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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-26

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. 75/10 24-26.04.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] UNSG congratulates Eroglu over the phone. Eroglu sends a letter to Mr. Ban regarding the negotiations in Cyprus, while Afrika claims Ankara to have prepared Eroglus letter to Ban Ki-moon
  • [02] Eroglu said that Turkeys guarantees, the presence of the Turkish army and settlers are his red lines. He wants an agreement to be reached by the end of the year
  • [03] Statements by Eroglu during his swearing ceremony. He assures that he will work together with Turkey hand in hand and calls on President Christofias to take into account the realities in the island
  • [04] Davutoglu held talks on Cyprus with the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader. He praised Eroglu and assured Turkeys support to the negotiation process
  • [05] Delegation from the illegal regime headed by the self-styled minister of economy to visit Syria and the Lebanon with the aim to attract investors to the occupied areas
  • [06] UBP to hold its extraordinary congress on May 9th
  • [07] Bulent Ecevits statue to be unveiled in occupied Lefkosia today
  • [08] The historical Castle of occupied Keryneia is being destroyed due to negligence
  • [09] Turkish Foreign Ministry riled over President Obamas statement on the Armenian genocide while Prime Minister Erdogan praised the U.S. sensitivity about the issue
  • [10] Turkish National Security Council to convene on April 29
  • [11] Statements by Davutoglu on the trilateral Balkan summit held in Istanbul
  • [12] Turkish Parliament adopts Articles 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of Constitutional amendment bill
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] Columnist argues that Ankara might unilaterally opens its ports and airports to the Republic of Cyprus for the sake of its EU membership
  • [14] From the Turkish Press on 23, 24 and 25 April 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] UNSG congratulates Eroglu over the phone. Eroglu sends a letter to Mr. Ban regarding the negotiations in Cyprus, while Afrika claims Ankara to have prepared Eroglus letter to Ban Ki-moon

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.04.10) broadcast the following:

    The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called president Dervis Eroglu to congratulate him for his new post. Providing the information, Eroglu said that Mr. Ban congratulated him for his presidential victory and spoke of a possibility of holding a meeting with him in a near future. The president said that he will try determining the date for re-launching peace talks with the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias after holding a meeting with Mr. Bans Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, at the beginning of May.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.04.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Newly elected president Dervis Eroglu of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) reiterated his commitment to resume peace talks in a letter he sent to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on April 23rd.

    Eroglu emphasized the injustice of isolations on Turkish Cypriots, and said that beginning a new round in peace talks should not be an excuse to postpone lifting the isolations.

    Eroglu expressed the belief that setting a time limitation for comprehensive peace talks would encourage an early solution and thus it was compulsory.

    He said that the UN parameters such as bi-zonality, political equality of peoples and equal status of two founder states should continue to be milestones of solution efforts in Cyprus.

    Eroglu noted that 1960 Guarantees System and the principle of equal sovereignty of two peoples were vital for Turkish Cypriots.

    In his letter, Eroglu also expressed his wish to visit Mr Ban soon, and discuss the perspective to pursue peace talks to find a solution for Cyprus question.

    Eroglu said that a solution was possible and reachable in the island, and it was necessary to exert more efforts to achieve this.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (26.04.10) on its front page and under the banner headline After the election, shaping a line, reports that during the election campaign, Eroglu who opposes the single-sovereignty principle and had repeatedly said I will take back our sovereignty that Talat gave to Christofias, backtracked as soon as he settled into the presidential palace.

    The paper also reports that any reference to the joint declaration of the 23rd of May 2008 by nationalists was perceived as rejection of single sovereignty. Eroglu opposed the joint declaration, but in his letter sent to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, it appears that he accepts it. However, the joint agreement of 23 May 2008 foresees a future federation with an international single representation.

    The paper also reports that the UN Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Cyprus Taye-Brook Zerihoun, announced in the presence of Talat and Christofias on 23rd of May 2008, that the two sides accepted the principle of single, international representation. They also named the future federation as the United Cyprus Federal Republic. It is evident that even from the first day, Eroglu, just like Talat, will be guided at the negotiations by Ankara, the paper writes.

    Columnist Sener Levent also writes that it is believed the letter sent to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was prepared by Ankara and was conveyed to the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

    (DPs)

    [02] Eroglu said that Turkeys guarantees, the presence of the Turkish army and settlers are his red lines. He wants an agreement to be reached by the end of the year

    The new Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, stated that he will continue the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem and that an agreement should be reached in the next eight months. Mr Eroglu revealed his next step in interviews he gave to the Turkish press.

