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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-08-31

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. 163/09 29- 31.08.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Avci argues that Qatar will not invest in the free areas of Cyprus because of initiatives undertaken when he was minister of foreign affairs
  • [02] Talat to Milliyet newspaper: The possibility of permanent partition on the island is getting stronger
  • [03] Talat asked the Turkish Cypriot Parties to clarify their positions on the issues of governance and power sharing in the view of the forthcoming second round of Cyprus negotiations
  • [04] Davutoglu visits Damascus, Baghdad before visiting occupied Cyprus. He will then visit Egypt
  • [05] Davutoglu said that no demands were received from NATO on the defense shield project. He warns the EU Council not to make any mistake during its report regarding the Cyprus problem
  • [06] A Turkish Cypriot response to Turkish paper allegations that the Greek Cypriot prisoners of war were executed by Turkish Cypriots
  • [07] Columnist calls on the nationalists to close the roads of occupied Morfou and prevent the Greek Cypriots from going to Agios Mamas Church
  • [08] Eroglu stated that the two main aims of his government is to strengthen the economy and to sit in the negotiations with a strong hand
  • [09] Turkish State Minister in China for contacts
  • [10] Turkey preparing to take helm of the Council of Europe
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 28, 29 and 30 August 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Avci argues that Qatar will not invest in the free areas of Cyprus because of initiatives undertaken when he was minister of foreign affairs

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (30.08.09) reports that Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) and former minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, has stated that the announcement by Qatar that it would not make investments in the free areas of the island is a result of the representation office that the breakaway regime opened in the above-mentioned country when he was minister, the visits he paid to Qatar and the contacts he held with the prime minster and other officials of that country.

    In an interview with Ada television, Mr Avci was asked to mention the greatest achievement of the government in which he was participating and replied:

    The most important achievement in the period of 30 months was the ferryboat trips between Famagusta and Latakia. We are seeing the effect, the fruits of this today and we shall see them in the forthcoming process. This is a historic opening. News is coming today that there are trips to Lebanon. This ferryboat is also going through Latakia. This is a result of starting the Latakia trip. Some time ago Qatar announced that it has stopped its investments in the Greek Cypriot side and that it would not invest. The media passed this over very lightly. This as well is a result of our visits, the representation office opened in Qatar and the meetings I held with the prime minister and officials from Qatar. Now it is seen that the openings of that period gave their fruits today and they will give them in the future as well. The representation offices which were opened, the openings in the country, the representation office in Rome, the Latakia - Famagusta ferryboat trip are historic openings.

    Replying to another question, Mr Avci said that his target is to be elected at the post of the president of the breakaway regime during the forthcoming elections in April 2010.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat to Milliyet newspaper: The possibility of permanent partition on the island is getting stronger

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (31.08.09) under the title The possibility of permanent partition is getting stronger, carries an interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat by the newspapers correspondent to the occupied Cyprus, Mr Sefa Karahasan. During the interview, which was given prior to the launching of the second round of the negotiations on September 3, Mr Talat said that the possibility of permanent partition on the island is getting stronger. He also said that the solution of the Cyprus problem has an influence on the democratization in Turkey and its openings. Cyprus is in safe hands and no one is selling Cyprus, Mr Talat added.

    The newspaper reports on the parts of the interview under specific subtitles:

    Under the subtitle, The negotiations will not last forever, the paper writes that Mr Talat stated: The negotiations do not last forever. (The point when we shall say stop) will definitely come. Just as everything has an end, so do the negotiations if they are not successful. Besides, this process will be prostrated by itself. At the end of this process, the sides will be reluctant and [the process] will collapse. I am at the point where a solution is possible.

    Under the subtitle, Christofias is ridiculous, Mr Talat is reported to have said that Cyprus cannot be compared with Turkey. Turkey is a huge country. (Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias) to threaten Turkey is a bit ridiculous. I warn Christofias every time. Enough of your assault towards Turkey. You are making a mistake. Turkey does not take you as a collocutor. It does not reply to you.

    Under the subtitle, Morfou - Karpass, Mr Talat is quoted to have said that he is not willing to give back the areas of occupied Morfou and Karpass. These issues have not been taken up yet. Let us not speak through the press, he said.

    Under the subtitle, Permanent partition, Mr Talat is quoted to have said that the possibility of permanent partition is getting stronger with every passing day. And this is a reality, I am saying this. As long as there is no solution, the permanent partition is getting stronger.

