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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-10-07

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. 189/09 07.10.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Alexander Downer after meeting the Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [02] Ercakica said they expect from Prime Minister George Papandreou to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [03] The trade unions announced measures against the 22 decrees approved by the assembly
  • [04] The occupied city of Famagusta is included in the 100 most neglected historic places of the world
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot professor calls on Talat to examine whether the people is ready for a solution before demanding a referendum as soon as possible
  • [06] The so-called Association for History and Dialogue for Peace has spotted many mistakes in the Turkish Cypriot history books
  • [07] The illegal Eastern Mediterranean University will host the SIN 2009 Conference
  • [08] Main opposition party leader criticizes AKPs EU policy; Reference to Cyprus
  • [09] Turkish Justice Minister meets ECHR President
  • [10] Todays Zaman: Turkish military ready for sweeping operations against PKK
  • [11] Pro-Kurdish party opposes the extension of the cross-border motion
  • [12] Bloomberg TV and Ciner Media agreed to open a joint TV channel in Turkey
  • [13] UNDPs report shows that Turkish women are left behind as country progresses
  • [14] Turkey, Armenia protocols will be signed, says diplomat
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Turkish officials are quoted to be telling the Azeris: Turkey signed a protocol with the European Union on the Cyprus issue. What happened? Did Turkey open its ports to South Cyprus vehicles in the last four years?
  • [16] Columnist on a possible restructure of the UN Security Council

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Alexander Downer after meeting the Turkish Cypriot leader

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (07.10.09) reports that Alexander Downer, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Cyprus met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. In his statements after the meeting which lasted for about one hour, Mr Donwer responded to a question regarding the accusations against him in the Greek Cypriot press and said that the ongoing negotiating process is not carried out for him or for the UN and added that everybody should focus on reaching to an agreement for the future of Cyprus. The process concerns the two sides which are negotiating with the aim to reach to an agreement for the future of Cyprus, he noted.

    Noting that the leaders will hold two meetings this week and two meetings next week within the framework of the intercommuncal, Mr Downer added: The difference between a really successful leader and a leader who behaves according to his political interests is that he focuses on the main issue and tries to solve the problems which influence the people. Mr Downer said the future of Cyprus closely concerns the people living on the island and that everything depends on the ability of these people to live together. He noted that this is the main issue on which he is concentrated and added that they are trying to assist the two leaders. He said he enjoys this important duty and does everything he can to help. However, this is not for me, but for Cyprus. I support focusing on this, he pointed out.

    Responding to a question, Mr Downer said it is not possible to say a definite date for a referendum in Cyprus, but expressed the belief that the two leaders can do this. He pointed out that the process is very difficult and that it continues for 30 years and added that the important thing is that there are two leaders who want an agreement with good will and Greece and Turkey support the agreement. He stressed that the negotiations should continue for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality.

    Asked on the election victory of George Papandreou in Greece, he said he congratulates PASOK and Mr Papandreou and noted that he knows him well because they had been ministers of foreign affairs of their countries during the same period. He noted that he had good relations with the outgoing Greek government as well.

    Responding to another question, Mr Downer said that there is no decision yet on the issue of the visit of the UN Secretary-General to Cyprus.

    In another column Star Kibris reports that Alexander Downer, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Cyprus, responded to questions of journalist Ozcan Ozcanhan yesterday before and after his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. Asked to comment on the accusations against him in the Greek Cypriot press, Mr Downer said that these are politics, populism and actions carried out with the aim of gaining advantage. Mr Ozcanhan noted that these may not have been the exact words Mr Downer used, but these were what he stressed. Mr Downer said that the two leaders are exerting efforts for finding a solution with good will and we are assisting them. Mr Ozcanhan writes that, responding to another question, Mr Downer told him he is satisfied with the victory of the Mr George Papandreou in the Greek elections, but avoided to make any other comment saying that Mr Papandreou has not yet started his duties.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ercakica said they expect from Prime Minister George Papandreou to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (07.10.09) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has said that they expect from the newly elected Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to contribute to the solution of the Cyrus problem. Speaking yesterday during his weekly press briefing, Mr Ercakica wished for the election of Mr Papandreou to have positive influence on the solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr Ercakica alleged that the Karamanlis government remained passive on the Cyprus problem and supported the Greek Cypriot side. He claimed that this is why Greece has not contributed.

