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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-12-14

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. 236/09 12-14.12.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu said he expects no result from the negotiations and claimed that they are being conducted in order for the world to see us as supporters of peace
  • [02] Talat not hopeful for solution to the Cyprus problem by April 2010
  • [03] Talat describes as utter rubbish the objections cited by the Republic of Cyprus on Turkish proposal for a quintet meeting
  • [04] Talat and Serdar Denktas described the theft of the remains of the former President Tassos Papadopoulos as a provocation act and an inhuman behavior
  • [05] Mustafa Emiroglulari demanded for a census of population to be conducted in the occupied areas of Cyprus and stated that the increase of population constitutes an obstacle for the solution
  • [06] A bank crisis in the occupied areas
  • [07] A new distribution of seats at the Grand National Assembly after DTPs closure
  • [08] Turkey and Croatia agree to work together for regional integration in the Balkans
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] From the Turkish Press of 11, 12 and 13 December 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu said he expects no result from the negotiations and claimed that they are being conducted in order for the world to see us as supporters of peace

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (14.12.09) reports that Dervis Eroglu, the self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, has said that he does not expect a result from the ongoing negotiations towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. In statements to a group of journalists of Halkin Sesi, Mr Eroglu claimed that the negotiations are being conducted in order for the world to see us as supporters of peace.

    Mr Eroglu said that the positive statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat regarding the negotiating process aim at the elections in the occupied areas of the island. He noted that he also reads the minutes of the negotiations and from these minutes he did not see a chapter on which agreement has been reached.

    Mr Eroglu expressed the view that it is not sufficient to call the political parties to a meeting in order to brief them and added that the important thing is for these parties to be active in the decision making.

    Mr Eroglu said also that he does not see positively the meetings to be held between the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat and President Christofias in their residences.

    Asked whether the issue of the recognition of the breakaway regime could be brought onto the agenda, Mr Eroglu replied the following: If you say recognize me while the negotiations are continuing, you will come to the position of the side which prevents the negotiations. Therefore, such a thing could not be taken on the agenda, in order not to come to such a position. If an agreement is not reached during the negotiations, and I could say that we are not very hopeful, then you can bring it onto the agenda easily.

    Mr Eroglu said that even if Mr Talat says that his only mission is to unify Cyprus and this makes him seem in the world as a person who supports peace, peace cannot come with words. Mr Eroglu added: Peace comes if you make the other side accept your rights at the negotiating table. We are playing one-sided. People are tired of talking about the solution. Because whichever member of the CTP or the TDP opens his mouth, he talks about the solution, the bi-communal federal solution. Very well, fill up its content so that the citizens see it.

    Mr Eroglu said that the negotiations are continuing in order for the world to see the Turkish side as supporter of peace and expressed the opinion that no marriage could happen by force.

    Asked whether he knows anything about Plan B, which was brought onto the agenda during the meetings of the Turkish Cypriot leader in Ankara, Mr Eroglu said that he knows nothing about the issue and added that the alternative for his party is the TRNC. Mr Eroglu related the statements regarding the existence of a Plan B with the forthcoming elections. He wondered whether concessions or the continuation of the breakaway regime are included in this Plan B. These are empty words, he argued.

    Mr Eroglu expressed the view that the important thing in the negotiations should be their starting point and pointed out to the importance of the issues of the property, guarantees and territory. He alleged that the solution to be produced on the property issue should be in harmony with the conditions of today and added: An agreement made in 1974 might be different. If you take into consideration the fact that 34 years passed from 1975 until today, the agreement you will find 34 years later will be different. He alleged that if the people who live in those lands for 34 years are displaced only for satisfying Christofias, this would mean that the Turkish Cypriots will go away from here.

    Mr Eroglu said that during his recent visit to Ankara Mr Talat carried a package of nine proposals which would be submitted to the Greek Cypriot side, but in the end of the meetings it was decided that the time had not yet come for these proposals to be put onto the negotiating table. Responding to a question, Mr Eroglu noted that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun saw these proposals only when he went to Ankara with Mr Talat.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat not hopeful for solution to the Cyprus problem by April 2010

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.12.09) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem by April next year is highly unlikely.