    Under the subtitle, The issue of the Turkish army the paper further reports that Mr Talat said that until there is a solution, the presence of the Turkish army here is unavoidable. If the Turkish army withdraws without a solution, the Greek Cypriot side will immediately realize its sovereignty on the North. The Greek Cypriots will come and say that this house is mine. Then a conflict will occur. Had it not been for Turkey this struggle would not have been waged. No resistance of the Turkish Cypriots would be possible.

    Under the subtitle, The candidacy for President, the paper reports that Mr Talat said: If the gates of solution really close completely, then the situation should be evaluated. My target and mission is to resolve the Cyprus problem. He went on by adding that if he could not get along with his mission, it is natural that there will not be a place for him there.

    Under the subtitle, The recognition of the TRNC, Mr Talat said: Lets not speak about dreams. If there was a possibility for recognition of the TRNC, surely, today we would be at a very different point.

    Under the subtitle, Koran courses, the paper quotes Mr Talat: These are very annoying. And this is the first time that this emerged on the island. This should not be happening. Even if this is right, the education on religion is given in the schools during the school period, not during the summer vacations. I see it developing badly.

    Finally, under the subtitle, Selling out Cyprus, Mr Talat is reported to have stated the following: Cyprus is not being sold to anybody. I will tell this to the Turkish people: No one should worry about the Cyprus problem. It is in safe hands. There will be no agreement against neither the Turkish Cypriots nor Turkey. We are pursuing a mutually acceptable solution. And this solution cannot be against the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

    (EA)

    [03] Talat asked the Turkish Cypriot Parties to clarify their positions on the issues of governance and power sharing in the view of the forthcoming second round of Cyprus negotiations

    Illegal Bayrak television (28.08.09) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has asked political parties to clarify their positions with regard to the two topics to be taken up at the forthcoming second round of negotiations on the Cyprus issue namely, Governance and Power Sharing.

    The President of the Republic today convened a meeting with leaders of the political parties with seats in the TRNC parliament, as part of the preparations in view of the upcoming second round of Cyprus negotiations process.

    The political parties will be conveying their official positions and views with regard to the two issues, a day before the fresh discussions begin, that is, on Wednesday, 2nd of September.

    The parties official stances on other topics to be taken up at the Cyprus negotiations process will be sought during the later stages of the talks.

    Speaking after the meeting, the leader of the National Unity Party Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said the President also expressed his own views and expectations from the political parties as the fresh round of negotiations are about to be kicked off.

    The leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party Ferdi Sabit Soyer said his party wants the two leaders to move forward for a speedy solution to the Cyprus problem based on May 23rd and July 1st agreements.

    The leader of the Democrat Party Serdar Denktas, for his part, said the meeting had focused on looking into the different views and proposals put forward until now by the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides. He said his party remains opposed to any transitional formulae replacing a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    The Socialist Democratic Party leader Mehmet Cakici said his partys views will be conveyed to the President on Wednesday. Nevertheless, expressing support to the ongoing negotiations process, he said his party supports the prospect of Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties joining forces in future elections after a solution to the Cyprus problem has been found. He said his party is strictly against the principle that says Non-solution is a solution.

    Turgay Avci, the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party underlined the importance of the need to secure the political equality of the two sides in Cyprus, which, he stressed, is vital, as far as his party is concerned.

    He called on the international community to encourage the Greek Cypriot side towards a solution.

    [04] Davutoglu visits Damascus, Baghdad before visiting occupied Cyprus. He will then visit Egypt

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.08.09) reports the following:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will travel to Iraqi capital Baghdad and Syrian capital Damascus on Monday.

    Davutoglu will be received by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and he will also have meetings with his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts during his talks, his office said in a statement on Friday. The statement said Turkey believes mutual respect and trust is needed among neighbors to help secure peace and stability in the Middle East, adding, in this sense, we have always brought forward consultation and cooperation with our neighbors that we have ties of brotherhood.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu will also travel to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) the same day.

    An earlier statement issued by the ministry said Davutoglu would pay a working visit to the TRNC on August 31 and September 1. Davutoglu will hold talks with Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat, Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.

    Later, Davutoglu will pay a two-day visit to Egypt as guest of his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit on September 1 and 3. Davutoglu will also be received by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

    Besides, Turkey-Egypt bilateral relations, recent developments in the region will be high on Davutoglu's talks in Egypt, the ministry had said.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.08.09) reports the following from Cairo:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is set to visit Egypt on the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Ahmad Aboul Gheit on September 1-3.

    Davutoglu is expected to discuss bilateral relations as well as recent developments in the Middle East. He will also be received by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

    Sources have said that Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, might also visit Cairo during Davutoglu's stay in Egypt.