    Speaking to Turkish daily Vatan newspaper (23.04.10), Mr Eroglu stated that he will never agree on a solution that would pave the way for the lowering of the TRNC flag from Pentadaktylos Mountains. This flag will remain there until the end, he stated.

    Mr. Eroglu went on and added that the negotiations will continue and that after an agreement is reached in all the six chapters at the negotiations table, the agreement will be put in a referendum. Of course we will continue from the point (the negotiations) were left. By saying this however, it does not mean that we will not discuss the issues which have already been discussed. Besides, they did not agree in every issue. These issues will be discussed over and over again, he stated.

    Asked about his relations with Ankara and especially with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Mr Eroglu said that he has no problem with Turkey. He went on and said that during the eighteen years he was a prime minister he never had a problem with Turkey and added that he will neither have a problem with the AKP government. Such a thing cannot happen because the TRNC cannot exist without Turkey. I am a person who says this clearly and openly. And during the negotiations we will be together with the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Turkey, he said and added that he will help the new prime minister, so the relations with Turkey to reach at the highest level.

    Asked about the message he wants to send to Turkey and to the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Eroglu said: I trust mother land. I trust its people and our brothers there. I thank them for their support until today. I want from the Greek Cypriot people of south Cyprus to encourage the President they have elected at the negotiation table. They have to know that we have the right to live freely in this land, as they do and within this understanding I ask them to support the negotiations, he stated.

    In addition, in an interview given to Turkish daily Aksam newspaper (24.04.10), Mr Eroglu stated that a time table should be set as regards the negotiations and added that Turkish Cypriot sides red lines are Turkeys guarantees and the presence of the Turkish army in the island.

    Mr Eroglu said that he wants to visit Ankara in order to hold a meeting with the Turkish President Abdullah Gull, the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Ilker Basbug in order to jointly evaluate the situation.

    He went on and added that they will introduce a time table as regards the negotiations and added that they should work so that a solution to be reached by the end of the year, noting that this is the wish of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.

    Asked about the conducting of an international conference for the Cyprus problem, Mr Eroglu said that such a conference would be a wrong thing to do. He went on and added that there are two persons at the negotiations and these are not able to reach an agreement, therefore it will not be possible an agreement to be reached in a meeting in which many countries will participate.

    Finally, asked about Turkeys guarantees, Mr Eroglu said the following: Turkeys guarantees are our red line. He went on and added that he has two red lines. The first one is Turkeys guarantees and the presence of the Turkish army in the island. The second one is no comment to be made about the settlers, neither at the negotiations table nor at any other world platform.

    (CS)

    [03] Statements by Eroglu during his swearing ceremony. He assures that he will work together with Turkey hand in hand and calls on President Christofias to take into account the realities in the island

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Dervis Eroglu said on Friday that the Turkish Cypriots were not responsible for the lack of a result in peace talks that continued in Cyprus for so many years.

    In a speech delivered at a ceremony where he took the presidential seat from Mehmet Ali Talat in [occupied] Lefkosia on Friday, Dervis Eroglu said that he was thankful to the Turkish Cypriots for presenting him with a meaningful and honourable duty.

    I am aware that my new position as the TRNC president puts great responsibility on me. I would like to begin serving as the new TRNC president by thanking Mehmet Ali Talat for his services in the past five years, Eroglu said.

    We will realize all of our promises made to the Turkish Cypriots. Our greatest strengths are the democratic parliamentary system, the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, Eroglu underlined.

    Our goal is to carry the unity of the Turkish Cypriots to the highest level possible, Eroglu said. We will work together with Motherland Turkey hand in hand. The doors of the TRNC presidency will always be opened to the people and the Turkish Cypriots will always feel the presidency on their side, Eroglu said.

    We think that the international isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people are a shame of the international community and they encourage the Greek Cypriots not to reach a compromise. If a result could not be reached in peace talks under the auspices of the United Nations for so many years, this is not due to the responsibility of the Turkish Cypriots, Eroglu said. Our people favour solving the Cyprus problem, Eroglu stressed.

    There is no reason why we should not reach a positive result if the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias comes to the negotiations table with good will. We expect the realities in the island to be taken into account and want to see that our right to exist on these soils under equal sovereignty is not disregarded, Eroglu said.

