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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-11-09
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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. 211/09 07-09.11.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Christofias and Talat held their 50th meeting; Talat believes that the two sides can reach convergenceIllegal Bayrak television (07.11.09) broadcast the following:
President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mehmet Ali Talat has got the impression that there has been a positive step in bridging the gaps between the two sides, regarding the thorny issue of Property. I now have more hope for an agreement on this issue, then in the past. But we are still at the very beginning, President Talat said.
Speaking to the press on his return from yesterdays negotiation round with the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias, he welcomed the works carried out by his Special Representative Ozdil Nami and the Greek Cypriot Aide Giorgos Iacovou, with the aim of narrowing the different approaches of the two sides towards the Property issue, which he described as the most complex chapter of the peace talks. Reminding that they have been working on the setting up of the criteria, the President said that there seems to be the hope that the two sides can reach convergence.
Also speaking to reporters on his return, the Greek Cypriot Leader Christofias joined President Talats hopeful stance, but also noted that there is still a lot to do on the issue of Property.
Yesterday, Talat and Christofias held another round on Property which focused on the criteria, as worked out by Nami and Iacovou earlier. Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting, the UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer announced that the next Talat-Christofias meeting is going to take place on Friday the 13th. In the meantime, Nami and Iacovou will hold further discussions on property criteria this Monday and Thursday.
Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (06.11.09) broadcast the following:
President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias are continuing their peace talks with another round on the thorny issue of Property today. The two leaders are reviewing the criteria on Property which were once again discussed in detail by their special aides Ozdil Nami and Giorgos Iacovou at a meeting yesterday.
Speaking on BRT this morning, President Talats Special Representative for talks with the EU and the UN Ozdil Nami spoke of the first signs of bringing the two sides positions regarding the issue property closer together. Mr Nami said that the two sides mutually introduced lists of criteria, consisting of 12 articles each. We have reached agreement nearly on half of these proposals, he said, adding that the two sides narrowed the gap between their positions on some of these criteria.
The aide said that the two sides share the same view on the establishment of a property commission that is going to provide remedy via compensation, restitution and exchange. The two sides are now in negotiation who will be entitled to the First Right of Refusal and how, he added.
In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.11.09) reports that the self-styled assembly of the occupation regime will convey on an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, 11th of November. In the meeting the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat will inform the so-called MPs and the political parties about the latest developments of the Cyprus problem.
 Talat and Eroglu on the ongoing negotiation process in CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (08.11.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that he and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias are trying to find common points over disagreements which will not have negative effects on both sides.
President Mehmet Ali Talat touched upon the Cyprus issue during a speech he delivered at the 47th Ordinary General Assembly of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce. The President said that although important steps had been taken on the Cyprus issue, people started losing their hopes as the duration of negotiations process was extended. Expressing that the delay at the negotiations was the result of the lack of motivation of the Greek Cypriot side, Mr Talat said although they couldnt reach the speed they were expecting at the negotiations, their targets are still valid and serious progress could still be achieved on the Cyprus issue.
In addition, illegal Bayrak television (08.11.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has said that the government is in favour of the continuation of the negotiations process.
Addressing the ordinary General Assembly of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Mr Eroglu expressed the need for President Mehmet Ali Talat to continue the negotiations by defending the rights and interest of the Turks of Cyprus in the best way. We do not come from the same political origin. We have different point of views on many issues especially on the Cyprus issue. The President has his own point of views. He does not have to change his views, as he is to work with us. In the same way UBP has its own views and stance and we do not have to change this, Mr Eroglu added.
Noting that occasionally they are expressing their doubts because they are not satisfied on the course of the negotiations, the Prime Minister said it is wrong to introduce it as the government has discord or it is looking for a polemic with the President.
 KADEM survey shows Eroglu to lead the presidential race with 36% while Talat receives 31.4%Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper on line version (07.11.09) reports the following:
We are reporting the outcome of the first survey the KADEM Research Company has carried out for Kibris on the presidential elections in 2010.
The number of undecided voters is rather high... According to the outcome of the KADEM Research Company survey, in which 1,144 citizens participated, 36 percent of the people will vote for UBP [National Unity Party] leader Dervis Eroglu and 31.4 percent will vote for President Mehmet Ali Talat if they contest the presidential elections in April 2010. The 22.1 percent undecided voters drew attention.