    Reminding that an agreement has been reached to intensify the frequency of meetings in an attempt to speed up the process as well as to gain momentum, the President pointed out that any settlement needed dedication and careful attention.

    He said that great responsibility fell on politicians and teachers to explain the benefits of a solution that will be born from such dedicated efforts.

    Speaking at a meeting of representatives of the Cyprus Turkish Secondary School Teachers Union, President Mehmet Ali Talat said that he had started informing the public on the negotiations with the launch of the 2nd round of negotiations.

    Pointing out that both sides were determined towards reaching a political settlement in Cyprus, Talat however added that the Greek Cypriot side had different expectations regarding Turkeys EU accession process.

    'The Greek Cypriot side wants to gain more concessions by exerting pressure on Turkey, he said. He said that despite all efforts, it seemed highly unlikely that a settlement could be reached by April next year due to the upcoming Presidential elections in the TRNC.

    'Lets say we reached a deal by April but we will have to give a break to the talks in February because of the elections. Our preference was to solve the Cyprus problem before the elections but to tell you the truth, chances this will happen are diminishing every passing day, the president added.

    The President also complained that there was no unity on the Turkish side regarding the idea of voting over a single list, something which the people had approved in the Anan Plan.

    He explained that there was widespread public misconception in the TRNC that any authority or power allocated to the federal state-to-be was allocating it to the Greek Cypriot side. The President also reminded that there were serious differences with the Greek Cypriot side over the issue of property.

    Explaining that the Greek Cypriot side was insisting on the former owner of the property having the first say, the President said that the Turkish side would be the side feeling the negative effects of such a formula.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (14.12.09) refers to a statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat who said that the possibility of a solution to be reached to the Cyprus problem until April has decreased. In its title, the paper wonders the following: Mehmet Ali Talat lost all hope for what? Is it for the solution or for the elections?. Afrika reports that observers assessed these statements as Talat lost his hope for the elections and thus there is no drawback any more for him to tell people the truth. The paper notes that Mr Talat knows that it is not possible for him to win the elections in April if he is not backed by Ankara, which has not yet lit the green light to Talat or to Eroglu and, therefore, no one has announced his candidacy yet.

    [03] Talat describes as utter rubbish the objections cited by the Republic of Cyprus on Turkish proposal for a quintet meeting

    Illegal Bayrak television (12.12.09) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that he has difficulty understanding the reason cited by the Greek Cypriot side for its rejection to hold a quintet meeting on the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking on a program on BRTs first channel last night, the President said that the Greek Cypriot sides objections to hold such a summit were irrational. He said that a quintet meeting which would include the two sides in Cyprus as well as the three guarantor powers, Turkey, Greece and Britain, would still be held within the framework of the UN Secretary-Generals Good Offices Mission.

    'Such a meeting would in no way downgrade the status of the so-called Republic of Cyprus nor would it upgrade the status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', he said.

    The President also said that the reasons of objection cited by the Greek Cypriot side were utter rubbish because he and the Greek Cypriot leader were not conducting the ongoing negotiations as Presidents of two states, but as heads of their respective communities.

    Underlining the importance of the intensified series of meetings at their private residences that will be held in January, the President said that it was necessary to achieve progress in the talks in the first months of next year so as to prevent the negotiations from being used as a propaganda material in the upcoming presidential elections.

    Criticizing the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias for constantly urging him to be flexible, President Talat said what the Greek Cypriot leader really wanted, was for the Turkish side to surrender. 'A settlement is still possible but chances for a solution are increasingly diminishing. The Greek Cypriot side is deliberately delaying a solution and playing for time', Talat added.

    Touching upon the conclusions of the EU Summit, Talat described the outcome as neutral and balanced. He said that the reason why the EU failed to impose sanctions on Turkey was because it was pursuing the right policies.The TRNC President also described the European Unions decision to set a date for Turkeys EU accession before the end of 2010 as a mistake as it would encourage the Greek Cypriot side to drag its feet on the Cyprus problem.