    The Turkish Cypriot people are guided by Ataturk's principle of Peace at home, Peace in the world. We are ready to make efforts for the peace and stability of our region, Eroglu also said.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Former president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat said on Friday that he would continue to make efforts for a solution in Cyprus.

    Speaking at a ceremony in which Dervis Eroglu took over the seat of TRNC president in [occupied] Lefkosia on Friday, Talat said that he would add voice to the voice of the Turkish Cypriot people. I will pursue the solution process in Cyprus, Talat noted. Though the TRNC people and government are not recognized, they are received with respect in the world. We have glorified the TRNC, Talat said.

    I served as the president of the TRNC with great honour in the past five years. I have always been pleased by appearing in various global platforms as the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Talat said.

    The fact that the presidential elections on April 18 took place in a peaceful atmosphere is actually the success of the Turkish Cypriots. I thank the whole Turkish Cypriot people and wish the new president Mr. Dervis Eroglu success during his tenure, Talat also said.

    [04] Davutoglu held talks on Cyprus with the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader. He praised Eroglu and assured Turkeys support to the negotiation process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Dervis Eroglu in [occupied] Lefkosia on Friday.

    No statement was issued to the press about Davutoglu's meeting with Eroglu.

    TRNC acting prime minister and foreign minister, Huseyin Ozgurgun, also participated in Davutoglu's meeting with president Eroglu.

    Davutoglu and Eroglu are expected to discuss the Cyprus negotiations in their meeting on Friday.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Dervis Eroglu said on Friday that the TRNC would not be the side running away from negotiations in Cyprus.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in TRNC's capital of [occupied] Lefkosia, president Eroglu said that the negotiations in Cyprus will continue as the world public opinion expects.

    Ahmet Davutoglu has not left us alone on this meaningful and historical day. In our meeting today, we discussed the Cyprus negotiations that would resume soon, president Eroglu said.

    Reminding his words that the negotiations in Cyprus would continue and that the TRNC would be in cooperation with Motherland Turkey, Eroglu said that he held the first meeting with Turkey on Friday.

    We will get together more frequently from now on, Eroglu said.

    We will not be the side running away from the negotiations table. The expectations of Turkish Cypriots are clear. We have affirmed with Mr. Davutoglu on Friday our will to continue the negotiations in Cyprus, Eroglu also said.

    Minister Davutoglu, in his part, said that Turkey will always be on the side of the Turkish Cypriot people and their newly elected president Dervis Eroglu. We will continue to encourage negotiations in Cyprus and provide all support to the negotiations process, Davutoglu stressed.

    The international community owes the Turkish Cypriots a message, Davutoglu said.

    There is no justification for the continuation of isolations against the Turkish Cypriot people, one that voted in favour of a solution in a referendum held in 2004. The end of isolations is an ethical obligation. Those that want to see the Turkish Cypriot president at the negotiations table must end punishing the Turkish Cypriots, Davutoglu underlined.

    Davutoglu called on the whole world and Greek Cypriot side to make efforts to find a solution in Cyprus.

    Mr. President, you have highlighted this strong will (for a solution). Turkey will always be on the side of this strong will. I congratulate you once more, Davutoglu said.

    Ahmet Davutoglu left the TRNC after the joint press conference. Davutoglu was in the TRNC to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected Turkish Cypriot president Dervis Eroglu.

    [05] Delegation from the illegal regime headed by the self-styled minister of economy to visit Syria and the Lebanon with the aim to attract investors to the occupied areas

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.10) reported the following from Damascus:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will hold promotional events to attract Syrian and Lebanese investors to the country.

    TRNC's minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun, high level Turkish Cypriot officials and a large delegation of businessmen will visit Damascus on April 27 and Beirut on April 28.

    Turkish Cypriot officials will provide information to both Syrian and Lebanese business circles on the investment opportunities in the TRNC.

    Sunat Atun will participate at the inauguration ceremony of a furniture exhibition in which the TRNC will have a stand in Damascus on April 27.

    [06] UBP to hold its extraordinary congress on May 9th

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.04.10) broadcast the following:

    The National Unity Party (UBP) has decided to hold its extraordinary congress on the 9th of May to choose a new party leader. This was announced by the General Secretary of the UBP, Irsen Kucuk, following a meeting of the UBP party assembly yesterday.

    Mr Kucuk told reporters that the assembly evaluated the presidential elections which was held on the 18th of April and informed their members on efforts concerning the upcoming local elections. He also said that the party assembly has decided to hold the extraordinary congress on the 9th of May with the aim of choosing a new leader to fill the vacancy followed the election of the Mr Eroglu as president.

