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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-10-02

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. 186/09 01-02.10.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] President Gul has argued that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots cannot last forever
  • [02] Turkish FM comments on President Christofias speech at the UN General Assembly
  • [03] Talat censures President Christofias over his statements at the UN General Assembly
  • [04] Turkish MP expected to be elected as PACE Chairman in 2010
  • [05] Eroglu asked from Talat briefing on the Cyprus talks
  • [06] The YKP calls on Turkey to accept the return of Varosha, the withdrawal of troops and the end of transfer of new population
  • [07] The contacts of the CTP in Britain; Kutlay Erk states that Baroness Kinnocks will visit Cyprus
  • [08] Four hundred thirteen Greek Cypriots applied to the Immovable Property Commission
  • [09] More statements on the illegal workers
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot political party leaders to participate in AKPs congress; The UBP will reportedly meet with AKEL after the visit in Ankara
  • [11] Dervis Eroglu calls on the Turkish Cypriots not to shop from the free areas of the Republic
  • [12] New minimum wage increases by 47TL
  • [13] Four hundred athletes from 26 countries are to participate in games in occupied Cyprus
  • [14] The Week of the Mosques and the Religious Officials will be celebrated this year for the first time in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [15] Turkeys planned intense diplomacy traffic
  • [16] Survey shows that AKP is losing votes
  • [17] Turkeys January-August 2009 import-export figures
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [18] From the Turkish Press of 30 September and 01 October 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] President Gul has argued that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots cannot last forever

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul has argued that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots cannot last forever. Addressing the opening ceremony of the new legislative year of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Mr Gul noted that reaching a permanent and just peace until the end of the current year in the negotiations held in Cyprus is very important from the point of view of the establishment of peace and stability in the area.

    Mr Gul alleged: Here I want to remind the following to the whole world: The balance based on the current status quo in Cyprus cannot last forever. The current window of opportunity will not remain open forever. It should be known that the Turkish Cypriots could not continue being edged out of the international community and be kept under isolation.

    Referring to Turkeys EU accession process, Mr Gul said that the accession to the EU is one of Turkeys most important predetermined targets. He alleged that very serious and successful steps have been made until today in this road, but there are still many things to be done.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Turkish FM comments on President Christofias speech at the UN General Assembly

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.10.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has strongly criticized the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias for his address at the United Nations General Assembly.

    In his speech, Christofias claimed that the so-called Republic of Cyprus would be turned into a federation and will consist of two autonomous regions. Commenting on the Greek Cypriot Leaders statement, Mr Davutoglu warned todays status quo will not last forever just because of the fact that some are benefiting from it.

    Speaking at a press conference in Ankara at the end of his contacts in New York, the Foreign Minister criticized the Greek Cypriot Leader for presenting a federation consisting of two autonomous regions as a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He drew attention to the fact that the Greek Cypriot leaders words were contrary to the basis of negotiations that have been continuing between the two sides. The Minister said that Christofias statement were completely contrary to the basic principles which were agreed at the launch of the new negotiation process and envisage the formation of a new partnership state by two founding states on the basis of political equality and a bizonal order.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.09.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday that Turkey did not want its region to be faced with a new armed clash and tension. Regardless of the source of this tension, Turkey would be against it, added Davutoglu who held a press conference about his talks during UN General Assembly meetings as well as Turkey's foreign policy agenda for October.

    Regarding Iran and its nuclear program, Davutoglu said that Turkey had three basic principles about this issue, and Turkey's foreign policy should be assessed within the scope of those principles.

    Having nuclear technology by peaceful means and using it for peaceful purposes are the right of every country. It is an obligation, not only a right, especially for the countries which do not have natural energy resources, he added.

    We are against to limit this right. Secondly; pursuing these (nuclear) activities within the scope of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and exerting every effort to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons are indispensable principles for us. Purification of the whole world and especially the Middle East from global nuclear weapons is a political and humanitarian responsibility. Thus, we do not want any nuclear weapons in our region, and if possible in the world. Thirdly; we think that problems about this issue should be solved only by diplomatic ways, said Davutoglu. He added that military options should not be on the agenda.

