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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-01-05

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. 02/10 05.01.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] President Christofias and Talat held their 59th meeting
  • [02] Talat asks for recognition of the breakaway regime and admits that he asks from foreign diplomats to degrade both sides to community status in order for a solution in Cyprus to be achieved
  • [03] Cakici accuses Talat of not taking any serious steps
  • [04] Talat will meet Barosso tomorrow in Brussels and proceed to Ankara
  • [05] Gul alleges that the EU is exploiting the Cyprus problem against Turkey
  • [06] Davutoglu asked from Saudi Arabia to lift the embargoes on the breakaway regime
  • [07] Ozgurgun alleges that no solution will be achieved unless the Greek Cypriot side accepts the presence of the Turkish army on the island
  • [08] Former Turkish Air Force Commander describes Cyprus as state secret during his interrogation for the Ergenekon case
  • [09] Davutoglu addressed the 2nd Ambassadors Conference
  • [10] Joint declaration by Turkey and Japan
  • [11] Bulgaria demands $10 billion dollars compensation from Ankara for the properties Bulgarian citizens left in Turkey
  • [12] Turkish Airlines will buy 20 Airbus passenger planes
  • [13] Turkeys annual exports reached 97.7 billion US dollars in 2009
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 04/01/10

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] President Christofias and Talat held their 59th meeting

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.01.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias held their first meeting of the new year this afternoon. The leaders exchanged views on the chapters of Governance and Power-Sharing and EU Matters, in preparation of this months consecutive talks.

    In todays procedure, the leaders were accompanied by their special representatives Ozdil Nami and Giorgos Iacovou as well as the UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer and the UN Special Representative to Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun.

    At the end of the meeting, Downer told reporters that the second leg of the consecutive talks envisaged for January has been postponed to the 25th, 26th and 27th January in order to give more time to special representatives who will be meeting between the two legs of the 3-day long consecutive talks.

    As earlier told, the first leg of the intensified talks will take place on the 11th, 12th and 13th of January.

    Consecutive talks will focus on Governance and Power-Sharing, Property, Economy and EU Matters.

    Downer also said that Nami and Iacovou will meet tomorrow afternoon to continue discussions on EU Matters.

    Answering a question on the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moons possible visit to Cyprus, Downer said that this is on the agenda but there has been no certainty over the date yet.

    [02] Talat asks for recognition of the breakaway regime and admits that he asks from foreign diplomats to degrade both sides to community status in order for a solution in Cyprus to be achieved

    Under the title We are not equal, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.01.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has expressed a serious discomfort which he has during the negotiating process and noted that in spite of the fact that the talks are held between two communities, in the international field the one of the two leaders is considered as President of the Republic and the other as community leader.

    The above situation constitutes an obstacle in front of the solution in Cyprus, alleged Mr Talat, who met yesterday with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot media evaluating the year 2009 and explaining his thoughts regarding 2010.

    Coupled with the different views of the two sides, one of the most important reasons for not being able to reach to a solution in the negotiations is the fact that we are not equal, claimed Mr Talat noting that when the two leaders leave the negotiating table the one becomes President and the other a leader.

    He said that 2010 is an important year for the solution of the Cyprus problem and that they are working for this solution.

    The solution we are seeking and which we will achieve, is a solution that will bring security to the Turkish Cypriots, said Mr Talat adding that they are after a solution which will be providing full security to the Turkish Cypriots and make possible the continuation of their economic security and communal unity together with their safety of life and property.

    Mr Talat noted that this is the third year of negotiations between himself and President Christofias and added: We should produce a result now in the third year. Just like every negotiating process, this has also an end.

    Mr Talat said that their main goal is to make arrangements for the protection of their communal identity. He noted that an important part of their expectations was not met in 2009 and added that these expectations concerned the everyday life, economy, social life and the Cyprus problem.