The survey shows that, apart from Dervis Eroglu and Mehmet Ali Talat, 2 percent of the voters will support the Democratic Party [DP] candidate, 2.5 percent will support a new candidate, and 1 percent will support the TDP [Communal Democracy Party] candidate. The great majority of those who said that they will vote for Dervis Eroglu support the UBP and DP. Some 74.6 percent of the UBP supporters and 54 percent of the DP supporters said that they will vote for Eroglu.
Some 6.6 percent of the UBP supporters said that they will vote for Mehmet Ali Talat and 8.8 percent of the CTP [Republican Turkish Party] supporters said that they will vote for Dervis Eroglu.
Some 86.1 percent of the CTP supporters will vote for Mehmet Ali Talat. Some 43.3 percent of the TDP supporters will also vote for Mehmet Ali Talat, 3.3 percent will support Dervis Eroglu, and 23.3 percent will support the candidate of their own party.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.11.09) in its front page and under the title, Talat: I receive no information, Eroglu: I am satisfied, reports on the results of the public survey which was conducted the other day by KADEM Research Company regarding the forthcoming presidential elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus which has revealed that the self-styled prime minister, Mr Dervis Eroglu, receives 36%, while the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat 31.6%. Asked to comment on the results, Mr Eroglu expressed to the correspondent of Kibris newspaper his satisfaction and said that despite the result he has not announced his candidature yet. He then said that he is pleased with the result bearing in mind that his candidature has not become definite. On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat asked to comment on the result of the public survey said: It was not possible to read the newspaper.
 Turkeys Bagis calls on Germany to support the efforts for peace in CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (07.11.09) broadcast the following:
Turkish Minister of State and the Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis has once again put emphasis on Turkeys determination towards making contributions for a permanent, just and comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.
Turkish Minister of State and the Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis has once again put emphasis on Turkeys determination towards making contributions for a permanent, just and comprehensive settlement in Cyprus. Mr Bagis was speaking after his meeting with the German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Germany, during which the Cyprus issue was a top subject of discussion.
The Turkish Minister told reporters that Turkey has always been by the side of resolutions in all fields and stressed the need for Germany to support the efforts for peace, being made by the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias.
 Turkish Cypriot daily says Turkey is threatening the Greek Cypriots with Dervis Eroglus possible victory in the elections in AprilUnder the title, He threatens the Greek Cypriots with Eroglu, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.11.09) refers to statements made by the Turkish Chief Negotiator with the EU, Egemen Bagis who said that reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem will become more difficult after April 2010.
The paper reports, inter alia, the following:
Turkey continues to threaten the Greek Cypriots with Dervis Eroglu. It says that the solution will become more difficult in case a solution is not secured until April!
In spite of the fact that everybody knows that Ankara is directing the Turkish side at the negotiating table, Turkey continues to play a game as if it depends on the leader who came with the political will of the Turkish Cypriots at this table and it is laying the Eroglu card onto the table.
The paper notes that Mr Bagis said: In case a solution is not found until April, when the term of office of Talat ends, things will become more difficult. We do not know whether the new Turkish Cypriot leader will be as determined as Talat in solving the problem.
The paper writes that Mr Talat himself had openly confessed that Ankara forced him to do whatever it wanted and wonders why Turkey will not be able to do the same with Mr Eroglu.
 Eroglu and MPs of the AKP participated in the opening ceremony of the building of the association of the Turkish settlers from AlexandrettaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu has said that they will not permit for the problems deriving from different culture to turn into fight between brothers and they will try to solve this problem. In statements during the opening ceremony of the building of the Association for Cultural Solidarity of the People from Alexandretta in occupied Keryneia [Tr. Note: The settlers who were brought to the occupied areas of Cyprus from the south-eastern Turkish province o Alexandretta], Mr Eroglu said the work of the members of the association under this roof will strengthen further the solidarity between Alexandretta and the TRNC. The MPs of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Alexandretta, Abdullah Kahya and Fevzi Canverdi as well as the mayor of Alexandrettas Rehyanli area, Huseyin Sanverdi participated in the opening ceremony.
Expressing his satisfaction for seeing these representatives in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Eroglu reiterated that they have established a state on the area created by the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the people of the TRNC have been formed by being unified with the brothers who came from the Motherland. He alleged that this people are living in peace and tranquillity under the shadow of Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces.
