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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-07-01

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. 122/10 01.07.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu said he gave in written to the UN Secretary-General the Turkish Cypriot sides positions for the isolation issue
  • [02] Turkish officials at the opening of a new chapter at the EU view also the Cyprus issue
  • [03] Spain supports Turkeys EU membership bid
  • [04] TUSIAD chairperson asked EU to clear obstacles on Turkeys EU path
  • [05] The self-styled government announces economic measures which are causing great reaction
  • [06] Afrika blames the defeat of Eroglus daughter on UBP internal problems
  • [07] CHP leader to pay his first official visit in the occupied areas
  • [08] Dance groups from foreign countries will participate in a festival in occupied Trikomo
  • [09] Erdogan on Turkey's foreign policy principles
  • [10] Plans for professional army, in Turkey
  • [11] Economic growth in Turkey above expectations
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 30 June 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu said he gave in written to the UN Secretary-General the Turkish Cypriot sides positions for the isolation issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (01.07.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, stated that he gave in written to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon the Turkish Cypriot sides positions for the isolation issue. Mr Eroglu made these statements at a press conference in New York, at Turk Evi (Turkish House) during which he assessed his contacts with the UN Secretary - General Ban Ki-Moon.

    Mr Eroglu, who said that he visited New York upon an invitation by Mr Ban, stated that he is very pleased with his contacts with the UN Secretary-General. He said that Mr Ban is pleased with the determination of the Turkish Cypriot side for a solution. Eroglou also said he conveyed to the UN Secretary-General that the Turkish Cypriot side has no intention to abandon the negotiation table.

    Asked if the isolation issue was on the agenda of the meeting, Mr Eroglu stated that he has presented to Mr Ban the positions of the Turkish side on this issue both verbally and in a written document.

    "I told the Secretary - General that if the embargo on the Turkish Cypriot party is lifted, it will motivate the Greek Cypriot party to reach an agreement. I also said that there was no need to impose embargo on Turkish Cypriots. The TRNC is a democratic country and imposing embargo on a democratic country violates human rights. The Secretary-General listened to us and pledged to take action, Mr Eroglu stated.

    Asked if the Greek Cypriot side replied to the proposal Mr Eroglu made to Mr Ban, that a tripartite meeting to be held in New York in September with the participation of the UN Secretary-General, President Demetris Christofias and himself, the Turkish Cypriot leader said the following: I would like to think that the Greek Cypriot side will give a positive answer to this proposal; however I am not sure whether it will give it or not. I believe that they will give an answer to this proposal in fall," he said. He went on and added that he believes it would be unfair to keep the Turkish Cypriots for the coming years in the uncertainty of whether there will be an agreement on the island.

    Mr Eroglu also stated that at the moment the property issue is being discussed at the negotiations and added that while this issue is under discussion no other chapters should be opened. He added that the six chapters discussed between President Christofias and the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, have not been completed.

    Finally, referring to the Annan Plan, he stated that it was not a plan which was in favour of the Turkish Cypriot side, despite the fact that 65% of the Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of the plan. According to Mr Eroglu, the Annan Plan favoured the Greek Cypriots because they would have taken land back.

    (CS)

    [02] Turkish officials at the opening of a new chapter at the EU view also the Cyprus issue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.10) reports from Brussels, inter alia, the following:

    The European Union (EU) opened accession negotiations with Turkey on food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy chapter. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, State Minister and EU chief negotiator Egemen Bagis, and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker attended the intergovernmental conference at the European Council during which entry talks on food safety chapter were launched.

    Davutoglu said: The Republic of Turkey has been continuing its loyalty to its EU accession process in a determined way. The obstacles that Turkey could not overcome in its EU accession process were political ones. Everyone should be aware of this fact.

    Davutoglu said when Turkey and EU worked together, there would be no obstacles that could not be overcome.

    Turkey wanted to sign the readmission agreement with Belgium, which would hold the next rotating EU presidency, and then launch visa liberalization with a decision to be made by EU, he said.

    'During the presidency of Spain, we held joint meetings especially in Balkans. We worked together on the issues of Middle East and Balkans', he said.