    Noting that in accordance with the party regulation he will be filling this vacancy until the 9th of May, Mr Kucuk said that candidates for the post have not yet applied.

    [07] Bulent Ecevits statue to be unveiled in occupied Lefkosia today

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (26.04.10) reports that the statue of the late Turkish Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, who ordered the invasion of the Turkish army in Cyprus on the 20th of July 1974, will be unveiled in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus today. As the paper reports, the veil of the statue which is located in Prosfygochori village in occupied Lefkosia, will be removed by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu.

    (EA)

    [08] The historical Castle of occupied Keryneia is being destroyed due to negligence

    Under the title, Here is the importance we give to the historical monuments, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (26.04.10) reports that the Castle of occupied Keryneia has been left neglected and that resulted to the beginning of its destroy. According to the paper, the surroundings of the castle are destroyed and the visitors are in danger. The destroyed embrasures and the landslide created by the floods are falling upon the castle as a shadow, the paper added.

    (EA)

    [09] Turkish Foreign Ministry riled over President Obamas statement on the Armenian genocide while Prime Minister Erdogan praised the U.S. sensitivity about the issue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Ministry deeply regretted over the statement of U.S. President Barack Obama regarding 1915 incidents.

    The Ministry said on Saturday, we deeply regret this statement which reflects an incorrect and one-sided political perception.

    Obama described the incidents of 1915 as a great tragedy in a presidential statement he released on April 24. In his message, Obama used the Armenian expression Meds Yeghern, meaning great tragedy in Turkish, while describing the incidents of 1915, just like he did in a similar statement last year. Obama said what happened in 1915 was one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry said, written statements issued regularly each year on April 24th by the presidents of the United States has been repeated by President Obama this year as well.

    The toughest enemy of the historical facts are subjective memory records. No nation has the right to impose its memory records on another nation, noted the Ministry.

    It said, third countries neither have a right nor authority to judge the history of Turkish-Armenian relations with political motives.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the statements of U.S. President Barack Obama about 1915 incidents showed the sensitivity of U.S. administration about the issue.

    Earlier today, Obama, in his statement, used the Armenian expression Meds Yeghern (meaning great tragedy in Turkish) while describing the incidents of 1915, just like he did in a similar statement last year. Obama said what happened in 1915 was one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.Replying questions of reporters in Ankara, Erdogan said that Obama was aware of the sensitivities of Turkey and made his statement in this regard. He added that the statement showed the sensitivity of the U.S. administration about the issue.

    Erdogan also said that Justice and Development (AK) Party would never overshadow the rights of Azerbaijan.

    He said that the protocols which were signed with Armenia (for normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries) would not be put into effect before a regional peace was settled between Armenia and Azerbaijan.Turkey shut down its border gate and cut off diplomatic ties with Yerevan in 1993 after Armenian army forces occupied Azerbaijan's Karabakh region.Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced on Thursday that Armenia was freezing its ratification of protocols with Turkey.

    [10] Turkish National Security Council to convene on April 29

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.10) reports from Ankara that Turkish National Security Council (MGK) will convene under the chairmanship of Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Thursday, April 29. The MGK meeting will take place at the Cankaya Presidential Palace and will begin at 13.30 hours. Domestic and international issues will be on the agenda of the MGK.

    [11] Statements by Davutoglu on the trilateral Balkan summit held in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (24.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday that The Trilateral Summit of Turkey-Bosnia-Herzegovina-Serbia held in Istanbul today was a historic turning point for the Balkans.

    Delivering a statement to AA on the summit held with the participation of Turkish President Abdulah Gul, Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic and Serbian President Boris Tadic, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, This trilateral Balkan Summit is a historic event, in fact a historic turning point in our region. Because, now there is a new momentum of regional ownership by the countries and leaders of our region in a positive direction. This summit is a good indication in this sense.

    Davutoglu said that Turkey desired to create a new atmosphere in its region, based on a common security environment, economic interdependency, high-level political dialogue and multi-cultural coexistence.

    Davutoglu said the summit constituted a high-level dialogue, it indicated multi-cultural coexistence as different orientations were there, and moreover, it reflected the common security environment as President Tadic clearly referred to respect to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina.So it is a good and symbolic picture from different perspectives and it created a hope for the future of the Balkans, Davutoglu said.

