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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-11-06

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. 210/09 06.11.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat meets Olli Rehn; He urges for a solution until the end of February
  • [02] Bagis stated that April is the last date for the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [03] The Turkish press speaks of letter diplomacy between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and George Papandreou; No reference to the casus belli
  • [04] An opinion poll shows that 77.9% of the Turkish Cypriots want two independent separate states
  • [05] The Cukurova University will be established in the occupied areas
  • [06] Flights will be launched to three more destinations from the occupation regime to Britain
  • [07] The British Cyprus Memorial Trust association constructed a memorial in occupied Cyprus to commemorate the British soldiers who lost their lives in Cyprus
  • [08] Britain and Turkey agree to monitor developments on Cyprus more closely from now on
  • [09] Miliband was interviewed on all issues; He urges that this once-in-a-generation opportunity on Cyprus is not missed
  • [10] More opinion polls on the strength of political parties in Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] High ranking figure from the Turkish Foreign Ministry: Turkey would never permit a change of status there because we were the last owners of Jerusalem
  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 05 November 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat meets Olli Rehn; He urges for a solution until the end of February

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.11.09) reported the following from Brussels:

    The Turkish Cypriot president had a meeting with European commissioner for enlargement on Thursday. The meeting between President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Commissioner Olli Rehn took place in the Belgian capital of Brussels.

    Nobody should forget that Turkish Cypriots and Turkey will not tolerate inclusion of the Greek Cypriot army, which claims the lives and properties of the Turkish Cypriots, in NATO, Talat told reporters after the meeting. Talat said that he was aware of the importance EU attached to NATO, and the union was committed to the general security to be ensured by NATO. However, inclusion of the Greek Cypriot administration in NATO would be a serious security threat against TRNC. Accepting it will be a kind of suicide, he also said.

    Talat said that the EU should be more interested in solving Cyprus problem. The Turkish Cypriot president said that Olli Rehn wanted to learn the recent developments in ongoing Cyprus negotiations and if the two parties in the island would reach a solution in a short time.

    Talat said that TRNC thought that the EU could not assume an unbiased stance on Cyprus problem as the Greek Cypriot administration was a full member, but said the EU could encourage the Greek Cypriot administration for a quick settlement.

    Also, Talat said Turkish Cypriots had lost their confidence in the EU, however they still wanted to join the union and to reach a settlement in their island.

    However, both their hopes for a settlement and their confidence in the EU have been faded, he said. Talat said the EU had to improve its relations with Turkish Cypriots to raise their hopes and confidence in the EU.

    On ports and airports, Talat said, Turkey should not be expected to lift restrictions against the Greek Cypriot administration unless isolation of TRNC becomes smoother.

    Talat said he thought that a progress should be made in ongoing Cyprus negotiations till the end of February the latest due to presidential elections in TRNC due in April because he had concerns that elections campaigns might harm the negotiation process. Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders launched Cyprus talks in September 2008 in an effort to find a solution to the Cyprus issue. The first round of the talks was completed on August 6, 2009. And the second round started on September 10.

    [02] Bagis stated that April is the last date for the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Under the title April is the last date, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (06.11.09) reports that the Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks, Egemen Bagis, stressed the importance of the presidential elections to be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus in April, for the developments of the Cyprus negotiations. Mr Bagis made these statements speaking at a press conference before his departure to Athens yesterday.

    Mr Bagis stated that in case a positive development does not come out regarding the Cyprus problem until April, it would be naive to expect a comprehensive solution to take place afterwards. The next period should be evaluated well, he stated.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (06.11.09) reports that Mr Bagis stated that President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, met for 45 times this year and the time has come for these meetings to start to bear fruits. Mr Bagis who was speaking at a press conference before his departure to Athens yesterday, also gave information about the meetings he will hold in Greece.

    Asked if he would discuss the Cyprus problem with Greek officials, Mr Bagis said that Turkish and Greek authorities would certainly take up the issue, adding that the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot leaders met for 45 times in the last one year. Bagis said that the time has come for these meetings to bear fruits. As Turkey, we support fully the TRNC openly and clearly, he stated.

