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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-03-15

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. 49/10 13-15.03.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Downer interviewed by the illegal BRT
  • [02] Downer meets self-styled foreign minister
  • [03] Talat states that the ECHR decision proved the international recognition of the immovable property commission
  • [04] Talat says he might meet with Hillary Clinton in Europe
  • [05] Eight candidates to run for the illegal presidential elections of April 18 in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [06] Eroglu calls those who believe in the reality of the TRNC to support him during the illegal presidential elections
  • [07] Ertugruloglu says he told Gul and Erdogan that he would announce his candidature and they did not tell him not to do it; He alleges that it is not possible for the negotiations to reach to a result at this stage
  • [08] Ertugruloglu was expelled from UBP
  • [09] Avci supports the establishment of a new partnership by two constituent states of equal status
  • [10] Rauf Denktas alleges that the winner of the so-called elections in occupied Cyprus will be the candidate who will support the idea of my state, my sovereignty and continuation of Turkeys guarantorship
  • [11] Mehmet Caglar to participate in a meeting of the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Paris
  • [12] Self-styled minister of tourism invites German journalists to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [13] Adana Chamber of Commerce holds contacts in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [14] The occupation regime laid the foundation of a treatment plant on the private property of a Maronite
  • [15] Erdogan due to London; Focus to be given on EU and Cyprus issues
  • [16] Turkeys SHP and EDP have been merged
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [17] From the Turkish Press of 12, 13 and 14 March 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Downer interviewed by the illegal BRT

    Illegal Bayrak television (12.03.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The United Nations Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, has said that an accelerated fragile solution to the Cyprus problem might turn into a catastrophe for Cyprus. It is better to have a slow negotiations process which will result in a lasting and strong solution, Downer said during an interview to the BRT.

    The UN Envoy said the issue of guarantees involves three guarantor powers in Cyprus and that the issues should be discussed at a quintet summit to be attended also by the two sides in Cyprus. However, he noted that guarantor powers Turkey, Greece and Britain have differing views over the issue.

    The Envoy reiterated the UNs desire for a solution on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation which will have a single international identity.Answering a question on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision, concerning the Immoveable Property Commission set up in the TRNC, he said the decision proved the fact that litigation is not an easy answer and that the issue needs to be resolved at the table.

    [02] Downer meets self-styled foreign minister

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The United Nations Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, was received by Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun yesterday. Speaking at the beginning of the meeting, Minister Ozgurgun said they would evaluate the latest developments concerning the Cyprus peace process. No statement was issued after the meeting.

    Downers agenda also included a meeting with the Cyprus Turkish think-tank institution Besparmak Group but the meeting was cancelled, as Downer did not arrive at the meeting venue. Speaking on the development, member of the Besparmak Group Ergun Olgun protested Downers stance and said they might write a letter to the UN Secretary-General over the incident. He said group members were waiting at the venue on time and they were not previously informed about the cancellation or the postponement of the meeting. I was told by Downers advisor that Mr Downer did not come to the meeting because his appointment with Minister Ozgurgun took longer than expected, Olgun went on saying.

    [03] Talat states that the ECHR decision proved the international recognition of the immovable property commission

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.03.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) proved the international recognition of the TRNCs Immoveable Property Commission. He noted that the decision has actually established a new ground for settling the Property issue that involves exchange and restitution of properties as well as the compensation, where these are the remedy methods the Property Commission is applying.

    In his speech at the gathering of the Union of the Chambers of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects today, Talat stressed that the ECHRs decision introduced a new case law, differing from the one introduced in the Loizidou case which forced Turkey to pay compensation to the former Greek Cypriot property owner. The President emphasized that success is always there to come as long as the Cyprus Turkish policy does not challenge against the international law and order.

    [04] Talat says he might meet with Hillary Clinton in Europe

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.03.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that he might meet with the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in Europe, if the latter plans to visit Europe within the next few days.