    Expressing the summit's importance for the bilateral normalization and improvement of the relations between Bosnia and Serbia, two neighbouring states that had difficult times in the past, Davutoglu said, It is good that Serbia reconfirmed respect to territorial integrity of Bosnia and it is also important that President Slajdzic declared that he is planning to go to Belgrade. This is important for the normalization of the relations between the two countries.

    It is also important that it is a message to different religious groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a message of peace, that they should have a parallel reconciliation in Bosnia, the Turkish Foreign Minister added.

    Referring to Bosnia's getting its Membership Action Plan (MAP) for NATO this week, Davutoglu said it was a very strong message to the people of Bosnia that they were now in the process of being a member to the alliance. This will create a new confidence in Bosnia, he said.

    Recalling the EU-Turkey-Serbia summit held in Belgrade the very same week, Davutoglu said such ministerial meeting aimed at giving the vision of the EU to Balkans.

    So, these are all good messages. As Turkey, we are grateful to leaders who accepted our invitation to come to Istanbul and who gave very positive messages to the world, to our region and to Europe. We hope this momentum will continue, he said.

    Davutoglu also stated that another trilateral meeting, which would bring together the ministers of foreign affairs of Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, would be held in the Turkish capital of Ankara next Wednesday.Turkey will consistently and insistently work for all the efforts of regional peace, Davutoglu said.

    [12] Turkish Parliament adopts Articles 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of Constitutional Amendment Bill

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.10) reported from Ankara that Turkish Parliament adopted article 11 of a constitutional amendment package late on Thursday.

    The article 11 foresees that those who would be elected to the Assembly's Council Chairmanship for the first time would stay in office for two years and second-term members of the Council Chairmanship would stay in office until the end of the period.

    The article was adopted with 338 against 70 votes, while one invalid during the voting joined by 409 deputies.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.04.10) reported from Ankara that Turkish Parliament adopted articles 14 and 15 of a constitutional amendment package late on Saturday.

    The 14th article amends the Constitution's article 129 on disciplinary proceedings of civil servants, and opens the punishments of warning and reprimand to judicial control.

    A total of 408 parliamentarians attended the secret voting of article 14 which received 336 votes against 71 votes, and a blank vote.

    On the other hand, a total of 407 parliamentarians participated in secret voting of the article 15 which amends the article 144 on supervision of judges and prosecutors. The article received 335 votes against 71, and a blank vote.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.10) reports the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish parliament continued late on Sunday debating a government-backed constitutional amendment package.

    After completing discussions on proposals by political parties, Turkish parliament debated and voted articles 16, 17 and 18 of the constitutional reform package.

    A total of 407 deputies attended the secret voting of Article 16 that allows for the trial of military personnel at civilian courts for crimes against national security and the constitutional order.

    337 deputies approved article 16, while 70 objected.

    The parliament approved Article 17 on the make up of the Constitutional Court. 407 deputies cast votes, as the article won 331 in favour, the lowest number of votes since the parliament started debating the bill. 69 MPs objected to the article while two votes were empty and two were invalid.

    The parliament also approved 335 to 70 Article 18 of the bill that re-defines office terms for members of the Constitutional Court. Accordingly, members would be elected for a period of 12 years and could not be re-elected.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] Columnist argues that Ankara might unilaterally opens its ports and airports to the Republic of Cyprus for the sake of its EU membership

    Under the title The Cyprus question from now on, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.com (23.04.10) published the following commentary by Cengiz Aktar:

    Approximately 80,000 people living in the north of Cyprus have elected Dervis Eroglu as the president of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Eroglu didn't win the election, Mehmet Ali Talat lost it. So did the European Union and Turkey. Despite all the counter-claims, what Eroglu understands from negotiations is to transform the current situation into the full independence of northern Cyprus. Therefore, this election result will create results way beyond important.

    As far as Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government is concerned, the result can be interpreted as the latest fiasco on consecutive initiatives launched lately. First normalization with Armenia, and then the democratic initiative to settle the Kurdish problem and now a solution in Cyprus has failed. The Cyprus question, which has been underestimated by Turkish foreign policy so far, has become more critical since Sunday evening. Turkey is continuing to lose time and money in Cyprus for the sake of nationalist ambitions.