    Davutoglu said that Turkey-EU strategic vision would be determined during the political dialogue meeting with the EU that would take place in Istanbul on July 13.

    'We want a powerful Turkey, powerful EU and an effective EU in the world. We believe that Turkey will make significant contributions to the EU', Davutoglu said.

    Answering a question on the Cyprus issue, Davutoglu said Turkey did its utmost regarding the Cyprus issue. 'EU has acted as if the Turkish Cypriot party had not accepted the Annan plan which was also supported by the Union. Isolations on the Turkish Cypriot side continued and Turkey's EU accession process has been slowed down', he said.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia (30.06.10) also reports the following:

    Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for the EU talks Egemen Bagis said: 'Those who think about the cost of Turkey's accession into the EU, should also begin to think about the cost of rejecting Turkey'.

    Bagis said at a joint news conference in Brussels after the EU opened accession negotiations with Turkey on food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy chapter: 'I am not concerned about an interruption of accession talks because of the Cyprus issue any more. Because the Cyprus issue existed when England, one of guarantor countries which has a military base and troops on the island, became a member of the EU. The Cyprus issue existed when Greece, another guarantor country, became a member of the Union. The Cyprus issue existed when Cyprus itself became a member. The Cyprus issue did not obstruct membership of any of those'.

    Bagis thanked Spain for its successful presidency of EU. 'The support extended by Spain to the constitutional amendment package in Turkey was one of the most important steps taken by this country about Turkey', he said.

    Bagis also added that they expected opening of accession negotiations on education, culture and energy chapters during Belgium's rotating presidency.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Agriculture & Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker said that the EU standards would extend towards the East and the Middle East after opening of accession negotiations on food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy chapter.

    'Lately, there have been controversies whether Turkey shifted its axis in foreign policy from the West to the East. Actually, the EU's axis has been widened after opening of this chapter. Since Turkey is a part of that axis, Turkey's axis has also been widened together with the EU', he said.

    [03] Spain supports Turkeys EU membership bid

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.10) reports the following from Madrid:

    The Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union (EU) compared on Wednesday EU's opening a new chapter with Turkey on the last day of the Spanish presidency of the union as 'Spain's kicking a last-minute goal for Turkey'.

    Diego Lopez Garrido, the Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, said Spain had worked till the last minute for Turkey. 'Thus, Spain has scored a last-minute goal for Turkey', Garrido told a press conference in Madrid.

    The Spanish secretary said his country had worked hard from the outset to open negotiations with Turkey on new chapters. 'Turkey-EU relations are strategic for us, and we have always backed Turkey's EU membership bid', Garrido said.

    Garrido called on Turkey to fully implement the Copenhagen criteria, but said the EU should continue opening negotiations on several chapters at the same time. He added that the upcoming presidents of the EU, Belgium and Hungary (as of January 1, 2011) shared the same view.

    However, Garrido said it was impossible to set a definite date on when Turkey would become an EU member.

    The Spanish Secretary said the Greek Cypriot administration had a great effect on Turkey's negotiations with the EU, however Cyprus problem could not be solved in one day.

    [04] TUSIAD chairperson asked EU to clear obstacles on Turkeys EU path

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.10) reports from Brussels the following:

    A delegation of Turkey's leading business organization TUSIAD met with EU President Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels on Wednesday.

    Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) delegation, led by the chairperson Umit Boyner, is holding talks in Brussels to attend the European Business Summit.

    Following their meeting with Rompuy, Boyner told reporters that the EU needs Turkey just as Turkey needs the EU. 'We expressed it during our meeting. There is need for dynamism at this point', Boyner said. She also said Turkey should make a 'dynamic comeback' to its EU vision, and called for all party effort to achieve that purpose.

    On the Cyprus problem, Boyner said that EU should view its moral aspect instead of its legal aspect and keep its promises given to Turkish Cypriots and clear obstacles on Turkey's path to EU.

    Pointing out the economic problems Europe is facing recently, Boyner said Turkey could play an important role in finding solutions to problems such as debts, slow growth and competition. She said Turkey's recent financial reforms and private sector efficiency should be used as a reference for G20 countries and EU.

