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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-02-03
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 22/09 03.02.2009
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 President Gul: The interests, the benefits and prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots means everything to usTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (03.02.09) reports the following from Ankara:
The Turkish President Abdullah Gul has received a delegation of students and teachers of the TRNC Educational Centre for Mathematics.
Gul clarifying that Turkey would always support the TRNC, stated: It will feel secure, it will always progress. On behalf of the teachers, Huseyin Rakibet said: We are a very lucky community. Palestinians and those who live in Gaza do not have a Turkey like the one we have. However, for us there is our Turkey, and thanks to that we now continue living a life of joy and peace.
Gul noting that everyone should feel secure, said: The interests, the benefit and the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots means everything to us. We hope that everyone should understand this for a comprehensive peace on the island. The days of your childhood will not return, the times when your ancestors were living under difficulties will never return back to Cyprus. Everyone should be sure of that.
 Large quantities of natural gas were discovered off shore Israel. Objections from the occupation regimeTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (03.02.09) under the title 26 billion dollars natural gas in Cyprus reports that Israel, Turkey and Cyprus came face to face with an important development in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the paper, twenty days ago the American Noble Energy company which is based in Houston town in the USA, has discovered in the Tamar field of exploration which is located very close to the territorial waters of Cyprus, and North of Haifa Harbor, 88 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves.
The area where the gas reserves were spotted is 90 kilometers north of Haifa port at the point where the territorial waters of Israel and Cyprus meet.
Under the subtitle Partnership between Cyprus and Israel for natural gas reports that the area where the reserves of natural gas have been established is located in a place were the territorial waters of Israel and Cyprus meet, 90km north of the part of Haifa. The Israeli Delek company which has permit to explore for natural gas for Israel and is searching for natural gas jointly with Noble Energy, has at the same time permit for carrying out researches in the border area in Cyprus. The fact that the area where Israel is working is close to the zone known as block 12 where the Greek Cypriot sector is carrying out researches for natural gas, necessitates the signing of an agreement between the two countries on the issue of ownership of the natural gas reserves. For this reason Nicosia and Tel Aviv have to sign an agreement for determining the border of their own Exclusive Economic Zone.
The paper reports that after the discovery of the natural gaz, the Greek Cypriot side started having contacts with Israel in order to sign an agreement regarding the exploration for natural gas.
According to the paper exploration research is not possible to be carried out in areas where there is a political problem and that the occupation regime will not give its permission for petroleum and natural gas researches in the area.
 The Turkish Cypriots to rejoin NON-FIFA. Look to Talats creating the ground for renewed talks with FIFAUnder the title A return signal to NF-Board, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (03.02.09) reports that the Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Football Association (KTFF), Mr Omer Adal, said that they were invited to participate in Viva World Cup that will be held in Italy, in March 2009. Noting that the participation fees are five thousand Euro, Mr Adal also said that important is also the political stance of the participants apart from the financial dimensions and added: For example, the possibility of the participation to the tournament of Kurdistan formed by Kurds in Europe who have political problems with Turkey, should not be underestimated. This is very important from our point of view. We will discuss this invitation at the meeting of the directors on Wednesday.
Mr Adal stated also that the rejection of the FIFA proposal created uneasiness in them and that it is very difficult for a new negotiation process to start. He reminded that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will submit at the routine meeting on the 4th of February with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias his oral proposals on this issue. Mr Adal said: I hope that Talats proposals will prepare a new ground for negotiations.
 21 Turkish Cypriot unions protested against the self-styled prime ministryIllegal Bayrak television (02.02.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
Trade unions have called on the government to withdraw a bill on wages for those to be employed as civil servants as from now on. A total of 21 unions staged an action in front of the Prime Ministry this morning, calling on the government to withdraw the bill. The unions say they will go on an indefinite strike if the government fails to withdraw the bill by the 16th of February.
Their warning was included in a letter presented to Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer by the unions.
