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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-03-17

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. 51/10 17.03.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Christofias and Talat held their 70th meeting in the framework of the negotiations for Cyprus settlement
  • [02] Talat will discuss Cyprus talks with Turkish officials in Ankara
  • [03] Ercakica said that Turkish Cypriots consider the guarantees to be of vital importance
  • [04] Joint press conference between Erdogan and Brown
  • [05] Erdogan warned that Cyprus can become a political tumor for EU
  • [06] Bagis discusses the Cyprus talks, Turkeys EU accession course and the illegal elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus with Bryant in London
  • [07] Turkish Foreign Ministry says Spain continues its efforts regarding its proposal for a quintet summit
  • [08] Ertugruloglu alleges that the ground of the Cyprus talks should change in order for a result to be taken
  • [09] Ertugruloglu asks the support of TDP and ORP; Cakici: Let me give you my answer after going for five minutes to Ankara and coming back
  • [10] Serdar Denktas rejects the establishment of a coalition government with UBP and alleges that Tahsin Ertugruloglu will take a significant percentage of votes from Talat and Eroglu
  • [11] Eroglu reiterates that he will try to keep the occupation regime alive forever
  • [12] AKP sends election buses to the occupied areas to support Talats candidature
  • [13] The Embargoed Group organized a seminar in the House of Lords regarding the latest developments on the property issue in Cyprus
  • [14] The vice-president of European Universities Association to visit occupied Cyprus in order to give briefing on the process of the evaluation programs of EUA
  • [15] St. Catherine church in occupied Lefkosia will be reopened as a mosque
  • [16] Jack Straw: Armenian bill will not be adopted
  • [17] Turkish and African businessmen convened in Istanbul
  • [18] Pipeline agreement between Turkey and Iraq is renewed
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [19] From the Turkish Press of 16 March 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Christofias and Talat held their 70th meeting in the framework of the negotiations for Cyprus settlement

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.03.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias have met again to continue their talks with the aim of settling the Cyprus problem.

    In a short statement at the end of the meeting, the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said that the two leaders held further discussions on the topic of EU Matters.

    The UN Envoy said that the two leaders continued their discussions on the chapter of EU matters, adding that their senior aides will meet again on Friday to hold more talks on the issue.

    He said that the next meeting between the leaders will be held on March 30th, when a break will be given to the talks because of the TRNC Presidential elections.

    Responding to a question whether an announcement will be made at the end of that meeting, the envoy said `there is no clarity over that`.

    Meanwhile, speaking on his return to the presidential palace, President Talat said that it is possible to issue a joint declaration at the end of the last meeting to be held on the 30th of March if they reach to an intended point.

    He also added that they did not discuss the issue of economy today as the Greek Cypriot Sides committee on economy did not attend the meeting.

    [02] Talat will discuss Cyprus talks with Turkish officials in Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.03.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat will be flying to Ankara tomorrow for talks with Turkish Leaders. During his stay in the Turkish capital, President Talat will hold discussions with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on course of the Cyprus negotiation process. The President will also meet with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    The visit was announced by Presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica at his weekly press briefing today.

    The spokesperson said that the UN Envoy Alexander Downers contacts in Ankara and Athens and the Turkish Prime Ministers foreign contacts will also be taken up during the Presidents discussions with Turkish leaders.

    On the Cyprus negotiation process, Mr Ercakica pointed out that President Talat and Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias will have another meeting on the 30th of March, which is the last scheduled meeting between the two leaders.

    He said the international community is expecting an announcement to be made on the progress achieved so far at the talks at the end of that meeting, adding that the Turkish Side is in favor of such a move in spite of the fact that it could lead to speculations as the TRNC Presidential elections is approaching.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (online, 17.03.10), reports, inter alia, the following:

    Ercakica spoke yesterday following the 70th meeting between Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, during which the two leaders discussed a peaceful solution to the division of Cyprus. Stating that the talks with Turkish officials will focus heavily on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, Ercakica also said the KKTC president will discuss issues related to Spains international initiatives on finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Noting that the officials will also discuss the issue of how to intensify talks following the April 18 presidential elections in the KKTC, Ercakica said Erdogan is currently in the UK and that Talat will discuss with Erdogan ways in which the UK can contribute to a solution in Cyprus. The UK is one of the guarantors of the Cypriot state established in 1960. It controls 3 percent of Cypriot territory, using it as a military zone.

