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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-01-14

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 CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No.09/11 14.01.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu reacts to the statements of Merkel's spokesman
  • [02] Eroglu's spokesman on the upcoming Geneva meeting
  • [03] BKP complaints of the violation of Turkish Cypriots' human rights by the regime
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot Baroness says Cyprus could permanently be divided if no solution is reached now
  • [05] Further reaction by Gunes to Chancellor Merkel's visit to Cyprus
  • [06] The Turkish Cypriot pensioners won the case regarding the taxation of their pensions
  • [07] Joint actions by the trade unions and the opposition parties on 28 January
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [08] Reference by Bagis to Cyprus and Turkey's EU accession process
  • [09] Mercan says Turkey should not be forced to choose between EU and Cyprus
  • [10] Ozdemir criticizes Merkel's statements on Cyprus
  • [11] "Ankara conveys unease to Germany over Merkel's remarks"
  • [12] Clinton will visit Turkey next month
  • [13] A joint press conference by Davutoglu and Ashton
  • [14] Turkish diplomats try to mediate in Beirut crisis
  • [15] Turkish company will build a power plant in Iraq
  • [16] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Main issue in today's Turkish Cypriot newspapers is the decision of the so-called Constitutional Court annulling two "laws" on pensions' taxation. Moreover, Eroglu's response to the statements made by German Chancellor Merkel's spokesman following her visit to Cyprus, statements by Eroglu's spokesman on the upcoming Geneva meeting on January 26, a visit paid by BKP to Androulla Kaminara, statements by a Turkish Cypriot member of the House of Lords in Britain on the Cyprus problem and Turkey's EU accession, the demonstrations in occupied Cyprus, and other internal matters are also covered by the Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Eroglu reacts to the statements of Merkel's spokesman

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 13.01.11), the statements made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her one-day visit to Cyprus "have caused outrage". Accordingly, Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, responding to statements made by the spokesperson of the German Chancellor, argued that the "careless statements" made by Merkel "did not suit a country like Germany".

    Speaking to the Skyturk news channel in Turkey, Eroglu argued that the statements made by Merkel's spokesperson proved that he did not know anything about the history of Cyprus. Eroglu reiterated the Turkish allegation that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had intervened in Cyprus on the basis of its rights stemming from international agreements as a response to the coup carried out by the Greek Junta.

    "We had informed Merkel prior to her visit to south Cyprus that we were ready to share our views on the Cyprus Problem," he said, adding however that they had failed to receive a positive reply. He said that the German Chancellor instead had chosen to issue "one-sided statements" from a UN observation tower.

    Noting that Germany has played an important role in the "Greek Cypriot Administration's" accession to the EU, Eroglu alleged that the EU has committed an international crime by doing this. He reiterated the Turkish view that the non-solution of the Cyprus problem is the result of the "Greek Cypriot side's unilateral EU membership".

    [02] Eroglu's spokesman on the upcoming Geneva meeting

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 13.01.11), Osman Ertug, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, has said that the Turkish side "should not be condemned to continue negotiating endlessly" with the Greek Cypriot side for years to come. He also highlighted the importance of the upcoming tripartite meeting in Geneva on January 26.

    Speaking on illegal Bayrak, Ertug said that the Turkish side attaches great importance to the upcoming meeting in Geneva and is preparing accordingly. He alleged that "it is the Turkish side which is responding positively and which is putting constructive proposals on the negotiating table as requested by the UN Secretary-General at their last meeting in New York". "It seems unlikely that all chapters will be covered by the Geneva meeting but let me assure everyone that the Turkish side is working sincerely in that direction," he added.

    Responding to a question concerning the Geneva meeting, Ertug said that the meeting was planned to last around four hours, but he added that it was not possible to predict in advance whether any new developments would take place at the meeting.

    [03] BKP complains of the violation of Turkish Cypriots' human rights by the regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (14.01.11) reports that yesterday a delegation from the United Cyprus Party (BKP) visited, the representative of the European Commission in Cyprus Androulla Kaminara and expressed their complaints regarding the violations of Turkish Cypriots' human rights. Izzet Izcan, the general secretary of the party, said that the basic human rights and freedoms are violated and asked Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission and other EU officials to "do what is necessary." He added that the Turkish Cypriots are insulted with the "customs" controls taking place at crossing points and are being subjected to oppression. Also referring to the population issue, he said that Turkish Cypriots are faced with extinction.

