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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-02-16

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. 30/10 13-16.02.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat meets with Germanys EU Minister
  • [02] MAP refused to support Talat in the forthcoming elections
  • [03] Yeni Duzen alleges that Talat is ahead in the race for the elections
  • [04] Avci is visiting Ankara for the second time in few days
  • [05] Ertugruloglu resigns from the post of the representative of the UBP in PACE
  • [06] Eroglu: Turkeys guarantees remains as the red line of the Turkish side
  • [07] Ozgurgun discuss about Cyprus with the Turkish EU negotiator
  • [08] Self-styled minister returned from Berlin
  • [09] Reactions to the report adopted by the EP on Turkey continue; Turkish Cypriot politicians call on Turkey to implement the decision
  • [10] Turkey refuses to pay the money to Greek Cypriot Apostolides
  • [11] The breakaway is preparing to take legal measures against the Turkish Cypriots who sell their property in the free areas of the Republic
  • [12] Illegal YDU signs cooperation protocol in the field of education with the State Ministry of Azerbaijan
  • [13] Turkeys state television to promote the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [14] Self-styled minister met with an Irish official
  • [15] Turkish Foreign Minister refers to Cyprus during a visit to Kazakhstan
  • [16] TGNAs Speaker meets with Bahraini officials; Cyprus among their issues of discussion
  • [17] "EU divided on opening energy chapter with Turkey"
  • [18] Erdogan and Clinton meets in Qatar
  • [19] Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary in the US for official talks
  • [20] Gul meets his Bangladeshi counterpart
  • [21] Turkey attracts 7.5 billion USD foreign investments in 2009
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [22] From the Turkish Press of 12, 13, 14 and 15 February 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat meets with Germanys EU Minister

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.02.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Turkish Cypriot president had a meeting with the German minister for European affairs on Friday. President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) met Werner Hoyer, minister of state at the German Federal Foreign Office, in Lefkosia. Hoyer is actually holding talks in the island.

    Negotiation process should be speeded up, Talat said during the meeting at his office. Talat defined United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit to Cyprus a great opportunity for accelerating negotiations, but said the opportunity was not fully seized. President Talat said two parties in Cyprus had made a good progress in negotiations although it was not so satisfactory. Talat said the Turkish Cypriots were encouraged to speed up a settlement process, however the Greek Cypriots needed to be encouraged more. The EU, EU member states and international community can do this, he said.

    Also, Hoyer said the German government was closely interested in ongoing negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders. Hoyer said he was encouraged by Ban Ki-moon's remarks, and said the two parties should be supported to accelerate the process and reach an agreement. The German minister said EU member states had pledged to support any progress in the island. Hoyer suggested that the two parties in the island should speed up the process to reach success soon.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (15.02.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the security of the Turks of Cyprus and the continuation of Turkeys active guarantorship are being kept in the foreground at the ongoing negotiations process. The President received representatives of Retired Policemen Association today.

    Speaking during the visit, President Talat said that the Turkish side is working to reach a settlement which will provide security for the Turks of Cyprus.He also noted that political equality, bi-zonality and continuation of Turkeys guarantorship are quite important for the Turkish side.

    Also speaking during the visit, Nuri Andac, which headed the delegation, said that the association is closely watching the Cyprus issue and is in favour of a bi-zonal and a bicommunal solution which will secure the existence of the Turks of Cyprus and cover Turkeys active and effective guarantee on the island.

    [02] MAP refused to support Talat in the forthcoming elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.02.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat visited yesterday the National Justice Party (MAP) and asked for its support in the presidential elections to be held on April 18 in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the paper, the leader of MAP, Ata Tepe, called on Mr Talat not to be a candidate for the elections.

    During the two-hour meeting between Talat and a MAPs delegation, Mr Talat also informed the party about the latest developments in the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Talat said, inter alia, that as he has stated before, he tends to participate in the elections as independent candidate and added that this is an indication that he keeps equal distance from all the parties. He went on and added that he explained his views to MAP and asked for its support.

    On his part MAPs leader, stated that if Mr Talat participates in the elections and does not win he will not reach his goal. However, if he does not participate in the elections, he will show virtue, maturity and that he is a politician who respects the people. Mr Tepe also stated to Mr Talat that in case he is a candidate, this may force MAP to unite behind a candidate who opposes to Mr Talat and added that this stance might lead to the polarization of the society.

    (CS)

    [03] Yeni Duzen alleges that Talat is ahead in the race for the elections Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.02.10) cites information according to which the National Unity Party (UBP) of Dervis Eroglu conducted a survey for the forthcoming presidential elections which shows that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat is 5-6% ahead of Mr Eroglu. The survey was conducted by KADEM Research Centre. The paper also writes that due to these results UBP will not announce the surveys results.