    [05] The self-styled government announces economic measures which are causing great reaction

    Under the title These decisions will bring everything upside down, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (01.06.10) reports that the self-styled government has adopted and submitted to the assembly amendments to two draft-laws regarding the public servants and the income tax, which will bring everything upside down in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The decisions were announced yesterday by Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled minister of foreign affairs and spokesman of the government, after a 5.5-hour meeting of the council of ministers.

    According to the paper, the council of ministers decided to abolish the summer time working hours and to establish the 38-hour long working week during the entire year. It also decided reduce overtime payments to some extend, and taxation of pensions which are two times higher than the minimum wage.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.07.10) reports that the government decided to impose tax on vehicles coming from EU member countries and to increase fuel price. The paper describes the measures as decisions which could disturb peace in labour relations in the country.

    The paper refers to comments on the issue by Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), who said that the government needs the majority of the votes in the assembly in order to pass the above-mentioned amendments. Denktas added that it will face many difficulties on this issue. In statements to a television channel yesterday, Denktas noted that the party will discuss the issue today.

    Moreover, the chairman of Turkish Cypriot Secondary School teachers trade Union (KTOEOS), Adnan Eraslan, strongly reacted against the above-mentioned decisions and called on the government to resign. He said the UBP government does not represent the Turkish Cypriots anymore.

    Furthermore, thirty five trade unions warned the government that they will go on strike for an indefinite period of time if the decisions are not withdrawn within 48 hours.

    The trade unions are organizing a protest today outside the assembly in order to protest against the meddling of the AKP government and the actions of the UBP government.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Afrika blames the defeat of Eroglus daughter on UBP internal problems

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (01.07.10) refers to the internal affairs of the National Unity Party (UBP) and says that all eyes are turned upon Ahmet Kasif, an MP with UBP from Famagusta, currently in charge of the so-called ministry of health, who appears to have the leading role in the defeat of Resmiye Canaltay, daughter of Dervis Eroglu, in the Famagusta by-elections. Ahmet Kasif did not deny media reports that he was at the Social Democrat Party (TDP) centre on the night of the elections. The paper recalls the problem with Tahsin Ertugruloglu, and adds that this problem is expected to be solved on Eroglus return from New York. The paper wonders whether Mr Eroglu will be able to prevent rift in the party.

    (IS)

    [07] CHP leader to pay his first official visit in the occupied areas

    Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (online, 01.07.10) publishes an exclusive interview of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkeys main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CHP) to reporters Deniz Zeyrek and Zihni Erdem. Inter alia, it is reported that Mr Kilicdaroglu will pay his first official visit abroad, as CHP leader, to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to attend the celebrations marking the anniversary of the 20th July Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus. According to the paper, during his visit Mr Kilicdaroglu is expected to meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    (EA)

    [08] Dance groups from foreign countries will participate in a festival in occupied Trikomo

    Illegal Bayrak television (online, 30.06.10) reports that the 42nd Iskele Festival started on Wednesday and will last until July 11. In this framework the 15th International Iskele (occupied village of Trikomo) Municipality Folk Dance Festival will also be held. Dance groups from Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Algeria and Hungary will be take part.

    [09] Erdogan on Turkey's foreign policy principles

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.10) reported that on a televised address to the nation, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey had the same sincere and rational stance, based on peace and friendship, towards every region, country or problem.

    Turkey is not against any country, nation, belief or culture but objects to any kind of illegality, injustice or despotism no matter where it comes from, Erdogan said and added: "This is the direction of Turkey's actual foreign policy".

    According to Anatolia, Erdogan said those who assessed the current issues in a fair way could see that Turkey had the same well-intentioned approach in its relations with USA, EU, Syria, Iran, Greece, Russia or Italy.

    The Turkish prime minister said Turkey displayed the same sincere efforts for its EU process and the peace talks in Cyprus; it carried out tasks in Afghanistan and cooperated with Spain for the Alliance of Civilizations initiative; moreover, Turkey was interested in lifting of the embargoes over Gaza, establishment of an order in Iraq and providing lasting peace in the Balkans and the Caucasus. Because, we know we cannot protect our country's interests by turning into our own shell and being indifferent to the outer world, he said.

