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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-09-09

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. 172/11 09.09.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: "I can say that we have recorded progress in some issues"
  • [02] The chairman of CHP accuses the AKP of following Rauf Denktas' line on the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Talat says that the EU should undertake a role in the solution in Cyprus
  • [04] Atun said that the "economic isolations" should be lifted
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot trade unions warn for general strike as a response to privatisations
  • [06] The heir to the Malaysian throne was guest of honour at the wedding of the grandson of the Sheikh Nazim Kibrisi of occupied Lefka
  • [07] EU calls on Turkey to stop threatening the Republic of Cyprus on the issue of gas and oil exploration
  • [08] Erdogan said that Turkish ships carrying humanitarian aid will be guarded
  • [09] "Dangerous escalation in Turkish-Israeli tensions"
  • [10] Turkey and Egypt to boost cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea; Erdogan to visit Cairo next week
  • [11] "Luxembourg wants to revive Turkey's EU visa facilitation talks"
  • [12] Kilicdaroglu: "Government is a lame duck"
  • [13] "The Eastern Mediterranean: back to power politics"
  • [14] "Zero problems, a hundred troubles ? revisited"
  • [15] The Turkish Economy Minister views investments in Libya; Turkey expects a growth by 7% in 2011

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Statements by Eroglu after his meeting with President Christofias within the framework of the Cyprus talks, statements by Talat and Atun during a meeting of the European Small Business Alliance, the illegal visit of the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly to the occupied area of Cyprus, reference to the Cyprus problem by Kemal Kilicdaroglu who accused the AKP of following Rauf Denktas' policy, and other internal matters are the most important issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers refer also to the improvement of the health of Rauf Denktas and the preparations of the Trade Unions' Platform for a general strike protesting against the "draft-law" regarding the privatizations in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    The statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkish vessels carrying humanitarian aid would never be subjected to any attack again, the escalation in Turkish-Israeli tensions, the reactions of the Turkish opposition in the line followed by the Turkish Government on the issue, the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Russia for the third Global Policy Forum and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish dailies.

    [01] Eroglu: "I can say that we have recorded progress in some issues"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (09.09.11) reports that in a statement after yesterday's meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said that they had the second meeting on the property issue, adding: "I can say that we have recorded progress in some issues". However, he said that he cannot enter into details on the progress due to confidentiality.

    Eroglu explained that in the 2nd meeting they assessed the written proposals, which were mutually presented in the previous meeting, adding that they had reached convergences on some proposals.

    [02] The chairman of CHP accuses the AKP of following Rauf Denktas' line on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.09.11) reports that Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), which is the main opposition party in Turkey, stated that the Government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey is making a turnaround on the Cyprus problem and now follows the line of Rauf Denktas.

    The chairman of CHP was speaking at his party's meeting in Izmir.

    Kilicdaroglu said that AKP moved from the line of rejecting Denktas to Denktas' (political) line.

    [03] Talat says that the EU should undertake a role in the solution in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.09.11) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the solution of the Cyprus problem depends on initiatives taken by the European Union (EU) and the international community and added that the EU became involved in the Cyprus problem and should undertake a role for the solution of the problem.

    Addressing a panel under the title: "Is northern Cyprus in the EU or not" which is organized within the framework of the 3rd meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA), Talat referred to the solution process in Cyprus and responded to questions.

    Referring to the European Warrant of Arrest against the usurpers of occupied Greek Cypriot properties, Talat argued that this could create big problems between the sides and it could even lead to the closure of the crossing-points.

    Talat expressed the view that even though "northern Cyprus" benefits from some rights, the Turkish Cypriots as individuals are not in the EU.

    Talat reiterated the Turkish allegation that the "unilateral accession of the Greek Cypriots into the EU in 2004 representing the whole of Cyprus", as he described the accession of the Republic of Cyprus into the Union, "was not fair and saddened the Turkish Cypriots". Talat claimed that the accession of a divided island is a shame both for Cyprus and the EU.

    Noting that the EU and the Greek Cypriots are not the only responsible for these developments and the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, Talat added: "The Turkish Cypriots are also responsible for this, because in the beginning the EU was treated as an enemy. I feel ashamed of this".