    In addition, illegal Bayrak television (05.10.09) broadcast the following:

    Presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has said President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias will continue to discuss the issue of executive at their meeting tomorrow. The meeting will be the first since the 17th of September when they decided to speed up the negotiation process. Meanwhile, senior aides of the two leaders met this afternoon to take up the details of the issue ahead of the meeting.

    Speaking during his weekly press briefing, Mr Ercakica said that the two leaders will exchange views on proposals presented by the two sides on the issue of executive, adding that the Turkish sides proposal attracted great interest of the international community.

    Pointing out that the talks would be held under the shadow of a smear campaign orchestrated by the Greek Cypriot Administration against the Turkish Side, he complained that the Greek Cypriot side intensified its campaign against Turkey after the recent meeting of the Greek Cypriot National Council and that the Greek Cypriot Leaders speech at the UN General Assembly was contrary to the basic principles agreed earlier by the two sides.

    Referring to the results of Eurobarometer survey which revealed a substantial drop in the Cyprus Turkish peoples trust in the European Union (EU), he said the misuse of EU membership by the Greek Cypriot side against the Cyprus Turkish people was mainly responsible for the outcome. He said the results underlined the need for EU member states to make fresh efforts to regain the trust of the Cyprus Turks.

    [03] The trade unions announced measures against the 22 decrees approved by the assembly

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.10.09) reports that the trade unions are preparing to take harder measures against the National Unity Party (UBP) self-styled government, which passed from the assembly 22 decrees in the power of law in one day by forbidding the strikes and using the contingency force of the police. The trade unions met yesterday and decided to go on general strike and prepare for a rally. They also decided to boycott Kibris newspaper by their members and not to buy things from employers who approved the minimum wage. The trade unions said they will struggle using every kind of legal means against the decrees and announced that they will apply to the Constitutional Court and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. They announced that the reason for boycotting Kibris newspaper is the support of the paper to those who implement the imposed packages.

    Afrika also reports that the 22 decrees in the power of law passed in 14 hours from the assembly yesterday. Some of them, which provide for amnesty or decrease in various fields passed unanimously. The arrangements regarding the cost of living and the over-time payments passed with the votes of the UBP.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] The occupied city of Famagusta is included in the 100 most neglected historic places of the world

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.10.09) reports that the occupied city of Famagusta is included in the reports of the World Monuments Fund (WMF) for 2010 regarding the historic places for the protection of which special interest should be exhibited. Occupied Famagusta is among the 100 places in the world which are faced with the most danger and attention is not paid for their protection.

    According to the report, the so-called embargoes against the occupied areas of Cyprus are a serious obstacle for foreign experts and financing to reach to Famagusta. The report points out that because of this special situation, more international interest should be shown for the protection of the cultural heritage of occupied Famagusta.

    Commenting on the issue, the self-styled mayor of occupied Famagusta Oktay Kayalp said that after the first report announced in 2007, the neglected cultural wealth of occupied Famagusta started to be more appreciated and added that scientists from Portugal visited the occupied city and carried out examinations.

    Both with our own resources and with contributions from the EU and the state, we have materialized one by one a wide range of restoration and recreation projects, he noted and added that they will use the advantages of the second report, as they did with the first, and establish cooperation with more international experts.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Turkish Cypriot professor calls on Talat to examine whether the people is ready for a solution before demanding a referendum as soon as possible

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (07.10.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot professor Dr. Mehmet Hasguler has said that the belief that the Greek Cypriots will not vote in favour of a solution during a referendum exists in the community and added that the issue of whether the Turkish Cypriots are ready for a solution, like in 2004, is also debatable. Dr. Hasguler said the people in the Turkish Cypriot community do not go out in the streets now asking for a solution as in 2003. He noted that Mr Talat is exerting efforts for a referendum to be held now, but he should know whether the people are ready for this.

