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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-30

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. 207/08 30.10.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talats speech on the celebrations for the 29th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey
  • [02] The first five-star casino was opened in the occupied part of Nicosia
  • [03] Talat will attend a dinner with nine heads state
  • [04] Ercakica repeated the allegations on leaking information about the talks in the Greek Cypriot Media
  • [05] Nami Iakovou meeting
  • [06] Members from Skal Clubs of the occupied areas participated in the 29th Skal World Congress which took place in Taiwan
  • [07] Conservative friends of Turkey in action
  • [08] How the Turkish press covers the expected announcement of the EU Progress Report for Turkey
  • [09] Foreign policy architect warns US on Armenia move
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Davutoglu cites Armenia and Cyprus as the two missing dimensions in Turkeys zero-problem foreign policy

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talats speech on the celebrations for the 29th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.10.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat stated yesterday that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side managed to take the initiative for the solution of the Cyprus problem in their hands with their active policies. Speaking yesterday during the ceremony which took place in occupied Lefkosia for the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the Turkish Cypriot leader said that if the Turkish Cypriot side and he himself as the president had not demonstrated persistence and real efforts, then neither the Papadopoulos government would have changed neither the negotiation process would have started. Talat stressed the support of Turkey to the efforts for peace in the island and said that Turkey, since its establishment until today is always and it always will be on the side of the Turkish Cypriots. He underlined once more his allegation that a strong Turkey in the world is a guarantee not only for the peaceful future of the Turkish Cypriots but also for the future of the Greek Cypriots.

    Talat highlighted also the importance of the Turkish Republic Day and expressed commitment to Ataturks principles by adding that national unity and solidarity shared among the Turkish nation under the leadership of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had been a guide for Turkish Cypriots in exalting the TRNC.

    Regarding the negotiation process, Mr. Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot side has insisted and tried very hard for the start of the ongoing face to face negotiations today, although it has taken some serious risks at some levels. He then added that the positive thing is that they succeeded in the bringing the Greek Cypriot side to the negotiation table.

    He then pointed out that it is with the support and help of Turkey that the Turkish Cypriot side achieved to participate in different international activities. Talat referred to his recent address before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot side had the chance to explain to the international community the desire of the Turkish Cypriots for finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem and the real role of the Republic of Turkey towards Cyprus. Talat continued his speech by wondering why the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, as he called President Christofias, is presenting Turkey as the responsible for the Cyprus problem in every opportunity he finds and why he is still avoiding to meet face to face with the history.

    At the end of his speech, the Turkish Cypriot leader pointed out once more that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots will continue working together as they did in the past and stressed that they will continue with the same decisiveness to cooperate and work together even after reaching a just and lasting solution.

    Meanwhile, the paper reports in its front page that Turkey and the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have celebrated yesterday with various ceremonies the 85th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. The celebrations were held in occupied Lefkosia and other towns. At first, the Turkish Ambassador to occupied Lefkosia, Mr. Turkekul Kurttekin and the Commander of the Turkish occupation Forces Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu received well-wishers.The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the speaker of the assembly, Mrs. Fatma Ekenoglu, the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the self-styled Foreign Minister Turgay Avci and the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, some ministers, civil society representatives and political party representatives were among the high ranking guests present at the parade.

    (A.K.)

    [02] The first five-star casino was opened in the occupied part of Nicosia

    Under the title And another casino, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.10.08) reports that Merit Lefkosia, the first five-star casino in the occupied part of Nicosia, opened last night with a reception given by the so-called ambassador of Turkey, Turkekul Kurttekin on the occasion of 29 October, Turkeys national day. The paper reports that the casino, which is located in a hotel with the same name, started operating before the hotel was opened.

    Under the title Casino director to the shy government: Stop being ashamed and He said that the TRNC overcomes the international embargoes with the poker tournaments, the paper refers to the casinos in the occupied areas on its front page and publishes statements by Aydogan Turay, director of Grand Casino Club, which is one of the companies of Net Holding (See Turkish Mass Media Bulletin 28-29/10/2008).