In an address at todays action, the Turk-Sen President, Mr Ahmet Bicakli, accused the government of trying to destroy the collective labor agreement by preparing new regulations and laws.
Commenting on the issue, the Minister of Finmance Ahmet Uzun criticized the unions for their reaction to the bill.
Mr Uzun explained that the bill would only affect those to be employed by the government from now on and not those who have already been employed. Stressing that the draft law would not diminish the rights or workers, he said that it might not be possible for the current government to pass the bill into law before Aprils parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Finance and the KAMU-IS trade union have resumed their talks regarding the wages and rights of public workers. Speaking before the start of todays talks, Minister of Finance Ahmet Uzun expressed the hope that a compromise deal would be reached between the government and the union. No agreement was reached between the Ministry and the unions representing teachers and civil servants at talks aimed at fixing new wages for 2009.
 Turkey insists to exercise veto on information sharing between NATO and the EUTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News.com (02.02.09) reported the following from Ankara:
With an extended struggle in Afghanistan and further enlargement disputes, heading into its 60th year, Turkey is posing a problem as to how the organization can coordinate its operations with the European Union. Turkey objects to information sharing between NATO and the EU because EU member Greek Cyprus has no security agreement with NATO.
As NATO prepares to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Turkey is posing a problem as to how the organization can coordinate its operations with the European Union, an aspiring security actor itself. With celebrations planned for Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany, in April to mark the milestone, NATO will also have its hands full dealing with discussions of enlargement, revising the 1999 strategy document, and an extended operation in Afghanistan.
NATO-member Turkey has objected to information sharing between NATO and the EU because EU member Greek Cyprus has no security agreement with NATO.Speaking to Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on the sidelines of the of the 17th International Antalya Conference on Security and Cooperation, Turkey's permanent representative to NATO, Ambassador Tacan Ildem noted that NATO and EU cooperation appeared increasingly necessary as the security alliance heads into its 60th year. The point we strongly emphasize is that while NATO's support of the EU is welcome, it must go together with providing room for the participation of non EU allies in EU decision making mechanisms in security policy, Ildem said.
Turkey has no say in decision-making mechanisms of the European Security and Defense Policy, or (ESDP), due to French and Greek objections. The agreed framework between NATO and the EU stipulates that intelligence information can be provided only to EU countries that have a security agreement with NATO. Greek Cyprus is not such a member.
From the EU's perspective, it is very reluctant to continue arrangements that would have the effect of discrimination against an EU country, a source familiar with the matter told the Daily News. Turkey is extremely reluctant to agree to arrangements that would involve full Cypriot participation in NATO-EU functions. As a consequence, NATO is finding it more and more difficult to share information with the EU, the source said. It makes it difficult to work out detailed tactical arrangements between NATO and the EU. It is a potential burden on operation settings. But commanders on the ground, whether from NATO or the EU do what they can to circumvent these difficulties, the source said, and underlined that there was a frustration against Turkey with regards to the problem.
But Ildem was more optimistic on Turkey's ability to convince its allies that its concerns were legitimate. Our position generally is viewed with sympathy within NATO. When I took office two years ago, other NATO countries wanted to proceed with EU cooperation, but they were also negative towards Turkey's position. In two years I think we gained considerable ground, he said.
On the tactical level there is coordination. But on the strategic level, nothing can be done outside the framework we see. Since it can not be done, countries' expectations increase. Given the obstacles Greek Cyprus brings to Turkey in EU institutions, we say that no flexibility is possible, Ildem said. Pierre Lellouche, chairman of the French delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly argued that Turkey should not shoot itself in the foot and give up its objections to NATO- EU cooperation.
Already Turkey is the largest non EU contributor to the ESDP. I think it is very counter productive from the point of Turkish interests to block NATO-EASP cooperation, Lellouche said.
