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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-04

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. 103/10 04.06.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Christofias- Eroglu meeting was postponed yesterday; Eroglu says there is no need for being too sensitive; How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the issue
  • [02] Ozersay says the next meeting between President Christofias and Dervis Eroglu will take place on 15 June
  • [03] Turkish daily alleges that Pope Benedict XVI is to meet Dervis Eroglu
  • [04] Four ministers flied to Ankara to discuss the financial crisis in the Turkish Cypriot airlines
  • [05] Trips between occupied Famagusta port and Latakia are resuming on 7 June
  • [06] KTOS says the transfer of population is the reason for the economic problems in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] Gul said the relations between Turkey and Israel will never be the same
  • [08] Turkeys military ties with Israel have reportedly not been hindered by the Gaza crisis, but water and energy projects have been suspended
  • [09] A catholic Bishop was stabbed to death in Turkey
  • [10] Turkey took over the term presidency of Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 3 June 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Christofias- Eroglu meeting was postponed yesterday; Eroglu says there is no need for being too sensitive; How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the issue

    Under the title It became a comedy, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.06.10) reports that a deadlock was created yesterday during the meeting between President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu within the framework of the Cyprus talks. The paper writes that the meeting did not take place and that the two leaders talked only for 20 minutes afoot, because the Greek Cypriot delegation arrived with one hour delay at the place where the negotiations are held.

    The paper refers to statements made by President Christofias who said that he asked for the postponement of the meeting because Mr Eroglu had questioned the ground of the negotiations with earlier statements to the Turkish Cypriot press. The paper writes that President Christofias pointed out that a serious crisis could be created if the ground of the negotiations is not clarified.

    Mr Eroglu alleged that he does not talk too much in order for not giving the opportunity for misunderstandings, but President Christofias makes statements every day. He said that he also has to give some messages to his own people. He noted that he had clearly said that all chapters and sub-chapters would have been discussed during their first meeting and added that there is no need to be too sensitive and offended for insignificant reasons. Our intention is to reach an agreement until the end of the year, we are not thinking of creating a crisis and of discontinuing the negotiations, he argued.

    The paper reports that contrary to what happens usually, no UN official met Mr Eroglu at the door when he arrived at the building where the negotiations are held.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (04.06.10) refers to the issue under the title The first escape from the negotiations and reports that the first serious crisis was created at the negotiating table. Christofias, who was not taking into consideration what was said outside the negotiating table during the Talat period, started to take it into consideration now and came with one hour delay to yesterdays meeting, writes the paper. Afrika writes that President Christofias showed as pretext for his stance the statement made by Mr Eroglu that only the letter he sent to the UN Secretary-General is binding for him and that he is not bound by the statements made the UN Secretary-General and Mr Alexander Downer.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (04.06.10) refers to the developments under the title The first crisis at the table.

    Under the title Crisis in the negotiations, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (04.06.10) reports that the debate regarding the ground on which the negotiations will be conducted resulted in the ending of the yesterdays meeting before it started.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (04.06.10) refers to the issue under the title Christo [Christofias] is becoming impudent. In its inside pages, the paper writes that in statements during a meeting yesterday afternoon with the Turkish Cypriot Fighters Association, Mr Eroglu said that when he was elected some said that the negotiations would be interrupted, but as it is seen he has no intention to abandon the negotiating table. He added: However, of course there are some views which we believe and support. One of my duties is to reflect these views at the negotiating table. The chairman of the association, Vural Turkmen said they observed that some internal and external factors are exerting pressure on Mr Eroglu in order for him to accept and confirm the agreements reached between President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat by demanding the dissolution of the TRNC and the removal of the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people from the agenda. He expressed the belief that Mr Eroglu will not succumb to these demands.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (04.06.10) wonders What is happening in the negotiations and describes the developments as unusual.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.06.10) covers the issue under the title First crisis and afterwards reconciliation.

    Turkish Cypriot Star Kibris newspaper (04.06.10) refers to Crisis for the ground of the negotiations.