 Ferry services to be launched between the occupation regime and IsraelUnder the title And the ship arrived, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (07.11.09) reports that a ship which belongs to the businessman Cafer Gurcafer and which will conduct ferry services between the occupation regime and Israel, anchored at the occupied Famagusta port. According to the paper, the ship, which is expected to carry almost 100 thousand tourists per year from Israel to occupied Cyprus, will bring a fresh impetus to tourism.
The paper writes that the ferry services are planned to start in December and before the New Years Eve.
Speaking to Kibrisli newspaper, Mr Gurcafer stated, inter alia, that the ship which will conduct the ferry services arrived from Spain and its aim is to carry between 50-100 thousand tourists from Israel per year. The tourists will be offered packages of three, five, seven or ten days and stay in hotels in occupied Famagusta. They can also choose to stay in hotels in occupied Lefkosia or in occupied Keryneia.
Mr Gurcafer also said that on the 15th of November a 25-person delegation from Israel will arrive in the occupied areas in order to brush up the agreement regarding the tourists who will visit the occupied areas from Israel and for the project to be launched.
Finally, Mr Gurcafer stated that the tourists will not only visit the occupied areas in order to visit the casinos and for gambling. As he said, the tourists from Israel interested also in culture and in nature.
 The trade relations of breakaway regime with the UAE will reportedly be developedUnder the title The relations will be developed, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.09) reports that a decision in principle on the issue of developing the existing trade relations between the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been taken. According to a statement issued by the self-styled ministry of economy and energy, the so-called minister, Sunat Atun returned yesterday from Istanbul where he held contacts and participated in the 25th Meeting of the Standing Islamic Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee (ISEDAK), which is bound to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Mr Atun met with the General Secretary of the OIC, Mr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish State Minister responsible for foreign trade, Mr Zafer Caglayan, the Turkish State Minister, Mr Cevdet Yilmaz, and the Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, Sultan Bin Haet Al-Mansuri.
During his meeting with Sultan Al-Masuri, Mr Atun informed him on the policy of the regime to strengthen the economic activities and the economy in the occupied areas of Cyprus and referred to the decisions of the OIC regarding the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. He pointed to the importance of developing the existing trade relations between the TRNC and the United Arab Emirates. Mr Atun said the steps to be taken in this direction will constitute an example for the rest of the OIC countries and expressed the wish for such work to start as soon as possible. They evaluated the fields where cooperation could be made and both stressed the necessity of the continuation of their contacts with the aim of taking concrete steps.
 A monument for the British soldiers killed during the EOKA struggle was inaugurated in occupied KeryneiaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.09) reports that a monument for the British soldiers killed by the Greek Cypriot EOKA organization during the struggle against the British colonial rule in 1956-1959 was inaugurated yesterday in occupied Keryneia. The British High Commissioner to Lefkosia, Peter Millet, Air Marshal Sir Michael Graydon representing the Royal Air Force, Rear Admiral Sir Henry Beverly representing the Naval Forces and General Corran Purdon representing the land forces participated in the ceremony.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.11.09) refers to the issue under the title Monument to the colonizer and reports that the names of 371 British soldiers are inscribed on it.
 The breakaway regime is participating in the World Travel Market Fair in LondonTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.09) reports that the breakaway regime will participate with a smaller pavilion this year in the World Travel Market Fair in London in comparison with the previous years. The paper notes that due to the economic crisis the ministry of tourism decreased the budget for the fair from 150 to 60 thousand pounds sterling. The fair opens today and will be open until 12 November. It is expected that the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture, Ersan Saner will visit London and hold contacts with representatives of the tourism sector. He is expected to exchange views with them on what could be done for tourism in 2010.
 Symposium to discuss about the recognition of the breakaway regimeIllegal Bayrak television (08.11.09) broadcast the following:
The Association for protecting the TRNC will hold a symposium to show that there is no obstacle for the recognition of the TRNC. The content of the three-day symposium announced at a press conference by the officials of the organization today.
The President of the association Nejat Kocaismail said that the TRNC which was founded as a result of many difficulties and sufferings is being tried to seize from the Turks of Cyprus by foreign powers and added that they will never let this to happen. Stating that the UN Security Council is not recognizing the TRNC with its 542 and 550 agreements and it tries to force the TRNC to reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriot side, Mr Kocaismail said the association will examine the status of the TRNC during the symposium. He also added that the aim of the symposium was to show the people that there is no obstacle for the recognition of the TRNC and also to make them to protect their state.