    (CS)

    [04] Avci is visiting Ankara for the second time in few days

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.02.10) reports that the leader of Freedom and Reform Movement (ORP), Turgay Avci, who visited Ankara, last week upon an invitation by the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did not give any information about his contacts in Ankara. The paper also writes that Mr Avci, heading a delegation, is going to Ankara again this week and notes that the presidential elections will be on the agenda of his contacts in Ankara.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Ertugruloglu resigns from the post of the representative of the UBP in PACE

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.02.10) reports that the National Unity Party (UBP) replaced Tahsin Ertugruloglu, self-styled MP with UBP, who represented the occupation regime in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) meetings, with Ahmet Eti, another MP with UBP. In statements to Havadis, Mr Ertugruloglu said that he decided to leave the post on his own will. The paper writes that Mr Ertugruloglu, together with Mehmet Caglar, self-styled CTP parliamentarian, represented the breakaway regime at the PACE meeting held between January 25-29 in Strasbourg. The paper goes on and writes that Mr Ertugruloglu during his return to the occupied areas from Strasbourg, he held an important meeting in Ankara with the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The paper cites information that the meeting between Ertugruloglu and Erdogan, which was held the day that Dervis Eroglu declared his candidacy for the presidential elections, caused various comments in the political backstage and it was perceived as a move regarding the presidential elections.

    (CS)

    [06] Eroglu: Turkeys guarantees remains as the red line of the Turkish side

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.02.10) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu returned to the Republic yesterday after giving a conference at a university in Istanbul, entitled The latest developments on the Cyprus Issue. At the conference, the Premier once again stressed that he will be maintaining Cyprus peace talks if he is elected as the new President in April. Yet he said that he has not observed any agreement in any chapter of negotiations through all this time.

    Prime Minister said that an agreement can be achieved in Cyprus once the Greek Cypriot side proves its willingness for a solution. Noting that the reason for the Greek Cypriot sides intransigency is its unilateral European Union membership, he strongly expressed his desire towards seeing both Turkey and the TRNC getting involved in the EU. Eroglu expressed the belief that the problems that the TRNC is facing due to its non-recognition can be overcome via the power of democracy.

    In reference to the European Parliaments Progress Report on Turkey, as well as to the European Court of Justices (ECJ) decision on the Orams Case, he said the Cyprus problem is a political problem that needs to be resolved at the negotiation table. He noted that these only serve to injure the negotiations process.

    Having complained that the Greek Cypriot side cannot even endure the existence of the Cyprus Turkish people, the Premier emphasized that Turkeys effective guarantee remains as the red line of the Turkish side in the way towards an agreement.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.02.10) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Friday that comprehensive negotiations, which have been continuing in Cyprus aiming to find a lasting and fair solution to the Cyprus issue, were harmed by the European Court of Justice's ruling on the Orams case.

    A British court ruled on January 19 that a British couple could not keep their holiday villa in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The court of appeal decision upheld an earlier European Court of Justice ruling that will return the property to Meletis Apostolides, whose Greek Cypriot family had to leave the northern part of the island in 1974 after the Cyprus Peace Operation. The ruling establishes that he is the rightful owner of the property, which belonged to his family before the peace operation, and that David and Linda Orams have to demolish the villa they built on the land and abandon their claim to the property they purchased in 2002.

    Eroglu gave a conference at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. Even if the Cyprus issue is solved, there is no guaranty if Turkey will join the EU or not. There is double standard here, he said. There has been a political blackmail against Turkey over Cyprus, but Turkey is a powerful country having a sound economy, he said. We think that the Cyprus issue and Turkey's EU accession process are two different issues, Eroglu said. Eroglu said they respected basic principles of EU such as free market economy, respect for human rights and democracy.

    [07] Ozgurgun discuss about Cyprus with the Turkish EU negotiator

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.02.10) broadcast the following:

    Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has said that the Turkish side has always extended its hand for peace and expressed its readiness for an agreement. Mr Ozgurgun also added that the Turkish side is still at the same position. The Foreign Minister met with the Turkish Minister of State and Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis in Istanbul.

    Speaking during the meeting, Mr Ozgurgun said that the TRNC government will continue to follow the same path with Turkey. He also said that in recent years, the world has clearly understood which side is intransigent on the Cyprus issue that has been going on since the 1950s. Peace, which has been brought to the island by the Turkish Armed Forces in 1974, still exists. What is missing is an agreement. The TRNC and Turkey are making every kind of effort towards reaching a solution, however, the Greek Cypriot side has said No to all peace plans drawn until now, Mr Ozgurgun added.

    For his part, Turkish Minister of State and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said that the Cyprus issue is the common issue and a national cause for everyone in Turkey and the government and opposition share the same view on the issue. Expressing his pleasure over Turkeys success for changing the perception of the world without withdrawing a single soldier or giving only a piece of land, Mr Bagis said the world has now clearly seen that it is the Greek Cypriot side who is preventing a solution in Cyprus. He also added that the Turkish side will continue to be one step ahead and it will not be the side leaving the negotiations table.

    [08] Self-styled minister returned from Berlin

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.02.10) reports that Turkay Tokel, self-styled minister of labour and social insurance, returned to the occupied areas of Cyprus after completing his contacts in Berlin. Mr Tokel visited Berlin between February11-14, in order to participate in the VETLAM project, which is supported by the European Union. Mr Tokel met with officials of Berlins local Senate responsible for labour and social affairs and mainly discussed with them the struggle against the illegal workforce and policies promoting employment.

