use of Turkeys facilities for the withdrawal from Iraq as it did for another issue before March 1st 2003
  • [08] AFRIKA columnist: The 33-year liberator
  • [09] From the Turkish press on Sundays parliamentary elections and other issues of the political agenda of Ankara

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Celebrations for the anniversary of the 20 July 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation

    All the Turkish Cypriot papers report today (20.07.07) about the anniversary of the 20 July 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus and the celebrations that will take place in the occupied areas.

    KIBRIS reports that high level delegations from Turkey arrived in the occupied area to take part in the invasion and occupation celebrations which the occupation regime brands as Peace and Freedom Operation.

    General Ismail Kocman arrived in the occupied area to represent the Turkish Armed Forces in the celebrations

    Abdullatif Sener, Turkeys Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs arrived in the occupied area at the head of a high level delegation to represent the Turkish Government in the celebrations.

    Upon arrival to the occupied area, Abdullatif Sener and the high level delegation had a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, during which Mr. Sener said that the relation between the TRNC and Turkey is not like a relation between any two countries. This relation is totally special and unique, Mr. Sener stressed. He went on and said that as Turkey, they have done everything possible to improve the prosperity level of the Turkish Cypriots and the removal of the so-called isolations on the TRNC. Claiming that in the international relations Turkey is a powerful country, and that it used this position and its presence in defending the interests of the Turkish Cypriots, Mr. Sener added that as Turkey they want the Turkish Cypriots to continue their existence under conditions of peace, freedom and prosperity.

    In his reply, Mr.Talat said that the relation between Turkey and the TRNC is very different and unique. Turkey is the only country that recognizes and supports the TRNC without any conditions. He said that they will always remember the support Mr. Sener extended to the TRNC as State Minister for Cyprus affairs.

    In addition, Illegal BAYRAK television (19.07.07) broadcast that Mr Talat briefed foreign media about the developments in Cyprus. Bayrak broadcast the following:

    Within the framework of the activities marking the Peace and Freedom Day, President Mehmet Ali Talat held a press briefing for foreign media at the Atatürk Cultural Centre in Lefkosia this morning. The briefing was held with the aim of informing the foreign media about many issues including the Cyprus problem.

    During this meeting the president explained how for many years the Turkish Cypriot people´s voice wasnt heard by the international community due to the geek Cypriot propaganda.

    But in the past few years the Turkish Cypriot people have made many advances in this field, he added.

    Noting that the European Union had yet to fulfill its promise of removing the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people, the President said it was the Greek Cypriot side, which is a member of the block that was preventing this from happening.

    Explaining that the Greek Cypriot side was using its membership to the block to pressurize Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan as these countries have good relation with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, President Talat said the European Union is finding it hard to deal with its naughty member. Also informing the foreign media of the hardships being experienced in the country due to unjust embargoes being imposed against it, the President said that his main priority was to fight for the removal of the embargoes as it was going to take some time to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The President of the Republic finished his briefing by answering questions regarding border crossings, TRNC relations with America and Russia and foreign representation offices that are opening up around the world.

    The president of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry Salih Tunar gave a briefing in regards to trade and the economy of the Republic.

    (MHY)

    [02] Talats address on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (19.07.07) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    "The efficient peace initiative, launched by Turkey in Cyprus 33 years ago, will reach its target when a fair and lasting peace in ensured," President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday.

    "I think that both sides have experienced sufficient agonies. Therefore, we have to ensure an order in our island where children will play games of peace instead of war and where nobody will suffer any harm, and this order should be assured with equality (of both sides) and development of fraternal ties, and within the framework of mutual respect," Talat stressed on Turkish Cypriot "Bayrak Radio TV (BRT)" to mark the 33rd anniversary of July 20th Peace & Freedom Day. Talat noted that a fair and lasting peace in the island can be ensured only if the two nations see the historical realities.

    "I once more call on the Greek Cypriot administration to sit at a negotiation table where we may get a direct outcome, make necessary comprehensive agreement for a lasting peace and end the agonies of our nations," Talat emphasized.