    Referring to the sale of electricity from the occupied area to the government-controlled area of Cyprus, Talat said that the transactions are carried out through the Chamber of Commerce and alleged that the Greek Cypriots make propaganda and reject that they buy electricity from an institution of the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. He argued: "The Cyprus problem is not a problem that could easily be understood and solved. It is difficult to take a step towards the solution, because the Greek Cypriots are very relaxed. They are sure of themselves, because they expect that the Turkish Cypriots are in need and one day they will be surrendered".

    Noting that the Greek Cypriots believe that the Turkish Cypriots have no political will, cannot take decisions and only Turkey could enforce a solution, Talat said that the negotiations continue but the EU trump card is not on the negotiating table. Talat noted that he does not have any expectations as regards the Cyprus problem until "a new wave is created". He said that this wave could be created by the EU and argued that it could be secured by the membership of Turkey or the Turkish Cypriots in the EU. He argued that the EU should do something and create incentives that could influence the solution process so that the relations between the two sides are not deteriorated.

    Responding to questions, Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots are not in the EU and some individual benefits such as having EU passports are not enough. He argued that they do not have possibilities such as unlimited freedom of movement and trade.

    Talat alleged that it is impossible for the solution in Cyprus to be found only by the Cypriots and reiterated the view that the support and the arbitration of the international community are needed.

    Noting that the demographic structure changes in the occupied area of Cyprus, Talat said that the migration of the Turkish Cypriots, which had stopped in 2004, started again recently.

    Moreover, referring to the same statements, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (09.09.11) reports that Talat said that the Annan Plan was "a little bit" imposed plan and had time limits. Noting that negotiations are carried out now, Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot leadership during the Annan Plan period was totally against this plan and did not carry out any negotiations for the preparation of this plan, which was prepared with the contribution of the Greek Cypriot side only. He said that only the Turkish Cypriot "opposition" had some contribution in the preparation of that plan.

    Meanwhile, Turkish columnist Sefa Karahasan, editor-in-chief of Star Kibris (09.09.11), comments on Talat's statement that the EU should undertake a role in the solution of the Cyprus problem. Karahasan says that when he saw this statement recalled that three years ago Talat was stating that "the EU could not have a role in the solution" in Cyprus. Karahasan noted that Talat was expressing this view in statements both to himself and to foreign correspondents. Karahasan wonders the following: "Was the EU not involved in the Cyprus problem in 2008 and it is involved now?" Referring to the statement that the Annan Plan was an imposed plan, Karahasan asks the following: "Wouldn't it be better, if Talat had said this during the Annan Plan period?"

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Atun said that the "economic isolations" should be lifted

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (09.09.11), a panel of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) was held yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, prior to the 3rd meeting in 2011 of the Executive Board of ESBA.

    Addressing the panel, self-styled minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun said that "the trade embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriots have no concrete basis" and called on the European Commission to implement the Direct Trade Regulation.

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot trade unions warn for general strike as a response to privatisations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (09.09.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot trade unions warn for action against the "draft bill" sent by the so-called ministers' council to the illegal parliament of the occupation regime regarding privatisations.

    As it was reported, the "Trade Union's Platform" has taken the decision for any kind of resistance and actions, including indefinite general strike, against the so-called privatisation draft law that was sent to the illegal parliament. In its written statement, the Platform noted that today will hold a meeting with the political parties, unions and NGOs that are not members of the Platform.

    Moreover, Tuluy Kalyoncu, chairman of the "Electricity Authority Employees' trade union" (EL-SEN), stated that they are ready for a strike, which can begin at any moment, without giving a specific date of the strike. As Kalyoncu stated, privatisations put into danger the existence of the Turkish Cypriots on the island and noted that they were not informed or being asked about the above-mentioned "draft law" that passed through the so-called council of ministers.

    On his part, the chairman of the "Turkish Cypriot Unions' Federation" (TURK-SEN), Arslan Bicakli, stated that they will proceed to an indefinite general strike as well and that they will declare those who voted for the "draft law", "enemies of the workers".

    In addition, Tamay Soysan, chairman of the "Telecommunication Workers' Union" (TEL-SEN), announced that they will also go on an indefinite strike against the "draft law".