    Erdogan noted that Turkey had to follow a multi-dimensional and multi-lateral diplomacy in today's world.

    Erdogan said the Third Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the UN Conference on Millenium Development Goals, the 6th Meeting of the Investment Advisory Council of Turkey, the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit and the 5th Turkish-Arab Economy Forum were held in Istanbul, moreover, he had the chance to hold talks with high-level officials from numerous countries such as Russia, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.

    Pointing to Turkey's increasing trade volume with Arab countries, Erdogan said such volume increased 428% to 37 billion USD between 2002 and 2008 thanks to the efforts of the Turkish government.

    Turkey's relations with Arab countries will continue to improve based on a fruitful cooperation, Erdogan noted.

    Regarding his recent participation in the G-20 summit held in Canada as well, the Turkish prime minister said Turkey's remarkable transformation process in the recent term and its success in fight against global economic crisis had been praised during the summit.

    [10] Plans for professional army, in Turkey

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper online (30.06.10) writes, inter alia, the following:

    Responding to reports that the military is preparing to hire 500,000 career soldiers, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said Wednesday that no such number had been determined, but work continues to prepare non-conscript forces.

    Daily Aksam had earlier reported that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), was ready to structure a military force of 500,000 career soldiers, quoting Egemen Bagis, a state minister and Turkey's chief EU negotiator.

    'The government is prepared to hire 500,000 people. This structural change will also contribute to our struggle with unemployment', the minister was quoted as saying during a talk with journalists at the Turkish ambassador's office in Brussels.

    But Gonul said the study on hiring a large number of career military soldiers was ongoing and a specific number had not yet been determined, the Anatolia news agency reported.

    Following a spate of deadly attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, (PKK), the Turkish General Staff said last week that career military forces would take charge of guarding the country's borders, particularly near northern Iraq.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper online (01.07.10) reports that the Turkish Armed Forces frequently comes under harsh criticism for deploying unskilled soldiers in the fight against PKK, and that there have been growing calls from the public to establish a professional army and launch a new strategy.

    [11] Economic growth in Turkey above expectations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency reports (30.06.10) on the data announced (29.06.10) by Turkstat, Turkey's statistical authority, that Turkish economic growth accelerated in the first quarter of 2010 to 11.7%, making it the second fastest growing economy among G-20 countries after China.

    The Turkish government pointed out that strong expansion was driven by base effect as it comes after a contraction of 14.5% in the first quarter of 2009.

    Despite uncertainty in global economic outlook related to recent problems in European economies, we anticipate a stronger-than-expected growth this year, the statement said.

    With its strong structure of economic and financial system, Turkey has become one of the fastest recovering countries. We expect Turkish economy to continue this performance in the coming period, it said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 30 June 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 30 June 2010:

    Kurdish Issue

    Viewing the visit to North Iraq of State Minister Zafer Caglayan and some 200 businessmen in an article in Milliyet, Sami Kohen says that "this visit will raise to an 'official' level the economic relations that were being conducted 'de facto' until now." Noting that this visit will be beneficial for the people in North Iraq, for Turkey, and for the Southeast, Kohen underlines that it will also constitute another step in the Turkish-North Iraqi rapprochement process. Pointing out that the strengthening of economic ties is an important factor in creating a positive political and psychological atmosphere, Kohen questions whether this factor will contribute to solving the security problem caused by the presence of the PKK terrorists in the region and whether the development of relations between Ankara and the Regional Administration in North Iraq will help to render the terrorists ineffective. Kohen stresses the need for cooperation among the central government in Iraq, the regional Kurdish administration, and US officials regarding the measures to be taken against the PKK in North Iraq and concludes: "Therefore, rapprochement with North Iraq and close relations with the regional administration are very important. Trade is one of the most effective factors to achieve this goal."