    Mr Bagis was asked whether the opening of the Turkish ports and airports to the vessels of the Republic of Cyprus could come to the agenda this year and stated: Of course it can come. Turkey has no complex about opening the ports. He went on and stated, inter alia, that if the unjust embargo on the occupied areas of Cyprus was lifted, Turkey might open its ports.

    (CS)

    [03] The Turkish press speaks of letter diplomacy between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and George Papandreou; No reference to the casus belli

    Under the front page title, And this is Athens Protocol, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (06.11.09) reports on statements made by the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou regarding the proposals addressed to him by his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the recent letter sent to him. As the paper writes, Mr Papandreou announced that he has accepted Mr Erdogan's proposal to "launch initiatives at ministerial level to solve the Aegean and Cyprus issues."

    Under the sub-title, Letter diplomacy, the paper continues to report as follows: In a letter Erdogan sent four days ago, he proposed: We are supporting and encouraging Mehmet Ali Talat's administration for a solution in Cyprus. You should do the same for the Greek Cypriot administration. Let us bring together our relevant ministers for the Aegean issue."

    Mr Papandreous response to Mr Erdogans proposals was given to the Turkish State Minister and EU Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis yesterday during his 45-minute meeting with the Greek Prime Minister in Athens. Prime Minister Papandreou said he was agreeing with all issues in the letter and that Greece is ready for exerting efforts, the paper writes. With reference to Turkeys EU membership, Mr Papandreou reiterated Greeces support to Turkeys EU course and expressed his desire to hold a meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan before December.

    The paper gives also details on the other issues apart from Cyprus that Mr, Erdogan raised in his letter as follows:

    We are ready to find a solution to the Aegean problem. Turkey wants to establish a zero problems policy with its neighbours. In this framework, let us launch initiatives at ministerial level to solve the Aegean problem.

    Our primary aim is for peace to dominate the Aegean and the increase of the trade relations between the two countries.

    It is important for us to have your support on the issue of Turkeys EU membership.

    The above reportage concludes by the reporter noting that Aegean is the field of Turkeys zero problems policy with the neighbouring countries and in this field, Cyprus is the locker and the key.

    On the same issue and under the front page title, Georges opening, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (06.11.09) reports on Prime Minister Erdogans letter to the Greek Prime Minister and writes that in his letter to George Papandreou, whom he addressed as "Dear George", Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has proposed cooperation on the issues of the Aegean, Cyprus, minorities and illegal migration.

    The paper writes that Mr Erdogan has emphasized in his letter Turkey's "win-win" policy, noting that Turkey wants to establish a friendly partnership with Greece. On Cyprus, Mr Erdogan proposed:

    "Let us exert efforts for a solution on the problem for the future of the peoples in Cyprus", the paper writes and adds:

    We are encouraging the Turkish Cypriot side for a solution. We expect to continue your encouragement to the Greek Cypriot side for a solution. If the Cyprus problem interests in a direct way Turkey and Greece, let us exert efforts for a solution of this problem for the future of the peoples."

    (ML)

    [04] An opinion poll shows that 77.9% of the Turkish Cypriots want two independent separate states

    Under the title There is no hope for the solution, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.11.09) reports on the results of a research conducted by KADEM Research Company.

    According to the results of the research, 77.9% of the Turkish Cypriots want two independent separate states whereas only 30% of them say YES to the Annan Plan. Also, 41% want the continuation of the existing status quo, 48.5% say No to the integration with Turkey and 42.6% support the integration with Turkey. Furthermore, 75.1% of the Turkish Cypriots say No to confederation with a loose Central System while 50.4% say it could be a federation with a powerful Central System.