    In statements to Ada television after the submission of his candidature, Mr Talat was asked on why he rejected the invitation made to him by Mrs Clinton. He replied the following:

    Going to the USA and coming back means four days. We are in the eve of elections. These four days are important and besides the importance of these four days, this could allow some speculations to be made. For this reason I did not think that it was correct to accept this invitation. After that, they said to me: Very well Mr Talat, could you come when Mrs Clinton comes to Europe? And I said that this could happen, but we should arrange such an hour for the meeting that I could go in the morning and return in the evening or the latest in the morning of the next day. If we succeed this, we could evaluate this situation, I said. This could happen if they could come to Europe these days. If they will not come, this is meaningless. This was the situation and we explained the realities of why we were forced to reject this kindly.

    Replying to another question, Mr Talat said that progress has been achieved in the negotiations and added this is also said by the UN Secretary-General, his Special Envoy to Cyprus and by President Christofias even though the latter does not want to say it.

    Mr Talat went on and said: Suppose that absolutely no progress was made. When you compare with the past the picture, the acceptability and the respect of the Turkish Cypriots in the world today, what is the picture you have? The Turkish Cypriots, who in the past were seen as an intransigent people who were a puppet and did not want peace, today are seen in the world as a people who want peace, desire to be united with the world and are be unjustly treated by being isolated. Look at the contacts held within the past one year and the contacts made during the past forty years. Within one year we almost held more contacts than those held during the process of the past forty years and we did this without being criticized. At the places we go they do not tell us why you are not showing flexibility Mr Talat, why are you not agreeing? However, pressure was exerted on the Turkish side in the past. We have a very big difference with the past. All these happened thanks to our correct policies.

    Asked on what image will be created for him in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus by the fact that the Turkish settlers in the occupied areas of the island have already expressed their support to him for the elections, Mr Talat said that according to their records the number of the settlers who were born in the occupied areas of Cyprus and married to Turkish Cypriots is less than 50 thousands.

    We have conveyed to the Greek Cypriot side that we do not want to turn our citizens into an issue of bargaining, he noted, adding that the numbers they gave in the talks caused a surprise to the Greek Cypriot side because it expected much higher numbers.

    According to the Greek Cypriot side, the children born here and even their children should be included in this number, but such a thing does not exist in any other place in the world, he alleged adding that bargain on this issue will be made.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Eight candidates to run for the illegal presidential elections of April 18 in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.03.10) broadcast the following:

    TRNC High Electoral Council has announced the temporary candidates for the Presidential elections. Eight applications have been made to the High Electoral Council by candidates who are to stand in Aprils Presidential elections. TRNC citizens were able to file official objections to the presidential candidates until 5 p.m. today.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, UBP deputy Tahsin Ertugruloglu, Arif Salih Kirdag, Retired Colonel Mustafa Kemal Tumkan, Zeki Besiktepeli, Ayhan Kaymak and Serap Tezcan applied to the Council on Friday to register their candidacy. All candidates, except Eroglu, are independent. The final list of the presidential candidates will be made public by the Council tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, the TRNC High Electoral Council has declared that the electoral rolls in [occupied] Lefkosia, Gazimagusa [occupied Famagusta], Girne [occupied Keryneia], Guzelyurt [occupied Morfou] and Iskele [occupied Trikomo] are being announced today. They will remain on the board for seven days.

    [06] Eroglu calls those who believe in the reality of the TRNC to support him during the illegal presidential elections

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.03.10) broadcast the following:

    The National Unity Party Presidential candidate (UBP) and Prime Minister, Dervis Eroglu, visited some villages in the Girne [occupied Keryneia] region yesterday as part of his election campaign. Speaking during his visits, Mr Eroglu asked the citizens who believe in the reality of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for their support in the elections even if they are under the roof of different political parties. He also said that the election is related with the future of the Turks of Cyprus and the TRNC.

    Noting that the negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will continue in case of his election as president, Mr Eroglu said that the person who will sit at the negotiations table should protect the rights of the Turks of Cyprus.