    Under the title Mini Crisis, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (04.06.10) reports that a mini crisis was created yesterday.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (04.06.10) alleges that Christofias abandoned the table and writes that Greek Cypriot leader Christofias, who could not digest the will put forward by the Turkish Cypriot people on 18 April, reacted to the fact that President Eroglu does not accept the single sovereignty which is a national Greek Cypriot position. The paper publishes statements by Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), who said they support the stance of Mr Eroglu.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot Kibrisli newspaper (04.06.10) alleges that President Christofias abandoned the negotiating table.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ozersay says the next meeting between President Christofias and Dervis Eroglu will take place on 15 June

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (04.06.10) reports that the representatives of President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, Mr George Iacovou and Mr Kudret Ozersay respectively, met yesterday at 14.30 hours and decided the date for next meeting between the two leaders within the framework of the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. After the meeting, which lasted until 18.00 o clock, Mr Ozersay told the illegal TAK news agency that the next meeting between President Christofias and Dervis Eroglu will take place on Tuesday, 15 June and that the two aides will meet again on 9 June.

    Mr Ozersay said they discussed many issues with Mr Iacovou and his delegation. He described the meeting as very useful and productive and added that the sides had the opportunity to explain in detail their views to each other and that this was very useful from the point of view of understanding each other.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Turkish daily alleges that Pope Benedict XVI is to meet Dervis Eroglu

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (04.06.10) publishes a report by Yasemin Taskin, the papers correspondent in Rome, who alleges that Pope Benedict XVI, who arrives in the free territories of the Republic of Cyprus today, is expected to meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, at the embassy of the Vatican in Cyprus.

    According to the paper, the embassy of the Vatican in Cyprus, which is built at the Green Line, is to give a positive reply to Mr. Eroglus request for visiting the Pope.

    (ML)

    [04] Four ministers flied to Ankara to discuss the financial crisis in the Turkish Cypriot airlines

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.06.10) reports the following from the occupied part of Lefkosia :

    "Turkish Cypriot finance, transportation, economy and labor ministers flied to Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday to discuss the situation of Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY) which is in a financial crisis. Turkish Cypriot officials did not give any details about their talks with Turkish officials, however, a statement is expected to be released following their meetings.

    Earlier in the day, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk told the parliament that his government was trying its best to save country's flag carrier airlines which he said was operated so badly.

    Problems are big, Kucuk said, adding that at least 20 million Turkish lira is needed until June 19. This is only one of the problems, he said.

    About his ministers' trip to Ankara, Kucuk said: They are not going to Ankara to strike a bargain. They are just trying to save the company. In an earlier meeting, Turkish Cypriot government had decided to find partner to KTHY. "

    [05] Trips between occupied Famagusta port and Latakia are resuming on 7 June

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.06.10) reports that the trips between occupied Famagusta port and the Syrian port of Latakia are resuming on 7 June. The paper notes that the trips continue for three years in spite of the fact that they are interrupted from time to time. According to officials of Akgunler Denizcilik Maritime Company, the trips will be organized once a week and if the demand increases in summer, two or even three trips might be organized every week.

    Last year, the company carried nearly two thousand Syrian tourists to the occupied areas of Cyprus. The paper writes that the passengers have the opportunity to travel with their TRNC passport to Latakia.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] KTOS says the transfer of population is the reason for the economic problems in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (04.06.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) has stated that the reason for the economic problems in the occupied areas of Cyprus is the increase of population and not the civil servants and the workers. KTOS announced yesterday its proposals for the recovery of the breakaway regimes economy. Speaking at a press conference on this issue, Guven Varoglu, KTOS chairman, said that efforts are exerted for the employees to be presented as the reason for the economic problems of the breakaway regime, but the transfer of population [from Turkey] and the fact that the state cannot collect the taxes are the main reason for these problems. He accused the government of not being able to carry out its duty, of remaining silent against the transfer of population and of governing with instructions given to it by Turkey through some agreements they make.

    Meanwhile, KTOS general secretary, Sener Elcil said that the volume of the annual imports of the occupied northern part of Cyprus from Turkey is three times bigger than the annual aid given by Ankara to the breakaway regime. Mr Elcil noted that the great imbalance is also seen when we take into consideration the fact that the savings of the Turkish workers and their families in the occupied areas of Cyprus return back to Turkey.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Gul said the relations between Turkey and Israel will never be the same

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.06.10) reports the following from Corum:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Thursday, in reference to Israel's attack on ships carrying aid material to Gaza earlier this week, Israel had made one of its greatest mistakes in history.

