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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-27

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. 138/09 25-27.07.09

CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talats interview with Yeni Safak paper
  • [02] Statements by Talat in Istanbul
  • [03] Soyer: The state and government officials who at the inauguration of Ataturks monument were indexed to the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, with this attitude of theirs, have opened the way for the Turkish Cypriots to be kept out of the EU
  • [04] Ercakica evaluated latest developments on the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot delegation is visiting Russia and Abkhazia
  • [06] The Jewish people living in the occupied areas of Cyprus have achieved to establish a Jewish community
  • [07] Eroglu argues that the important thing for the Turkish Cypriots in the Cyprus talks is to defend their state
  • [08] A Turkish Cypriot was bitten up in occupied Famagusta because he was holding the flag of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot tourist guides participated in a training course organized by the WFTGA
  • [10] BKP General Secretary on the ongoing negotiation process
  • [11] The flag of the occupation regime was accepted at the US Islamic Centre in Washington
  • [12] Davutoglus historic visit to Sanjak
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] Desertec more important than Nabucco
  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 24, 25 and 26 July 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talats interview with Yeni Safak paper

    Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (online, 25.07.09) published the following interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat by Murat Aksoy:

    Question: Can you comment on the present phase of the talks?

    Answer: The talks are progressing at a fast pace. I believe that we will be through the first phase next week. They are held in a positive atmosphere.

    Question: Does a positive atmosphere exist on the Greek Cypriot side?

    Answer: As a matter of fact, I do not believe that a negative atmosphere exists on the Greek Cypriot side. The Greek Cypriot people call for the solution of the problem. However, the problem is the stand of the Greek Cypriot opposition groups and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias' partners. Christofias wants a solution to be found, but the Greek Cypriot politicians try to isolate him. They put pressure on him. That is the problem. In fact, the slogan "treacherous Christofias" was chanted for the first time in a demonstration that took place last week.

    Question: What is the calendar you have in mind?

    Answer: We will recess until September if we are able to end the first phase of the talks next week. We will then move on to the second phase. Our objective is to round up the talks either at the end of November or early December and then hold a referendum. I believe we can achieve that because we do not have another chance.

    Question: Your term will end in April 2010. Will you run as a candidate for another term?

    Answer: My objective is to hold a referendum to achieve a positive result for the two sides early in 2010. Elections will then be held in accordance with the new constitution. Predicting the kind of constitution we will have is difficult. In other words, I attach more importance to solving the Cyprus problem than to running as a candidate in the presidential elections in 2010. I want to solve the Cyprus problem before my term ends.

    Question: Can you comment on the sharing of land and property in Cyprus? Those are some of the difficult problems.

    Answer: They are difficult problems. We will discuss them in the second phase of the talks. To say it clearly, they require the drawing up of a new map. However, we want to find a solution. In view of that, I believe we will be able to solve those problems without difficulty.

    Question: Can you comment on your relations with the Eroglu administration?

    Answer: The Eroglu administration has not created a serious problem thus far. We expect them to inform us on any problem that might exist through a request or proposal. However, they have not conveyed a concrete request or proposal thus far.

    Question: Are the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] people less supportive of the talks now?

    Answer: I do not think so. However, they might be weary of the talks in time. The opinion polls show that they continue to support the talks.

    Question: Can you comment on your relations with the Turkish Government?

    Answer: Our relations have been very favorable from the beginning. The Turkish Government is the strongest supporter and guarantor of the negotiations process. It supports the talks. We see that as an important source of motivation.

    Question: Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who has taken over the EU term presidency, made a strong statement against the organization for its failure to lift the isolationist measures on the Turkish Cypriot people. Do you think that the isolationist measures might be removed?

    Answer: No, I do not think so. The EU is fully responsible for the present situation. It believed that the talks in Cyprus would be harmed if the isolationist measures were lifted. That was wrong. We informed the EU several times in the past that it was wrong. We urged it to lift those measures. But, it failed to do so. Considering that, it cannot be expected to remove them now.