    In addition, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (15.03.10) reports the following:

    Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister, Dervis Eroglu, has suggested that the candidacy of Tahsin Ertugruloglu, a member of his own National Unity Party (UBP), could work in favour of incumbent Mehmet Ali Talat during next months presidential elections. Pro-reunification Talat and hard-liner Eroglu both applied to the Higher Election Board of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) to officially register their candidacy on Friday. Ertugruloglu, who declared his candidacy in the April 18 elections late on Thursday following a visit to Turkey and lengthy talks with Eroglu, registered his candidacy later in the day. There were seven independent candidates in total who were registered as of Saturday, including Talat and Ertugruloglu. Only Eroglu is running as his partys candidate.

    Campaigning in Girne [occupied Cyrenaica] on Saturday, Eroglu said Ertugruloglus candidacy was unacceptable, recalling that Ertugruloglu had been among the UBP members who lent support to Eroglus candidacy. [Ertugruloglu] has emerged as a wild card for Talat due to motivations by some circles, Eroglu said without elaborating, the Anatolia news agency reported. There are some circles who want to prevent him from being elected in the first round, he added.

    Analysts say Ertugruloglus candidacy is likely to erode support for Eroglu and thus may pave the way for Talats victory. The Turkish government has declared that it does not favour any of the candidates, but Talats re-election is likely to be the preferred outcome for Ankara, which wants a settlement to be reached on the divided island, something observers say hard-liner Eroglu is unlikely to push for.

    Last week, when asked to comment on expectations that Ertugruloglus candidacy would reduce votes for Eroglu, Talat said that was not a foregone conclusion. Anyone can be a candidate, and Mr Ertugruloglu became a candidate, he told reporters after submitting his official application to the election board. He could divide the votes for Eroglu or for me. We will see what his candidacy will lead to. On Saturday, Ertugruloglu challenged both Eroglu and Talat, saying he is running for the presidency because he believes he would be a better president than either of them, Anatolia reported.

    At a press conference in [occupied] Lefkosia, Ertugruloglu was asked whether he had declared his candidacy because he wanted to become president or because he wanted to prevent Eroglu from becoming president. Ertugruloglu answered that those who know [him] should also know that [he] wouldnt engage in those kinds of trivial politics, adding: I took this road because I believe that I will perform better as a president than both Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and Mr Dervis Eroglu.

    Expectations that Ertugruloglus candidacy will undermine support for Eroglu have raised speculation that Ertugruloglu was encouraged by the Turkish government to increase the likelihood of Talats re-election. Last week, Eroglu dismissed the suggestions, saying, Ankara is out of this. He said the fact that Ertugruloglu had been in Ankara for talks before declaring his candidacy was irrelevant because he himself had also visited Ankara recently.

    [07] Ertugruloglu says he told Gul and Erdogan that he would announce his candidature and they did not tell him not to do it; He alleges that it is not possible for the negotiations to reach to a result at this stage

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.03.10) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, MP of the National Unity Party (UBP) and candidate in the so-called presidential elections to be held on 18 April in the occupied areas of Cyprus, has said that during his meetings with President Gul and the Prime Minister Erdogan in Ankara, he informed them about his intention to announce his candidature for the elections and they did not tell him do not do such a thing.

    In statements on Saturday at a hotel in the occupied part of Lefkosia regarding his candidature, Mr Ertugruloglu said he held very valuable meetings with Mr Erdogan and Mr Gul and argued that these meetings show the trust in him and the value they give him.

    Mr Ertugruloglu noted that he did not threaten Mr Eroglu saying, Either you make me prime minister or you will pay the price. He said that he only asked for his rights as the last president of the UBP and added that if his proposal was accepted, he would be president until the congress of the party to be held in November.

    He said he announced his candidature because he believes that he could be a better president than Mr Talat and Mr Eroglu.