    Mehmet Ali Birand in an article in Hurriyet Daily News quotes a source close to the Obama Administration telling him that "Iran and the PKK are completely different issues. There is no link what so ever." Examining the struggle against the PKK, Birand views Turkey's expectations from the United States and for Barzani and the danger of a civil war.

    Abdullah Ocalan was handed over to Turkey under US sponsorship in 1999 in order to open the path of Talabani and Barzani and to enable the formation of the Kurdistan administration in north Iraq, writes Samil Tayyar in an article in Star. Noting that the situation presented by Ocalan, who was handed over on condition that he would not be executed, is a critical phase for the EU process, Tayyar refers to voices emerging from the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, favoring Ocalan's execution and asks why the MHP voted against his execution in the past. Drawing attention to the legal impossibility of executing Ocalan now, Tayyar explains that the life sentence with no possibility of parole is a "gained right" for Ocalan and that any new ruling that is against a convict is legally inapplicable. MHP proposals to execute Ocalan may have certain political considerations, but they are devoid of any legal validity, underlines Tayyar.

    Ridiculing the obsessive manner in which the media is covering the issue of a possible meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Kilicdaroglu in an article in Vatan, Hikmet Bila describes this issue as an artificial one, underlining that the real issue is the terrorist attacks being launched in the country, the conditions being put forth in the Southeast under the guise of NGO calls, and the messages of power being conveyed from North Iraq. Noting that currently Ankara does not hold the initiative of determining the country's agenda, Bila criticizes the NGO's in Diyarbakir for considering the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, to be the equivalent of the PKK and issuing calls to the TSK to end the operations and to the PKK to declare a cease-fire.

    The assessments being made in the west of the country that the appeal of the Diyarbakir NGO's proves that the Kurds are against PKK violence do not reflect the reality, writes Oral Calislar in an article in Radikal, adding that such assessments have led to erroneous policies on the issue. A look at the NGO appeal shows that the NGO's want the speedy implementation of democratic steps and express their reaction to the detentions and operations in the region, notes Calislar, adding that the appeal underlines that the arrest of Kurdish politicians as well as of those arriving from Maxmur Camp have led to the current atmosphere of violence. Noting that the people in the Southeast are insistent on their identity demands, Calislar warns against making optimistic and wrong assessments thinking that the major concern of the Kurdish people is the actions undertaken by the PKK. A large majority of the Kurds believe that the atmosphere of non-solution is responsible for the PKK attacks, declares Calislar, adding that the viewpoint of the NGO's is parallel to that of the Kurdish majority. Calislar concludes that it would not be realistic to expect the Kurdish identity movement to be totally independent from the PKK.

    Criticizing the MHP leader for proposing to hang Ocalan in a speech in parliament, Taraf columnist Ahmet Altan laments the fact that this is the only solution a political party leader can find to the Kurdish issue. In his article, Altan underlines that the Kurdish problem was existent long before Ocalan was even born, adding that the handing over of Sheik Sait and his followers did not solve the Kurdish issue. Before proposing solutions of execution one should question why people are taking to the mountains at the risk of being killed, writes Altan, advising politicians to ask themselves what the Kurds want. Noting that all they want is equality, Altan argues that the problem is not seeking equality but rejecting to accept that equality.

    In an article entitled "Finish off the PKK and they will finish you off", Milli newspaper columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi cites Israel and Armenia as major supporters of PKK terrorism and asserts that these countries are trying to use the "Kurdish issue" as a means of partitioning Turkey in collaboration with certain forces at home with a vested interest in the continuation of separatist violence.

    b) Turkish-US Relations

    Viewing Turkish-US relations in an article in Star, Aziz Ustel explains that until recently the United States was focused on Turkey's relations with the West and ignored Ankara's relations with other countries, especially those with the Arab world. Noting that the Gaza aid flotilla incident caused Washington to realize Turkey's foreign policy gains under the Erdogan-Davutoglu team, Ustel writes that from the moment Turkey started to become a country admired by the East and by the Islamic world, its importance for the United States increased. Declaring that President Obama has to respect Turkey's increasing importance and its independent policies, Tayyar concludes by saying that Obama has to convince the Israeli government to fulfill Turkey's demands.

