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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-08-11

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. 152/08 09-11.08.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Nami said there is no convergence of views on the three most difficult issues
  • [02] KADEM conducted two different opinion polls in occupied Cyprus with different results
  • [03] Ercakica said a solution to the Cyprus problem will not take place without Turkey´s guarantee
  • [04] Avci said no one should worry now that the occupied Voklolida and Karpass area will be given away
  • [05] It is not the last chance, it is a very good first chance
  • [06] Gulden Plumer Kucuk said four hundred and twelve missing persons have been identified
  • [07] Eroglu accuses Ertugruloglu of not carrying out an influential opposition
  • [08] The UBP organized a protest march against the recent price hikes
  • [09] Independent self-styled MP is joining the ORP
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot political parties condemn fighting in Georgia
  • [11] The Turkish Cypriots sent aid to Ossetia
  • [12] Abkhazian deputy support the claims that Ankara had sent military aid to Tbilisi
  • [13] Turkey starts to supply electricity to Georgia
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 09 and 10 August 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Nami said there is no convergence of views on the three most difficult issues

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (11.08.08), under the title There is no convergence of views on the three most difficult issues, reports that Ozdil Nami, representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, has said that there is absolutely no convergence of views between the two sides on the issues of security, the guarantees and the properties. In statements to the paper, Mr Nami noted that the shape of these issues will be finalized during the negotiations. He said that the views of the sides are closer on the issues of the EU and the economy.

    On the issue of the equality and the sharing of power we are in a position in the middle, he added. When the journalist wondered whether the issues of security, the guarantees and the properties are not the substance of the problem and asked whether the rest of the issues have any importance if there is no agreement on the above three issues, Mr Nami replied the following:

    As it is known, the positions of the sides were examined during this preparatory process, no negotiations were conducted. Therefore, attaching great importance on this issue in an environment where the negotiations have not started would not be correct. There is no doubt that these are the most difficult and fundamental issues. However, their shape will be finalized during the negotiations.

    Mr Nami argued that they have the impression that the Greek Cypriot side has abandoned its stance for holding negotiations for ever. Referring to the situation during the Annan Plan, Mr Nami said that the Greek Cypriots started to state that the beginning of 2009 would be a reasonable goal because they do not want a delay.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] KADEM conducted two different opinion polls in occupied Cyprus with different results

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.08.08) publishes in its first page a public survey carried out by KADEM Research Centre about the strength of the political parties in the occupied Cyprus. The opinion poll was conducted in July with a sample of 875 persons for the purpose of the National Unity Party. The results of the opinion poll had been announced yesterday during a press conference given by the Director of KADEM Research Centre.

    According to the opinion poll, if elections are to take place in the occupied part of Cyprus next week, the results would have been as follows:

    National Unity Party (UBP): 40.5%

    Republican Turkish Party (CTP): 30.3% Democratic Party (DP): 15.1%

    Social Democrat Party (TDP): 6.2%

    Freedom and Reform Party (ORP): 4.2% The poll showed that if elections were to take place in occupied Cyprus next week, the opposition National Unity Party would be the first party in occupied Cyprus, leaving CTP in the second place. The above results were formed as such after the distribution of a percentage of 31.6% who are those ones who appear as undecided. The paper also writes that a percentage of 72% of the sample considers the self-styled government unsuccessful. The paper publishes the results of more questions answered in the opinion poll, according to which 62% of the polled persons, support a solution to the Cyprus problem based on two independent equal states, 5% support the integration of occupied areas with Turkey, 7% the continuing of the current situation, 14% support a centrally strong federal state to be established, and 10% support a confederal state to be established based on two states. Moreover, 71% of the polled persons believe that the new negotiation procedure for the solution to the Cyprus problem will not have positive result. Furthermore, 67% of the polled persons have said that they would vote against the Annan Plan if the 2004 referendum was to be repeated in Cyprus.

    Replying to more questions, 93% of the persons who stated that they want a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem said that they want a solution because it will bring the Turkish Cypriot peoples in a better position economically. Calling to list in order of the countries they trust more, 80.6% of the sample indicated Turkey and 6.7% the Republic of Cyprus.

