|Tuesday, 24 October 2017|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-30
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. 121/10 30.06.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Stefan Fule says the EU cannot accept Turkey to partly implement the Customs Union, excluding CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.06.10) reports that Stefan Fule, Commissioner responsible for the European Unions Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, has said that the EU cannot accept Turkey to partly implement the Customs Union Agreement, by excluding Cyprus which is an EU member-state.
Under the title The Cyprus problem will definitely be solved, Havadis publishes an exclusive interview with Mr Fule, who said that the EU Commission encourages the leaders in Cyprus to give the final shape to the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem in year 2010, if this is possible.
Mr Fule was asked to comment on the information that the Republic of Cyprus would have blocked the opening of the chapter on the food safety, veterinary and phyto-sanitary in Turkeys accession talks in case the Direct Trade Regulation with the Turkish Cypriots was discussed at the European Parliament. He replied that the European Commission sees no relation between the above-mentioned Regulation and Turkeys accession talks. He said Spain was working hard for the opening of the chapter on food safety on 30 June, before the end of the Spanish term presidency.
Responding to another question, Mr Fule said that the decisions for the accession negotiations of the candidate countries, are taken unanimously by the EU member states and added: Eight chapters have been frozen by the European Union as a reaction to the unwillingness of Turkey to fully implement the Customs Union and especially to permit the Cyprus ships to enter into its ports. According to the view of the Commission, the other chapters of the negotiations should open when they are technically ready.
Asked to comment on the disagreements in Turkey between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) on the issue of the signing of the Additional Protocol by Turkey and the publication of a unilateral declaration afterwards, Mr Fule noted he did not want to comment on the debates in Turkeys internal politics and added:
Let me remind the past, in order for the issue to be clarified: The Additional Protocol is a result of the enlargement of the EU. When new countries joined the EU, the current agreements, such as the Accession Agreement or the Customs Union made with Turkey, are revised to include the new member states of the EU. This is usually made with a legal document called Additional Protocol to the Accession Agreement. Therefore the signing of the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement was a precondition for the opening of the accession negotiations with Turkey and we cannot accept Turkey to partly implement the Customs Union, by excluding Cyprus which is a member state.
Asked on possible practical and political proposals, which may be submitted by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton on the Cyprus problem and Turkeys accession to the EU, Mr Fule replied that the issues related to the Cyprus problem, like Turkeys accession negotiations, are under the responsibility of the Commission, that he will work together with Mrs Ashton for promoting Turkeys accession course and that this accession is in favour of EUs strategic interests. He added: It is also necessary to urgently solve the Cyprus problem. The status quo is in favour of no ones interests. The Commission encourages the two community leaders to give the final shape in 2010, if possible, to the negotiations which they are carrying out on finding a comprehensive solution. Delaying the solution is not increasing the chances for a solution.
Asked whether he thinks that the European Christian Democrats support less the Greek Cypriot policy on Cyprus and what the EU will propose for the occupied northern part of Cyprus if the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem inevitable end, Mr Fule said: There is an agreement in the EU and in the groups within the Union on the issue of strongly supporting the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem under the auspices of the UN. The EU cannot accept the Cyprus problem to remain unsolved. The efforts should continue until a solution is found. If necessary, the negotiations should be intensified.
The last question addressed to Mr Fule was the following: In spite of the fact that five EU member states do not recognize the Republic of Kosovo, Kosovo is planning to become a member of the EU. If an agreement is not reached on the solution of the Cyprus problem, could the suspension of the EU acquis communautaire be lifted in Northern Cyprus, in case Turkey withdraws its troops from northern Cyprus and opens the Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot ships and airplanes?
Mr Fule responded the following: The EU law clearly provides that the condition for lifting the suspension of the acquis is only the solution of the Cyprus problem. Therefore, the solution of the Cyprus problem is a precondition for the expansion of the EU laws and regulations to the northern part of the island.
 Statements by Eroglu from New YorkIllegal Bayrak television (29.06.10) broadcast the following:
President Dervis Eroglu has repeated that the Turkish side is in search for a mutually acceptable and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. 1960s Republic of Cyprus survived for 3 years. However, our desire is to find a lasting settlement, he said in an interview with the Anatolian News Agency following his meeting with the UN Chief yesterday.