    "The fate of Cyprus and Cypriots should be peace, unity and fraternity; not war, discrimination and enmity. To this end, we are ready for any peaceful initiative. Settlement of Cyprus problem is our mission, and we will do everything we can. When we reach a fair and lasting peace and when we leave behind a European country in peace, the efficient peace initiative, launched by Turkey 33 years ago, would reach its target," he added.

    Earlier on Thursday, Talat received foreign parliamentarians who are actually in TRNC for Peace & Freedom Day celebrations.

    [03] Talat received foreign parliamentarians who are visiting occupied Cyprus to attend the invasion and occupation celebrations

    Illegal BAYRAK television (19.07.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has received foreign parliamentarians who are in the Republic for the 20th July Peace and Freedom Day celebrations. The President briefed the parliamentarians on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus issue.

    The parliamentarians are from Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Krygyzstan, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Estonia. The President explained to the parliamentarians that the Turkish Cypriot Side has been working on ways of lifting all kinds of restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people and bringing about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot people voted in favour of peace during the 2004 referendum and proved its political will for a solution and peace.

    Complaining that the Turkish Cypriot people are facing restrictions in all fields of the political, economic and cultural life, he drew attention to the fact that Turkish Cypriots are now allowed to export their goods and products to other countries.

    In addition Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (20.07.07) reports that the so-called Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, Turgay Avci gave a dinner in honor of the foreign parliamentarians who are in the occupied area on the occasion of the invasion and occupation anniversary celebrations. During the dinner, reports the paper, the Italian Radical Party member Maurizio Turco presented to Mr.Avci an EU flag as present. Speaking to the foreign parliamentarians Avci asked for support from them in order to remove the so-called isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.07.07) reports that the foreign parliamentarians who are currently in the occupied area to attend the invasion and occupation celebrations had separate meetings with the self-styled Prime Minister Mr. Soyer, the so-called Speaker of the Assembly, Fatma Ekenoglu, and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Talat. In all these meetings the Turkish Cypriot leaders speak about the removal of the so-called isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.

    [04] Statements by the Chairman of the Immovable Property Commission regarding an article yesterday in CYPRUS MAIL

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.07.07), reports that the so-called chairman of the Immovable Property Commission, Ms Sumer Erkmen in a statement to illegal TAK and referring to her statement to the Cyprus Mail, said that certain statements published in the report were not properly reflected and that three Greek Cypriots who applied to the commission received their plots and not their houses. She also noted that there are 220 applications demanding the return of their property, compensation or exchange, adding that the 20 of the applications have already been examined; 15 applicants have taken compensation, three their property back and two have agreed for exchange.

    Ms Erkmen also clarified that both Turkish and Greek Cypriots have applied to the Commission, stressing that they examine the applications according to the date of the application.

    [05] The talks of the Turkish Cypriot political parties regarding the amendments of the constitution have collapsed

    Illegal BAYRAK television (19.07.07) broadcast the following:

    Talks that have been continuing among three political parties with groupings in the TRNC Parliament on Constitutional amendments, Election and Referendum law and Parliamentary Regulations have collapsed.

    Leaders and representatives from the Republican Turkish Party, National Unity Party and Democrat Party met this morning to continue their discussions but the talks collapsed when the parties failed to set a date for early parliamentary elections.

    During the meeting, which is the second to be held this week, Secretary-generals of the three parties exchanged written proposals on the issues they have been discussing.

    Now, the three parties will evaluate the proposals brought, and if they could reach a consensus, another meeting could be held among them.

    [06] President of the European United Left in the European Parliament Francis Wurts called on the European Commission to provide funds for joint projects in Cyprus

    Illegal BAYRAK television (19.07.07) broadcast the following:

    The President of the European United Left Nordic Green Left in the European Parliament Francis Wurts has called on the European Commission to provide funds for joint projects in Cyprus.

    Mr. Wurts who is also a member of the High Level Contact Group sent a letter to the Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso asking the Commissions assistance for the realization of joint projects, such as the upcoming installation of the waste water treatment plant in Haspolat (occupied Mia Milia). Mr. Wurts sent a letter to the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the end of the High Level Contact Groups fourth visit to the island.

    In his letter, Mr. Wurts said that the `Structural Funds` which are being provided to the South and the 259 million Euros worth financial aid devoted to the north should be available to co-finance joint projects.

