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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-10-15
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 195/09 15.10.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat and Christofias met for the 44th timeIllegal Bayrak Television (14.10.09) broadcast the following: President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demitris Christofias met again today for the 44th time as part of the negotiation process launched in September last year.
The two leaders continued to take up the issue of federal executive under the chapter of governance and power sharing today. The meeting was the fourth to be held since the start of the second round of the talks which were first launched in September last year.
Todays meeting started with a tete-a-tete meeting between the two leaders. Later the leaders moved onto the plenary session where they continued to discuss the issue of federal executive.
In a short statement after the meeting, the UN Special Representative to Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun said that todays meeting had been held under a positive atmosphere and the two leaders would continue their discussions on the executive tomorrow. He also said that the Greek Cypriot Side submitted revised papers on the issue of executive during todays meeting.
Expressing the UNs support to two sides, the UN Special Representative said that both sides wanted to move faster but added that the issues were complicated. Nevertheless we are hopeful for further progress in the coming days he said.
The UN special Representative also said that a group of Bi-communal Civil Society Representatives will be present at the start of tomorrows meeting to express their solidarity to the solution process. The CSO representatives will be presenting a letter of solidarity to the two leaders.
Meanwhile in a separate development yesterday, the two sides cancelled respectively military exercises in light of the ongoing negotiations.
The Turkish Sides decision to cancel the annual Toros Military exercise came first followed by a similar announcement from the Greek Cypriot Side that it was cancelling its own military exercise Nikiforos.
 The Greek Cypriot side submitted a proposal yesterday on the executive; Talat said it is overcoming some Turkish Cypriot concernsTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.10.09) reports that the Greek Cypriot side submitted a new proposal yesterday on the issue of the executive during the meeting between President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the framework of the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr Talat stated that the new proposal is in the direction of overcoming some concerns of the Turkish Cypriot side.
Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (15.10.09) refers to the issue and reports that Mr Talat said he would not reveal the content of the proposal. The paper reports that the Greek Cypriot side has moved away from its proposal for single list and suggested that the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots should elect their presidents with separate lists. According to the paper, the proposal provides for the Greek Cypriot votes to be taken into consideration by 20% in the election of the Turkish Cypriot president. The same percentage will be valid with the Turkish Cypriot votes in the election of the Greek Cypriot president.
Moreover, Illegal Bayrak Television (14.10.09) broadcast the following: TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat has announced a step forward on the federal executive.
Talat told reporters at the end of todays meeting with the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Demetris Christofias, that the revised paper submitted by the Greek Cypriot Side on the Executive is a step forward in eliminating the Turkish sides concerns.
He also stated that the Greek Cypriot Side will accept the rotatory presidency, as put forward by the Turkish side.
President Mehmet Ali Talat once again reminded that the goal of negotiations is to provide the Cyprus problem with a bi-communal solution which will take political equality of the two sides as its major principle.
He underlined the need for a possible agreement to be viable, as no one will tolerate a Cyprus shadowed by a failure. He said, once a good level of rapprochement is reached between the two sides on the Executive, then the solution of the Cyprus problem will gain a much more clear shape.
The President was asked on the Greek Cypriot Sides revised proposal which still envisages the election of presidency by the two peoples, while also being reminded that the Turkish Side earlier envisaged the election of presidency by the federal senate. In response, Talat said: We dont have any objections to the election of presidency by the two peoples. But what we thought of is the difference in voters population of the two sides. We have 400 thousand voters on one hand, and 170 thousand on the other. We thought it would be difficult to establish agreement among all, under such circumstances. We wanted the federal senate to elect the President and the Vice-President because we perceived it to be the guarantee of political equality with its structure of formation. But if the public vote does not challenge the principle of political equality, we are not against that. We are rather concerned, with the way the Presidency- to be elected by the peoples-, ensures the security of the federal structure.
In a press statement at the end of todays meeting, the UN Special Representative to Cyprus Taye-Brook Zerihoun announced that two events are scheduled in front of the negotiations building in the UN-controlled buffer zone, prior to tomorrows meeting. In one event, much awaited planting of olive trees by Talat and Christofias will take place, to symbolize peace. In addition, civil society representatives from both sides will present a bi-communal petition to the two leaders to express their support to peace negotiations and call for an urgent political settlement.