    Noting that we are facing a reality here, Dr. Hasguler said: If people are not prepared for a referendum, a great disappointment might be caused. Mr Talats statement that we should go for a referendum as soon as possible is not reflected in the streets. The president must avoid such enforcement. He should be a little bit calmer, because negotiations are going on. A leader who negotiates as if a disaster will happen can bring no gains to the community. ....

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] The so-called Association for History and Dialogue for Peace has spotted many mistakes in the Turkish Cypriot history books

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (07.10.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Association for History and Dialogue for Peace has spotted 32 mistakes in the history book of the eighth class during its first evaluation. The association announced yesterday that the new Turkish Cypriot history books contain a lot of wrong information and are far from having scientific content. According to the announcement, the mistakes concern the dates regarding the establishment of EOKA organization, the results of the London Conference as regards Turkey, the oath of the TMT organization, the agreements signed in Zurich etc.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The illegal Eastern Mediterranean University will host the SIN 2009 Conference

    Under the title DAU to host SIN 2009 Conference Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.10.09) reports that the Department of Computer Engineering of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University will host the SIN 2009 conference (2nd International Conference on Security in Information and Network), which is organized by the Australian Macquarie University together with the Russian South Federal University. The conference which is to start tomorrow will take place at the Salamis Bay Resort Hotel. The paper writes that academicians from more than 30 different countries are expected to participate.

    Moreover, the paper adds that the opening speech will be made by Elisa Bertino, chairwoman of the ACM Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control (SIGSAC), which is one of the biggest academic organizations internationally in Communication. A speech is to be delivered also by Erdal Cayirci from the NATO JWS (The Joint Warfare Centre) and Stravanger University and by Sorin. A. Huss from the Darmstadt University of Germany.

    (AK)

    [08] Main opposition party leader criticizes AKPs EU policy; Reference to Cyprus

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (07.10.09) reports the following:

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal has commented on the possibility of holding early parliamentary elections by the end of this legislative year.

    At a point where the Justice and Development Party's [AK Party] power will end, it will be inevitable for Turkey to enter a period of elections after the completion of this legislative year. There is no doubt that Turkey will face more troubles in 2010, noted Baykal during his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.

    Turkey's next parliamentary election is set for 2011, but political parties have lately started to hint that they may head for early elections to ease political tension in the country. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan implied on Saturday that his AK Party may call early elections if he fails to receive the support of other political parties for a planned democratization package.

    The CHP leader directed harsh accusations at the prime minister for his policies in the economic field. The unemployment rate is not 13 percent, as the prime minister claims. It is 16 percent. Nearly 250,000 agricultural workers lost their jobs last year. Around one million people became unemployed. The government ignores agricultural workers. The recent increase in pensions is far from fair. Salaries given to public servants are at a ridiculous level. Unemployment and [other] economic problems should be taken into consideration immediately, he said.

    Baykal also criticized the AK Party's bid to join the European Union, adding that the government had made concessions on the Cyprus issue for membership in the union.

    What happens now? Will we join the EU? The process is at a deadlock. They approved the Annan plan to join the union. What point are we at in the Cyprus issue? We approved the Annan plan, but the Greek Cypriots did not. We are still not an EU member, but Greek Cypriots joined the union long ago, he noted.

    The CHP leader also touched on an expected letter diplomacy between his party and the AK Party for a meeting between the leaders of the two parties to discuss the government's plans to solve the Kurdish question through peaceful methods. I will provide more details if I receive the prime minister's letter. I have nothing at hand now, he said.

    Erdogan said he plans to send a letter to the CHP leader to set up a meeting to discuss the government's democratic initiative. CHP officials said they will revise their position toward the initiative if the letter includes concrete details on the content of the package. The CHP has so far remained skeptical about the initiative, with its officials expressing concern that the AK Party has embarked on this project in response to pressure from foreign countries, particularly the United States.

    [09] Turkish Justice Minister meets ECHR President

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.10.09) reported the following from Strasbourg:

    Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin met on Tuesday European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) President Jean-Paul Costa. Turkish Judge in the ECHR Ayse Isil Karakas also attended the meeting that lasted nearly an hour. Ergin also met ambassadors of EU Rotating President Sweden; Spain, next EU rotating president, and EU Troika comprising European Commission.