    [04] Turkish Cypriot Baroness says Cyprus could permanently be divided if no solution is reached now

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.01.11) reports that Baroness Meral Huseyin Ece, the first Turkish Cypriot member of the House of Lords in Britain, has argued that if no solution is reached in Cyprus now, the island will be divided forever. Addressing a meeting on Turkey at the British Parliament, Ece noted yesterday that the Cyprus problem is one of the biggest problems in Turkey's accession course to the EU. She recalled that as of 2006, the EU Commission froze eight out of the 35 chapters in Turkey's accession talks.

    "If no result is reached now during the negotiations between the two leaders in Cyprus, the island could be permanently divided", she argued.

    Ece alleged that the Annan Plan was "a great lost opportunity". She claimed that the Greek Cypriots "do not take enough responsibility" on the issue of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. She said the Cyprus problem should be solved the soonest and the so-called isolations of the Turkish Cypriots should be lifted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Further reaction by Gunes to Chancellor Merkel's visit to Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (14.01.11), mouthpiece of Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's National Unity Party (UBP), continues to react against the recent visit of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel to Cyprus. The paper publishes a picture with the face of Mrs Merkel having a moustache similar to the moustache of Adolf Hitler. The flag of the Third Reich is placed under the face in the picture. Under the title "Code of Adolf Merkel", the paper asks some questions and gives the following answers:

    "Which is the song that Adolf Merkel and Christofias like the most? We are both at the same height, we are members of the EU.

    What did Adolf Merkel say when she saw Christofias? Little Baby, komm ein bisschen liebe dich. [Tr. Note: These are the exact words used by the paper]

    Why does Adolf Merkel not love the Turks? Because she cannot take her eyes off them.

    Why did Adolf Merkel look at the Turkish part of Lefkosia with binoculars? Because she could not find anything worth seeing in the Greek Cypriot side.

    What did Adolf Merkel see when she looked out from the window of the airplane? The TRNC flag on Pentadaktylos Mountains of course.

    What did Adolf Merkel say when she saw the flag on Pentadaktylos Mountains? Fortunately there is no such a thing in Germany, I would be depressed.

    What happens when two Germans and three Greek Cypriots come together?

    The Germans become minority.

    Why do the German media make fun of Adolf Merkel? Because it is believed that she will improve when they make fun of her.

    What would Adolf Merkel be, if she had not been a politician? A bus driver in a small town in Eastern Germany.

    What does Adolf Merkel do when she has a stomach ache? She looks for a tripe restaurant in the streets of Germany.

    What does Adolf Merkel do before leaving her house? She looks at herself in the mirror and combs her hair like Hitler".

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] The Turkish Cypriot pensioners won the case regarding the taxation of their pensions

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.01.11) reports that the "constitutional court" of the breakaway regime annulled yesterday the two "laws" providing for the taxation of the pensions. The "court" decided that the so-called "Income Tax (Amendment No2) Law" and the "Retirement (Amendment) Law" were contrary to the "article" of the "constitution", which is based on the principles of "social justice and the rule of law" and "article" 160, which provides for the protection of the rights of the "public" servants.

    The decision was described as "victory" by the organizations which had filed the "lawsuit". The paper writes that the "courtroom" was full of pensioners, members of the organizations that filed the "lawsuit" and "lawyers". Contrary to its usual practice, the "court" permitted the people to watch the procedure standing. It also permitted the press to take pictures before the announcement of the decision.

    Commenting on the decision, Irsen Kucuk, self-styled prime minister, said they respect the decision of the "court". Asked by Kibris whether the sum deducted from the pensions until today would be returned, Kucuk noted that they would do "what is required".

    Responding to a question, Kucuk said since his party came to "power" they have been facing problems on finding the necessary funds to pay the salaries of the employees. He reiterated that the 13th salary will be paid in January and that this has no relation with the "lawsuit" filed by the pensioners.

    The paper recalls that with an amendment to the "law", the "government" had taxed the pensions which were higher than a certain amount. This practice started in September and lasted four months. According to sources from the "ministry of finance", the regime expected a contribution of 40 million Turkish liras (TL) to the "budget" from taxing the pensions of 7-8 thousand pensioners. Moreover, the regime expected a total annual amount of 70 million TL from deductions and taxation of the pensions, the salaries of the "public" servants and the employees in the private sector.

    In statements after the decision, the chairman of the "Pensioners' Coordination Committee", Mustafa Tolga thanked the press for its support from the very first day and argued that the decision will be "written with golden letters in history", because it "guaranteed the future of the country".

    Moreover, speaking on behalf of the Trade Unions' Platform, Adnan Eraslan, chairman the Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), said with the decision the National Unity Party's (UBP) "illegal practices got slapped on the face".