Referring to the international isolation imposed on the Cyprus Turkish people, President Eroglu emphasized that there was no rightful excuse to maintain the restrictions. The Cyprus Turkish people had established their own state in the geography created after the peace operation in order to ensure their security, he said.
The president stressed the need for the UN Chief to take an initiative on the issue and to prepare reports for the UN Security Council underlining the need to remove the isolation, a move, which he said, would deter the European Union from maintaining this injustice.
He added that the lifting of the isolation was essential in order to narrow the economic imbalance between the two sides, which he said, is necessary for a settlement to be a lasting one.
Touching upon the property issue - the current topic at the negotiation table-, Eroglu said it was a political move for the European Court of Human Rights to make rulings on the issue at a time when the leaders were discussing property.
He also stressed the need for making a possible agreement to be reached at the table a primary law of the EU. Otherwise, similar attempts to resolve the Cyprus problem and the property issue at courts will continue, he warned, pointing out that the Cyprus question was a political problem.
Responding to a question, he reminded that the Greek Cypriots had proposed to hold an international conference with the participation of the UN Security Council members, the EU, Turkey, Greece and the Greek Cypriot side and said the Greek Cypriots do not accept us as their equals. It is out of question for us to accept such an offer. The Cyprus question is a problem concerning the three guarantor powers and the two peoples of the island.
On Mr. Eroglus statements, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (30.06.10), writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader, furthermore, has stated: We experience in the negotiations also, the difficulties of not being a recognised country. It is even more difficult to find a side that will support you. The Greek Cypriot side, however, which is an EU member, is easy to find allies in the EU. It is easy to find in the UN, too. Our only security is motherland Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.06.10), moreover, cites information from diplomatic sources acquired by illegal Bayrak and writes that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is positively oriented to Mr. Eroglus proposal on the holding of a trilateral summit in New York in September.
 Bozer said that at OIC meeting in Damascus he will remind the world of the isolation imposed on the Turkish CypriotsIllegal Bayrak television (29.06.10) broadcast the following:
Parliamentary Speaker Hasan Bozer has left the TRNC to attend the extraordinary meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union of member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Damascus. Bozer is visiting the Syrian capital as guest of the Secretary General of Inter-Parliamentary Union of OIC Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol Kilic and the Speaker of the Syrian Peoples Assembly Mahmud Al-Abrash
The extraordinary meeting is being organized under the theme "the unjust siege on Gaza" during which difficult circumstances surrounding the Palestinian People will be taken up, with a call for the removal of the unjust blockade imposed on them by Israel.
Speaking before leaving for Damascus, Bozer described the blockade on Gaza as inhumane and voiced the TRNCs discontent over last months Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
Reminding that he will attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting of the OIC under an observer status, Bozer said that the international world will also be reminded of the ongoing isolation on the Turks of Cyprus during the meeting.
 A new protocol on tourism will be signed between Turkey and the breakaway regimeIllegal Bayrak television (29.06.10) broadcast the following:
Initiatives to revive the tourism sector in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are continuing. The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture Kemal Durust has met with his Turkish counterpart Ertugrul Gunay in Ankara.During the meeting between the two ministers, Mr Durust said that his Ministry wanted to sign a new protocol to maintain and extend further existing cooperation between the TRNC and Turkey in the field of tourism.The Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism responded by saying that all initiatives aimed at improving and promoting the TRNC tourism would be made within the framework of the new protocol to be signed.
Mr Gunay is expected to visit the TRNC within 10 days for the signing of a cooperation protocol between the two countries.
 Occupied Famagustas District Electoral Board rejects UBPs objection on the by-election resultsTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.06.10) reports that the occupied Famagustas District Electoral Board rejected on Tuesday the National Unity Partys (UBP) objection on the results of the by-elections which were held on 27th June in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.
According to the paper, UBP will submit a law suit regarding the issue at the so-called High Electoral Council.
 Chaos was reportedly created at the illegal Tymvou airport and the London Stansted Airport due to the problems faced in the illegal Turkish Cypriot AirlinesTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (30.06.10) reports on the chaos created at the illegal Tymvou airport due to the problems faced in the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines (KTHY). As it is reported, a group of 25 tourists, who were in the occupied areas of Cyprus for vacations, could not return to their countries because there were no seats available on the aircraft for the illegal Tymvou-Antalya-Stansted flight. The tourists were settled back in their hotels. The angry tourists stated to the newspaper that this is unacceptable and that they will not come again.