    Speaking to reporters following the meetings, Ergin said, we are pleased to see that Turkey's works on jurisdiction are appreciated.

    Ergin and Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis will meet European Commission Vice President Jacques Barrot and EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on Wednesday.

    [10] Todays Zaman: Turkish military ready for sweeping operations against PKK

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (07.10.09) reports the following:

    Parliament passed a government motion yesterday to extend by another year a mandate to launch cross-border military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) prepare for sweeping operations to exhaust members of the terrorist group and encourage them to leave organization.

    Parliament, which returned from its summer recess on October 1, debated the government motion as a top priority. The current mandate for cross-border operations expires on October 17.

    The Turkish military has carried out 24 air and land operations in the past three decades against targets of the terrorist organization based in northern Iraq. The TSK launches its operations around the Kandil Mountains and in the Duhok and Zap regions. Last year, the motion was supported by all parties in Parliament except the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which objects to military measures while a peaceful solution is being discussed.

    On the other hand, the government, which launched its democratic initiative involving granting full citizenship rights to Turkey's Kurdish citizens, wants to use the military option to discourage PKK members from militancy.

    Sources said the military operation is planned to be a coordinated effort with Iraq, Syria and Iran and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to travel to Iraq on October 15-16 to discuss the issue of eliminating PKK camps from northern Iraq. Turkey would like to see PKK members handed over. As there has been debate over pardoning PKK militants, Turkish officials indicated that amnesty for PKK militants is not under consideration. Regarding an active repentance law in effect since January 2005, sources said the law will remain in force for PKK members who turn themselves in.

    Former PKK members who escaped from the terrorist organization's hideouts in the mountains of northern Iraq and surrendered to Turkish officials have been reunited with their families without being sentenced to prison, in line with Article 221 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), called the active repentance law.

    If cooperation works, the first step in eliminating the PKK would be shutting down the Mahmur camp, a UN-operated refugee camp in northern Iraq whose closure Turkey has long called for. Meanwhile, Syria is expected to consider a general amnesty for about 1,500-2,000 militants based in the Syrian part of the Kandil Mountains. Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug had indicated that a general amnesty by Syria for the militants would ease Turkey's fight against terrorism.

    In addition, Iran is expected to eliminate the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot set up by the PKK in 2004 to fight for Kurdish autonomy in Iran. A Turkey-US-Iraq coordination center against the PKK has been working to find out exactly how much presence the PKK has in northern Iraq.

    However, sources said that it would not be possible to fully eliminate the PKK even with efforts from Iran and Syria because there are groups in the PKK resisting laying down arms. Turkey will offer an opportunity for the militants to return to Turkey but for the armed PKK members, Turkey will use military operations. Such an operation is likely to be in December and in spring next year, according to sources.

    The first operation of the TSK against the PKK was on May 25 in 1983. Following the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999, the TSK did not carry out cross-border operations in the region until 2003. But the American intervention in Iraq created a power vacuum in the area and the PKK gained strength.

    The Turkish military's last cross-border operation was in February 2008. There were also air raids in December 2007. In these operations, supported by real time intelligence by the United States, 250 PKK members were killed, according to Turkish sources. As 35 Turkish soldiers died in the operation, Turkish officials started to rethink the effectiveness of military operations against the PKK. In the meantime, pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) leader Ahmet Turk expressed his concern over the prospect of an extension of the Iraq mandate during his party's parliamentary group gathering yesterday.

    Parliament should work to produce peace instead of clashes and problems. But our Parliament has been put under [military] tutelage once more with the mandate. The ruling Justice and Development Party [AK Party] should make its decision. Will it back the solution or the problem? The extension of the mandate will make access to peace even more difficult, Turk noted. The DTP leader also indicated that his party will vote no on the extension of the cross-border mandate.

    [11] Pro-Kurdish party opposes the extension of the cross-border motion

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.10.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) has urged the Parliament not to extend the authority granted to the military to hit the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) saying it could hurt the ongoing Kurdish process.