    [03] Talat will attend a dinner with nine heads of state

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.10.08) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat will be leaving for Istanbul tomorrow, to attend a dinner to be given in honour of some state heads attending the first World Economic Forum on `Europe and Central Asia`.

    The Forum, which kicks off tomorrow and is the first of its kind, will bring together international and regional business leaders, heads of state and government, as well as media, cultural and religious leaders from across Europe, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

    The Forum, which is the first regional one to be held following the global financial crisis, is aimed at exploring the common challenges faced by the regions, the primary focus being on the financial crisis, and mapping the path towards a common collaborative future.

    President Talat will be among the guests of a dinner to be given by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in honor of the nine State and Government heads, and 21 Ministers participating in the Forum.

    The World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia will end on the 1st November.

    [04] Ercakica repeated the allegations on leeking information about the talks in the Greek Cypriot Media

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.10.08) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Cypriot side is still disturbed by the leaking of private negotiations content into the Greek Cypriot press and says this has no benefit at all to the negotiations process.

    'If it is not possible to stop this, then the two leaders should adopt their own methods to explain their stances' the presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has said.

    Making his recent statements on a phone call during a programme on BRTs first channel today, Mr Ercakica stressed that some distortion and missing information have been observed in the Greek Cypriot media releases, adding that who ever is allowing the leaking of information into the press is doing this on his own purpose.

    'We cannot sit and watch this happening. Because, if we do so, our arguments will not reach to the public', Ercakica said.

    He also reminded that Talat and Christofias have earlier agreed on keeping private discussions made during the negotiations as confidential.

    Responding to some claims in the Greek Cypriot side that information was leaked into the media by the United Nations, Ercakica strongly reacted against these claims by stressing that this is not the case.

    [05] Nami Iakovou meeting

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.10.08) broadcast the following:

    Two special aides of the two leaders in Cyprus are to hold their next meeting tomorrow, in preparation of the next Talat-Christofias meeting on the 3rd of November.

    President Mehmet Ali Talats Special Advisor for Negotiations Ozdil Nami and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias aide George Iakovou will come together to continue their discussions on the issue of executive body under the title of federal governance.

    Talat and Christofias continued their negotiations on the major title Federal Governance during their last meeting on the 22nd October where they also started taking up the issue of federal legislative body.

    Nami and Iakovou will maintain discussions on these issues tomorrow afternoon, as agreed during last times Talat-Christofias meeting. The two aides will take up authorities to be given to the federal government and the issue of chairmanship within the federal legislative body.

    [06] Members from Skal Clubs of the occupied areas participated in the 29th Skal World Congress which took place in Taiwan

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.10.08) reports that members from the Keryneia Skal Club, the Lefkosia Skal Club and the Famagusta Skal Club participated in the 29th Skal World Congress which was held the previous days in Taiwan.

    (A.K.)

    [07] Conservative friends of Turkey in action

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (30.10.08) reports the following:

    The Conservative Friends of Turkey (CFT), a parliamentary association aiming to promote links between Turkey and the Conservative Party in Britain, officially launched its activities with a reception held in London on Tuesday evening.

    In a speech delivered at the reception, William Hague, the shadow foreign minister of the Conservative Party, voiced strong support for Turkey's bid to become a full member of the European Union. Warning that rejecting Turkey's membership would be a major loss for the EU, Hague said this would also lead to problems between the EU and the Muslim world since it would be interpreted as a sign that the EU is a Christian club. Turkey's Ambassador to Britain Yigit Alpogan and Turkey's Consul General in London Bahad1r Kaleli as well as a number of members of the House of Lords attended the reception.

    Ertan Hurer, a Conservative Party member of the Enfield Council, speaking at the reception, highlighted that the emphasis on friendship with Turkey in the group's title was not meant to imply enmity toward Greeks, Kurds or Armenians.

