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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-20

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. 71/10 20.04.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu says the negotiations will start in May; Davutoglu will most probably attend Eroglus oath-taking ceremony on Friday
  • [02] Rauf and Serdar Denktas are reportedly in Eroglus negotiating team
  • [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry issues a press release regarding the illegal presidential elections in occupied Cyprus
  • [04] Turkish President praises Talats contribution to the negotiations and blames Cyprus government for not displaying the necessary goodwill
  • [05] Afrika evaluates the illegal presidential election results: The world worries, Ankara is pleased
  • [06] Bagis and Turkish political parties congratulate Eroglu for his victory
  • [07] The international community expresses its hope for the continuation of the negotiations in Cyprus after Eroglus election in the Turkish Cypriot leadership
  • [08] Statements by UBPs secretary general on the political life in occupied Cyprus after Eroglus election
  • [09] Davutoglu rejects the border opening with Armenia before the ratification of the protocols
  • [10] Davutoglu discusses post-election period in Iraq with the Iraq vice-president
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Turkish daily assesses that Turkeys EU bid and the illegal regimes economic dependence on Turkey will push Eroglu to soften his stance on the negotiations
  • [12] Columnist argues that Eroglu will not be able to use his power due to Turkeys stand and the pertinent conditions in the world
  • [13] From the Turkish Press on 19 April 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu says the negotiations will start in May; Davutoglu will most probably attend Eroglus oath-taking ceremony on Friday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.04.10) reports that Dervis Eroglu, newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader, has said that President Christofias called him and congratulated him for his victory in the elections last Sunday and expressed his wish for the immediate commencement of the Cyprus talks. In statements yesterday to illegal TAK news agency and Bayrak television, Mr Eroglu noted that President Christofias is in favour of the continuation of the negotiations. Mr Eroglu said he agrees with President Christofias on this issue and added that most probably the negotiations will start in May.

    Mr Eroglu alleged that the Turkish side wants a solution to be reached in Cyprus until the end of 2010, as Prime Minister Erdogan has stated. However, he added, the intention of the Greek Cypriot side is also important on this issue.

    Mr Eroglu noted that he wants the commencement of the negotiations after establishing his negotiating team and having the necessary meetings and consultations. Responding to a question, Mr Eroglu said that the names of those who will participate in his negotiating team have been determined, but added that I could not reveal these names now.

    Mr Eroglu said that officials from Turkey called him and congratulated him and noted that after his oath-taking ceremony on Friday he will meet with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu, who most probably will attend the ceremony. He said they might have the opportunity to make more detailed evaluations during Davutoglus visit.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (20.04.10) reports that in exclusive statements to its correspondent Omer Bilge, Mr Eroglu gave three massages to the world.

    Mr Eroglu said, inter alia, the following: They have always been declaring me as intransigent, but during the whole period I was prime minister, I was the leader who worked in the most harmonious manner with Turkey. Now I am president with the will of the people. We will not be the side which leaves the negotiations. Of course, I am committed to the UN parameters. However, we should fill in these parameters by protecting the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey There is a process which started and continued during Talats period. We cannot accept that this process does not exist. We will continue the negotiations from the point they were left. From the very beginning of the process, the UN and the Greek Cypriots have been referring to the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We will continue the negotiations within this frameworkTalat discussed only the chapters of governance, the EU and economy and full agreement was not reached on any of these issues. There is plan put on the table by the Turkish side on the issue of governance. I have opposed to the cross voting system included in the plan, which had the logic of take it or leave it. However, the Greek Cypriots do not accept this plan as a whole. Now we will continue to negotiate these six chapters in a constructive mannerWe will carry out the negotiations by consulting and being in full harmony with Turkey. As Prime Minister Erdogan said, we also want a win-win formula. Of course we want a solution and we support only a viable solution where both sides will win. Again as Turkey has noted, these negotiations cannot last forever. The Greek Cypriots should make a step on this issue. The lifting of the isolations applied on the TRNC and the approval of the shelved report, which was prepared during the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan period and provides for the lifting of the unnecessary isolations, might put pressure on the Greek Cypriots.