    On the issue of the accession of the occupied areas in the E.U, 37% of the sample has said that they want occupied Cyprus to become a member of the E.U after Turkey, 26% answered that they want occupied Cyprus to become E.U member after a solution of the Cyprus problem is found, 26% stated that they want E.U accession right now, while 6% said that dont want occupied Cyprus to become a member of the E.U.

    The paper writes also that 57% of the participants in the opinion poll supported that they want early elections to take place in the occupied areas at present.

    According to the opinion poll, the loyalty of the voters of the Turkish Cypriot parties presents as followed: 82.5% for UBP, 39.7% for CTP, 71.2% for DP, 70% for TDP.

    It should be mentioned that all Turkish Cypriot newspapers of 10 August 2008 refer to the above opinion poll on their first pages.

    Ortam covers the issue under the title Manipulation by writing that the opinion poll announced yesterday aiming to give advantages to Mr Ertugrulogu, is defective.

    Volkan: Turkish Cypriot people want a solution based on two different states.

    Kibrisli: Is the opinion poll of KADEM fraudulent?

    Vatan: 62% support two equal independent states.

    Halkin Sesi: Undecided people will determine the result.

    Afrika: CTP revived UBP.

    The paper refers also to the statements of Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu, chairman of the National Unity Party, regarding the results of the opinion poll. Mr. Ertugruloglu, speaking at a press conference yesterday about the results of the public survey, said that the National Unity Party is the party which does not stay in the words. He said that if Turkish Cypriots want a real change to be done, his party is the party that will help Turkish Cypriot people to come out from the current situation. He also accused the Turkish Cypriot self-styled government of its domestic policies. Referring to the opinion poll which was published before and conducted in the occupied part of Cyprus by the Turkish Public Opinion and Social Research Centre (KSAM) showing CTP as the first party, Mr Ertugruloglu has said that they could not consider the above public survey valid because it was conducted by a company which does not even exist.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot press continues to comment on the issue on Monday, 11 August 2008.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (11.08.08) newspaper (11.08.08), under the title What a contrast, refers to two public opinion polls carried out in the Turkish Cypriot community by the Turkish Cypriot research centre KADEM for the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Greek Cypriot Simerini newspaper.

    The paper notes, inter alia, the following: It is not possible to understand how KADEM reached to these results so different from each other during meetings in the same days with the same people. ...The results put forward recently by KADEM are not fitting for a serious and reliable institution.

    According to the paper, 62 % of the participants in the poll for the UBP said that they support two separate states on the island, while in the poll for Simerini this percentage is 42.7 %. The supporters of a federal solution are 14 % in the poll for the UBP and 30 % in the poll for Simerini. Moreover, in the poll for the UBP 7 % of the participants said they support the continuation of the current situation on the island, while in the poll for Simerini the percentage of those who expressed this view reached 15.8 %.

    Under the title They will not succeed, Star Kibris (11.08.08) refers to the results of the poll published by Simerini newspaper and reports that 607 persons participated in the poll carried out by KADEM in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the results, 63.1 % of the participants think that no agreement will be reached between the two leaders regarding the Cyprus problem. Moreover, 40.7 % expressed the opinion that the Cyprus problem will never be solved, while 43 % said that the ideal solution for the Turkish Cypriots is the two separate states.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (11.08.08) comments on the results of the polls carried by KADEM for Simerini newspaper and the UBP and argues that Talat who is opposing to the will of the people should resign. The paper argues that the will of the Turkish Cypriots has come to surface for the first time. Noting that the Turkish Cypriots want a solution based on two independent states, the paper alleges that Talat, who succumbing to Christofias, accepted the single state, single sovereignty and single citizenship is violating the will of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Meanwhile, under the title Here is the sounding, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (11.08.08) newspaper, mouthpiece of the UBP, publishes the results of the poll carried out by KADEM for the party. The paper reports that according to the results, the UBP would be the first party if elections were conducted next week in the occupied areas. The people support the two separate states and the recognition of the TRNC, notes the paper referring to the answers of the participants in the poll regarding the Cyprus problem.

    (AK-I/Ts.)