    He said that the installation of the waste water treatment plant in Haspolat is one of the urgent co-projects to be realized as waste water treatment is a problem of general interest. `The European Union has, today, in Cyprus, numerous opportunities to show its worth in the service of all Cypriots and of their partnership, for the reunification of the island` he said.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [07] Columnist advises Ankara to bargain with the U.S. the use of Turkey´s facilities for the withdrawal from Iraq as it did for another issue before March 1st 2003

    Istanbul Hurriyet newspaper (14.07.07) publishes the following commentary by Ilter Turkmen under the title: Is this the final stage in Iraq?:

    The New York Times article entitled The Road Home echoed significantly on 8 July.

    First of all, the newspaper's basic diagnosis was right: Regardless of what the objective President Bush planned to achieve through the war he started in Iraq, the cause has been lost. The US military units have to be withdrawn. An alternative does not exist. President Bush plans to keep the military units deployed in Iraq until his term ends. He will then transfer the difficult situation he created to his successor.

    The New York Times warned that more bloodshed can take place, a more serious chaotic situation might exist, and ethnic cleansing might increase after the US military units withdraw. It noted that even an act of genocide might take place.

    Meanwhile, it said that Turkey and Iran might use the situation as an opportunity to create faits accomplis.

    It is a fact that political support for the war in Iraq is weakening in the United States and that the democrats are intensifying their pressure on Bush in Congress. It is also a fact that even the republicans are divided on the matter. But, Bush does not intend to change his policy. He has a calendar. He now waits for the report his trusted commander in Iraq, General Petraus, will submit in September.

    However, it will be recalled that General Petraus, in a statement to a British newspaper, said that the US military forces should remain in Iraq for another 10 years if stability is to be established in that country. Is that possible?

    Undoubtedly, there are many officials who believe that the United States should stay in Iraq no matter what might happen. Henry Kissinger is one of them. As far as we can say, Ankara is seriously worried about an early withdrawal. I believe that Turkey should consider the possibility of an early withdrawal and assess the problems it might create for its interests. That will be useful.

    The New York Times said that 160,000 troops and millions of tons of military equipment can be safely withdrawn through Northern Iraq. It noted that the United States using Turkey's bases and ports will facilitate a quick and safe withdrawal. The United States conveying a request to Ankara in connection with its withdrawal from Iraq is a strong possibility. Can we say no? Would it be in Turkey's interest to say no?

    I do not think so. Whatever has taken place is now in the past. The United States made a serious mistake. The harm it has done to the region is far more serious than the harm it has done to itself. But, telling an allied country "Solve your own problems. You cannot use my territory and ports to withdraw your troops" is very difficult.

    Can we bargain on the matter, as we have done so on another problem prior to 1 March 2003? Well, holding talks directly on the possibility of a withdrawal through Turkey is unthinkable. Nevertheless, an effort might be made to find more support for our problems in an atmosphere of cooperation. It has been reported several times that the United States plans to keep a base in the northern sector of Iraq after it withdraws from that country. That must not be forgotten. Meanwhile, those who propose the establishment of a democratic model in the Kurdish region in Iraq are not few.

    Turkey must carefully try to obstruct any formula that might strengthen the Kurdish administration and guarantee its security. It seems that the United States will maintain its bases in Kuwait and Qatar after it withdraws from Iraq. It might be that it would want to use the bases in Turkey as well. Can we accept that if the United States agrees not to keep a base in Northern Iraq? That is something worth considering.

    Let us not ignore the fact that brainstorming on what seem to be conflicting ideas at first glance might be useful.

    The situation in Northern Iraq, which is linked with the problems in Turkey, requires that no option, including initiatives under favorable conditions, be quickly rejected. Let us draw up a consistent, pragmatic, and creative policy on Iraq without wasting time after the elections.

    [08] AFRIKA columnist: The 33-year liberator

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot Afrika newspaper (20.07.07) publishes the following commentary in the column Afrikadan Mektup (Letter from Afrika):

    This year Ayse is completing her thirty-three years of holiday in Cyprus, since July 1974 when she came on vacation.