 Mehmet Ali Talat described the result of the recent elections in Greece as extremely important for the solution of the Cyprus problemTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (15.10.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has described the result of the recent elections in Greece as extremely important for the solution of the Cyprus problem and alleged that if the newly elected Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou wants, he could play a positive role for the solution, like the government of Turkey. The paper writes that Mr Talat continues his visits to villages in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Addressing the people at the square of occupied Piyi village, Mr Talat reiterated that those who continuously say that the solution is far away do not want a solution.
Arguing that the Turkish Cypriots need the solution, he added: Of course, if it is not solved we are not going to cease to exist, but in case it is not solved, the road we will take will be rougher, more difficult. This will mean struggling with difficulties for many more years. However, if a solution is found, the elimination of our problems in a short time will be secured. This should be understood by everybody, the leftists, and the rightists, those who want the solution and those who do not want it.
Referring to the negotiating process, he said that the chapters of territory-map and security-guarantees will be discussed in the end of the negotiations in relation to the consensus reached on the other issues and added that the sides have not come close to the positions of each other on the issue of the property. Mr Talat noted that they have taken very important steps on the chapters of governance and power sharing, economy and the relations with the EU. He said that they have prepared 30 rapprochement documents on these three issues and that the sides determined their positions. He noted that this happens for the first time during the Cyprus negotiations and reiterated that progress has been made on all issues except the property. He noted, however, that a solution will not be reached in the Cyprus problem in case agreement is not secured on all issues. Mr Talat said that they have not come to this point yet, because of some other issues which influence the Cyprus negotiations. He gave as example the target of the Greek Cypriot side to secure more concessions in the negotiations because of Turkeys EU accession course.
Mr Talat alleged that when President Christofias is asked what he wanted from Turkey and Turkey did not do it, he will have no other reply to give except that Turkey should support the Turkish Cypriots. He alleged that Turkey stressed openly that it supports the solution and Prime Minister Erdogan asked from the UN Secretary-General to participate more actively in the process and if necessary to become an arbitrator on the issue. What else should it say, he wondered.
Noting that the Turkish Cypriots will not be able to solve the Cyprus problem by themselves, Mr Talat said that the solution policy they follow has attracted the attention of the international community and they have taken its support because of this. He said that this is the biggest power of the Turkish Cypriots. If we are not able to have a result in spite of these efforts of ours, then we shall not remain alone in the world, he noted. Mr Talat argued that an experiment took place in 2004 and changed the way the world was seeing the Turkish Cypriots. If another experiment is made, the way the world perceives the Turkish Cypriots will change, he concluded.
 Bagis assesses the EU Progress Report as positive and repeats that Turkey does not intend to abide by its EU obligations towards CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.10.09) reported the following from Ankara: Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said on Wednesday that the Progress Report on Turkey released by the European Commission was generally positive and balanced.
Bagis held a press conference in Ankara after the Commission released the Progress Report and Enlargement Strategy Paper.
I think that the report is the most objective one among the others which have been released so far. It backs reforms and encourages the government, he said.
The Turkish government worked really hard for the country's EU accession process, he said. 11 chapters were opened to negotiations and one chapter was closed in Turkey's EU adhesion process, Bagis said.
The report included many technical components and this showed that Turkey progressed on its way to full membership in a systematic way and sound steps have been taken in this process, he said.
Bagis said the progress report also called on the opposition parties to back Turkey's EU process.
Replying to a question on freedom of expression in the report, Bagis said democratic move on which the government has been working was very important in regard to freedom of expression. Bagis said, the democratic move does not target any certain section of the society. It aims at improving democratic rights of all people in Turkey. There is not a single section in Turkey whose democratic rights are restricted.
Upon a question about the tax fines against Dogan Holding, Bagis told reporters, our parliament did not accept any single law in the last eight years restricting the freedom of press in Turkey. Bagis said that he did not consider right the expressions in the report that the General Staff and the military intervened in politics and judiciary.
When asked about the assessments on Cyprus issue in the report, Bagis said that it was unfair to criticize Turkey in a period it was taking positive steps about Cyprus issue. He added that it became impossible to explain Turkish public that the insolubility in Cyprus was not an obstacle before Cyprus's EU membership but it was shown as an obstacle before Turkey's EU membership.