    When asked about the attitude of Turkey if economic sanctions on Iran was brought onto agenda of the UN Security Council, Davutoglu said that Turkey did not think sanctions would bring a result. Noting that many sanctions had been implemented in the region in the past, Davutoglu said that Turkey attached importance to pursue diplomatic activities which would not require those sanctions. He added that one of the countries, which would be harmed from a sanction on Iran most, would be Turkey.

    Regarding the protocols between Turkey and Armenia, Davutoglu said that the protocols would be signed before the World Cup qualifying game to be played between teams of Turkey and Armenia. He added that arrival of Armenian Foreign Minister in Turkey to watch the game was important, but even if he did not come, this process (normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia) would continue. Davutoglu added that after the protocols were signed, they would be transferred to Parliament and then approved.

    Regarding relations with Iraq, Davutoglu said that Turkey was in full cooperation with Iraq in fight against terrorism. He added that Turkey asked regional administration in the north of Iraq to show active effort in fight against terrorism.When asked how election results in Germany would affect Turkey-EU relations, Davutoglu said that election results reflected the free will of German people and everybody should respect it. He added that Turkey-Germany relations would not be affected by an election result. He said that Turkey-EU relations were based on international commitments which should be respected by everybody, and those commitments would not changed by any election result.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that no one should expect partial and temporary implications about opening of border crossing with Armenia on October 14 for the game.

    Davutoglu held a news conference after his arrival from the United States. Asked whether it was possible to open the border crossing with Armenia symbolically for a day, Davutoglu said, the protocols to be signed with Armenia are a whole. Their implication is also a whole. Therefore, no one should expect partial and temporary implications. The World Cup European Group Five qualifying round match between Turkey and Armenia on October 14 is a sports event that should take place under rules of sportsmanship and mutual brotherhood. We do not have any concerns that incidents could happen during the game, he said. Referring to the issue of Cyprus, Davutoglu said: Turkish Cypriot people have still been subject to unfair embargoes despite all commitments and promises. Under the recent talks process, leaders of the both communities came together for 42 times. Although Turkish Cypriot party is not fully satisfied with the course of the talks, it continues supporting the process. Despite requests of the Turkish party, a tripartite meeting did not take place in New York. The parties, guarantor countries and the international community should take active initiatives to resolve the issue. If we cannot reach any result despite all these efforts, the international community should respect to the political will of the Turkish Cypriot party.Davutoglu said that Turkey would take over command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in November and increase number of Turkish troops in Afghanistan to about 1700.

    Replying to another question on Turkey-Israel relations, Davutoglu said, Turkey pursues its Middle East policy on the basis of some principles. Turkey is the country which displayed the clearest reaction against Israel's attacks on Gaza. We will continue displaying the same reaction against any kinds of killing of civilians.

    [03] Talat censures President Christofias over his statements at the UN General Assembly

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.09.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has underlined the need for the United Nations to stand against the Greek Cypriot Sides attempts to change standing UN-parameters on the Cyprus issue.

    Speaking just minutes after his arrival to the Republic from the United States this morning, the President said: During my discussions, we drew the attention to the struggle launched by the Greek Cypriot Side to change the UN Parameters and underlined the need for the UN to stop this.

    Mr Talat warned that the trust in the United Nations would weaken and the solution of the Cyprus problem would become more difficult if the UN keeps silent about the Greek Cypriot sides attempts.

    Referring to the statement issued by the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias at the UN General Assembly, President Talat said `he didnt only accuse Turkey of being an occupation force in Cyprus but also said that the Republic of Cyprus would turn into federation through evolution and will consist of two autonomous regions`. `This is an approach ignoring the UN parameters and the 23 May agreement which refers to issues such as two founding states, political equality and Turkish and Greek Cypriot founding states`. `We explained this while we were in New York` he said, stressing that it was out of question for the Turkish side to accept this.

    He stated that he had urged the UN Chief to stand against Greek Cypriot attempts towards changing the resolutions adopted by the United Nations and the UN Security Council. `The Greek Cypriot Leader did not only violate the 23 May Agreement but tried to distort it`, the President said, adding that Christofias changed his position after the last meeting of the Greek Cypriot Nation Council just to satisfy the opposition within the Council. Accusing the Greek Cypriot leader of taking backward steps whenever he faced criticism, he said `courage is needed to succeed in brining a solution We are facing similar criticisms but we are not taking backward steps`.