The symposium, which was entitled The Status of the TRNC, will start on Thursday, on the 12th of November at the Girne American University (GAU). Following the opening and the presentations at the first day, the symposium will end with two different sessions to be held at the Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) on Friday and at the Near East University (YDU) on Saturday.
 Self-styled agriculture minister meets with the Commander of Turkeys occupation forcesIllegal Bayrak television (06.11.09) broadcast the following:
The Commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu has paid a visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Nazim Cavusoglu. During the visit, the Minister said our peoples devotion to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will be eternal as long as the Turkish Forces maintain its unwavering stance.
Speaking during the visit, General Zorlu said he visited Mr Cavusoglu for an exchange of view on issues concerning the Ministry and the Force.
For his part, Mr Cavusoglu said the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus was playing a significant role in the development of the TRNC in addition to maintaining the security of the Cyprus Turkish people. Every single step taken towards protecting the existence of the TRNC takes its roots from the unwavering position of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Mr Cavusoglu added.
 President Gul calls on the OIC countries to keep cooperating with the occupation regime and spread Islam across the globeAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.11.09) reported from Istanbul on statements of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul who said on Saturday that the current period was suitable for spreading Islamic civilization's knowledge, experiences and Islam's peaceful character across the globe. Delivering the opening remarks of a ministerial meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul, Gul said that we must make use of the COMCEC platform on the 25th anniversary of its foundation as a platform that has proved its success. We must note that the COMCEC is not much effective in timely implementation of projects and in reaching its potential, Gul said. In order to assist COMCEC to become a more effective and strong body, we must strengthen certain mechanisms and prepare a visionary document that could be implemented, Gul said.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Saturday that 22 of the world's most underdeveloped 49 countries are members of the OIC. Delivering the opening remarks of a ministerial meeting of the COMCEC of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Istanbul, Gul said that one of our goals should be to decrease the number of OIC countries that are underdeveloped and reduce the number of poor people in these countries.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Saturday that Turkey expected OIC countries to keep boosting ties with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
 Two journalists accused of wiretapping Erdogans conversations with TalatTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (09.11.09) reports that Aydinlik Editor-in-Chief Deniz Yildirim and the intelligence chief of Ulusal TV station Ufuk Akaya were detained on Saturday as part of the Ergenekon case and are accused of wiretapping the prime ministers telephone.
Several days ago, security forces also searched the houses of the two detained journalists along with the offices of Ulusal TV and the Aydinlik journal due to Aydinliks October 13 issue, which published a the telephone conversation transcript between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in 2004. The cover of the journal quoted Erdogan saying, He has finished, referring to the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas during his conversation with the incumbent Turkish Cypriot leader.
Akaya and Yildirim were detained because they were accused of listening to the telephone conversation between the Turkish Cypriot leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Claims that Ergenekon defendant Atilla Ugur ordered others to wiretap Erdogan in 2004 were mentioned in the Dost Tarikati (Friend Islamic Order) report prepared by Ergenekon prosecutor Zekeriyya Oz. Dost Tarikati leader Ihsan Guven and his wife were killed in May 2004, and seven people have been detained in connection with the murder. The Dost Tarikatki case is believed to have links with the Ergenekon case. The latest development has again put Ergenekons listening capabilities on the agenda. It was also revealed that Ergenekon members sought to find better means of wiretapping individuals than what security forces possessed.
 Prime Minister Erdogan: 2011 elections will be my lastUnder the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (09.11.09) reports the following:
Prime Minister Erdogan has reiterated his promise that he will stand as a candidate for parliamentary elections in 2011 for the last time, during the countrys next general elections. Politics is not the only way to serve the nation. When you lead a foundation, then you also serve the country. There are examples of this action all around the world, but unfortunately not in Turkey, the prime minister said in Istanbul at a tourism award ceremony on Sunday. The prime minister stressed that the bylaws of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) do not allow any of its members to be a candidate three times.
In his speech, Erdogan underlined the temporality of political positions and recalled that previous politicians are still trying to engage in daily politics, which he finds inappropriate. He also noted that the most important thing is to serve the country, saying that he puts forth great effort toward this goal.