    Moreover, in statements to Turkish daily Milliyets (20.04.10) correspondent, Sefa Karahasan, Mr Eroglu alleged that the illegal elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus proved to the word that the state of the TRNC exists. Mr Eroglu called on President Christofias to abandon his intransigent stance and put his real will on the negotiating table. He alleged: We will search ways for an agreement with Christofias. The most important thing is for the Greek Cypriot side to have a will for an agreement. If it does not have the will of an agreement like it did not have until today, the interruption of the talks might come to the agenda at a certain point. However, I am not going to be the one who will interrupt them. Christofias might be the oneThere are six chapters in the negotiations. All the chapters should be discussed. All chapters should be taken up one by one and evaluations should be made on the points of agreement and the points of disagreement. Afterwards, we should work on the issues on which agreement has not been reached. There will be a dialogue between us and Mr Talat. It would be very normal for us to meet with him from time to time. The world saw a reality. A state named TRNC exists. This state is a democratic country. The media of the whole world watched this. If these realities are ignored, the agreement will become difficult

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Rauf and Serdar Denktas are reportedly in Eroglus negotiating team

    Under the title Has the new negotiating team been determined? Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (20.04.10) reports that according information acquired from reliable sources after the victory of Dervis Eroglu, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), in the illegal presidential elections of 18 April in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the names of the team of Mr Eroglu during the Cyprus negotiations with President Christofias are the following: Dr. Dervis Eroglu, Rauf Denktas (Advisor of the Negotiating Team), Ata Atun, Serdar Denktas (Chief Negotiator), Ismet Kotak, Taner Etkin, Huseyin Ozgurgun, Vedat Celik and Ergun Olgun.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry issues a press release regarding the illegal presidential elections in occupied Cyprus

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following press release regarding the so-called presidential elections in occupied Cyprus on its webside ( HYPERLINK "http://www.mfa.gov.tr" www.mfa.gov.tr) on 18.04.2010:

    We welcome the TRNC presidential elections which were held today (18 April) in full transparency, in a manner that reflects the exemplary democracy of the TRNC and the political maturity of the Turkish Cypriot people. The power of the Turkish Cypriot people stems from its ability to maintain, within the framework of democratic principles, its unity and solidarity. According to the unofficial results, Prime Minister Eroglu has won the elections. The results reflect the free will of the Turkish Cypriot people and we congratulate, on this occasion, the Turkish Cypriot people, all candidates and all political parties. We extend our congratulations to Prime Minister Eroglu for his election to the office of TRNC Presidency and as a statesman with vast experience we appreciate his determination to continue the UN comprehensive settlement negotiations. We also congratulate President Talat for the leadership and vision he has shown during his mandate and expect the continuation of his precious contributions. The dynamism, constructiveness and sincerity manifested by President Talat during the two years of negotiations brought the process to a promising stage. A settlement which would satisfy all concerned parties can be achieved soon if the Greek Cypriot side displays the necessary contribution with the same good will.

    The determination of the Turkish Cypriot people to preserve its rights and freedom as the equal co-owner of the Island is a common value which ensures its unity for the national cause. With this understanding, the Turkish Cypriot side displayed in a most clear manner its will to carry the UN negotiations to a just and lasting settlement. Turkey, as a Motherland and Guarantor, and in line with her belief in the importance of a just, lasting and early settlement for the transformation of the Eastern Mediterranean into an area of peace, stability and cooperation, has been giving her full support to the comprehensive negotiations and the constructive attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side, assessing that the interests of the international community also converge on this point.

    In accordance with the spirit of our special relations, it is natural that we shall work in close cooperation with all the institutions of the TRNC, continue to support the Turkish Cypriot people in all fields and under all circumstances and fulfill our legal and historical responsibilities with utmost sensitivity and determination.

    [04] Turkish President praises Talats contribution to the negotiations and blames Cyprus government for not displaying the necessary goodwill

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    In a message sent to the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said that if the Greek Cypriot side displayed the necessary good will in response to your responsibility taken and leadership, all of us would have reached a fair and comprehensive solution in Cyprus.

    According to the Turkish Presidential Press Centre, President Abdullah Gul sent a message to Talat following Sunday's presidential election in the TRNC.

    Every one is proud to have seen the democratic culture and understanding of the Turkish Cypriot people with yesterday's election, Gul said. The will of the Turkish Cypriots clearly reflected on the ballot box, Gul said.