    Moreover, the research has revealed that the majority of the Turkish Cypriots with a percentage of 63% are of the opinion that the ongoing negotiation process between the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and President Demetris Christofias will conclude successfully. 80.5% of the supporters of the National Unity Party (UBP) do not believe that the ongoing negotiation process between Christofias and Talat will bring a solution to the Cyprus problem. On the other hand, 25.7% of the supporters of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) consider that a solution will be reached certainly, while 36.2% believe this partly.

    To the question Would the non-solution of the Cyprus problem have for you/members of your family a positive or a negative effect?, 45.4% of the Turkish Cypriots answered that it will affect them negatively, 32,7% said that it will not affect them, 4.6% said that it will have a positive effect on them and their family members and 17.3% did not answer to the question.

    On the issue of the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus, 50.2% said that they do not support it, 15.5% said that they can accept it and 29.4% said that they accept it partly.

    To the question: What would you vote in case the 2004 referendum for the Annan plan would be repeated again next week?, 45.1% answered that they would vote No and 30.1% answered that they will vote Yes .

    (AK)

    [05] The Cukurova University will be established in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (06.11.09) reports that the so-called minister of agriculture and national resources, Mr Nazim Cavusoglu, went to Adana for the opening ceremony of the 3rd Adana Agriculture 2009 and Green House Garden Fair.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Cavusoglu said that the drinking water that would come from Dragon river of Anamur district in Turkey, will give life to the dry land of the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    During his visit to Adana, Mr Cavusoglu also carried out contacts with officials of the Cukurova University (CU). He said that they reached an agreement with the Dean of CU on the issue of establishing a campus of Cukurova University in the occupied areas and added that they aim to sign a protocol on the 15th of November.

    (DPs)

    [06] Flights will be launched to three more destinations from the occupation regime to Britain

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (06.11.09) reports that the so-called minister of tourism, environment and culture, Mr Ersan Saner, said yesterday that flights will be launched to three more destinations in Britain. He noted that they want to increase the number of tourists coming from Britain, which is the second destination of tourists coming to the occupied areas after Turkey.

    (DPs)

    [07] The British Cyprus Memorial Trust association constructed a memorial in occupied Cyprus to commemorate the British soldiers who lost their lives in Cyprus

    Under the title British are building a memorial in Cyprus, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (06.11.09) writes that the British Cyprus Memorial Trust (BCMT) association in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus is building a memorial to commemorate British soldiers who lost their lives in Cyprus between 1956 and 1959.

    The association is constructing the memorial to remember 371 British soldiers who died as they served the British Land, Air and Naval Forces in Cyprus. The memorial is built on the Old British Cemetery in the Bedrettin Demirel Avenue in occupied Keryneia and it will be inaugurated on Sunday, the 8th of November.

    (ML)

    [08] Britain and Turkey agree to monitor developments on Cyprus more closely from now on

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.11.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish foreign minister said on Thursday that Turkey had assumed a role to settle global and regional peace. Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that there was no shift in Turkey's course, and Turkey had undertaken the role of settling global and regional peace.

    Davutoglu had a meeting with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband in Ankara. After their meeting, Davutoglu told a joint press conference with Miliband that they had discussed bilateral relations, regional developments, and Turkey's relations with the European Union (EU). Davutoglu thanked Britain for its support to Turkey's EU accession process, and said they also discussed Cyprus issue in detail. Britain is not a third party in Cyprus issue, but it is one of the guarantor states under the treaties that founded the Cyprus state, he said. Davutoglu said Britain and Turkey had agreed to monitor developments in Cyprus more closely from now on.

    The Turkish minister said Miliband had just returned from a tour to the Middle East, and therefore they discussed developments in that region. Davutoglu said Miliband and he also debated Turkey's Middle East policy, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visits to Iraq, Syria, Iran and Pakistan.

    Miliband and he also exchanged views on other issues, concerning the region and Turkey, particularly Russia, Davutoglu said. Davutoglu also said that he would visit London within a few weeks.

    [09] Miliband was interviewed on all issues; He urges that this once-in-a-generation opportunity on Cyprus is not missed

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.11.09) published the following interview of the British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr David Miliband:

    Question: What brought Secretary Miliband to Turkey?