 Devlet Bahceli was re-elected as MHP leaderAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.11.09) reported from Ankara that Devlet Bahceli has been re-elected as chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Sunday. Bahceli received the votes of 1171 delegates at MHP's Ninth Regular General Congress and became the leader of the MHP for the fifth time.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 06, 07 and 08 November 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 06, 07 and 08 November 2009:
Foreign Policy issues:
In an article entitled "Has the axis shifted or not?" in Hurriyet (06.11.09) columnist Ferai Tinc argues that Turkey has not changed the direction of its foreign policy, but only reviewing it in light of current conditions. She points out that Western concerns that there may be a change in Turkey's foreign policy have resulted from Prime Minister Erdogan's rhetoric influenced by his ideological background.
In an article entitled "What has changed in foreign policy?" in Milliyet (06.11.09) columnist Sami Kohen ascribes Turkey's new diplomatic moves to changing conditions in Turkey and the rest of the world. Pointing out that Turkey has begun pursuing a multi-faceted strategy, he says: "Its region (the Middle East, the Caucasus, and the Balkans) has become the most neuralgic part of the world. This has offered Ankara the opportunity to gradually become a regional layer and to use its own initiative. Those factors are behind Turkey's recent efforts to establish closer ties with her neighbours." He concludes by saying that Turkey has no intention of dissociating itself from Western values and the United States, NATO, and the EU are still priorities in Turkish foreign policy.
Approaching the issue from a different angle in his article entitled "Turkey's Choice," in Milliyet (06.11.09) columnist Riza Turmen argues that there are moral, legal, and political imbalances in Turkish foreign policy. He comments: "There is no noticeable change in Turkey's relations with the West. But, the problem is that Turkey is not acting like a member of the Western alliance. It does not intend to establish diplomatic dialogue and coordination with the Western countries except for talks held with the United States about security issues. Islamic considerations take precedence over the values of Western democracies. This does not make Turkey more independent. It only causes it to become a country outside of the Western alliance."
In an article entitled "Could Israel stop Turkey?" in Yeni Safak (06.11.09) columnist Ibrahim Karagul cites Israel's capture yesterday of a vessel some 150 km off its shores allegedly carrying arms shipments from Iran or Syria to Hezbollah and bound for Turkey as a development which confirms his prediction in his previous article that Israel might try to create excuses for an attack on Gaza and Lebanon in order to cause new conflicts in the Middle East and neutralize Turkey's recent regional initiatives.
Under the headline, "Zionist envoy on a sinister trip," Vakit (06.11.09) runs a front-page report which slams Israel's "terrorist" ambassador to Turkey Gaby Levy for continuing to pay visits to various provinces in Turkey despite the fact that he is facing protests "wherever he goes." According to the report, Levy is being accused of bio-piracy in connection with his ongoing trips.
In an article entitled "The limits of soft power" in Milli Gazete (06.11.09) columnist Mustafa Ozcan argues that Turkey cannot establish a smooth relationship with all its neighbours or other regional players at the same time in the sense of being friends with Israel and the Palestinians or with Azerbaijan and Armenia at once. He claims that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's policy of "zero problems" with neighbours has already come up against the reality in the field as seen in the way Israel and Armenia expect Ankara to treat Turkish-Israeli and Turkish-Armenian relations separately from the Palestinian issue and the debate over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a commentary in Hurriyet Daily News.com (07.11.09), Cengiz Aktar notes the irrelevance of the discussion on "Is Turkey turning its face to the West or the East?" adding that "Turkey, in a way, is returning to the East thanks to the EU membership bid which is the main avenue of its Western path. Turkey goes East with Western blend. Within new policies, the main inspiration is, and should be, the EU's universal values. As a matter of fact, Turkey owes current initiatives and reformist moves towards its kinships to the strength and stability gained through EU inspired reformist will."
In her commentary entitled "Davutoglu: November will be month of Europe" in Hurriyet (07.11.09), Ferai Tinc recounts Davutoglu's briefing to journalists accompanying him aboard the plane to France. Explaining that the most interesting part of this chat was Davutoglu's replies to the "axis" discussions under way in Turkey, Tinc continues by giving headlines from the chat such as "this claim will dissipate once Turkey's profile will rise," "the cold war mentality," and "October was the month of peace."