    I think that it is important to underline your contributions to the National Cause and the Turkish Cypriot people during your tenure as the TRNC president. You have conducted the negotiations process in Cyprus for the past two years with a vision and determination. Had the Greek Cypriot side demonstrated good will in response to your leadership and responsibility undertaken, we would, undoubtedly, have reached a fair and comprehensive solution in Cyprus, Gul said.

    Furthermore, your vision, efforts and leadership have clearly shown to the whole world that it is the Turkish side in Cyprus that wishes for a solution in the island. I am confident that your services as the TRNC president will always be remembered with appreciation. I wish you and your family health and happiness, Gul also said.

    [05] Afrika evaluates the illegal presidential election results: The world worries, Ankara is pleased

    Under the title The world worries, Ankara is pleased, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (20.04.10) reports in its first page that Turkey is using the illegal presidential elections held in occupied Cyprus last Sunday in order to prove to the world that democracy exists in the occupied part of Cyprus which is under its de facto control for 36 years. The paper goes on and writes that evaluating the elections, all the officials of the Republic of Turkey noted that there is a deep rooted democracy.

    Our elections created a big reflection to south Cyprus, Turkey, Greece and Europe. The Greek Cypriot and the Greek side see Eroglu as the new Denktas. The world press speaks about a negative development. However, the officials of the Republic of Turkey want everyone to respect the election results, writes the paper.

    The paper also writes that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu stated that the results of the elections are transparent and successful and that he will participate in the oath-taking ceremony of Dervis Eroglu on Friday.

    (CS)

    [06] Bagis and Turkish political parties congratulate Eroglu for his victory

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator congratulated on Monday the newly elected president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    Releasing a statement, Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks, Egemen Bagis, congratulated Dervis Eroglu, who was announced as the winner of Sunday's presidential election in the TRNC according to unofficial results.

    Bagis said in his message that Sunday's election, which was held in a calm atmosphere, was the concrete reflection of the Turkish Cypriot nation's free will.

    This election also shows the maturity level of the democracy culture in TRNC, Bagis said.

    I believe the Cyprus peace talks, in which a remarkable progress has been achieved in the previous term, will continue without interruption, Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator also said.

    Bagis added that he believed the international community would extend a greater support to the negotiation process in the island in the upcoming period, and eventually, the conflict would be solved in a peaceful way.

    Dervis Eroglu, TRNC's prime minister and candidate of the National Unity Party (UBP), won the Turkish Cypriot presidential election on Sunday and became the new president after receiving more than 50 percent of votes.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (20.04.10) reports that the majority of the Turkish political parties congratulated the newly elected self-styled president of the breakaway regime, Mr Dervis Eroglu. In the messages sent to Mr Eroglu by Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Democratic Left Party (DSP), Great Union Party (BBP) and Democratic Party (DP), it was noted that they will continue to offer every kind of support to himself, the TRNC [the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus] and the Turkish Cypriot people during the negotiation process.

    The paper also reports that Galatasaray Sports Club congratulated Mr Eroglu as well. As it is noted, Mr Eroglu is a member of the Club holding the 9046 registration number.

    (EA)

    [07] The international community expresses its hope for the continuation of the negotiations in Cyprus after Eroglus election in the Turkish Cypriot leadership

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.10) reported the following from the United Nations:

    UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky said the United Nations expected extensive talks in Cyprus to continue in the aftermath of the Turkish Cypriot presidential elections.

    In response to a question on Sunday's presidential election, Nesirky said that the UN expected the talks to continue under the auspices as agreed by parties and in line with the related UN Security Council resolutions.

    Nesirky said the UN would work with both sides to determine when they would resume talks, adding that the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer would come to New York to meet with Senior UN officials on the issue.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.10) reported the following from Brussels:

    The European Commission said on Monday that Dervis Eroglu, who was elected the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), must resume comprehensive negotiations for the Cyprus issue.

    A statement by the European Commission said continuation of comprehensive talks in Cyprus is vital and the Commission encourages Eroglu to progress negotiations for reunification.

    The Commission fully supported the two leaders in Cyprus on the path toward a comprehensive solution, it said.

    Status quo did not benefit anyone and the issue must be solved, the statement said.