    MILIBAND: I am here to reaffirm our commitment not just to good bilateral relations but also to Turkeys European vocation, the Turkish governments commitment to the European Union. I am here more than reaffirmation. I am here to support reforms in your country which are under way, which is good not only for the EU accession process but also for the future of Turkey economically and socially and politically. I am also here for discussion because there are big issues that are going to be decided in the next few months on Cyprus, on the Middle East, on Iraq, where Turkey has a great role to play. This is my fourth visit to Turkey since June 2007, and I feel very lucky for that.

    Question: Full membership talks are moving very slowly. This leads to growing pessimism and uncertainty. How do you think this deadlock can be overcome?

    MILIBAND: I think first of all I should acknowledge that the doubts, the scepticism that exists, I want to say to those readers of yours who are sceptical: We will keep faith, I hope you will keep faith as well. How is deadlock broken? It gets broken by brave decisions on both sides but also by both sides fulfilling their commitments and Europe has pledged to a fair accession process for Turkey, and it must deliver. I think there is more commitment to that today than there was six months ago in Europe.

    Question: To what extent has Europe lived up to its commitments, especially after the referendum in Cyprus?

    MILIBAND: It is committed to an open process with Turkey and the process has been kept open. The chapter opening has not gone as fast as I would like but chapters have been opened which is not as much as I would like and not as much as the Turkish government would like. But EU is a consensus organization, and that is frustrating for people, but it is part of its legitimacy.

    Question: On Cyprus, what message will you convey to your Turkish counterparts?

    MILIBAND: This is a moment of truth, it is a moment for leadership, it is a moment for commitment, because it is once-in-a-generation opportunity to resolve the Cyprus issue on a bi-zonal, bi-communal basis. I think it is essential. It will take great decisions on both sides, but I believe that Mr Talat, President Christofias are serious people with real commitment, both of them, so I think we should believe in them, and we should support them and we should pledge very clearly that we will support them when they take difficult decisions.

    Question: The key issue here is the Ankara protocol.

    MILIBAND: It is just one part of it. It is important.

    Question: What specifically do you expect from Ankara?

    MILIBAND: The Ankara protocol is important. It is part of the story. There is an important decision to be taken in December important responsibilities but we should not make a crisis out of a drama.

    Question: Specifically what do you suggest?

    MILIBAND: I cannot pre-empt discussions that will take place. There are important responsibilities on all sides. I think it is important that

    Question: You would urge some movement?

    MILIBAND: Well, it is over a delicate set of issues. The danger is I say something that is misinterpreted, and I do not want to a crisis in December.

    Question: Almost on a daily basis, prestigious dailies in the U.S. and Europe raise questions with respect to Turkeys vocation. There is a heated debate as to whether Turkey is changing direction. This question is widely raised; it is the New York Times, it is Le Monde, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal are you following this debate in the Western media?

    MILIBAND: Yes. There is a debate about where Turkey is going. There is quite lot of blame being attached to the European Union. And there is blame being placed upon Turkey as well. I think it is very, very important that Turkey is true to its own identity, which is to recognize its own roots, but also recognize that its commitments to Europe are part of its vocation and that doesnt involve a rejection of other parts of the world but that involves a fulfilment of its identity.

    Question: Do you think there is a change of vocation?

    MILIBAND: No, I think the commitments of the government are absolutely clear. Prime Minister Erdogan, Foreign Minister Davutoglu, Minister Bagis are absolutely clear. I think the majority of Turks want to join Europe as well.

    Question: So you do not share those misgivings?

    MILIBAND: I do not think that the discussions they had about different policy issues in the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, etc. I think that Turkey is clearly serious about its vocation to join Europe.

    Question: One of the several factors which triggered this debate was the recent statements and positions taken by Prime Minister Erdogan on Irans nuclear ambitions. In a recent interview with the Guardian, he said that Iran has purely peaceful objectives in developing its nuclear program and that they want to develop a program for energy. This statement was viewed by many as if he standing as surety for the Iranian regime. What was your reading of this statement?