    Mr Ertugruloglu noted that in case he is elected, he will continue the negotiations, but the important thing is the content of the negotiations, not their continuation. Mr Ertugruloglu accused Mr Talat of making concessions in the negotiations, but no agreement was reached, because this is not the intention of the other side. Mr Ertugruloglu alleged that everybody knows that it is not possible for the negotiations to reach a result at this stage.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Ertugruloglu was expelled from UBP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.03.10), in its front page under the title UBP: Ertugruloglus party membership was dropped, reports that the General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), Irsen Kucuk, in a statement after the party assemblys meeting, said that from the moment that Ertugruloglu submitted his candidacy for the forthcoming presidential elections in April, he lost his membership from UBP according to UBPs regulation.

    Mr Kucuk also said that UBPS seats in the so-called assembly have dropped now from 26 to 25.

    (DPs)

    [09] Avci supports the establishment of a new partnership by two constituent states of equal status

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.03.10) broadcast the following:

    The Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) has decided to support one of the eight current presidential candidates but the name will be announced next week.

    Speaking after the meeting of the ORP central executive board, the Partys Leader, Turgay Avci, said economic richness, security and the cooperation with motherland Turkey have been set as priorities while deciding on who to support in the presidential race.

    On the Cyprus solution process, Avci referred to the establishment of a new partnership by two constituent states of equal status and emphasized that the continuation of Turkeys active and effective guarantee is a sine qua non.Separately, the Association of the Veteran Commanders also prepares to announce its stance. The Head of the Associations Executive Board, Hasan Keskin, expressed the view that the views of political parties, and not the individuals, will be reflected on the election polls. He said President Mehmet Ali Talat set off on negotiations with the phrases of single sovereignty, single state and single personality but later came to a point to accept the election of Cyprus Turkish politicians by Greek Cypriots. Keskin went on saying that they were shocked by Tahsin Ertugruloglus candidacy and called on him to review his decision.

    [10] Rauf Denktas alleges that the winner of the so-called elections in occupied Cyprus will be the candidate who will support the idea of my state, my sovereignty and continuation of Turkeys guarantorship

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.03.10) reports on statements made by the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas on the so-called presidential elections to be held in occupied Cyprus. Responding to reporters questions in Bursa, Turkey, Mr Denktas expressed the belief that the presidential elections will be held in two rounds with Mehmet Ali Talat running against either Dervis Eroglu, or Tahsin Ertugruloglu.

    Noting that among the candidates who will make it to the second round will be those who support my state, my sovereignty and continuation of Turkeys guarantorship, Mr Denktas added that in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus there is a majority of 77% of the population which bears these ideas and this portion of population will vote for the side which supports those beliefs.

    (ML)

    [11] Mehmet Caglar to participate in a meeting of the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights in Paris

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (15.03.10) reports that the so-called deputy of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Mehmet Caglar is flying on Monday, March 15th, 2010 to Paris in order to attend a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). According to information obtained by the so-called assembly in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Caglar will participate in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of PACE. Mehmet Caglar will return to the occupied areas on March 19th, 2010.

    (ML)

    [12] Self-styled minister of tourism invites German journalists to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.02.10) broadcast the following:

    The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture Hamza Ersan Saner, who was in Berlin for the worlds largest travel and tourism trade fair the International Tourism Exchange, held a press conference for German journalists. The Minister said the goal is to increase the number of German tourists arriving in the TRNC. He noted that Austria is also a priority for them.Praising the rich historical heritage owned by the country, the Minister invited the journalists to the TRNC to see the beauties themselves. A slide show was also displayed for the journalists, which showed the historical and cultural beauties of the TRNC.

    Minister Saner has returned to the TRNC upon the completion of his contacts in Berlin.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (14.03.10) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus stand wins an award in ITB Berlin 2010 which ends today. The TRNC stand, which was designed in the shape of a typical Mediterranean house, won the best European stand award at the fair, the largest global exhibition in the field of tourism and travel.

