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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-04-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 72/11 16-18.04.11 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS
[B] TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESSTurkish Cypriot press over the weekend focuses on tourism related issues, statements by Dervis Eroglu regarding the negotiations and alleged properties of Evkaf. Of main interest are also statements of President Demetris Christofias during a Press conference on the Cyprus problem and statements regarding Cyprus by Erdogan and Bagis. The internal political agenda and other domestic issues are also covered.
 Erdogan announces his party's manifesto; He vows to continue efforts to boost international esteem of the "TRNC"Illegal Bayrak television (17.04.11) reported that the Turkish Prime Minister and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has announced his party's election manifesto before the June 12 parliamentary elections in Turkey.
In his statement, Erdogan, inter alia, said that all efforts will continue to boost international esteem of the "TRNC" in order to assure security and prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots. He said that Turkey has two main strategic aims on its Cyprus policies. The first is to protect the "Turkish Cypriot people's" interest and the second is to create a stable area in the eastern Mediterranean region.
He reiterated that "during the AKP's term in power, efforts to boost the TRNC's international prestige and recognition have increased severely compared to other years and these efforts with the same determination will continue in our new term". Erdogan added that the foreign politics followed by Turkey in order to find peace in Cyprus will continue with the same determination.
 Bagis says that Turkey wants to cooperate with the EU for a just solution in CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (16.04.11), the Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU Egemen Bagis, has said in Slovenia that Turkey wants to cooperate with the European Union for a just solution in Cyprus.
Delivering a speech at a conference on "Turkey-EU relations" at the Law Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, Bagis said that Turkey's membership would be a win-win case for the EU, the world and Turkey, adding that Turkey had five expectations from the EU: "A just negotiations process, cooperation in counter-terrorism, cooperation for a just solution in Cyprus, visa exemption for Turkish citizens and extending invitations to Turkish Prime Minister and the President for EU summits."
Bagis also criticized the EU for its unjust stance on the solution of the Cyprus problem.
 Eroglu reiterates his call for a timetable on the negotiation processTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.04.11), under the title "Eroglu: British and Greek Cypriots looted Evkaf's land", reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, speaking during an event marking the 55th anniversary of the "Turkish Cypriots' takeover of the Cyprus Evkaf Administration from British rule", referred also to the Cyprus problem and the ongoing Cyprus talks.
Eroglu said that the issue of the property of Evkaf religious foundation is an important part of the negotiations, adding that a huge segment of Turkish Evkaf property and land was looted by the British and the Greek Cypriots by illegal ways. He also said that they do not intend just to put up with this. Eroglu noted that in their proposals that they submitted at the negotiation table regarding the property issue, they proposed "the issue of Evkaf property, which has changed hands by illegal means", to be excluded from the comprehensive property issue and be discussed separately. However, he added, the Greek Cypriot side does not show the necessary understanding on this issue and it tries with its political manoeuvres to obtain again the sovereignty of the whole island.
Reiterating his call to Cyprus President Christofias for a timetable on the ongoing Cyprus talks, Eroglu said: "Our call to the Greek leadership is clear: Let's set a timetable to intensify our efforts towards reaching an agreement which would set a model for the entire world and the region, an agreement which would secure our future generations from conflict."
He also added that "the Turkish Cypriot side exerts efforts to seal a fair solution that would be based on the facts on the island adding that they would not agree on a settlement plan which would risk the Turkish Cypriots' freedom, sovereignty and their economic and social structure".
 Izcan asks for initiatives to stop illegal migration and the change of the demographic structure in the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.04.11) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has asked for initiatives from the international community and the United Nations in the direction of stopping the illegal flow of population and the change of the demographic structure in the occupied areas of Cyprus. In statements yesterday in the occupied part of Lefkosia during a meeting with Andros Kyprianou, general secretary of Greek Cypriot AKEL, Izcan said that both parties do whatever they can for the reunification of Cyprus and support a federal solution within the UN parameters.
Izcan noted that very little progress has been achieved in the Cyprus talks and argued that an early solution to the Cyprus problem is the only way out of the difficult economic and political situation of the Turkish Cypriots. Izcan said that the economic pressure exerted by the government of Turkey and its packages bring people into a difficult situation. He noted that the policy followed on the issue of the population causes the annihilation of the Turkish Cypriots. Izcan said they demand from the international community and the UN initiatives which will prevent the illegal migration of the population and the change of the demographic structure in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Izcan noted that the Turkish government and the breakaway regime have not taken the messages given by the rallies and the demonstrations recently organized by the Turkish Cypriots. He said the proposals submitted by the Turkish side at the negotiating table are not in harmony with the agreements between President Christofias and the former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat and include "confederal solutions".