    Turkish Cypriots should begin to make good use of EU membership as soon as possible, it added.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (20.04.10) reports that German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued yesterday a statement on the results of the so-called presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Mr Westerwelle was quoted as saying: We expect from the new leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community to exhibit a constructive stance on the Cyprus talks. The negotiations must be continued on the basis of the parameters as are defined by the UN.

    Noting that the Cyprus problem can be solved only through the negotiations, Mr Westerwelle also added that for this reason, both sides must show courage and be ready for painful compromises.

    The written statement also notes that the TRNC, which was declared in 1983, has not been recognized internationally.

    (DPs)

    [08] Statements by UBPs secretary general on the political life in occupied Cyprus after Eroglus election

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.04.10) broadcast the following:

    The General Secretary of the governing National Unity Party (UBP), Irsen Kucuk, has announced that the government has fallen following the election of prime minister Dervis Eroglu as president.

    Kucuk told BRT that the UBP has lost its majority within the parliament after the election of Mr Eroglu as president. Now, the UBP has 24 MPs in the 50 seat TRNC parliament.

    Kucuk stated that the government will remain in power as a minority government with the unconditional support to be provided by the Democrat Party (DP) until the 27th of June when the local and by-elections will be held. He noted that the formation of a coalition government will be brought to the agenda after the filling of the seat emptied by prime minister Eroglu.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (20.04.10) reports that a main issue of discussion after the election of Dervis Erdoglu to the so-called presidency of the breakaway regime, is who will become the next self-styled prime minister. As the paper writes, the names of the possible candidates have begun to be discussed among the people. UBP general secretary Irsen Kucuk, self-styled interior minister Ilkay Kamil, self-styled public works and transportation minister Hasan Tacoy and self-styled foreign affairs minister Huseyin Ozgurgun are among the names discussed for the prime ministry.

    In addition, as the paper notes, after the election of Dervis Erdoglu to the so-called presidency, a new National Unity Party (UBP) chairman should be elected. Until the election, which will take place at the partys next convention in November, UBPs general secretary Irsen Kucuk will hold UBPs chairmanship.

    [09] Davutoglu rejects the border opening with Armenia before the ratification of the protocols

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister on Monday said Turkey would not open its borders with Armenia until the ratification of two protocols the two countries signed to normalize their relations.

    It is out of the agenda of Turkey to open its border gate without the ratification of the protocols, Ahmet Davutoglu told a joint press conference with Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi after their meeting in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

    Davutoglu was responding to a question over a remark made by Armenian president who reportedly said earlier that border crossing might be opened without the ratification of the protocols.

    Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols in October 2009 in Switzerland to normalize their relations, including the reopening of a border crossing, and resume diplomatic relations.

    Turkey shut down its border gate and cut off diplomatic ties with Yerevan in 1993 after Armenian army forces occupied Azerbaijan's Karabakh region.

    Davutoglu said integrated steps were needed to achieve a comprehensive settlement in the Caucasus that included Turkey-Armenia relations, adding that Turkey was committed to the implementation of the protocols and the normalization process.

    The Turkish Minister said his country was conducting close consultations with Azerbaijan over Ankara's dealings with Armenia.

    Turkey signed the protocols after long and careful considerations, Davutoglu said ahead of a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, where he was set to meet Azeri President Ilham Aliyev. We are positive on the process and we have full confidence that in the end it would lead us to a point, Davutoglu said.

    [10] Davutoglu discusses post-election period in Iraq with the Iraq vice-president

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday Turkey was and would be on Iraq's side under all conditions.

    In a joint press conference with Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi in Ankara, Davutoglu said that al-Hashimi and he discussed the post-election period in Iraq.

    I am pleased to see a parliament in Iraq that was formed by wide participation and one that has a high capacity to represent people, Davutoglu said.

    Turkey's vision of Iraq is clear as a country with good relations with all groups in Iraq. I am confident that all groups in Iraq will altogether build their country, Davutoglu said.

    We view the Iraqi Parliament as one that will possibly shape the next century of Iraq, Davutoglu said.

    The new parliament in Iraq provides a new chance for Iraq. Iraq should make good use of this chance, Davutoglu said.

    We believe all political parties in Iraq will act with a strong sense of consciousness. I want to announce that Turkey is and will be on Iraq's side under all circumstances and conditions, Davutoglu also said.

    Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi, in his part, said that he was pleased to be in brotherly Republic of Turkey.