    (Tr. Note: Ayse is going on holiday was the password for the launching of the second phase of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus)

    The charm of Cyprus is well-known

    Ayse as well was enchanted by this magic charm

    She has settled on the island

    She has set up a house

    After she has brought here all her relatives

    Paternal Aunt, uncle, maternal aunt

    Uncles wife, aunts husband

    Everybody...

    Trabzon, Hatay, Adana

    In a short time, lahmacun replaced pitas, savoury rolls replaced sweet bread rolls...

    Let us remember

    What was the intention of Ayse

    Wasnt it to restore the constitutional order which has been disrupted in the Republic of Cyprus under the fascist coup on July 15?

    In fact, this is the reason maybe, when on July 20 they were dropping flyers from the skies, saying to the people We came for peace, do not be afraid

    Ayse did not keep her word

    She did not restore the constitutional order which has been disrupted in the Republic of Cyprus

    In fact, she made worse things

    Instead of unifying us under a single state, instead of retrieving our partnership rights which were usurped since 1963, she has established a pirate state on the territory she has conquered.

    And when no one was recognizing this state, she declared to the world that she recognized it

    But she was not sincere even to this

    I recognized it, she said; yet, she actually did not

    She did not fulfill the conditions necessary for recognition.

    Do not pay attention to the fact that the Turkish Ambassador submits credentials etc to our president. Not even a Turkish team has come here and play a friendly match with us

    Furthermore, even in international tournaments in Turkey our team is not accepted

    As those who do not recognize us apply embargo to us, Ayse too, who says that it recognises us, applies the same embargo

    Celebrating with excitement the 33rd year of the military operation, does not mean that Turkeys existence here will last for ever

    The end of this road is darkness

    Our job will be difficult if we do not return to the international law

    The Greek Cypriots´ vision of us is as a minority

    They have no intention to give us again the partnership in the Republic of Cyprus

    They see us only as a patch in this republic

    Perhaps a day will come when we will have equal political rights with the Greek Cypriots; however, we will not be able to have a separate community existence

    There will not be separate elections and institutions

    If we dont return to our partnership in the Republic of Cyprus, we will not be able to escape from this

    The 20 of July is Cyprus wound which is bleeding for 33 years

    In the north there is joy, in the south there is mourning

    This shows how much distant peace is from us still

    There are plenty of things to shed tears for but there is nothing to celebrate

    Let us not wish for many years of 20 of July

    But for many years in peace

    [09] From the Turkish press on Sundays parliamentary elections and other issues of the political agenda of Ankara

    On 19 July the Turkish Press covers various issues as follows:

    Sabah reports on the opposition's allegation that the AKP and the Democratic Society Party, DTP, have promised to marry with Barzani acting as their best man, to which Prime Minister Erdogan retorts that he will continue to reject DTP's call for a rendezvous until the DTP publicly states that it has no links with the PKK. Speaking on ATV, Erdogan also says that the first duty of the next parliament would be to draft a "civilian constitution."

    To rumors about a MHP-CHP coalition, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli says MHP wants to come to power on its own, adding that CHP is closer to the AKP in ideology, according to another Sabah report.

    Milliyet reports that to Erdogan's advice to voters not to waste their votes on independent candidates, Istanbul independent candidate Baskin Oran says the independents would rather play an important role in the future parliament, like tabling bills against anti-democratic laws.

    According to a report in Sabah following Cem Foundation chief Izzetin Dogan's statement that the Alevis should also vote for the Youth Party, GP, party's deputy leader Emin Sirin has unveiled five promises for the Alevis, namely, the Alevis will be represented in the Religious Affairs Presidency, DIB, will take a share from DIB budget, mandatory religious classes will be made selective, and the cemevis will be recognized as places of worship.

    Columnist Guneri Civaoglu writes in his column in Milliyet that Erdogan's personal popularity is 11 percent higher than AKP's and that by saying that he would resign if the AKP fails to get 34.4 percent he actually wants to transfer some of his personal popularity to the party. Civaoglu also notes that at a gathering of big businessmen, 50 percent expressed support for the AKP. Commenting on such a high support for the AKP among the business community, Civaoglu wonders if the opposition parties have failed to inspire a sense of security among businessmen or if the AKP has now become a status quo party in the eyes of this group.