    Speaking to reporters while visiting the Governor of the central Anatolian province of Corum, President Gul said that Israel will soon understand how big a mistake they have made.

    There is no doubt that Turkey will never forgive an attack against its citizens and ships in international waters, Gul underlined. Turkey will definitely do what it has to do in the wake of such an attack, Gul stressed. Israel has made a great mistake which it will regret. We will never forget Israel's attack, Gul said.

    Israel's attack has caused great uproar in the world. The United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned Israel's attack. An independent committee will be established to investigate into Israel's attack, Gul noted.Israel's act was highly important and will be prosecuted accordingly. This is not an issue that could be forgotten, Gul said.

    Asked by a journalist about future Turkish-Israeli relations, President Gul said: As of this hour, Turkish-Israeli relations will never be the same;.

    [08] Turkeys military ties with Israel have reportedly not been hindered by the Gaza crisis, but water and energy projects have been suspended

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (03.06.10) reports the following:

    "Turkey's military ties with Israel have not been hindered by the ongoing tension over Israel's killing of civilians on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla. Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul says there are no large-scale joint projects, but ongoing programs with Israeli defense companies are worth hundreds of millions of dollars and will continue. In another development, Turkey has suspended all state water and energy projects with Israel

    Despite unprecedented tensions between Turkey and Israel over the military attack on a Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza, several defense industry programs between the two countries remain in place.

    National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul on Tuesday made it clear that Turkey would not cut its defense cooperation with Israel, but said presently there were no large-scale or serious projects left anyway.

    One ongoing program is the delivery process of Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance drone systems made by Israel.

    After delays of more than two years, an Israeli partnership of Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit managed to formally deliver six Heron unmanned aerial vehicles to the Turkish military in April. Four other Herons are expected later this month or in July, Gonul said.

    One of the six delivered Herons underwent a moderate accident on the ground, but officials said it would be repaired. Five Herons have started operations.

    The $183 million Heron contract was signed in 2005, but the program was dogged by technical difficulties from the start.

    Separately, the Turkish military earlier this year leased a Dominator drone from Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems. The military uses the Israeli drones mainly for reconnaissance purposes against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

    In another ongoing program with Israel, the Turkish land vehicles manufacturer BMC signed a contract last year worth a few hundred million dollars with the Turkish procurement agency to produce a total of 468 Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected, or MRAP, vehicles.

    BMC's model is based on the Navigator vehicle, developed by Israel's Hatehof Company. The BMC vehicles will go to the Turkish Army, and are hoped to prove effective against improvised explosive devices planted by the PKK.

    In addition, Israel's IAI is providing specific radars for Turkish fighter jets and Israel's Elbit is selling some avionic systems in Turkey's program to modernize the aging T-38 trainer aircraft.

    Also, Turkey's military electronics company, Aselsan, and Israeli Military Industries, which has upgraded 170 Turkish M60 main battle tanks for $670million, late last year, signed an agreement to jointly modernize M60 tanks in the world armies using this specific kind of tank.

    Despite ongoing cooperation, defense analysts agree that amid the present political tensions, fresh large-scale defense industry deals between Turkey and Israel are highly unlikely in the foreseeable future.

    Privately, Israeli officials also have voiced reluctance to sell strategically important weapons systems to Turkey. In the most remarkable example, Israel's Arrow 2 system is absent in a Turkish competition to buy the country's first long-range antimissile air defense systems worth between $1 billion and $2billion. U.S., European, Russian and Chinese companies are eyeing the Turkish contract.

    Turkey and Israel raised their ties to a strategic partnership degree in themid-1990s, and in ensuing years Israeli companies won Turkish contracts al together worth billions of dollars to upgrade F-4 and F-5 fighter aircraft and M60 tanks and sell other weapons. "

    [09] A catholic Bishop was stabbed to death in Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia new agency (03.06.10) reports the following from Iskenderun:

    A Catholic bishop was stabbed to death in his summer mansion in southern Turkey.