    Talat met the foreign news editors of the media organs in Istanbul. He informed them that the Turkish Cypriot side wants the international community to assume a more active role in the negotiations. Stressing that their objective is to hold a referendum to solve the Cyprus problem either at the end of 2009 or early in 2010, he said: "Predicting what the Greek Cypriots will say is difficult. I warn Demetris Christofias at every opportunity as follows: 'You are not preparing your people. There is no need for you to react negatively to every positive statement I make. The people will not adopt a positive approach toward you if you continue to do that.' Other officials warn him in a similar way. I am sure that the British, US, and EU officials also warn him in a similar way. They have told me that they do so."

    [02] Statements by Talat in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.07.09) reported the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) wanted UN and international community to undertake a more active role in negotiation process for solution of Cyprus question.

    Talat, who met with journalists in Istanbul on Friday, said that Turkish and Greek Cypriot parties were about to complete the first phase of negotiations which had been continuing under six topics as "management and share of power", "territory", "EU issues", "economy", "land/map" and "security and guarantees".

    "We have completed the first round of talks on guarantees. We will proceed to the second round of talks after we will discuss citizenship, migration and asylum issues under management & share of power topic next week," he added.

    Talat noted that presentation of Turkey's EU progress report in the end of 2009 as well as presidential elections in TRNC in 2010 were two natural deadlines in Cyprus negotiation process. He said that they targeted to hold referendum before these two deadlines, and they wanted UN and international community to undertake a more active role in this issue. Talat added that Cyprus question was an international problem, and international problems could be solved with international interest. He said that Greek Cypriot administration objected this in principle.

    President Talat said that Turkish and Greek Cypriots, for the first time, determined the issues they could and could not agree. He added that the two sides got closer especially on three topics; "management and share of power", "EU issues" and "economy".

    Talat also said that they would hold their last meeting on August 6, and resume talks in the beginning of September.

    On the same issue, A.A. news agency (24.07.09) reported from Istanbul the following: President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said regarding the negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriots for solution of Cyprus problem that "we have faced with the resistance of Greek Cypriot administration against security and guarantee issue for the first time in the negotiations".

    Greek Cypriot administration thought that a Cyprus in the EU did not need guarantors, Talat told journalists in Istanbul on Friday. He added that this was the reason of complete opposition. Talat said that previously Greek Cypriot administration had accepted --during the first phase of talks-- that guarantees should continue.

    "We have faced with the resistance of Greek Cypriot administration against security and guarantees for the first time in these negotiations," added Talat.

    Upon a question, Talat said that they have not discussed the issue of Turkish soldiers' withdrawal from the island yet.

    Talat said that the current talks were the last chance because if there were other chances in the future, there would be less success. He added that UN diplomats thought the same way.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (online, 25.07.09) under the title Cooperation with Turkey essential for success of Ergenekon probe, says Talat reported the following:

    Cooperation with Turkish authorities is essential for the success of a parliamentary probe into claims of links between the now ruling party of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and the shadowy Ergenekon network in Turkey, KKTC President Mehmet Ali Talat has said.

    Talat said on Friday in Istanbul that the relevant Turkish authorities should provide a parliamentary commission formed in the KKTC to investigate the claims with necessary documents proving media charges that the ruling National Unity Party (UBP) was linked to the Ergenekon network, accused in Turkey of plotting a coup against the Turkish government.

    When I saw the media reports, I was convinced that the allegations should be investigated. But the Turkish authorities should provide original copies of the relevant documents for progress in the probe, he told a group of journalists.

    [03] Soyer: The state and government officials who at the inauguration of Ataturks monument were indexed to the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, with this attitude of theirs, have opened the way for the Turkish Cypriots to be kept out of the EU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (27.07.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has arranged a meeting in Istanbul and left the occupied areas of Cyprus the day when the monument of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk would be inaugurated at the Kermiya Ring in occupied Agios Dometios area. The paper notes that Mr Talat left the ground free for the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. The monument was opened with nationalistic speeches, writes Ortam.

    The paper reports that the chairman of the Civil Defence Organization, Omer Faruk Ozdemir said in his speech that since he took over his duties he visited many places in the occupied areas and he got the feeling that people want monuments to be built everywhere. The self-styled mayor of the occupied part of Lefkosia, Cemal Bulutoglulari said: These lands have been taken with blood and lives. You elected me, we shall put whatever we want in every territory of the TRNC. On 15 August we shall build a statue of Bulent Ecevit at the ring before the ring where this monument is built.