    (CS)

    [09] Reactions to the report adopted by the EP on Turkey continue; Turkish Cypriot politicians call on Turkey to implement the decision

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.02.10) reports that Ali Erel, chairman of the EU Association, has said that the approach of all the institutions of the EU towards the Cyprus problem is based on the UN resolutions regarding Cyprus and provides for a solution to the problem within the framework of the UNs good will mission. In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Erel referred to the report recently approved by the European Parliament on Turkey and pointed out that the expressions regarding Cyprus which are included in the report have actually been reiterated many times in the resolutions of the UN Security Council. However, all those who are reacting now say on every occasion that the decisions of the UN and the Court of Human Rights bind us, reminded Mr Erel and pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, who met recently with the President of the EU Commission, Jose Mauel Barroso, has asked for the interference of the EU so that the Cyprus talks will have a successful result.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (13.02.10) reports that Mehmet Cakici, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has evaluated the report adopted by the EP on Turkey and the decision of the British Court of Appeals on the Orams case and said that this is an indication that the property regime established in the occupied areas of Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island has totally collapsed. He argued that in case illegality and the non-solution continued, it would be inevitable to experience developments such as the report adopted recently by the EP and the decision on the Orams.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (13.02.10) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has said that his party supports the demand of the decision of the EP regarding the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus and calls on Turkey to implement this decision. Turkey should stop using delaying tactics in the solution process in Cyprus and help for the solution, said Mr Izcan.

    Finally, Havadis (13.02.10) reports that Irsen Kucuk, general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), has described the report adopted by the EP on Turkey as unacceptable and biased and said they would discuss the situation with the other parties in the parliament.

    (I/Ts)

    [10] Turkey refuses to pay the money to Greek Cypriot Apostolides

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (13.02.10), in its front page under the title Ankara says I cannot pay, reports that Turkey let the occupation regime to pay the debt of Orams. The paper reports that Turkey left the occupation regime alone on the Orams case. According to the British court verdict on the Orams case, Ankara should have paid until today the necessary amount to Greek Cypriot Meletis Apostolides, however, Ankara said: I cannot pay it, let TRNC pay. The so-called officials of the breakaway regime have troubles to find the money due to their financial difficulties. The Orams couple should pay a total of 1.5 million sterling to Apostolides and the first instalment is 600 thousands sterling.

    (DPs)

    [11] The breakaway is preparing to take legal measures against the Turkish Cypriots who sell their property in the free areas of the Republic

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (15.02.10) refers to a statement made by the Minister of Interior, Neoklis Sylikiotis, who said that the Republic of Cyprus exerts efforts to reach an agreement with some Turkish Cypriots for buying their property in the free areas of the island with the aim of giving title deeds to Greek Cypriot refugees and reports that the breakaway regime is preparing to take legal measures against those Turkish Cypriots, who sell their properties in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus in spite of the fact that they had been benefited from the Housing, Providing Land and Equivalent Value Property Law and took other [Greek Cypriot] property in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in return of the property they abandoned in the free areas in 1974.

    The paper writes that according to the above-mentioned draft-law, those who sell their properties in the free areas of the Republic could be punished with imprisonment, expropriation of the property they posses in the occupied areas of the island and big monetary fine with the accusation that they deceived the state.

    The paper reports that the draft-law is expected to be taken to the assembly within the next few days.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Illegal YDU signs cooperation protocol in the field of education with the State Ministry of Azerbaijan

    Under the title The State Ministry of Azerbaijan and YDU signed cooperation protocol, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (13.02.10) reports that the Azeri State Minister Nazim Ibrahimov and the so-called rector of the illegal Near East University (YDU), Dr. Suat Gunsel, have signed a protocol of cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and arts.

    According to a statement issued by the YDU Press and Public Relations Office, it was agreed that twenty-four Azeri students will receive a full-year scholarship for studying Tourism and Hotel Management, European Relations, Banking and Finance, Economics, Management, Marketing, Political Sciences, International Relations and Radio TV and Cinema studies in the illegal YDU.

    Mr Ibrahimov is paying an illegal visit to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus following an invitation addressed to him by YDU.

    (ML)

    [13] Turkeys state television to promote the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (12.02.10) broadcast the following:

    Turkeys state channel TRT has prepared a TV program for the promotion of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    TRTs Avaz channel will be broadcasting the program in 26-week period, on every Monday at 10.30 pm. The TV program is aimed at building a bridge among Turkey, the Balkans, Eurasian countries and the TRNC.The focus will also be on the improvement of ties between the TRNC and the Turkic world.

    In a statement, the Broadcasting Coordinator of the program Aydin Karacay said that the program will narrate the economic, social, cultural and legal problems faced by the TRNC due to its non-recognition in the international arena. Promotion of tourism and higher education opportunities are other priorities. Karacay added that they are open to offers on some other interesting issues to be included in the program which are peculiar to Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (14.02.10) broadcast the following:

    The Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel fair (EMITT) ends in Istanbul today. At the fair, where 60 countries were promoted, the TRNC stand attracted great attention by visitors.