    He claimed that they exerted efforts for 2009 to be the year of the solution of the Cyprus problem, but they did not achieve this. The reason for this, he alleged, is the fact that the Greek Cypriot side does not share the same concerns with the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Mr Talat said that when they meet with some foreign diplomats, and mainly with Chinese diplomats, they suggest the following: Give us a period of one year and if we cannot find a solution in one year, degrade both sides to the community status. Suggest this. He added: Let them do this and then we shall see whether a solution will be reached or not.

    Referring to some press reports which say that the negotiating process is in vain and that no solution will be found, Mr Talat said that the media should tell people the truth and given that the Turkish Cypriots need the solution, they should make sure that the people understand this.

    Noting that the negotiations are necessary, Talat added: We are making very serious preparations for the solution, we are preparing proposals. He alleged that the Turkish side is driving and leading the negotiating process and claimed that the advantage of the Turkish side is the fact that Turkey supports the negotiating process and it is by the side of the Turkish Cypriots. There is no other country which supports the Turks of Cyprus in this manner, he said.

    Talat noted that the Turkish Cypriot side is proposing a single international representation and a federal structure with arrangements which will secure this and added: If a single identity is created in the foreign policy and the foreign defence, this will be a federation. If more elements are added, this will become a federation with strong central [administration].

    The paper reports that after these statements, Mr Talat hosted the representatives of the press to a dinner and replied to their questions. The last part of the meeting was held behind closed doors.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Cakici accuses Talat of not taking any serious steps

    Under the title Talat did not take serious steps, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.01.10) reports that Mehmet Cakici, President of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) has accused the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, of not taking serious steps and of not working together with the forces in the Turkish Cypriot community which want the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    In statements to Kibris, Mr Cakici said that his party is discussing two alternatives for 2010 when presidential elections will be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The one is to cooperate with all the forces which believe in peace and choose a common candidate with them and the other is to nominate its own candidate.

    Mr Cakici noted that 2009 was not a very happy year and pointed out to the economic difficulties which the Turkish Cypriots faced. He said that the budget deficit in 2009 was the highest ever, unemployment increased, shops closed down, bankruptcies were recorded, the crimes increased and the process for peace and solution proceeded very slowly. Therefore, this was a difficult year for the Turkish Cypriots, he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Talat will meet Barosso tomorrow in Brussels and proceed to Ankara

    Under the front-page title Talat will meet with Barosso, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (05.01.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, will meet with the President of the EU Commission, Mr Jose Manuel Barosso tomorrow in Brussels. In statements after his meeting yesterday with President Christofias within the framework of the Cyprus talks, Mr Talat said he will visit Brussels on Wednesday in order to meet with Mr Barosso. He noted that after Brussels he will depart for Ankara via Istanbul on 7 January in order to hold a series of meetings, but he does not know yet his program there.

    Replying to a question regarding a possible visit of the UN Secretary-General to Cyprus, Mr Talat said that both sides consider appropriate such a visit to be held in February, but this depends on progress in the negotiations. Therefore, there is nothing definite yet, he added.

    When reminded of the statement by President Christofias to the effect that we are not close to a solution, Mr Talat alleged that every time when the Turkish side says there is progress, President Christofias makes such statements. He claimed that the UN is also making statements confirming what the Turkish Cypriots say regarding the achievement of progress.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Gul alleges that the EU is exploiting the Cyprus problem against Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.01.10) reports the following:

    The Turkish president said on Monday that Turkey was proceeding to the European Union (EU) in a determined way.

    Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said Turkey was walking on the road to the EU not in a quick but in a determined way.

    "We can be more hopeful in 2010," Gul told the private CNN Turk channel.

    Gul said whether Turkey became a full member or not was a different issue.

    On Cyprus problem, Gul said the EU was a bit misusing the issue, but Turkey would first do what it had to do and complete all chapters and adopt all required laws. "Turkey is having constructive, not destructive, relations with its environment," Gul also said.