    On his part Mr Rauf Denktas said that there are people who speak against Turkey and added: Let them be ashamed. They will not be able to look this people in the eyes. The self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu noted that they have been criticized as if the sward in the hand of Ataturk is giving a message to the Greek Cypriots and added that the sward symbolizes peace and peace will come with the sward.

    Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.07.09) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), referred to the speeches delivered at the inauguration ceremony of the monument and noted that those who exploit the national values for political purposes are enemies of democracy.

    In a written statement issued by the CTPs press office, Mr Soyer argued that the forces, which have been supporting the non-solution for many years in Cyprus, are hiding behind the values of Ataturk and exploit the national values for their own political objectives.

    The state and government officials who at the inauguration of Ataturks monument were indexed to the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, with this attitude of theirs, have opened the way for the Turkish Cypriots to be kept out of the EU, he said. Referring to those who say to those who criticize the construction of the monument if you dont like it go to the South, Mr Soyer noted: During a period when the Cyprus negotiations are being held, supporting the non-solution is beneficial neither for Turkey, nor for the Turkish Cypriots nor for peace.

    Meanwhile, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (27.07.09) Turgut Afsaroglu suggests that the breakaway regime should be renamed from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus into Republic of Turkey. Justifying his suggestion, Mr Afsaroglu writes, inter alia, that the majority of the population in the occupied areas comes from Turkey, the money used is the Turkish lira, Ankara draws the policies in the occupied areas, Turkey appoints persons in key positions, the Aid Delegation of Turkey controls the budget, the deposits of the country are in the hands of branches of banks from Turkey and the economic packages come from Ankara.

    The operation of Turkifying and Islamizing the TRNC is going on in full speed. Every step taken in the northern part of Cyprus is considered as a new sign of the non-solution, notes Mr Afsaroglu.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Ercakica evaluated latest developments on the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.07.09) broadcast the following:

    Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica gave his weekly press briefing today at the Presidential Palace. Here he evaluated the latest stage reached during the Cyprus negotiations process.

    Addressing journalists the presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica informed them of the Turkish sides stance regarding the talks, the Greek officials statements, the negotiations process and the opening of the Yesilirmak gate [Limnitis crossing point].

    He said that President Talats Ankara visit and the statements made during the 20th of July Peace and Freedom Day celebrations had once again clarified the Turkish sides views.

    We want a solution to be found as soon as possible, a just, permanent and comprehensive solution, and for this solution to be simultaneously put to referenda said the spokesman.

    He noted that the solution will be based on UN parameters, bi-zonality, bicommunality, two politically equal peoples, a new partnership based on the equal status of the two founding states, and added that the guarantees and alliance agreements will continue to exist after a solution is found.

    Referring to statements made by Turkish officials that the window of opportunity that has arisen will not last forever, Mr. Ercakica said that it must be understood that these statements mean that the sides in Cyprus must continue the negotiations process with good will and constructively.

    Referring to statements made by the Greek Cypriot administration, Ercakica said the messages Greek officials have given regarding guarantees and citizenship rights, and the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus that has become a Greek Cypriot Republic, will negatively affect the future of the Cyprus negotiations process.

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot leader is displeased speaking about the aims for a solution Mr Ercakica said, the Greek Cypriot Administration would have to explain to the peoples of Cyprus and the rest of the world what he is trying to accomplish by sabotaging the peace efforts in Cyprus.

    Explaining that the Greek Cypriot administration was continuing to act in a manner that would ruin the relationship between the two peoples on the island while the negotiations process was ongoing, Ercakica condemned the Greek Cypriot administration that tried to arrest a ship that loaded at the Gazimagosa Port, tried to sabotage international activities of the Turkish Cypriot tourism sector and for trying to expropriate an immovable property belonging to the Vakif foundations.

    Upon being asked the latest state regarding the Yesilirmak gate [Limnitis crossing point], the presidential spokesman said works were being carried out by the United Nations.

    Asked another question regarding what the second phase of the negotiations will be, Ercakica said that currently no agreement had been reached about how the new phase would continue.