    Luigi Padovese, the Pope's apostolic vicar in Anatolia, was stabbed in the garden of his house in Iskenderun town of the southern province of Hatay. He lost his life en route to hospital. Italian Consul in western province of Izmir, Simon Carta, left for Iskenderun after learning about the killing.

    [10] Turkey took over the term presidency of Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.06.10) report the following from Belgrade: Turkey took over the term presidency of Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) in Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday. Delivering a speech during the take-over ceremony, Turkish Deputy Parliament Speaker Nevzat Pakdil said that the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization was gaining more significance each day.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 3 June 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 3 June 2010:

    a) Reaction to flotilla incident

    According to a report entitled "Did the Israelis poison the volunteers?" in Milliyet, the captain and the crew of one of the aid flotilla vessels, namely the ship Gaza, have claimed that they were forced to drink an undefined liquid which made them ill afterwards. The report notes that the crew members have since been experiencing confusion, adding that they have been transferred to the Forensic Medicine Department.

    Questioning how two allies of 60 years have now turned into enemies in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Fikret Bila finds the reaction in Turkey against Israel in the aftermath of the flotilla attack appropriate, adding, however, that "states have no right to be emotional. They should be realistic and act logically." Describing the latest picture in foreign policy as "a Turkey that is swiftly giving an impression of siding with an Iran-Hamas axis," Bila urges the Turkish government not to abandon a policy of balance in the Middle East.

    Viewing the possible reasons why the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to "tone down" their Israel-bashing campaign in an article in the same daily, Yusuf Kanli argues that the government has failed in crisis management and in getting a Security Council resolution directly condemning Israel.

    Mehmet Ali Birand in an article in Hurriyet Daily News points out that the flotilla incident will not only change the balances in the region but will even influence the course of the Palestinian issue, adding that the Prime Minister Erdogan's goal is obtaining a say in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, thus increasing Turkey's attractiveness to Europe and the United States. Warning that things might develop differently, Birand raises the following possibility: "If Washington wants to protect Israel and punish Turkey with respect to Iran, there will even be more tension."

    Responding to criticisms leveled against his previous article stating that the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, have no business in Gaza, Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol advocates "soft power" instead of "mobilization." In his article, Akyol also welcomes Foreign Minister Davutoglu's warnings regarding the wellbeing of the Jewish community and of Israeli diplomats and tourists. Opposing Republican People's Party, CHP, Deputy Onur Oymen's proposal to cancel the Heron agreement with Israel, Akyol advocates diplomacy and questions the wisdom of canceling an agreement that also benefits Turkey.

    In the first section of his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik agrees with an analysis made by the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies, TASAM, that questions why the aid flotilla was headed by the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, IHH, and not by the Red Crescent and why Turkey had to spearhead this initiative while the rich Islamic countries of the world chose to step aside. The TASAM analysis further notes that these recent developments, while serving Iranian interests, have placed a serious burden on Turkey since they have weakened the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran and have rendered the implementation of sanctions against that country more difficult, underlines Asik, asking whether Turkey's reckless immersion in the Middle East cauldron is a sign of being the neighborhood bully or the neighborhood fool.

    The Israel attack on the aid flotilla should be viewed from at least two different aspects, one being the Iranian dimension and the other being Turkey's rising prestige in the Arab world, writes Okan Muderrisoglu in an article in Sabah. Praising the Turkish approach of assessing the Iranian and Israeli nuclear programs simultaneously, Muderrisoglu argues that "'the global conscience' revived by Erdogan on the Gaza axis has made both Israel and the autocratic Arab leadership uneasy." Noting that the Gaza drama and Turkey's initiative on the issue have yet to be concluded, Muderrisoglu predicts that Israel will once again be tested with new vessels and attention will once again be turned toward Turkey. The writer also foresees that Turkish vessels might conduct maneuvers in Eastern Mediterranean in the near future.

