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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-11-20

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. 220/09 20.11.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish daily argues that an 8.000-page document including the minutes of the meetings of Ban Ki-moon with Downer, Erdogan, Gul, Karamanlis and the British has been stolen
  • [02] Turkish daily reveals details from the negotiations between President Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat for the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Cemil Cicek: Even if we give Cyprus, new problems will arise for us
  • [04] Ozdil Nami stated that the list regarding the property categories is ready and that the first convergence on the issue of property has been achieved
  • [05] Eroglu reiterates his stance for a solution in Cyprus on the basis of two separate states
  • [06] Illegal BRT to open a bureau in London in 2010
  • [07] Vice President of the US Monitor Group attended seminar to promote investment in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] Self-styled minister Tacoy and UBP self-styled MP Ertugruloglu to represent the occupation regime at the Liberal Democrats of Europe meeting in Barcelona
  • [09] The Turkish Cypriot Tourism and Travel Agency Union will participate in the 43rd congress of the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations
  • [10] A building in occupied Famagusta was leased to the Istanbul Technical University for establishing a campus in occupied Cyprus
  • [11] Sun Link Ltd partnership company purchased from a Danish company the biggest cargo ship in the occupied areas
  • [12] Erdogan met with Ahtisaari and the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq
  • [13] Davutoglu visits Afghanistan and Iran
  • [14] Turkish Ministry of Justice announces the number of people wiretapped
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [15] Columnist in Hurriyet sees another crisis possible between Turkey and the US regarding the troop withdrawal from Iraq
  • [16] From the Turkish Press of 19 November 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish daily argues that an 8.000-page document including the minutes of the meetings of Ban Ki-moon with Downer, Erdogan, Gul, Karamanlis and the British has been stolen

    Under the front-page title, Greek Cypriot style Ergenekon, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (20.11.09) writes that ahead of a critical period in the direct negotiations which were launched in Cyprus a year ago, a scandal was revealed in the free territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Persons who got the password of Sonia Bachmann, assistant to the UN Secretary-Generals Special envoy for Cyprus Alexander Downer, have stolen an-8.000-page document from the system. These documents are now being published by the Greek Cypriot press part by part.

    These documents include minutes of the UN Secretary-General's meetings with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The documents also include the minutes of the meetings of Mr Ban with the former Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the British. The view that this is an operation of the Greek Cypriot secret services is widespread.

    The incident took place 45 days ago in the Greek Cypriot Sector. There are two scenarios on how the documents have been stolen. According to the first scenario, Sonia Bachmann checked her e-mails from a public computer installed at the Hilton Hotel. In this process, the passwords have been stolen and according to Ms. Bachmann, access was achieved with the password to the UN database. Here they reached to the minutes of the meeting of Alexander Downer with Ban Ki-moon.

    According to the second scenario, the incident took place at the Holiday Inn hotel. Unknown persons entered into Ms. Bachmann room, hacked the password of the computer and stole the notes on the meetings. After this, all these documents started to be published in the Greek Cypriot press. In the documents, Mr Downer was being criticized.

    An investigation was launched regarding computers security not only in the island, but in the headquarters of the UN in New York. While the investigations against those who have stolen the documents continue, no action was taken against Sonia Bachmann and Alexander Downer.

    (ML)

    [02] Turkish daily reveals details from the negotiations between President Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat for the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Under the front-page title, Development towards a United Republic of Cyprus, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (20.11.09) publishes a report by Mustafa Kucuk on the 51st meeting between President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and writes:

    There will be no army of the United Cyprus. Each will have ones own police force. Passports and identity cards will be common. Two different languages, Turkish and Greek, will be used. In each community, other languages will be taught as an elective subjects. In the government offices, if the director is Turk, his deputy will be Greek and vice versa. There will be a rotating presidency.

    The paper continues to report on the issue under the inside page title This is how the United Cyprus will be, and writes that while the negotiations between the two communities in Cyprus continue, we are experiencing developments regarding the establishment of the United Republic of Cyprus. In the new military-free-structure that will be voted by the two communities, the only armed force will be the police and there will be police force for each community. An organized general police will be established which will be similar to the FBI. Turkish and Greek will be the official languages of the United Cyprus and a common working language for the official institutions will be determined.