    He added that the Turkish side had put forward new proposals which foresee the two leaders will continue to intensively discuss the issues that they have not reached agreement on power sharing, governance and property, while the aides will continue to discuss other issues.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot delegation is visiting Russia and Abkhazia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.07.09) reports that the delegation of the breakaway regime which departed for Russia the day before yesterday upon an invitation by officials of the independent Republic of Abkhazia, has completed its contacts in the city of Sochi and arrived in Abkhazia last night. The delegation consists mainly of women representing the Chamber of Trade, the Building Contactors Union, the Cyprus International Centre for Peace Researches and various other organizations. It is headed by Mrs Oya Talat, spouse of the Turkish Cypriot leader and chairwoman of the Turkish Cypriot Womens Council.

    According to the paper, the delegation has been received as state guest in Abkhazia. The state protocol was implemented for Mrs Talat from Sochi, from where she went to Abkhazia with a car of the president of the country. At the border the Turkish Cypriot delegation was received by the Abkhazian deputy minister of foreign affairs, Maksim Guniya, the MP Soner Gogua, officials from the Businesswomens Association and important business people of the city. Today Mrs Talat and her delegation are expected to hold contacts with officials in Soho and participate in round table discussions with business circles. The paper writes that the delegation established the first contact of the TRNC with Russia and Abkhazia.

    The aim of the visit is the discussion of the economic situation of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the possibilities for investment, the real estate sector, the possibilities for imports and exports and the development of the cooperation with Abkhazia. The paper reports that Abkhazia declared its independence in 1993 and it is recognized only by Russia and Nicaragua.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] The Jewish people living in the occupied areas of Cyprus have achieved to establish a Jewish community

    Under the title The Jewish life is revived in North Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.07.09) reports that the approximately one hundred Jewish people who have come from various countries and settled in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus have achieved to establish a Jewish community in the occupied northern part of the island after many years.

    Citing information published in Salom newspaper, which is issued in Turkey and gives news from the Jewish community, Havadis reports that Rabbi Haim Azimov is exerting efforts for the presidency of the Jewish Community of North Cyprus, which is opening its doors to Israelis who visit the occupied areas of the island as tourists, for the Shabbat nights of the Jews. Rabbi Azimov said that the Jewish language is often used at the tourist installations in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the island is preferred by more Jewish tourists every day. He noted that Israel is on the top of the list of the foreign countries which make investments in the TRNC which is not recognized by the great majority of the world and is under embargo.

    The employees of the Israeli firms, who spend the week in Cyprus and return to their home during the weekend, are mingling with the Jewish community on the island, concludes the paper, which publishes a picture of rabbi Azimov together with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat during the celebrations of 20 July on the occasion of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Eroglu argues that the important thing for the Turkish Cypriots in the Cyprus talks is to defend their state

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.07.09) reports that Dervis Eroglu, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, has said that much more negotiations will be carried out and many meetings will be held on the Cyprus problem and argued that the important thing is for the Turkish Cypriots to defend their state.

    In statements the night before yesterday at occupied Galatia village during the opening of the 3rd Traditional Golden Bunch of Graves Documentary and Short Film Festival, Mr Eroglu pointed out that the festival is organized in a period when the negotiations on the Cyprus problem are being carried out and added: A lot of more negotiations will be carried out. Many meetings will come onto your agenda. The important this is for the Turkish Cypriot people to defend the state they have established.

    Mr Eroglu alleged that as long as the Turkish Cypriots defend their state an agreement could be reached where they could live with honour without abandoning their earned rights at the negotiating table.

    Whether it will be reached is something that time will show, but the important thing is our determination, our defending the state, claimed Mr Eroglu and alleged that it is not possible to find a solution by ignoring the realities in Cyprus. He added that even if such a solution is reached, it has no chances of being viable.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] A Turkish Cypriot was bitten up in occupied Famagusta because he was holding the flag of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (27.07.09) reports that a young person named Koray Basdogrultmaci, who was holding a flag of the Republic of Cyprus, was attacked and bitten up yesterday in occupied Famagusta by some persons from Turkey. The self-styled police arrested both the attackers and Mr Basdogrultmaci.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Turkish Cypriot tourist guides participated in a training course organized by the WFTGA

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.07.09) reports that 18 members of the Turkish Cypriot Guides Union have participated in a training for educating international tourist guides organized by the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations (WFTGA).