Speaking to Halkin Sesi, the executive committee member of the Turkish Cypriot Travel and Tourist Agents Association (KITSAB), Ozbek Dedekorkut, inter alia, stated that the British Embassy is following the developments but for the time being they are unable to give them any sound information. He also accused the self-styled minister of transportation and the so-called government that they are not doing their duties.
Meanwhile, as it is reported by the paper, chaos was also created at the London Stansted Airport on Tuesday, where Atlas Jet gave priority to its own tickets-holders and did not let the tickets-holders of the illegal Cyprus Turkish airlines on board. Around 50 passengers that would have travelled from London Stansted Airport to the illegal Tymvou airport in occupied Cyprus were not taken on board despite the fact that they were holding their flight tickets.
 Efforts to bring foreign reporters to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to cover Jennifer Lopezs performance are underwayTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (30.06.10) reports on the visit of Jennifer Lopez to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to perform at the Cratos Premium Hotel on June 24. Speaking to the newspaper, so-called officials evaluated the arrival of Lopez to the occupied areas as a great event. Specifically, self-styled minister of tourism, Kemal Durust stated that the arrival of such artists to our country is a great advantage for both recognition and tourism. On his part, the self-styled minister of finance, Ersin Tatar noted: Let Lopez come and we will welcome her at the airport. A world star will come and a message will be given to this world. This is an amazing event.
In addition, Mehmet Dolmaci, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Union (KITOB), said that Lopezs arrival to occupied Cyprus is one of the various events aiming at the promotion of the TRNC. He also expressed the hope that on the day of Lopezs arrival, the illegal airport is not closed due to the recent problems faced in the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines. Speaking to Halkin Sesi, the former chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Travel and Tourist Agents Assosiation (KITSAB), Ozbek Dedekorkut, described Lopezs arrival as an important event and, inter alia, said that they are underway to bring some reporters from the BBC and other world-famous magazine reporters to the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to cover the event. He added that they tried to act secretly as regards Lopezs arrival, in order not to meet obstacles by the Greek Cypriots.
Furthermore, Cyprus Today newspaper (30.06.10) reports that the contract of the concert, which Jennifer Lopez will give at the invitations-only official opening of Cratos Premium Hotel located in occupied Kazafani, has recently been signed and Ms Lopez is said to have been paid three million dollars for the concert. As the paper notes, it is claimed that she will arrive in the occupied areas of Cyprus two days prior to the concert with her 80-strong entourage and will spend three days there.
In the meantime, the paper, referring to the arrival of another world-famous artist, Beyoncé, to the occupied areas of Cyprus as promised by the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia, Cemal Bulutoglulari, writes: Meanwhile, Beyoncé is unlikely to follow in the footsteps of her rival [Jennifer Lopez] on stage, screen and celluloid. Mr Bulutoglulari had promised Beyoncé would perform in [occupied] Lefkosia this year after a sell-out Tarkan gig in the capital, organised by the municipality, last September. But he and municipality officials have remained tight-lipped about the prospect of the multi-millionaires coming. A letter was sent inviting Beyoncé to perform in North Cyprus [the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus], but she currently has no plans to tour...
Meanwhile, Onur Basturk, a magazine commentator in Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (online, 30.06.10), refers, inter alia, to the visit of Jennifer Lopez to occupied Cyprus and wonders who is the owner of Cratos Premium Hotel. Mr Onur Basturk writes: Contrary to what it is believed, the hotel does not belong to a foreign partnership. It is an entirely Turkish business. It is a hotel made by a constructions family coming from the Black Sea, by father Utku Bozoglu and his sons Murat and Kemal. The family is known as Boz Grubu in the sector.
 A new chapter in Turkeys EU accession talks will be opened todayUnder the title: Turkey to open new chapter in EU membership talks, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 29.06.10), reports the following by Sevil Kucukkosum:
Turkey expects the next chapter of European Union negotiations focusing on food safety, veterinary safety and phytosanitation to be opened at an intergovernmental conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
The conference will discuss the 13th chapter of Turkeys EU accession package that was begun when Turkey and the bloc launched negotiations in 2005.