    [04] Talat and Serdar Denktas described the theft of the remains of the former President Tassos Papadopoulos as a provocation act and an inhuman behavior

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (13.12.09) reports on statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat. Speaking at a meeting of representatives of the Cyprus Turkish Secondary School Teachers Union (KTOEOS), the Turkish Cypriot leader was asked to comment on the theft of the remains of the former President Tassos Papadopoulos and writes that Mr. Talat said that from the beginning he thought that this was an act of provocation by those who were disturbed by the negotiation process in Cyprus.

    Havadis also reports on statements made by Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party on the same issue and writes that Serdar Denktas described the theft of the remains of the former leader of the Greek Cypriot administration, as he called former President Papadopoulos, one day before his commemoration, as an inhuman behavior and a shame against the humanity.

    (AK)

    [05] Mustafa Emiroglulari demanded for a census of population to be conducted in the occupied areas of Cyprus and stated that the increase of population constitutes an obstacle for the solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (13.12.09), under the title Emiroglulari: Conduct a census of population, reports that Mustafa Emiroglulari, MP with the Social Democrat Party (TDP) in occupied Famagusta, has demanded for a census of population to be conducted in the occupied areas of Cyprus and for the restriction of the entries in the occupied areas with identity cards in order to prevent the uncontrolled population inflow.

    Speaking at the assembly on the occasion of the discussion for the budget of the occupation regime for 2010, Mr. Emiroglulari stated, inter alia, that the UBP government will give explanations for the promises it gave in the past. He then alleged that the uncontrolled population increase constitutes an obstacle for the solution.

    (AK)

    [06] A bank crisis in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.12.09), in its front page under the title Again, a bank crisis, reports that the banks Continental and Yesilada operating in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus have been placed under the control of the illegal central bank and their savings have been transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund.

    [07] A new distribution of seats at the Grand National Assembly after DTPs closure

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.12.09) reported the following:

    Number of political party groups at the parliament decreased to three after Turkey's highest legal body, the Constitutional Court, ruled to outlaw the Democratic Society Party (DTP).

    Recent distribution of seats at the parliament is as follows after closure of the DTP:

    Justice and Development (AK) Party: 338 Republican People's Party (CHP): 97 Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): 69 Independent: 30 Democratic Left Party (DTP): 8 Democrat Party: 1 Turkey Party : 1 Total : 544

    [08] Turkey and Croatia agree to work together for regional integration in the Balkans

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.12.09) reported the following from Zagreb:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkish-Croatian cooperation was the backbone of stability in the Balkans. Davutoglu, who is on an official trip to Croatia, held a joint press conference with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Jandrokovic following a private meeting.

    Davutoglu said Turkey attached great importance to integration of countries in the region with NATO and European bodies. He said the two countries decided to work together for protection of stability and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    'Our ministries will constantly be in touch, and work together for Bosnia-Herzegovina to take the place it deserves in the international community', said Davutoglu.Davutoglu said bilateral relations, regional issues, relations with EU, NATO and UN were discussed in his meetings with Croatian officials.

    In his part, Jandrokovic said countries extending support to Bosnia-Herzegovina should also respect its territorial integrity, and support its membership to EU and NATO. He said they agreed to boost the current trade volume of USD 450 million up to 1 billion.

    Later Davutoglu, attended a dinner in his honor by Jandrokovic. Davutoglu will proceed to Dubrovnik before travelling to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina to attend the Ministerial Meeting on Alliance of Civilizations Southeast Europe Strategy.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] From the Turkish Press of 11, 12 and 13 December 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 11, 12 and 13 December 2009:

    a) The aftermath of Democratic Society Party (DPT) closure:

    Commenting on the Constitutional Court's ruling which banned the DTP in his article entitled "Legal conscience, but...," columnist Yalcin Bayer in Hurriyet (12.12.09) sees a paradox in the Court's ruling because DTP leader Ahmet Turk who is known for his moderate views has been banned from active politics whereas Emine Ayna who, he says, acts like the PKK's political representative is permitted to maintain her political activities without getting any punishment. Emphasizing that the Constitutional Court has handed down a very controversial decision, Bayer adds: "The Court's opinion outlining its reasons for handing down the ruling should clearly explain why people who frequently use the words 'leader' and 'guerillas' for political purposes are allowed to preserve their status as an MP while others who tried to lay more emphasis on peace and democratic politics have been expelled from Parliament and banned."