Writing in Hurriyet (07.11.09), Enis Berberoglu views the conflict with the relations with Israel in general, and Israeli Ambassador Levy's visit to Trabzon in his commentary entitled "I do not know about the West, but the conflict with Israel is different." In reply to his own question on whether Turkey is disrupting its relations with Israel because it no longer has a need for it, Berberoglu says: "In truth, this is a factor but not the only one. Turkey seems to assume a role in the region that is befitting its increasing political weight. The Syrian-Israeli peace was just such a project befitting the role. Turkey mediated in five rounds, but the sixth one was not held because Israel attacked Gaza while it got up from the table in Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan felt deceived. The trendy discussion today is the change of axis in Turkey. The Iranian visit and the nuclear stand raise questions in people's minds. I was during that meeting and did not see any indication that would justify such a worry. My real objection is adding Israel to those who give Iran as an example. I tried to explain that the distance with Israel is different. The real issue is the extent that Israel, which does not even make concessions to the United States, seeks peace. I would like to end my column with a question to Gaby Levy. He is an ambassador who knows Turkey very well. Is it because he really does not know what awaits him that he chooses those locations or because he knows very well that protests await him?
In an article entitled "On harsh reactions against Israel", Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak slams certain "friends" who are "radical" in their defence of democracy and human rights, "leave nothing unsaid" in censuring pro-status quo politicians," and are critical of the current state of civilian-military relations in Turkey for "becoming defenders of the status quo suddenly whenever relations with Israel are brought up for discussion" and arguing that Turkey "should get along well with Israel in order to be able to maintain its regional peace mission." Albayrak goes on to claim that in "restricting Israel's room for manoeuvre" by closing ranks with Syria and Iran and cancelling joint military exercises with Israel, the ruling AKP is "serving the cause of peace" by trying to force Israel into agreeing to make peace with its neighbours. He also accuses Turkish critics of the public protests in Trabzon at Israeli envoy Gaby Levy of "siding with the occupation and massacre lobby knowingly or unknowingly."
In an article entitled "The origin of the second wave", Yeni Safak (07.11.09) columnist Fehmi Koru, writing under the pseudonym Taha Kivanc, argues that the absence of any support by such AKP critics as Frank Gaffney Jr, Michael Rubin, Soner Cagaptay, and Zeyno Baran for the latest "wave" of Western criticism against the Erdogan government launched by commentaries in Le Monde, The New York Times, and The Guardian accusing the AKP of causing a shift in Turkey's orientation from West to East suggests that there is a group of lobbies rather than certain states behind "the latest campaign."
"Removing Turkey from the Iran-Sudan parentheses" is the title of an article by Cengiz Candar who argues that the Sudanese president's visit will be a problem for Turkey. This is his second article in a row, criticizing the government for its stand on the issue. In today's article which appeared in Referans and Hurriyet (08.11.09), Candar compares the invitation extended by Turkey to Prime Minister Erdogan's declaration of friendship with Iranian leader Ahmadinezhad.
According to Candar, both instances "undermine Turkey's foreign policy, and are wrong not only morally but politically as well."
In Cumhuriyet Cuneyt Arcayurek, expresses strong criticism of the invitation extended to the Sudanese president. In an article, Arcayurek argues that the government's recent steps remove Turkey from the West and place it squarely among the Islamic countries. "The EU and US media are no longer surprised by Turkey's political transformation," the columnist says, and expresses the hope that the Turkish media will come to the same realization too.
Under the banner headline "Tyrants are afraid of Turkey and Iran," Vakit (08.11.09) carries a front-page report which highlights an exclusive interview with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad who called on Turkey and other Muslim countries to join their forces against what he called Zionist tyranny. He also says that US President Barack Obama should make crucial decisions about several international issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In an article entitled "Killing three birds with one stone," in Vakit (08.11.09) columnist Hasan Karakaya asserts that Israel is behind recent articles in the Turkish press which said that Turkey is moving away from the West. He comments: "Israel intends to kill three birds with one stone. Its first aim is to provoke Western backlash against Turkey. It also intends to strain Turkish-Iranian relations so that Iran will be isolated against the West. If Iran backs down, it will encourage articles holding Turkey responsible for that and thus discredit the ruling party."
In an article entitled "Does the United States decide when we can do Business with Iran?" in Milli Gazete (08.11.09) columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan says that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent visit to Iran and conclusion of agreements for cooperation especially in the field of energy seem to have bothered the United States. He says: "If a country tries to dictate its terms about how another country should maintain its relations with its neighbours and believes that it is its right to do so, it means that there is a problem regarding the independence of the country whose relations with other countries were subjected to such interference. Although such attitude is consistent with cowboy mentality and habits, there should be no room for it in today's world."