We expect Council of Europe to apply the resolution it made on April 26, 2004, said Bagis. He noted that unfair isolation on citizens in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) should end and direct trade to TRNC should begin.Then, Turkey might assess the issue of opening its ports as it had been till 1987, added Bagis.
He said that those who were expecting Turkey to meet its commitments should meet the commitments they promised.
Bagis said that EU was a political project, and Turkey's EU membership was one of the most important stages of this project, adding that Turkey might join the EU before or after 2014.
 How the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press covered the Progress Report of the EU for TurkeyTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.10.09) refers to the Progress Report of the EU for Turkey under the title Call from the EU to Turkey for reforms.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.10.09) refers to the report under the title Support to the negotiations, call to open the ports.
The rest of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers which cover the issue on their front page today use the following titles:
Star Kibris: Pressure on Turkey for the ports.
Ortam: The additional protocol should urgently be implemented.
Yeni Volkan: Recognize the Greek Cypriot administration.
Meanwhile, under the banner front page title Let the isolations be lifted and we shall open the ports, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (15.10.09) reports that Ankara responded instantly to the part of the Progress Report regarding Cyprus. The Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU, Egemen Bagis stated that the opening of the Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot vessels and aircraft will be possible in case the isolation and the unjust embargo implemented on Northern Cyprus is lifted. Mr Bagis noted that commitments have been made on this issue towards Turkey and Turkey has also undertaken some commitments and added that Turkey is ready to take a step on the issue of Cyprus in case the above-mentioned commitments are implemented simultaneously.
Following is how todays Turkish press covers the 2009 Progress Report on Turkey:
Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (15.10.09), in its front page under the title The most moderate report of the past 10 years, reports that the progress report on Turkey, with which the EU gives a shower of praise to the democratic opening, is evaluated as the most optimistic report which has come out since 1999. The paper further writes that the report, which assesses the political and economic developments in the last one year in Turkey, notes that Turkey played a key role in enabling a dialogue among civilizations both in Europes energy security as well as the regional security. Moreover, the Turkish State Minister and Chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, in a statement to the press, evaluated the 2009 Progress Report on Turkey as the most objective and balanced report which has been released until today.
Todays online Turkish newspapers cover the 2009 Progress Report on Turkey as follows:
HURRIYET paper reports on the issue with different articles:
Under the title We worry, the paper reports that the EU Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn said that they are seriously concerned over the tax fine imposed on the Dogan Media Group.
The paper also under the title Bagis: The report is objective and balanced, reports on the evaluation of the Progress Report by the Turkish State Minister Egemen Bagis.
The paper under the title The report is more positive compared to the previous one, reports that the former co-chairman of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, Mr Joost Lagendijk said that it is really important that more emphasis is given on the domestic politics of Turkey.
MILLIYET: Olli Rehn: We analyzed the issue, there is a sense of political sanction
RADIKAL: EU: There is a lot of distance that you should cover. The paper reports that the EU Commission called on Turkey to speed up its reforms and to safeguard the freedom of expression.
RADIKAL: Support and warning came. The paper reports that the EU gave support to the democratic opening but gave serious warnings for the liberties. The tax fine to Dogan group is worrying.
TODAYS ZAMAN: EU throws its support behind Ergenekon probe, Kurdish initiative. The paper reports that the European Commission, which had lightly touched upon the issue in last year's progress report on Turkey, this year, chose to highlight its full support for the ongoing trial into Ergenekon -- a clandestine network accused of plotting to overthrow the government -- in its newest progress report on Turkey.
CUMHURIYET: Olli Rehn: We are following the steps of Ataturk .
YEN0 SAFAK: The process is positive, continue the reforms
TURKIYE: EU: The political parties should be reconciled for a new civil constitution. The paper reports that the EU Progress Report was announced. The EU Commission repeated its support to studies on civil constitution, and stated that a draft should be taken onto the agenda, and political parties should reach a compromise on it. Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said that the EU confirmed that Turkey recorded positive developments.