    [05] Davutoglu said that no demands were received from NATO on the defense shield project. He warns the EU Council not to make any mistake during its report regarding the Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (31.08.09) reports the following:

    Neither NATO nor the United States has conveyed any request to Turkey for hosting anti-missile bases in its territory, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said over the weekend. Davutoglu was speaking at a joint press conference on Saturday following talks with his Slovenian counterpart, Samuel Zbogar, during an official visit to Ljubljana, when reminded by reporters of a report published on Friday in The New York Times.

    The Obama administration has developed possible alternative plans for a missile defense shield that could drop hotly disputed sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, the leading US daily said. Among the alternatives are dropping either the Polish or Czech site, or both sites, and instead building launching pads or radar installations in Turkey or the Balkans, while developing land-based versions of the Aegis SM-3, a ship-based anti-missile system, [Obama administration] officials said, the report also said.

    The news report is not true, Davutoglu first of all stated, the Anatolia news agency reported. Neither the US administration nor NATO has conveyed any request concerning the missile shield issue, the minister added.

    Davutoglu highlighted that it was not possible [for him] to make any comment on a news report which has no relation with truth, Anatolia said.

    The New York Times, meanwhile, cited US administration officials cautioning that no decisions had been made and that all options were still under discussion, including retaining the Polish and Czech sites first selected by President George W. Bush.

    The Obama review team plans to present a menu of options rather than a single recommendation to a committee of senior national security officials in the coming weeks. Only after that would the matter go to cabinet-rank officials and the president, the report said.

    In Moscow, Alexander Lebedev, a former Russian ambassador to Turkey, suggested that bilateral relations between Ankara and Moscow would be harmed if the news reports about US plans for housing a missile defense shield in Turkish territory are authentic. If the United States places a missile defense shield in Turkey, Russia may respond to this, Lebedev continued, according to private Cihan news agency.

    Yet, Lebedev's remarks contradicted those of by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, which were delivered in 2007 when he was president of the Russian Federation.

    In June 2007, following a Group of Eight summit in northern Germany, Putin had said that missile defense interceptors could be located in Turkey or Iraq or on sea platforms instead of former East Bloc countries Czech Republic or Poland, if Washington wants to alleviate Moscow's concerns about US plans.

    Moreover, under the title, Let not a mistake be made on the Cyprus issue, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (31.08.09) reports on statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Ahmet Davutoglu, during an official visit to Slovenias capital, Ljubljana.

    Mr Davutoglu, referring to the EU Council, which will evaluate Turkeys steps on the Cyprus issue in April, warned that if a mistake is made on the Cyprus issue, the Cyprus negotiations will take long and if pressure is exerted regarding the opening of the ports because of this extension, a real problem will be faced. Mr Davutoglu stated that Turkey made everything possible. We said: Until the end of the year a solution should be found or we will look for alternatives. The Greek Cypriot side said: This is an open-ended process. This is a wrong calculation. Problems are being faced with the chapters because of Cyprus, the Turkish Foreign Minister is quoted to have said.

    (EA)

    [06] A Turkish Cypriot response to Turkish paper allegations that the Greek Cypriot prisoners of war were executed by Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (31.08.09) in its front page and under the title The prisoners of war were killed with a sword bayonet reports on a testimony which a Turkish Cypriot gave to the reporter of the paper Ali Osman regarding the assassinations of Greek Cypriot prisoners of war by Turkish soldiers on the beach were the Turkish troops landed during 1974. The paper writes that the person who gave the testimony was a fighter witness of the events which took place during that day and adds that he narrated the events to the paper on condition of unanimity and his picture to be taken from the back. The paper also reports that the unknown person spoke to the paper as a response to the reports published the previous weeks in Turkish newspapers which allege that the Greek Cypriots who were killed during the period of the war in Cyprus were killed mostly by Turkish Cypriots.

    The witness explained to Ali Osman that during the period of 1974 when the Turkish invasion started he was on duty in Milia division. The commanders of their division were from Turkey and their names were Mehmet Ali Aydinoz and Terzi Yusuf. The Turkish Cypriot witness said also that the prisoners of war who were approximately 40 persons in each bus were taken into eight buses. Together with the prisoners of war, into the buses there were the driver, one policeman and one fighter. He then said that the prisoners of war were taken to the beach were the Turkish troops landed and that a vessel came there so that it would take the prisoners of war and carry them to Turkey.

    He then explained that after the Greek Cypriot prisoners of war were embarked on the vessels, the Turkish soldiers killed them not with bullets but with sword bayonets. The water of the sea became red, he said adding that afterwards they entered into a bus and returned to their divisions since they handed over the prisoners of war.

    Regarding those who were killed, he said that from what they heard, they were thrown to a place near the Mare Monte hotel. He also explained that this bloodshed took place at the end of August, or at the beginning of September..

