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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-11-19

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. 224/12 17-19.11.12

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Turkish propaganda distorts realities in another OIC decision
  • [02] Eroglu's interview to Today's Zaman; he alleged that all issues of the Cyprus problem were debated and asked for a deadline to be set for the negotiations
  • [03] Eroglu inaugurated the 31st International Istanbul Book Fair; he carried out contacts with Istanbul Bar Association
  • [04] Eroglu: "Our only security is motherland Turkey and its armed forces"
  • [05] Reception for the breakaway regime's declaration was held in Bahrain
  • [06] Lord Kilcklooney carried out contacts in the occupation regime; he accused the Greek Cypriot side for intransigent attitude on the Cyprus problem
  • [07] Talat criticized Eroglu on the Cyprus problem: "He got what he wanted; Negotiations' deadlock"
  • [08] Atun participated in a meeting in Adana; he met with IMF's economist advisor Roubini
  • [09] So-called minister Amcaoglu attended OIC's meeting in Antalya; he called on OIC's member states to support the lifting of the so-called embargoes
  • [10] Aytug Fazil Plumer the new "representative" of the occupation regime in Doha
  • [11] Italy's Eni company official stated that the company acts within legitimacy of the EU law
  • [12] Kucuk will "appeal" against the "interim order" suspending his authorities in the UBP
  • [13] The breakaway regime distributed 53 building plots in occupied Lymnia Village
  • [14] The self-styled police stopped hunger strike of Kurdish students in occupied Cyprus
  • [15] The 68 day's hunger strike in Turkey ended; The Turkish government expressed satisfaction
  • [16] Erdogan warns Israel over Gaza strikes; Davutoglu to visit Gaza tomorrow
  • [17] Turkey will reportedly convey an official request today for Patriot defense system
  • [18] Turkey's Economy Minister due to France

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Turkish propaganda distorts realities in another OIC decision

    "OIC pointed out to the Annan Plan for the solution in Cyprus", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.11.12) reports that a reference to Cyprus is included in the "Decisions regarding Political Affairs" adopted at the 39th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers' Council of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, which was held in Djibouti between 15 and 17 November, 2012.

    The organization expresses its support to an early solution in Cyprus within the established UN parameters. It also calls upon the international community to "encourage" the Greek Cypriot side to "work constructively for an early solution to the Cyprus issue on the basis of the established UN parameters culminated in the UN Settlement Plan of 2004".

    Referring to the so-called isolation allegedly implemented on the Turkish Cypriots, the organization "repeats its call to the international community to take, without further delay, concrete steps to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people in line with the call made by the UN Secretary-General in his Report of 28 May 2004 and the assessments made by the UN Secretary-General's following reports as well as the previous OIC resolutions".

    The organization further calls on its members to strengthen their solidarity with the "Turkish Muslim people" of Cyprus in order for the latter, to be able to get rid of the "isolations".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu's interview to Today's Zaman; he alleged that all issues of the Cyprus problem were debated and asked for a deadline to be set for the negotiations

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (18.11.12) the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in an interview to Today's Zaman in Istanbul on Saturday during his visit to the Zaman Media Group, has renewed his earlier demands for placing a deadline for the negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

    In his interview with the paper, Eroglu said, "Let us place a time limit to the negotiations as there is no dimension of the Cyprus issue that has not been debated up until today."

    Frustrated with the open-ended talks, the Turkish Cypriot leader has repeatedly asked in the past to set a deadline to push for resolving disagreements in Cyprus.

    Referring to his vast experience in the history of the negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, Eroglu said that it is meaningless to spend another 48 years for negotiations because "Turkish Cypriots are tired of asking 'what will happen?'". "It can be six months, a year, a year-and-a-half, but there should be a time limit. The international community and we [Turkish Cypriots] should know what will happen in case negotiations fail at the end of this time limit," said Eroglu, responding to questions from Today's Zaman.

    Eroglu cited the recognition of "Greek Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus by the rest of the world while the "TRNC", as he called the breakaway regime, is only recognized by Turkey as the main reason for the reluctance of the Greek side for further negotiations, adding that unlike Greek Cypriots, who have nothing to lose by sitting at the negotiation table, the "TRNC's citizens "ask which territory will be given to them whenever we sit at the table."

    In response to a question on the current status of the negotiations, Eroglu said he had stopped the negotiations after July 1 based on a statement by the UN Secretary-General asking for a deadline for a deal by that date. However, Eroglu added that he expects to resume negotiations with the new Greek Cypriot leadership in March or April after their presidential elections, although he noted that he is not hopeful, "at least in the initial process."

    Eroglu said that after quitting the talks, "both sides put new committees in place which would work on confidence-building measures [CBMs] until a new president is elected in southern Cyprus." However, he argued that the Greek Cypriots do not take the committee process seriously, even though they have finally persuaded the UN Secretary-General and Alexander Downer, the Special Advisor on Cyprus to the UN.

    Eroglu also added that even though the Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, has said that their chairmanship at the EU is not an obstacle for resuming negotiations, he cannot make any commitments because he is not a candidate for the Presidency in the February elections.