    The two leaders agreed during their 51st meeting, not to give any information to the press before the completion of the negotiations. According to information obtained from diplomatic sources, it was agreed in the negotiations that the senate elects the President and his deputy and these two members to receive post in rotation. There will be a candidate of coalitions formed among Turk and Greek Cypriots and the two will be elected who get the votes of the senators bound to the two communities.

    According to the sources, the biggest problem in the negotiations is the insistence of the Greek Cypriots on single sovereignty. The Greek Cypriots desire the transformation of the Republic of Cyprus to a federated state and do not accept two sovereign states. The Turkish side wants continuation of the structure currently existing, writes the paper. If the United Cyprus is accepted, a new cabinet will be established with six Greek Cypriots and three Turks as members. The ministers of Foreign Affairs and Europe and the Finance and Interior Affairs will come from different communities. For any decision to be approved, the vote of at least one person from each community will be needed.

    There will be no army in the United Cyprus and a common police will be formed. While the Turkish side wants the number of the police to be equal for each sector, the Greek Cypriot side insists on a proportion of 60% to 40%. It is possible for a third working language to be defined by the constitution. In the government offices, if the director is Turkish, his deputy will be Greek Cypriot and vice versa. It is estimated that it will be necessary for the working language to be used in the state offices as well.

    The citizens of the United Cyprus will use the same passports and identity cards. Even if in the negotiations, the Greek Cypriots demand sending back the people who came from Turkey, the official stance of the Turkish side is that we do not make our citizens an issue of bargaining.

    Property is one of the most important problems. The framework on which the compensations will be paid was not defined. If the loss of use comes on the agenda in the solution, the Turkish side wants the same rights for the Turkish Cypriots to be valid. In this context, either compensation will be paid for the property, or one of houses of the Turkish Cypriots in the free territories of the Republic of Cyprus will be given.

    If an agreement is reached, the two sides will hold a referendum. Both sides need to approve it for the agreement to be in force.

    (ML)

    [03] Cemil Cicek: Even if we give Cyprus, new problems will arise for us

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (20.11.09) reports on statements made by Turkeys State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek on Cyprus in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    Mr Cicek referred to the speech his addressed in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus to mark the 26th anniversary from the establishment of the illegal regime and, inter alia, said:

    Even if we give Cyprus, new problems will arise for us. That is why I said during my speech in Cyprus if you tell us to choose either Cyprus or the EU, we will choose Cyprus.

    (ML)

    [04] Ozdil Nami stated that the list regarding the property categories is ready and that the first convergence on the issue of property has been achieved

    Under the title, The list for the categories on the property issue is ready!!, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (20.11.09) publishes statements made yesterday by Ozdil Nami, advisor of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. Speaking to the illegal BRT after the meeting he had with George Iacovou regarding the property issue, Mr Nami stated that the first convergence has been achieved as regards the issue of property. He also stated that the list regarding the categories on the property issue, which the two leaders left for the advisors to organize, is ready. He then said that the most difficult part of the work on property was left for the next meeting. Mr Nami also said that proposals for the property categories will be made after the Bayram holidays.

    (AK)

    [05] Eroglu reiterates his stance for a solution in Cyprus on the basis of two separate states

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.11.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has said that both the Greek Cypriots Side and the European Union are having difficulties accepting and acknowledging the existence of the Turks of Cyprus. He said that government did fully support a solution in Cyprus, but added that any settlement to be reached had to be based on the reality that there two separate states in Cyprus.

    The TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, who received the Turkish Republican Peoples Partys (CHP) Istanbul MP Mustafa Ozyurek, evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus Problem. Speaking during the meeting, the Premier expressed his doubts that the ongoing talks would yield any positive results. He complained that the Greek Cypriot Administration rejected all proposals brought to the table by the Turkish side, and in response put forward extreme demands, which if accepted, would spell the end of Turkish existence on the island. The Prime Minister said that the Greek Cypriot side leaders outright rejection of the latest proposal put forward by the Turkish Prime Minister for a five-party summit on the Cyprus issue was clear proof of this.

    For his part, the Turkish Republican Peoples Party MPs Mustafa Ozyurek said that Turkey was always by the side of the Cyprus Turkish people. He expressed the view that any settlement to be reached should safeguard the rights of the Cyprus Turkish people as well as the existence of the TRNC.

    [06] Illegal BRT to open a bureau in London in 2010

    Under the title, BRT to open a bureau in London, Gunes newspaper (20.11.09) reports on statements made by the director of the illegal BRT, Ozer Kanli who has stated, inter alia, that the Bayrak Radio Television Corporation will open an office in London during 2010. Mr Kanli stated that the aim is for the voice of the Turkish Cypriots who live in London to be heard.

    Speaking during his meeting with the founding member of the Embargoed Group, Ipek Ozerim, Mr Kanli reminded that Turkish Cypriots suffer under embargoes for years and added that despite this the TRNC is still alive. He then said that this is a sign that Turkish Cypriots can move forward to the future with their state. Mr Kanli pointed also out that the TRNC is not an empty concept and that the Turkish Cypriots will continue to support the TRNC, the law rights and their rights regarding their equality and sovereignty.

    The founding member of the Embargoed Group, Ipek Ozerim stated in his turn that the Turkish Cypriots who live in the UK are informed about the news in the occupied areas of Cyprus from the illegal BRT. He also added that they will support the illegal BRT and that from now on they will continue their cooperation with the BRT so that the rights of the Turkish Cypriots to be heard more.

    (AK)

    [07] Vice-president of the US Monitor Group attended seminar to promote investment in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.11.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA) is today organizing a seminar on strategies to adopt for the processing and promotion of investment in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. During the seminar, Dr. Sean McCarthy, Vice President of the American Monitor Group Limited, will present three possible scenarios that he developed.

    Sean McCarthy was speaking on a BRT program last night to provide details about his scenarios, named as The Cyprus tragedy, The TRNC: A sea of silicosis and The cliff. The scenarios cover the period between now and 2015.

    He underlined the importance of creativity and willingness for a future development of the TRNC. McCarthy expressed the view that the private sector must go beyond the Cyprus problem and do something for investment. The Vice President of the Monitor Group said the seminar is aimed at finding answers to questions on how to get positioned during the wavy periods of economy, which economic powers can bring advantages, how to inspire the youth for entrepreneurship and which economic sectors to support.

    The seminar is taking place at the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) this afternoon.

    [08] Self-styled minister Tacoy and UBP self-styled MP Ertugruloglu to represent the occupation regime at the Liberal Democrats of Europe meeting in Barcelona

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.11.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Minister of Public Works and Communication Hasan Tacoy flew to Barcelona this morning to attend the Liberal Democrats of Europe meeting. The Cyprus Problem will be on the agenda of Mr Tacoys two-day contacts in the Spanish city.

    Speaking to BRT yesterday about his contacts, the Minister of Public Works and Communication Hasan Tacoy said that he will be joined by UBP Lefkosa MP Tahsin Erutguloglu who was in Strasbourg to attend the Political Affairs Committee meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

    He said that the aim of their contacts in Barcelona is to speed up their membership process to the Liberal Democrats of Europe. Stating that the Cyprus Problem will be high on the agenda of their contacts in Barcelona, Tacoy said that they will also be trying to strengthen relations between the Liberal Democrats of Europe and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    Mr Tacoy is expected to return to the Republic on Saturday.

    [09] The Turkish Cypriot Tourism and Travel Agency Union will participate in the 43rd congress of the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (20.11.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Tourism and Travel Agency Union (KITSAB) will participate in the 43rd congress of the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations (UFTAA) which will take place in Nepals capital, Kathmandu. The KITSAP will be represented by its honorary chairman, Ahmet Necati Ozkan.

    Mr Ozkan, who issued a written statement, expressed the belief that the efforts which have been made by KITSAB since 1974 to become member of UFTAA started to bear fruits, and that after meetings with the chairman of UFTAA, its General Secretary and other officials, along with meetings with TRNC state Officials in the TRNC, KITSABs UFTAA membership can be materialized.

    (CS)

    [10] A building in occupied Famagusta was leased to the Istanbul Technical University for establishing a campus in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (20.11.09) re-publishes a report by the official gazette of the occupation regime about the leasing of a plot of land by the Istanbul Technical University (ITU). The paper writes that according to a decision taken by the self-styled council of ministers, the protocol signed between the TRNC and the Republic of Turkey on the 19th of January 2008, about the establishment of a campus of ITU in the occupied areas of Cyprus, was approved.

    Therefore, the building 698 which is located in Famagusta, in the Varosha district, (p/h XXXIII-/12.2.II and XXXIII/12.2.IV in Bloc B), and it is inside the plot of land with number 701, will be leased to ITU for 49 years, for 1$ per year, provided that ITU will restore the building.

    (CS)

    [11] Sun Link Ltd partnership company purchased from a Danish company the biggest cargo ship in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.11.09) reports that the Sun Link Ltd partnership company purchased with its own sources from a company in Denmark the biggest cargo ship in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the paper, the cargo ship, which costs approximately 600 thousand dollars, anchored yesterday morning in the occupied Famagusta port. The cargo ship with the name Kibris Gunes is the third cargo ship of the Sun Link Ltd company. The ship came from the Liverpool port of the UK with a 16-person crew.

    The cargo ship will make trips between Famagusta and Mersin three times a week and it will carry cargo in bad weather conditions as well. The paper writes that 30 persons will be employed in the ship. The ship is of 55 TIR capacity and of 116 meters length.

    (AK)

    [12] Erdogan met with Ahtisaari and the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.11.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held separate meetings on Thursday with Mahmoud Al-Abrash, speaker of the Syrian People's Assembly, chairman of the Independent Commission on Turkey Martti Ahtisaari and an accompanying delegation, as well as with Sayyed Ammar Al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, in Ankara.

    The three meetings were closed to the press corps.

    [13] Davutoglu visits Afghanistan and Iran

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.11.09) reported the following from Kabul:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended a breakfast in Kabul on Thursday hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for foreign ministers of countries contributing troops to the international security mission in Afghanistan.

    Davutoglu was in Kabul to attend on Thursday an oath-taking ceremony of President Hamid Karzai. The Turkish foreign minister is set to meet with Karzai after the ceremony and attend a luncheon hosted by Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta. Davutoglu is also scheduled to pay a visit to the Turkish battalion which took over Kabul command on October 31.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia (19.11.09) reported the following from Kabul:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was received by Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Thursday. Karzai, who was sworn into office as Afghanistan's president for another five years in a ceremony, received Davutoglu.

    Delivering a speech in the oath-taking ceremony, Karzai said Turkey and Afghanistan were friendly countries, and they were glad that Turkish soldiers' exert efforts for peace and security in Afghanistan. Prior to his meeting with Karzai, Davutoglu visited Turkish troops in Kabul. Turkey took over Kabul regional command on October 31, 2009. Davutoglu said Turkey would keep assisting Afghanistan.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.11.09) reported the following from Tabriz:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Tabriz, Iran on Thursday to have several talks. Davutoglu will meet Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Tabriz on Friday to discuss nuclear issues.

    Davutoglu who visited Kabul for the oath-taking ceremony of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, met with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi. Rahimi invited Davutoglu in Iran during the meeting, and Davutoglu accepted the invitation.

    [14] Turkish Ministry of Justice announces the number of people wiretapped

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.11.09) reported the following:

    The Justice Ministry announced Wednesday that 113,270 people had been wiretapped over the last three years, including 12,988 people who were sent a letter notifying them of this and saying no crime had been detected.

    This detailed information about wiretapping, which has dominated Turkey's agenda over the past few days, was revealed in the face of widespread reactions from different segments of society. Led by the Istanbul Bar Association, a large number of lawyers held a march Wednesday in Istanbul to protest the wiretapping incidents and political intervention in the judiciary.

    The ministerial explanation came after what may be described as a wiretapping scandal was revealed involving Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin, the lead prosecutor in the investigation into Ergenekon, which is a suspected gang that allegedly sought to topple the ruling party.

    It came to light last week that the ministry had demanded surveillance of both Engin's phones and the Supreme Court of Appeals switchboard within the scope of the Ergenekon case.

    Subtitle: 32,852 people tapped in 2009

    According to the ministry, 32,852 people were wiretapped in 2009 while a total of 113,270 people were tapped over the last three years under court orders. No crime was detected in 11.4 percent of the wiretapping cases; 12,988 people from the 2009 group were sent a letter notifying them that they had been wiretapped, but that the surveillance records were destroyed as no evidence of a crime was detected.Courts across the country requested the surveillance of the phones of 33,037 people in 2009. The Telecommunications Directorate objected to 185 of the requests, while the directorate tapped the remaining 32,852 people. The ministry had earlier said that within the last five years, 69 judicial officers were tapped -- 56 of them related to the Ergenekon case.

    The wiretapping records for 46 officials, including Engin, included no criminal evidence, the ministry said.

    Wiretapping allegations were also raised by Omer Faruk Eminagaoglu, the chairman of the Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV). Osman Kacmaz, the chief judge of the First High Criminal Court in Sincan, recently handed down a decision demanding an examination of the Telecommunications Directorate's records to determine whether Eminagaoglu was illegally tapped by the body.

    Subtitle: 'Judge did his job'

    According to media reports, the ministry later demanded the dismissal of both Eminagaoglu and Kacmaz, who previously ruled that President Abdullah Gul should be tried in the "missing trillion" case. The ministry also announced Wednesday that it had launched a probe into the judge who examined the directorate's records in line with Kacmaz's decision.

    Speaking to the media Thursday, Hasan Gerceker, the president of the Supreme Court of Appeals, said the judge who examined the directorate's records did his job and that the court would examine the issue.

    'Of course the judge went to the directorate to fulfil a court decision. We want everyone to respect the judicial decisions. You can criticize the judicial decisions, but there are various mechanisms and legal ways to correct a mistake', Gerceker said. 'Everybody has to obey the judicial decisions, which is a necessity of a constitutional rule of law'.

    Asked whether the court would file a complaint against the ministry's decision against the judge, Gerceker said the court would investigate and take the necessary steps accordingly. Gerceker also said the court's investigation into whether it was subject to wiretapping by the Justice Ministry was still ongoing. He said the court would continue to defend the superiority of the law and judicial independence.Subtitle: 'Ministry doesn't take all complaints'

    In a televised interview Wednesday night, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said the ministry had not demanded the dismissal of Eminagaoglu or Kacmaz. Ergin said the ministry's probe into Kacmaz started in 2008, before the judge's decision on Gul, and that it had nothing to do with Kacmaz's judicial decisions. According to Ergin, the ministry's probe into Eminagaoglu was not related to Eminagaoglu's judicial functions either.

    'Dismissal can solely be realized if all charges levelled against the judges are proven true. If one charge is not proven true, then the dismissal cannot be applied', Ergin told the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). 'We just came up with the demand of replacement. Dismissal is not a pleasant procedure'.In connection with the wiretapping allegations, Ergin said the Justice Ministry and some 11,000 prosecutors and judges working under it annually receive around 5,000 complaints against prosecutors and judges.

    'We ignore the complaints that are not based on concrete evidence. Some 46 percent of complaints were thus refused by our ministry to not disturb those prosecutors and judges', Ergin said. 'If we took all complaints into consideration, then no judge or prosecutor would be left without investigation'.

    Subtitle: Wiretapping linked with AKP closure case

    The Supreme Court of Appeals' chief prosecutor's remark that reports of illegal wiretapping were being investigated under the political-parties law have fuelled speculation of a fresh attempt to close the ruling party.

    In 2008, prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya came up with allegations to disband the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on charges of installing an Islamist regime. The AKP narrowly escaped being shut down.

    Yalcinkaya new remarks have been met with reaction from the government. Speaking to daily Milliyet on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said a new closure case against the AKP over an investigation into alleged illegal wiretapping would turn the country 'upside down'.

    'All the wiretapping was carried out with a judge's decision. It has nothing to do with the political-parties law', Cicek said. 'A new closure case would turn Turkey upside down. Such an attempt would have a negative impact on economic and political stability'."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] Columnist in Hurriyet sees another crisis possible between Turkey and the US regarding the troop withdrawal from Iraq

    Istanbul Hurriyet Online (19.11.09) publishes the following column by Cuneyt Ulsever under the title, "The FBI Director is in Ankara; Where is the overture?":

    Since the very outset, I have been claiming that the "Kurdish overture" is in fact a "Northern Iraq overture".

    I have absolutely no objections to Turkey's being of assistance to its ally, the United States, in withdrawing from Iraq. On the contrary, I have supported it from the start. And I have always said as well that Turkey needs to establish close economic ties with Northern Iraq, which has two percent of the world's energy resources.

    My objection is to the fact that the government's portrayal of the likely cooperation that it is going to engage in with the United States in Northern Iraq, without any preparations, as a "Kurdish overture," like a freedom project.

    The "Northern Iraq overture" could, as a historic opportunity, have turned into a "peace overture," but the organic and intellectual makeup of the AKP [Justice and Development Party] is simply not conducive to implementing this. It was clear from the outset that it was just going to pretend that it was trying to do this. And indeed, the government, after putting its signature on a historic scandal on 19 October at the Khabur Border Gate, made it clear to all the world in the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly] last week that the mountain had given birth to a mouse.

    My warning is that if cannot fulfil the implementations incumbent on it within the framework of the "Northern Iraq overture," there is the possibility of Turkey's experiencing yet another "1 March motion crisis" with the United States [referring to the 2003 parliamentary rejection of a motion that would have authorized Turkey's participation in the invasion of Iraq]. Another such crisis could damage the US-Turkey relationship to such a degree that, this time, it would be irreparable.

    Two news reports make clearer what I am trying to say.

    1) Aksam newspaper, on 31 August 2009, published a report by Yener Ekinci, from which I provide an extract here:

    "Aksam has obtained the details of a letter sent a few days ago from the Pentagon to the 39th Wing Command at Incirlik Air Base. In the letter from the Pentagon, it was stated that the troops to be withdrawn from Iraq would be assembled on Incirlik, and that their transport would be conducted via that base, and a directive was given for 'preparations to be initiated for 100,000 troops to be quartered.' The letter made it clear that the troops would not, as had been announced, begin to be sent in August of 2010, but rather toward the end of December... As soon as the directive came, logistical work began at Incirlik Base to take care of the housing and other needs, such as food, of 100,000 troops."

    The report claims that, trusting in Turkey, the United States had begun to think about and/or carry out plans and preparations to withdraw its troops from Iraq via Incirlik.

    In the meantime, FBI Director Robert Mueller came to Ankara yesterday.

    2) As the newspapers have reported, one of the important items on Robert Mueller's agenda will be the process of withdrawing US troops from Iraq. Mueller will inform Ankara how many troops are planned to be withdrawn through Turkey, as well as the quantity of equipment desired to be transported. The United States is planning to complete the process of withdrawal of all of its troops from Iraq as of 2011.

    The government, while having misled people in terms of the "overture," having created false expectations in them, and having encountered great reactions, has on the other hand not warned or informed the public at all with regard to what sort of cooperation it is planning with the United States in terms of Iraq.

    It has even denied the discussions. If thousands of US troops are withdrawn through Turkey, the government could once again encounter a great reaction. The topic that I am wondering about, and warning about, is this:

    Is the government prepared to deal with these reactions?

    If an unprepared Turkey should once again, at the last moment, say to the United States that "we've changed our minds!", will we not face yet another "1 March crisis"?