Turkey, facing difficulties in opening new chapters in the EU negotiation process, is set to open at least one chapter before Spains EU term presidency concludes. Ankara accelerated its internal technical process in order to open the food safety chapter.
Egemen Bagis, a state minister and chief negotiator to the EU, said Parliament had passed all necessary laws on June 16 and had requested President Abdullah Gul to verify the laws the next day.
They were published in the official gazette on Sunday and we handed over the file to the European Commission on Monday, Bagis told reporters at an EU seminar Saturday.´
There are 35 chapters that Turkey needs to fulfill to attain EU membership. Twelve chapters have been opened so far, while eight chapters remain totally blocked due to Ankara's failure to open its borders to EU member Greek Cyprus.
Diplomatic sources have highlighted the difficulties Turkey faces in opening more negotiation chapters.
Some 18 chapters [in total] are blocked due to political reasons. So we are left with three chapters that can be opened after the food safety chapter. Those chapters are public procurement, competition policy and social policy and employment, one diplomatic source speaking on condition of anonymity told the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review.
Turkey has almost completed its preparations on the public procurement and competition policy chapters. If the Parliament passes two laws regarding those chapters we can launch negotiations on those by the end of 2010, the source said.
Subtitle: EU is incoherent in criticism
Turkish Foreign Minister Spokesman Burak Ozugergin, meanwhile, criticized the EU for first refusing to open negotiation chapters before accusing Turkey of shifting its axis.
We expect consistency from the EU. You dont open negotiation chapters but then say your axis is shifted. The EU should be coherent, Ozugergin said at a press conference Monday.
There are 18 chapters which are blocked and we expect Belgium's rotating EU presidency to remove defects caused by the EU in the following period, Ozugergin said. The EU should consider where it wants to go with Turkey. Turkey recognizes EU membership as a strategic target.
Reiterating that the food safety, veterinary safety and phytosanitation chapter is expected to be opened on Wednesday, Ozugergin said Spain had made extraordinary efforts to open the chapter to negotiation.
 Turkey will purchase 27 new attack helicoptersTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (online, 30.06.10), under the title Turkish minister reveals purchase of 27 attack helicopters, reports the following by Lale Kemal:
Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul has said that, in addition to an earlier decision to buy nine Italian AgustaWestland-made A129 attack helicopters, Turkey has also decided to lease nine A129s to meet the urgent needs of the Turkish military.
A Turkish request for the purchase of nine US-made Bell AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters is also on the table, and Turkey has not abandoned its desire to acquire them, Gonul told Today's Zaman.
Turkey's decision to urgently buy attack helicopters comes at a time when the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has heightened and expanded its attacks inside Turkey. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), believed to have links with the PKK, claimed responsibility for a recent bomb attack against a military bus that killed five people in Istanbul.
The Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM) announced on June 15 that it will buy nine Italian-built AgustaWestland (AW) A129 Mangusta attack helicopters.
Gonul, however, told Todays Zaman that Turkey will also buy the Cobras that the US said it cannot deliver before 2011. But Todays Zaman has learned that the US will only deliver two Super Cobras to Turkey, possibly in June of next year, and that it will not be able to sell more than that.
According to Gonul, AgustaWestland said it can only deliver nine A129 Mangusta attack helicopters in 2012. The minister also said Turkey has been negotiating with the company to see whether it can deliver them next year.
In a separate deal with AW, Turkey seeks to lease nine A129 Mangusta attack helicopters as soon as possible to meet its urgent needs, he added. Therefore, Gonul revealed Turkeys plan to buy 27 attack helicopters altogether as a stopgap measure until the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)-AW T129 becomes operational in 2013. However, local defense industry sources tell Todays Zaman that it is very likely that their delivery will be delayed because Turkey decided to buy 27 attack helicopters off the shelf. A recent crash of the test aircraft has fueled this speculation. The T129 is a variant of the A129 being developed specifically for Turkey under the $3 billion ATAK project.
 Turkey and Indonesia signed several agreementsUnder the title Turkey, Indonesia to lift visa requirements, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 29.06.10) reports the following:
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Tuesday that a decision has been made to lift mutual visa requirements with Indonesia.