    Its very unfortunate that the Parliament puts the political efforts under the militarys custody, Ahmet Turk, co-leader of the DTP said Tuesday before the motion was voted by the General Assembly. All three political parties represented in Parliament supported the extension of the mandate by another year but the vote was still ongoing late afternoon when the Daily News went to print.

    Criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for not being brave enough to continue the process with the earlier principles Turk wanted government to make its final decision on the matter. Are you going to be a part of the problem or of the solution? If the answer is solution than it requires taking steps on the direction of peace, he said. Extending the mandate will make the peace process more difficult.

    Deniz Bolukbasi, deputy leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) hinted that the military did lose its enthusiasm in launching aerial attacks in 2009 compared to previous years. What is the problem? Is the terrorist threat diminished in northern Iraq or the United States no longer gives permission to the government? he asked.

    The first authority was given to the military in 2007 and was extended in 2008. During the period, the military had conducted one large ground operation into northern Iraq and a number of aerial attacks. The PKK, labeled as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the European Union and the United States, has its main camps and headquarters in the northern Iraq with an estimated 3,000 terrorists.

    [12] Bloomberg TV and Ciner Media agreed to open a joint TV channel in Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.10.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Bloomberg Television, a global business and finance news network, and Ciner Media, a leading Turkish media group, announced Tuesday that they agreed to open a new TV channel titled BloombergHT in Turkey.

    A joint press release issued by the companies said BloombergHT would broadcast business and fiance news in Turkish through satellite and cable in Turkey and other Turkic republics. Ciner Media will run the channel which will open before the end of the year, while Bloomberg will continue to exercise editorial control over the finance and business content of the channel.

    Ciner Media Group, owns Haber Turk TV Channel and Haber Turk daily newspaper in Turkey.

    [13] UNDPs report shows that Turkish women are left behind as country progresses

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.10.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkey continues to score an abysmal rank on the UNDPs Human Development Index, despite an increase in Turkeys life expectancy rates, literacy and gross national product over the past 27 years. Overall the country has slipped three places this year, but specifically the role of women in society has earned the worst mark. Turkey ranked 101 out of 109.

    Despite progress in some vital indicators of a healthy society, the role of women in Turkish society remains very low and the country has regressed on the U.N. Human Development Index.

    Turkey ranked 101 out of 109 countries in the 2009 Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) released on Monday as a part of the United Nations Development Programme, or UNDPs, Human Development Index.

    Turkey dropped three places in this years Human Development Index, ranking 79 out of 182 countries, but the alarmingly low rank in the Gender Equality Index is a strong indicator that the country has a long way to go to empower women politically and economically in order to achieve gender equality.

    The GEM bases its rankings on indicators such as the active role played by women in politics and the economy. The GEM was included in the Human Development Index for the first time in 1995.

    Despite an increase in Turkeys life expectancy rates, literacy and gross national product over the past 27 years, the country continues to be ranked low on the UNDPs Human Development Index. When spilt into the four sections of extremely developed, developed, developing and undeveloped, Turkey falls into the category of developed with Cuba and Saudi Arabia, which are ahead of Turkeys neighbours Armenia and Iran. But in the GEM results, Turkey is only ahead of Tonga, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Yemen.

    The results demonstrate that Turkey is at a standstill, there are no reforms being implemented to show development, said Pinar Ilkkaracan, coordinator of the Womens Human Rights Foundation, in her result analysis. Ilkkaracan said in the 2000s there have been significant changes to the Turkish Penal Code and development toward gender equality, but today these changes are not being taken forward. According to Ilkkaracan, the issue of employment also needs to be addressed in order to progress in the area of gender equality.

    President of the Association to Support and Train Women Candidates, or KADER, Hulya Gulbahar, said she was not at all surprised by the figures, and said KADER had warned political parities ahead of the local elections in March about the fact that in 39 out of 81 provinces in Turkey there was not one female member of the municipal council. Half of Turkey is being run without any female member of council, and until this problem is solved the figures will not change, she said.