    [03] Ercakica said that Turkish Cypriots consider the guarantees to be of vital importance

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (17.03.10), in an article titled Ercakica: The guarantee system bears vital importance, reports that the Turkish Cypriot leaders spokesperson Hasan Ercakica, evaluated the ongoing negotiations during his weekly press conference yesterday. Mr Ercakica said that the existence of the current guarantee system on the island is of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriots and for this reason they support its continuation. He also added that the guarantee issue should be discussed during the latest stage of the negotiations after a true picture of how Cyprus future is shaped emerges.

    Noting that Turkish officials give particular weight to the Cyprus problem in their international contacts, Mr Ercakica said that the position Turkish Premier Erdogan expresses on the Cyprus problem during his current contacts in Britain is very important.

    (DPs)

    [04] Joint press conference between Erdogan and Brown

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.10) reports the following:

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Tuesday that he hoped to see Turkey as a reliable partner within the European Union (EU).

    Speaking at a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in London, Brown said 2 million British tourists visited Turkey every year, the trade volume between the two countries reached 6 billion Pounds and almost 80,000 Turks currently lived in Britain.

    Commenting on Turkey's EU bid, Brown said Turkey's becoming a member would make the union stronger in the economic, cultural and political sense.

    Noting that Cyprus issue was discussed during his talks with Erdogan, Gordon said parties should act bravely in order to reach an agreement in the island.

    Pointing to the remarkable progress made on the matter so far, Brown said everybody should continue to work together for peace, adding his country will always be ready to support the process. Brown also said that both Erdogan and himself expressed the "importance of solving Iran's nuclear problem by diplomatic means" during their gathering.

    Commenting on his talks with the British prime minister, Erdogan said Turkey and Britain had political, military, economic, commercial and cultural relations.

    Expressing Britain's support for Turkey's EU bid, Erdogan said the country was one of the major investors in Turkey.

    Erdogan also said Cyprus issue and the situation in the Middle East were on the agenda of his gathering with Brown.

    Upon a question on the Swedish prime minister's recent remarks on the Armenian resolution adopted by his country's parliament, Erdogan said his Swedish counterpart's statement, which expressed sorrow over the politicization of historical incidents, was important.

    [05] Erdogan warned that Cyprus can become a political tumor for EU

    Turkish state TRT television (16.03.10) broadcast the following:

    In an interview with BBC, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the crisis that erupted because of the parliament decisions on 1915 decisions will harm Armenia. Erdogan called on Armenia to break the chains of diaspora.

    Erdogan said he believes relations with the USA will be healthy also in the future just like it was in the past. Erdogan also called on those countries who claim to be friends of Armenia to help the normalization of relations process between Turkey and Armenia.

    'Turkey has been implementing "the zero-problems with neighbors policy" in a determined way, and it will continue to do so. But when we extend our hands for a shake and see a tight fist from the other side, there is nothing we can do about it', said Erdogan. Prime Minister Erdogan also responded to criticisms, such as Turkish foreign policy's being cornered by Armenian drafts.

    Erdogan said: 'Hitches in relations with Armenia are not coming from us, but from the Armenian side. Armenia has to make a very important decision, it has to break the chains of the diaspora. If Armenia has allies, like the USA, France or Russia; they should rescue Armenia from the fetters of diaspora'.

    On Cyprus issue, Erdogan said it is not solely Turkey's duty to figure out a way out of the Cyprus impasse. Turkish Prime Minister warned that Cyprus can also become a political tumor for European Union."

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.10) reports, inter alia, the following:

    Erdogan replied to questions of Huseyin Alkan from BBC Turkish service in British capital of London. In regard to the relations between Turkey and EU, Erdogan said the EU should keep its promise regarding the country's EU accession process.