    Erdogan's remarks that Turkey will not turn its back on Gaza makes Turkey a party to the conflict, according to Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi who in a article adds that it seems as if Turkey will be a party in all the regional conflicts involving Israel. Describing this situation as a choice with high political risks the consequences of which should be well calculated, Mengi argues that if the United States is forced to make a "final choice" it is will opt for Israel. Questioning why Turkey chooses to shoulder all the burden instead of being an active member of the international community on the Gaza issue, Mengi warns that the psychological damage to be caused to our country by a Turkey that is in constant clash with Israel can be dangerous for our national security as well as for the regime. The writer concludes: "One should not disregard the suspicion that the forces that are organizing the aid convoy to Gaza are setting a trap to Erdogan well aware of his weakness bordering obsession on the issue. One should also be careful with regards to foreign plots especially after this recent experience."

    Viewing the "political Islam" aspect of the aid flotilla in an article in Vatan, Okay Gonensin writes that if the AKP government assumes the role of being the "spiritual patron" of the new flotilla being organized, this stand will be that of the Republic of Turkey and not that of the party. Noting that the IHH abroad and its unofficial extensions might stage "civilian" protests, Gonensin underlines that, however, if these actions pressure Turkey, the Republican has the right to intervene. Detailing the growth of political Islam in the Middle East, Gonensin underlines that radical Islamist movements cannot make the Turkish Republic a prisoner of their policy of violence.

    Summing up the developments in the aftermath of the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla in a article in Radikal, Hasan Cemal Guzel argues that it would not be realistic to assume that the United States was not informed of the attack prior to its being launched, adding that its silence can, in a way, be interpreted as a permission to go ahead with it. The strategic partnership Turkey has forged with the Russian Federation and the Iranian swap deal play a role in this US stand, according to Guzel who believes that in the aftermath of the Davos incident Israel launched a campaign against the AKP and Erdogan trying to convey the message that Turkey is shifting its axis. Arguing that Israel is disturbed by the fact that Turkey has become a rising power in the region, Guzel accuses Israel of trying to foil the nuclear swap deal and to increase the tension in the region. In conclusion, Guzel predicts that Israel's calculations will not yield results, that the flotilla attack will topple the Israeli government, and that the blockade of Gaza will not continue.

    Under the headline, "Turkey's Determination Brings Israel to Heel," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that Israel has had to release the "peace volunteers" it arrested in the operation against the flotilla carrying relief supplies to the Gaza Strip in a reversal of its plans to put the detainees on trial in the face of an "ultimatum" from Turkey.

    In an article entitled "Israel Will Never Forget 31 May", Yeni Safak columnist Yalcin Akdogan, writing under the pseudonym Yasin Dogan, comments on what he presents as the beneficial results of the Israeli raid on the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. He claims that the Israeli "outrage" has served to call global attention to Gaza and remarkably increase international pressures for the lifting of the Israeli blockade, as well as exposing Israel as a country that poses a "threat" to regional peace and stability owing to "aggressive policies" brought on by an "obsession with security."

    In an article entitled "That is Not Acceptable", Yeni Safak columnist Salih Tuna expresses surprise at the revelation following the latest crisis over the aid convoy for Gaza that Turkey had planned to carry out a joint military exercise with "terrorist" Israel. He recalls how an earlier Israeli military operation against Palestinian and Lebanese "children, women, and elders" led to the disclosure of a Turkish-Israeli friendship group in Parliament, adding that such revelations are adding up to create the impression that the Government is maintaining a "chummy" relationship with Israel behind closed doors while publicly using a rhetoric of enmity against this country. He also claims that in the wake of Prime Minister Erdogan's characterization of Israel as a "bandit" and "pirate" over the attack on the aid convoy, the Government cannot afford to refrain from canceling all defense industry agreements and contracts signed with Israel.

    In an article entitled "What Washington Needs To Understand" Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru accuses the United States of "once more" encouraging Israel to make foreign policy "mistakes" in failing to show a "sharp" response to Israel's use of force against the civilian passengers of the flotilla of aid for Gaza in an act of "piracy" in international waters.

    Under the banner headline, "May God Bless Your Campaign," Vakit publishes a front-page report which asserts that tens of thousands of people convened in Istanbul's Taksim Square yesterday to greet the "[war] veterans from Gaza" who were detained by Israel in the raid on the humanitarian flotilla. According to the report, the "peace volunteers" who returned to Turkey yesterday included Vakit writers Ahmet Varol and Mustafa Ozcan as well as Vakit executives Ahmet Karahasanoglu and Kemal Gumus.