    Gul said Turkey's relations with the United States were based on mutual respect, and Turkey was boosting its relations with Russia, Middle Eastern and other countries.

    Also, Gul defined terrorism as the most important issue, and said he thought terrorism could no longer live in the region when developments in Iraq and Syria, the fact that the United States would withdraw from Iraq, the clear stance of the EU on terrorism were taken into consideration.

    On the non-Muslim citizens living in Turkey, Gul said that he would never want those citizens to face problems or feel themselves weird in their own homeland.

    "Therefore, we will deal with their problems," Gul said.

    Gul said every one had to be hopeful about normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations in the first quarter of 2010, however he could not say anything definite because such issues were very sensitive issues. "It is important to turn this region, the entire Caucasus into a region of stability and peace and geography of cooperation," he said.

    Gul said Turkish state's vision was to turn the entire region into a stable one, and Turkey was helping countries solve their own problems.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (05.01.10) reports that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul has alleged that the European Union (EU) is exploiting the Cyprus problem. In statements to Cengiz Candar and Hasan Cemal on Turkish CNN-Turk television, Mr Gul alleged that Turkey exhibited all its good will regarding the Cyprus problem in 2004. However, Cyprus is still standing in front of Turkey as a reality of life, he said and added: Yes, it is standing. But, to tell the truth, the EU is exploiting this issue a little bit. While this issue is not very important for many countries, they put this issue in front of us. If this issue is solved in any way, then they will put forth another concern. We must not provide the opportunity for this. First we must do what we have to do. All the chapters, the laws, we shall complete these.

    [06] Davutoglu asked from Saudi Arabia to lift the embargoes on the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (05.01.10) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu has said that he told his counterpart form Saudi Arabia, Suud El Faysal that Turkey expects the lifting of the embargoes on the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Evaluating his visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr Davutoglu said they discussed all the regional issues with Mr Faysal and he briefed him on Cyprus and the negotiating process in the island. He added: I conveyed to him our expectations for the lifting of the embargoes on the TRNC within the framework of the principle decisions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Ozgurgun alleges that no solution will be achieved unless the Greek Cypriot side accepts the presence of the Turkish army on the island

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (05.01.10) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun issued a written statement yesterday, alleging that if the Greek Cypriot side does not accept the presence of the Turkish army on the island, the negotiations regarding the Cyprus problem will not reach to a solution. Commenting on the New Year message of President Christofias, Mr Ozgurgun claimed the following: The Christofias leadership must accept that the presence of the Turkish army on the island constitutes the most vital guarantee of the Turkish Cypriot people. Otherwise it is not possible for the efforts exerted for reaching to a common future to reach to the targeted result.

    He reiterated that the guarantees of Turkey are an indispensable condition for the Turkish Cypriots, who will not approve any solution which does not provide for these guarantees.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Former Turkish Air Force Commander describes Cyprus as state secret during his interrogation for the Ergenekon case

    Under the title Cyprus is a state secret in Ergenekon, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (05.01.10) reports that the Cyprus problem, which is considered as national cause in Turkey, continues to be untouchable. The paper notes that the former Commander of the Turkish Air Force, General Ibrahim Firtina, who has been interrogated for ten hours by the prosecutors in the Ergenekon case, refrained from answering to questions regarding Cyprus stating that Cyprus is a state secret.

    Mr Firtina was asked whether he had any connection with the letter which the retired Commander of Gendarmerie, Sener Eruygur sent to the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. He denied the allegation that the people in the occupied areas of Cyprus poured into the streets against the Annan Plan.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Davutoglu addressed the 2nd Ambassadors Conference

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.10.01) reported the following:

    Turkish foreign minister has said his country needed a new and a more powerful foreign policy, adding that the Turkish foreign policy had "a great historical experience which could be compared only to five or six other countries."