    [06] The heir to the Malaysian throne was guest of honour at the wedding of the grandson of the Sheikh Nazim Kibrisi of occupied Lefka Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.09.11) reports that the heir to the throne of Malaysia, Prince Raja, participated as guest of honour in the wedding of Mahmud Nazim, the grandson of the Sheikh Nazim Kibrisi of occupied Lefka.

    Sheikh Nazim Kibrisi is the spiritual leader of the Naksibenti Order located in occupied Lefka. Prince Raja went to occupied Cyprus especially for the wedding, writes the paper.

    Nazim married the American origin Emine Meryem Sterling. The wedding took place at Mardinli restaurant at occupied Potamos village and according to Kibris, members of the Naksibenti Order from various countries participated as guests in the wedding.

    [07] EU calls on Turkey to stop threatening the Republic of Cyprus on the issue of gas and oil exploration

    Turkish daily H?rriyet Daily News (08.09.11) reported that the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule has lent support to Greek Cyprus, saying it has the right to conduct gas and oil exploration in the Mediterranean despite Turkey's warnings.

    Anca Paduraru, a spokesperson for EU Commissioner Fule, told the H?rriyet Daily News in a written statement on Wednesday the following: "The EU [emphasizes] all the sovereign rights of EU member states which include entering into bilateral agreements in accordance with the EU acquis and international law, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea".

    The statement also warned Turkey about interfering with Greek Cypriot plans to conduct oil and natural gas exploration in the Mediterranean Sea. "The EU urges Turkey to refrain from any kind of threat, sources of friction or action which could negatively affect good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of border disputes," the statement said. The statement also said that the Commissioner would continue to monitor Turkey's commitments to good neighbourly relations in light of the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes.

    Meanwhile, an official from Noble Energy, a U.S. firm due to start exploratory drilling for natural gas off Cyprus in October, said that the company will continue its explorations despite warnings from Turkey against such concessions.

    (?)

    [08] Erdogan said that Turkish ships carrying humanitarian aid will be guarded

    Ankara Anatolia news agency reports (09.09.11, online) that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkish vessels carrying humanitarian aid would never be subjected to any attack again.

    In a televised interview with the Al-Jazeera, Prime Minister Erdogan talked about the freedom of the seas in the Mediterranean, "for the time being, Turkish vessels are obliged to protect their own ships. This is the first step. We are going to send humanitarian aid to the region. And Turkish vessels carrying humanitarian aid will never be subject to any attack again."

    "Turkey will never make the same mistakes with Israel in the international waters. Turkey's state and military decency do not allow such mistakes. Our goal is to stand against atrocity in the world and support those who are desperate. There are desperate people in Gaza. Israel bombed those desperate people for 15-16 days. Those people are trying to live in tents now. We want justice for them," he said.

    "There are 1.5 million people there and they cannot be ignored. Our historical, cultural and humanitarian ties with them entail us to make such a decision. We cannot remain silent against their living conditions," Erdogan added.

    [09] "Dangerous escalation in Turkish-Israeli tensions"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.09.11, online) published the following article by Murat Yetkin:

    "In order to see a better, bigger picture to understand the state of the tension between Turkey and Israel, perhaps we have to list a number of incidents and statements of the past few days.

    Here is a cross section:

    ? Responding to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's accusation against Israel that the repair of the unmanned reconnaissance planes used by the Turkish army in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, militants has been delayed for too long, Israeli defense sources said this was not on purpose.

    ? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspected a naval unit and said his navy is a powerful and strategic arm of Israel; that was in response to Erdoan's statement a day before on more visible and aggressive patrolling of the Turkish Navy in the international waters of the Mediterranean.

    " Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (of Netanyahu's Likud) said his country will not apologize to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010 in which nine Turks were killed by Israeli soldiers, adding that the Gaza blockade is there to stay. Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Y1ld1r1m said that what Israel has done was not much different from what Somalia pirates have been doing.

    ? The issue was raised by Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov during his visit to Turkey's European Union Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis in Ankara. Bagis reacted to Madenov's "sit and talk" suggestion and said he believed that if nine Bulgarian civilians were killed by Israel, Bulgaria would have acted the same way. The Bulgarian Minister's reply was unpleasant to hear for Bagis; he said no Bulgarian citizens have tried to challenge a blockage in international waters.

    ? The U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone, made a statement in Turkish that the U.S. is waiting for the normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations, which is of crucial importance for the stability of the region. He also urged that the door for diplomacy should remain open.