    Last year the TRNC won the same award. The award was received by the Director of the TRNC Promotion and Marketing Department Dervis Gezer and Tourism Attaché in Germany Onal Dorak.

    Greece and Switzerland, which came second and third in the same category, also received awards.

    ITB Berlin the biggest professional tourism convention worldwide attracts tens of thousands of visitors, exhibitors and media representatives every year.

    [13] Adana Chamber of Commerce holds contacts in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.03.10) broadcast the following:

    A delegation from the Turkey-based Adana Chamber of Commerce (ADASO) arrived in the TRNC to discuss ways of cooperation with the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (KTTO).

    Receiving the delegation yesterday, Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu underlined the importance of cooperation between the two Chambers and said this is in benefit of the TRNC economy.

    Welcoming the delegation earlier, KTTO President Gunay Cerkez said, in case of a settlement, the Chamber will still seek for co-operation with Turkey while making trade with South Cyprus. He underlined the fact that Turkey remains as the biggest partner of the TRNC both in terms of export and import.In his speech, Adana Chambers President Saban Bas stressed that the policy of imposition, as seen in the European Parliaments latest report on Turkey, does not help the Cyprus resolution but rather encourages the non-solution. He reminded that the TRNC was established to ensure the Cyprus Turkish right on sovereignty.

    Furthermore, illegal Bayrak television (12.03.10) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA) held an information meeting with a delegation from the Adana Chamber of Commerce (ADASO) which is having contacts in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    The YAGA Director Ayse Donmezer provided detailed information to the delegation on economy, investment climate and investment opportunities in the country.

    Delivering a speech at the meeting, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry (KTSO) Ali Cirali underlined the need to intensify contacts between businessmen from Turkey and the TRNC to improve economic cooperation between the two countries further.

    For his part, the President of the Board of Directors of the Adana Chamber of Commerce Saban Bas said that the aim of their visit is to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. On the Cyprus issue, he voiced the Chambers support to the policies being pursued by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus at the negotiation process and to a solution to be based on the equality of the two communities in all fields.

    [14] The occupation regime laid the foundation of a treatment plant on the private property of a Maronite

    Under the banner headline Scandal, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.03.10) in its front-page reports that the occupation regime on 21st February 2010 laid the foundation of a treatment plant at the occupied village of Asomatos.

    According to the paper, the immovable property belongs to the Maronite woman Yannoula Orphanou, who is objected to the expropriation of her land.

    (DPs)

    [15] Erdogan due to London; Focus to be given on EU and Cyprus issues

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (15.03.10) reports the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to depart for London today for an official two-day visit focused on Turkeys struggling bid to join the European Union as well as on the Cyprus issue.

    Yet a bill introduced to the British House of Commons in January that would set April 24 as a national commemoration day for an alleged Armenian genocide is likely to steal time from discussions between British and Turkish officials, as Turkey is already angry over two separate votes in a US House committee and the Swedish parliament recognizing the killings of Anatolian Armenians during World War I as genocide.

    Like Sweden, Britain is one of Ankaras strongest backers on issues such as Turkeys desire to join the EU. Ankara has recalled its ambassadors in Stockholm and Washington for consultations.

    While in London, Erdogan will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister, Cemil Cicek, Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, State Minister and chief EU negotiator, Egemen Bagis, and Foreign Trade Minister, Zafer Caglayan.

    The bill in the House of Commons, which was sponsored by Andrew Dismore from the Labour party and was read for first time in January, will be read for a second time on April 30 and be printed later. In order to become a law, the bill must be approved by the House of Lords and obtain the queens approval.

    As April 24, the day commemorated by Armenians as the anniversary of an alleged 1915 genocide, approaches, a motion on the recognition of the alleged genocide has been introduced in the Spanish parliament, Armenian media reported. The sponsors of the document are representatives of the Republican Left from Catalonia and three deputies from the Initiative for Catalonia Greens, reports said.