    "A new world is emerging and along with it new requirements are being born. And we need to develop a systematic and a strategic vision which would meet those requirements," Ahmet Davutoglu told a Turkish ambassadors' conference which started on Monday in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

    Davutoglu said Turkey's diplomacy should get prepared for "a country which has become a member of the European Union in 2023, which ranked among the top ten economies in the world, and most importantly, a country which made its unique national contribution to the global culture."

    The Turkish foreign minister said Turkey had focused on its EU membership process, adding that the country would give no concessions in the integration with the EU in every field.

    Davutoglu said Turkey would open 26 more missions abroad in 2010 which he said would boost the country's active diplomacy in helping settle global crises.

    Davutoglu said the world needed a new international body with a new perspective and philosophy which would meet a requirement of a reform in international politics. "And just at the center of that requirement stand Turkey's important geography and history," he said.

    Brazilian, German and Japanese foreign ministers, as well as Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat are set to participate in the week-long conference.

    [10] Joint declaration by Turkey and Japan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.01.10) reports the following:

    In a joint declaration signed by the foreign ministers of Turkey and Japan on Monday to mark the beginning of the "2010 Year of Japan in Turkey", the sides said that the cooperation between the two countries was strong enough to positively affect the future of the globe.

    The declaration said that the sinking of the Ertugrul Frigate, sent by the Ottoman Empire to Japan 120 years ago as a delegation of friendship, in the Pacific Ocean has helped the foundation of relations and become a symbol of Turkish-Japanese ties of friendship.

    The declaration said that the two countries have ties of friendship and goodwill not seen in international relations frequently.

    The declaration noted that Japan viewed Turkey as a crucial friend located in a central position at the intersection of Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

    On the other hand, Turkey paid high attention to developing friendship and cooperation with Japan in an effort to boost partnerships in Asia and the Pacific region, the declaration stressed.

    Cooperation between the two countries is strong enough to have a positive impact on the future of the world, the declaration said.

    The declaration said that the existing figures in bilateral trade did not represent the actual potential.

    The declaration also said that the Ertugrul tragedy, in its 120th anniversary, reminded all about the roots of the historical ties between Turkey and Japan and that the "2010 Year of Japan in Turkey" will lead to strengthening of already friendly relations.

    [11] Bulgaria demands $10 billion dollars compensation from Ankara for the properties Bulgarian citizens left in Turkey

    Under the front page title Neighbour opened old deals, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (05.01.10) writes that Bulgaria demands from Turkey $10 billion for the properties of the Bulgarian citizens who emigrated from Turkey.

    The Bulgarian State Minister Bojidar Dimitrov announced that Bulgaria would demand $10 billion dollars compensation from Turkey for the properties Bulgarian citizens left in Turkey when they emigrated to Bulgaria in 1913 and added: We could obstruct Turkey's EU membership if compensation is not paid.

    On the same news, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (05.01.2010) writes that it was made known that the compensation issue will be included in the agenda of discussions the Bulgarian President Boyko Borisov will hold in Turkey during his official visit to the country at the end of the month.

    (ML)

    [12] Turkish Airlines will buy 20 Airbus passenger planes

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.01.10) reports the following:

    Turkey's national air carrier, the Turkish Airlines (THY), has placed a firm order for 14 Airbus A321-200 6 Airbus A319-100 passenger planes, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing.

    The air carrier said it also placed an optional order for the purchase of 10 Airbus A319/A321 passenger planes.

    Fourteen A321-200s and six A319-100s are expected to be delivered to the THY in 2011 and 2012 as A319/A321s are scheduled for 2013.

    The value of the orders was not immediately available.

    THY is one of the fastest growing carriers in Europe. The Istanbul-based airline is using Istanbul's Ataturk Airport as a hub for flights to Europe, Asia and Africa in partnership with the Star Alliance group of airlines. Passengers at THY grew 10.1 percent to 18.6 million in the first nine months of 2009.