Izcan said that most Cypriots want an agreement which will reunite the island, guarantee the human rights of the Cypriots, protect the territorial integrity of the island, have a single international representation, and secure the freedom of movement of the Cypriots.
On his part, Mr Kyprianou said that the situation in the Cyprus talks is not very pleasant and noted that this is because of Dervis Eroglu's proposals which are outside the agreed framework.
 Elcil assesses the issue of Cypriot oil and natural gas reservesTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (18.04.11) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), has stated that both Russia and the European countries "set an eye" on the oil and natural gas reserves in the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus and argued that Turkey has been given the role of protecting the natural gas reserves in the area. "The agreement made with Israel shows this", he argued in exclusive statements to Halkin Sesi.
He alleged that "there is no Cyprus problem" now and added that the big powers of the world quarrel for sharing Cyprus' oil and natural gas. He claimed that the visits of Russian President Medvedev and German Chancellor Merkel to Cyprus were related to this issue. He pointed out to the possible contribution of these reserves to the budget of the EU for showing that the Union needs these reserves. He further claimed that the Turkish Cypriots have also rights on the natural gas and the oil reserves, as they are partners in the Republic of Cyprus.
He expressed the view that after June 2011, Britain and the USA might impose a solution in Cyprus.
Elcil argued that by insulting Israel, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan tried to gain the sympathy of the Arab countries.
Elcil noted that Turkey wants to speak on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots and that the leaders of the Turkish Cypriots who do not see this are marionettes.
 An air-taxi system will be established between Antalya and the occupied airport of TymvouTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.04.11), under the title: "Eroglu expects a capacity of 40,000 beds", reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with delegations of the Association of Turkish Travel Agents (TURSAB) as well as with "Cyprus Turkish Travel Agents Union" (KITSAB).
During the meeting, Eroglu said that the project of 40,000 hotel beds prepared by the tourism organizations is an important step to tourism, adding that in case of a solution of the transportation problem, then the "TRNC can be easily developed into an area where tourist congresses on health and religion may be held".
Basaran Ulusoy, TURSAB chairman, speaking for his part, said that an air-taxi service operating between Antalya and the occupied airport of Tymvou will be established, adding that it will contribute significantly to the marketing of the occupied area.
 Turkish coordinator of events for the "2011 north Cyprus year" in Turkey evaluates tourism in occupied CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (17.04.11) reports on statements of the coordinator of events for the "2011 north Cyprus year" in Turkey, Mustafa Fethi Gurbuz, who has said that embargoes of the "TRNC" can be overcome through tourism. Evaluating the tourism sector in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus to the Anatolia news agency, Gurbuz said that "the image of the TRNC in Turkey must be improved". Referring to the islands natural environment, endemic species and eco tourism Gurbuz said these factors must be utilized, adding that the island's heritage and local foods is an important tourism factor for the "country".
Touching upon the tensions between the "TRNC" and Turkey before Turkey declared 2011 as the year of tourism in "northern Cyprus", Gurbuz said that political disagreements between the two countries do not affect tourism.
Evaluating the embargoes against the "TRNC", he said that there were two kinds of embargoes, the real embargoes and the imaginary ones. "The real embargoes are that planes cannot land in the TRNC and south Cyprus is doing everything it can on the international platform to enforce more measures against the country. The imaginary embargoes are the ones that are formed by the non solution of the Cyprus problem," said Gurbuz. "People avoid investing in the TRNC due to the uncertain future of the country and there is a great loss of motivation in the country," he said, adding that these must be overcome in order to improve the tourism sector.
He continued noting that the embargoes enforced against the "country" could be removed through tourism. "If you can sell a destination, then people will want to visit that destination and no one can stop them. A total of 465 journeys are made to the TRNC, therefore, I do not believe in embargoes," he concluded.
 Turkish Tourism Minister to illegally visit occupied Cyprus on May 13Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.04.11) reports that in statements after returning from Izmir where he participated in the activities of the 35th Tourism Week, Unal Ustel, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture of the breakaway regime, stated that the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertugrul Gunay will visit the occupied area of Cyprus on May 13. Ustel noted that a "hotel management and tourism school" will open again in the occupied area of the island.