    A revision should be brought up in regard to the chapters which were not opened, he said. There are four chapters on which we can talk. We are working on these four chapters. I think that Spain's term presidency will be like a signal flare, he said.

    Replying to a question on opening of ports to Greek Cypriot ships, Erdogan said, 'if both parties open their ports mutually, we are ready for that. We want the EU to keep its words'.

    [06] Bagis discusses the Cyprus talks, Turkeys EU accession course and the illegal elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus with Bryant in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.03.10) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkeys Chief Negotiator with the EU, met yesterday in London with Chris Bryant, British Minister responsible for Europe. In statements to Kibris, Mr Bagis, who is participating in the delegation accompanying the Turkish Prime Minister to London, said he discussed with Mr Bryant the so-called presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, the negotiating process and Cyprus stance in Turkeys accession course to the EU.

    Mr Bagis expressed the view that the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the property issue in favour of the Turkish Cypriots is a sign that the judicial power of the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, is recognized by the ECHR.

    Mr Bagis alleged, inter alia, the following: The fact that the court did not ignore a functioning democracy during a period when we are exerting efforts to develop democracy in different places of the world is important, because the judiciary, the legislation and the executive in the TRNC function separately in a tempo which could be an example for the world. There is the process of the presidential elections now. The function of democracy there has been appreciated by the whole world

    Responding to a question regarding the elections, Mr Bagis referred especially to the relations between Ankara and Tahsin Ertugruloglu and noted that there are eight candidates that each one of them issues statements and that Ankara is not interfering in this issue.

    Moreover, in statements before a breakfast he had with Mr Bryant, Mr Bagis expressed the belief that Turkey will be one of the respectable members of the EU and added that he thanked Mr Bryant for Britains support to Turkeys EU accession course, pointing out that the relations between the two countries are at an important stage. He noted that in their meeting they benefited from Britains experience on the chapter of the environment in Turkeys EU accession course.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.10) reports from London the following:

    Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for the EU talks Egemen Bagis said on Tuesday that Turkey would be one of the most respectable members of the European Union (EU) sooner or later.

    Bagis, currently in London within the scope of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Britain, met with British Minister of State for Europe Chris Bryant at breakfast.

    Bagis thanked to Bryant over the support of Britain in Turkey's accession process and noted that Turkey wanted to make use of experiences of Britain on environment chapter.

    Bagis said, "Turkey's membership to the EU is not only important for Turkey but also for the EU and Europeans started to realize this. Those who have negative statements regarding Turkey's membership extended support in opening of 12 chapter headings. I believe that their support will continue because this is taking a step to solve global problems of the world."

    Bryant said they were endeavoring to convince all their allies in the EU that Turkey's membership to the EU would be good not only for Turkey but also for the EU.

    Asked to comment on Cyprus question, Bryant said a comprehensive peace in Cyprus would be in the interests of both parties.

    Bryant said it was strange that there was a divided city although 20 years passed after collapse of Berlin wall. Bryant said he wished the negotiations to end in peace.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Turkish Foreign Ministry says Spain continues its efforts regarding its proposal for a quintet summit

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (17.03.10), in a front-page report titled Yes from Turkey to a quintet summit, reports that Turkey has accepted Spains proposal for a quintet summit on the Cyprus problem with the participation of the two sides in Cyprus, the three guarantor countries and a UN delegation. According to information given to illegal Bayrak's correspondent in Ankara by Turkish Foreign Ministrys spokesperson, Burak Ozugergin, Turkey responded positively to the proposal for a summit that Spain would host under its capacity and not as holder of the EU's rotating presidency. Ozugergin reiterated that Turkey supports every kind of well-intended proposal when the Turkish Cypriot side is represented equally with the Greek Cypriot side. Noting that the reason for which the Greek Cypriot side opposes to such an initiative is because of the equal status that would be given to the Turkish Cypriot side, Mr Ozugergin said that Britain and Greece, which are the other guarantor countries, have not yet made their stance clear on the matter. Finally, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ozugergin added that Spain will continue the efforts regarding this initiative.