    MILIBAND: I will look forward to discussing with Prime Minister Erdogan tomorrow his reflections of his visit to Iran. I will be very interested to hear how he describes the views of the Iranian leadership. My own view is that the Iranian leadership has lost the confidence of the international community for very clear reasons. It had secret nuclear programs that were not declared as it should. It is in dispute, not just with the U.N. Security Council but with the IAEA. The IAEA has not been able to say very clearly that Iran has only a peaceful program. I have no objection to a civilian nuclear program in Iran as long as they fulfil their responsibilities to ensure there is no nuclear weapons proliferation, and Turkey would know better than many you are neighbours with Iran the dangers of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. You would not want Iran to be a nuclear weapon state. Your government does not want Iran to become a nuclear weapons state. The Iranians say they only want to have a civilian nuclear power program. That is good, but they have a funny way of showing it, given that we have just exposed in the last month a secret facility that they did not declare to the IAEA.

    Question: I am sure you saw the Guardian interview.

    MILIBAND: Yes.

    Question: How did you react to that?

    MILIBAND: Oh, I reacted by saying to myself how interesting it was going to be my welcome with the fact that I was about to visit Turkey and Prime Minister Erdogan.

    Question: Do you intend to raise this interview as well?

    MILIBAND: Not the interview. We will be discussing his views about Iran and our views as to how we can work together in pursuit of a shared goal, which is that there are no nuclear weapons in Iran.

    Question: Are you fully confident that Turkey is acting in solidarity with the Western community with respect to monitoring the nuclear ambitions of Iran?

    MILIBAND: I am very clear Turkey is true to the shared position that Iran must not be a nuclear weapons state.

    Question: President Gul recently in an interview said that we do not want neighbours with nuclear weapons.

    MILIBAND: I did not see his interview, but I know that this is the position of Turkish government.

    Question: Another issue regarding Turkish policy vis a vis the Middle East: Turkeys relations with Israel. Prime Minister Erdogan recently has adopted a tough, confrontationist attitude against Israel. There is a new strong discourse. Are you following this change in Turkish attitude toward Israel?

    MILLIBAND: We are certainly following Turkeys views on all matters. Turkey has had important relations with Israel. It has also been a broker of talks between Israel and Syria last year, which was important. I know that Prime Minister Erdogan feels very strongly about what happens in Gaza. So do many people. Britain was the country which sponsored the UN Security Council resolution for an end to the Gaza conflict. The prime minister and I called for a cease-fire from Day One of the Gaza conflict. We have also called for an independent inquiry to the allegations of war crimes. So I understand the strong feelings that exist on this issue.

    Question: You said that Turkey played an important role between Israel and Syria last year. Do you think the present deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey could impede Turkeys ability to play that role?

    MILLIBAND: I am not going to give a running commentary on all aspects of Turkish foreign policy, nor on its relations with other countries. You used the word deterioration, not me. Suffice to say this is an important moment in the Middle East. I just came from Amman. There is a lot of tension about what is happening in Jerusalem, understandably with concern about violence, about evictions. There is tension, too, that there is no peace process at the moment. Because there are no talks under way, America is engaging. I think there is a good faith attempt to create a credible route to a credible state and therefore to credible peace, and I think this is the test for me. I met George Mitchell yesterday in Amman. They are serious about it. They have a good faith attempt. People are disappointed since it has not brought success yet. That is why it is an important moment. I think we should support what the Americans are trying to do with good faith.

    The Kurdish opening: we are strongly supportive of it. One of the big issues that I have discussed for the last two years here is Kurdish rights, equal rights for all citizens of Turkey, and I think it is very much to the credit of the government that they made this opening.

    Question: But the process came to a standstill.

    MILLIBAND: Well, these things go, stop and stand, but I do not think they are going to reverse.

    Protocols with Armenia: Again a good thing. It must be a good thing to address these historic issues.