    Subtitle: Three scenarios

    What will happen now? The first scenario is the collapse of peace talks and the start of a permanent separation process. That means northern Cyprus effectively becoming the 82nd province of Turkey, the de facto end of Turkey-EU membership negotiations and the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, being settled in the island permanently. Economic sanctions that the EU has applied to northern Cyprus from the beginning and the settlers from Anatolia have made northern Cyprus a totally dependent piece of land. Such a burden, including military costs, will not hurt Turkey's economy, but obviously it has a political price tag on it: The TSK going back to barracks in Turkey will continue to be involved in politics in northern Cyprus on a de facto basis. And with the end of EU talks, the present perception both inside and outside Turkey that Turkey is turning its back to the West will be reinforced.

    On the other hand, the Republic of Cyprus in the south will not be affected much by this scenario. Greek Cypriots who are the member of the EU, having excellent relations with the Arab World and the Orthodox World starting with Russia, having expertise in offshore banking and attracting 3 million tourists a year could bear the consequences of a permanent separation.

    In the face of this black scenario, a second possibility for Turkey is to make unilateral compromises to pave the way for solution and take necessary steps in this direction. President Abdullah Gul keeps saying that it is unacceptable that the Cyprus question could handicap Turkey. In fact, Turkey's international ambitions are more important than Cyprus. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, despite all his nationalist rhetoric, repeated over the weekend that the talks must go on. Along this policy line, Eroglu may be forced to remain at the table and stick with current negotiation parameters. And for the sake of EU membership talks, Turkey can open air and sea ports unilaterally. However this scenario is not realistic in advance of the 2011 elections in Turkey. Let's not forget that the opposition will provide unconditional support to Eroglu.

    Therefore, a third scenario could be envisaged. Prime Minister Erdogan and the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, have already voiced multilateral processes. In addition to the two sides in Cyprus, the names of Turkey, Greece, the EU, the United Nations Secretariat and the five permanent members of the U.N. General Council have been uttered so far. Probably, the remedy will be found in this option. If a solution is desired in Cyprus, which is a big obstacle for all concerned, it is nonsense to keep talks limited to the two leaders. Considering the fact that Eroglu is incapable of negotiating and has no intention of doing so, as Christofias is facing a great deal of trouble in the governing coalition, the two negotiator formula has no future.

    In advance of Prime Minister Erdogan's official visit to the Greek capital Athens on May 14, no progress should be expected. But the visit could trigger a new process suggesting a comprehensive approach to all existing feuds between Turks and Greeks, including the Cyprus conflict. In the meantime, a serious and comprehensive crisis management is needed on the island.

    [14] From the Turkish Press on 23, 24 and 25 April 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 23, 24 and 25 April 2010:

    a) Constitutional Court Presidents statements:

    Welcoming the statement made by Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic criticizing both the ruling and opposition parties for creating tension in the country in Milliyet (23.04.10), Taha Akyol writes: "It is extremely satisfactory that in Turkey that has been polarized, the president of the Constitutional Court has issued, in the name of law and justice, an 'independent and impartial' warning that is equidistant from the clashing focal points!" Describing Kilic's remarks inviting the judiciary to conduct self-criticism as "extremely important," Akyol goes on to embrace the Court president's comments about problems related to judicial independence and neutrality and his appeal to free the judicial system of any political ideology.

    Gungor Mengi, in a column in Istanbul Vatan (24.04.10), accuses Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic of voting in favor of religious parties in the hearing of cases in which they are involved and argues that his statement on the anniversary of the court confirmed that he merely made an effort to conceal his approach. Stressing that Kilic almost reprimanded the people who criticize the large number of arrests and detainees in the Ergenekon case, Mengi notes: "How would the simple citizens, including the media organs, be informed that laws are wrongly applied if generals, professors, and journalists were not detained en masse? The high court should have realized the situation prior to the politically motivated mass arrests began in the country, that is to say, before we were informed. Hasim Kilic's reaction to the criticism is like the behavior of a warden reprimanding the families of the arrested people in prison."

    b) Armenian decision to freeze the ratification of the Turkish-Armenian Protocols and US President Obamas statements on the anniversary of the Armenian genocide:

    Viewing the Armenian government decision to suspend the parliamentary ratification process of the Turkish-Armenian protocols as a political one in an article in Hurriyet Daily News (23.04.10), Yusuf Kanli argues that this decision made two days in advance of the anniversary of the alleged "genocide" is aimed at increasing the pressure on President Obama "to use the "g" word in his anniversary statement." Declaring that it will not be the end of the world for Turkey if the US president decides to use the "g" word, Kanli adds: "Of course, such a decision will have a cost for both the U.S. and Turkey, but Armenia will pay more for such a development."