    [03] Ercakica said a solution to the Cyprus problem will not take place without Turkey´s guarantee

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.08.08) broadcast the following:

    Reactions are growing to press reports that a secret agreement have been reached between the Greek Cypriot Church and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias on the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The Presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has reiterated that a solution to the Cyprus Problem will not take place without Turkeys guarantee.

    Speaking on BRT 1s morning news, the Presidential spokesperson referred to the upcoming negotiations process to be launched on the 3rd of September and said that the two leaders will be focusing on areas where divergences exist.

    Our expectation is for intense talks to begin on the 3rd of September. The main issues on the Cyprus Problem are clear, he said.

    The spokesperson said that the positions of the two sides on the issues of power sharing and administration have become closer.

    Christofias announcement that he is ready to share power could be seen as a carrot incentive for the public opinion. In spite of the fact that there are some issues concerning the administration on which agreement hasnt been reached yet, Christofias chose to give this as a message to some circles within the Turkish Cypriot Side he said.

    Mr Ercakica said that the Turkish Cypriot side had adopted a flexible approach at the talks in order to prevent the process from being disrupted by domestic politics in the South but warned that this will not always continue to be the case.

    Underlining the need to be careful and decisive when proposing final solution plans, he said that everyone must contribute to this process.

    Commenting on claims that the Greek Cypriot leader has reached a deal with the Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrisostomos II regarding a settlement, the Presidential spokesperson said this is a very interesting issue.

    If Christofias is hoping to win the support of all political forces in South Cyprus and is expecting the Turkish Cypriot side to help him, it means that we face a great difficult situation.

    He said it was impossible to find a political settlement which could satisfy everyone on both sides of the divide.

    If he (Christofias) has such an intention, he is wrong. The announcement that Christofias and the Church have reached an agreement has deeply disturbed us, he added.

    Mr Ercakica said that the Greek Cypriot leader would get the necessary response if he brings the results of the agreement to the negotiations table.

    Commenting on the issue of guarantees, the Presidential Spokesman said that there were no hesitations on this issue, and that a solution in Cyprus will not take place in the absence of Turkeys effective guarantee.

    On the property issue, Mr Ercakica highlighted the importance of using all means, especially compensation, in order to solve the issue and said that the Greek Cypriot publics approach on this issue was unrealistic.

    [04] Avci said no one should worry now that the occupied Voklolida and Karpass area will be given away

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.08.08) reports that Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) and self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime, has pointed out to the importance of the unity between the motherland and the daughter land and noted that they are together with Turkey under any conditions and situation. In a written statement issued yesterday by the ORP, it is noted that during the opening ceremony of his partys youth organization offices at occupied Trikomo village, Mr Avci said that the first step for the opening of a campus of the Istanbul Technical University in occupied Karpass area was made and the investments in occupied Vokolida were increased during the participation of the ORP in the self-styled government. He argued that no one should worry now that these areas will be given away.

    Mr Avci claimed that they said yes to the solution of the Cyprus problem together with all their institutions and alleged that the conditions of the solution are known. Noting that the Cyprus problem is not an easy one, Mr Avci said that they do not want to talk and wait for another 40 years. If no result can be achieved at the negotiations, we shall proceed our way with firm steps. We shall exert efforts for the development and strengthening of the country, he added.

    Referring to the internal political situation in the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr Avci expressed the belief that the Turkish Cypriots will give the chance to the ORP to become a stronger government at the forthcoming elections. Noting that during the past few days various public opinion polls are published in the newspapers, Mr Avci said that the real result will be seen after the elections.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] It is not the last chance, it is a very good first chance

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.08.08), under the above title reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Association, Huseyin Celal has said that the new process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem is a very good first chance. In an interview with the paper, Mr Celal argued that the fact that President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat are the leaders of the communities is a first chance for a solution, because they both believe in peace sincerely.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Gulden Plumer Kucuk said four hundred and twelve missing persons have been identified

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.08.08), under the title 412 missing persons have been identified, reports that Mrs Gulden Plumer Kucuk, Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on the Missing Persons, told the paper that the remains of 412 missing persons have been found during the past two years as a result of the work of the Committee. Mrs Kucuk said that the identity of 76 Greek Cypriot and 29 Turkish Cypriot missing persons was established and the remains of 105 persons were handed over to their relatives. She noted that finding 412 missing persons is a great success.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Eroglu accuses Ertugruloglu of not carrying out an influential opposition

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (11.08.08), under the title The race for the presidency in the UBP has become fierce too early, reports that the former president of the National Unity Party (UBP), Dervis Eroglu has accused the chairman of the party, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, of using the results of the public opinion poll announced the day before yesterday for his own benefit and of not carrying out an influential opposition.