    On Turkeys active regional role: It is perceived positively. We have lot of respect for the leaders of Turkey. They have got a lot to contribute to the international system as well as their own country. They have got a lot of ideas. They have got inexhaustible energy in the case of Minister Davutoglu, who makes me feel positively lethargic in comparison to his activism. So I think we can see a country that is one of the great countries of the world emerging economically and developing its own niche politically. What we would like to believe is that that niche is one that is founded with partnership rather than singularity. I think this is a message which has resonance with this Turkish government.

    Question: What is Turkeys role in the 21st century?

    MILIBAND: Like many countries, it is to be a good partner. The test for all of us is, Are we a good partner? I call it responsible sovereignty, which means responsible to your own citizens but also responsible for the decisions and implications beyond your borders. Maybe better way of saying: It is what I want Britain to be, a good global citizen and that is not a bad test for any country to be a good global citizen economically, socially, environmentally, we all have to be good global citizens.

    [10] More opinion polls on the strength of political parties in Turkey

    Turkish daily Vatan newspaper (05.11.09) publishes a report on a survey conducted by the GENAR company in 17 provinces and 49 districts. The survey asks the participants' views on the Kurdish overture, the policies of the opposition parties, parties' shares in a possible general election, the performance of ministers, and the trust felt toward various state institutions. According to survey results, the ruling AKP would get 37.5% of the votes and the Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Movement Party would receive 24.7% and 17.5%, respectively.

    In addition, under the title, "AKP retains its strength", Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (05.11.09) publishes a column by Yalcin Akdogan, who based on a recent SONAR survey, writes that there is a dramatic loss in popular support for the ruling AKP. Dogan cites two other surveys conducted by ANAR and GENAR as a refutation of the results of the SONAR survey and claims that the AKP continues to enjoy about 38% public support, corresponding to its performance in the last election, despite domestic and international developments that should be expected to erode its popularity.

    Moreover, under the title, "If an election were held today", Turkish daily Vakit newspaper (05.11.09) publishes an article by columnist Serdar Demirel who argues that surveys indicating a drop of up to eight percent in the AKP's popular approval rating in the six months that have passed since the early elections do not appear to be realistic. He claims that while the possibility that the Government's Kurdish "overture" might end in a "fiasco" is a major "threat" to the AKP's popularity, any loss of any support sustained by the AKP so far because of the Kurdish initiative is not greater than three to four points. He also asserts that a well-timed new standby agreement with the IMF could provide enough boost to the AKP's approval rating to enable it to win one more general election.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] High-ranking figure from the Turkish Foreign Ministry: Turkey would never permit a change of status there because we were the last owners of Jerusalem

    Turkish daily Sabah online newspaper (04.11.09) publishes the following column by Erdal Safak under the title: "Forgetting the past":

    I will devote my column to Turkish-Israeli relations today because it has many aspects and phases and the Palestinian question is a part of the Ottoman-Turkish history.

    The anniversary of a very important turning point or an event which put developments into reverse was observed two days ago. It was the 92nd anniversary of a letter which was sent by then British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Lionel Walter Rotschild, leader of the Jewish community, and went down in history as the "Balfour Declaration."

    Subtitle: Background on Balfour

    The end and result of the First World War could be predicted in those days. The Central Powers, that is to say the Ottoman Empire and its allies, Germany and Austro-Hungarian Empire had begun to retreat at all fronts. The czarist regime in Russia, one of the Entente Powers, was about to collapse. Lenin and his friends were poised to deliver the final blow. The United Kingdom, France, and even the United States, the Czar's allies, were deeply concerned. Jews were leading the communist revolution in Russia. Furthermore, Jews in the West or the United Kingdom, France, and the United States were regarding Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire as countries where they could enjoy more freedom.

    Politicians in London, especially then British Prime Minister Lord Curzon, Paris and even Washington were wary of Jews and their "mysterious" power. Jewish leaders and the Zionist Movement had to be convinced to side with the Allies. Those concerns were actually behind the Balfour Declaration.