    A report entitled "Hurriyet writers analyze DTP's closure" in Hurriyet (12.12.09) highlights comments made by the daily's columnists who generally express the view that the Constitutional Court's ruling, albeit legally correct, will not be productive over the long term because the DTP will soon be replaced by another party pursuing the same policy. Some Hurriyet writers also call on DTP deputies to remain in Parliament rather than tendering their resignation.

    In an article entitled "Was there another possibility?" columnist Taha Akyol in Milliyet (12.12.09) says that the Constitutional Court's ruling was not a surprise because there was evidence showing that DTP had connections with the PKK and was spreading its propaganda although authorities had taken a tolerant attitude in order to give it an opportunity to change its policy. He says that all non-governmental organizations in the southeastern part of Turkey should put pressure on DTP deputies on order to change their decision to resign so that political tension can be alleviated and obstacles to the democratic process can be removed.

    An article entitled "What do people think about the democratization overture?" columnist Mahmut Ovur in Sabah (12.12.09) says that the Constitutional Court's decision will have traumatic effects on the political system and the Government's democratization drive. He comments: "Firstly, Ahmet Turk who is a reasonable politician has been excluded from politics. Secondly, unpredictable problems may be faced because the Peace and Democracy Party which will succeed the DTP will not be able to have the minimum number of MPs required for forming a parliamentary delegation. More importantly, the DTP gained significant experience in the past two years. Wasting its experience will be a loss for our democracy." Ovur also highlights the findings of an opinion poll conducted by Metropol about the democratization drive, military, and voter tendencies.

    In an article entitled "Black Friday," columnist Ahmet Altan in Taraf (12.12.09) accuses the Constitutional Court of effectively expelling Kurds from politics by banning the DTP. He comments: "They did not only find the DTP guilty, they also condemned the country to pain, poverty, enmity, and mistrust. In fact, the PKK did not actually need to rush into torpedoing peace. Some people in Ankara would have done it better than it did."

    Under the banner headline, "DTP gets what it wants," in Yeni Safak (12.12.09) runs a front-page report which highlights yesterday's developments involving the Constitutional Court's ruling to close down the Democratic Society Party, DTP, on charges of engaging in separatist activities. According to the report, the top court's decision means that the DTP and other groups that have been trying to undermine the Government's democratization drive have achieved their goal.

    In an article entitled "They prepared Turkey for the Resadiye attack in two weeks and had the DTP banned", columnist Mehmet Kamis in Zaman (12.12.09) asserts that the PKK "came to the aid of its friends" within the Turkish Establishment by claiming responsibility for the Resadiye attack three days after it was carried out and preventing the activities of a clandestine network within the state that is opposed to the resolution of the Kurdish question from coming under the spotlight. Kamis claims that the attack was engineered by the same "evil network" that is responsible for the pro-Kurdish protests that have been staged in various parts of the country over the past two weeks, adding that these demonstrations and the terrorist ambush in Resadiye have turned out to be a ploy to set the scene for the top court's decision to close down the DTP.

    In an article entitled "The problem of representing the Kurds properly", columnist Sahin Alpay in Zaman (12.12.09) asserts that the Constitutional Court's ruling on the DTP is set to deal a blow to efforts within this party to achieve "independence from the PKK." He also asserts that there is nothing surprising about the ruling since the top court is one of the important elements of Turkey's "tutelage regime."