    On Sunday, I met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed issues pertaining to the two countries. Minister Davutoglu and I noticed that our relations are very constructive and we agreed that high level meetings should continue among our two countries, al-Hashimi said.

    Turkey is a crucial country for Iraq. Turkey's relations with Iraq are constructive, successful and very clean, al-Hashimi said.

    My current visit to Ankara takes place as one of the leaders of the al-Iraqiye group and this visit is a continuation of visits made by other leaders in the past, al-Hashimi said.

    Asked by a journalist about his would-be attitude towards a new Iraqi government, al-Hashimi said that the most important matter in Iraq was for the political party that won the elections to establish the new government according to the Constitution.

    The al-Iraqiye group finished the election as the first party. I condemn the efforts of some people who would like to isolate the al-Iraqiye group, al-Hashimi said. The inability to form the new government will bring political instability and lead to security problems, al-Hashimi also said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Turkish daily assesses that Turkeys EU bid and the illegal regimes economic dependence on Turkey will push Eroglu to soften his stance on the negotiations

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (20.04.10) publishes the following analysis under the title Negotiating table likely to bring Eroglu down to earth:

    The new Turkish Cypriot president, Dervis Eroglu, may not exactly be on the same page as his leftist predecessor, Mehmet Ali Talat, on how to end the division of Cyprus, but the fact that he is now in charge of negotiations with the rival Greek Cypriots does not necessarily mean an end to the peace process.

    The main theme in Eroglus electioneering was his objection to single sovereignty for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), which is recognized only by Turkey, and his insistence on accepting anything apart from a two-state solution when he sits at the negotiating table with the Greek Cypriot side, a theme reflecting a stance that runs counter to the principle of shared sovereignty, an inherent parameter of the UN-backed negotiations.

    The principle is strongly embraced by Ankara, which has put the emphasis on the current process ... within the framework of established UN parameters and joint statements of leaders in official statements, making it clear that the negotiations should be continued after the election.

    Describing Eroglu as a leader with a vast experience in statecraft in a written statement released on Sunday after midnight, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said it commends Eroglus determination to resume the UN comprehensive settlement negotiations, once more highlighting its priorities.

    The priorities of Ankara, whose bid to join the European Union is closely linked with a settlement in Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, as well as the KKTCs economic dependence on Turkey are seen as two key factors that will eventually push Eroglu to soften his stance at the negotiating table.

    According to Mete Tumerkan, the head of the Cyprus Turkish Journalists Association, Eroglus term in office will not be a bed of roses because almost one out of two electors voted for Talat, and thus for pro-settlement policies, and he will eventually have to heed these voters concerns.

    In addition to other aspects, this picture will be another factor that will force him to soften his stance regarding negotiations, Tumerkan told Todays Zaman on Monday, referring to the unofficial final results which showed Eroglu winning 50.38 percent of the vote, with Talat garnering 42.85 percent.

    Overall, in my opinion, Eroglu hasnt had any intention of resisting Ankaras stance. He is an experienced politician who knows that the Cyprus cause cannot be defended without Ankaras support. His electioneering discourse was a necessary response to the electorates expectations, Tumerkan said.

    Basaran Duzgun, editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis, has reservations on the extent to which Eroglu may tone down his stance because of the bloc he was supported by during the campaign.

    The bloc he referred to is composed of Rauf Denkta, a former president who worked for decades with Eroglu s National Unity Party (UBP) during his time in power and who opposed a federal solution in Cyprus, insisting on the recognition of the KKTCs sovereign rights, and Serdar Denktas, Rauf Denktass son who heads the Democrat Party (DP).

    Eroglus dependence on this bloc has grown because a new government will have to be established in the upcoming period, and he will still need their support then. He may remain between pressure from Ankara and this bloc, Duzgun told Todays Zaman on Monday.

    When asked towards which side Eroglu would lean at the end of the day, Duzgun replied: The current signal from Eroglu is that he will engage in a conflict with Ankara. However, he is a politician, and in the end he may say, I will look forward from now on and will cooperate with Ankara.

    Tumerkan doesnt share Duzguns reservations, though. Eroglu will not need to continue cooperating with the Denktas bloc after becoming president since responding to the expectations of this bloc will be an issue for the government, but not for him, he said.