    (AK)

    [07] Columnist calls on the nationalists to close the roads of occupied Morfou and prevent the Greek Cypriots from going to Agios Mamas Church

    Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (31.08.09), Hasan Ozerdem calls on the nationalist organizations in the occupied areas of Cyprus to gather the people in occupied Morfou next Tuesday (2 September) in order to prevent the Greek Cypriots who want to attend the service planned to be carried out at Agios Mamas Church.

    Noting that the service should not be carried out at Agios Mamas Church because it is used as a museum by the breakaway regime, Mr Ozerdem alleges that the Greek Cypriots should go to Apostolos Andreas Monastery if they want to carry out a service in the occupied areas of the island. He argues, inter alia, the following:

    The Greek Cypriots believe that they seized everything. Look, the tender for repairing the road in Yesilirmak area [Tr. Note: Occupied Limnitis area], which is within the borders of the TRNC, has been materialized by excluding the TRNC. It is said that they are not taking into consideration the objections of the government. If even this government allows this, the Turkish Cypriot people should fasten a rock on its feet and jump the sea. Stopping these is left to the people with national sensitivities. The national associations should gather the people on Tuesday and block the roads at the entrances of Morfou. Come. Let us show our national characteristics. Let us not allow the murderers of the Turks, the Greek terrorists to pass. If it is needed, let us show the reaction of the people against the government, but mostly against Talat and the representative who behaves as friend of the Greeks. Let us show that it is not possible to live together with the Greeks. Come and let us change the course of the history on Tuesday. Mr Talat should see and understand that the Turkish Cypriot people are not a flock of sheep and that he is not the shepherd of this flock.

    (I/Ts)

    [08] Eroglu stated that the two main aims of his government is to strengthen the economy and to sit in the negotiations with a strong hand

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.08.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The 2nd Gecitkale Hellim Festival kicked off last night. The Festival was opened by Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Dervis Eroglu.

    In his opening speech, the Premier said his government pays particular attention to two leading matters; one is strengthening the economy, and the other is to sit at the Cyprus negotiations table with a strong hand.

    The goal is to achieve a settlement in Cyprus which will be based on an agreement that protects the interests and equal rights of the TRNC People, he stressed.

    Reminding that negotiations will be re-launched after a break on the 3rd of September, he said it would be much better to sit at the table by holding a strong economy, but this has not been possible, as necessary economic measures were not taken earlier by the previous administration.

    Prime Minister called on his people to be careful about foreign interventions on the Cyprus issue. He reiterated the view that Cyprus Turks will not vote in favor of an agreement which does not foresee equality and bi-zonality.

    Mr Eroglu also touched upon the Greek Cypriot sides attempts to unilaterally own the traditional Cyprus cheese hellim, also known as the halloumi cheese, by receiving its patent.

    Prime Minister said hellim is a tradition in the Cyprus Turkish culture.The production of hellim makes a significant contribution to the TRNC economy, he added.

    Another speech was delivered by Gecitkale Mayor Kivanc Buhara who underlined the need for claiming rights on the patent of hellim - which he said is a very important part of the Cyprus Turkish culture.

    [09] Turkish State Minister in China for contacts

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (31.08.09) reports that Turkeys State Minister, Mr Zafer Caglayan, is holding contacts in China as the special representative of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    According to the paper, Mr Caglayan paid a visit to the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr Yang Jiechi, and main issue of their discussion was the legal process that began concerning the violent incidents in Urumchi. Mr Caglayan said that Uyghur Turks were important for Turkey, as they were both Turks and Muslims. During his meeting with the Chinese FM, Mr Davutoglu conveyed the messages of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Ahmet Davutoglu, as well.

    (EA)

    [10] Turkey preparing to take helm of the Council of Europe

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (31.08.09) reports the following:

    Turkey has already started to get ready to take the helm of Europe's top human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, in November 2010, for a six-month term.

    Ankara says it's too early to declare the priorities of Turkey's chairmanship; however, the Turkish capital wants to use these six months for productive two-way work that will eventually make contributions to both Turkey and the Council of Europe.

    It's no secret that Turkey's file in the Council of Europe's various bodies, such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), is full of a considerable number of significant controversial issues. The 46-nation Council of Europe is currently engaged in a post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey. When closing the full monitoring procedure for Turkey in April 2004, PACE listed 12 outstanding issues on which it urged progress. These include lowering Turkey's 10 percent electoral threshold, local and regional government reform, expanded freedom of expression and association (especially for political parties), training of security forces and judges, a policy of zero tolerance on torture and the protection of minorities.