    In an editorial for the Turkish Daily News, Yusuf Kanli says AKP is unlikely to elect the next president, "Even if someone is sitting in his comfortable chair at a splendid office in Istanbul, if s/he has some contacts with the people in his neighborhood he can easily reach the conclusion that pollsters that have been flattering the AKP with claims that it would receive as high as 53 percent of the vote are indeed indulged in lucrative business, making good money, but what they report has no relevance with the reality on the street. However, even if we accept that the vote percentage of the AKP will surprise us and reach something around 40 percent, unless only two parties make it into the Parliament in Sunday's election, the predictions of some pollsters - that the ruling party will not only manage to come back to governance with a comfortable majority, but it would produce sufficient deputies to elect the next president on its own - are nothing more than wishful thinking."

    Ertugrul Ozkok in Hurriyet writes that Deniz Baykal is Turkey's "new Suleyman Demirel," explaining that like Demirel he displayed political acumen and determination and prevented AKP from electing a president and managed to convince the voters that the CHP is the only counterbalance to the AKP. Also noting that like Demirel, Baykal controls his nerves and harbors no malice against journalists who differ with him occasionally, Ozkok declares in his column for Hurriyet that he would vote for Baykal without any compunction.

    In his column for Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi refers to Erdogan's wristwatch worth $43,000, and says if it is not a present and Erdogan himself bought it he should announce the source of that money. Similarly, Erdogan's son Ahmet Burak Erdogan must announce the source of the money he paid to purchase a ship. Eksi says democracy cannot tolerate Erdogan and other AKP officials who cannot account for the accumulation of personal wealth.

    In his column for Milliyet, Taha Akyol welcomes DTP candidates' moderate statements to the effect that once in the parliament they will not stoke separatism and would instead take the Army's sensitivities into account. Akyol says the question of their sincerity should not be raised at this point, the important thing is the changing conditions in Turkey that are forcing these people into taking a moderate position. That is why the elections are important for the southeast, it will show if the DTP grass roots have the same inclination as the leadership, Akyol concludes.

    Also looking at the moderate messages coming from the DTP, especially Aysel Tugluk's article in Radikal that her party would propose a road map for the Kurdish problem with the aim of stopping violence, Fikret Bila says in his column for Milliyet that Tugluk's article is vague and many points need to be clarified, adding that neither the DTP nor the AKP would want to form a coalition; AKP fears its political cost, and DTP will never manage to distance itself from the PKK to make such an alliance possible besides the fact that, as indicated in Tugluk's article, the army would not tolerate an AKP-DTP coalition.

    In an article entitled "With Melih Gokcek about the call he issued to the MHP", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven discloses that no negative reactions have come from MHP supporters to his article yesterday in which he quoted remarks by Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek calling on the MHP administration to announce that they will not establish any cooperation with the CHP following the election. Arseven claims that he received phone calls from numerous MHP voters yesterday who quoted many potential MHP supporters "in the field" as saying that they are worried about the possibility of a CHP-MHP coalition.

    In an article entitled "The Erzurum Provocation", Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce denounces the incident during the CHP's recent election rally in Erzurum involving "only two" people who protested CHP leader Baykal by opening posters saying "We are all children of Fetullah Gulen, You are in Gulen's hometown, Go Away" as an act of "deep" provocation whose false quality is made apparent by the fact that "Those who love Gulen spell his surname as Fethullah" and by the way columnists critical of Gulen like Ahmet Hakan of Hurriyet and Murat Yetkin of Radikal have treated the incident as an "opportunity" to level new criticisms against Gulen.

    In an article entitled "Either a single-party government or nothing at all", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone describes Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks disclosing his intention to quit politics if the AKP cannot form a single-party government and defying opposition leader Deniz Baykal and Devlet Bahceli to do the same as the most subtle tactical move made in the ongoing election campaign so far. Noting that both Bahceli and Baykal have refrained from making similar pledges, Turkone claims that Erdogan's "challenge" has in this way demonstrated the spuriousness of the MHP's claim to being able to obtain enough support to establish a single-party government as well as making the MHP more vulnerable to criticisms of its expected alliance with the CHP.