    If we carried out opposition and shared our projects with the people, our people would be directed towards us with a higher percentage, claimed Mr Eroglu in statements yesterday. Mr Eroglu pointed out to the fact that only 24.5 % of the participants in the poll said that the UBPs opposition is influential and alleged that the UBP should progress not with the unsuccessful policy of the Republican Turkish Party, but with its own efficiency, successes and projects.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] The UBP organized a protest march against the recent price hikes

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.08.08) broadcast the following:

    The main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) staged a protest march yesterday in reaction to the recent price hikes.

    In addition to deputies and members from the National Unity Party, representatives of local non-governmental organizations and trade unions took part in the protest.

    The march organized by the UBPs Guzelyurt [Tr. Note: occupied Morfou area] District Office started in front of the Guzelyurt Bus Terminal, ending at the Guzelyurt open bazaar.

    The protestor beat drums and blew whistles in protests of the recent price hikes.

    They also carried placards and banners calling on the government to withdraw the recent price increases or to resign.

    Speaking to the BRT during the march, the UBP leader Tahsin Ertugruloglu said that the wrong policies pursued by the government had made life unendurable and had dragged all sectors of the economy to the verge of bankruptcy.

    Calling on the government to resign so that early elections can be held as soon as possible, Ertugruloglu said that it was high time the country was governed by an experienced, competent and conscious government.

    [09] Independent self-styled MP is joining the ORP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.08.08) reports that Huseyin Avkiran Alanli, independent self-styled MP who was elected as MP with the National Unity Party (UBP) but resigned from it this year, will join the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) tonight with a ceremony which will take place at the occupied Salamis Bay Hotel.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Turkish Cypriot political parties condemn fighting in Georgia

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.08.08) broadcast the following:

    As the world has started sounding its objections to the fighting in Georgia, political parties in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have also voiced their concerns on the issue.

    Political Parties with seats in the Republics Assembly have called on International organizations to take an immediate and active role to stop the calamity that is taking place in Georgia.

    Close to 2000 civilians have been killed within a few days of fighting in Georgia.

    Republican Turkish Partys Organization Secretary Ozkan Yorgancioglu expressed great concern at the fighting that is taking place on energy pipelines.

    He evaluated the situation as very serious and one that affects the whole world, and added that the problem shouldnt be solved by fighting but through compromise.

    Yorgancioglu called on all sides to start dialog to find a solution to their problems.

    Secretary General of the National Unity Party Nazim Cavusolgu for his part said no matter what the problem is, attacks against civilians are unacceptable.

    He called on the United Nations and all international organizations to take immediate action to stop the fighting in south Ossetia.

    The spokesman of the Freedom and Reform Party Rasih Resat evaluated the situation in the area as worrying.

    The fighting continuing between Russia and Georgia is not only causing civilian losses but also ruining the economy and the political balance in the region.

    He too expressed the hope that international organizations will take action immediately to end the fighting in the region.

    The Secretary General of the Socialist Democracy Party Asim Idris for his part said that the fighting in South Ossetia was proof that international organizations was insufficient in preventing such outbreaks of violence.

    Noting that international organizations did nothing more than protest civilian deaths, he expressed the hope that they will start new initiatives that will help the sides come to a compromise.

    We hope that a solution is found to the problem before many more deaths occurred, he added.