 The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted to the Progress Report of the EU for TurkeyTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (15.10.09) reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey evaluated with a written statement the progress report published yesterday by the EU. According to the statement, Turkey will not make any concessions as regards the target of acceding into the EU which is a state policy and from the rights which are gained within this context. In the statement it is also reminded that reference to the Cyprus problem is being made in the report and that Turkey has stressed with various statements its support to the process for reaching a comprehensive solution in Cyprus within the framework of the established UN parameters, which are the bi-zonality and two founding states which have political equality and equal status. Turkey, expects the international community and mainly the EU to focus on the process for a comprehensive solution and to offer active support to this process, noted the statement.
 Ozgurgun assessed the Progress Report of the EU for TurkeyTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (15.10.09) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun has stated that the Progress Report announced yesterday for Turkey by the EU caused disappointment and showed that the EU failed again. In statements to illegal Bayrak television, Mr Ozgurgun said yesterday that the report is generally bad and it questions the contribution of Turkey to the solution of the Cyprus problem. He alleged that the EU forgot that the Greek Cypriots are usurping the Republic of Cyprus and that the Turkish Cypriots are under isolation. He said that it was normal for such a report to be prepared because the south, as he described the Republic of Cyprus, is member of the EU.
 The breakaway regime is participating in the Conference of the Ministers of Culture of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in AzerbaijanTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (15.10.09) reports that the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture of the breakaway regime, Ersan Saner addressed the Conference of the Ministers of Culture of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is being held in Azerbaijan with the participation of the Ministers of Culture of 57 countries. According to a statement issued by his ministry, Mr Saners speech opened the second day of the Conference. Mr Saner was accepted by the Azeri President Ilham Aliyev together with other ministers of Islamic countries.
 Erk said Eroglu has reached to the point of saying the no-solution is the solution in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (15.10.09) reports that Kutlay Erk, General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has argued that the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu is deceiving the people on the Cyprus problem, as he does in every issue. In a written statement issued by CTPs press office, Mr Erk said Mr Eroglu has reached from the pro-solution statements he was making before the elections to the point of saying that the non-solution is the solution. He called on Mr Eroglu to stop deceiving the people. At the same time he criticized the statement made by Abdullatif Sener, president of Turkeys Party, who visited recently the occupied areas of Cyprus upon invitation by Mr Eroglu. He criticized Mr Eroglu because he did not react to the accusations of Mr Sener against the Turkish government regarding the Cyprus talks and he supported him on attacking the common vision of Turkey and the TRNC in the name o the internal politics in Turkey.
 Gunes publishes a public opinion poll on the Cyprus problem; Eroglu says the Turkish Cypriots support the policy of his party on this issueUnder the title There is no support for Talat, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (15.10.09) reports that according to the results of a public opinion poll carried out by KADEM Research Company, the Turkish Cypriots adopt completely opposite positions than those of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat who states that he is discussing a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation within the framework of the UN parameters. The paper does not mention when the survey of KADEM was carried out, how many people participated and how representative the sample is. When asked Could I find out what kind of a solution you want to the Cyprus problem? and Could you say openly your view on this issue? the participants in the survey gave the following replies:
Two completely separate states: 50.1%
A federation with strong central structure: 17.4%
A Confederation with weak central structure/ Confederation: 16.8%
Continuation of the current situation: 8.4%
Integration with Turkey: 6.5%
No Reply: 0.8%
Moreover, asked to which extend they believe or not that a solution will be reached in the negotiations carried out by the two leaders until the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the participants in the poll gave the following responses:
I do not believe at all: 36.2%
I do not believe very much: 29.8%
I partly believe: 23.4%
I definitely believe: 9.9%
No Answer: 0.7%
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.10.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu has said that the National Unity Party (UBP) is in power for a short period of time and that its victory in the elections is as if it happened yesterday. Responding to a public opinion poll published yesterday in a local Turkish Cypriot newspaper according to which the people do not support the policy of his government on the Cyprus problem, Mr Eroglu said that it is not known who held the survey and how it was held. He noted that he knows the people and expressed the belief that the people support their policy on the Cyprus problem. Mr Eroglu said they carried out a public opinion poll in August, which showed that the solution of federation is supported by 15% of the people and that the remaining 85% wants two states, integration with Turkey and continuation of the current situation.