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] BKP General Secretary on the ongoing negotiation process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.07.09) reports on a written announcement of the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Mr Izzet Izcan, regarding the ongoing negotiation process between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Mr Izcan stated that there are serious differences of opinion on fundamental issues between the two sides and that if these differences continue, a solution will not be possible by the end of the year. Mr Izcan said that in order for a solution to be found and a referendum to be taken by the end of the year the two leaders must reach to an agreement over a solution, because as it was stated at the beginning of the negotiations, the future agreed solution plan will be submitted to referendum.

    He added that the negotiation process, which started on the basis of the decisions of the UN Security Council, regarding a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus based on political equality with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international representation, turned away from the federal basis with the Turkish sides policy of two separate states, two separate religions and two separate people.

    Mr Izcan, inter alia, stated that Turkey, because of the Ankara Agreement does not want to face any crisis with the EU in December, and the AKP government prefers to see its efforts succeeding in December without any accident. Concluding, Mr Izcan called on all the supporters of the solution to enter the struggle.

    (EA)

    [11] The flag of the occupation regime was accepted at the US Islamic Centre in Washington

    Turkish Cypriot weekly newspaper (24-30.07.09) publishes the following report:

    The UK-based Londra Gazete reported last Thursday that an Islamic Centre in Washington DC recently accepted a Turkish Republic of North Cyprus flag to be displayed with other nations flags.

    The Islamic Centre agreed to have the flag flying from one of their flag poles after an initiative by the Northern Cyprus Cultural society (NCCS). President Bahri Aliriza of the NCCS worked with the Islamic Centre to permanently hang the Turkish Cypriot flag on one of their flagpoles. The Assembly of Turkish American Association (ATAA) provided the Centre with the TRNC flag. Both NCCS President Bahri Aliriza and ATAA Project Director Gamze Ergur attended the ceremony at the Islamic Centre on 30 June and raised the Turkish Cypriot flag amongst the flags of other Muslim countries. The action marks a significant step in the TRNCs quest for international recognition as the Islamic Centre is located in one of DCs busiest spots on Massachusetts Avenue, known locally as embassy row.

    Turkey has always had close ties with the Islamic Centre and the exquisite tiles that adorn the walls and floors of the Centre came thanks to a generous donation of the Turkish government in 1969.

    The Islamic Centre serves as a mosque and has been frequently visited by diplomats and many American Vice-Presidents.

    [12] Davutoglus historic visit to Sanjak

    Ankara Anatolia newspaper (24.07.09) reported from Novi Prazar that Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey had a historic responsibility to the Balkan nations, and, therefore, it would do what it had to do to fulfill that responsibility.

    "The requirement of this responsibility is to bring all countries closer to each other, ensure lasting stability in the Balkans, minimize the separation among nations that had lived side-by-side for centuries, and to build future altogether," Davutoglu told AA correspondent in Novi Prazar, Sanjak.

    Davutoglu said Turkey was positive to Serbia's willingness to become a strategic partner with itself. "Turkey sees creating a regional consciousness and common destiny in the Balkans very fruitful," Davutoglu also said.

    Also, Davutoglu said that Serbia proposed Turkey to carry out giant projects within its borders, particularly in Sanjak and to set up an Islam cultural center in Belgrade, and that he welcomed and accepted that proposal.

    The minister defined his visit as historic, and said he was the first Turkish minister visiting Sanjak maybe a century later.

    Davutoglu said the behaviors he came across during his time in Sanjak and his impression of his meetings with political leaders indicated that the people of Sanjak were still loyal to Turkey. "We will do everything for their welfare and happiness, and I hope Sanjak will be the rising region of the Balkans," he said.

    Davutoglu also hoped Sanjak would continue to be a bridge of friendship between Turkey and Serbia.

    Sanjak is located in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula in present day Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia controls six municipalities of Sanjak while Montenegro runs five. Once part of the Ottoman Empire, it covers a geographically diverse area stretching 8,687 square kilometers. It borders Bosnia and Herzegovina in the northwest, Kosovo in the southeast and Albania to the south. The capital of Sanjak is Novi Prazar.

    From Novibazar on 24.07.09 A.A. also reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday settled disagreement between two Bosnian party leaders in Sanjak.