We have agreed to start working on the removal of the visa requirements, Gul told reporters at a joint press conference with visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambangu Yudhoyono. The two countries citizens are able to obtain visas at the port of entry under current agreements, but, with the completion of the talks on the matter, there will be no need to acquire a visa.
This shows that the geographical distance between our countries is not a problem in developing our ties, Gul said. We hope that our good relationship will reflect on tourism and all other fields.
During the visit, the two countries officials signed eight agreements to boost ties. The agreements included cooperation on defense industry, cultural exchange programs and sea transportation, among other matters.
These agreements are a clear indication of the importance we attach to our ties, Gul said.
The two presidents agreed to increase the trade volume from the current $1.5 billion to $10 billion as a mid-term target. We are aware of the potential of both countries and we are trying to encourage this either for trade or investments, Gul said.
For his part, the visiting president said his country wants to open a new chapter of cooperation with Turkey. Our ties date back to the 16th century. We must increase our partnership and cooperation, Yudhoyono said.
Indonesian President Yudhoyono said that they invited Turkish businessmen to invest in the areas of agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, transportation and industry in his country.
Yudhoyono said they attached a great importance to boosting cooperation in the areas of politics, culture, trade and defence industry between Turkey and Indonesia. We are working with Turkey under G-20 and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). We are working together for a better world, he said.
Yudhoyono said Turkey had a powerful defence industry and the two countries should also have cooperation in this field.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Eroglus advisor alleges that the agenda of the UN in 2011 will be the agreed division of CyprusWriting in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.06.10), Prof. Dr. Ata Atun, member of Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglus advisory committee in the Cyprus talks, alleges that the agenda of the United Nations (UN) in 2011 will be an agreed division and not a united Cyprus. Under the title Will the UN Office be closed down? Mr Atun reports the following:
The meeting which President Dr. Dervis Eroglu held in New York with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, opened the door for some backstage developments on the Cyprus problem to come to surface.
In his Report adopted by the Security Council on 14 June, it is obvious and clear that the Secretary-General expects an agreement until the end of the year. It is obvious that the insistence of the Greek Cypriot side and Greece, which are not positive to a lasting agreement that will bring a just solution to the Cyprus problem, on not wanting a timetable, attracted the attention of Ban Ki-moon as well. Therefore, the statement of Ban Ki-moon during his meeting with President Eroglu that he hopes the two leaders on the island achieve serious progress in the negotiations in the coming months and that both sides should give concessions for this progress is a clear indication of making reference to November.
It is obvious that, depending on the course of the negotiations, the UN will take some new steps regarding Cyprus in November or December 2010 and recourse to new measures.
One of these measures is reaching an internationally acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem during an international conference. Even if the Greek Cypriots and Greece are not positive for a Five-Party Conference where Turkey, Britain, Greece, the Turkish Cypriot side and the Greek Cypriot side will be participating at the table, this view is in the mind of Ban Ki-moon.
During the meeting on Monday, President Eroglu proposed a three-party conference, smaller than the above, where the UN Secretary-General, the Cyprus Turkish side and the Cyprus Greek side will participate at the table.
According to news coming to our press from New York, statements made by diplomatic sources in the UN and the Spokesman of the UN, Ban is looking positively to Eroglus proposal for a Three-Party Meeting or a Three-Party Conference. It is very natural for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to look positively to Eroglus proposal. This proposal of Eroglu will be a miniature and a kind of Pilot Conference for what they are considering. The course, the debated issues and the content of the Three-Party Meeting will be an indication of the infrastructure and the success of the Five-party Conference. Therefore, during the meeting held on Monday, Ban felt the need to encourage President Eroglu in the direction of seizing the current opportunity for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
The fact that in the direction of Bans suggestion Eroglu expressed to Secretary-General Ban his belief that a solution needs to be found in Cyprus and said he believes that a solution could be reached in the end of 2010 in case good will, mutual political will and wish exist, exhibited the good will and wish of the Turkish side regarding the negotiations and secured good points to the Turkish side.