    In an article entitled "Politicians with a cause would not defy the nation", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan accuses Erdogan of "confusing the ballot box with the gambling table" in saying he will abandon politics if the AKP cannot win enough seats to single-handedly form a government. Ozkan claims that politicians who believe in a national cause should not have the right to warn their supporters in this way, adding that responsible politicians would be expected to explain to the public what they stand for regardless whether they are in power or in opposition.

    On the allegations about US arms in PKK hands a Hurriyet report says that some days ago Hurriyet's columnist Fatih Cekirge had predicted that the United States would respond to reports on PKK possession of American arms with the argument that these arms have been provided to the PKK by runaway US soldiers in northern Iraq. The report adds that indeed US Ambassador Ross Wilson told the Foreign Ministry officials that an investigation has been opened into the case and that Iraqi security officers, including US soldiers, might be detained over the incident.

    Milliyet reports that speaking on CNNTURK, Foreign Minister Gul said the Pentagon has launched an investigation in the arms issue, adding that there is information to the effect that some soldiers have gotten involved in it illegally. Gul also says the United States should not be upset over the Iranian gas deal, after all the United States is not in a position to itself provide gas to Turkey.

    Commenting on the US arms issue, Erdal Safak declares in his editorial for Sabah that the American arms were actually destined to PJAK to fight the Iranian forces, adding that it seems once the American arms reached the PJAK camp they were shared out in a friendly manner between PJAK and PKK whose camps face each other on Mt Kandil, and it is impossible for the Americans to admit that.

    The General Staff has listed the countries whose arms and explosives are finding their way into the hands of the PKK. The list includes, the United States, Germany, China, and Italy among others, according to a Hurriyet report, which itself is based on a report in Tempo magazine.

    In a photo-supported report, Hurriyet writes that after training the PKK with the help of the US-trained peshmergas, Barzani is now supplying the PKK with US arms and sending the PKK gunmen to the border to fight Turkish troops.

    In an article entitled "What if these claims are proven true?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul argues that the allegations of US military support for the terrorist PKK are set to bring Turkish-US relations to a turning point following the election on 22 July. In illustrating that these claims are not new, he refers to earlier articles in which he asserted that the United States and Israel conveyed missiles, night-vision scopes, thermal cameras, and munitions to the Kurdish troops in northern Iraq on 31 January 2007.

    On the gas deal with Iran Sabah reports that regarding the US Ambassador Ross Wilson's request to have a meeting with Energy Minister Hilmi Guler after the gas deal with Iran, the ministry has told the Ambassador that Guler is in Ordu for election campaign and if he wants he can go there to meet the minister. Noting that Guler then returned to Ankara at midnight to sign an agreement with Greece on the sale of electricity to that country, the report quotes ministry officials as saying that the gas deal with Iran was also signed at midnight and that the invitation of the Ambassador to Ordu had the intent of conveying a subtle message to him.

    Milliyet reports that the Turkish Petroleum Company, TPAO, is expected to invest in three Iranian gas fields as of next year within the context of the gas deal signed between Turkey and Iran last week. The two countries are also planning to build a new pipeline and that Turkey is also working to attract the EU to its side in view of the American opposition to the gas deal. The report also quotes Foreign Minister Gul as saying that the Iranian-Turkish border is older than the United States itself and that the gas deal concerns the energy security of Turkey and Europe. It also quotes Guler as saying that the European states too are signing trade agreements with Iran, yet the United States only opposes to the deals signed by Turkey.

    Gungor Uras warns in his column for Milliyet that Turkey should not completely freeze its ties with the United States and Russia for the sake of the Iranian gas deal, whose future is not yet clear, besides the fact that Iran has never been a reliable energy supplier. Uras points out that the deal is a mere memorandum of understanding between the two ministers and that the sides have still to examine if cooperation is possible in certain spheres.

    In an article entitled "Difficulties await Turkey in filling gas deal with Iran," Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu calls attention to some of the "questions" regarding "the Turkish-Iranian gas deal" that "must be answered if the project between the neighbors is to be long-lasting."

    EG/


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