Responding to Lellouche, retired ambassador and deputy leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, Onur Oymen, recalled that Greek Cyprus was blocking Turkish adhesion to the European Defense Agency, a EU body set up to increase it s military capabilities in the field of crisis management and promote armaments coordination. Nobody should suggest to us not to shoot ourselves in the foot. Turkey has to be realistic, Ildem said.
U.S. Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey said the resolution of the Cyprus problem would solve a great deal of problems NATO faces in working with the EU. I do not, however, pass any judgment on the content of the negotiations, he said.The deadlock comes during the increased necessity of NATO to boost military capabilities, in particular to make important ground in Afghanistan, a matter that has caused a lot of head scratching among NATO officers in the last few years.
Jeffrey said the Military operations in Afghanistan would increase in importance. Of course we need a comprehensive approach on Afghanistan, but the Iraq experience shows us that military security comes first. Before you can do anything, political, economic, diplomatic, you have to secure the population. Second, you have to deter, defeat and deny areas to your foe. No matter what you call this, war, peace operation, for the soldiers on the ground this is a combat operation. We need to do more. We have already decided to send another combat brigade to Afghanistan to increase the force population ratio, he said.Turkey has a large contribution to Afghanistan despite its commitment of troops to the situation in the southeast, which of course, we support strongly as a fight against terrorism. Turkey's participation inspires other nations, too, Jeffrey underlined.
 The UN Secretary-General called Erdogan on the phone and told him the region needs his leadership and mediation, according to Turkish sourcesAnkara Anatolia news agency (02.02.09) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone conversation with the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on Monday. Ban telephoned Erdogan in the evening, sources told the AA.
Ban told Erdogan that he was saddened by what took place at a panel discussion in Davos last Thursday. You were not allowed to express yourself due to unjust and unfair conduct of the moderator in Davos. As you know, the Middle East is going through a tough period. This region needs your leadership and mediation, Ban stressed.
Erdogan informed Ban that he is ready to do whatever is needed for peace in the region.Ban told Erdogan that he has full confidence in Erdogan's leadership. Let us keep in touch. The Middle East needs this, Ban said.
Prime Minister Erdogan on Thursday walked off the stage at a panel discussion on Gaza at the World Economic Forum in Davos after the moderator interrupted his speech in response to Israeli President Shimon Peres' criticisms and said that he will not attend the Davos meetings in the future. Erdogan's reaction found support throughout the world, especially in Islamic countries.
 Turkish Government Spokesman: We pay importance to relations with Israel and want to preserve such relations"Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.02.09) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish Government Spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said Monday we pay importance to relations with Israel and want to preserve such relations.Speaking to reporters following Monday's meeting of the Council of Ministers in Ankara, Cicek said that Turkey did not target Israel or the people of Israel. Our reaction on Gaza, since the first day, was based on civilian lives lost and the human tragedy experienced there. We believe that not taking into consideration the democratic preference of the Palestinian people and alienating Hamas would not be a correct way of behavior, Cicek said. Hamas must be a part of the solution of the Palestinian problem, Cicek also said.
 US President Obama expresses his support to the OICTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (03.02.09) reports the following:
US President Barack Obama has said he is confident the United States can work together with the world's largest Muslim group, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
In a letter to OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Obama said he would work to improve relations with the group, the Jeddah-based organization said Sunday on its Web site.