Christofias is extremely annoyed from the Eroglu-Ban meeting and the developments happened in the beginning of the week. The Greek Cypriot politicians are attacking to each other for this reason. The Greek Cypriot political party leaders, the high ranking officials of the political parties, the general secretaries and the MPs are very angry with Christofias. Christofias is in the position of being very unsuccessful in the eyes of the Greek Cypriot people.
The UN General Secretariat is not very pleased with the stance of the Greek Cypriot side towards the negotiations and the developments in the Greek Cypriot side. They have doubts that the negotiations will end and a Referendum will be held until the end of 2010, because of this unwilling and negative stance of the Greek Cypriot side.
Therefore, they have started whispering the measures they will take in case the negotiations follow a negative course until the end of 2010. Even if this is not official for the time being, the first step is (said to be) closing down the UN Office in Lefkosia until the sides put forward that they are serious on the issue of an agreed division, withdrawing the UN officials and terminating the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary-General.
It is obvious that the agenda of the UN in 2011 will be the Agreed Division and not the United Cyprus any more.
 Columnist on the Turkish foreign policy; Cyprus is seen as relatively small problemTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (30.06.10) under the title Mines in the way of Turkish foreign policy, publishes the following commentary by Bulent Kenes:
Do the large become the captives of the small? Yes, if we are to look at certain mined areas in the way of Turkish foreign policy.
I must note that I find Turkish foreign policy -- which has been expanding steadily since about 2003 -- as successful although it has been stirring debate in certain circles at home and abroad. I tend to attribute the arguments raised at home against Turkeys new foreign policy to defective perceptions created by the conformism of dancing to someones tune while linking the criticisms and accusations voiced abroad against this policy to a serious problem of acceptance concerning an emerging force that seeks the position it deserves in the regional and global balances. Of course, there are certain people or groups who do not fall under any of these categories. For instance, it is obvious that there are certain people who have sincere questions in their minds and who therefore need to be convinced about this new process.
Given this introduction, please do not take me as seeing everything in Turkish foreign policy as rosy. On the contrary, I believe that there are ups and downs with the process, though I have positive feelings in general about Turkeys new policy, with a primary focus on Turkeys national interests, regional and global peace, stability, security and welfare. Of course, I am aware of the fact that big earnings require taking certain risks. But, what is worrying is that the bigger picture is occasionally sacrificed for relatively small details.
Let me explain what I mean. Evidently, Turkey has long been pursuing the policy of zero problems with its neighbors. As a natural part of this policy, it seeks to normalize its relations with Armenia as well. But can it do this? No. Because the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, which it has made conditional upon this process, does not allow it to make any progress. By introducing another issue to the process of normalizing ties with Armenia, which would certainly make great contributions to stability, peace, security and welfare in the region, Turkey is obstructing itself. To overcome this impasse, it must find or create a way.
As for our national and historical dream of being a member of the European Union, Turkey has tied this target daring to reformat its entire system for the sake of starting or maintaining membership negotiations, which I support fully even without the EU membership perspective -- to settlement of the Cyprus issue, which is relatively a small problem and which certainly makes slow progress and which may never even see a solution. Turkey must find or create a way with respect to the Cyprus issue as a minefield obstructing the EU process.
The government makes frequent references to the fact that our ties with the West have a special place in our new diversified foreign policy. Moreover, they are sincere in these remarks. However, we have unfortunately indexed our relations with the West to the strained process with Israel and to some Palestinian organizations, of which we act as warrantors, although we can never be sure of what they may do in the future. In addition to this, we tend to underestimate the potential for poisoning these relations with our engagement with a capital which has adopted taqiyya as a way of diplomacy and uses it even against Muslim countries and which does not inspire confidence even in its closest neighbor. Turkey must find or create a way to prevent these engagements -- which may or may not be justified -- from poisoning its greater interests.
The foregoing also applies, to some degree, to our inclination to treat our relations with Iraq and northern Iraq only from the perspective of our struggle against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as well as to several other problems. Turkey should be more adept in clearing mines obstructing the emerging Turkish foreign policy and refrain from laying mines in its own way.