    Within the framework of the fair, the Cyprus Turkish Hoteliers Union gave a dinner in honour of members of the Turkish Tourism Journalists and Writers Association last night. The TRNC Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture Hamza Ersan Saner also attended the dinner.

    Speaking to reporters following the dinner, Mr Ersan said they discussed ways of how to bring the TRNC tourism in the foreground. Stating that it is a great advantage for the TRNC to be included in a campaign launched in Turkey, Mr Saner said there is a signal that the tourism sector will be boosted this year compared to last year.

    [14] Self-styled minister met with an Irish official

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.02.10) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of finance of the breakaway regime, met yesterday at his office with Brian Finn, deputy director of the Budget Department of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Ireland. According to a statement issued after the meeting, the two delegations discussed the project for managing the public expenses of the ministry of finance of the breakaway regime, which is financed by the EU Commissions Enlargement Directorate. The paper writes that the regime plans to further develop this project and that a Project Action Plan was discussed during the meeting.

    (I/Ts.)

    [15] Turkish Foreign Minister refers to Cyprus during a visit to Kazakhstan

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.02.10) broadcast the following:

    Turkey does not want the suspension of peace talks in Cyprus and has done its best to serve this, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stressed. Davutoglu, who is in Kazakhstan for an official visit, told the Anatolian News Agency that Turkey lines up with a permanent solution in Cyprus.

    Underlining the fact that the Cyprus policy of Turkey and the TRNC remains unchanged, the Turkish Foreign Minister stressed the need for maintaining the momentum gained at the negotiations process.

    Meanwhile, it has been announced that Cyprus negotiations will resume with meetings on the 24th of February, and 4th, 16th and 30th of March. President Mehmet Ali Talats Special Representative Ozdil Nami said that four other meetings were offered by the Turkish side, but no confirmation has been made on these yet. The above dates were proposed by the Greek Cypriot side.

    [16] TGNAs Speaker meets with Bahraini officials; Cyprus among their issues of discussion

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.02.10) broadcast the following:

    The Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) Mehmet Ali Sahin has said that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are searching ways for a solution within the framework of UN parameters. Mr Sahin touched upon the Cyprus issue in Bahrain during his meeting with Bahraini officials.

    Pointing to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side has been continuing the non-solution, Mr Sahin expressed the hope that the problem would be solved at the negotiations table in a peaceful way.

    Reminding that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has opened a representation in Bahrain, he thanked Bahraini officials for their support for the opening of the representation.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.02.10) reported the following from Manama:

    Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin was received by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain as part of his state visit to Manama. King Hamad said at the audience that although President Abdullah Gul and he agreed to further improve the bilateral relations during his visit to Turkey, necessary mechanisms could not be established yet. He expressed his country's desire to improve relations with Turkey especially in the area of defence industry. King Hamad said that Turkey played a very important and influential role in the Middle East, and added that all Muslim countries attached importance to Turkey's accession to the EU.

    Sahin, on his part, said that the Turkish party also aimed at improving its relations with Bahrain. The most important reason of our EU membership process is to further develop democracy and rule of law in our country. As our negotiations continue with EU, we cannot remain silent in the face of any attempt which is contrary to the human rights in the Islam world, he added.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.02.10) reported the following:

    Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin visited the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce on Saturday. Sahin who met with deputy chairman of the chamber Ebrahim Zeinal said the trade volume between Turkey and Bahrain, which was USD 384 million in 2008, recorded a slight decline because of the global financial crisis, noting that it would pick up again in the near future.

    Also speaking during the meeting, Deputy Chairman of the Chamber Ebrahim Zeinal said Turkey and Bahrain could make joint agricultural production. Later, Zeinal hosted a luncheon in honour of Sahin.

    [17] "EU divided on opening energy chapter with Turkey"

    Under the above title, Hurriyet Daily News.com (12.02.10) reported the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses a critical tone to urge the EU not to let political disputes block chapters in the country's accession talks. A European diplomat requesting anonymity says, 'We should do something [to solve the energy chapter] because later we will have no other chapters to open'.

    Whether or not to immediately open the energy chapter in Turkey's European Union accession negotiations as part of the common energy strategy has left the bloc divided.

    Unfortunately, some political concerns are in, a European diplomat told the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review on condition of anonymity. Among European ambassadors, we say that we should do something because later we will have no other chapters to open.

    France has blocked five chapters in Turkey's accession negotiations and Cyprus has blocked eight others, including the one on energy.

    The energy chapter is the one for which Turkey is the most ready if you focus on technical details rather than political disputes and prejudice, energy expert Nejdet Pamir said in an interview with the Daily News.

    Regardless of the negative approach taken by some circles, Turkey will continue defending its already-gained rights and taking steps toward its EU bid, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Thursday at a luncheon with various European ambassadors. Everyone should stay on track and avoid creating different arguments by remembering what promises have been made to Turkey.