Mr Eroglu noted that nothing changed at the negotiating table in such a short period of time and alleged that the fact that President Christofias makes statements which are far from the solution and Mr Talat responds to these statements shows that the policy they follow is right. He claimed that the Turkish Cypriots saw what the Greek Cypriots want and understood better that it is difficult to reach to an agreement with a person who carried out the no propaganda during the Annan Plan period and says he will give to the Turkish Cypriots autonomy.
Referring to the internal political life of the Turkish Cypriots, he said they are exerting efforts to put the economy into order and added that the problems will be overcome in time. Mr Eroglu argued that there are some organizations and political parties which are trying to create a climate of terror and increase the tension in the occupied areas of the island and added that the country will not gain anything from this.
 A British citizen wanted with the Red Bulletin in Britain was arrested yesterday in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.10.09) reports that a British citizen named Michael William Bishop was arrested yesterday in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Bishop was wanted with Red Bulletin for many crimes he has committed in Britain. It was known since a long time ago that he lived in the occupied areas of Cyprus using different identities. According to the paper, on 11 April 2009 he stole a laptop and some cash money from a restaurant in occupied Keryneia.
 European Security and Defense Assembly Delegation to hold talks in TurkeyAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.10.09) reported the following from Ankara: A delegation from European Security and Defense Assembly - Assembly of the Western European Union will meet Turkish officials in Ankara on Thursday.
Members of assembly's committee for parliamentary and public relations will be in Ankara for preparation of a report on changes in public opinion regarding European security and enlargement.
Committee members will meet with Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis, Turkish Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs Chairman Murat Mercan and Parliamentary Committee for EU Adjustment Chairman Yasar Yakis.
 Israel to deliver Herons by end of 2009, Turkey contemplates penalty for delayTurkish daily Today Zaman newspaper (15.10.09) reports the following: A top official at the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries has announced that Israel will deliver unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to Turkey by the end of 2009, adding that Turkey plans to impose a monetary penalty on Israel for the delay.
Speaking to Today's Zaman, the official stated that the long-delayed delivery is expected to happen in November or December at the latest. Turkey plans to impose a heavy monetary penalty on Israel for the delay. If this country refuses to comply with the penalty, then Turkey will head to the International Court of Commercial Arbitration, noted the official. According to the official, the penalty could mount to $3 million or $4 million. Turkey and Israel have recently been at odds due to Israeli-made surveillance drones, known as Herons. Earlier this week Turkey cancelled long-expected NATO air force exercises, which Turkish officials explained as retaliation for the delay.
Turkey agreed four years ago to buy 10 Heron UAVs for over $180 million from Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems, Ltd. However, the Israeli firms missed the deadline for delivery. The Israeli company was expected to deliver four Herons in August, followed by another two and then the last four by the end of October.
What was problematic about the delivery of Herons was, according to Israeli engineers, the difficulty in the strengthening of Heron engines to enable local Aselsan-made electro-optical payloads (Aselfir300T) to be fitted onto the Heron UAVs. The Aselsan payload weighed more, which necessitated the strengthening of the Heron UAV engines.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 14 October 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 14 October:
a) Exercise crisis with Israel
Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi in his article questions whether excluding Israel from the Anatolian Eagle exercises is compatible with the concept of "strategic partnership." If the reason for the exclusion is the Israeli attack on Gaza, then Israel should also have been excluded from a naval exercise held about two months ago, writes Eksi, adding that this "new and meaningless crisis," which coincides with our new strategic partnership with Syria, might raise the possibility that Turkey is planning a change in its foreign policy.
Viewing the exclusion of Israel from the Anatolian Eagle exercises in his article in Sabah, Erdal Safak maintains that "the Gaza tragedy" is not the only reason for this decision. Pointing out that this exercise enables Israeli fighter jets to fly in regions close to the Syrian and Iranian borders, Safak, based on certain Western military sources, writes that in the past Israeli jets participating in these maneuvers were conducting aerial refueling exercises aimed at attacking the antiaircraft defense systems protecting Iranian nuclear installations.