    Turkey's introduction of the Karabakh condition to the ratification process of the protocols raises the problem of Turkeys credibility, writes Cengiz Candar in an article in Referans (23.04.10), adding that it does not seem as if the Armenians will withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh in the near future because this issue depends on the conciliation of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the final status of Karabakh. Candar maintains that the Armenians, having thus assessed the situation, have decided to suspend the ratification process in order to shift the blame of the "freezing" of relations on Turkey. Drawing attention to the timing of the Armenian decision, Candar argues that the Armenian government wants President Obama's 24 April address to have a harsher content compared to the address of last year even if the word genocide is not used. Declaring the contacts held within the framework of the Turkey -Armenia-US triangle last week in Washington as "unsuccessful," Candar concludes: "Turkey's Caucasus policy has been linked to Azerbaijan at least until 2011 or until Azerbaijan and Armenia sign an agreement on the fundamental principles of a solution to the Karabakh conflict."

    Taha Akyol views the tactical and strategic objectives of Armenia's decision to freeze the protocols it signed with Turkey to normalize relations between the two countries and argues that Yerevan expects the United States, Russia, and the other countries concerned to put pressure an Ankara to change its approach on Nagorno-Karabakh. In a column in Istanbul Milliyet (24.04.10), Akyol argues that the United States and Russia must adopt a more active position for the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and draws attention to the need for practical steps instead of comprehensive protocols and road maps. Pointing to the importance of the psychological aspect of the problem, he believes that finding a solution will take a long time.

    Writing in Istanbul Milliyet (24.04.10), Semih Idiz describes Yerevan's decision to suspend the protocols it signed with Ankara as a successful diplomatic maneuver, which, he says, placed the ball in the normalization process in Turkey's court. Arguing in a column that Turkey's general approach failed to contribute to the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and obstruct the Armenian claims on genocide, he says: The situation would have been different if Prime Minister Erdogan stood behind the protocols of his administration and persuaded the leaders in Baku that another alternative does not exist. Focusing on the Azeri leaders' decision to agree to Iran's mediation on Nagorno-Karabakh, Idiz claims: "That was a futile initiative. A problem exists for Azerbaijan in that because Iran's relations with Armenia can almost be said to be strategic. Had Baku been able to cooperate with Ankara without being carried away by its feelings, the situation in the Caucasus would have been very different now."

    In a column in Istanbul Milliyet (24.04.10), Hasan Cemal calls for a humane approach on 24 April toward the tragic incidents that made the Armenian people in Anatolia suffer after 1915 and notes that ignoring the past or trying to find excuses will not solve the problem. Stressing that 24 April is the day when the tragic situation of the Armenians in Anatolia is remembered, he urges everyone to share the Armenian people's pain and says: Every people in the world suffered in the past. Comparisons cannot be made between sufferings. That will lead to hostility. The right approach is to share or learn to share suffering and pain. That is required by humanity and peace.

    In an article entitled "This bluff will not work," columnist Ibrahim Karagul in Yeni Safak (23.04.10) describes the Armenian government's decision to suspend the process of ratification of two protocols concluded with Turkey as a bluff or a tactical move aimed at influencing a speech to be delivered by the US President Barack Obama on 24 April while intensifying pressure on Turkey. Emphasizing that there would be serious consequences if Obama uses the word "genocide" in his speech and Armenian allegations of genocide is recognized by his administration, Karagul comments: "Such a mistake would lead to a severe rupture in Turkish-US relations and a radical change in Turkey's position in a world where fault lines are on the move while causing Armenia to plunge into a serious crisis. We are perfectly aware that the US government takes those facts into consideration without being influenced by routine statements and tactical moves."

    An article entitled "Bahceli: Protocols must be withdrawn" in Milliyet (25.04.10) highlights a statement issued by Nationalist Action Party leader Devlet Bahceli who urged the government to withdraw two protocols concluded with Armenia which he described as a historic mistake from Parliament. Bahceli also accused the Obama Administration of attempting to use the protocols as a tool for putting pressure on the Turkish Government.

    In an article entitled "Normalization with Armenia is difficult," columnist Gurkan Zengin in Today's Zaman (24.04.10) ascribes the current impasse reached in reached in efforts to normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia to Russia's opposition to "foreign formulas in the region." Zengin says that the US Government must compensate for its "lack of vision" on the "genocide bill" with the speech Obama will deliver on April 24 and encourage Moscow to prompt Armenians to take action.