    The President also said that he had invited the UN Chief to Cyprus and expressed the hope that the visit would be realized in spite of the fact that Mr Ban did not have such plans.

    Asked to comment on a recent statement made by the Greek Cypriot Leader on Maras [Varosha closed area], he repeated that the issue could only be solved as part of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.09.09) reported the following:

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Mehmet Ali Talat lashed out at Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias for his speech at the UN General Assembly.

    At a press conference Wednesday, Talat said Christofias opened a reckless war on UN parameters for the solution of the Cyprus issue and urged the UN to stop this insolence. Talat said Christofias mentioned in his UN speech that in time Republic of Cyprus would evolve into a federation comprising of two autonomous areas. Talat said this was a diversion from a bizonal solution based on political equality of two founding states, agreed by the two leaders on May 23, 2008 and an attempt to distort the UN Parameters.

    Criticizing the UN SG Ban Ki-moon for being too passive against the Greek Cypriot side, Talat said the UN parameters crafted in 40 years of negotiations was approved by the Security Council in numerous occasions and urged the UN to warn Christofias' approach which he said was unacceptable. Talat said he invited Ban to Cyprus adding that he insisted upon learning that Ban had no plans of visiting Cyprus. Since he did not invite us to New York, and choose to be so passive, I said he could at least come to Cyprus. I hope he will consider it, said Talat.

    He said though the Greek Cypriot side agreed to do so, it did not say founding states but said autonomous zone and was not loyal to the agreement. Autonomous zone! This means we went back to 1974. Two Autonomous zones!! This is outrageous. UN needs to say stop to this, said Talat.

    [04] Turkish MP expected to be elected as PACE Chairman in 2010

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.09.09) reported the following from Strasbourg:

    A Turkish parliamentarian will be elected new chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) next year. A voting took place in the European Democrat Group on Wednesday to elect the group's nominee for next year's election for the new chairman of the PACE.

    Mevlut Cavusoglu of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, who also heads the Turkish delegation at the PACE, received 29 votes while his only opponent David Wilshire of the United Kingdom got 21 votes. Cavusoglu will be the nominee of the European Democrat Group in the election.

    Under a "gentleman's agreement" signed among political groups at the PACE, the new chairman will be elected among members of the European Democrat Group, sending Cavusoglu to post of the PACE chairman.

    A Turkish parliamentarian will head PACE for the first time in its history.

    Furthermore, illegal Bayrak television (01.10.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Mevlut Cavusoglu an MP from Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has been elected to the Term-Presidency of the European Democrat Group (EDG), one of the political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Mr Cavusoglus election is particularly significant in terms of the representation of the TRNC at PACE meetings.

    Mr Cavusoglu told BRT that he will provide full support towards a solution-favoured outcome at the end of Cyprus peace negotiations which are being maintained under the United Nations framework.

    Meanwhile, two TRNC deputies Tahsin Ertugruloglu and Mehmet Caglar are currently in Strasbourg to attend committee meetings of PACE. The two MPs have recently had meetings with leading figures of the PACE and explained the Turkish Sides view regarding the Cyprus solution process. They also demanded to gain the right to vote at the PACE.

    [05] Eroglu asked from Talat briefing on the Cyprus talks

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.10.09) broadcast the following:

    The TRNC Parliament has officially begun the new legislative year. The Parliament convened this morning for a ceremonial meeting where President Mehmet Ali Talat and the 1st President Rauf Denktas are also present.

    In an address at todays session, the Speaker of the Republics Assembly Hasan Bozer said new laws would be prepared in the new legislative year to bring great prosperity and happiness to the people. On the Cyprus issue, the speaker underlined the need to bring peace that would make it possible for the Cyprus Turkish people to feel in safety.

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu who also addressed the parliament, touched upon the Cyprus issue and expressed the need for President Mehmet Ali Talat to brief the Parliament on course of the negotiation process. He also pointed to the importance of bringing an agreement to the Cyprus problem that would be approved by the Turks of Cyprus.

    On economic issues, the Prime Minister said urgent measures should be taken to overcome the problems being faced in the country.