Obama also thanked the OIC, which represents 1.5 billion Muslims in 57 countries, for its congratulations on the occasion of his inauguration on Jan. 20, the organization noted. He [Obama] expressed his staunch confidence in the ability of the US and the OIC to work together in a spirit of peace and friendship for the sake of building a more secure world over the next four years. He also expressed his willingness to work with the secretary-general in order to enhance these efforts and reinforce the good relations binding the US and the OIC, the organization said.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 02 February 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 02 February 2009:
a) Davos Walkout/Turkish-Israeli Relations
Assessing Prime Minister Erdogans walkout in Davos in an article in Milliyet, Semih Idiz says that it is very hard to believe the "technical reasons" shown by the United States for the cancellation of the visit US President Obama's special Middle East envoy George Mitchell was supposed to make to Turkey. The writer continues: "If Turkey has really begun to be one of the key countries in the region, Mitchell should definitely have come to Turkey to listen to the views expressed here. Whereas, two countries, Syria and Turkey, have been by-passed during Mitchell's tour. No one can claim that this is meaningless." At this stage it would be beneficial to view the position Erdogan's HAMAS advocacy has placed Turkey, writes Idiz, arguing that "in this crisis, Erdogan has granted HAMAS, which has sustained considerable damage, the opportunity to declare that it is victorious." Pointing out that Turkey's support goes far beyond that of Iran and Syria, Idiz maintains that the support of a NATO member country is a "great strategic victory" for HAMAS. Now Erdogan's special foreign policy team has the responsibility to convince HAMAS to renounce terror and to recognize Israel, Idiz argues, declaring that only then will the international community lift the policy of isolation it has imposed on HAMAS. Arguing that "Erdogan and his team's chance of making the world accept the unilateral conditions of HAMAS, who rejects the abovementioned conditions, is nil," Idiz concludes: "A HAMAS that maintains its 'terrorist' identity in the eyes of Turkey's allies and those of the key countries in the region will constitute a great headache for Turkey."
In an article in the same daily, Cengiz Candar argues that Erdogan and Turkey have emerged stronger from Davos, adding that "Israel has not grown stronger but rather lost power with the last Gaza offensive." Praising Erdogan for exposing Israel's loss of immunity in Davos, Candar mentions the tendencies of Blair and Sarkozy to include HAMAS in a Middle East dialogue, adding that Erdogan's attitude is not counter to or in contradiction with the changing dynamics of the world.
It was right of Erdogan to walk out of the Davos panel, claims Vatan columnist Aydin Ayaydin in an article, adding that, however, his style was wrong. Expressing his admiration for the prime minister's direct approach, Ayaydin believes that eventually both those in Turkey and abroad will get used to Erdogan's approach as well as his style. The writer continues: "The prime minister did what had to be done and received positive points from the public. However, Turkey and Israel have to take mutual positive steps in a bid to prevent this incident from causing further damage in our international relations and in our relations with Israel. If we suspend our relations with Israel in a bid to receive the applause of the Arab countries, we should bear in mind that those Arab countries will be the first to sacrifice us. We should also bear in mind that while Erdogan walked out of the Davos panel because of the Palestinian people, Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa, who was one of the speakers, remained at the panel. We should take care not to disrupt our relations with Israel with which we cooperate in many fields and with which we have a foreign trade volume of $3.3 billion."
Referring to Mrs. Erdogan's remarks that Peres is a liar in an article in Vatan, Mehmet Tezkan stresses that this incident was the real scandal of Davos. Asking how Turkey would have received if Mrs. Obama or Mrs. Sarkozy had called Erdogan a liar and whether a diplomatic crisis would not have occurred, the writer argues that "'spouses do not determine the foreign policies of countries, the stand to be adopted vis-à-vis other countries, and which country's president is to be declared a liar."
Erdogan's Davos performance was directed toward the local electorate, claims Vatan columnist Can Atakli in his article, adding that the votes that the Justice and Development Party, AKP, was losing have returned to the party as a result of the prime minister's harsh stand. Assessing Erdogan's behavior, Atakli writes: "Viewed with goodwill, one can say that 'Turkey can become the leader of Muslim countries with this behavior.' The public opinion in Middle East countries might have an extreme sympathy for Erdogan. However, it is impossible for the administrations of these countries, whose interests lie with the United States and Israel, to have a warm view toward this behavior. In other words, Erdogan's plan to implement the Greater Middle East Project as a leader is not realistic in the least." Viewing Mrs. Erdogan's accusations that Peres is a liar, Atakli argues that nowhere in the world can the spouse of a leader make such a harsh assessment that can cause a diplomatic problem and calls on the prime minister to issue the necessary warnings to his wife.