    (DPs)

    [08] Ertugruloglu alleges that the ground of the Cyprus talks should change in order for a result to be taken

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.03.10) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, independent candidate for the so-called presidential elections of 18 April in the occupied areas of Cyprus, has alleged that it is not possible for a result to be taken in the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem on the current ground.

    In statements to a private Turkish Cypriot television channel, Mr Ertugruloglu claimed that the basic problem at the negotiating table is the lack of equality and the resolutions of the UN themselves. Mr Ertugruloglu alleged that a solution, which does not include the necessary guarantees, will be dissolution, not solution.

    He claimed: Creating a strong TRNC is a must. Otherwise we will be annihilated, even if we make an agreement with which all our demands are accepted at the negotiating tableLet us support the TRNC, let us bring a sustainable structure to our economy, let us go to Ankara with projects. Let us modernize our health and education systems, let us modernize the TRNC.

    Responding to a question on his relations with the National Unity Party (UBP), Mr Ertugruloglu said he came to conflict with the leadership of his former party in year 2000, but he had been behaving with responsibility since then in order for not harming the party.

    Mr Ertugruloglu wondered why the party did not expel him properly. He noted that he is examining the legal aspect of the statements made by the UBP officials and added that he is considering of filing an application to the court.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Ertugruloglu asks the support of TDP and ORP; Cakici: Let me give you my answer after going for five minutes to Ankara and coming back

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.03.10) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, independent candidate for the so-called presidential elections of 18 April in the occupied areas of Cyprus, visited yesterday the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) in order to ask for their support in the elections.

    According to the paper, Mr Ertugruloglu received an unexpected reply from the chairman of the TDP, Mehmet Cakici when he asked for the support of the TDP. Reminding that Mr Ertugruloglu had visited Ankara and held meetings which lasted for 105 minutes with President Gul and Prime Minster Erdogan, Mr Cakici asked him what he discussed there and added the following as a respond to Ertugruloglus demand for support: Allow me for five minutes to go to Ankara and come back and I will give you my answer.

    Mr Cakici pointed out the Ankara knew about the candidature of Mr Ertugruloglu before the Turkish Cypriot people and added that the explanations given by Mr Ertugruloglu on this issue are not enough for the TDP. Mr Cakici asked the following: Did you ask for going or the invitation came from them? We should ask this, because in the end the Turkish Cypriot people should decide for the administration of their institutions within themselves. Was this a meddling? And in this sense, are the decisions taken as a result of such consultations? There are questions in our mind on whether the Turkish Cypriot democracy is wounded in this sense.

    Responding to Mr Cakici, Mr Ertugruloglu said that it would not be correct to separate the internal from the external policy and consider that the developments in these fields are not related. Referring to the statement of Mr Cakici that Ankara knew before the Turkish Cypriots about his candidature, Mr Ertugruloglu said he considered this to be his duty.

    Meanwhile, Turgay Avci, chairman of the ORP, stated during his meeting with Mr Ertugruloglu that his party will decide within the next few days whom to support in the elections.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.03.10) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu and people from his close circle decided to form a new party in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. According to the paper, the establishment of the new party, which will be named either National Democratic Party, or National Peoples Party, will take place right after the so-called presidential elections. The preparations for the formation of the party are reportedly undergoing, while Tahsin Ertugruloglu is also in search for finding a building to host the headquarters of the party.

    (I/Ts.-ML)

    [10] Serdar Denktas rejects the establishment of a coalition government with UBP and alleges that Tahsin Ertugruloglu will take a significant percentage of votes from Talat and Eroglu

    Under the front page title Coalition is not included in our agenda, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.03.10) reports on statements made by the leader of Democratic Party (DP), Serdar Denktas regarding the stance which the DP will follow after National Unity Party (UBP) expelled its self-styled deputy, Tahsin Ertugruloglu and the decrease of its seats in the so-called parliament in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus to 25.