Referring to his visit to Izmir, Ustel said he had the opportunity to address the opening ceremony of the 35th Tourism Week and promote the occupied area of Cyprus during meetings with media and the local authorities. He noted that he asked those in Turkey who plan having vacations, to prefer the occupied area of Cyprus. Ustel thanked Gunay for his interest.
 600 charter flights in 2011 to the occupied area of the Republic of CyprusAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.04.11), 162 travellers arrived yesterday at the occupied airport of Tymvou from Berlin with the first charter flight of Tailwind airline organized by the Northern Travel company.
The paper reports that a plane type Boeing 737-400 has been rented by Northern Travel company from Tailwind aviation company- a Turkish-British partnership- for these charter flights.
The self-styled ministry of tourism, environment and culture is planning for 600 charter flights from 13 different countries in 2011, including countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and France, with the support of the Aid Committee of the "Turkish Embassy" in the occupied part of Lefkosia.
Self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture Unal Ustel said that they aim to bring 40.000 tourists with these charter flights.
 Turkish Cypriot "Bright Future Movement" held contacts in BrusselsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.04.11) reports that Anil Kaya, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot "Bright Future Movement" (AYH), has held contacts in Brussels and met with some members of the European Parliament (EP). Kaya met with Libor Roucek, Vice President of the EP and president of EP's High Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriot community and Angelica Werthmann, Austrian MEP and member of the High Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots. He also had a meeting with Helen Flautre, French MEP, co-chairperson of the Inter-parliamentary Committee between Turkey and the EU, member of EP's Foreign Affairs Committee, and chairperson of EP's subcommittee on Human Rights. Moreover, Kaya had a working lunch with Amanda Paul, expert on Cyprus and Turkey at the European Policy Centre (EPC).
During his contacts in Brussels, Kaya explained the work of "AYH", its vision and targets, and conveyed "AYH"'s views on the Cyprus problem, the importance of the development of the NGO movement, the economy, the direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots and their so-called isolation. He recalled that the Turkish Cypriots voted "yes" to the Annan Plan and expressed the view that they have been treated unfairly. Pointing out to the importance of the dialogue between the Turkish Cypriots and the EU officials, Kaya noted that the Turkish Cypriots exist on this land, that the "AYH" wants to build a bridge with Europe and that this was the fourth visit of the movement to Brussels.
 Critical day for the UBP tomorrow; The "motion of non-confidence" to be discussed on ThursdayTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.04.11) reports that the six "MPs" of the National Unity Party (UBP), who oppose to self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, are expected to participate in the session of the "assembly" today. Noting that quorum will be achieved today, the paper writes that the aim of the above-mentioned "MPs" is the resignation of Kucuk and not removing the UBP from "power". According to Kibris, the way which the six "MPs" intent to follow will come to light tomorrow at the party's council, where the proposal of Kucuk for early "elections" and the proposal of the six "MPs" for extraordinary congress and election of a new party leader will be discussed. The administrative committee of the party is expected to convene today in the afternoon.
The paper writes that the "motion of non-confidence" tabled by the Republican Turkish Party, the Democratic Party and the Social Democracy Party will be discussed on Thursday at the "assembly".
Meanwhile, in statements to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (18.04.11), Oguz Ceyda, former chairman of the farmers' union, told the paper that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is responsible for the recent developments in the UBP. Ceyda alleged that Eroglu uses the six "MPs" like "pawns". Ceyda expressed the view that in case the Justice and Development Party (AKP) wins the elections in Turkey, serious developments will happen on the Cyprus problem and a new plan will come up. He argued that this plan will be submitted to a referendum and this is the main problem of Eroglu. He said this referendum is the reason because of which the issue of population census came onto the agenda and added that efforts are exerted for determining the number of those who will vote in the referendum. He argued that the "operation" of Eroglu in the UBP aims at brining Ertugrul Hasipoglu to the post of the chairman of the party. He says Hasipoglu was one of the officials of the UBP who supported the "yes" vote during the Annan Plan period.
 An opinion poll on the upcoming general assembly of the CTPTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis (18.04.11), in its front page, publishes a survey conducted by Red Border Research-Consultancy Media Services company on behalf of the newspaper regarding the general assembly of the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) that will be held on the 5th of June 2011.