    Furthermore, Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said this was a "victory against lawlessness and social injustice". He argued that this, at the same time, is a victory of the "Turkish Cypriot people".

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (14.01.11) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that after this decision the application of the package of the economic measures should stop. He noted that this decision was important because it had not only annulled the deductions in the pensions, but at the same time it showed that the package of economic measures could not be implemented.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Joint actions by the trade unions and the opposition parties on 28 January

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.01.11) reports that the Trade Unions' Platform and the six opposition parties in the occupied areas of Cyprus decided to act together for the protests and the rally which will be organized on 28 January 2011 against the economic measures taken by the "government".

    The chairman of the Federation of the Turkish Cypriot Workers' Trade Unions (Turk-Sen), Aslan Bicakli issued a written statement yesterday on behalf of the Platform noting that they decided to act jointly on 28 January with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG), the Democratic Party (DP), the Social Democracy Party (TDP), the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the New Cyprus Party (YKP).

    Representatives of the Platform and the opposition parties held a joint meeting yesterday in order to determine the "road map of the rally". They said they will meet again on 17 January.

    (I/Ts.)


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The unexpected visit of the Lebanese Prime Minister in Turkey, statements by Ahmet Davutoglu during a joint press conference with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, statements by Egemen Bagis from Budapest on the Cyprus problem, statements by Baroness Meral Ece that in case a solution is not found during the negotiation process in Cyprus, the island will be permanently divided, reports that Hilary Clinton is to pay a visit to Turkey in February, and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish press.

    [08] Reference by Bagis to Cyprus and Turkey's EU accession process

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.01.11), Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU Talks Egemen Bagis, who is currently in Hungary to attend a ministerial meeting of EU member and candidate countries, met with a group of Turkish reporters in capital Budapest.

    Speaking at the gathering, Bagis said on Thursday that many Turkish people did not believe Turkey would become an EU member, nevertheless, majority thought EU process improved democracy, economy and human rights standards, adding that some citizens believed Turkey should not be detached from its EU process in any way, while some were about to lose their patience.

    Upon a question on the Cyprus issue, Bagis said "the only EU member that had direct trade with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was the Greek Cypriot side". He added that Greek Cypriots enjoyed the benefits of doing trade with Turkish Cypriots, however, they prevented others from using the same opportunity.

    Bagis also alleged that Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias should stop hindering the process and express support for a solution.

    Referring to the results of recent polls on Turkey's EU membership process, Bagis said the surveys showed that there was a significant insecurity among Turkish people as 35% of participants said they did not believe Turkey would become an EU member.

    Upon a question on the latest situation in Turkey-EU relations, Bagis pointed out to the importance of improving the living standards of Turkish people and turning Turkey into a more democratic, peaceful, transparent and modern country. He also said Turkey did not carry out its EU process for the Europeans, but for itself, adding that Turkey would not allow any efforts aiming at hindering its EU negotiation process.

    Recalling Turkey's goal to become ready for EU membership by the year 2013, Bagis said everybody worked hard to achieve such goal.

    Pointing to the importance of the upcoming general elections in Turkey, the negotiator said the country would be ready for EU membership sooner than expected if ruling and opposition parties acted together and passed the necessary laws after the elections.

    Bagis said EU-member countries should also be convinced that they needed Turkey in many aspects.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.01.11) reports that speaking to reporters following the ministerial meeting of EU member and candidate countries in Budapest, Egemen Bagis, said Thursday that Turkey wished for the chapter on "competition" to be opened to negotiations.

    Bagis said that Turkey would not place her economy under risk while wishing to conduct negotiations on the "competition" chapter. "We have made it clear that we will postpone the opening of the chapter on 'competition' if necessary", Bagis added.

    [09] Mercan says Turkey should not be forced to choose between EU and Cyprus

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.01.11), Murat Mercan, the head of Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Thursday that Turkey had to face "unjust criticisms" during its European Union process.

    "Particularly the criticisms made by Germany, one of the big states of Europe, cause a deep wound in the conscious of our people. Turkey should not be forced to make a preference between the European Union and Cyprus," Mercan told a meeting with a delegation of Luxembourg's lawmakers headed by Ben Fayot, the head of the Committee on Foreign and European Affairs, Defence, Cooperation and Immigration of the Luxembourg Parliament.

    Mercan said: "Turkey has also been doing everything to restore peace and stability in its region. Turkey has taken every initiative to find a fair and lasting solution to problems, despite all risks. Turkey has preferred EU process on its own will. However, it does not progress in the desired level."