    Touching upon the issue of DP establishing a coalition government with UBP, Mr Denktas said that such a thing is impossible to happen within 2010 and added that the issue is not even included in the DP agenda for discussion. Asked to comment on the presidential elections and the tendencies within DP, Mr Denktas said that three groups have been formed within his party which support Mehmet Ali Talat, Dervis Eroglu and Tahsin Ertugruloglu respectively. Mr Denktas expressed also the belief that based on a survey conducted by DP, Tahsin Ertugruloglu will take votes equal to 21% from the electorate of Mehmet Ali Talat and 15% from the electorate of Dervis Eroglu. (ML)

    [11] Eroglu reiterates that he will try to keep the occupation regime alive forever

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.03.10) reports on the visit of the leader of the National Union Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister, Mr Dervis Eroglu, to the Retired Fighters Association, where he met with the associations chairman, Mr Mehmet Salih, as well as its director and members of the executive committee.

    Mr Eroglu stated that UBP must definitely win the upcoming so-called elections of April and explaining why, he said: Because esteemed Talats ideology is clear. Mr Talat wants to be freed from both Turkey and the TRNC. While we are trying to keep the TRNC eternally alive, esteemed Talat discusses with the Greek Cypriot administration for settlement and power-sharing.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.03.10) reports on another meeting of the UBP leader, Mr Dervis Eroglu, with the Association for Consolidation and Solidarity of the Alexandretta People [Tr. Note: That is, the settlers who were brought to the occupied areas of Cyprus from the south-eastern Turkish province of Alexandretta].

    Speaking during the meeting with the associations chairman, Mr Demir Elisci, and the members of the executive committee, Mr Eroglu, inter alia, stated that the world has began to interfere in the illegal presidential elections of April 18 and that this is significant as regards the importance of the so-called elections. Mr Eroglu said that the negotiations on finding a solution to the Cyprus problem must be continued taking into consideration that the Turkish Cypriots have a state and added that in his point of view, it is extremely wrong for the people to be annoyed and show its discomfort by interfering in the elections. Especially, the meddling of countries that we know as democratic countries is unacceptable, Mr Eroglu said.

    He, inter alia, said that he wish for the winner of the elections to continue the Cyprus negotiations having in mind the TRNC. Mr Eroglu said that in case he wins the elections, the negotiations will continue under equal status and added that he will disappoint those who expect him to leave from the negotiation table.

    On his part, the associations president, Mr Elisci, stated that the upcoming presidential elections are important due to the fact that the one to be elected will represent the Turkish Cypriots to the world. For this reason, as he said, they wanted to visit all the candidates. He wished good-luck to Mr Eroglu and concluded by expressing the view that the presidential elections will show that the Turkish Cypriot community is a modern and a civilised one.

    (EA)

    [12] AKP sends election buses to the occupied areas to support Talats candidature

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.03.10) reports that two election buses to be used by Mehmet Ali Talat during his election campaign arrived in the occupied Famagusta port yesterday. According to the paper, the buses have been used by Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) during the latest election campaign held in Turkey. As it was made known, technical improvements have been made to the buses before being sent to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    (ML)

    [13] The Embargoed Group organized a seminar in the House of Lords regarding the latest developments on the property issue in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.03.10) reports that the Embargoed Group organized a seminar in the House of Lords in London regarding the latest developments on the property issue in Cyprus. Advocate Emine Erk, academician Erol Kaymak, political strategy expert, Ergun Olgun, former British MP and vice president of the Association of the Brits living in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Stephen Day and former attorney general of the breakaway regime, Zaim Necatigil addressed the seminar. The speechmakers referred to the recent developments on the property issue in Cyprus and the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of 5 March 2010 in favour of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The meeting was hosted by Lord Wallace of Saltaire, vice president of the Liberal Democrat Group and spokesman on foreign affairs.

    Mr Day called on the Greek Cypriots to establish a structure similar to the Property Compensation Commission established by Turkey in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Mrs Emine Erk described the decision of the ECHR as historical and noted that for the first time the highest judicial authority in Europe decided to secure a balance between the human rights of the new owner of the occupied Greek Cypriot property and the old owner of the property.

    Academician Erol Kaymak referred to a survey they conducted in the past among the two communities in Cyprus and showed that 50% of the Greek Cypriots will not return to their occupied properties even if a solution is reached.

    Finally, Mr Olgun alleged that the recent decision of the ECHR will have a positive influence on the ongoing negotiations for reaching a solution in the island.