    [13] Turkeys annual exports reached 97.7 billion US dollars in 2009

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.01.10) reports the following:

    Turkey's annual exports reached 97.7 billion USD in 2009.

    According to Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), Turkish exports increased by 32.3 percent in December 2009 and amounted to 9.5 billion USD.

    Exports in industry, which constituted 81.4 percent of Turkish exports in total in December, rose 32 percent and reached 7.7 billion USD.

    Exports in mining, amounting to 3.2 percent of December's total exports figures, increased by 97.5 percent, reaching 305 million USD.

    Turkey exported the highest amount of goods to Germany in December 2009, followed by France, Britain, Italy, Iraq, Russia, USA, Spain, Iran and China.

    Germany was at the top of the annual exports list as well. It was followed by Britain, Italy, France, Iraq, Russia, Spain, USA, Iran and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    On the same issue, A.A. also reports that the Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan said that Turkish exports amounted to 101.6 billion USD in 2009. Caglayan told a news conference on Monday that exports rose 32.2 percent from 7.1 billion USD in December 2008 to 9.5 billion USD in December 2009. "Some circles said that Turkish annual exports would be around 80 billion USD in 2009. But we set a different target and aimed to exceed 100 billion USD. As a result of our hard work and intensive efforts, annual exports in 2009 became 101.6 billion USD," he said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 04/01/10

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 04/01/10:

    Internal political issues

    In Milliyet columnist Asli Aydintasbas, views the assessment made by foreign diplomats regarding the Turkish Armed Forces, (TSK). Foreign diplomats closely following the developments in Turkey view the situation of the TSK as "irreversible," writes Aydintasbas, explaining that in their opinion the army will not be able to gain its former political power. Agreeing with these diplomats, Aydintasbas maintains that the TSK has lost its "deterrence" in the eyes of the public, that it has been eroded as a result of the accusations leveled against it in the Ergenekon process, that it can no longer eliminate the plots being hatched against it, and that it can no longer ensure the communications security of its headquarters and its chain of command.

    According to a report in Vatan, the Ankara 12th High Criminal Court has rejected the request made by the Office of the Chief of the General Staff to halt the search being conducted at the Ankara Regional Mobilization Department.

    Drawing attention to the recent campaign to erode the armed forces in an article in Vatan, Can Atakli argues that the illogical allegations being made against the soldiers, and the search conducted in places where the most important state secrets are kept are being presented as the "victory of democracy." Atakli continues: "However, these assaults have nothing to do with democracy or the laws. There is a single goal, namely to weaken all the institutions of the state, to confuse the people through lies and accusations, to muster support by benefiting from this confusion, and to change the fundamental philosophy of the country, primarily the principles of the Republic."

    According to a report by Namik Durukan in Milliyet, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, Justice and Development Party, AKP, deputy from Adana, has criticized the government members for using the term "North Iraq," adding: "Actually, that region is Kurdistan." Firat, who is in Iraq, responded to questions by Aknews agency, saying: "Even if we do not use the term Kurdistan and we say the Kurdish Region or North Iraq, that region is Kurdistan according to the Iraqi Constitution. The world also knows that region as Kurdistan. Therefore, whether we call it by that name or not, nothing much will change. I hope that people will get used to it in time."

    In her article in Milliyet, Asli Aydintasbas predicts that Emine Ayna will be "out" and Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir "in" in Kurdish politics. Noting that Baydemir will become one of the prominent names within the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, Aydintasbas adds that his name will also be heard in Europe following the letter he has sent to the European Parliament complaining about the detention of the local administrators and mayors in the operations launched against the Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan, KCK. Recalling the sensitivity of the leftist parties in Europe toward this issue, the writer maintains that the arrest of mayors in the KCK operations will probably be at the top of the agenda of Turkish-European relations.