Assessing that the decision to exclude Israel from the Anatolian Eagle exercises was a last minute one in view of Foreign Minister Davutoglu's pending visit to Syria, Taraf columnist Lale Kemal in her article recalls that the government did not object to Israel's participation in the Reliable Mermaid naval exercises conducted two months ago. This recent crisis in Turkish-Israeli relations shows that the military-civilian balances in Turkey are increasingly tipping in favor of the "political authority," argues Kemal, pointing out that the military can no longer dictate its policies on the government.
In an article entitled "Was the Israeli dress rehearsal for attack on Iran postponed because of Turkey?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul suggests a possible link between Israel's "sudden" postponement of a strategic missile exercise called "Juniper Cobra" and Turkey's earlier exclusion of Israel from this year's Anatolian Eagle air defense drill. He poses the question whether Turkey might have barred Israel from this year's air defense exercises because Juniper Cobra was planned to target Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip. He claims that it is possible that the postponement of Juniper Cobra might have to do with US objections to Israel escalating regional tensions by staging such an exercise, adding that if this is the case, Israel is "bluffing" in using the United States and NATO as a means of "blackmailing" Turkey in response to Ankara's decision not to let it take part in the Anatolian Eagle. He also cites recent "historic" developments involving Turkey's signing of normalization protocols with Armenia and its preparations to establish "high-level partnership" with Syria and "close relations with Iraq approximating to integration" with this country in certain fields signal radical regional changes and the creation of a new regional map.
In an article entitled "What could Israel do?", Vakit columnist Ahmet Varol cites Israel's "one-week siege of the Al-Aqsa Mosque" as the chief reason behind Turkey's exclusion of Israel from the Anatolian Eagle air force exercise. He claims that Ankara's move has increased popular support for Turkey particularly in the Islamic world. He also asserts that an attempt by Israel to turn this development into a crisis would hurt "the Zionist occupying state" most, adding that for this reason "we, who look forward to a world without Israel, would be more than willing to see this event pave the way for a diplomatic crisis resulting in the severance of Turkey's ties with the Zionist state."
In an article entitled "Where are relations with Israel headed?", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak objects to Turkey's cancelation of the international phase of the Anatolian Eagle air defense exercise being represented as "a second one minute incident" [referring to Erdogan's walkout from his debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres at Davos]. He claims that "there is no change in Ankara's peace route," adding that in excluding Israel from the said drill, Ankara is trying to promote regional peace and dialog and cooperation with its neighbors. He also argues that Turkey could not have afforded to let Israel use its airspace at a time when the latter is pursuing an "aggressive" policy toward the Palestinian people and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
A front-paged is a report in Todays Zaman entitled "Delay in delivery of herons behind drill Crisis," quotes "an air forces official" as having told this daily that "what spurred the cancelation of this week's NATO air force exercises in Turkey was yet another delay in the delivery of unmanned aerial vehicles ... to Turkey by Israel, and not Turkish opposition to this country due to its devastating offensive into the Gaza Strip ..."
b) Exchange of letters between Erdogan and Baykal
In an entitled "Making government-opposition meetings a regular event", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru expresses relief at the fact that main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal responded to Prime Minister Erdogan's "polite" letter requesting an audience with him to discuss the Government's latest "democratic overture" with an "equally polite" letter accepting this request. Koru asserts that the expected Erdogan-Baykal meeting could well result in Baykal being persuaded to change his critical outlook on the AKP's Kurdish initiative. He goes on to ask disapprovingly why Baykal might be demanding that the meeting take place before cameras regardless of the fact that Erdogan might share confidential state information with him at this event.
In an article entitled "A meeting or a duel?", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal asserts that in insisting that his expected meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan be recorded by a television crew, CHP leader Deniz Baykal appears to be getting across the message to Erdogan that they should not meet at all. Unal also claims that the climate within the CHP and AKP's parliamentary groups "would make you think Baykal and Erdogan were preparing for a duel rather than a meeting," adding that under the circumstances the meeting might not take place at all.
In an article entitled "Baykal's Letter", Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil comments on Deniz Baykal's letter to Prime Minister Erdogan in response to the latter's request for a meeting with the CHP leader to discuss the Government's latest Kurdish plan. Ergil asserts that Baykal's "totally negative language" suggests that he "has become a prisoner of his position as an opposition leader."
c) Turkish-Armenian relations
In an article entitled "Why Russia supports the overture?", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici discusses why Russia supports the Turkish-Armenian normalization process despite the fact that a rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia will set the stage for Armenia's integration with the West, causing Russia to be increasingly isolated from the world. Bilici argues that in promoting the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement bid, Russia is trying to reverse a process whereby Armenia, "a country that Moscow painstakingly created as a buffer against Iran and Turkey," is fast declining because of widespread impoverishment that has led to up to 70 percent decrease already in its population.