According to the results of the survey, after Ferdi Sabit Soyer's announcement that he will not run again for the leadership of CTP, the 28% of CTP's members said that they prefer Omer Kalyoncu for the leadership of CTP, the 20.9 % prefer Ozkan Yorgancioglu, the 20.6% Kutlay Erk, the 11% Nazim Beratli and the 10.2% Mehmet Caglar.
 "Where are 99 thousands?"Under the above front page title, Turkish daily Kibris (17.04.11) publishes data regarding entries and exits in "TRNC". According to the data collected by the so-called state planning organization (DPO) in the past ten years 8.203.875 entered "TRNC," but only 8.104.336 left. The paper notes that it is not known how many of them were tourists, neither how many left through the Republic controlled areas, but it is hard to miss the fact that some "travellers" did not leave the same year but the next one. The paper also highlights that looking at the table one can comment that 99.539 people never returned to their country and stayed in the island, although it is not certain if they left through other means or in a different year.
Kibris also hosts an interview with the mukhtar (the elected head of a village or of a neighbourhood within a town or city) of the occupied Kermia ? Ayios Dometios district Emine Davutoglu. Davutoglu commenting on the problems that they face in their administrative duties, said that there are people who apply for a residence certificate and they have to produce a written document (electricity or water bill, lease or title deed). Generally, in each house resides one family, but they see that in the same house live 3-4 families, notes Davutoglu and added: "These [families] cannot bring such documents. We face problems. Sometimes people who do not live here ask for a residence certificate. We do not issue certificates to them as well."
 Excavations in occupied FamagustaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.04.11) reports that the "antiquities department" of the breakaway regime has started excavations in occupied Famagusta. The excavations take place within the walled city of Famagusta and target to reveal the buried church of Santa Clara church. Hasan Tekel of the "antiquities department" responsible for the Famagusta region said that they started excavations in order to clean and restore the site. He also said that the result of the excavations will shed light regarding the building, whether it is Santa Clara Church or Saint Dominique monastery.
[B] TURKISH PRESSBagis' statements from Slovenia on Turkey's EU bid and the Cyprus problem, statements by Ahmet Davutoglu after the dispute occurred in Berlin during the NATO Foreign Ministers' summit about the membership of Cyprus to NATO, the announcement by Erdogan of the election manifesto due to upcoming June elections, the beginning of visa-free travel period between Turkey and Russia as from Saturday, a protest in Mersin by environmentalists against the construction of Akkuyu nuclear power plant, statements by Hungarian Tamas Hemedus, Jobbik's Party deputy floor leader and the head of the Turkish-Hungarian friendship committee that they are planning to submit to the Hungarian parliament a draft bill for the lifting of the "isolations" imposed to the "TRNC", and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's and over the week-end Turkish press.
 "NATO fight: 'The Czech Minister apologized'; Turkey's Davutoglu stressed that he could not ever sit in a formal meeting with the "Greek Cypriot administration"Under the above title, Turkish daily Milliyet (17.04.11) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reacted strongly to the criticism expressed by the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg who stated that Turkey - which blocks with a veto the participation of the "Greek Cypriot administration to the NATO-EU meeting" - "is an non-EU country and it cannot interfere in our internal affairs".
As the paper writes, Davutoglu has stated: "We are not in the culture of blackmailing the Czech Republic to live in this seat. The Greek Cypriot administration will block me in the EU, is it possible for me to like it here in front of me, sit down on equal terms? This, should not even pass over your mind never again". This caused a freeze in the meeting room and the Czech Minister apologized saying he was misunderstood.
According to Hurriyet's report, the hard Cyprus dialogue is as follows:
"Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Secretary General of NATO): The issue that it is not possible for a NATO-EU meeting to take place has a negative impact towards the cooperation. Let's meet the demands such as Turkey's Defence Agency membership, and Turkey should accept Cyprus (Greek Cypriot side) in a joint meeting.
Catherine Ashton (EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs): I agree.
Davutoglu: What you have said, is the EU commitment to Turkey. These should have been already be done. Do not expect from us to make steps that will legitimate the Greek Cypriot administration, in return for this. We are not participating at any place together with the Greek Cypriot administration in a formal way. If they are representing the whole of the island, let's sit down at the table together also with the Turks. If the Republic of Cyprus is a separate state, then let's define what the TRNC is. If the Cyprus problem is not resolved, this is not possible. It was a mistake for the Greek Cypriot administration to enter the EU before the solution of the Cyprus problem. Now we are exerting efforts for a result.