    Drawing attention to the fact that the DTP has been banned in the midst of the Kurdish overture which had "humbly aimed to resolve the Kurdish issue," Kadri Gursel in an article in Milliyet (13.12.09) argues that the DTP could and should have become the interlocutor of a solution. Having insisted that Ocalan is the interlocutor of the solution, however, the DTP has made its existence meaningless, stresses Gursel and adds that "the DTP was not able to walk along the 'rotten' legal grounds of the Political Parties Law that lags much behind the spirit of the overture." The Constitutional Court has struck the blow that has finally crushed the overture, says Gursel, and criticizing the Kurdish political movement for failing to accept that Ocalan and Qandil cannot be accepted as interlocutors, accuses Ocalan and the "warlords" in Qandil for doing everything in their power for ensuring the banning of the DTP.

    The overture failed due to the fact that Abdullah Ocalan merely tried to get out of Imrali and therefore he did not give up the PKK's arms; the DTP was not able to come out the PKK's sphere of influence and it could not become the government's interlocutor; and the Kurdish leaders in Iraq merely aimed to get of the PKK and they therefore enabled the guerrillas who returned to Turkey to take along their weapons, says Enis Berberoglu in a commentary in Hurriyet (13.12.09) and referring to the banning of the DTP and the withdrawal of the DTP group from the National Assembly, says: "The fate of the overture is currently dependent on the streets. As for the DTP deputies, most probably a new party will be established and they will continue to engage in politics in their new address. Only Ahmet Turk has been harmed."

    Despite the fact that the DTP's decision to refrain from resigning from National Assembly is a "wise" decision that has been reached in a very "emotional" environment, Ahmet Turk's statements show that he has not understood the essence of the Constitutional Court's ruling, says Cuneyt Ulsever in a commentary in Hurriyet (13.12.09). Disagreeing with Turk about the political nature of the decision, rather than legal, Ulsever asserts that "the decision is legal, but it may lead to chaotic political results." Nonetheless, says Ulsever, "I have always praised Ahmet Turk's soft stand that is open to dialogue. The statement he issued following the announcement of the Constitutional Court's ruling was very mature. He acted with common sense just when emotionalism was rising to the peak in the DTP."

    Why has the Constitutional Court waited for two years before taking up the suit against the DTP and why has it convened in the midst of the democratic overture, asks Can Atakli in an article in Vatan (13.12.09) and questions whether the recommendation of the ruling party has influenced the court's decision to take up the case. Atakli says: "The government cannot impose pressure on all the members, but in my opinion, given that the outcome of the case was known in advance, chances are very high that someone has told Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic to put the case on the agenda." Arguing that the banning of the DTP will serve the AKP's interests, Atakli, recalling that the ruling party's popularity had dropped due to the overture, adds: "Having seen that it has lost votes just when it had expected to receive the Kurds' votes, as of now the AKP may pursue a tougher policy and may put nationalist emotions to the fore."

    The DTP had constituted an opportunity for the solution of the Kurdish problem, but neither the political will that is sovereign in Turkey, nor the Kurdish side was able to put it into good use, argues Oral Calislar in Radikal (13.12.09) in an article, adding that it is not easy to pursue policies regarding a highly sensitive issue such as the Kurdish problem and to safely wage the legal struggle in this regard. Everyone has put all the blame on the DTP and efforts have been made to ensure that the DTP pays the price for all the mistakes made in the political arena, explains Calislar and calls on the AKP officials who have contributed to the banning of the DTP by constantly talking about the Spanish Constitutional Court's decision on Herri Batasuna to carefully study the freedoms and the rights of the different peoples and nations in Spain. "Given that you will not 'ban' the Kurds' identity demands by banning the DTP, you should explain to the people how you intend to resolve this problem and which European standards you intend to use to this end," concludes Calislar.