    [12] Columnist argues that Eroglu will not be able to use his power due to Turkeys stand and the pertinent conditions in the world

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (19.04.10) publishes the following commentary by Semih Idiz under the title Eroglu has his work cut out for him:

    As these lines were being written, the results of the presidential elections in the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] had not yet been announced. Even so, the expectations were based on the assumption that prime minister Dervis Eroglu would win the first round. The real point of curiosity was whether or not Eroglu would finish things off in the first round.

    There were those who cited the possibility that, if Eroglu should be unable to win in the first round, his only serious rival in the election, president Mehmet Ali Talat, could win the second round. For this reason, the Eroglu camp had for weeks been repeating the slogan 60 percent is enough; this affair will end in the first round.

    It is obvious that the neo-nationalists in Turkey and the KKTC wanted Eroglu to win. When I attended the event with which Eroglu kicked off his election campaign, the extreme-rightist elements who had come from Turkey did not escape my notice. These people think that the ground that they seriously believe has been lost since the Annan Plan process will be regained thanks to Eroglu.

    As for the liberals, there is no need even to state that they prefer Mehmet Ali Talat, who represents everything that the neo-nationalists hate. According to this crowd, there is no other path that can be travelled apart from the path of solution chosen by Talat. And the AKP [Justice and Development Party] in Ankara, as an unexpected manifestation of history from the standpoint of the neo-nationalists, this time puts its weight on the side of the liberals.

    Meanwhile, the fact that an important portion of the figures in Turkey whom the [former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf] Denktas camp had relied upon in the past are now, due to the Ergenekon case, either in prison or have been intimidated, is yet another negative development from the standpoint of the neo-nationalists. In the meantime, the AKP government has made clear, on various occasions, what would be expected of Eroglu if, as expected, he should be elected as president.

    In short, Ankara wants things to proceed along the path of Talat. Consequently, it does not look warmly on Eroglu. And Eroglu's dilemma begins on just this point. Because even if he should be experiencing his strongest period, politically, in the KKTC, he is not going to be able to utilize this strength in the way he wants, due both to the developments in Turkey and to the conjunction of forces in the world. Even if he should be elected with a strong vote, he will be in a weak position politically.

    Eroglu is very well aware just how much the KKTC is economically dependent on Turkey. There was an excellent breakdown of the KKTC's economic realities in Milliyet yesterday. From this, Northern Cyprus's economic dependency on Turkey was very clearly evident. From Eroglu's standpoint, this will be the weakest link in his relations with the AKP government.

    In the KKTC, where the minimum wage is 1,237 TL [Turkish liras], the reality that the lowest civil servant salary, with the latest modifications, is 1,500 TL, is not much known in Turkey. When these figures are compared with the Greek Cypriot sector, they naturally appear comical.

    But when compared with Turkey, they do not seem, from the standpoint of public opinion, all that comical at all.

    In short, when the question where does all the money for this come from? is asked, an image that is not very good from the standpoint of the KKTC emerges.

    The remarks made by visitors going to the KKTC for the first time from Turkey, who say there is no industry, and tourism is extremely weak, so where does the money for all these late-model Mercedes and BMWs come from?, make what I am saying clear.

    At the same time, today's Turkey is not the Turkey of a decade ago. If it is elected as a member of the UN Security Council, if it is able to get the Speakership of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and in short, if its prestige in the world in general is increasing, then it is evident that included among the various reasons for this is the serious will that Turkey has displayed for a solution in the Cyprus dispute.

    Meanwhile, for Ankara there is also the dimension of relations with the EU in this affair, such that Minister of State and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis has even conveyed to Eroglu, in diplomatic language, the message do not create trouble for us. In the meantime, there are developments indicating that some steps aimed at making things easier for the KKTC are on the way from the EU.

    As I have said before, if the KKTC were economically and politically independent, Eroglu's election victory would have a very different significance. But in the current environment, Eroglu seems to have a very tough job ahead of him. Because this time, he has not only the EU and the Security Council against him, but the AKP government as well.