    We'll find a way, said Joan Clos, the ambassador of Spain, which holds the rotating EU presidency. We hope that, working together, the Spanish Presidency will be proud to make a positive contribution to Turkey's EU accession. Cyprus is blocking the energy chapter for political reasons, while France and Germany back this policy behind closed doors, according to energy expert Pamir. Consequently, those who are more dependent on Russian gas want to see Turkey as part of the European energy strategy and create alternative sources, he said. I will not deny that, sometimes, the process may be rocked either by political factors or by scenarios of difficult crisis, Ambassador Clos said. The road to full membership is bumpy, full of ups and downs. But whenever the negotiation hits a crisis, we have to be able to turn that crisis into an opportunity and redouble our commitment to advancing the process.

    Erdogan stressed his expectations from Spain, saying, We attach importance to Spain's term presidency and expect it will open a number of chapters in order to compromise and cure the injustices of the past. He added, The enlargement will not bring exhaustion, but dynamism, which will make the union stronger.

    Ambassador Clos spoke in an optimistic way about his country's presidency. We have in our term presidency a group of chapters, including food safety, competition, public procurement, social affairs and, hopefully, others like culture and education or energy, where together we can make significant advances, he said. The ambassador also quoted the words of Spanish poet Antonio Machado, Walker, there is no road; the road is made by walking, adding, Let's walk together in this profound and peaceful European encounter which is the European Union, with Turkey onboard.

    The Czech Republic had earlier expressed its eagerness to open the energy chapter during its term presidency and hosted the Southern Corridor Summit in Prague on May 8, 2009. The summit focused on Europe's energy security, in particular managing the delicate balance between EU-wide interests in supply diversification and national interests focused on reliable bilateral relationships. Turkey belongs to Europe and Europe belongs to Turkey. It is not like there is one club and there is one country begging on the other side, Czech Ambassador to Ankara Eva Filipi told the Daily News in an interview. Turkey is very important country with big potential, Filipi added. I was expecting more steps, but there are some obstacles.

    Economists from globally influential organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and JP Morgan assume that Turkey will grow 3.7 percent to 5.5 percent in 2010 in spite of the global economic downturn.

    Some member states, despite saying 'yes' in 2004 and 2005, make statements against Turkey for some reason. A promise is a promise and we should keep promises, Filipi said, emphasizing that it is possible to [open the] energy chapter if we convince Cyprus. The EU did not have common energy policy only a few years ago. There are some [countries] really dependent on Russia and there are [some that] are not, the Czech ambassador added. "It is partly a political game and partly a real energy game. Hopefully it will have a good result on how to diversify sources."

    [18] Erdogan and Clinton meet in Qatar

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.02.10) reported the following from Doha:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Qatari capital, Doha with Turkey-Armenia relations, the Cyprus issue, the Middle East, the fight against terrorism, economic relations and Iraq high on their agenda. The meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel lasted for about an hour.

    Diplomatic sources said that Iran's nuclear program was another topic discussed at the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will pay a visit to Iran on Monday and he was optimistic about further diplomatic steps.

    Armenian Constitutional Court's decision was also discussed at the meeting. The Turkish party said that Turkey had fulfilled its responsibilities, and the decision of the Armenian court hampered the process. The Turkish party also underlined that Turkey considered Armenian issue a part of the normalization process in the Caucasus, and called on the Minsk Group to undertake a more active role.

    The parties highlighted importance of continuation of the negotiation process in Cyprus.

    They also agreed that cooperation in the fight against terrorism should be maintained.

    Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan will pay an official visit to the United States in the coming weeks under an economic partnership program between the two countries.

    During the meeting, Clinton said that she shared Erdogan's sensitivity towards the situation in Gaza.

    Furthermore, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (15.02.10) reported the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Qatar has been marred by a controversy caused by brash remarks by US Ambassador to Doha Joseph LeBaron. When Erdogan's meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, originally planned for 20 minutes, stretched into an hour, Amb LeBaron tried to enter the meeting room to alert Clinton. LeBaron insisted on entering the room despite attempts by Turkish officials to stop him. At that point, Erdogan's foreign policy adviser, Amb Fuat Tanlay, intervened and told LeBaron: The meeting is still continuing. You cannot go in.

    Subtitle: Sheikh more important

    Tanlay became exasperated when the US ambassador responded: This meeting must end. The meeting with the sheikh of Qatar is more important. Reacting sharply, Tanlay said: You cannot decide our importance. You cannot insult my country. How dare you? The two diplomats were reportedly at each other's throats. The US envoy was reportedly so angry that he kicked doors after officials separated them.

    In the meantime, the issue of Armenia was reportedly discussed at the Erdogan-Clinton meeting. Erdogan told Clinton that the ruling of Armenia's Constitutional Court with regard to the [Turkish-Armenian] protocols contains comments that make the process difficult. Stating that Turkey is fulfilling its responsibilities, [Erdogan] said: We see the problem of Armenia as part of a comprehensive normalization process in the Caucasus. Erdogan also signalled Clinton that "the Minsk Group must step up its efforts. Clinton responded that "despite everything, it would be helpful to continue the process that has started with Armenia. The prime minister also asked Mrs Clinton to convey his wishes for a quick recovery to her husband, former US President Bill Clinton, who had a stent placed in one of coronary arteries.