    [06] The YKP calls on Turkey to accept the return of Varosha, the withdrawal of troops and the end of transfer of new population

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (02.10.09) reports that Alpay Durduran, Secretary of Foreign Relations of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), has argued that the visit of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat to New York was nothing else than waste of time. In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Durduran said that even if everybody believes that there is no development in Cyprus and those who know the essence of the issue see that nothing will happen, they expect from the sides to continue the discussion. Negotiating for the sake of negotiations is enough for them, he noted and described the situation very heartbreaking for the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Durduran criticized those who refer to the example of Kosovo and Taiwan and added:

    The YKP calls once more on the parties to materialize the issues, the confidence building measures on which they reached an understanding and signed an agreement and intensify the talks. The YKP calls also on Turkey, if it has a will for a solution, to accept the return of Varosha, the withdrawal of troops and the end of transfer of new population and stop interfering in the internal affairs of Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) will participate in the 3rd regular congress of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) on 4 October in Ankara. According to a statement issued by the party, its delegation will meet with representatives of other left-wing parties during its stay in the Turkish capital.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The contacts of the CTP in Britain; Kutlay Erk states that Baroness Kinnocks will visit Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.10.09) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the delegation which accompanied him in Britain and participated in the conference of the Labour Party in Brighton, met with Baroness Glenys Kinnock, Minister Responsible for European Affairs.

    Mr Soyer stated that during the meeting, which lasted for one hour, they had the opportunity to convey in details to Baroness Kinnock their views on the Cyprus problem. He said that the British Minister follows the issue closely. Mr Soyer and the CTP delegation returned to the occupied areas of Cyprus last night. Today he is expected to depart for Ankara in order to participate in the 3rd Regular Congress of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.10.09) refers to the contacts of the CTP in Britain and reports that the General Secretary of the CTP, Kutlay Erk said that Baroness Kinnocks will visit Cyprus in three weeks and hold meetings with President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat at their offices. Mr Erk stated that Britain wants and supports fully a solution in Cyprus and does not accept the current status quo. Mr Erk added: Noting that the Cyprus problem creates problems in Turkeys EU accession course and that April 2010 is an important date, they want a solution in Cyprus before that date, that is, before the presidential elections in northern Cyprus. Moreover, they think that the EU term presidency, Sweden, will significantly contribute to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Erk said that at the reception of the Labour Party in Brighton they had the opportunity to meet for a while with the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who told them that they support the process in Cyprus and that they will continue this support. He said that the British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Miliband, addressing a panel of the Labour Party, said that Britain supports a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in Cyprus, that he met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat in New York and that he found that Mr Talat is serious and ready for a solution.

    Responding to questions of journalists after the reception, Mr Erk expressed the belief of his party that Mr Talat will win the so-called elections in April 2010 and added: However, the possibility of the election of a leader who does not accept the current process exists. This will end the whole effort exerted until today in the Cyprus problem. Referring to Turkeys influence in the elections, he alleged: The Turkish Cypriots will decide on this issue. If the new leader says that I will not continue the negotiations, Turkey cannot force him to do something he does not want.

    Mr Erk noted that the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), Mr Dervis Eroglu says he supports a solution, but makes statements which are contrary to the solution process.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Four hundred thirteen Greek Cypriots applied to the Immovable Property Commission

    According to data published in the website of the so-called Immovable Property Commission on 01.10.2009 (http://www.kuzeykibristmk.org/index.html), 413 Greek Cypriots have applied to the Commission since its establishment by the breakaway regime. The website referred to the issue as follows:

    From its establishment up to the present date, 413 applications have been lodged with the Commission, and 69 of them have been concluded through friendly settlements. The Commission has paid GBP 23,391,600 to the applicants as compensation. Moreover, it has ruled for exchange and compensation in 2 applications, restitution and compensation in 4 applications, and it has delivered a decision for restitution after the Settlement of the Cyprus Issue in 1 application.

    [09] More statements on the illegal workers

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the self-styled minister of labour and social insurance, Turkay Tokel told the paper that the number 35.000 which has been announced regarding the number of the illegal workers in the occupied areas of Cyprus includes the workers, the tourists and the students. He said that they started to work in order to determine the number of those who come to the occupied areas of the island as workers, students and tourists and that the numbers will be clarified within ten days. The number of 10 thousand we said that it was estimation, that is, we said there were 10 thousand workers. We thought that two thousand have taken permit.