    ? Erdogan in the meantime, got an approval from the Arab League to address the Forum during his visit to Egypt next week on the issue. Erdogan lends great importance to his tour to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, prior to his New York trip to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations.

    ? Turkish President Abdullah Gul told journalists on his way to Russia where he joined the Global Policy Forum, that Israel was "ungrateful" to Turkey for the benefits it sought so far and has become "a burden" for its closest allies. Consolidating Erdogan's "spoiled boy" denouncement of Israel two days ago, Gul criticized the U.S. Congress for giving support to Netanyahu that the latter could not even enjoy in his own Parliament.

    Lastly, diplomatic sources point to September 20, when the membership of Palestine as the 194th member in the U.N. will be voted on in New York. The sources see this date as another threshold regarding the tension between Turkey and Israel. The region is warming up dangerously."

    [10] Turkey and Egypt to boost cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea; Erdogan to visit Cairo next week

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.09.11) reported that according to the Egyptian Ambassador to Turkey, Turkey and Egypt will intensify maritime cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea by launching new Ro-Ro lines. The move comes after Turkey warned Israel of a more visible Turkish military presence in the waters to protect free maritime navigation.

    Abderahman Salaheldin, Ambassador of Egypt to Ankara, told in an interview on Thursday to Hurriyet Daily News: "Our maritime cooperation is for peaceful purposes and we, in Egypt, respect and ask everyone to respect free passage in international waters. This should not be disputed under any pretext".

    Turkey and Egypt will upgrade relations almost in all fields during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Cairo next week. The visit comes following Turkey downgrading the level of its diplomatic relations with Israel to the level of second secretary, the lowest since the early 1980s, as a result of Tel Aviv rejecting to issue an apology to Turkey for the killing of nine Turkish citizens onboard the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara vessel in international waters of Eastern Mediterranean.

    Subtitle: Real strategic relationship

    During Erdogan's visit, the two countries will also sign a strategic declaration to establish a High Strategic Council, an umbrella body covering cooperation in fields such as economic, technical, military, agriculture, education and others.

    "Of course we already have cooperation going on. But this agreement will uplift this cooperation and turn it into a real strategic relationship. This is not at all directed at any third party but rather is a model for the region to show how countries should cooperate with each other," the Ambassador said.

    The third party the Ambassador referred to is Israel, which recently broke its fragile relationship with Egypt after it killed five Egyptian policemen on the border. However, Salaheldin said his country supported resolving all conflicts and disputes in a peaceful way. "And we would like to go the extra mile to do that."

    Slamming Israel for its reluctance to end its military occupation of Palestinian territories, the Ambassador said it would be more rational for all countries to question the legality of the occupation before asking about the legality of Israel's actions, in an indirect reference to Turkey's efforts to question the naval blockade on Gaza Strip.

    Calling Erdogan's visit to Cairo a historic one, as it comes at a moment when the Arab world is going through a major change, Salaheldin said: "I think when our two countries are together and speak the same words, not only our region but the rest of the world will listen to them. Not only do our populations make up half of the entire Middle East, but we represent moderation, in terms of political and religious moderation, and we strive for democracy."

    [11] "Luxembourg wants to revive Turkey's EU visa facilitation talks"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (08.09.11, online) reported that Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker said at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart on Thursday that Turkey and the EU should fix a visa system for Turkish nationals and said that both the visa-exemption deal and the readmission agreement must satisfy both sides.

    Juncker and Erdoan both had bilateral talks earlier in the day and with their delegations. Pointing to what he said as "very good" relations between Turkey and the EU member state, Juncker also spoke about the necessity to improve economic ties between the two countries.

    Recalling an earlier visit by his country's Finance Minister, Juncker said that he will visit Turkey again in the spring of next year and thus will help accelerate economic ties. Noting that relations with respect to financial services and the banking sector will accelerate, Juncker said that a new agreement on this issue will be rapidly implemented. Further, the Turkish Prime Minister speaking on economic relations between the two countries, said that Turkey and Luxembourg are planning to reach $500 million in the level of trade volume, up from the current $140 million.

    [12] Kilicdaroglu: "Government is a lame duck"

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (08.09.11, online) reported that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has directed a series of critical remarks against the Turkish Government over the foreign and domestic policies it pursues, accusing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Government of being "a lame duck."