    In an article entitled "What will happen now?" columnist Mumtazer Turkone in Zaman (13.12.09) predicts that efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question will not be hindered by the Constitutional Court's ruling. He also points out that Ocalan did not imply in the last meeting with his lawyers that the PKK intends to escalate violence and preferred to lay emphasis on a democratic solution instead. Pointing out that the DTP's closure has pleased the PKK because it regards it as a development increasing its legitimacy in the eyes of Kurds while discrediting pro-democracy politicians, Turkone comments: "The PKK resorts to violence in order to safeguard its interests rather than finding a solution to the Kurdish question. It, therefore, seized the opportunity to tip the balance which Kurds had struck between it and the PKK in its favor as a result of the Constitutional Court's ruling."

    In an article entitled "If you are against it, you should take necessary steps," columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan in Milli Gazete (13.12.09) says that political parties should amend the Constitution in order to ensure that a political party is not banned due to offenses committed by its members if they are sincere in their complaints. He comments: "It would be wrong to provoke accusations targeting the Constitutional Court without taking that step."

    b) Possible reasons behind the Turkish Ambassadors in Washington resignation:

    Highlighting events which reportedly led to the resignation of Nabi Sensoy, Turkey's Ambassador in Washington in a report entitled "Facts about the crisis," Sabah (11.12.09) says that Sensoy has been transferred to Ankara because he did not convey Erdogan's proposal that foreign ministers also attend his meeting with US President Barack Obama an addition to his failure to adapt himself to the ruling party's foreign policy.

    A report entitled "Unknown facts about the resignation," Cumhuriyet (11.12.09) says that the Ambassador Sensoy tendered his resignation due to tension reportedly caused by his failure to carry out the government's instruction to prevent Hurriyet columnist Sedat Ergin and Riza Turmen, a former judge of the European Court of Human Rights, from criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, at a meeting about freedom of the press held in the US House of Representatives. According to the report, the second reason which prompted Sensoy to resign was his refusal to convey Erdogan's request that foreign ministers also attend his meeting with Obama.

    In an article entitled "He paid heed to calls for return although he was upset, " columnist Tufan Turenc in Hurriyet (11.12.09) draws attention to reports claiming that there were contradictions between remarks made by US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister after their meeting and what the two leaders reportedly said during their tete-a-tete meeting especially about Turkey's relations with Iran, Israel, and Armenia. Emphasizing that Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy's resignation was the most interesting event witnessed during the visit, Turenc comments: "Information provided by the Government about the resignation is not logical. It is impossible to imagine that Sensoy, a very accomplished and experienced diplomat, has not conveyed the requests of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs about protocol to the American side. The Ambassador is a calm and meticulous person. He would neither make such a mistake nor make an impulsive decision. It is most probable that a request conflicting with diplomatic rules was made and turned down by Americans and the Ambassador was blamed for that."

    In an article entitled "Nabi Sensoy in place of Onur Oymen", columnist Serdar Arseven in Vakit (11.12.09) accuses Turkish Ambassador to the United States Nabi Sensoy of purposely preventing Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu from accompanying Prime Minister Erdogan at his meeting with US President Obama and asserts that Sensoy's resignation might be intended to set the scene for his appointment as deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party, CHP, in place of Onur Oymen, who, he implies, has compromised his position as chief aide to CHP leader Deniz Baykal through a statement on the Dersim uprising in 1937 that is believed to have alienated the CHP's Alevi supporters.

    In an article entitled "Erdogan's Washington visit," columnist Ilhan Tanir in Hurriyet Daily News (12.12.09) says that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the United States did not capture much attention in the US media, adding that he found Erdogan's speeches disappointing because "they lacked visionary themes and were not equipped with universal ideals." Tanir also quotes some sources close to the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, as saying that Nabi Sensoy, Tukrey's Ambassador to the United States, tendered his resignation due to complaints that the Turkish Embassy was not very helpful to the AKP's agenda in Washington.