    Meanwhile, Sonay Adem self-styled MP with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has stated that the government cannot explain the numbers it gives for the illegal workers and added that first the ministry of interior should establish and announce the number of the foreign population living in the occupied areas of Cyprus. They somehow cannot explain how they found the number 35 thousand, said Mr Adem and reminded that during the CTPs term of office they have registered 40 thousand illegal workers.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Turkish Cypriot political party leaders to participate in AKPs congress; The UBP will reportedly meet with AKEL after the visit in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the leaders of all the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the self-styled assembly will participate in the 3rd Regular Congress of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu will meet with the Turkish Prime Minister in Ankara and adds that the UBP is preparing for openings after Mr Eroglus return to the island. The paper reports that officials from the UBP will hold a meeting with AKEL and President Christofias in the free areas of the Republic after their visit to Ankara.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] Dervis Eroglu calls on the Turkish Cypriots not to shop from the free areas of the Republic

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu has argued that the market in the occupied areas became cheaper with the measure his government has taken. In statements during the opening of a shopping mall in occupied Famagusta, Mr Eroglu alleged that the TRNC people should shop in the occupied areas of Cyprus and not in the free areas of the Republic, in order for the economy and the market to be boosted and investments to come in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Noting that the money flow to the free areas of the Republic is too high, he added: This is not because the South is cheaper, but in any case it happens because of the fact that the people are curious. I have a wish, a request from the TRNC people. Let us shop in our own country, under the roof of our own state.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] New minimum wage increases by 47TL

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.10.09) broadcast the following:

    The new minimum wage has been set at 1237 Turkish Lira, increasing by 47 Turkish Lira. The wage was fixed by the Minimum Wage Commission yesterday.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the Federation of Revolutionary Workers Trade Unions (DEV-IS) has stated that the increase of 47 Turkish liras in the minimum monthly wage in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the new minimum wage which, as announced recently, is 1237 Turkish liras, is the lowest and most comical minimum wage since 1977, when this practice started.

    [13] Four hundred athletes from 26 countries are to participate in games in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.10.09) broadcast the following:

    The official opening ceremony for the International Dr. Fazil Kucuk Games has been held at the Ataturk stadium in Lefkosa.

    The International Dr Fazil Kucuk Games started on Tuesday, and today, the third day of the games, a billiard competition started. Billiard players from 12 countries are contesting in the competition at the Salamis Bay Resort Hotel.

    Around 400 sportspersons from 26 countries are participating in the competitions organized within the framework of the Dr Fazil Kucuk Games which will continue until Sunday.

    [14] The Week of the Mosques and the Religious Officials will be celebrated this year for the first time in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.10.09) reports that the Week of the Mosques and the Religious Officials will be celebrated this year for the first time in the occupied areas of Cyprus between 1 and 7 of October. This week is celebrated in Turkey since 1986.

    (I/Ts.)

    [15] Turkeys planned intense diplomacy traffic

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.09.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey is getting ready to take important steps to improve its relations with some countries in October which it considers "the month of peace".

    Turkey will hold meetings and sign some protocols to normalize or further improve its relations with Serbia, Armenia and Syria in the coming days. The two protocols initialled about a month ago to normalize the relations between Turkey and Armenia is expected to be signed in Zurich city of Switzerland on October 10. After being signed, the protocols will be submitted to the Turkish parliament for approval. Diplomatic sources said that submission of the protocols to the parliament and their approval were two separate issues.

    Meanwhile, a delegation from the Organization for security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk group will leave for Lachin on October 1; and President Serzh Sargsian of Armenia and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan will meet in Kishinev, Moldova, on October 7 and 8. President Sargsian is expected to watch the World Cup match between Turkey and Armenia in northwestern Turkish province of Bursa on October 14.

    Turkey will improve its relations with Serbia and consolidate its position in the Balkans by hosting a significant meeting in Istanbul on October 8 and 9. Foreign ministers from 13 southeastern European countries will converge to Istanbul. On the sidelines of the gathering, Turkish, Serbian and Bosnian foreign ministers will hold a tripartite meeting. Efforts to ensure stability in the Balkans will top agenda of the meeting. Also, President Abdullah Gul is expected to pay a visit to Serbia in October.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu will pay an official visit to Aleppo on October 13 and meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem. After signing a bilateral agreement near Turkey-Syria border, the two ministers will proceed to the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep. Another high-level meeting will take place between the two countries on the level of prime ministers in November or in December. Davutoglu will leave for Brussels on October 1 to hold talks before release of the Progress Report.