    Viewing the "big gap in Turkish politics between promises and results" in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Joost Lagendijk writes that a mountain of expectations was created in 2009 which have to be delivered in 2010. Detailing the promises made, Lagendijk says that the Turkish prime minister and president fully understand "the negative logic of broken promises," concluding: "Therefore, 2010 will again bring, without any doubt, many surprises. Including, I hope, some final remedies to the problems that popped out of the many boxes of Pandora that were opened in 2009."

    In an article entitled "In order not to place myself in the position of chiming in with unsolicited opinions", Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Aktay criticizes what he describes as a recent tendency among leftist circles as well as in the "PKK-dominated southeast" to dismiss any publicly voiced Kurdish political opinions other than those endorsing the PKK's "preposterous" ideas as unsolicited and irrelevant suggestions contributed by outsiders. He asserts that the PKK does not have the right or authority to determine the shape and direction of Kurdish politics simply because it is an armed power any more than Kurdish politics may be said to have already attained a level of perfection that makes intellectual contributions to it uncalled-for.

    In an article entitled "A rotten year for the military", Today's Zaman columnist Omer Taspinar lauds The Economist for publishing a report interpreting some of the past year's events in Turkey as meaning that "the days when civilians took their orders from generals in Turkey may be gone for good." He asserts that thanks to such reporting on "the civil-military relations dimension of what is going on in Turkey ... Western observers are now able to fully appreciate the real nature of Turkey's political struggle."

    Foreign policy issues

    According to a report in Milliyet, Prime Minister Erdogan, in an interview with the magazine Kriter, has said the following in connection with the reopening of the Greek orthodox theological seminary in Heybeliada: "The relevant ministers are working on the issue. Naturally, the demands of our Turkish minority in Western Thrace should also be borne in mind." Noting that the opening of the seminary requires a "multidimensional process," Erdogan adds: "The Greek government should, at the same time, dwell on these demands, and should solve the problems of men of religion, of leadership, of unemployment, and of associations related to minorities."

    Viewing the government stand on reopening the seminary in his article in Hurriyet, Sukru Kucuksahin believes that it is in favor provided the Greek government abides by the principle of "reciprocity." The writer goes on to detail the three alternatives proposed by Turkey for Greece to implement in line with the reciprocity principle, namely the use of the word "Turkish" in associations established by the Turkish minority, the construction of a mosque in Athens to meet the needs of the Turkish and Muslim communities in the city, and the opening of a cemetery for the Muslim population. The Greek government is not averse to taking these steps, write Kucuksahin, adding that, however, the chaos the economic crisis has created in the country and the subsequent change of priorities are cited as reasons for the delay in their implementation. In conclusion, Kucuksahin urges Patriarch Bartholomew to pressure the Greek government to implement these steps.

    The foreign policy priorities of the government and the problems on Ankara's agenda for the year 2010 are at the same time critical issues that involve relations with the United States and the EU, according to Sabah columnist Omer Taspinar. The writer in his article claims that Turkey's priorities should be harmonious with the West, adding that it is up to the AKP to establish this difficult balance between the East and the West. Questioning where national interests, regional balances, and relations with the West converge, Taspinar believes that Turkish foreign policy should focus on three fundamental issues, namely Cyprus, the Armenian overture, and Iran. He continues: "The issues of Armenia and Iran will determine Turkey's relations with Washington for the next year. The Cyprus issue will be Turkey's major test in its relations with Europe." Noting the high probability of Mehmet Ali Talat losing in the April 2010 elections to be held in north Cyprus, the writer argues that such an outcome will deal a very heavy blow to Turkey's EU aspirations, urging, therefore, the Turkish Foreign Ministry to take urgent symbolic steps aimed at strengthening Talat's position. Suggesting that the withdrawal of 5,000 troops from the island might constitute a goodwill gesture, Taspinar maintains that with such a move Turkey will show its "moral superiority." Calling on the government to take similar courageous steps in the Armenian overture, the columnist declares that "submitting at least one of the protocols to the Assembly and indexing the other one to the solution of the Karabakh issue might be a formula that will put at east will both Azerbaijan and Washington." On the Iranian issue, the writer advises the government to be cautious against the Iranian government's use of Turkey in its delaying tactics.