    Assessing the Erdogan-Obama meeting in an article in Hurriyet, Sedat Ergin writes that the Obama Administration wants to be in close cooperation with Turkey in a region ridden with problems such as Iraq and Afghanistan and that therefore, it will opt for maintaining a dialogue with Turkey despite the fact that it is disappointed with Turkey's stand on Israel and Iran. The writer notes, however, that the US Administration will express its expectations from Turkey in a more forceful manner as of now, adding that Obama's initial nave outlook on Erdogan is now being replaced by a more realistic one.

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Burak Bekdil views the various foreign policy initiatives undertaken by Ankara, each ending is failure. Noting that Turkish ambitions to create sustainable peace and stability in the Caucasus ended in a Russian-Georgian war, Bekdil adds that Turkey's vigorous efforts to mediate between Israel and Syria ended up with an Israeli attack on Gaza. Bekdil also draws attention to Turkey's attempts to mediate between the West and Iran and the subsequent deterioration of Turkish-US relations. The writer adds that the Armenian peace initiative led to the suspension of the Turkish-Armenian protocols and to Turkey buying Azeri natural gas at a more expensive price than it used to.

    Based on the traditional framework of Turkish foreign policy, one would have expected it to encourage Iran to comply with the requirements of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, writes Ilter Turan in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, adding that "Turkey would not have led the effort to oppose the measures that were adopted by the Security Council." Explaining the reasons for Turkey's reluctance to support an embargo against Iran, Turan concludes: As much as Turkey might want to change the world, and the United States maintain the status quo, both countries, it appears, have too many interests in common to risk a rupture in their relations.

    Drawing attention to the contradiction of voting against the sanctions to be imposed on Iran and then announcing that Turkey will be abiding by those sanctions in an article in Hurriyet, Tufan Turenc writes that the United States has difficulty in understanding this policy as expressed by US Assistant Secretary of State Gordon. The US official has warned Turkey that it has to dissipate Western concerns that its axis is shifting, underlines Turenc, adding "Given the situation, the AKP government has to seriously review the new Middle East Policy it is trying to formulate. However, if you have a foreign minister who, addressing the Turkish-Arab Business Forum meeting, says that 'Jerusalem will be the capital and we will be praying at al-Aqsa Mosque in the near future,' this means that you are in trouble."

    In an article entitled "United States' Black Sea project collapses", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul hails reports that Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine are preparing to sign a Black Sea alliance agreement entailing joint operations aimed at maintaining security in the Black Sea region as a development that is set to cause significant displeasure to the United States, "which has been putting pressure on Turkey to [agree to moves intended to] turn the Black Sea into an American lake," as well as to Israel, which recently "made an agreement with Romania to use its airspace" and has been providing military assistance to Georgia for some time.

    In an article entitled "No such thing as one-sided loyalty", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici explains what distinguishes the latest "crisis" between Turkey and the United States over Ankara's stance on Iran and its reaction to Israel following the latter's raid on the Gaza flotilla from earlier tensions caused by Turkey's refusal to let the United States open a northern front on Iraq in 2003 and the "bagging" of a group of Turkish soldiers by US troops in Al-Sulaymaniyah the same year. He claims that whereas it was the Turkish military that was the target of US criticisms in the earlier crises, it is now the AKP that is in Washington's crosshairs "whether we accept the US arguments or not," adding that this is "big news for those circles that have been lobbying Washington for support for a military takeover against the ruling AKP from day one."

    c) Military Appointments

    According to a report in Milliyet, the Supreme Military Council meeting that expected to convene in the beginning of August will discuss the promotions and retirements of 134 generals and admirals. Accordingly, Ground Forces Commander Isik Kosaner is expected to replace General Ilker Basbug, Gendarmerie Commander Atilla Isik is expected to be retired, Hasan Igsiz is expected to be appointed as the Ground Forces Commander for the duration of a year, and Necdet Ozel is expected to be appointed to command the First Army. The report goes on to detail the other promotions and retirements within the TSK.

    ES/


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