    [13] From the Turkish Press on 19 April 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 19 April 2010:

    a) Turkey, Iran and the United States:

    Cenk Sidar, managing director a Washington-based boutique risk assessment firm focusing on Eurasian markets, argues that convincing Iran regarding its nuclear plans will be a critical test for Turkey. In an article in Hurriyet Daily News.com, Sidar advises Turkey's Foreign Minister: "If your neighbours have some serious structural problems, including authoritarian domestic policies, threatening other countries through unacceptable language and serious human rights violations, there are only two options on the table. Either give up improving relations or aggressively try to convince them to resolve those issues."

    Milliyet's Kadri Gursel faults the government for its Iran policy which pushed Turkey "outside the game in this very critical issue." In a commentary, Gursel argues that at this stage only a change of regime in Iran can stop its nuclear plans. The sanctions are being considered only in order to exhaust the legitimate options, he says, and "if Iran becomes nuclear, that will legitimize a US presence in the region, because first and foremost, the regional countries that are afraid of Iran will want that." If, on the other hand, Israel attacks Iran, and if Iran's retaliation targets the safety of the energy supply or third parties, then a US military intervention will also be accepted as legitimate. Gursel concludes: "In any case, a nuclear crisis will legitimize the US presence in the region."

    Commenting on the nuclear summit held in Washington and the sanctions being considered for Iran, Sabah's Omer Taspinar points out that "the United States is focusing its diplomatic energy on Russia and especially China, rather than Brazil and Turkey." In an article, the columnist argues that according to Washington, if Russia and China act together with the United States, then Brazil and Turkey will automatically feel the political pressure on them, and act accordingly.

    In an article entitled "Neither with Turkey nor without it", Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan comments on "the new American approach to Turkey" based on his impressions of Prime Minister Erdogan and his aides' meetings with President Barack Obama and other US government officials during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. He asserts that now that Ankara has managed to lower expectations in Washington that Turkey will continue to act like a "tin soldier" willing to accommodate US demands, the United States is looking into "bringing Turkey as close as possible to our way of thinking" or "at least not antagonizing it if we fail to win it over because otherwise we might face problems on critical areas where we are cooperating such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East."

    In an article entitled "High-level diplomacy in Washington", Today's Zaman columnist Omer Taspinar argues that it is "a testament to the ongoing power of the United States - and perhaps more importantly, to the popularity of the leader sitting in the White House - that the leaders of 46 countries showed up for President Barack Obama's nuclear security summit." He also asserts that Turkish-US relations "appear to be back on track after last month's crisis" and comments on the results of Erdogan's meetings with US officials, which were "predictably focused on two critical issues, normalization with Armenia, and sanctions against Iran.

    b) Constitutional amendments and Erdogan eyeing on the presidency:

    In an article in Radikal, Murat Yetkin argues that speaking to ATV, Prime Minister Erdogan implied that he would be running for the presidency in 2014, after changing the parliamentarian system into a presidential one.

    Penning an article in Milliyet, Asli Aydintasbas agrees that Erdogan wants to become president in a presidential system. The columnist fears, however, that Erdogan would become a "sultan" unless the election system is changed.

    Under the headline, "Turkey to adopt presidential system if nation approves it," Yeni Safak runs a front-page report which quotes Prime Minister Erdogan as saying that Turkey could switch to the [US type] presidential system if the people authorize such a change by allowing the government to draw up a brand new constitution.

    Sabah's Nazli Ilicak contends that the possibility of the AKP and Republican People's Party, CHP, reaching an agreement on the constitutional changes no longer exists. In an article, Ilicak affirms: "Only if the CHP agrees to some of the amendments and more than 367 members of parliament vote for them, then President Gul can remove them from the package and submit only the remaining amendments to a referendum. Erdogan's latest remarks on television signal such a possibility. Nevertheless, the CHP will not vote in favor of the even non controversial amendments unless it has reassurances from President Gul. Therefore, be prepared for some tough disputes especially on some of the amendments."

    In an article entitled "Liberal criticism and a suggestion", Zaman columnist Ali Bulac asserts that the process started by the government's bid to pass a constitutional amendment package should be used as a "valuable opportunity" to address the future question of how to draw up a new and civilian constitution. He also responds to a Radikal article calling on "young people who have adopted Islam as an ethical, intellectual, social, and political cause" to read books written by liberal writers and academics rather than Islamists. He argues that representing Western liberalism as an absolute point of reference where rights and freedoms are concerned, as the said article is doing, amounts to "secular dogmatism."

    EG/


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