    Davutoglu held a news conference with Sanjak Democratic Party leader Rasim Ljajic and Sanjak Democratic Action Party leader Sulejman Ugljanin who are also ministers in Serbian cabinet and had a disagreement. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic also attended the news conference. "All of us are the elements of our common house in the Balkans. We have a common fate. Turkey feels itself in stability, peace and confidence if there is stability in Serbia and Sanjak," Davutoglu, who was the first foreign minister visiting Sanjak, said that Turkey would boost economic support to Sanjak, "Turkey considers Serbia a neighbouring country although we do not share a common border, and sees Sanjak a gate opening to this neighbour".

    "Turkey and Serbia decided to boost cultural relations, economic cooperation with projects and visits. The two parties will continue works on road and industry investments. We broadened this vision in Sanjak today. Thus, Sanjak will become a freedom, prosperity and stability basin together with Serbia."

    Davutoglu said Turkish President Abdullah Gul would pay a visit to Serbia soon.

    Serbian foreign minister Jeremic said Sanjak had importance both for Turkey and Serbia, adding that they had long term and big infrastructure projects to the region.

    Sanjak Democratic Party leader Rasim Ljajic said the visit was very important both for Sanjak and bilateral relations between Turkey and Serbia, noting they waited for Turkey's investments to the region.

    Sanjak Democratic Action Party leader Sulejman Ugljanin said today's meeting proved that Bosnian population assumed the role of a bridge between the two countries.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia (25.07.09) reported from Podgorica that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is visiting Montenegro, and Foreign Minister Milan Rocen of Montenegro held a joint press conference after holding a tete-a-tete meeting in Podgorica. "There should be a new vision of cooperation in our region," Davutoglu said.

    Davutoglu said Turkey would keep boosting its relations with Montenegro in every field. "The two countries have a full political consensus," he said.

    "Turkey is also resolute to make good use of a great economic potential with Montenegro. We aim to set up a council of businessmen and bring more Turkish investments to this country," the minister said.

    Replying to a question on Turkey's EU accession process, Davutoglu said the process was a strategic goal for Turkey and the process was progressing well. "Turkey's EU integration process is of great importance for Turkey, Europe and global peace. We aim to become a full member of the EU as soon as possible," he said.

    Montenegro's Foreign Minister Rocen quoted Davutoglu as saying that he would support Montenegro on its EU and NATO bids.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] Desertec more important than Nabucco

    Under the above title Hurriyet News and Economic Review (25.07.09) publishes the following article by Gila Benmayor:

    I had a conversation with a European energy expert recently. I was surprised by an unexpected comment while we were talking about the details of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline agreement signed in Ankara, Did you know that the Desertec Project signed on July 13 in Munich is more important than Nabucco for Turkey?

    As I scanned through 10-day old newspaper articles on the subject, I ran across the details of the Desertec Project. The project that Turkish media missed already foresees the transfer of electricity to be produced by giant solar panels set up in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. Calculations show that Desertec will meet 15 percent of the electricity needs of the entire European continent starting from 2025.

    It is designed by the German-wing of an NGO referred to as the Rome Club, known for their efforts in sustainable energy development works.

    For now, the 400 billion euro project is supported by groups including Siemens and Deutche Bank. To view Desertec as an industrial initiative connecting countries is possible. Desertec covers a huge area many square kilometers in size from North Africa to the Middle East. So it will, without doubt, bring extensive bargaining and geopolitical agreements as in the case with the Nabucco Project.

    Turkey is a bridge

    As for the importance of Desertec for Turkey, the country will both transfer its own solar energy as part of the project and become a bridge between the Middle East and Europe.

    In other words, Turkey will transfer solar energy from the Middle East to Europe.

    In the meantime, it is useful to remind that Desertec is not the only project that pushes Turkeys solar energy potential to the fore.

    In a similar project, the Mediterranean Union gives a special importance to Turkey. In the beginning, however, Turkey vehemently objected to the Mediterranean Union initiated by French President Nicolas Sarkozy as being offered as a possible alternative to the countrys European Union membership bid.

    The Mediterranean Sun Plan, as it is called, will at the same time benefit from Turkeys solar energy and expect Turkey to produce some the materials necessary for building solar panels.

    Former Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler gives importance to this project envisaging the production of 20 Gig watts of electricity in the Mediterranean region by 2020.

    To sum up, Turkey is a key country in both in the Desertec and the Mediterranean Sun Plan. The solar energy market has grown over 50 percent despite the global financial crunch. But, how is this sector doing in Turkey?