    He will proceed to Azerbaijan to attend the Turkic-Speaking Countries Summit. He will also attend a bilateral meeting between Turkey and Azerbaijan. The meeting is considered important in the process of normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations.

    Davutoglu will pay a visit to the Netherlands on October 6.

    Hungarian foreign minister will come to Ankara on October 8 while foreign ministers of southeastern European countries will converge to Istanbul.

    On October 10, two protocols will be signed to improve relations between Turkey and Armenia in Zurich, Switzerland.

    Later, Davutoglu will pay an official visit to Aleppo on October 13.

    World Cup match between Turkey and Armenia will take place in the northwestern Turkish province of Bursa on October 14.

    Following the match, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Davutoglu will visit Iraq on October 15.

    Davutoglu will visit France on October 21 while Prime Minister Erdogan will pay visits to Pakistan and Iran on October 25 and 26.

    Meanwhile, President Abdullah Gul will host his Macedonian counterpart on October 16 and Kazakh counterpart on October 22. He will pay a visit to Serbia on October 25.

    [16] Survey shows that AKP is losing votes

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (30.09.09) reported the following:

    The voters have begun to turn to the CHP [Republican People's Party] and the MHP [Nationalist Action Party] because of the Kurdish overture. According to figures for September the CHP's proportion of the vote has risen from 23 during the local elections of 29 March to 27.21 percent while the MHP vote has risen from 15 to 19.03 percent.

    The AKP [Justice and Development Party] received 38 percent of the vote in terms of "Provincial General Assembly" votes during the 29 March local elections, but this figure has skipped back to 34 percent in the last six months. Public surveys attribute the AKP's slump to "failing economic policy" but also show that the "democratic overture" debates, which have been occupying the agenda recently, have begun to have their effect on the fall as well.

    A survey called "Turkey's Political Trends and Expectations: September 2009" carried out by the SONAR Research Company over 1-20 September surveyed 3,000 people living in 20 districts and 20 villages in Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Antalya, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Edirne, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Konya, Mersin, Samsun and Van.

    Subtitle: Overture's impact

    According to the survey, the voters, who had shown a tendency to vote for parties outside of Parliament in August 2009, began preferring the MHP and CHP in Sept because of the Kurdish overture. The AKP was already showing 35 percent of the vote in August but this slipped back another point to 34 percent in just 30 days. According to figures for the September survey, the CHP, which had pooled 23 percent of the vote during the 29 March local elections, has risen to 27.21 percent while the MHP, which had received 15 percent of the vote, has now risen to 19.03 percent. The DTP [Democratic Society Party] vote has also increased by 1 point o 6.08 percent.

    Subtitle: Most important problem

    When asked, "What is Turkey's most important problem?" 66.7 percent of participants said unemployment, 50.2 percent said, high prices while 24.8 percent said security. This shows that economic instability is the greatest factor underlying the change in citizens' votes.

    The government's Kurdish overture work is expected to create a clear change in the proportions of votes for the political parties in the coming six months.

    Subtitle: Era of single party rule could end

    According to the survey's figures, if the AKP receives 34 percent of the vote at the next general election it will not have enough deputies in Parliament to maintain "AKP rule." If the CHP, MHP and DTP receive votes in parallel with the figures for September this could pave the way for a coalition that does not include the AKP.

    17. Turkeys January-August 2009 import-export figures

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.09.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's export decreased 29.1 percent in August, 2009 when compared to August, 2008. Turkish Board of Statistics (TUIK) stated on Wednesday that the export figure in August, 2009 was 7.8 billion USD.

    The import figure dropped 34 percent to 12.7 billion USD in August, 2009, added TUIK. Foreign trade deficit decreased 40.6 percent from 8.2 billion USD to 4.8 billion USD in August, 2009.

    Also Turkey's export dropped 30.1 percent to 64.6 billion USD, and import dropped 39.9 percent to 87.5 billion USD in January-August period of 2009 when compared to the same period of 2008.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [18] From the Turkish Press of 30 September and 01 October 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 30 September and 01 October 2009:

    a) German Elections / Turkey's EU Membership Bid

    Viewing the stand adopted by Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP) as regards to Turkey's EU membership bid, a 550-word chief editorial in Hurriyet Daily News (01.10.09) compares the FDP with the Social Democratic Party. The editorial says the EU summit in December will give Turkey a clue about Germany's position in this regard.