    In April, when discussing a report as part of the Council of Europe's post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey, the Monitoring Committee also asked the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's body of independent legal experts, to examine the compatibility of the lack of recognition of religious communities in Turkey with European standards, as well as the question of the right of the Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox patriarch to call himself ecumenical.

    Ankara admits the presence of serious problems yet stresses that none of these problems are an obstacle before conducting a productive chairmanship. Nobody is immune to such problems. When Russia took over the chairmanship in 2006, it displayed quite a good performance although it had similar problems, a source involved in the issue told Today's Zaman.

    At the time, Council of Europe Secretary-General Terry Davis was quite clear in speaking against those critics objecting to Russia's chairmanship, responding to them with remarks based on basic principles. Most of the controversy surrounding the Russian chairmanship is based on the misplaced notion that the Council of Europe is a place where West European countries should give lectures about human rights and democracy to their neighbors to the east. Well, this is not the way we do things, first, because the so-called old' democracies are not exactly immune to charges of human rights violations themselves, and second, because one-way lecturing, as any diplomat or teacher knows, does not usually get you very far. It is clear that there are problems, including human rights problems, which persist in the Russian Federation. But it is equally true that for many, Russia is a very convenient usual suspect' for human rights violations. In the Council of Europe we address human rights violations because of what they are, not because of where they take place, Davis said at the time.

    Although Ankara is avoiding disclosing its priorities ahead of its upcoming chairmanship, it stressed that it is eager to leave a remarkable trace in the history of the organization, of which it is a founding member, and recalled Turkey's successful chairmanship in the early 1990s.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 28, 29 and 30 August 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 28, 29 and 30 August 2009:

    On the visit to Turkey of the NATO Secretary General

    Describing Afghanistan and Pakistan as two countries where terror, violence, war, and instability reign, Sami Kohen in his article in Milliyet (28.08.09), examines the AfPak strategy Washington and other Western capitals are trying to formulate. Explaining that this strategy aims at securing the necessary aid to eliminate terror and extreme focal points in the region, Kohen notes that this requires military aid to Afghanistan and political and economic aid to Pakistan. NATO expects its member countries to send troops that will participate in active combat in Afghanistan, writes Kohen, adding that this issue will be raised during NATO Secretary General's Rasmussen's contacts in Turkey. Pointing out that Turkey has no intention of sending fighting units to Afghanistan, Kohen asserts that Turkey can contribute to the struggle by training Afghan troops and police forces. Viewing Turkey's active support to Pakistan, which is the second leg of the AfPak strategy, Kohen concludes that Turkey is contributing to the solution of the problems of that region by using its "soft-power."

    An unattributed editorial in Hurriyet Daily News (28.08.09) disagrees with NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen that the Cyprus problem is a "bilateral issue" between Turkey and Greece. Describing the "bizarre situation in Cyprus" as "a problem entirely created in and by Brussels," the editorial criticizes the EU for allowing the Greek Cypriots to accede to the Union "despite the bloc's very explicit rules on 'no members with border disputes.'"

    Under the headline, "No retreat," Yeni Safak (28.08.09) publishes a front-page report which highlights Prime Minister Erdogan's remark at an iftar dinner he attended yesterday together with NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen that the Government's latest "democratic overture" is intended to end the pains caused by terrorism and that they do not mean to backtrack on the said initiative whatever the cost.

    Under the headline, "How can he have the nerve to visit Turkey?" Milli Gazete (28.08.09) runs a front-page report which slams NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen for paying a visit to Turkey without having fulfilled his pledges to "apologize" to the Islamic world over the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in Denmark and to ban the pro-Kurdish Roj-TV from airing broadcasts from Denmark.

    In an article entitled "Turkey should get rid of this disgrace", in Milli Gazete (28.08.09) columnist Huseyin Altinalan slams Anders Fogh Rasmussen and US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrook for making "disgusting" efforts to persuade Turkey to deploy combat troops to the Af-Pak region. Asserting that Turkey could have no national interests at stake in this region, Altinalan calls on the Government to end Turkey's current military presence in Afghanistan rather than sending additional troops to this country.

    In his commentary entitled "New approach in the opening" in Milliyet (29.08.09), Fikret Bila writes that Prime Minister Erdogan's recent statements show that the government has embarked on "a new phase" in its "Kurdish Overture" process. Explaining that "both Erdogan's 'Address to the Nation' and his remarks to NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen during the Ramadan fast-breaking dinner show a new approach," Bila lists "the following conclusions" from Erdogan's recent statements: New approach, Erdogan is managing the process, they do not represent the whole of Turkey, emphasizing the nation, and determination in the overture.

    EG/


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