Schwarzenberg: We support Turkey's EU bid. However, it is not correct for a non-EU country to say to us "You have done a mistake". You cannot interfere to our internal affairs. No one can give us lessons.
Davutoglu: Look, we're a family here. We are the oldest members of this family. You were not here when we arrived. I do not want to go back in history, but let me explain to you how this mistake happened. In this family, mistakes are always discussed. You're a candidate, for a country (referring to Greece), the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus, without being a candidate, it put a blockage saying: "and the Eastern Europe countries cannot be candidates". The EU has committed a mistake by making you a member of the EU. This is obviously a blackmail. They came to us the same day and said: Block these countries to NATO and they will make you a member of the EU". However, Turkey due to its respect and the historical ties with the Eastern Europe countries has not done such a blackmail. This is our state's approach. It is for that reason, that hearing these words by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic years after, I got distressed. We have done a mistake because we did not blackmailed you. The Greek Cypriot administration will not sit at this table; you should keep this in your mind. Why you tried to resolve the conflict between Croatia and Slovenia? Because a country with a border conflict cannot be a member of the EU. So why did Cyprus became an EU member? Because it was in the middle of a blackmail. You are sitting in this position, and for us there is not such a culture. If you care about NATO-EU relationship, come to solve the Cyprus problem together. The Greek Cypriot administration will block me to the EU, is it possible to let them sit here in front of me on equal terms? Do not even let this to pass your mind.
Schwarzenberg: I'm really sorry. You misunderstood me. We are completely in support of Turkey's membership to the EU.
Davutoglu: I did not misunderstand you at all.
William Hague (British Foreign Minister): What Mr. Davutoglu understood is unfortunately, correct.
Ashton: It is the first time I have seen you so upset.
Davutoglu: Do not open this issue again. I will always tell you the same. Either you stress the need for the Cyprus problem to be solved, or do not bring any more this issue on the agenda.
Rasmussen: I wonder whether we can do an informal meeting.
Davutoglu: I told you, the Greek Cypriot administration cannot sit in front of me in an official level".
 "Gesture from Hungary to Ankara towards the TRNC and Armenia"; Hungarian Party Jobbik to submit a draft law for the lifting of the "TRNC isolation"Under the above title, Turkish daily Zaman (16.04.11-online) reported that Hungary, which is a strong supporter of Turkey's EU membership, is to launch initiatives towards the Cyprus problem and Upper Karabakh, issues which are considered as headaches to Ankara's foreign policy.
According to the paper, a draft law condemning the occupation of High Karabakh by Armenia, has been submitted to the Hungarian Parliament by the radical nationalist party Jobbik (The movement of a Better Hungary). The draft bill provides for the withdrawal of Armenia from the occupied Azerbaijani territories of Karabakh and the return of around one million Azeri citizens to their country.
According to the report, Tamas Hegedus, Jobbik's Party deputy floor leader and the head of the Turkish-Hungarian friendship committee, in his statements to Turkish reporters who paid a visit to Budapest in order to be informed about the draft bill, stated that they are thinking also to undertake initiatives on the Cyprus problem as well, which stands as an obstacle in front of Turkey's EU bid.
Hegedus said that they are planning to submit next month to the parliament a draft bill regarding the lifting of the "isolation" of the "TRNC". The Hungarian "MP" went on saying that they wish for the lifting of the "embargoes on trade" so that the "TRNC" to be able to establish international trade ties. He also said that they are planning to undertake initiatives inside the EU in order for the "direct trade regulation" for the "TRNC" to be implemented, so that the Turkish Cypriot businessmen will have the opportunity to trade easily with other countries.
 Turkey's EU negotiator met with the Slovenian President and the Prime MinisterAnkara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 15.04.11) reported that Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis on Friday met separately Slovenia's President Danilo Turk and the country's Prime Minister Borut Pahor, in capital Ljubljana.
During their meeting, Turk said that his country supports Turkey's membership to the EU, adding, "We extend full support to Turkey's accession and our support will continue even if our government changed". Turk said that Turkey's EU membership was a necessity for the Union, adding that recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa confirmed "Turkey's indispensable position for the EU". He added that he monitored closely Turkey's contributions to efforts aimed at settling the conflict in Libya.