 From the Turkish Press of 29 June 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 29 June 2010:
a) Kurdish Issue
In his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik writes that the only chance the government has to end the terror is to give an ultimatum to North Iraq saying "get rid of the terrorists in your territories, otherwise we shall intervene." Noting that the government cannot give this ultimatum because of its monetary interests in the region, Asik argues that the alternative of compromises is being considered instead of harsh measures. Recalling that Ocalan was removed from Syria through harsh measures and an ultimatum, Asik states that the business proposals of Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, are putting Turkey to sleep. Referring to Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks that "the PKK has seized North Iraq," Asik tells the prime minister to wake up and asks: "Is it not necessary to pursue the PKK instead of money in North Iraq in order to render the terror organization ineffective?"
In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand views the possibility of Turkey and the United States negotiating over the PKK in exchange for Iran. Addressing the issue of an interlocutor with regards to the Kurdish issue, Birand urges the government to change its attitude toward the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP.
Assessing the appeal made by some hundred NGO's in Diyarbakir to the government to end the operations and to the PKK to declare a cease-fire in an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar calls on Ankara, Qandil, and Imrali to heed this voice which he describes as the most effective Kurdish voice. Criticizing BDP Deputy Emine Ayna's recent statements, Candar writes: "We are well aware of what the 'Kurds go through'. We are also aware that there are 'two lines' within the PKK and that out of these two lines certain BDP members favor the line that advocates the 'escalation of violence.' This is the reason why the appeal made by 99 NGO's for 'an end the operations and for the PKK to take a non-action decision' is forceful and meaningful.'" Referring to assessments made to the effect that the NGO appeal was altered upon the demands of the PKK, Candar argues that even if this is the case, this development does not eliminate the importance, the validity, as well as the realistic approach of the appeal. An appeal made to the PKK without mentioning the operations cannot be effective, declares Candar, arguing that in it is current version the declaration constitutes a kind of "Kurdish pressure" on the PKK to declare a cease-fire. Detailing the other points made in the appeal, Candar calls on the representatives of the NGO's to come to Ankara and to meet with the prime minister in order to discuss the implementation of those points.
The Kurdish problem could have been resolved when Ocalan was handed over to Turkey or when the Kurdish overture was launched, writes Mustafa Karaalioglu in an article in Star, adding that both times the solution was prevented by "domestic forces" and not by "foreign forces" as has frequently been claimed. Arguing that any delay in civil measures will increase the threat against the unity of the country, Karaalioglu stresses the need for a solution as soon as possible. The writer continues: "Those who had political responsibility in the past are now saying 'if only we could have launched an overture at the time.' If only TRT Shesh was established ten years ago, if only the authentic names of villages were reinstated ten years ago, if only permission was granted to conduct propaganda in Kurdish at the time. Turkey has arrived at the end of these 'if only' wishes. We do not have another chance of saying 'if only.'" Criticizing those who seek harsher military measures, Karaalioglu concludes that Turkey has no choice other than implementing the overture.
Viewing the toll terror has taken in the country in an article in Vatan, Gungor Mengi writes: "America does not want Turkish soldiers to pursue terrorists into Iraqi territory and, at the same time, it does not fulfill its responsibility of ensuring the security of the buffer zone. It is even using its position to teach a so called lesson to Turkey. The recent statement made by Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon was almost a confession that the super power is morally facing a super breakdown." Interpreting Gordon's remarks to mean that the United States is intentionally withholding intelligence information, Mengi describes this stand as immoral. Arguing that using a terrorist organization as a tool to punish an ally country is tantamount to committing an act of terror, Mengi questions whether the political choices of the Justice and Development Party, AKP, government that clash with US interests actually are in Turkey's interests, adding: "If the government is insistent on its Iran, HAMAS, and Israel policies, it should also take the risk of sending Turkish troops into North Iraq to eliminate the threat." Referring to Prime Minister Erdogan's proposal to fill in the authority vacuum in North Iraq with an international force, Mengi believes that it will be very difficult to convince NATO to undertake such a duty, concluding: "However, such an attempt will give legitimacy to a large-scale operation to be launched into North Iraq and will give Turkey the right to say 'I am not to blame.'"