    The FDP rejects "privileged partnership" for Turkey and believes that Turkey should eventually be given full membership and therefore it is normal to expect the FDP not to allow Merkel's Germany to act like Sarkozy' France, which has adopted an ideological and sentimental stand with regard to Turkey's EU bid, says Kadri Gursel in an article in Milliyet (01.10.09). Stressing that the bilateral and the economic ties between Turkey and Germany are important for both countries, Gursel also draws attention to the three million Turks living in Germany. It is possible to say that Sarkozy's France has the luxury of risking its ties with Turkey because these ties are not as multidimensional and as deep as the ties with Germany, but to believe that Merkel will openly confront Turkey just because she has gotten rid of the SDP will be underestimating Merkel's chancellorship.

    We all know that it is impossible for Turkey to become an EU member as long as Sarkozy and Merkel remain in power, says Ali Sirmen in an article in Cumhuriyet (01.10.09), adding: "What we do not know, however, is that despite the fact that there are those in the EU who look favourably at our candidacy, the majority agrees with Merkel and Sarkozy." There is no country in the world that wants the EU membership like us and there is no country in the world that is rejected like us, stresses Sirmen and explains that Turkey has made a mistake by begging the EU for membership. Turkey has also made a mistake by making certain promises to the EU and these mistakes have been introduced to us as triumphs, argues Sirmen and asks: "Are the European wrong in not wanting to see us among themselves? Do we want Europe? Do we want the foreigners?" Drawing attention to the poll conducted on behalf of the Jewish community in Turkey, Sirmen says: "You will recall that in a poll that had been conducted earlier, the majority of our people had noted they do not want neighbours who are atheists or Christians, whose daughters wear shorts, and who consume alcohol. Let me draw your attention, the profile of the unwanted neighbour is the profile of an average European."

    In an article entitled "Turkey does not need you any more", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul (01.10.09) comments on British press reports asserting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Prime Minister Erdogan following the recent German elections to say that she would be opposing Turkey's bid for EU membership more openly from now on. Karagul asserts that Ankara is well-positioned to respond to Merkel's "opposition" in the following fashion: "We do not need you. Europe has lost its central role. The world's axis is changing ... Turkey is pursuing policies in line with this major transformation. The EU will never be Turkey's sole option from now on. Membership might well become a burden for Turkey after a while. You would do well first to confront your own economic issues and your political bankruptcy."

    In a commentary entitled "The German elections, Turkey and the EU", Zaman (01.10.09) writer Eser Karakas argues that the way for Turkey to overcome Angela Merkel and Nikolas Sarkozy's objections to its bid for EU membership would be to take rapid and major steps toward meeting the Copenhagen Criteria and get across the message that "without making any concessions on the issue of full membership," Ankara is open to "reasonable" and "logical" negotiation with Europe on issues that cause European peoples to hesitate about admitting Turkey to membership such as "representation by population" and "unrestricted movement of labour" within the EU.

    In an editorial, Hurriyet Daily News (30.09.09) views the results of the elections in Germany and says: "The fact that Merkel is returning to power in league with a new coalition partner that is likely to stiffen her resolve to renege on commitments made to Turkey only compounds our disappointment." Drawing attention to the ties between Turkey and Germany, the editorial also cites former German Foreign Minister as saying that "Turkey has no choice but full membership."

    I recommend the people not to jump to conclusions on whether or not the coalition change in Germany will mean a tougher German approach to Turkey's EU membership bid says Joost Lagendijk in an article and assesses German Liberal Party Chairman Guido Weserwelle's views in this regard.

    b) Turkey's New Role

    The multilateral order that the Obama administration envisages in the world requires regional allies argues Bulent Aras in an article in Sabah (30.09.09) and asserts that Prime Minister Erdogan's performance in the United Nations and in the G-20n proves that Turkey has become one of the founding members of the new order. The fact that Turkey is trying to resolve its problems in line with international norms and the fact that this is approved by international actors strengthen Turkey's position, points out Aras and adds: "In short, a new world is being established. This time Turkey is positioning itself correctly with its role as a power that establishes order."

    EG/


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