    On the contrary, the group will work for friendly relations with all of these groups on a healthy ground, Hurer added. Working with a plethora of individuals, political organizations, academia and business associations, the CFT says that it aims to cement already strong ties between Turkey and the UK in the economic, cultural and political arenas through various activities including parliamentary delegations, seminars and conferences, whilst also encouraging debate on Turkey's significance as a strong ally of the UK.

    [08] How the Turkish press covers the expected announcement of the EU Progress Report for Turkey

    Turkish newspapers (30.10.08) extend wide coverage to the EU Commission Progress Report for Turkey both with reportages on its content and with commentaries.

    In its front page leader Milliyet covers the issue of the expected Progress Report under the title According to the EU the reformist is Gul and repeats yesterdays comments in the Turkish press that the Erdogan government got no passing grade from what became known from the draft of the report.

    Milliyet also publishes a report by its correspondent in Brussels, Mr. Guven Ozalp, under the title Reform praise to Gul from the EU where he writes, inter alia, that the EU Commission Progress Report about to be announced on November 5 criticizes the government for its performance in many fields but it underlines that Mr. Gul is seen as the reformist profile it wants to see.

    In a commentary in the same paper Semih Idiz under the title Gul, the hope of the EU, it is noted that in the Progress Report the Erdogan government gets no passing grade on the EU issue, but noticeable is the praise for Mr. Gul.

    On the issue of speeding up the reforms, Semih Idiz writes the following in the commentary:

    One of the ambassadors we talked with after the French ambassadors dinner told us the following on this issue:

    In the words of Babacan, the speed of the reforms is not dependent on the demand of the EU, we understand that they are determined according to a perspective for Turkey. And this confirms a thing we always repeat. The side which will determine the speed in the EU negotiations is Turkey.

    In other columns on the Progress Report, Milliyet refers to its content on corruption and political issues noting that while the EUs highest expectation was for the Turkish government to reform the constitution, all it did was to change two of the articles of the 1982 constitution regarding the lifting of the prohibition on the turban for female university students.

    Under the title ECHR is the next stage in Ergenekon, Hurriyet publishes an article by Yalcin Dogan on the expected announcement of the EU Commission Progress Report for Turkey in relation to the Ergenekon case.

    Mr. Yalcin Dogan stresses the importance of the case for the Erdogan government and analyses why it is not covered in a comprehensive manner in the Report and under the subtitle Toned down he goes on:

    Not complete because in any case, EU Commissioner Responsible for the Enlargement Olli Rehn is an old close friend of the Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

    While performing his duty Olli Rehn is under influence of his capacity of being blood brother. Babacan softens Rehn, Rehn tones down the report.

    In any of the EU countries, if people have been kept in custody for months without accusation, would not the governments be overthrown in the name of the democratic regime in that country?

    Would not first the Justice Minister and then the persons held responsible have resigned from their duties? What kind of a report does Mr. Olli writes then?

    Because we have already forgotten all these long ago and because the values and the opinions are not affecting us, we are used to it.

    Yet, under the pure law there are human rights violations.

    From this point of view this Progress Report may serve this case.

    (KV/ML)

    [09] Foreign policy architect warns US on Armenia move

    Under the above title Todays Zaman (30.10.08) publishes the following report:

    The chief foreign policy advisor of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the future US administration against endorsing Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, saying this could hurt a recent thawing of Turkish-Armenian relations and torpedo relations with the United States.

    Ahmet Davutoglu, seen as the major architect of the foreign policies of Erdogan's government, said in Washington that the US should avoid "offending" Turkey to ensure that the reconciliation process with Armenia will continue. "A step in the wrong direction will pose a risk not only to the Turkish-American strategic cooperation but also to Turkey's efforts to reach out to Armenia," Davutoglu told reporters late on Tuesday after a series of talks with US officials.

    The Democratic candidate for US president, Senator Barack Obama, has made firm pledges to the Armenian-American voters that he will recognize the allegations of genocide and support a congressional resolution endorsing the claims. One of the biggest Armenian groups in the United States, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), announced last week that it formally endorsed Obama for US president because of his commitment to Armenians.