    (I/Ts.)

    [14] The vice-president of European Universities Association to visit occupied Cyprus in order to give briefing on the process of the evaluation programs of EUA

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.03.10) reports that Maria Helena Nazaré, vice-president of European Universities Association and Rector of the University of Aveiro in Portugal is to arrive in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus on Wednesday night in order to give a briefing to the illegal universities established in occupied Cyprus on the process and conditions regarding the institutional evaluation programs of the European Universities Association (EUA).

    Tomorrow, Ms. Nazaré will make a presentation on the issue at the illegal Near East University (YDU) where education representatives are going to attend. Illegal YDU and illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) are full members of EUA, as the chairman of the illegal Higher Education Control and Accreditation Establishment (YODAK), Hasan Ali Bicak, said in his statements.

    (ML)

    [15] St. Catherine church in occupied Lefkosia will be reopened as a mosque

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (17.03.10) reports that St. Catherine church within the walls in the occupied part of Lefkosia will be reopened for worship as mosque. According to the paper, the church had been turned into a mosque in the past, but it has been used for years now as a gallery.

    The St. Catherine church known in the occupied areas as Haydarpasa cami will be reopened as a mosque with a decision of the Chairman of Religious Affairs Directorate Yusuf Suicmez.

    Many persons of the art and culture world in the occupied areas are opposed to this decision.

    (DPs)

    [16] Jack Straw: Armenian bill will not be adopted

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.10) reports the following:

    British Justice Minister Jack Straw reassured Turkey that the bill on Armenian allegations would not be adopted at the House of Commons.

    Addressing the working lunch of the Turkey-England Business forum Tuesday attended by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other senior Turkish officials, Straw said the chances that the bill would be adopted was zero.

    He said only one of the 651 members of the House of Commons backed the bill, noting that the neither the government nor the opposition supported the bill.

    Straw who reiterated England's support to Turkey's EU bid said the EU needed Turkey as much as Turkey needed EU.

    [17] Turkish and African businessmen convened in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.10) reports the following:

    Chief Coordinator of the Turkish-African Business Councils, Tamer Taskin, said Tuesday the issue of "visa was the greatest obstacle to Turkey's African initiative".

    Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) organized meetings for Turkish and African businesspeople in Istanbul on Tuesday.

    In an exclusive interview with the AA, Taskin said that 54 African countries have abundant amounts of agricultural and mine products.

    'However, as there are not sufficient numbers of cold air depots and canned food factories, agricultural products cannot be preserved and utilized properly', Taskin said.

    In the whole continent of Africa, there are not any automobile factories or auto manufacturing of any type, except in South Africa. Africa presents a 'crucial' opportunity for Turkey. Africans love Turkey and they prefer Turkish products in every corner of the continent, Taskin stressed.

    Certain African businesspeople cannot come to Turkey due to visa regulations of the Republic of Turkey. Turkey must facilitate easier procedures so that African businesspeople can come to Turkey and stay for long periods of time and possess multiple-entry visas. The issue of visa was the greatest obstacle before Turkey's African initiative, Taskin added.

    Turkish and African trade volume was approximately 20 billion USD in 2009.

    Turkey is planning to open at least 15 new embassies in different corners of the African continent in 2010.

    [18] Pipeline agreement between Turkey and Iraq is renewed

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.10) reports the following:

    Turkey's energy and natural resources minister said that the crude oil pipeline agreement would be renewed with Iraq.

    Speaking at the 9th International Oil and Gas Conference at Ankara's Sheraton Hotel, Taner Yildiz said, 'there are big and significant natural gas and oil reserves in east of Turkey. Turkey shapes its energy policies and diplomacy by taking into consideration them. Projects for transportation of resources from the eastern countries to the western countries such as Nabucco and Turkey-Greece-Italy Natural Gas Pipeline have an important impact on our energy policies'.

    'The agreement about Kirkuk-Yumurtalik raw oil pipeline expired in March. We will sign a 15-20 year agreement with Iraq soon to renew the deal', he said.