Prime Minister Pahor also expressed his government's full support for the Turkish membership, saying: "Turkey and western Balkan countries need to be given priority for accession in the Union." Pahor said his government was ready to do what was necessary to secure visa-free travel for Turkish nationals in the EU.
According to AA, Bagis later attended a luncheon hosted by Mitja Gaspari, Minister of Development and European Affairs.
 Visa-free travel between Turkey and Russia has began as of 16 AprilAnkara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 15.04.11) reported that Turkish and Russian nationals will be able to travel between the two countries without obtaining a visa. Turkey and Russia signed an agreement on May 12, 2010 in Ankara to enable Turkish and Russian nationals travel without visa requirements. The agreement will take effect as of April 16, 2011.
The visa-free period between Turkey and Russia is expected to have positive outcomes in both trade and contractor services as well as tourism. Actual 26.2 billion USD foreign trade volume between Turkey and Russia is expected to amount to 40 billion USD in one year after the removal of visa procedures. The implementation is also expected to make a significant rise in the number of Turkish and Russian tourists. The deal paves the way for 30 days of visa-free travel within a 90-day period.
Mehmet Buyukeksi, President of Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), wished this historic step with Russia to be an example to other EU countries. He said EU member countries should remove their visa regime towards Turkey. He told AA correspondent that Russia is the second biggest trade partner of Turkey. He also said that Russia is considered as target market by all exporters sectors in strategy for the year 2023.
The agency also reports that after visa-free travel between Turkey and Russia begins, a number of countries, which do not impose visa procedures to Turkey, will reach 58. Together with the autonomous regions, this number climbs to 64.
In May 2010, Turkey and Russia signed a visa liberalization agreement during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Ankara. Earlier this year, officials of the two countries signed a readmission agreement to take a step forward for completing procedures for a visa-free regime.
 Turkey and Iran open third border crossing in regional cooperation effort; Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan held a trilateral meetingTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.04.11) reported that Iran and Turkey have opened a third border crossing at Kapikoy in eastern Turkey's Van province, in what the Foreign Ministers of both countries called a symbol of friendship amid increased regional cooperation efforts.
"Our Prime Minister has set a target of $30 billion in annual trade with Iran. That is why we are opening this border crossing," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday. "We are announcing to the world that Turkey and Iran will be friends for eternity."
Media in Iran quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying: "This border is a symbol of peace and friendship and the resurrection of the Silk Road, which for centuries played an important role in making the economy of the region flourish. It also will help the development of the border area and welfare of its residents." Salehi said that trade between Turkey and Iran currently stands at $11 billion annually, a figure he said the two countries are trying to raise to $30 billion.
The joint border between the two countries runs for 499 kilometres and already has crossing points at Gurbulak, in the eastern province of Agri, and at Esendere, southeast of Van.
Davutoglu said a fourth border crossing would be opened in June at Esendere. A fifth will follow at Dilucu in northeast Turkey, he said, without giving a date for its opening.
As the paper reports, the opening of the border was carried out amid a summit between Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan, whose Foreign Ministers met Saturday in Urmia, a city in northwestern Iran and the capital of the West Azerbaijan Province.
A proclamation released following the meeting announced the establishment of a new trilateral mechanism that aims to boost trade, energy, transportation and scientific relations between the three countries.
"An economic committee will be set up for the development of economic and trade relations through joint ventures, modernization of border gates, facilitation of customs and application of preferential trade between Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan," read the joint communiqu? released following the meeting between Davutoglu, Salehi and Azerbaijan's Elmar Memmedyarov. The mechanism also envisions eliminating disagreements between Tehran and Baku over Iran's northwestern province, where a majority of the population is of Azerbaijani descent.
Every country has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, abiding by the rules of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the communiqu? said. The statement was a clear reference to Iran's controversial nuclear program and Turkey's expectations that Tehran comply with international norms on the issue.
The three countries will take joint steps to strengthen cooperation in the fields of trade, industry, joint ventures, transportation, communication, energy, tourism, science and technology. They will also let their intelligence services and security units work cooperatively against terrorism, organized crime, the smuggling of drugs, weapons and human trafficking.
Underscoring recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, where thousands of people are revolting against suppressive governments, the communiqu? called on all countries to heed the demands of their people and not commit violence against their citizens. This part of the document could also be seen as a message to the Iranian leadership, which has not refrained from violently squelching frequent protests against the country's government.