 Scholars on Turkeys new foreign policy visionUnder the title: Turkey an active player both in West and East, pundits agree Todays Zaman newspaper (09.11.09) publishes the following article:
Scholars and journalists have argued that Turkeys new foreign policy vision is a result of the countrys geopolitical significance, in addition to its Muslim population and cultural and historical ties with neighbouring countries, and that this change cannot be viewed as the country giving up its long-standing European Union membership bid, in interviews with the Aksiyon weekly.
Muhammed Nureddin, the director of Beirut Strategic Research Centre, considered the old foreign policy strategy as one challenging its past, but says that with the new vision, Turkey is becoming a regional power. With the Turkeys new foreign policy, the world is now closer to peace. The attitude of Turkey in international politics is based on the idea of justice. The moral principles pursued by Turkey make its image better in the eyes of the people, he added.
The director of Turkeys Marshall Fund, Ozgur Unluhisarciklioglu, underlined the risks stemming from the new foreign policy understanding and noted that there should be a clear definition of the close relations with Iran so as not to disturb the West. He also noted that Turkeys cooperative stance with Hamas and Sudans leader Omar al-Bashir could produce trouble in its relations with the West and Israel. Secondly, the zero problems with neighbours strategy could create tensions with other neighbours.
Fayyaz Chaudhry, the editor of foreign policy news at a Pakistani news agency, regarded the improving relations of Turkey and Asian countries as helpful in Turkeys EU bid and stated that Turkeys initiatives to reach a settlement between Afghanistan and Pakistan are a result of the new foreign policy vision. Both of the countries need a new actor apart from the US for the achievement of reconciliation attempts. If Turkey can boost relations between these two countries, this will be a great success for Turkish diplomacy.
So far Turkey has been defined as the bridge between East and West. However, this definition is not enough to give a clear description of Turkey. It is now an active diplomatic player in both East and West, said Fehmi Huveydi, a journalist from Egypt and underlined the mediation efforts of Turkey, mainly in Middle East, and recalled that Egypt was uneasy about the active role of Turkey in the region. However, it was appeased by Turkeys remarks that convinced Egypt that Turkey should not be seen as its rival in the region.
The weekly Aksiyon devoted its latest cover issue to a current debate on whether a change concerning Turkish foreign policy priorities in international politics, which are based on an alliance with the West, the US and western European countries, has been undertaken which will ultimately result in a closer stance with eastern countries.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday in the AK party group meeting that our foreign policy is directed towards the West but it does not mean that Turkey will turn its back on its neighbours in the north, south or east.
Aksiyon claims that Erdogans remarks show that the greatest ambition for Turkish foreign relations is being an EU member whom the prime minister thinks will not constitute an obstacle to developing better relations with other countries. Some EU members voicing their rejection and discontent of Turkeys EU bid has created a deceleration in the process. However, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu advocates that as an EU member, Turkey will be instrumental in bridging the EU and Gulf countries.
Despite some arguments that the new strategy for Turkish foreign policy is neo- Ottomanism, Turkey has been quite successful in establishing promising relations with countries that were not under Ottoman rule like Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The zero problems with neighbours strategy produced and pursued by Davutoglu has facilitated the dialogue with close neighbours and is considered a courageous step in demolishing barriers to resolve Turkeys long-lasting problems of like the Armenia and Cyprus issues.
Gokhan Bacik from Gaziantep Zive University stated that Turkey has got over the psychology of the Cold War era recently and underlined the importance of the perception of Turkey to its close neighbours. When the country does not obey the rules set by the established elites, a field of opportunities waits for Turkey because of its Ottoman history and Islamic background.
Turkey is now emerging as a fair broker due to its tough mediation efforts in problems and conflicts in Eurasia. The West sees Turkeys role as essential and helpful in the domestic conflicts in Leb anon and the disputes between Syria and the US. Moreover, Turkey has been able to bring together hostile countries like Afghanistan with Pakistan along with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. In addition, Turkey has been playing a very active role in easing the tensions between Russia and Georgia and Armenia and Azerbaijan. Therefore, with a record number of votes Turkey was able to be elected to permanent membership of the UN Security Council with the votes of 151 countries.