    The opposition leader was speaking ahead of the CHP's Party Council meeting in Izmir on Thursday. "Turkey has been the loser in national projects in the past nine years of AKP rule. Not even one of the 10 chapters was opened in the European Union accession process. If AKP continues with these policies, we may join the EU 100 years later. ... They talked about the Armenian initiative. We distanced [ourselves] from Armenia more. We lost Azerbaijan. They said they are opposed to intervention in Libya. They ate their word after a week. ... The country has turned into a lake of blood and the Government does not care. Turkey is nearing war with a different country every week and the Government does not care. The Government is a lame duck," Kilicdaroglu said.

    Also last Wednesday, he slammed the Government's policy towards Israel, saying that a recent UN report defending the Jewish state's blockade of the impoverished Gaza Strip dealt a direct blow to the Turkish Government, which tried hard to undermine the blockade.

    He called the blockade of Gaza "cruel and unjust," but said the UN panel report, released last Friday, gave Israel a valuable opportunity to legitimize itself before the international community. Responding to Kilicdaroglu's criticism, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused him of acting like an "attorney for Israel."

    [13] "The Eastern Mediterranean: back to power politics"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.09.11) published a commentary by Meliha Benli Altunisik, in which she analyzes the current situation as it was formed in the Eastern Mediterranean region comparing it with the situation existed during the 1990s, a period when that region was characterized by balance-of-power politics. She wrote the following:

    "The end of bipolar competition had induced competition among regional powers. Turkey, for instance, developed its strategic thinking on the region then. At that time, the protracted Cyprus conflict was beginning to be viewed in a larger geo-strategic context. Control of sea access, oil transport and influence in the Middle East, all became part of the larger strategic constellation. Turkish-Syrian relations deteriorated in the 1990s until the signing of the Adana Agreement in 1998 ? something that was also part of Turkey's new strategy. One response from Ankara to the perceived threats was the development of strategic ties with Israel. The two countries had engaged in naval exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean; Jordan also participated as an observer. In response, Greece's relations with Syria also developed. Clearly, balance-of-power politics reigned.

    After the signing of the Adana Agreement in 1998, Turkish-Syrian relations were transformed. The improvement of relations between the two states introduced a new element in the Eastern Mediterranean. The policies of the first Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Government signalled a change of perspective on the Eastern Mediterranean. In addition to the transformation of Turkish-Syrian relations, there was a general improvement in Turkey's relations with the Arab world in general. A new perspective was introduced on the Cyprus issue as well with the support given to the Annan Plan. Turkish-Greek rapprochement that was started by the previous Government continued. In fact, Turkey was talking about "peaceful diplomacy and economic interdependence" in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Yet, two issues began to challenge this policy. First, the Cyprus issue remained unresolved. Second, Turkey's relations with Israel began to deteriorate. As a result, we have been witnessing another change in the political geography of the Eastern Mediterranean. One result has been the forging of closer ties between Israel and Greece in recent years. The two countries conducted a joint military exercise in 2008 and Israeli pilots were allowed to practice within the Greek airspace. All this culminated in the signing of a security cooperation agreement between the two countries recently.

    Another issue that is heating up for some time is related to energy policies. Oil exploration rights around Cyprus have become the subject of a rift between Greek Cyprus and Turkey. The issue has a regional dimension as Greek Cypriots have been signing exclusive economic zone agreements with some Eastern Mediterranean countries. The Cyprus energy issue has the potential to escalate.

    On the other hand, Turkey has been increasing its military presence in the region. In 2010, a Navy Task Force for the Mediterranean was created. Turkey's response to the U.N. Palmer Report on last year's Gaza flotilla attack also made clear the securitization of politics in the Eastern Mediterranean. It seems that we have returned to balance-of-power politics in the region after a very short interval".

    [14] "Zero problems, a hundred troubles ? revisited"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.09.11) published a commentary by Burak Bekdil under the title: "Zero problems, a hundred troubles ? revisited".

    Bekdil assesses in his commentary the "zero problem policy" that Turkey follows with its neighbours and wonders why a country with a strictly no-problems-with-neighbours would spend $5 billion for new weapon systems every year?