The three Ministers agreed to meet every six months; their next summit will be in November, in the Nakhchivan autonomous region of Azerbaijan.
 Turkey and Mongolia to cooperate in energy and miningAccording to Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.04.11), Mongolia and Turkey may develop cooperation in some fields such as energy, mining and water resources in which Turkish companies show great interest, according to Mongolian Minister of Minerals and Energy Dashdorj Zorigt.
Mongolia is rich in minerals, which constitute 25% of the country's GDP, Zorigt said, speaking at a meeting held by the Turkish-Mongolian Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) on Friday.
Noting that a total of 20 million tons of coal was produced in Mongolia last year, Zorigt said steel production would have an important volume in the upcoming years and copper production will also increase by nearly fivefold. "The Mongolian government has allocated $800 million for infrastructure studies on energy, railway, highway and water plants for the next two years," Zorigt said.
Noting that Turkish companies from furniture and food sectors have begun to invest in Mongolia, Zorigt said: "Turkish investments in Mongolia total nearly $50 million. Companies from Turkey show interest in energy, mining sectors and water resources in Mongolia. We may develop cooperation in these fields." The trade volume between the two countries was around $6 million in 2009, Zorigt said. "We may benefit from Turkey's experience in free-trade zones," he added.
 Norway's Foreign Minister pays a working visit to TurkeyTurkish daily Today's Zaman (18.04.11) reports that the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store is paying a working visit to Turkey today, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a written statement on Sunday.
During negotiations between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Store, bilateral relations between Turkey and Norway, the development of cooperation in mediation for the peaceful settlement of disputes and Turkey's European Union membership negotiations, as well as regional and international issues, will be discussed, the ministry statement said.
"On this occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding on the exchange of diplomats between the two countries, which aims to share knowledge and experience in the field of peace and reconciliation, will be signed," the Ministry said. "It is believed that the meeting will contribute to the enhancement of relations between Turkey and Norway, two NATO allies that share the same basic values and ideals with similar approaches on international issues," it highlighted.
EU candidate country Turkey and non-EU member Norway have numerous issues to discuss and will be able to work closely together on those issues in a few years, Store said in June 2010, ahead of Davutoglu's visit to Oslo.
"In my assessment, Turkey is conducting a very active foreign policy. Its Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Foreign Ministry are now demonstrating a much more active approach on several different agendas. I think Turkey is an important country in the region and in the world which is assuming its appropriate responsibilities. And we are ready to work with Turkey on all the fronts it is developing. I hope to see Turkey engage with organizations and countries in a way that can strengthen the multilateral system," Store told Today's Zaman in 2010.
 Turkey's foreign trade minister due to IndiaAnkara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 17.04.11) reported that that Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan will travel to India next week for a series of talks, his office said on Sunday. Caglayan and an accompanying delegation will meet Indian officials and businessmen in New Delhi and Mumbai from April 19 to 21, Caglayan's office said in a statement.
The Turkish delegation will include businessmen from several industries such as food and agriculture, mining and gemstone, chemicals, machinery, textiles, automotive, electrical-electronics, cement production, medical equipments, home appliances and construction.
During his stay in India, Caglayan will have meetings with the Minister of Road Transport and Highways C.P. Joshi, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Jaipal Reddy, the Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma and the Minister of Textiles Dayanidhi Maran. On April 19, Caglayan will attend the Turkey-India Business Forum in New Delhi where Turkish and Indian businessmen will have the chance to seek ways for cooperation. Caglayan will also have a meeting with chief executive officers of top Indian companies on April 20.
According to AA, trade between Turkey and India rose 73% to 4 billion USD last year from 1 billion USD in 2004. Turkey's exports totalled 606 million USD, while imports amounted to 3.4 billion USD in 2010.
 "Human chain formed against the nuclear plant in of Akkuyu"Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.04.11) reported that people from the Mediterranean province of Mersin have created a "human chain" in different parts of the city to protest plans to build a nuclear power plant in the province's Akkuyu district.
"The earthquake and tsunami in Japan proved how dangerous nuclear technology is," said Sabahat Aslan, a spokesperson for the Mersin Anti-Nuclear Platform. "We organized this protest to say 'no' to nuclear power plants, which will put future generations in danger." According to Aslan, thousands of people gathered at 30 separate points in the province to raise their voices against the planned nuclear plant construction. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio