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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-12-08
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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. 232/09 08.12.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Erdogan: Withdrawing troops from Cyprus is out of the questionTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.12.09) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met with the U.S. President, Mr Barack Obama yesterday at the White House. It was planned that the meeting would last for 30 minutes, but it lasted two hours, notes the paper. The issues of Afghanistan, Armenia, PKK and Cyprus were discussed during the meeting.
Moreover, under the title, He asked for support from Obama, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (08.12.09) reports that in statements after the meeting, the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that they discussed the Cyprus problem with President Obama and added:
We asked for the support of the USA in order for the negotiations to be concluded until March. We said that we could hold a four party summit at the UN which will be comprised of the guarantor powers and the Turkish and Greek sides on the island.
Asked to comment on the information that Turkey would withdraw troops from Cyprus and send these troops to Afghanistan, Mr Erdogan replied:
The issue of withdrawing troops from Cyprus, all these, I could say, are magazine news. Withdrawing troops from Cyprus is out of the question. Such a thing cannot happen, it is unthinkable. Let those who bring to us this proposal, take it to the South first. We have discussed all these at length during the Annan Plan. We have ended up to somewhere. Have they corresponded? Have they remained faithful? No. Then, our troops there are on duty in the same way they were before.
Main issue, in both Turkish daily Sabah (08.12.09) and Turkish daily Hurriyet (08.12.09) newspapers, is the official visit of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Washington D.C. and his meeting with the U.S. President Barack Obama.
Hurriyet reports on the issue under the title, Tough bargaining at the White House, and writes that the meeting was held in the presence of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, the State Minister and Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis and the Public Works Minister Mustafa Demir. In addition, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mrs Hilary Clinton, and the U.S. National Security Advisor to the President, Gen. James Jones, attended the meeting.
According to the paper, the two leaders discussed the issues of Afghanistan, Iran and Armenia, as well as the relations between Ankara and Iraq, Israel, Syria, and the USA. Cyprus and the EU were among the issues of discussion, as well. Particularly, the paper writes that the U.S. side underlined that it will present any kind of support towards the success of the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus and that the USA will continue to support Turkeys EU full membership on every field, just like it happened in the past. In this framework, the USA underlined the importance of the continuation of the democratisation and reform process in Turkey.
Moreover, according to Sabah, the Turkish PM asked from the USA to participate more actively in the effort for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. The paper writes that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, during his meeting the UN Cyprus Special Representative Alexander Downer, expressed the need for the international efforts to be intensified, in order for a permanent and just solution to be reached in Cyprus.
Furthermore, as Sabah writes, during the Obama-Erdogan meeting, the establishment of a mini cabinet was discussed. This mini cabinet, which will consist of two ministers of each country, will be aiming at increasing the economic and trade relations between Turkey and the USA. The Turkish members of the above-mentioned cabinet will be the Deputy Prime Minister responsible for economy, Mr Ali Babacan, and the State Minister responsible for foreign trade, Mr Zafer Caglayan.
 Eroglu sent a letter to Erdogan expressing his concerns regarding the ongoing negotiations, according to sources from AnkaraTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (08.12.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu has sent a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing his concerns regarding the ongoing negotiations towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. Citing information acquired by Kibris Postasi newspaper from sources in Ankara but not confirmed yet from any source in the occupied part of Cyprus, the paper writes that in the letter Mr Eroglu underlined that it is not possible for them to accept the Greek Cypriots to have an influence of even 0.01% in the election of the Turkish Cypriot president and vice president during the cross voting. Mr Eroglu alleged that the cross voting will lead the Turkish Cypriots to the period before 1960. He also expressed his concerns that the gains which the Turkish Cypriots secured after 1963 will be taken away from them.
 Rauf Denktas alleged that if the Turkish Cypriots had not established the breakaway regime the acquis communautaire would not have been suspended in the occupied northern part of the islandTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (08.12.09) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has alleged that if the Turkish Cypriots had not established the breakaway regime, the European Union would have unilaterally accepted the entire Cyprus as its member and the acquis communautaire would not have been suspended in the occupied northern part of the island. Addressing the 5th Regular Congress of the Youth organization of the Democratic Party (DP), Mr Denktas claimed that the aim of the Greek Cypriot side is to abolish the breakaway regime and the treaty of guarantee. Reminding that the ongoing negotiations started on the basis of the single people, single state and single sovereignty, Mr Denktas alleged that in case the Turkish Cypriots sacrifice Turkey, unite with the Greek Cypriots and join the EU before the accession of Turkey, they will be responsible for the disaster that will happen to them.
 The consular relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus are being discussedTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.12.09) reports that the consular relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus are being discussed during meetings which started yesterday between technical delegations from Ankara and the occupied part of Lefkosia. The Deputy Director of the Consular Affairs at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Songul Ozan and the self-styled permanent undersecretary at the prime ministry, Mustafa Tokay are heading the two delegations. No statement was issued after yesterdays meeting, at which Sakir Fakili, self-styled ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia was also present. Officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Justice are participating in the delegation from Turkey.
 Eroglu calls on the Turkish Cypriots not to shop from the free areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (08.12.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu has stated that the market in the occupied areas of Cyprus is small and that is why the money which flows in should stay there. In statements during a meeting at his office yesterday, Mr Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriots should not shop from the free areas of Cyprus where one thing may be cheaper than in the occupied areas but other four-five things are more expensive. He claimed that as the government takes measures for the citizens to live better, the citizens should also be careful on the issue of shopping.
 The self-styled central bank of the breakaway regime announced its report for the second quarter of 2009Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.12.09) reports that the self-styled central bank of the breakaway regime announced yesterday its report for the second quarter of 2009. According to the report, the deposits in the banks in the occupied areas increased by 15.16% in comparison with the same period of 2008 and reached to 6.2 billion Turkish liras. The credits given by the banks were increased by 18.90% and reached to 3.6 billion Turkish liras in the end of the second quarter of 2009. The unemployment rate increased to 12.69% and the number of unemployed persons was raised to 2.016. According to the report, 45.88% of the unemployed persons are men and 55.12% women.
According to the bulletin of the central bank, the budget for the first half of fiscal year 2009 gave a surplus of 26.48 million Turkish liras.
The report notes that the imports of the breakaway regime decreased by 15.9% during the second quarter of 2009 in comparison with the same period of 2008. The total imports fell from 591.8 to 497.7 million Turkish liras in the above-mentioned period, while exports increased by 2.5%. Products of 36.3 million Turkish liras were exported in the second quarter of 2008. This number was increased to 37.2 million during the same period of 2009.
Moreover, the number of foreign tourists who visited the occupied areas of Cyprus decreased by 0.73% in the second quarter of 2009 in comparison with the same period of 2008 and fell to 205.394.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 07 December 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 07 December 2009:
a) Erdogan's visit to Washington:
Commenting on Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the United States, Istanbul Sabah's Okan Muderrisoglu believes that the political and economic results of the talks he will have with President Barack Obama will be important and outlines several points, which he says will come to light. In a column, he notes the contribution the talks might make to Turkey's economy and expresses the view that the country might find it easier to display a better economic performance if terrorism is minimized, democratic standards are improved, the possibility of a coup is obstructed, and the closure of political parties are buried in the past.
Also in Sabah, a report by Okan Muderrisoglu highlights the views Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan conveyed to his entourage while flying to Washington for his meeting with President Obama. In the report, he quotes Erdogan explaining Turkey's contribution to the peace effort in Afghanistan and the Turkish administration's readiness to mediate between Israel and Syria. Muderrisoglu says that Erdogan disclosed that he will be conveying a message from Iran to President Obama and then commented on terrorism as follows: We will maintain our resolute struggle against terror. We will minimize the problems of the minority ethnic groups. The problem does not start and end in Turkey. The PKK is involved in criminal activities in Europe, from drug trafficking to human smuggling.
Nazli Ilicak, in a column in Istanbul Sabah, views the outcome of a conference by the Istanbul Cultural University and the London School of Economics on what Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan might be confronted with in Washington. She stresses that Turkey strengthening its position in the region as an independent country will be in the interest of the United States and the EU. However, Ilicak asserts: An important condition is that Turkey must maintain its relations with the Western world and keep the initiatives it makes in its foreign policy within their framework. She concludes by warning that Turkey will lose from its influence and become a radical country if it completely turns its face to the East.