Altan Oymen who questions why Erdogan is on one hand insisting that everyone establish a dialogue with HAMAS and , on the other, refusing to establish a dialogue with the Democratic Society Party, DTP, which is represented in parliament and which is not part of any terrorist list, Barlas calls on the prime minister to explain this contradiction.
In an article in Cumhuriyet, Mustafa Balbay makes the following assessment: "In Davos, Erdogan has won, Turkey has lost!" Describing the Turkish Foreign Ministry as "tattered," Balbay continues: "The Middle East policy is being pursued through Prime Minister Erdogan's special envoy Ahmet Davutoglu. Davutoglu is going on a regional tour on behalf of the prime minister, conducting private meetings, conveying messages back and forth. All outside the Foreign Ministry. Our EU policy is being conducted by Egemen Bagis, the new state minister who is part of the prime minister's inner cabinet. Bagis is making contacts in Europe, holding meetings with the opposition parties in parliament. All outside the Foreign Ministry. "Noting that relations with the United States are being conducted by the president and "the Cyprus issue is being handled by the Gul-Talat-Erdogan triangle," Balbay bemoans that Africa, Latin America, and the Somali pirates are the only issues left to the Foreign Ministry. Referring to Erdogan's explanation of his Davos behavior that he targeted the moderator and not Peres, Balbay believes Erdogan must have been reminded that, no matter what, relations with Israel should continue. In conclusion, Balbay says that it is the Foreign Ministry that has to repair what has been broken in the process.
In an article entitled "Erdogan and the AKP: Are they consistent?", Milli Gazete columnist Afet Ilgaz asserts that although Prime Minister Erdogan was right in "defying the boss of global capital" as he did at Davos, he and his administration lack consistency inasmuch as his behavior at Davos is belied by AKP policies that have resulted in an increase in Christian missionary activities in Turkey, turned this country into a "happy hunting ground for CIA and Mosad agents," resulted in privatizations that have caused Turkey to lose ownership of critical assets, and entailed an approach on the Cyprus issue that is in line with international efforts to remove Rauf Denktas out of the picture.
In an article entitled "End of the masquerade and the beginning of the Ottoman Mission?", Yeni Safak columnist Yusuf Kaplan lauds Prime Minister Erdogan's reaction to Israeli President Shimon Peres at the panel meeting on Gaza in Davos as an "Ottoman slap" in the face and expresses the hope that Erdogan's Davos walkout signifies the end of the "masquerade" that has been continuing ever since Turkey signed the Lausanne Treaty in 1923 and a return to its "Ottoman spirit and mission."
In an article entitled "Are the thrones of Middle East dictators in danger really?", Vakit columnist Muzaffer Caglar takes issue with some commentators over their argument that Erdogan's walkout at Davos will pave the way for great changes in the Middle East by causing Middle East peoples to compare Erdogan with their own "fainthearted" leaders and voice demands for democracy. Caglar argues that Mideast peoples' "sympathy" for Erdogan does not stem for a desire for democracy but a consciousness of "Islamic brotherhood." He also claims that people in the Middle East are quite aware of "what democracy means," having seen "how the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria was ejected from power after being elected with more than 80 percent support, how Hamas was overthrown in Palestine after being voted into office with over 70 percent support, how the Welfare Party was ousted and closed down in Turkey, how the ruling AKP marginally avoided being overthrown and shut down, and how the United States raped thousands of women and girls in Iraq to bring democracy to this country."
In an article entitled "The Davos incident from Washington's perspective", Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan asserts that US government officials believe that Erdogan's remarks and behavior at Davos are perceived as anti-Semitic in the West and will damage Turkish foreign policy interests in the long term, adding that US officials suspect on the basis of the "organized" quality of the support rally for Erdogan held at the airport on his return from Davos that his walkout was pre-planned. Aslan claims that according to Washington circles, Erdogan's behavior has significantly reduced Turkey's chances of brokering peace agreements in the Middle East. He also asserts that in the wake of the Davos incident, the Jewish community is likely to refrain from supporting Turkey against Armenian efforts to have the US Congress pass a resolution recognizing the events of 1915 as genocide.
In an article entitled "A beautiful act", Milli Gazete columnist Ekrem Kiziltas calls on Prime Minister Erdogan to follow up on his "beautiful act" at Davos and show the same "resolve" against Israeli policies on the Palestinian issue by recalling the Turkish ambassador to Israel, suspending or cancelling all agreements with Israel, etc.
b) Erdogan's Derisive Insinuations Regarding Diplomats
Referring to the derisive insinuations Prime Minister Erdogan has made regarding diplomats while explaining his outburst in Davos in his article in Hurriyet, Mehmet Yilmaz argues that nowhere in the world would a prime minister be condescending and derisive about of group of civil servants within his administration. Reminding the prime minister that the diplomats he does not approve of are the best trained group of the Turkish bureaucracy who implement policies determined by the government, Yilmaz adds: "One cannot say that they are unsuccessful in implementing their duties. If, however, there are foreign problems Turkey has been unable to solve, the reason and the responsibility do not lie with the diplomats but with the governments that are incapable of exhibiting the political will to solve those problems." The fact that the prime minister has been unable to seize the Foreign Ministry as it has the other ministries is the reason for the anger felt by Erdogan toward the officials of this ministry, Yilmaz maintains, adding that it would be difficult to find imam-hatip graduates or wives with headscarves in this ministry and that this is the reason why Erdogan has established a "second Foreign Ministry" that is directly linked to the Prime Ministry.
Referring to the prime minister's condescending approach toward career diplomats in the first section of her article in Vatan, Ruhat Mengi reminds Erdogan and the columnists who have followed suit that the rules of diplomacy are important in international corridors and that abiding or not abiding by them gives the world an idea on the culture, the politicians, and the people of that country. A behavior that might be applauded in Turkey, Iran, and Palestine is interpreted very differently in the Western world to which we so desperately want to belong, argues Mengi, adding that the government should declare that it has renounced its EU accession goal if it says that the views of the West does not concern it. Quoting Western press reports to the effect that Turkey is moving away from the West and endangering its relations with the EU, Mengi argues that the views of our diplomats should be heeded since they coincide with the criticism on Turkey expressed in the Western world. Had the views of those diplomats been consulted prior to Davos, the current negative picture would have been prevented and Emine Erdogan would have realized that crying at international forums is seen as a sign of weakness in the West, explains the writer. In conclusion, Mengi advises politicians to cast aside their scornful approach since the future of the country is at stake.
According to a report in Vatan, the Turkish Exporters Council has announced that exports have registered a decrease of 28.2 percent in January. The report adds that the export figure for January 2009 was $7.5 billion.
Viewing the impact of the world economic crisis on Turkey in an article in Milliyet, Yaman Toruner maintains that the 14 percent decrease in industrial production in 2008 indicates that the global crisis will affect Turkey as much as it does the United States and Europe if not more. Arguing that claims made by some that they will "turn the crisis into an opportunity" are nothing but empty words, Toruner draws attention to the fact that unemployment in Turkey has increased from 9.3 percent to 10.9 in the same period while the unemployment figures in Europe have increased from 7.2 percent to 7.8. These figures show that our economy is being managed badly, writes Toruner, questioning whether the public will continue to support the government in the upcoming local elections despite the increase in unemployment. Predicting a 17 percent decrease in foreign trade in 2009 and a consequent shrinkage of $80 billion, Toruner argues that only these figures are sufficient to disprove the claim that Turkey will be benefiting from this crisis.