    [11] The Turkish Cypriots sent aid to Ossetia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.08.08) reports that the TRNC Red Crescent has decided to send an assistance team to South Ossetia. A 37-member delegation under the Coordinator of the Regional Cooperation Program and the Head of the TRNC Red Crescent, Tarkan Tombak arrived in Ankaras Disaster Operation Centre (AFOM) yesterday in order to join Turkeys Red Crescent Society. The Turkish Cypriot Red Crescent is carrying tents, blankets, food and water to the region of the war. According to the paper, the Turkish Cypriot Red Crescent went to the area within the framework of the Disaster Crisis Desk which was established in line with the Protocol for Regional Cooperation Program signed in 2004.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Abkhazian deputy support the claims that Ankara had sent military aid to Tbilisi

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (11.08.08) reports that the Russian press kept Turkey and the United States responsible for the war in South Ossetia. At the same time, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called both President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia on Friday in order to encourage them to find a peaceful solution to the problem, the daily writes.

    The result was for the Turkish Premier to hold talks with President Saakashvili, but Prime Minister Putin did not respond to his call. Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan made a phone call from Italy where he spends his vacations to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Sergey Lavrov responded to Mr. Babacans phone call two days later, writes Sabah.

    Further, Sabah reports that the Russian Izvestia newspaper claimed that Ankara had sent military aid to Tbilisi and publishes statements of an Abkhazian deputy according to which Georgia relied on the support that received from Turkey.

    (ML)

    [13] Turkey starts to supply electricity to Georgia

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.08.08) reports the following:

    Turkey responded affirmatively to the demand of Georgia to get electricity from Turkey after clashes that erupted in the region after South Ossetia declared independence unilaterally.

    Georgia, which currently has an agreement with Turkey on electricity commerce, asked for additional electricity on Friday morning.

    Turkish party started to supply electricity to Georgia on Friday afternoon.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 09 and 10 August 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 09 and 10August 2008:

    a) South Ossetia:

    Columnist Fikret Bila in Milliyet (10.08.08) assesses the clashes in South Ossetia as a struggle between Russia and the United States to seize control over the Caucasus. Fearing that Turkey might be dragged into this conflict, Bila explains that Georgia is Turkey's gate to Central Asia as well as one of the legs of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) energy corridor. Stressing that Turkey is, on one hand, obliged to maintain its close relations with Georgia as well as its position in the US-Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan alliance, Bila adds that, on the other, it should refrain from being a party to these clashes because of the PKK, the separatist Kurdish movement, and the Cyprus issue. The writer concludes by bemoaning the fact that the regional countries are fighting one another because of ethnic problems instead of uniting around the energy projects that constitute a model for development.

    Assessing the clashes between Georgia and Russia as the rivalry between Russia and the United State over the world energy sources, Ferai Tinc in Hurriyet (10.08.08) says that Russia has never accepted the marketing of the Caspian oil to Europe through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), corridor as it has been opposed to any initiative that might weaken its hold over the energy markets. Stressing that the outcome of the explosion at the Turkish section of the BTC pipeline is significant from this viewpoint, Tinc adds that the crude oil will now be diverted to the pipeline in Russia. She argues that Russia is showing to the oil giants that it has always been the most trustworthy alternative, while at the same time it is measuring the US reaction though its actions against Georgia. The rivalry between Russia and the United States closely concerns Turkey, Tinc notes, adding that the course of the Iranian nuclear crisis, the situation in Iraq, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Lebanese issue, and the alliance between the Kurds and the United States all depend on this rivalry. It is imperative for Turkey to preserve its impartiality in this war at a time when a rooted regional cooperation is being forged with Georgia and Azerbaijan, when there are signs that relations with Armenia are improving, when those with Russia are being maintained at a good level, the writer concludes.

    On the issue, Sabah columnist Muharrem Sarikaya believes that the conflict in the Caucasus can deal a heavy blow on the Blackseafor and the Black Sea Harmony projects initiated by Turkey. In his article publishes in the daily on 10.08.08, Sarikaya argues that the United States stands to benefit the most from such an outcome, adding that it might help advance its Great Black Sea Project. Pointing out the threat this conflict poses to the military cooperation between Turkey and Georgia, Sarikaya explains that Marneuli Air Base in Georgia, which is the only base that Turkey has the right to use outside its borders, is no longer operational. In conclusion, the writer views the solution of the problem in a change of administration in Georgia and the replacement of President Saakashvili with Alasania, the current Georgian ambassador to the United Nations.