    The Human Development Index considers factors such as poverty, gender, democracy, human rights, cultural liberty, globalization, water scarcity and climate change. In the poverty index, Turkey is ranked 40 out of 135 countries, in the under 40s mortality rate it was ranked 50, and in the literacy index it ranked 77. The lowest-ranked position for Turkey was in the gender empowerment measure.

    [14] Turkey, Armenia protocols will be signed, says diplomat

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.10.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    It has become a source of curiosity whether a written statement will be released announcing the date and venue of the protocol-signing ceremony between Turkey and Armenia.

    Although it is known that the ceremony will take place on Saturday in Zurich, no statement was issued by mediator Switzerland as of late Tuesday when the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review went to print.

    The statement could be released or not. It is up to the host country, said a senior Turkish diplomat. No matter whether it is released or not I assure you that the protocols will be signed, he said, without elaborating.

    News reports earlier claimed that Switzerland could not prepare sound logistics for the signing ceremony over fears of the Armenian diasporas reactions.

    Asked if there would be any participants other than the foreign ministers of Turkey, Armenia and Switzerland, the Turkish diplomat said: There could be. There are a lot of countries that will be pleased by the normalization of ties between Turkey and Armenia.

    Diplomatic sources said the two neighbouring countries were now in a win-win situation, while admitting that the job of Armenian President Serge Sarkisian was much more difficult considering the protests of the Armenian diaspora, which were evident in Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

    The signing of the protocols is expected to usher in a new era of open relations between Turkey and Armenia. After the signing, the documents will be dispatched to the respective parliaments for ratification. The ceremony in Switzerland will be followed by the World Cup qualifying match that will take place in Bursa on October 14 between the Turkish and Armenian national teams.

    The first protocol, covering the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the second, on the further development of bilateral relations, are accompanied by an annex that sets a clear timetable for the implementation of both.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] Turkish officials are quoted to be telling the Azeris: Turkey signed a protocol with the European Union on the Cyprus issue. What happened? Did Turkey open its ports to South Cyprus vehicles in the last four years?

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News.com (05.10.09) publishes the following ccolumn by Cuneyt Ulsever under the title: "Could there be a state not standing for its signature?":

    I found the news story in daily Hurriyet on Sunday odd. "Cannot be without Karabakh," was titled and penned down by Ugur Ergan in Ankara.

    It was about a quartet summit between President Abdullah Gul and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev as well as the foreign ministers of the two countries.

    The main theme was the assurance Turkey provided to Azerbaijan. Without finding a solution in the Armenian-occupied Karabakh, protocol to be signed with Armenia cannot be sent to Turkish Parliament, it read. Azerbaijan's reaction in the story was we were relieved.

    I was attracted to the following paragraph in the article.

    Turkish officials said:

    The formation of a joint history commission and re-opening the border are included in the document. However, they can be put into effect only after a solution is found to the Karabakh issue. Without a solution to the Karabakh conflict, this protocol cannot be transferred to Parliament. Even then, Parliament does not adopt it. So, relax. Turkey signed a protocol with the European Union on the Cyprus issue. What happened? Did Turkey open its ports to South Cyprus vehicles for the last four years?

    What the Turkish side tells Azeris can be interpreted as:

    Don't worry about our protocol with Armenia. Yes, a protocol will be signed but don't take this seriously. Take our word.

    In order to help Azeris to feel at ease, a tangible example is given in the story:

    We promised the EU to open Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot vehicles because it was necessary. But see, we did not keep our promise.

    In short, the Turkish Foreign Ministry means: "Please, don't take our signature seriously; don't worry about it!"

    I do not discuss the accuracy of the protocol here.

    The point I discuss is if it is possible for a state to deny a signature and to accept it as long as it serves a purpose. Or more clearly, can a state be taken seriously if it doesn't claim its signature?

    I wrote a few times that multi-dimensional foreign policy sauced with zero problem with neighbours on top may turn into a simple game of pleasing everyone.

    Here is a solid example:

    1) We promised to re-open the Armenian border in order to prevent U.S. President Barack Obama from signing the genocide bill on the eve of April 24.