    Subtitle: No visa requirement for Qatar

    Speaking at the Turkey-Qatar Business Forum at the Four Seasons Hotel, Erdogan said that no visas will be required [for citizens of Turkey and Qatar travelling to the other country]. Recalling that visas were lifted for travel to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Albania, Tajikistan, and Jordan in the last few months, Erdogan said: Now, God willing, we are lifting visa requirements with Qatar. We want to pry open the doors of a similar new period with Qatar, which is at least as close to us as Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. Turkey's doors will be fully open to Qatari investors, tourists, and businessmen.

    [19] Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary in the US for official talks

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.02.10) reported the following from Washington D.C.:

    The undersecretary for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs arrived in Washington D.C. on Sunday to hold a series of talks with U.S. officials. As part of his working visit to the U.S. capital, Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu will hold talks on Turkish-American relations as well as bilateral and international issues at the U.S. Department of State and National Security Council. Energy issue and the latest developments in the Balkans and Caucasus would also be on the agenda of Turkish diplomat's meetings, officials said.

    Within the scope of his visit, Sinirlioglu is scheduled to meet with Special Envoy of the U.S. Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg, Assistant Secretary for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon and National Security Council's Senior Director for Europe Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. Sinirlioglu is expected to depart from Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

    On the other hand, Namik Tan, Turkey's new ambassador in the U.S. capital, also arrived in Washington D.C. together with Sinirlioglu. Tan, who replaced Nabi Sensoy, is expected to officially take office upon presenting his letter of credentials.

    [20] Gul meets his Bangladeshi counterpart

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.02.10) reported the following from Dhaka:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who arrived in Bangladesh on Friday, met with his Bangladeshi counterpart Zillur Rahman. The two presidents held a joint news conference after their meeting in Dhaka.

    Gul told reporters that he went to Bangladesh with a large group of Turkish businessmen, which he said was a sign of importance Turkey attached to this country. Gul said trade volume between Turkey and Bangladesh was around 600 million USD, however, he said it could reach 1 billion in the near future. I believe that our relations will move forward in all areas, Gul said.

    On his part, Rahman described relations as perfect and said Gul's visit would help boost relations. Recalling that Turkey and Bangladesh had earlier signed several agreements on trade, culture, education and defence, Rahman said Bangladesh was eager to make more agreements with Turkey. He also called on Turkish businessmen to invest in his country, especially in textiles, energy, ship construction and petrochemicals industries.

    Following the press conference, Rahman hosted a dinner in honour of Gul.

    [21] Turkey attracts 7.5 billion USD foreign investments in 2009

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.02.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Net direct international investment inflow to Turkey fell 58.4 percent to 7.5 billion USD in 2009 when compared to the figures in 2008. Turkey's Treasury Undersecretariat released its Direct International Investment Information Bulletin for December 2009. Accordingly, direct international capital inflow decreased 62.3 percent to 5.7 billion USD in 2009. In 2008, direct international capital inflow was around 15.3 billion USD. Direct international investment inflow to Turkey amounted to 19.1 billion USD in 2007 and 18.2 billion USD in 2008. Meanwhile, 2,315 firms or branches with international capital were established in 2009, and this figure was 3,337 in 2008.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [22] From the Turkish Press of 12, 13, 14 and 15 February 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 12, 13, 14 and 15 February 2010:

    a) Cyprus Issue / Turkeys EU accession / EU report on Turkey:

    In an article in Milliyet (15.02.10), Semih Idiz recalls Turkish Cypriot Nezire Sofi's property claim which won her 500,000 Euros in compensation. Arguing that Sofi's case could be used as a base for other cases waiting for verdicts from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Idiz explains that most of the property left behind in the south by the Turkish Cypriots were confiscated for public projects and that the entire old Larnaca Airport as well as a section of the new Larnaca Airport are built on land belonging to a Turkish Cypriot. Now the path has been opened for this Turkish Cypriot to apply to the ECHR, writes Idiz, adding: "In short, the Orams case has set a precedence not only against the Turkish Cypriot side, but against the Greek Cypriot side as well." Quoting an analysis in the Cyprus Mail, the writer says that if thousands of Turkish Cypriots living on the island or abroad apply to the ECHR, the sums of compensation to be paid might be politically destructive for the Greek Cypriot sector. According to that analysis, the only solution that can rescue the Greek Cypriot sector from this negative development is a political one. Idiz agrees with this analysis and concludes that "Greek Cypriots who think rationally have arrived at the same point with the Turkish Cypriot side on this important issue."

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News (15.02.10), Yusuf Kanli faults the Greek Cypriot side and the EU in the non-solution of the Cyprus issue, adding: "A crisis in Turkey's EU accession process may force those EU 'big brothers' that might have a 'strategic perspective' to think once again where the EU's overall, and their country's individual strategic interests indeed are."