    In an article entitled "Parliament discussed 1915 on 24 April," columnist Murat Yetkin in Radikal (25.04.10) says that anti-Turkish demonstrations staged in Yerevan triggered heated debates over relations with Armenia in the Turkish Parliament yesterday. Noting that the debates did not lead to the adoption of a resolution condemning Armenia while a motion submitted by the Republican People's Party for holding a general debate about the issue was rejected, Yetkin comments: "But, the Turkish Grand National Assembly formally discussed the need to map out a new strategy vis--vis the incidents of 1915 on 24 April as a result of a proposal made by the parliamentary delegation of a political party. Another unprecedented event witnessed yesterday was a protest march staged in Istanbul to denounce the incidents of 1915. Ankara and Istanbul are gradually changing. But, Yerevan, Baku, and Washington also change. Does Moscow change? I am not sure about it. But, it seems that this wind of change will not yield a positive result for all sides unless Moscow changes too."

    In an article entitled "What to do now?", columnist Fehmi Koru in Yeni Safak (25.04.10) asserts that Obama refrained from using the term "genocide" to refer to the 1915 events because he knows that employing that word would damage bilateral relations with "Turkey, which has been becoming an increasingly important country for the United States under the ruling AKP." Koru goes on to criticize Yerevan for disclosing that it has suspended the process of rapprochement with Turkey. He argues that no progress toward Turkish-Armenian reconciliation could be made if Yerevan's move means that it remains insistent on its "maximalist demands" from Ankara and that it is "seeking revenge." He ends by claiming that Obama's non-use of the word "genocide" in his 24 April statement yesterday has given both Turkey and Armenia a chance to revisit the rapprochement process.

    In a commentary entitled "The Armenian and Kurdish issues", writer Mustafa Miyasoglu in Milli Gazete (25.04.10) argues that any rapprochement talks with Armenia focused on the 1915 deportation of the Armenians rather than on the Kars Treaty of 1921, which "signaled the end of a quarter century effort to establish a Great Kurdistan," would be detrimental to Turkey's interests. He also claims that there is no way what is called the Kurdish issue can be resolved without making such "concessions" as allowing people of Kurdish origin to receive basic education in their own language and establishing a federal system of government.

    c) Compulsory military service:

    Under the banner headline "Shortened compulsory military service postponed indefinitely, Ministry of Finance deprived of 2.6 billion Liras in revenues," Zaman (24.04.10) carries a report which highlights a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office after a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug. The statement pointed out that there are not suitable conditions for shortening compulsory military service in return for the payment of a certain amount of money because there are not an adequate number of recruits and it would have a negative effect on the fight against terrorism.

    In an article entitled "Shortened compulsory military service," columnist Mehmet Kamis in Zaman (24.04.10) argues that the Turkish Armed Forces which is one of the biggest armies in the world with around one million members should be redesigned based on changing conditions. Disagreeing with General Basbug's statement that shortening compulsory military service would not be appropriate because of casualties suffered in the fight against the PKK, Kamis says: "It is a fact that the Turkish army is larger than it actually needs to be. It is also monolithic and difficult to manage. Does Turkey really need one million soldiers?"

    In an article entitled "Military service under scrutiny", columnist Dogu Ergil in Sunday's Zaman (25.04.10) criticizes "paid exemption from military service" as a means of "plainly dodging military service in return for money" and argues that it amounts to a violation of "the constitutional principle of equality" aside from being "morally flawed." He also suggests a number of "possibilities" as to "why the Turkish high command insists on gathering high numbers of men and keeping them in uniform when their combat readiness is quite wanting."

    A report entitled "Military service to be standardized for everybody" in Milliyet (25.04.10) highlights anticipated changes in compulsory military service in Turkey which, it notes, will be given a fresh impetus after a recent meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug. The reforms will include turning six commando brigades forming a part of the Ground Forces and Gendarmerie into units purely consisting of professional soldiers and to establish a fixed term for all draftees enlisted for completing their military service.

    In an article entitled "An election stratagem," columnist Gungor Mengi in Vatan (25.04.10) describes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent statement that the term of compulsory military service could be shortened for draftees agreeing to pay a certain amount of money as a move designed to increase his party's votes in the next general election. He adds: "The message tacitly given by the Prime Minister to potential draftees and their families who number more than one million was that he could not convince the military to accept his proposal and his party, therefore, needs to emerge stronger from the next election by polling higher."

    EG/


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