Under the headline, "Dangers awaiting Turkey in Armenian overture process," Milli Gazete publishes a front-page report which asserts that there are no preconditions in the protocols signed with Armenia requiring Yerevan to end its occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. The report also warns that if the joint historical commission to be established as specified in the protocols finds Turkey guilty of genocide against the Armenian people, this will have implications in the form of Armenian demands for territory and compensation from Turkey.
Viewing the Turkish-Armenian protocols in his column in Hurriyet, Mehmet Yilmaz points out that the protocols have two important aspects, one being the opening of the borders and the other being Armenia's recognition of the existing borders. Referring to statements constantly being made by government spokesmen that the border will not be opened so long as the Karabakh problem is not resolved and so long as Armenia does not withdraw from the occupied Azeri territories, Yilmaz points out that there are no signs indicating that this problem will be solved in the near future. If we are to believe the spokesmen, then one of the most important provisions of the protocols will not be fulfilled and the protocols might not even be endorsed by the National Assembly, predicts Yilmaz, questioning why, in that case, the protocols are being described as a "historic step." Referring to remarks that "history has been written" with these protocols, Yilmaz wonders whether they have been written with invisible ink.
Viewing the Turkish-Armenian protocols as a cause for celebration in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Faruk Logoglu, writes that, however, "we must be ready for temporary reversals, even a total rupture in the period ahead." Assessing the obstacles facing Turkey and Armenia in the period ahead, Logoglu questions the sincerity of the Russian desire for the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh issue, a factor which the writer believes is necessary for implementing the protocols. In conclusion, Logoglu writes that "Turkey should strive and hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst."
The establishment of Turkish-Armenian diplomatic relations and the opening of the borders will be the second blow to be dealt to the long standing status quo in South Caucasus after the Russian-Georgian war of August 2008, writes Bulent Aras in an article in Sabah, warning the parties that have initiated this process against the reaction to be caused by this disruption in the status quo. Asserting that Azerbaijani diplomatic, military, and economic sanctions against Armenia will not put an end to the occupation of Karabakh, Aras argues that Azerbaijan has no alternative other than supporting Turkey's regional policies in the hope that Turkey will, if not solve, speed up the solution of the Karabakh issue. Armenia has to understand that it should at least partially withdraw from the Azeri territories it is occupying if it wants to normalize its relations with Turkey, declares Aras, calling on both Turkey and Armenia to make the most of this opportunity for peace
Drawing attention to the contradictory statements made by the Turkish and Armenian presidents in an article in Vatan, Ruhat Mengi maintains that even the Karabakh issue alone is sufficient to prevent the endorsement of the protocols. Ridiculing the "tears of happiness" being shed regarding Armenian President Sargsyan's decision to visit Turkey as a step toward the normalization of bilateral relations, Mengi argues that Turkey does not have to accept the scenarios written by Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora declaring Turkey to be the first genocide perpetrator of the 20th century prior to Hitler.
Finally, describing the blind battle that goes on between the Armenian Lobby and Turkish diplomats in Washington in an article in Taraf, Yasemin Congar is pleased that this will finally end, explaining that the protocols will not only normalize bilateral relations but will, at the same time, lead to the normalization of relations between Ankara and the Armenian Diaspora. The reaction to the protocols of the Armenian National Committee of America, ANCA, should not discourage us, writes Congar, arguing that the Armenian Lobby will be forced to understand that it will have to conduct its efforts for the recognition of its genocide claims, a goal which the writer says she respects, not despite Turkey but by talking to Turkey. Viewing the establishment of relations between the Armenian Diaspora and Turkey as a "homecoming," Congar points out that the Armenian Diaspora is not the Diaspora of Armenia but that of Turkey since it is composed of the offsprings of those who were forced to emigrate from Thrace and Anatolia and not from South Caucasus.