    Mercan said the initiative assumed within the scope of Annan Plan in 2004 in Cyprus indicated the determination of Turkey on the matter, and added: "Unfortunately, the situation became more chaotic after Annan Plan was rejected by Greek Cypriot side, although approved by Turkish Cypriot side. The only responsible here is Greek Cypriot side with its intransigent stance and some European countries backing this intransigent stance."

    Mercan said Turkey should not be forced to make a choice between Cyprus and the EU, and underlined that, "Turkey's stance is very clear on this issue. When we consider the international and regional relations, we see that some appreciate Turkey's endeavours in its region and some follow them in jealousy. No matter what people say, Turkey will pursue a policy which will restore peace and stability in its region."

    Ben Fayot, who also spoke at the meeting, underlined that Turkey was an important and dynamic country. He also said Luxembourg's Parliament believed that Turkey's place was in the EU.

    Fayot said Turkey was a very big country and this bigness led to drawbacks in some segments in some countries within the body of the EU.

    Fayot said a more democratic Europe could be developed in case the parties could understand each others' problems well.

    [10] Ozdemir criticizes Merkel's statements on Cyprus

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.01.11), the Co-chairperson of German Greens' Party, Cem Ozdemir, said Thursday that it was sad to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel "using the language of Greek Cypriots" in a recent visit made to Cyprus.

    Speaking to the AA, Ozdemir said that "those who voted in favour of a referendum for reunion in Cyprus were the people living in the north. Greek Cypriots living in the south of Cyprus voted 'no' in the referendum and closed the door for reunion."

    "A decision taken by the EU Council of Ministers to end the sanctions on northern Cyprus was unsuccessful after the Greek Cypriots vetoed it as a member of the EU", Ozdemir added.

    Ozdemir also said that "Turkey must open her ports to products coming from southern Cyprus. But this must take place simultaneously with ending the unjust embargo applied on northern Cyprus. Those who want the reunion in the island of Cyprus must place pressure on both sides to adopt the peace plan offered by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. All other steps taken will only make the problem in Cyprus permanent."

    [11] "Ankara conveys unease to Germany over Merkel's remarks"

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (14.01.11) with the above title reports that Ankara officially conveyed to Germany its unease over Chancellor Angela Merkel's remarks this week blaming Turkey and Turkish Cypriots for failure to reach a solution to the deep-seated Cyprus problem.

    Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Halit Ak1nc1 discussed Merkel s remarks with the German Ambassador to Turkey Eckard Cuntz during a meeting on Thursday and expressed Turkey's discontent over the recent comments of Merkel, diplomatic sources said. Cuntz was not summoned to the Foreign Ministry over this issue, as the meeting at the Foreign Ministry was planned before Merkel's visit. Issues other than Merkel's Cyprus remarks were also discussed during the meeting. On Wednesday German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel does not need a history lesson on Cyprus, apparently responding to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Merkel should study the developments in Cyprus.

    [12] Clinton will visit Turkey next month

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 13.01.11) reports that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will pay a "bilateral working visit" to Turkey next month, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials told the H?rriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday. "The exact date of the visit has not been fixed yet," officials said.

    During Clinton's meetings with Turkish officials, the details of the NATO-led missile defence system are expected to be discussed.

    [13] A joint press conference by Davutoglu and Ashton

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.01.11), during a joint press conference with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton Ashton in Istanbul, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that he had a t?te-?-t?te meeting with Ashton and later participated in the meeting between respective delegations, adding that such meetings are important for Turkey to speed up its reforms on the way to the EU.

    "Ashton successfully mediates the negotiations between the P5+1 (5 permanent members of the UN Security Council China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States + Germany) and Iran. Following the meetings in Geneva, the second tour of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran will take place in Turkey," Davutoglu said.

    "We share the same notion with Ashton that the dialogue between Turkey and the EU and Turkey's EU membership bid are crucial for global and regional peace and order. As Turkey, we have always attached great importance to dialogue. A healthy connection between EU's policies in the Balkans, the Middle East, Eurasia and Turkey's active diplomacy will make both side winners. We have discussed how we can implement the new perspective we have developed," Davutoglu said.

    "We expect EU to fulfil all promises it made to Turkey", Davutoglu added.

    Turkish daily Zaman (14.01.11) reports that referring to the Cyprus problem, Davutoglu said that they wish the peaceful and active policies of Turkey towards the Cyprus problem to be evaluated correctly by Europe. He added that they want Turkey's EU process to be healthy and the political criteria that are being presented recently at the opening of new chapters to be kept out.