    In an article entitled "1-1", columnist Zeki Ceyhan in Milli Gazete (12.12.09) discusses the reasons for what he describes as Nabi Sensoy's "conscious" disregard for Prime Minister Erdogan's request for him to ensure that his meeting with Obama took place based on the "2+2" format, i.e. that the Turkish foreign minister and his US counterpart attended the meeting, too. He claims that Sensoy's behavior could either be an example of the sort of "bureaucratic reaction" against the ruling AKP occasionally seen in Turkey or a pre-retirement move made with political purposes. Ceyhan also predicts based on the developments involving Sensoy that the recent "row" between the Erdogan government and diplomatic circles will escalate in the days to come.

    c) Turkeys foreign policy issues:

    In an article entitled "A 'road accident' with the EU has been averted," columnist Sami Kohen in Milliyet (11.12.09) predicts that a resolution which is expected to be endorsed by EU leaders in their summit meeting today will not include a recommendation for suspending accession talks with Turkey or to impose any sanction due to the Turkish Government's failure to open up Turkish ports to Cypriot ships. Pointing out that the EU's decision is relieving for the Turkish Government, Kohen comments: "In fact, the EU has done the right thing by taking this stance. Any decision to the contrary could have hindered ongoing negotiations in Cyprus which is about to enter the most critical and decisive phase."

    Pointing out that Iran's nuclear program and Turkey's overture to Armenia were the thorniest issues discussed during Obama-Erdogan meeting in her article entitled "All thorny roads lead to April," in Hurriyet (11.12.09) columnist Ferai Tinc cautions that Turkey will come under intensified pressure if no progress is made in efforts to ameliorate bilateral relations with Armenia. She also says that the EU will step up pressure in order to ensure that a diplomatic solution is found to the Cyprus question before April when presidential elections will be held in occupied Cyprus. Tinc also points out that Ambassador Sensoy's resignation resulted from a disagreement between Sensoy and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs which escalated into a crisis.

    In an article entitled "Is Nagorno-Karabakh connection a precondition?" columnist Sami Kohen in Milliyet (12.12.09) says that the Turkish Parliament is not willing to ratify the protocols signed with Armenia unless there is progress in efforts to find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute to Azerbaijan's satisfaction. He says: "There is great sensitivity within the AKP about the matter. Prime Minister Erdogan or the Government has no intention of pressing for the ratification of the protocols. Furthermore, the Government is using the Karabakh card as a tool for putting pressure in return for normalization of relations strongly desired by Armenia."

    Criticizing Prime Minister Erdogan's remark that Turkey's possible response to Israel would be like an "earthquake" if Israeli warplanes use Turkish airspace in order to attack Iran in a part of his column, columnist Gungor Mengi in Vatan (11.12.09) says: "There is no room for threats based on a hypothesis. This policy is only peculiar to Arab states. Has the situation so worsened to force the Prime Minister to break with our traditions and to shift the public attention's to abroad?"

    In an article entitled "The reason behind Erdogan's quake-like reaction to Israel", columnist Ibrahim Karagul in Yeni Safak (11.12.09) describes Erdogan's remarks warning that Israel will receive a "quake-like response" from Turkey if it uses Turkish airspace for reconnaissance purposes against Iran as the harshest statement on Israel that a Turkish political leader has made to date. Discussing the reasons behind Erdogan's strong warning to Israel not to use its relations with Turkey as a means of staging a military assault on third countries, Karagul asserts that Israel has carried out "provocations" in the past justifying Erdogan's remarks, notably in the case of violating Turkish airspace in conducting an aerial bombardment of Syrian targets on 6 September, 2007. He also claims that Erdogan's words reflect serious concern about the possibility that Israel might compromise Turkey's relations with Iran by using Turkish airspace in carrying out an offensive against Iran.

    In a commentary entitled "Erdogan's visit and possible political consequences for Turkey and the AKP", Professor Birol Akgun in Zaman (11.12.09) refers to the US-Turkish decision to establish "a high-level strategic study group" as one of the surprising results of the recent Obama-Erdogan meeting along with the rise of regional and global issues to prominence in place of bilateral issues on the agenda of Turkish-US relations. He claims that the US president appears to have realized the significance of the recent change in international balances as well as of Turkey's increasing regional strength and that in their eighth year in power, Erdogan and his party still stand as the most powerful and the only serious candidate for cooperation with the West.

    ES/


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