    [16] From the Turkish Press of 19 November 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 19 November:

    Kurdish problem

    Viewing the reaction of Batman residents to the Kurdish overture and to the Assembly session on the issue in an article in Hurriyet, Yalcin Dogan, based on his conversations with the local people, concludes that each individual interprets the consequences of the overture based on his life realities. Some view it as an end to bloodshed, some as a ticket to migrate to the west, and others still as an end to gendarme roadblocks. The common complaint of all concerns unemployment, the CHP, and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) underlines Dogan, adding that these two opposition parties that had fared very badly in the last elections should forget about the southeast region in the next elections given their stand on the Kurdish issue at the recent parliamentary session.

    Claiming that the "Kurdish overture" is actually a "North Iraq overture" in an article in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever maintains that he is not opposed to Turkey's cooperation with the United States during the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq but fears that Turkey has not made the necessary preparations for this cooperation and may fail to fulfil the requirements of a "North Iraq overture" thus causing a second "1 March" crisis with the United States.

    In an article entitled "Kurdish is done. What about Arabic?", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven asserts that if the state really wants to end terrorism in the southeast, it should look into allowing religious "dynamics" to come into play. He argues that the way to do this would be to remove all limitations on Arabic language education in this country and make it possible for Arabic language and literature lessons to be taught at all Koran courses. He also claims that most people in Turkey want their children to learn "the language of the Koran".

    In an article entitled "Kurds" published as the second of an unspecified number of instalments of an article entitled "Silent Turkey", Today's Zaman columnist Ekrem Dumanli criticizes "Kurdish intellectuals, who until recently worked to turn Diyarbakir into a wailing wall against the 'deep state,'" for not showing "proper democratic support" for the ongoing Ergenekon trial.

    Foreign Policy issues

    Arguing that the ruling Justice and Development Partys (AKP) foreign policy is "coloured by a politicized take on religion, namely Islam" in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Soner Cagaptay adds that, however, "the AKP's foreign policy has not promoted sympathy toward all Muslim states. Rather, the party has promoted solidarity with Islamist, anti-Western regimes, while dismissing secular, pro-Western Muslim governments." Guided by an Islamist worldview, it will become more and more impossible for Turkey to support Western foreign policy, even when doing so is in its national interest, claims Cagaptay, predicting that Turkey's ties with Israel, as well as those with the EU and the United States will unravel.

    According to a report in Radikal, the request made by FBI Director Robert Mueller, who arrived on a short visit to Ankara, for biometric identification sharing with Turkey has been rejected on grounds that the international agreements Turkey is a signatory of do not allow the gathering of such information solely based on suspicion.

    Viewing the economic consequences of the US occupation of Iraq in an article in Milliyet, Semih Idiz claims that Turkey is the country that has benefited most from this occupation, adding that the United States that has spent a trillion dollars so far for this war is the country that has benefited the least. Quoting a New York Times report, Idiz writes that during 2003 and 2009 Turkey increased its trade volume with Iraq to $10 billion, adding that Ankara hopes to increase this amount by three fold within two years. He continues: "This figure does not include the billions of dollars worth reconstruction projects which Turkish companies have undertaken in Iraq." Idiz concludes: "Within this framework, Foreign Minister Davutoglu's constant mention of an 'economic integration with Iraq' instead of an 'economic cooperation' makes sense."

    In an article entitled "Changing centre of gravity or shifting axis", Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil discusses the factors that have made possible the "radical change from the old Turkish foreign policy line that was basically hinged on the West to a more multifaceted and versatile one."

    In an article entitled "The Islamization of Europe", Milli Gazete columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi predicts that many European countries will become Islamized in some 25 years and emphasizes the "need" for Europe to be "dominated by Muslims who support Sufism and tarikats."

    In a commentary entitled "New political games in Cyprus", Milli Gazete writer Oya Akgonenc asserts that the Turkish side has achieved "zero success" in the latest negotiations over Cyprus conducted by Mehmet Ali Talat and Demetris Christofias despite the "goodwill gestures" it has been making, adding that this situation casts an ironic pall over Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's policy of "zero problems" with neighbours. She claims that Cyprus is extraordinarily important for Turkey from the viewpoint of military and commercial security and that Turkish interests in Cyprus have been seriously compromised as a result of mistakes made by the Turkish government since 2004. She also asserts that it is high time Ankara was questioned about its "disinterest" in Cyprus-related developments.

    ES/


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