    Catherine Ashton, on her part, said that she arrived in Istanbul to make preparations for the upcoming meeting between the P5+1 and Iran. She thanked Turkey for its contributions to the upcoming meeting.

    Touching on Turkish-EU relations, Ashton said that EU attached high importance to developing the right strategy and dialogue with Turkey. "I agree with Davutoglu on what he had to say on the Balkans. We can do many things to support our surrounding", Ashton also said.

    Ashton's visit to Istanbul took place right after the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Europe's new diplomatic service.

    [14] Turkish diplomats try to mediate in Beirut crisis

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.01.11) reports that Turkey is closely following developments in Lebanon, where the government collapsed after Hezbollah walked out in protest of a UN panel investigating the death of former PM Rafiq al-Hariri. Turkish diplomatic sources say the collapse was not a surprise as the government had actually not convened since November. "This shows the death of Syrian-Saudi Arabian efforts that aimed at keeping the national unity government in power," one diplomat says.

    Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri will travel to Ankara on Thursday night to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish media reported.

    The news comes amid fears of renewed regional tensions following the collapse of the national unity government in Lebanon. Such concerns have prompted Turkey to heighten its diplomatic efforts to prevent a political crisis from erupting.

    "We are trying to get a picture of what has happened, why the government established after a tough and painful process has collapsed and what we can do," a Foreign Ministry diplomat told the H?rriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday. "The foreign minister is in contact with the Lebanese and the prime minister with the Syrians. We are closely following the developments."

    Diplomatic sources said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke twice on the phone with al-Hariri late Wednesday and Thursday, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan talked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    "The main concern in our contacts is if there is an opportunity to form a different government in Lebanon and how we can contribute to it," the diplomat said.

    [15] Turkish company will build a power plant in Iraq

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.01.11), a Turkish energy company on Thursday signed a deal with the Iraqi government to build a power plant for a cost of $445.5 million. The deal was between Turkey's Calik Energy and the Iraqi Electricity Ministry for the construction of the 1,250 megawatt al-Hayrat plant in Karbala.

    Calik Holding CEO Ahmet Calik and Iraq's Deputy Electricity Minister Salam Kazzaz penned the agreement in a ceremony in Baghdad with the participation of Iraqi Deputy Premier for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani and Turkey's Ambassador to Iraq Murat Ozcelik.

    Speaking at the ceremony al-Shahristani said al-Hayrat plant would be the biggest in Iraq when completed in two years time, adding that the plant would create 500 new jobs. Al-Shahristani said the Iraqi government would open more tenders for the construction of two power plants in Mosul.

    [09] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 13 January 2011:

    Islam, the AKP Government and Tolerance Debate

    Today's papers quote Prime Minister Erdogan as reconfirming his depiction of the Humanity Monument in northeastern Kars as a "monstrosity." Meanwhile Asli Aydintasbas asks in her Milliyet column "Does the Government need this?" In a an article, Aydintasbas urges Justice and Development Party, AKP, policy makers "to stay away from giving an image of imposing a particular lifestyle," and she writes: "The general elections are close and the ruling AKP seems to be the winner. It makes no sense to create a fight within the society. ... The government should revise the alcohol regulation and should take a step back in the sculpture debate. The continuation of the lifestyle debate can only harm AKP."

    Taraf's Markar Eseyan says that angry remarks over a sculpture and nationalistic tendencies are part of an interim election strategy "to attrack Nationalist Action Party [MHP] votes." In an article entitled "AKP's disposable nationalism" he writes: "This is part of AKP's controlled populism and it is temporary. ... Mainly the government wants to obtain an absolute majority in the new parliament by attracting MHP votes so that a work on a new constitution, Kurdish opening, and other reforms can be pursued."

    Bekir Coskun in Cumhuriyet calls the current issues as signals for a "Democratic Shari'ah" regime. In his article, he observes: "The religious government is taking determined steps for changing people's lifestyle. The government-imposed lifestyle will be extended step by step and it will become the national lifestyle... The government's reference is Islam and the upcoming new regime can only be named democratic Shari'ah."

    Foreign Policy Issues

    Radikal's Murat Yetkin observes "Disappointment in Foreign Policy" in his column. Yetkin observes anti-EU rhetoric in the government "to compete with MHP" on the eve of general elections. Noting that "Turkey has become disinterested in the EU integration strategy," the writer concludes: "Even if we put the EU membership aside, the fact is that Turkey's relations with Europe have reached an alarming level. Claiming self-sufficiency in the Islamic world does not reflect the truth, neither politically nor economically. Besides this is not a right approach either. Turkish foreign policy needs realistic formulations in order not to experience further disappointments." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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