    Questioning whether a solution will be found to the Cyprus issue in an article in Hurriyet, Ferai Tinc is doubtful about Spain, which has assumed the term presidency of the EU, being successful in bringing about a solution to the problem. Noting that its predecessor Sweden had also failed, Tinc argues that the issue cannot be solved through outside intervention, adding that first a balance that will create the will for a solution should be created on the island.

    The main problem is a lack of confidence, claims Tinc, adding: "Both sides do not feel secure vis--vis one another. This means that the negotiation process has failed to create an atmosphere of mutual confidence in the Cypriot people.

    However, this should have been the fundamental principle of the negotiation process." Noting that this is the point where Spain can intervene and create an atmosphere conducive to strengthening the will for a solution, Tinc argues that a step to be taken toward eliminating the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots might cause Turkey to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels. The writer believes that mutual overtures aimed at developing the relations between Ankara and Athens can contribute to the atmosphere mentioned above.

    Viewing the normalization process between Turkey and Armenia in an article in Taraf, Markar Esayan maintains that Turkey is well aware that Armenia did not occupy the seven regions in Azerbaijan as trump cards in a negotiation process, adding that these seven regions have a strategic importance in establishing military sovereignty in Karabakh. Therefore, Esayan notes, one cannot expect a gesture such as a withdrawal from one of these regions from Armenia before a final and collective solution is reached regarding Nagorno-Karabakh. The mutual gestures expected by both sides do not necessarily have to be in the political field, writes Esayan, defining the problems of illegal Armenian citizens working in Turkey as a serious one. Explaining the humanitarian dimensions of the problem, Esayan underlines that a gesture on the part of the Turkish government on the issue can constitute a "prestigious method" of opening the political avenue that been blocked, concluding that even Azerbaijan would not be opposed to such a move.

    In an article entitled "Erdogan and Obama's common destiny", Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan comments on a "similarity" between what he describes as nationalist opposition in the United States and Turkey to President Obama's "overture" to the Muslim world and Prime Minister Erdogan's latest "democratic overture" toward people of Kurdish origin in Turkey. He claims that just as certain Turkish and Kurdish circles are rejoicing at the prospect of the democratic overture coming to an end because of the terrorist attack on a group of Turkish soldiers in Resadiye, so US and Islamic objectors to Obama's policy toward the Muslim world "must have been pleased" by the recent alleged terrorist attempt to blow up an airliner bound for Detroit because they feel it signals an end to Obama's efforts to bring about a rapprochement with the Islamic world. He also slams "US nationalists" for trying to use the incident involving the said plane and "the resurrected fear of terrorism" in the United States as a means of forcing Obama to adopt a tougher approach toward Islamic countries.

    In his article entitled "Counter-Revolution in Iran", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone discusses recent developments in Iran signaling that this country is "preparing to break free from the chains of its theocratic government though a counter-revolution." He asserts that Turkey should keep an attentive eye on what is happening in Iran to be able to see the cost and consequences of any form of totalitarian oppression. He also predicts that the unrest in Iran is set to have implications for Turkey.

    In an article entitled "CIA warns Turkey about heroin trafficking and PKK", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan comments on recent news reports saying that the CIA warned Turkey at a recent meeting in the United States about plans by heroin traffickers in Afghanistan to seize control of the heroin market in Turkey. Questioning the United States' sincerity in issuing such warnings, Ozkan asks whether the prime responsibility for any heroin threat to Turkey from Afghanistan does not belong to the United States considering that Afghanistan has been under US occupation for years and that former US administrations cited the need to fight heroin traffickers as one of their reasons for placing Afghanistan under occupation.

    EG/


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