Describing the statement issued by NGO's in Diyarbakir as a call made to the PKK to end the violence is an approach that is far from being realistic, writes Oral Calislar in an article in Radikal, adding that the declaration, which is almost entirely devoted to a criticism of the implementations of the government, addresses the PKK only with a single sentence that calls for non-action. Detailing the diverse voices within the Kurdish community, Calislar argues that Turkey's problem is not only violence, but also the approach that has denied the existence of the Kurdish identity and that has failed to differentiate between the armed and the unarmed Kurds. Noting that the link between the PKK and the organizations that wage a struggle in the legal arena, which was nonexistent in the beginning, developed in time, Calislar adds that gradually the support extended by the legal Kurdish movement in urban areas to the guerrilla forces increased and the hegemony and prestige of the mountain over the legal movement became consolidated. Noting that the relations between the legal Kurdish movement and the PKK and Ocalan is not artificial or based on force as claimed, Calislar argues that the social psychology of the region should be assessed within this framework. Referring to the KCK operations, Calislar underlines that to think that one can sever these ties with a single stroke can and does lead to extremely dangerous consequences.
In an article entitled "Taraf pays the biggest price", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal cites the absence of "democratic control of the military" as the main reason behind Turkey's failure to solve its "decades old Kurdish question" or root out PKK terrorism. She also draws attention to "an advertising embargo ... imposed on Taraf" over reports and articles "disclosing the military's ill-defined policies ... and scrutinizing the military system of tutelage."
b) Turkish-US relations
Even if Prime Minister Erdogan and US President Obama did not arrive at a unity of views on the critical issues they discussed during their meeting in Toronto, it was important that they shared their mutual concerns and sensitivities as well as their intention to continue their cooperation in a more harmonious way, writes Sami Kohen in an article in Milliyet. Statements made to the effect that it was a candid meeting attest to the fact that President Obama expressed the US discontent over the issues of Iran and Israel, while Erdogan expressed his discontent on the PKK issue, notes Kohen, stating that it now remains to be seen whether the Toronto meeting melted the ice between the two countries and whether the sides will be taking action on the issues discussed.
Assessing the Erdogan-Obama meeting in an article in Radikal, Deniz Zeyrek writes that for President Obama the meeting with Erdogan was not a priority. The reference made by both parties to an "open and candid" discussion attests to the tense atmosphere at the meeting, speculates Zeyrek, adding that the message conveyed by Obama was for Turkey and Israel to open the channels of dialogue. Referring to the Iranian angle of the meeting, Zeyrek says that Erdogan's insistence on continuing the negotiations with Iran on the swap deal and his statement to the effe ct that the United States looks warmly to this move are not convincing.
In an article entitled "Is Bush still the tenant of the White House?", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon for his recent remarks questioning Turkey's refusal to endorse the latest UN resolution on Iran and saying that Ankara needs to demonstrate its commitment to partnership with NATO, the United States, and Europe. Defending Ankara's stance on Tehran, Koru notes that Turkish-US relations are not like a "Catholic marriage" and that Turkey is "not a concubine who has to obey everything she is told to do." He also calls on Washington to "listen to advice from countries that pursue a principled foreign policy like Turkey" instead of maintaining the 'you-are-either-with-us-or-against-us attitude." He ends by expressing the hope that Gordon will issue a new statement saying that his words have been misinterpreted.
In a commentary in Zaman entitled "Obama-Erdogan meeting: An attempt to correct mistakes", Associate Professor Cenap Cakmak describes the Obama-Erdogan meeting in Toronto as an occasion which allowed the US president and the Turkish prime minister to display their willingness to correct mutual mistakes regarding Iran although it did not enable the two leaders to make any concrete progress toward sorting out their differences. Cakmak also argues that there is a great deal of correspondence between Ankara and Washington's outlook on regional issues.
c) Turkish-Israeli Relations
Viewing the partial closure of Turkish airspace to Israeli military flights in an article in Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi writes: "The reality is such that Israel with whom we had 'the closest cooperation in the military field' till about a year, a year and a half ago, no longer exists. Especially phrases such as 'strategic cooperation' have lost all their meaning." Wondering whether bilateral relations will ever return to their previous level, Eksi underlines that for this to happen the conditions put forth by the Turkish government regarding the Gaza aid flotilla should be fulfilled. The fulfillment of these conditions is tantamount to Israel conceding that it has committed a crime, writes Eksi, adding that, however, Israel is very adept in covering up such incidents and shifting the blame on the opposing side.