    Turkey has repeatedly warned in the past that US recognition of the genocide claims could have an irreversible impact on Turkish-US ties, newly recovering from a crisis over Iraq. Most Turks favor Obama over his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, who has been far less receptive to Armenian demands during his election campaign so far, but there are concerns over the prospects that the Democratic candidate might keep his promise to the Armenian voters if elected.

    Davutoglu said the issue has the potential to generate a crisis in US ties no matter who turns out to be the winner of US elections on Nov. 4. "If the goal is improvement in Turkish-Armenian relations, everyone should avoid steps that would offend Turkey," said Davutoglu in response to a question on concerns over Obama's pledges to Armenians. "We have been sharing these thoughts with officials in the United States. I am not saying, 'We said this to Obama.' It is important that the new administration know about this."

    President Abdullah Gul broke a taboo when he visited Armenia in September to watch a soccer game between national teams of the two countries. Talks between officials of the two countries, which have no formal ties since 1993, are under way on normalization of relations. Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said this week that the two countries could announce "extraordinary decisions" at any time, emphasizing that there was no real barrier to efforts to normalize ties.

    Davutoglu echoed Nalbandian's remarks in a speech at a conference earlier that day. "We want to have the best relations with Armenia. We don't see Armenia as a threat or enemy," said Davutoglu. Davutoglu, praised at the conference by former US Ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris as "Turkey's Henry Kissinger," has advocated active and self-confident diplomacy to boost Turkey's influence in the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) first came to power in 2002. He is behind widely acknowledged steps such as the Turkish-mediated talks between Syria and Israel as well as a controversial invitation extended to a Hamas leader in exile to visit Turkey, a move bitterly criticized by the United States and Israel.

    Despite concerns over the Armenian issue and challenges stemming from an international row over Iran's nuclear program, Davutoglu predicted a "success story" in Turkish-US ties in the coming term no matter who is elected to the White House. "The new president will be the best friend of Turkey. The accomplishments Turkey has achieved in foreign policy will be an asset for the United States too," he added.

    In Washington Davutoglu had talks with aides of both Obama and McCain. He also met President George W. Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Daniel Fried, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew J. Bryza, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman and Jim Jeffrey, who has been recently appointed the new US ambassador to Turkey.

    Moreover, Hurriyet newspaper (30.10.08) reports on the meeting held yesterday in Washington D.C. between Ahmet Davutoglu, chief foreign policy advisor of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with the aides responsible for foreign affairs of both US presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain.

    Speaking to the press representatives on his contacts in the US capital and referring to the latest promises given by the Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party Barack Obama to the Armenian diaspora, Mr. Davutoglu has warned the United States not to take any step that will offend Turkey and risk the strategic partnership existing between the two countries.

    Mr. Davutoglu, stressing that Obamas promises may lead to a crisis, pointed out that the US should avoid actions that might risk its strategic partnership with its allies of the weight of Turkey, noting that everyone should avoid taking steps that are offending Turkey if the wish is for a development in the Turkish Armenian relations to be achieved.

    Ahmet Davutoglu also said that it is possible that the Turkish Premier, who is going to visit the United States in order to attend to the G-20 Summit, if the conditions are appropriate, will hold a meeting with the US President George W. Bush.

    On its part Milliyet newspaper (30.10.08) carries a report by Abu Ozgurt from Washington on the contacts of Prime Minister Erdogans chief adviser, Mr. Ahmet Davutiglu in the US Capital. Under the subtitle Kissinger resembance the paper writes the following:

    Former US ambassador to Turkey, Mark Parris, during a panel discussion organized at Brookings Institute likened Ahmet Davutoglu to Henry Kissinger, one of the most important names who directed the US foreign policy. In the decade of the 70s Kissinger was Richard Nixons chief adviser on National Security and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the General Ford administration.