    The Solar Energy LAW up in the air

    A little research on the subject for a few days has revealed the following fact:

    Ankara, unfortunately, has no clear solar energy policy, although the sector will become the number one energy sector in the world starting from 2100 according to data from the International Energy Agency, or IEA.

    Even though heating by solar energy is a relatively old practice in Turkey, producing electricity from solar energy is a new concept in our country. Many companies are conducting research on solar energy and trying to integrate with the West. However, they fail to make noteworthy progress since the government has not developed or implemented any legal regulations. The Renewable Energy Bill has not been adopted yet, and as far as I can see, this is a disappointment for parliamentarians.

    Likewise, foreign investors interested in solar energy expect legal regulations.

    As Europe needs Turkey in giant energy projects including Desertec and the Mediterranean Sun Plan, it is impossible to understand why Ankara is dragging its feet on a law relating to solar energy.

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 24, 25 and 26 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 24, 25 and 26 July 2009:

    a) Kurdish Issue

    According to a report by Tolga Sardan in Milliyet (24.07.09), activities have been stepped up at the Interior Ministry following Prime Minister Erdogan's instructions to prepare a solution package regarding the issue of northern Iraq and the PKK. The report adds that the situation of Mahmur Camp was discussed at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Besir Atalay yesterday morning. The complete closure of the camp or the partial evacuation of certain refugee groups from the camp was discussed at the meeting held with the participation of officials from the Foreign and Defense Ministries, the Prime Minister's Office, the General Staff, and the Security Directorate, adds the report.

    Viewing the current favorable conditions for the solution of the Kurdish problem in an article in Milliyet (24.07.09), Hasan Cemal agrees with the US and EU stand that Ankara has to reciprocate to the PKK move to bring its militants down from the mountains. Arguing that Ocalan cannot be ignored in the solution of the problem and that such a stand would lead to an impasse, Cemal expresses the belief that the Kurdish issue and the PKK cannot be separated from one another and that there is no way to begin solving the issue other than taking steps to bring the PKK members down from the mountains.

    Describing the methods Erdogan wants to use in solving the Kurdish problem in an article in Milliyet (24.07.09), Ece Temelkuran writes: "The prime minister will solve the Kurdish issue by himself, he is determined. He does not want anyone to interfere, especially through democratic means. The thing he least wants is the equal representation of Kurds in the political platform to be established to seek a solution to the problem. The prime minister wants to create his own Kurds. He wants to reshape the Kurds not only in the field of political representation, but on a communal and individual level as well." Erdogan has carried the issue to a more advanced level, claims Temelkuran, arguing that the prime minister is disenchanted with the Kurdish deputies within the Justice and Development Party, AKP, as well. Maintaining that it has become impossible to please the prime minister, Temelkuran stresses that Erdogan wants a fully obedient Kurd "free of problems." Kurdish deputies within the party are being rendered useless with regards to the Kurdish issue, claims the writer, concluding that the prime minister cannot end this war given his antidemocratic stand.

    Assessing the support extended by the PKK to Barzani on the eve of the elections to be held in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, in Hurriyet (24.07.09) columnist Ferai Tinc in an article explains the reasons for this support by examining the election promises made by the group called Change which advocates transparency, the separation of powers, and the supremacy of the law and which is against the Kurdish nationalist line represented by Barzani. The PKK support for Barzani, who had for some time been saying that he did not want the presence of the PKK in his territories, can be interpreted as a new alliance between the PKK and Barzani, maintains Tinc. In conclusion, Tinc claims that this alliance will not help the search for a solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey.

    Analyzing the Kurdish issue in an article in Hurriyet Daily News (24.07.09), Burak Bekdil writes: "Even if we solve the question of PKK violence, which is no easy chore on its own, what do we do with the much broader Kurdish question, which is a more complicated issue that involves many different players." Stressing that the prime minister should be encouraged for a courageous option that will end in a solution, Bekdil believes that this mission "will require probably the world's best ever PR project."