    In an article entitled "Israel Will Either Lift This Embargo or ...", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya asserts that new relief convoys including ships from all over the world escorted by frigates will soon be setting sail for Gaza. He claims that Israel will "possibly" face dire consequences if it "has the nerve to attack again." Karakaya also lauds the "historic declaration" issued by the TBMM yesterday as one that faces Israel with a choice between lifting its "inhuman" embargo against Gaza or agreeing to see Turkish warships in the Mediterranean Sea.

    In an article entitled "Thanks IHH, Thanks Yildirim", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak lauds the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, IHH, for performing a "major feat" that "will change the course of history" by organizing the latest relief effort for Gaza intercepted by the Israeli military. He claims that the events involving the aid convoy for Gaza have enhanced international awareness of the plight of the people of Gaza as well as exposing "the dirty face of Zionism and the Israeli government." He also asserts that "the blood of our brothers martyred by Israel will be an elixir of life for the children of Gaza."

    In an article entitled "Israel Headed Toward Isolation", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay calls attention to what he describes as indications that Israel is gradually being isolated from the international community over its "racist" and "militarist" policies. He also urges Ankara to "act responsibly" by trying to "help everyone, including the Israeli people", understand that keeping the Palestinians under pressure will not make for peace or security for anyone even as it "brings Israel to account over its latest acts of banditry by using all available means of diplomacy."

    In an article entitled "As Long as These Agreements are Not Canceled" in Milli Gazete columnist Necmettin Cakmak criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan for not announcing any "concrete" sanctions against Israel in response to its attack on a Turkish ship in the flotilla bound for Gaza while criticizing Israel sharply for attacking the Turkish vessel. Cakmak compares Erdogan's latest verbal reaction to Israel to his earlier outburst at Israeli President Shimon Peres at Davos and recalls how Ankara maintained relations "without breaking stride" following Erdogan's walkout from his debate with Peres. He also provides a detailed synopsis of the economic and military agreements signed between Turkey and Israel in the past six years and asserts that Israel will continue to carry out "shameful massacres" unless the Erdogan government stops "playing good cop" vis--vis Israel and cancels all treaties signed with this country starting from the "latest visual intelligence contract."

    b) Kurdish Issue

    According to a report in Milliyet, Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, Mersin deputy Emine Ayna, commenting on the PKK attack in Iskenderun has said: "This is what I understood from the Iskenderun attack. From now on this war will not be waged only in Kurdistan." The report adds that some 25,000 participated in the march organized by the BDP provincial leadership under the banner "either freedom or nothing" demanding that the operations be halted, that imprisoned children be released, and that the Kurdish issue be solved through peaceful means.

    Wondering whether the PKK attack launched at Iskenderun Naval Base, simultaneous to the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla, was a business proposal made to Israel, Milliyet columnist Kadri Gursel in a article argues that as AKP's friendship and cooperation with HAMAS increases so will Israel's relations with the more extreme elements of the PKK. There is no reason for the PKK to reject a "kiss of life" from Israel while waiting for a political solution, Gursel declares, adding that while one cannot speak of a PKK-Israeli cooperation for the time being, the developments might lead toward that direction. Noting that the PKK is in need of new regional cooperation partners having lost Syria, Iran, and Iraq, Gursel draws attention to the irony of our new enemy being Israel, that same country Turkey used against Syria in the 90ies. Referring to the AKP government's ambition of becoming a global and regional player, Gursel urges the government to balance this ambition with reason. Warning the "romantic cadres" of the AKP administering the party's foreign policy that decisions that are not based on reason and that step on someone's corn might prompt some to hit Turkey from its Achilles heel, namely its Kurdish problem, Gursel maintains that a Turkey that wants to establish order in the Middle East without having solved its Kurdish issue and without having disarmed the PKK might risk upsetting its own order and stability.

    Viewing the PKK attack on the Iskenderun Naval Base as a change of strategy on the part of the PKK in an article in Hurriyet, Sedat Ergin dwells on the assumptions made by some in the ruling and opposition parties linking the Iskenderun attack with the flotilla incidents. Warning against the danger of such conspiracy theories that are not backed by concrete evidence, Ergin states that such assumptions might cause decision-makers to make erroneous decisions.


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