    Bekdil continues by asking the following questions: "Why does Turkey spend billions of dollars in naval systems, including new frigates, corvettes, submarines, coastal surveillance systems and even a 'landing platform dock that can carry up to eight helicopters?' Which country in our seas of peace poses a security threat to Turkey..? None, according to the (national security) threat paper. What, then, justifies the generous naval spending? Since Turkey has no enemies in its vicinity? what will it do with new-generation tanks and air-defense systems and frigates and a landing platform dock? Which Government would spend tens of billions of dollars on equipment it thinks it will not need?"

    Referring to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's works and initiatives to implement to the region the zero-problems-with-neighbours, Bekdil writes:

    "He has travelled half the world more than a few times, shook hands with hostile statesmen, built "brotherly" relations with Muslim leaders in this part of the world, won prize after prize, posed for cameras thousands of times, always smiling, always hopeful for the best fruit: peace.

    He built an alliance with Syria, thought he could persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program, thought Aegean disputes would soon go away and thought that Cyprus would finally be reunited. He thought a landmark peace with Armenia was feasible. What's more? 'The return of the Ottomans,' theoretically, would make al-Quds an Arab-only city, and 'we would all happily pray at the al-Aqsa mosque in the Palestinian capital al-Quds.'

    After two years of hard work, Professor Davutoglu has been able to attain, sadly, a cold war with Israel. That cold war has already turned into a conventional war in the virtual world. An Israeli online news site reported that Turkish hackers "hijacked" 350 Israeli websites last Sunday.

    The situation may look calmer, but deep down it may not be so when it comes to our great Muslim brothers and friends, Syria and Iran. Mr. Davutoglu must be the last person the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would wish to see these days. Tehran's nuclear program goes on at full speed while "zero-problem neighbour" Turkey has agreed to host a NATO radar system on Turkish soil to intercept any future Iranian missile threat. And the head of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi ? no doubt, a brother and friend of Minister Davutoglu ? has made this not-so-brotherly statement: "Muslim countries should not serve NATO's interests."

    Regarding the situation on the Aegean and Mediterranean, the columnist supports that it is not better. He recalls EU Minister Egemen Bagis statement: "This is why we have a military," said in a threatening tone which naturally was perceived threateningly in Athens and to the fact that in order to punish Israel, Turkey has pledged to increase its naval presence and warned against potential joint exploration activity by Cyprus and Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    (?)Quoting statements by Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gregory Delavekouras that: "This conduct is opposed to the policy Turkey has declared: that of zero problems with its neighbours, Bekdil concludes and writes:

    "Apparently, this is not how you build a sea of peace. But why the dramatic ending? There may be dozens of reasons but, speaking of WikiLeaks, I suggest readers to start by recalling another cable which quotes a former U.S. Ambassador as putting it most realistically: With Rolls Royce ambitions but Rover resources to cut themselves in on the action, the Turks have to 'cheat' by finding an underdog, a Silajdzic, Meshaal or Ahmadinejad."

    [15] The Turkish Economy Minister views investments in Libya; Turkey expects a growth by 7% in 2011

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.09.11) reported that Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan attended MEGABUILD (Eurasia Building Materials Fair) in Istanbul on Thursday. The fair was held by the Turkish Environment & Urbanization Ministry, the Economy Ministry and the Construction Materials Industrialists' Association.

    Speaking at the inauguration of the fair, Caglayan said that delegations from Europe, North Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and America would make business connections with Turkish companies during the fair. Noting that Turkey ranked second in the construction sector in the world, Caglayan said that Turkish contractors committed more than 6,200 projects worth of 203 billion USD in 91 countries. Caglayan said that there are ongoing constructions by Turkish contractors worth of 18.5 billion USD in Libya. He recalled that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, several Ministers and more than 100 businessmen will visit Egypt, Tunisia and Libya next week.

    Noting that Turkey would probably record a growth by 8% in the second quarter of 2011, Caglayan said that Turkey's growth would be nearly 7% in 2011. He added that building materials sector's export was 16.5 billion USD in 2010, and it was 11.5 billion USD in the first seven months of 2011. He added that Turkey made 28% of the world's total iron-steel export.

    The fair will end on September 11. Delegations from 36 countries will hold bilateral business talks and 150 Turkish and 80 companies from 11 countries are attending the fair. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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