    Assessing the role Turkey might play in the Caucasus conflict in his article in Sabah (10.08.08), Erdal Safak calls for the revival of the Caucasus Stability Pact proposal raised by former President Suleyman Demirel during the OSCE summit held in Istanbul in 1999. Maintaining that the current conditions are conducive to the realization of this project, Safak urges Turkey to organize an international conference on the issue and to place this project on the world's agenda.

    Seckin Urey in Sabah (09.08.08) notes that the Russian-Georgian war over South Ossetia is threatening Turkey's trade through the Azerbaijan, Caucasus, and Central Asia highway. According to Turkish-Eurasian Business Council Chairman Tugru Erkin, Georgia is Turkey's gate to Central Asia and is critical in Turkey's transport routes to Azerbaijan. Erkin further draws attention to the $30 billion trade volume between Turkish and Russia, adding that Russia is one of Turkey's major energy suppliers.

    Stressing Georgia's role in Turkey's vital interests in the Caucasus in Cumhuriyet (09.08.08), Mustafa Balbay explains that Georgia, in addition to being at the heart of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, is also Turkey's gate to the Central Asian highway. Drawing attention to the US bases in Georgia and Russia's perspective of the Caucasus, Balbay says that if the South Ossetian crisis turns into a long-drawn war, then all countries will have to reassess their regional calculations.

    b) Iran's Nuclear Program and Ahmadinejad's Forthcoming Visit

    Columnist Kadri Gursel in his article in Milliyet (10.08.08), criticizes Turkey's policy of impartiality on the Iranian nuclear program, arguing that Turkey is a party to the conflict and this policy of "carrying messages" in a bid to "facilitate" a solution is not helping. Gursel continues: "If Iran is not stopped and it acquires nuclear capability, Turkey will have two alternatives. It will either accept becoming an ineffective and marginal country in the region with its tragic consequences, or it will follow on the path of Iran and destroy its relations with the West and its Balkan neighbors. Then Turkey has to forget the EU. There is no middle way." Urging the government to announce to the Turkish public its policy on Iran, Gursel maintains that Turkey is against the impositions of sanctions on Iran. Lambasting Iran's stalling tactics, the writer views Iranian President Ahmadinejad's forthcoming visit to Turkey as an "extremely erroneous move" that will encourage Iran on the path it has chosen and that will eventually contribute to exacerbating the conflict.

    Drawing a parallel between Presidents Bush and Ahmadinejad in their capacities to increase tension in the region, Radikal columnist Ayse Karabat assesses the Iranian president's forthcoming visit to Istanbul, maintaining that for Turkey, Iran has always been a country with which it has to maintain good relations but a neighbor that can not quite be trusted. In his column in the daily on 10.08.08, the writer points out that the visit is important not only from the viewpoint of bilateral relations and Turkey's efforts to mediate on the nuclear issue, but also from the viewpoint of the indirect Israel-Syrian talks. Detailing the consequences of a possible intervention in Iran, Karabat believes that Iran will eventually renounce its nuclear dream after having extorted the maximum possible economic and political advantages in the process.

    Moreover, in his article in Radikal (09.08.08), Murat Yetkin assesses the possibility of Turkey and Iran signing an energy agreement during Iranian President Ahmadinejad's visit to Istanbul and the US opposition to such an agreement. The United States might be forced to withdraw its political support from the Nabucco project if such an agreement is signed, the writer speculates.

    c) Poll results on AKP Closure Case:

    A report by Tahsin Aksu in Milliyet (09.08.08) details the results of a poll conducted by the Metropoll Strategic and Social Research Center. According to the poll 69.7 percent of the participants have received the Constitutional Court decision not to close the Justice and Development Party (AKP), positively and 54.3 believe that the Ergenekon case is political. However, 73.3 percent believe that the AKP should change its policies.

    According to a report by Turan Yilmaz in Hurriyet (09.08.08), the AKP is considering of launching a donation campaign in order to pay the fine of 22.8 million Turkish Lira imposed by the Constitutional Court. In a statement to Hurriyet, AKP deputy leader Bulent Gedikli, who is in charge of the AKP finances, has said that citizens have requested a campaign to be launched so that they can contribute, adding that the issue will be discussed at the party's Central Executive Council meeting.

    EG/


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