    Yildiz said that USA's Exxon Mobil Corp. and Brazil's Petrobras had joined a consortium with Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to find oil in the Black Sea. 'We attach great importance to this project', he said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [19] From the Turkish Press of 16 March 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 16 March 2010:

    Armenian genocide bills:

    Criticizing the manner in which Turkey deals with Armenian genocide bills submitted to world parliaments in an article in Milliyet, Sami Kohen argues that this method of issuing very harsh statements, recalling ambassadors, and cancelling scheduled visits does not lead to anything other than to a period of "damage repair" and of mending relations. Stressing the need for new strategies other than increasing the dosage of reactions, Kohen notes that in most cases the governments of the parliaments that adopt these Armenian genocide bills attach more importance to their relations with Turkey and disregard these bills that are not binding on them. The harsh reaction shown by Turkey to these bills disrupt Ankara's relations with these friendly countries, underlines Kohen, adding that there is no point in keeping the recalled ambassadors in Ankara for too long a period. Urging the Turkish government, the opposition parties, businessmen, and NGO's to launch a diplomatic counter attack, Kohen argues that the Turkish Diaspora can be an effective instrument in these activities. Establishing contact with the more moderate sector of the Armenian Diaspora can also be effective, writes Kohen, also advising Turkish NGO's to increase their contacts with their Armenian counterparts. In conclusion, Kohen writes: "One should bear in mind that one of the real goals of these new strategies is to prevent unnecessary fall outs with friendly countries."

    According to a report by Yahya Bostan in Sabah, Turkey's reaction to the adoption of the Armenian genocide resolution at the US congressional committee is getting harsher. The report notes that Prime Minister Erdogan has declared that he will not be going to the United States for the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Washington on 12-13 April. The official who will represent Turkey at the summit has not yet been determined, adds the report.

    According to a report by Ergun Aksoy in the same daily, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, briefing the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, has said that Turkey is not considering withdrawing the Turkish-Armenian protocols from the Assembly. Opposing proposals to expel the illegal Armenian workers from Turkey, Davutoglu is reported to have said that such a move would be construed as racism in the world. On the issue of the Incirlik Base, Davutoglu is reported to have said that Turkey and the United States have an intense cooperation against terror and the PKK, adding: "We do not want this cooperation to be interrupted." According to the report, Davutoglu has underlined that the closure of the base will not be used as a tool.

    In response to the question of how Turkish foreign policy should be, Referans columnist Cengiz Candar in an article underlines that the Turkish-Armenian protocols should be endorsed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly as soon as possible. Linking the protocols to the Karabakh issue was wrong, maintains Candar, adding that their endorsement will right this wrong. Such a move might even have a deterrent effect on the genocide bills being submitted to the various parliaments in the world, argues Candar, maintaining that "normalization" in Turkish-Armenian relations might prevent the bill from being submitted to the US congress and President Obama from using the word "genocide" in his 24 April address. Noting that all the ambassadors who have been recalled to Ankara should be sent to their places of duty, Candar declares that he has difficulty understanding the logic of punishing the Swedish government, which has been most supportive of Turkey's EU bid and which has been against the genocide bill. Questioning why the AKP government is insistent on this stand which will have no benefits for Turkey in the international arena, Candar agrees with Sabah columnist Omer Taspinar who maintains that if Turkey pursues this course it will experience a real and frightening shift of axis in its relations with the West.

    In an article entitled "Fearing the Snowball Effect of Genocide Allegations", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal argues that the US House decision on the Armenian resolution has made it virtually impossible for the Turkish parliament to ratify the normalization protocols with Armenia, adding that Ankara is set to lose its principal "trump card against those using the genocide allegations" as a coercion tool against Turkey.

    US Human Rights Report:

    Viewing the 2009 Annual Report on Human Rights issued by the US State Department in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Ilhan Tanir notes that the report paints a grim picture of Turkey with its references to the authoritarian tendencies in the AKP administration and the threats posed to the freedom of the press, adding that if the West truly wants Turkey to improve its democracy and not get trapped in another authoritarian threat, it must do everything it can to improve Turkey's civil societies.

    ES/


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