    [16] Turkeys SHP and EDP have been merged

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.03.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Two social democrat parties in Turkey merged on Saturday. The Social Democrat People's Party (SHP) and Equality and Democracy Party (EDP) joined their forces under EDP's umbrella in an extraordinary convention in Ankara. The new chairman of the party became Ziya Halis.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [17] From the Turkish Press of 12, 13 and 14 March 2010

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

    a) ECHR ruling on property issues in Cyprus:

    Tugay Ulucevik, retired ambassador and former government agent in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in an article in Cumhuriyet (14.03.10), disagrees with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu who view the ECHR's decision to the effect that the Immovable Property Commission (TMK) is authorized to handle property issues as a victory. Ulucevik stresses that the ECHR ruling asserts that it continues to view Turkey as an occupying country that it does not recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and that it views the TMK as the institution of the defendant state --in other words, Turkey.

    b) Imam schools in occupied Cyprus:

    Front-paged in Vakit (13.03.10) is a report entitled Open Imam-Hatip schools in Cyprus as soon as possible, which quotes Ahmet Yonluer, former Religious Affairs Chairman of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, as saying that President Gul, Prime Minister Erdogan, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu should address occupied Cyprus need for spiritual education by having Koran courses and imam-hatip schools in the occupied areas of the island.

    Front-paged in Vakit (12.03.10) is a report entitled Not even the British carried out such tyranny, which provides highlights from an interview with Shaykh Nazim Kibrisi, a prominent religious leader in Cyprus, who sharply criticizes the restrictions on the exercise of religious freedoms in the occupied areas of Cyprus as well as the secularist mentality of the illegal authorities on the island.

    c) Reaction against US and Swedish resolutions supporting Armenian genocide claims:

    With the adoption of the Armenian genocide bill by the US Congress the rapprochement process between Turkey and Armenia has been obstructed, asserts Ferai Tinc in Hurriyet (14.03.10) and argues that if the protocol between Turkey and Armenia had been prepared with the approval of Russia and Azerbaijan and if the protocols had not merely aimed at rescuing the US Administration that had been stuck between Turkey and its Armenian electorate, the efforts could have been much more comprehensive. Also criticizing the Turkish Foreign Ministry for displaying superficial reaction to the adoption of the bill and for having failed to make any strategic preparations in the face of various probabilities, Tinc emphasizes that the government should be able to display effective reaction without totally freezing the rapprochement process with Armenia.

    According to a report by Sah Tanyeri in Sabah (14.03.10), following the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association's (TUSIAD) decision to cancel its trip to the United States due to the adoption of the Armenian genocide bill, the Turkish-American Business Council (TAIK) and the American Turkish Council have also begun to consider cancelling their annual joint meeting in Washington slated for April 11-14. The report says that while some TAIK members stress that the meeting should be cancelled, other members believe that this is the time for stronger dialogue.

    Oral Calislar, viewing the recent developments regarding the Armenian genocide claims in an article in Radikal (14.03.10), maintains that "it is primarily necessary to develop the ties between Turkey and Armenia for placing this issue on healthy grounds." As the Turkish-Armenian ties undergo further normalization, the importance and the effect of the decisions reached by foreign countries will decrease, argues Calislar and adds: "The 'Turkish-Armenian normalization protocol' had therefore been a good opportunity. Unfortunately, however, the government has not been able to stand behind the protocol and it has led the process to a deadlock with meaningless pretexts. It is impossible to prevent such decisions by sleeping at the gates of the parliaments of leading world countries." Calislar also criticizes the Justice and Development Party, AKP, government for pursuing "a meaningless tension policy."

    In an article in Radikal (14.03.10) Cengiz Candar criticizes Turkey's foreign policy. It is wrong to harm the ties with the United States just because a subcommittee has adopted the Armenian genocide bill and to cancel the prime minister's visit to Stockholm just because of an absurd resolution has been adopted by the Swedish Parliament, emphasizes Candar and also slams the government for linking the protocols signed with Armenia to the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. To link this issue to the "Azerbaijan-Armenia-Turkey" triangle merely complicates the solution of the problem and obstructs the normalization of the ties between Turkey and Armenia, underlines Candar.