    2) As Azeris are offended by our word, Turkey's prime minister said, The border cannot be opened before the Karabakh issue is resolved, immediately after we circumvented the April 24 crisis.

    3) But contacts with Armenia continue, so we have learned. This time, we faced the protocol pending for signature on Oct. 10. The Karabakh issue is not included inside the document. The Armenian side clearly said the protocol has nothing to do with the Karabakh conflict. And I thought it was left to Russia to resolve this problem.

    4) But according to the news article that was not denied by the Foreign Ministry, we are to sign this protocol just for fun!

    As we did to the EU with the Cyprus issue!

    [16] Columnist on a possible restructure of the UN Security Council

    Under the title The UN should be restructured Todays Zaman (06.10.09) publishes the following commentary by Ali Bulac:

    Two leaders attracted attention at the UN General Assembly: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi. The prime minister's speech pointed out the need for the rehabilitation of realpolitik.

    He could not be expected to make reference to idealistic politics (idealpolitik) considering his position as a political leader and his stance within the current international conjuncture. Qaddafi, however, made recommendations along with harsh criticism. While Qaddafi's speech was a showcase, his criticism was not ungrounded.

    Arguing that the UN has no dignity and that the Security Council has failed to stop 65 wars, Qaddafi says: The veto power and existence of permanent members is against the UN Charter. The permanent members treat small countries as second-class states. There is no respect at the UN; the General Assembly has no prestige. Qaddafi went on to make the following recommendations:

    The superpowers have complicated interests and use the United Nations for their own purposes. The Third World is terrorized and frightened; Africa should be given a seat at the Security Council. Libya cannot be forced to comply with Security Council resolutions. The UN should take democratic decisions; non-adherents to the decisions and resolutions should be expelled from the organization. The rules should apply to powerful countries as well; reliance on military power against another country is contrary to the spirit of the UN. Force is used only when the UN decides it is necessary in times of the violation of the interests of all states. It is too tiring to come to New York; the delegates are tired over here. The US applies strict security measures and visa restrictions. The UN headquarters should be moved out from New York.

    It is a fact that Qaddafi does not hold warm sentiments towards the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League. For this reason, he is asking for a permanent seat at the UN to be reserved for the African Union. I do not think this will suffice to re-create a just and fair UN. However, the continuation of the current state of reluctance and indifference will do nothing other than preserve the status quo. More radical and progressive recommendations should be voiced for a thorough reform at the UN.

    Above all, what should be recalled with respect to the UN is that this organization, created in the special conditions of World War II, converted communities from a social and political phenomenon to nations via the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948. It should also be noted that this declaration indirectly implies that only nations are eligible to enjoy rights and freedoms. The United Nations was created in place of the League of Nations. This is the most merciless method and way to take the history of humanity into the Western-style course of development and to punish the communities unwilling to become nations by denying even the most basic rights to them. The transition from the League of Nations to the United Nations was not innocent or painless, and this is not a path that history had to follow. This was an imposition by the Western world that was enjoying prosperity and political as well as military advantages.

    Secondly, the legal norms that the UN has declared to apply to the nations have been serving the interests of the big powers; for this reason, resolutions by the Security Council that do not fit the plans and interests of superpowers have no significance at all. For instance, the US ignores such resolutions against Israel. However, they rush to take action when the UN Security Council decides to impose an embargo against Iran. It is waste of time for Turkey, Iran or Egypt to compete over a permanent seat at the UN in an attempt to represent the Islamic world. The other Islamic countries acting individually may not change the current UN mechanism, either. To be influential and effective, states represented at the OIC should have a permanent seat as a unified bloc at the UN Security Council; they should ask for such a permanent membership. The leader of the OIC should be elected based on the demographic aspects of the represented countries; a system of rotation should be implemented for the sake of justice and fairness between the members. To do this, Turkey should cooperate with Iran and Egypt. The OIC has not played a significant role since its inception; it is not much more than a protocol organization now. Maybe such a move will make it a powerful actor for regional integration.

    Napoleon said Istanbul would be the best candidate for a world capital if one were needed. It would not be too unlikely or illogical to move the UN headquarters from New York to Istanbul.

    EG/


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