    (ML/KV)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Davutoglu cites Armenia and Cyprus as the two missing dimensions in Turkeys zero-problem foreing policy

    Under the title: A new era in US-Turkish relations? Todays Zaman (30.10.08) publishes the following report:

    Less than one week ahead of the US presidential election, Turkish-US relations and Turkey's role in its neighboring regions were the subject of a one-day conference organized by the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

    The keynote address was delivered by Ahmet Davutoglu, the chief foreign policy advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Other speakers included Cengiz Candar, Ian Lesser, Suat K1n1kl1oglu, Kemal Kirisci, Steven Cook, Taha Ozhan, Mustafa Akyol, Omer Tasp1nar and Bulent Ali Riza. The day-long panel discussion was attended by over 150 academics, journalists, people from Washington policy circles and government agencies and others.

    In his opening remarks, Mark Parris, the former US ambassador to Turkey and one of the finest observers of US-Turkish relations, highlighted Turkey's growing role in its region and its strategic significance for the US. Parris made a comparison between Davutoglu and Henry Kissinger, saying that both came from an academic background and had a deep impact on the foreign policy structure of their countries. Given Kissinger's reputation, I am not sure if Davutoglu was happy with the comparison, but it certainly underlines the new outlook of Turkey's foreign policy.

    This is what Davutoglu talked about in his keynote address: Starting with Turkey's election to the UN Security Council, Davutoglu defined Turkey as a regional player with a global reach. He called for a re-making of the global power structure whereby a new system of economic, political and cultural representation and distribution would be put in place to uphold the principles of justice and peace. Davutoglu also introduced a new concept and said Turkey is now moving from a zero-problem policy with its neighbors to a stage of "maximum cooperation." In this regard, he mentioned Turkey's continued efforts to normalize relations with Armenia which, together with the Greek Cypriots, is one of the two missing dimensions of the zero-problem policy. If things move ahead as planned, we can expect the opening of the borders between Turkey and Armenia.

    One of the recurring themes of the SETA-Brookings conference was Turkey's rising soft power. Davutoglu mentioned that Turkey is no longer seen as merely a military power but is increasingly becoming a point of reference and actor for negotiations, multilateral diplomacy and economic, social and cultural investments in the region. Turkey's new role in the UN Security Council, its current engagements in the Middle East and the opening of 10 new embassies in Africa will widen the country's sphere of activities and influence.

    When asked about the discrepancy between the role Turkey plays abroad and the deep political polarization within the country, Davutoglu said Turkey needs to work harder to address key political issues, including the Kurdish problem, the closure of political parties and constitutional reforms, all of which affect foreign policy in one way or another.

    This issue was raised by other panelists, including Cengiz Candar, Kemal Kirisci and Omer Tasp1nar, and points to a major contradiction in Turkey today. Turkey's quantum leap in foreign policy issues is yet to be repeated in domestic politics. But as Taha Ozhan of SETA stated, the back-and-forth interaction of Turkey's domestic and foreign policy agendas does provide a context for relative improvement on, for instance, the Kurdish issue. While the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government needs to do much more to find a lasting solution to the problem, improving relations with Arbil is a step in the right direction. The policy of isolation against Iraqi Kurds has not worked and goes against the principles of Turkish foreign policy as outlined by Davutoglu and others.

    Parris asked what would happen if the Armenian genocide resolution was brought up again next April with US presidential candidate Barack Obama in office. Suat K1n1kl1oglu, a long-term observer of Washington politics and an AKP deputy from Cank1r1, summed up what I think is the sentiment of many in Turkey: Forget about partnership. No one thinks the Obama team, if elected, will commit such a fatal mistake in its first few months in office. Obama will follow a middle-of-the-road policy and Joe Biden will come back to his sense of realpolitik. Of course, such a move will completely derail attempts by Ankara and Yerevan to normalize and improve relations. Turkey cannot follow a policy of appeasement toward the Armenian diaspora, and it is time that Yerevan stops doing so.

    Obama will likely be the winner of the US election next Tuesday, and his team has already made some gestures to show that they see US-Turkish relations as a top priority. If Obama is to follow sensible policies in the Middle East and toward the larger Muslim world, his best ally will no doubt be Turkey.

    /ES


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