According to a column by Istanbul Sabah's Omer Taspinar, Afghanistan, Iran, and Armenia will form the basis of the Talks President Obama will have with Prime Minister Erdogan. Washington has drawn up a strategy for the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan. That will strengthen President Obama's bargaining position. In view of that, Washington may ask Turkey and the other NATO countries to dispatch combat units to that country for a short period, say for one year. The United States expects Turkey to take three steps related to Afghanistan, Iran, and Armenia. Considering the situation, Ankara has to take a serious step on at least one of those three countries. Otherwise, it might create the impression that it has deviated from its direction. Taspinar concludes by expressing the conviction that the Washington will seriously consider Turkey's position on Armenia and Cyprus if Ankara adopts a flexible approach on Afghanistan.
Writing in Cumhuriyet, Huseyin Bas believes that the President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan to increase the number of U.S. troops in that country indicates that he follows the footsteps of his predecessor. In a column, he claims that President Obama's objective is to crush the terrorist al-Qa'ida and finish off the Taliban regime, which protects it, and notes: President Obama might support peace. But the Pentagon officials and his defence advisers served during the Bush administration. What is more important is the fact that the military industry maintains its influence as it has done so in the past. Regarding the problems that prevent the effort the United States makes to achieve success in Afghanistan, Bas points to the weaknesses of the Afghan administration and the influence of the war barons, who cooperate with the Taliban groups.
Focusing on Erdogan's visit to the United States, Istanbul Hurriyet's Ferai Tinc argues that hard bargaining might take place in Washington. Pointing to differences between Turkey and the United States on many problems, she claims that persuading the Turkish public opinion to agree to the participation of the Turkish military units in the occupation of Afghanistan is difficult. Regarding the PKK terror, she expresses the view that the United States is not expected to make an effective gesture on the problem. Tinc concludes by saying that Erdogan's visit to Washington will be more controversial than President Obama's visit to Turkey.
Enis Berbergolu, in a report in the same newspaper, quotes Prime Minister Erdogan informing his entourage during his flight to the United States that steps have to be taken to disband the PKK on the Qandil Mountain in northern Iraq. Turkey and the local administration in northern Iraq must coordinate their work. Berberoglu notes that Erdogan responded to a question on whether or not the Makhmur Camp in northern Iraq will be closed down by saying that his administration has established the conditions that are required for the return of the people in the camp to Turkey. However, the DTP [Democratic Society Party] makes disgusting statements in the parliament. It wants the legal institutions to address the terrorist organization. That means that it identifies itself with the PKK.
In an article entitled "Mr Prime Minister, please do not even think about backing down", Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak asserts that what U.S. President Barack Obama has to say to Prime Minister Erdogan during their White House meeting today will amount to the following message regardless what words Obama uses exactly: "Spit in the face of the high opinion that the Afghan people and even the Taliban have of your country thanks to the services it has been providing in Afghanistan and its non-involvement in the hostilities and become a monster like me. Treat the Afghan people like an enemy and let us bite the dust together." Albayrak also calls on Erdogan to maintain his government's resolve to keep Turkey out of the war in Afghanistan and not to "sell Iran down the river" at his meeting with Obama.
Under the headline, "Prime Minister to get across four critical messages in White House," Zaman runs a front-page report which asserts that Prime Minister Erdogan is set to convey the following messages to Obama during his meeting with the U.S. president today: "1. Turkish troops will not be involved in the war in Afghanistan. ... 2. The PKK is the common enemy of the United States, Iraq, and Turkey. The Makhmour Camp in northern Iraq will be disbanded. 3. We have no disagreements with the United States on Iran. 4. We can reconsider mediating between Israel and Syria if they want us to."
In an article entitled "'Valley of the wolves, Iran' at the White House", Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan asserts that Iran will be the most important item on the agenda of the Obama-Erdogan meeting today, adding that the U.S. president is likely to ask Erdogan to provide support for possible sanctions against Tehran's nuclear program. Aslan claims that although it finds Turkey's assumption of "the role of good cop" vis-à-vis Iran useful, Washington is suspicious about the "excessive intimacy" between the ruling AKP and Tehran and worried about the prospects of the Erdogan government establishing "cultural solidarity" with Iran against the West. He also calls on Erdogan to be highly careful how he words his messages on Iran and Sudan in his press statements and speeches at three think tank forums in the U.S. capital.
In an article entitled "What's next in Turkish-American relations?", Today's Zaman columnist Omer Taspinar asserts that Erdogan will realize during his meeting with Obama in Washington today that "the honeymoon in Turkish-American relations is over" because of "real" and "growing" disagreements between Ankara and Washington over Iran and Afghanistan.