    Viewing the upcoming presidential elections in North Cyprus in the light of the EP report in an article in Taraf (15.02.10), Pelin Cengiz argues that if Dervis Eroglu, who advocates a confederation in Cyprus, wins the presidential elections this will be tantamount to ending the bicommunal negotiations, adding that, naturally, the stand to be adopted by Ankara will be a factor in determining the victor in the elections. Cengiz notes: "Ankara is, for the time being, cautious. It has refrained from openly supporting either Talat or Eroglu." Viewing the support the Cyprus Media Group owned by businessman Asil Nadir has been extending to Eroglu, Cengiz maintains that the developments show that Nadir has received sufficient rewards for his support of Eroglu's National Unity Party (UBP) such as the permission to establish a provider of WiMAX without participating in any tender.

    Viewing the energy aspect of the ongoing Turkish-EU negotiations, an editorial in Hurriyet Daily News (15.02.10) notes: "From the prospective Nabucco or South Stream gas pipelines to the existing Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, to ongoing petroleum explorations by Norway's Statoil on the Black Sea to the tanker traffic flowing through Europe's largest city... it's all about energy." And yet, the energy chapter is closed to negotiations at the behest of Greek Cyprus, points out the editorial, concluding that this short sightedness is a threat to the EU's energy security.

    Describing the economic crisis in Greece as an accident of the EU path to a monetary unity in an article in Radikal (15.02.10), Ugur Gurses wonders whether Turkey, which is a candidate for EU membership, is aware that this crisis in our neighbouring country might lead to the collapse of the Euro and might constitute a threat to the economic stability of Europe. Declaring that the union Turkey is trying to join is full of problems, Gurses asks the following questions: "What are our views regarding these problems? Do we have any proposals? What do we propose for their solution? Can we make a contribution? Does the government have a point of view regarding the current situation of the club it wants to join?" Questioning whether the government has any plans against the negative effects the Greek crisis might have on Turkey, Gurses concludes by expressing his surprise over the fact that the strong members of the EU have given no advice to Greece on the six frigates it is expected to purchase from France at a cost of 2.5 billion Euros while they have made a list of all the measures Greece has to take in a bid to cut expenditures.

    In an article entitled "Christian club," Sunday's Zaman (14.02.10) columnist Ihsan Yilmaz argues that the European Parliament's progress report about Turkey is extremely biased with regard to Cyprus because European politicians use the Cypriot issue as a pretext not to honour their pledges with regard to Turkey's membership. He concludes by saying: "Is the EU a Christian club? Of course not. Christianity, like all great religions, is about honesty, integrity and keeping promises."

    Viewing the Cyprus aspect of the recent report of the European Parliament (EP) on Turkey in an article in Milliyet (13.02.10), Semih Idiz agrees with Prime Minister Erdogan's reaction to the EP demand to withdraw troops from Cyprus. Not only that the EP members have to be blind to make such a demand as claimed by Erdogan but they also have to be ignorant and suffer from amnesia to come up with such demands, claims Idiz, adding that since they cannot all be suffering from these characteristics, "it is obvious that there is a calculated ill-will involved." Accusing the EU of being unjust toward the Turkish Cypriots, Idiz believes that the response given by Egemen Bagis, the chief EU negotiator, to the EP that "the EU process is not sufficiently important for Turkey to sacrifice Cyprus" is the appropriate one. Given this EP report, Idiz dismisses the possibility that the EU path to Turkey will be opened in the event Cyprus is sacrificed, adding: "Given the approach in the report, it is not difficult to predict that the faith the Turks have in the EU will diminish." Despite all, the writer urges the government to continue with the EU process while protecting the country's interests. Summing up the political and economic difficulties the EU is facing, Idiz stresses that there is no reason to take seriously the EP approach on the Cyprus issue, advising Turkey to ignore it. The writer concludes that it has now become evident that the EU, which is a "party" to the problem, can contribute nothing toward the solution of the Cyprus issue.

    Commenting on Erdogan's reaction to the demands made in the EP report on the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus and on opening Maras [Varosha] to the Greek Cypriots, Sabah columnist (13.02.10) Meliha Ovur in an article wonders whether there was any reason for the prime minister to explode in such a way. Pointing out that the withdrawal of troops from Cyprus will rid Turkey of a great burden, Ovur dismisses the supposition that the regional balances will be upset if the troops are withdrawn, adding: "The balances in the region are changing. Turkey's position in the region is gaining importance. Its importance as a strategic country is increasing. Which country would risk clashing with Turkey having such a position?' Arguing that the Greek Cypriots will be hit by "friendly fire," Ovur explains that one of the reasons for the economic crisis in Greece is the burden of the defence, infrastructure, and transportation expenditures of the Greek Cypriot sector.

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News (13.02.10), Yusuf Kanli relates the luncheon Prime Minister Erdogan held with the ambassadors of EU member countries, in which he expressed his views on the EP report, and the reaction of the ambassadors to Erdogan's aggressive style.