    In an article entitled "A final chance on the Kurdish issue?" in Today's Zaman (24.07.09) columnist Yavuz Baydar calls on Ankara to prepare a "comprehensive road map" for a solution to the "Kurdish issue" that entails incorporating Ocalan into the settlement process, setting up "a Turkish truth and reconciliation commission," preparing an amnesty plan, and lifting reservations on the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

    What the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan calls "Kurdish overture" is not the "solution" to the Kurdish issue, maintains Cengiz Candar in an article in Radikal (25.07.09). Noting that the government can take steps in ameliorating and expanding the identity rights of the Kurds, Candar asserts that these are steps toward "resolving" the Kurdish issue but that they are not a "solution." "We are not close to resolving the issue," Candar writes, arguing that if Turkey wants to resolve the Kurdish issue, it cannot disregard the PKK or Abdullah Ocalan. Faulting Erdogan for warning AKP deputies against speaking out about the Kurdish issue and for being "cross" at the Democratic Society Party, DTP, Candar points out that the government cannot make much progress if the Kurdish overture is regarded as a mechanism that has a foreign dimension with "a behind-the-scenes agreement" reached with Iraqi Kurdish and American friends or as a "state operation" ordered from above. Candar concludes that "political courage" is needed to open the path to resolving the Kurdish issue.

    In an article entitled "How will the 'Kurdish problem' be solved?" in Today's Zaman (25.07.09) columnist Mumtazer Turkone says that remarks made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his flight to Syria stirred up hopes of finding a solution to the Kurdish question. Pointing out that Erdogan declined to say whether he could hold talks with PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan about a possible settlement, Turkone cautions that Ocalan's involvement could further complicate the process, adding that Ocalan will probably not make a proposal different from those that he put forward in the past.

    Finally in an article entitled "A gordian knot, a sword, and willpower", in Vakit (26.07.09) columnist Ayhan Bilgin catalogues the "conditions" expected to be included in the "road map" to be disclosed by PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in August. ["Recognize Kurdish as a medium of education. Declare an unconditional general amnesty. Let everybody have the right to engage in politics including pardoned PKK members. End Abdullah Ocalan's isolation. Consolidate local administrations and recognize democratic autonomy," etc]. Bilgin discloses that he wonders who Ocalan perceives himself to be "because not even the commander of a victorious army ... would attempt to impose such severe terms on the defeated side." He goes on to claim that the entire Turkish public perceives Ocalan as the leader of a terrorist group and a murderer "ruthless" enough to have anyone killed and "irrational" enough to order the destruction of national forests in order to achieve his separatist ambitions. He also argues that it is an "outrageous mistake" as well as an act of "unacceptable treachery" to try to get Ankara to recognize Ocalan as a counterpart in a settlement process.

    b) Turkish-Syrian Strategic Council

    In an article in Milliyet (24.07.09), Fikret Bila relates a conversation he held with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on his recent visit to Syria, Turkish-Syrian relations, a joint cabinet meeting to be held under the chairmanship of the prime ministers of the two countries, and the Strategic Cooperation Council -- similar to the one established with Iraq -- Ankara intends to establish with Damascus.

    Assessing the sincere friendship and dialogue established between Turkey and Syria in an article in Milliyet (24.07.09), Sami Kohen says that not only bilateral relations are being discussed at the frequent meetings held between the two sides. Noting that the two sides are trying to create a joint strategy regarding regional issues, Kohen views Turkey's role in Syrian-Israeli peace talks which he says is encouraged by the United States and the EU. However, certain Israeli officials do not trust the impartiality of Erdogan given his Davos outburst that exposed his biased stand during the Gaza crisis, concludes the writer.

    c) On Davutoglus visit to Sandjak

    Viewing the recent visit of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Serbia's Sandjak District in an article in Milliyet (26.07.09), Fikret Bila explains that this is the first time since the withdrawal of the Ottomans from the region 1912 that a Turkish official has set foot in the area. Describing the joy of the local citizens over the visit of a Turkish official, Bila goes on to detail how the foreign minister was able to cause the two deputies of Novi Pazar, the largest town in the district, to resolve their differences and to make peace. Declaring that the Serbian government depends on the support of these two Bosniak deputies in order to remain in power, Bila asserts the importance of the unity of the Bosniaks in the stability and future of Serbia. The Sandjak region was not divided only politically because of the dispute between the two deputies, explains Bila, adding that the dispute between the two rival muftis of Novi Pazar was another source of division which Davutoglu managed to resolve. The two muftis have promised to make peace during their joint visit to Istanbul in the near future, concludes the writer.

    EG/


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