    Drawing attention to the unsolved problems at home, Candar warns that "if steps that will strengthen Turkey in the international arena are not taken and if the nationalist rhetoric that has not achieved results in foreign policy for decades is readopted by Turkey, in addition to the ruling party the entire Turkey will remain under it." Candar calls on Erdogan and his government to ask conduct self-criticism.

    Drawing attention to the criticism expressed against Foreign Minister Davutoglu for pursuing a foreign policy that lacks priorities and for constantly rushing around, Radikal's Murat Yetkin (14.03.10), in an article, also refers to the criticism to the effect that Davutoglu travels so much that he does not have time to read the reports or the encrypted messages sent to him. Talking about the foreign minister's academic background and praising his profound knowledge, Yetkin speaks in favour of the "zero problems with the neighbours" policy, adding that this policy shows that Turkey still pursues a foreign policy that is based on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's goal of "peace at home and peace in the world." Dividing Turkey's foreign policy into three eras and explaining that the third era has begun with the Helsinki summit in 1999 when Turkey's candidacy for EU membership had been approved, Yetkin describes the National Program for the EU membership as the first written document on Turkey's strategic goals and adds: "The National Program has been the decisive framework of all the steps taken at home and abroad since 1999. It is possible to see all the pains suffered in Turkey today within the same framework. Davutoglu is the 'rushing' foreign minister of this painful period."

    In a commentary in Cumhuriyet (14.03.10), Cuneyt Arcayurek draws attention to the failure of the "zero problems with the neighbours policy" and says: "Azerbaijan is angry with Turkey. The Cyprus issue is once again at the centre of non solution. There is also the concern that Mehmet Ali Talat, who carries out all the instructions given by Ankara, will not be re-elected. No progress has been made with Athens. Progress has only been made with Iran, the world of mullahs. The problems have not been reduced to zero." Arguing that following the United States and Sweden other countries will also recognize the Armenian genocide claims, Arcayurek underlines that it is impossible to solve this problem by calling back the ambassadors and that decisions that will hurt the countries that recognize the Armenian genocide are required.

    If you stop speaking to the entire world due to the Armenian issue in 2010 and if you call back your ambassadors one after the other, you will weaken yourself, maintains Ahmet Altan in an article in Taraf (14.03.10) and, drawing attention to the fact that the state has not been able to resolve the Armenian issue, the Kurdish problem, or the Cyprus problem, says: "Wise men have been governing the country for 50 years and given that they are very wise they have not been able to resolve any of the problems. This is because you cannot solve the problems, if you do not go beyond the framework that has been drawn. Those frameworks are wrong. I need a mad man --a mad man who will change the framework."

    According to a report entitled "He will caution personally" in Yeni Safak (14.03.10), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will caution his British counterpart about rumours that a motion supporting claims that Ottoman Armenians were subjected to genocide in 1915 may be tabled in the British Parliament during his visit to the United Kingdom which is scheduled to begin tomorrow. The same report notes that Swedish Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt yesterday called Erdogan to assure him that his government would not allow a similar resolution recently passed by the Swedish Parliament to have a negative effect on bilateral relations.

    In an article entitled "Wise men's advice," Yeni Safak columnist (14.03.10) Fehmi Koru argues for taking a prudent approach to the pro-Armenian resolutions rather than overreacting to the measures ratified in the United States and Sweden. Pointing out that the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, is making efforts to resolve the issue rather than ignoring it, Koru comments: "What Turkey should now do is to remind the public and politicians in the countries concerned that their attitudes could make it difficult to find a solution to the problem."