    In fact, the first action was taken a year ago. Mark Sykes and Georges Picot, British and French diplomats held a meeting on the instructions of their respective governments and drew a new map of the Middle East. Put another way, they shared the Ottoman Empire's territories in the Middle East among themselves.

    Palestine was designated as a mandate controlled by the United Kingdom in the Sykes-Picot map. Balfour opened up Palestine and Jerusalem which were a part of the Ottoman territory to Jews based on that secret agreement. He gave the good news in a letter that he sent to Lord Rotschild:

    "Dear Lord Rothschild,

    I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

    I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

    Arthur James Balfour"

    British General Robert Allenby who had three Jewish units in his army dispatched from Egypt entered Jerusalem on 9 December 1917, almost six weeks after the Balfour Declaration, without shooting a single bullet. It marked the end of 1,200-year-old presence of Islam and the 600-year-old Ottoman sovereignty over Jerusalem and Palestine's doors were fully opened to Jewish immigration.

    Subtitle: Ankara's perspective

    I conversed with a high-ranking figure from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when tension was mounting in al-Haram al-Sharif. Commenting on the Palestinian-Israeli dispute and especially Jerusalem, he said: "Turkey would never permit a change of status there because we were the last owners of Jerusalem." He added: "Kidroy Valley constitutes the border as far as we are concerned. We would regard every Israeli soldier crossing that border as an invader and we would respond very strongly just like when we did when Israel declared Jerusalem its capital city and hoisted its national flag in Eastern Jerusalem on 30 July 1980. Our Ambassador said: 'The flag must be immediately removed. Israel removed the flag two hours later."

    The meaning or gist of all those facts is that Turkey regards Jerusalem not as an external, but as a domestic issue based on legitimacy originating in history because it was its last owner. Is it necessary to add anything else?

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 05 November 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 05 November 2009:

    On Turkey's Foreign policy

    In a column in Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz comments on the recent debate of "change of axis" in Turkey's foreign policy. Agreeing with President Gul's remarks on Turkey's proceeding toward the West in terms of its values, Idiz notes, however, that not many Turkish people have "truly" internalized the western values. On the contrary, he adds, most of Turks are western "in appearance" but have done nothing for the internalization of western values by the Turkish society. He concludes that what really will determine to which world Turkey belongs is not its foreign policy, but whether it can adopt the western values, which have become universal.

    Also in Milliyet, Dogan Heper views the "change of axis" in Turkey's policies in his article. Recalling that Prime Minister Erdogan said that Turkey looks both toward the West and the East, Heper says that Turkey always faced the West but that the West always kept its distance. Recently, Turkey expanded its foreign policy, Heper maintains and adds that Turkey did not change axis but assumed a new role in the region. Whether Turkey will succeed in this new role depends on Ankara's skills, Heper concludes.

    In an article entitled "How will they stop Turkey?", in Yeni Safak, columnist Ibrahim Karagul asserts that Lebanese officials' warnings of an Israeli attack on Lebanon and Israeli Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's disclosure that there are no obstacles to his country carrying out a new military campaign against Gaza signal possible attempts by Israel to implement new conflict "scenarios" in the Middle East in a bid to reverse developments whereby Israel has been losing its influence in the region as a result of Turkey's recent foreign policy initiatives.

    In an article entitled "A very important exercise," in Zaman columnist Fikret Ertan describes the ongoing US-Israeli joint military exercise called "Juniper Cobra" as a final testing of US and Israeli weapons systems against a possible missile attack by Iran. He asserts that the drill is also intended to help the United States improve its ship-based anti-missile systems.

    Finally, in an article entitled "Is the West losing Turkey?", in Today's Zaman, columnist Ibrahim Kalin argues that Turkey's "new activism in the Middle East and other regions," rather than reflecting any "disappointment with its Western friends," is "a fully rational attempt to seize new spaces of opportunity presented by new facts of globalization and regional reordering."

    EG/


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