In an article entitled "Is the U.S. prepared to work with a Saddam of Turkey?", Today's Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi asserts that the presence of a "democratic form of government" in both Turkey and the United States is essential if the two countries are to establish a "model partnership." He also calls on the U.S. administration to be "aware of the devastating consequences of an anti-democratic regime in Turkey ruled by a xenophobic ultra-nationalist junta."
b) Kurdish problem and DTP potential closure:
In an exclusive statement to Istanbul Radikal, DTP Co-Chairwoman Emine Ayna described the PKK as the reason for the existence of the Kurds. A report on her statement by Rifat Basaran quotes her as saying that their grassroots urge them to resign and go to the mountains. The report says that she accused the government of ending the overture and closing down democratic and political channels and claimed: The DTP is the only rival of the AKP [Justice and Development Party] in Turkey. I do not believe that Mas'ud Barzani and Jalal Talabani will squeeze the PKK on the Qandil Mountain in northern Iraq. The PKK is a guarantor for them. The organization obstructs Turkey and the Arabs. Furthermore it prevents the al-Qa'ida elements from infiltrating into the area. Abdullah Ocalan and the PKK have written history. I believe that their criticism that we have not distanced ourselves from the PKK is normal.
In an article entitled "Do not touch the DTP, either", Yeni Safak columnist Kursat Bumin comments on the Constitutional Court's forthcoming ruling in the closure lawsuit against the Democratic Society Party, DTP. He starts by asking whether the top court will "declare the end of the process started by the [Government's democratic] overture" by closing down this party or "act responsibly" and refrain from banning the DTP. Bumin also highlights constitutional law professor Ergun Ozbudun's remarks warning that "the closure of the DTP would have grave implications. It would seriously endanger the [Kurdish] overture because it would amount to eliminating your only legal counterpart."
In an article entitled "Imrali's fears of the overture", Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Aktay asserts that in trying to force the ruling AKP to treat Ocalan as a political counterpart in an effort to solve the Kurdish question, the DTP is following a line that threatens to lead the Government's Kurdish overture into a blind alley. Aktay also asserts that the ongoing PKK protests against what are claimed to be Ocalan's worsened imprisonment conditions amount to a "display of force" by the PKK leader, adding that by provoking these protests, "Ocalan has taken both the Kurdish issue and the Turkish democracy hostage. He is treating the Kurdish issue as his kept woman even as he is keeping Turkish democracy under the threat of closure ..."
In a commentary entitled "Taking stock of four decades in the Kurdish issue", Professor Ali Kose of Marmara University warns that the protests against the DTP and the PKK in Turkey's Western provinces signal the emergence of "a new Frankenstein in the Turkish side" in response to the developments caused by the Government's latest Kurdish initiative including the celebrations staged in the southeast to mark the return of a group of PKK militants from northern Iraq. He asserts that "we may have unwittingly caused a single-headed monster to become a double-headed one."
In an article entitled "Was the overture started by the DTP?", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan interprets the ongoing pro-Kurdish protests in various parts of the country as meaning that neither the terrorist PKK nor the DTP actually supports the Government's democratic overture because they perceive this initiative as a threat to their raison d'être, which is based on the continuation of terrorism and the prevention of peace.
c) Turkey-Israel relations:
Commenting on Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labour Binyamin Ben Elizer's statement that the tension between Turkey and Israel has ended and that he hopes that Prime Ministers Erdogan and Netanyahu will meet in the near future, Semih Idiz outlines the disadvantages of a meeting between the two prime ministers when a tense situation continues to exist and says: Such a meeting will do more harm than good. In a column in Istanbul Milliyet, he argues that neither Erdogan nor Netanyahu act with diplomatic caution and notes: Elizer's expectation might be valid in the future. But a meeting between the two prime ministers at the present time will further worsen the situation because the problems in the relations between the two countries have not been solved. A serious preparation will have to be made before the two prime ministers can meet in the future.
In an article entitled "A response to Israeli President Shimon Peres", Today's Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay comments on Israeli President Shimon Peres' remarks in a recent interview asserting that "Turkey is the only country in the world where a non-democratic institution, the Army, was in charge of preserving democracy" and asking whether Turkey might be headed toward an Islamic form of governance under the ruling AKP. Alpay urges Peres to be "sure that even in the unlikely case of the military once more assuming power, Turkey will no longer be accommodating towards an Israel that continues to ... oppress the Palestinian people."