    In an article entitled "Treachery rather than fraternity," Vakit columnist (14.03.10) Lutfu Oflaz praises Nationalist Action Party leader Devlet Bahceli for saying that Turkey should close down Incirlik Air Base in response to the resolution passed by a committee of the US House of Representatives. Asserting that the base is being used like an aircraft carrier for attacking Muslim countries, Oflaz concludes by saying: "If we are sincere about Islam, independence, and nationalism, we must dismantle US military bases on our soil."

    In an article entitled "We will not back down, but what should we do?" Milli Gazete columnist (14.03.10) Abdulkadir Ozkan asks whether Prime Minister Erdogan who has cancelled his scheduled visit to Sweden will also put off his upcoming visit to the United States in April, adding that he would take an incoherent stance if he does not. Pointing out that similar moves to be coupled with an information campaign to be launched in various countries would yield successful results, Ozkan says: "We should first get rid of the feeling of being weak and helpless against the West. We should know that the United States may sometimes need Turkey more than it is needed by Turkey."

    A report entitled "TUSIAD puts off America tour because it would be futile" in Hurriyet (13.02.10) quotes Umit Boyner, Chairperson of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association, as saying that they have decided to postpone a visit to the United States scheduled for next week because it would not be productive at a time "when doors of dialogue are closed." The report ascribes TUSIAD's decision to an instruction reportedly issued by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ministers and party officials to cancel their planned visits to the United States in response to the ratification of the pro-Armenian resolution.

    A report entitled "I apologize to Turkish people" in Hurriyet (13.03.10) quotes Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt as expressing his concern that the Swedish Parliament's decision may hurt bilateral relations with Turkey. Bildt added: "The resolution is against our foreign policy. I share US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's opinion. This issue should be left to historians and politicians should not interfere."

    In an article entitled "Overreaction must be avoided," Milliyet columnist (13.03.10) Sami Kohen says that the Turkish Government is inclined to keep Namik Tan, Turkish Ambassador to the United States who has been recalled in response to the House committee's resolution, in Ankara until April 24. He concludes by saying: "Such reactions must be kept at a reasonable level and messages should be issued by effectively using existing channels and in a manner without hurting relations. Recalling Namik Tan to Ankara for 'consultations' already conveyed a message to Washington and it was clearly understood by the US Government. Keeping the Ambassador in Ankara until 24 April would not yield further benefits."

    In an article entitled "Road map of the United States," Cumhuriyet columnist (13.03.10) Hikmet Cetinkaya says that US officials believe that Erdogan's critical remarks about the pro-Armenian resolution are only intended to appease the supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party, (AKP), and that Turkey will reopen its border crossing with Armenia, send more troops to Afghanistan, and extend diplomatic recognition to the Kurdish State in northern Iraq. Analyzing passages cited from a report issued by Stratfor which, he says, is described as the shadow of the CIA, Cetinkaya says: "On the one hand, the United States regards Turkey as an ally, but on the other, it is opposed to the furtherance of its relations with Iran. The United States finds Turkey's strengthened position in the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Middle East 'dangerous. These are a part of the scenario put on stage. The United States, therefore, likes the AKP very much and wants it to follow the road map that it has given."

    In an article entitled "Policies change, reactions remain the same", Yeni Safak columnist (13.03.10) Fehmi Koru criticizes the ruling AKP for recalling Turkey's ambassadors to the United States and Sweden in response to these countries' adoption of resolutions recognizing the 1915 events in Ottoman Turkey as genocide of the Armenians. He describes the AKP's reaction as being of a "customary" sort that is likely to backfire and that has never been seen to produce the desired results before, adding that one expects the Erdogan government to use a different style in keeping with "the new diplomacy language it has been employing for a long time now." He also poses such questions as whether the relationship between Turkey and the United States could justifiably be defined as a "model partnership" or "strategic partnership" if it is of a kind that can be damaged by a foreign policy committee's adoption of such a resolution and whether in recalling Turkey's ambassadors, the Government is not depriving its diplomats in the United States and Sweden of leadership at a time when Turkey is supposed to formulate its arguments more forcefully and persuasively than ever.

    EG/


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