    Expounding his views on the European Parliament's resolution about Turkey in an article entitled "They are not blind, but there is no place for Turkey in their world," Milli Gazete (13.02.10) columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan argues that the Turkish public must realize that the EU will never admit Turkey as a member. Stressing that the economic crisis which hit Greece has shown that joining the EU would not yield significant benefits for Turkey, he comments: "Efforts to achieve membership in the EU will be totally futile due to certain conditions. The EU will get what it wants from us but will not admit it as a member. We will lose everything without realizing it while trying to get much from the EU."

    Hurriyet Daily News (12.02.10) carries the second instalment of an article penned by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who argues that "Turkey's membership in the European Union will only help render the latter a leading global player in the 21st century." Focusing on the added value inherent in Turkey's EU accession, Davutoglu stresses, however, that the political obstacles Turkey is facing "in stark contradiction to the commonly agreed framework for the negotiations" undermines the credibility of the EU. Davutoglu concludes by stressing Turkey's commitment to the EU process and its determination to advance the reform agenda.

    In an article entitled "One minute, European Parliament!", Today's Zaman columnist (12.02.10) Yavuz Baydar criticizes the European Parliament for its "sheer short sightedness on Cyprus" indicated by its demand that Turkey "facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations by immediately starting to withdraw its forces from Cyprus ..."

    b) Iran's Nuclear Program:

    In an article in Radikal (14.02.10), Erdal Guven views "Turkey's difficult test" in taking sides with regard to the sanctions that will most likely be imposed against Iran following Iranian President Ahmadinezhad's instructions to begin work on uranium enrichment. Noting that Ankara practically turned a blind eye to Ahmadinezhad's recent move, Guven points out that Turkey is against actions that will place Iran outside the system. Ankara will probably first insist on reaching a new arrangement between Iran and the West, writes Guven and adds that Turkey is being drifted to an option that it objects. Recalling that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will soon visit Tehran Guven concludes that, for the moment, the most sensible move would be to adopt a creative neutral stance and conduct low-profile diplomacy.

    According to a report entitled "Davutoglu's message to Europeans about Iran: Do not heighten tension" in Zaman (14.02.10), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has told an European counterpart that he would discuss the nuclear dispute between Iran and the West during his visit to Teheran next week, emphasizing that escalating the conflict would not be in the both interests of both sides. The report says that Davutoglu seems determined to make efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis without resorting to sanctions.

    Highlighting Western plans to impose new sanctions on Iran in an article entitled "Iran and sanctions," Zaman (14.02.10) columnist Fikret Ertan comments: "It is clearly seen that Iran does not take the sanctions into consideration; they are not sufficient to change Iran's stance; and Iran can find a way to circumvent them. But, the United States and its allies still insist on this option. The sanctions have not yielded any result and they will not be successful in the future."

    Viewing the nuclear ambitions of the Iranian regime and its defiance of the world in an article in Radikal (13.02.10), Ayse Karabat notes that the Iranian officials will soon catch up with the North Koreans in the "hostility Olympics." Summing up the dire economic situation in the country as a result of the embargoes, Karabat claims that further sanctions will affect the suffering people and not the administrators who are after nuclear power. Focusing on the human rights violations in the country, Karabat writes that the opponents of the regime are calling on the international community to denounce the Iranian regime for these violations and not for its nuclear activities, adding: "However, as usual these cries do not reach the ears that have been deafened by high international politics and by calculations of 'neighbourly' relations."

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News (12.02.10), Semih Idiz views the "dangerously defiant game" of Iran and argues that Turkey with its pro-Iranian stand on the Iranian nuclear program has undermined its chances for mediation on the issue. Foreign Minister Davutoglu's mission to Teheran will be a critical one, writes Idiz, arguing that if he cannot produce any results, Turkey's image as a rising regional power can be tarnished.

    Summing up the situation in Iran in an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar writes that if the current Iranian regime is resorting to the brute force of its security forces and to the censorship of communication instruments to remain in power, as seen during the 11 February celebrations, this means that it is in serious trouble. Drawing attention to the close link between Turkey's approach to the developments in Iran and the AKP government's relations with the West, Candar underlines Washington's concern over Turkey's stand regarding Iran's nuclear program. Indifference to human rights violations in Iran and support for its nuclear program will not enhance Turkey's image in the world, affirms Candar, concluding that Turkey can reap no benefits from such a foreign policy image be it in the international field or in the region.

    Finally, viewing the green light given by Iranian President Ahmadinez had on uranium enrichment in an article in Radikal, Erdal Guven declares that the joint front formed by Washington and Brussels against Iran to impose new sanctions was not unexpected, adding that what was unexpected was the stand adopted by Russia, a stand that has approached the US-EU position. Recalling that until now Russia did not share the West's concerns about Iran's nuclear program, Guven argues that the recent statements issued by the Russian administration give the impression that in the period ahead Russia might act together with the United States and EU on the issue of additional sanctions. Interpreting this to mean that one of the strongest shields between Iran and the West will thus be eliminated, Guven wonders what the Chinese stand will be on the issue, predicting that it might be difficult to convince China to abstain from using its veto power at the UN Security Council.

    EG/


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