    Talking about the two different UN plans proposed since the start of the negotiations in 1968 -- one by the then UN Secretary-General Javier Peres de Cuellar which Eroglu himself passed in the "TRNC" as the then Prime Minister -- Eroglu accused the Greek Cypriots for its failure. "In 2004, the Greek Cypriots promised the EU but they said no to the Annan Plan in the referendum," he stated. Referring to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso's remarks, Eroglu said that "he [Barroso] told me in a private meeting that this is the biggest hypocrisy."

    In terms of the EU's approach to the Cyprus issue, Eroglu stated that "the EU has always asked Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem before becoming a member of the EU but it is not Turkey who created that problem. They know that they are not right, yet they put such a condition in front of Turkey. But now, with Turkey's decreasing appetite for the EU, such a pressure on Turkey in terms of Cyprus is taken from the EU," Eroglu said.

    According to Eroglu, "what the EU should do is to remove isolations [on the TRNC]."

    Emphasizing that the "TRNC" would not welcome a solution that only pleases the Greek Cypriots, Eroglu suggested the inclusion of three guarantor states -- Turkey, Greece and the UK -- to the negotiation table, although he stated that the Greeks might not embrace such an idea. "If the two states cannot find a solution by themselves, the other three guarantors could be added," Eroglu said, reiterating that they would like a Cypriot solution and not only a Greek Cypriot solution.

    Eroglu also added that Russia is the Greek Cypriots' biggest guarantor because it vetoes any decisions that could be disadvantageous for them in the UN Security Council.

    While offering an end to the open-ended negotiations that have been ongoing since 1968, however, Eroglu wants to avoid a trend that he described as dangerous: "Our citizens have begun to think that a solution is first and foremost and our lives will not be in order if there is no solution."

    Eroglu said that "in order to save our citizens from this, we will demand a time limit from the UN Secretary-General."

    In response to a question on the armament of the Greek Cypriot state, Eroglu called it "meaningless, because it is insufficient if they are arming against Turkey and excessive if it is against the TRNC," also citing the Greek Cypriot argument that "they have to arm themselves as long as Turkey has 40,000 soldiers in Cyprus."

    In an effort to improve relations with its neighbors, the "TRNC" started a ferry line with Syria and was planning to start another one with Israel, but Eroglu stated that with Turkey's deteriorating relations with these countries, both of them have been aborted.

    Eroglu added that the "TRNC" opened a "commercial representative office" in Berlin lately and "are currently working towards opening one in Jeddah." He also added that they expect a "positive dialogue with Egypt" in accordance with Turkey's improved relations with it.

    In response to a question on the gas drilling activities by Greek Cypriots in the Mediterranean, he said that Turkey does not seem to compromise on leaving all the gas to the Greek Cypriots and exerts pressure on the big energy companies doing business in Turkey and is also involved in gas contracts in Cyprus.

    Eroglu said that he suggested the UN Secretary-General should work on exporting the gas through Turkey, an idea that is welcomed by the UN Secretary-General too. "We seem to be able to find a middle ground on the issue of gas and water," Eroglu concluded.

    [03] Eroglu inaugurated the 31st International Istanbul Book Fair; he carried out contacts with Istanbul Bar Association

    According to illegal Bayrak television (17.11.12) the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is in Istanbul to inaugurate the 31st International Istanbul Book Fair. The Fair is being organized by the TUYAP Fair and Exhibition Organization, in association with the Publishers Association of Turkey.

    The fair will be open until the 25th November. As part of his contacts in the Turkish city, Eroglu paid a visit today (17.11.12) to the Istanbul Bar Association which is the world's largest in terms of the highest number of members.

    Holding a joint press conference with the Chairman of the Association Umit Kocasakal, Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriot side continued its sincere efforts towards reaching a settlement in Cyprus within the framework of UN parameters.

    He however complained that they have yet to see the same sincere attitude from the Greek Cypriot side.

    Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side has rejected all proposals brought forward by the UN Secretary General to this day, Eroglu said that the International Community, which ignored this, continued to keep the two sides at the negotiating table. "We are trying to tell the world the realities. We are not without alternatives", said Eroglu.

    The Chairman of the Istanbul Bar Association for his part said that the Cyprus issue was a "national cause" and that they will continue to do all they can to make sure that it remains on the world's and Turkey's agenda.

    As part of his other contacts in Istanbul, Eroglu will be delivering a conference this afternoon. Eroglu and his accompanying delegation are expected to return to the "TRNC" tomorrow.

    [04] Eroglu: "Our only security is motherland Turkey and its armed forces"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (19.11.12) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has argued that the only security for the Turkish Cypriots is Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces. Addressing the opening ceremony of an international book fair in Istanbul, Eroglu said that the number of the states in the world which started "seeing the developments" in Cyprus is increasing, as a result of the efforts of the Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator, Egemen Bagis and the AKP government officials. Eroglu wished for these states to realize the "reality" that they should act towards the Greek Cypriots and not towards the Turkish Cypriots in order for an agreement to be achieved in Cyprus.

    Eroglu said that the occupied area of Cyprus has eight "universities" and students from 65-70 different countries, in spite of the fact that its population is only 300 thousand people. Noting that this shows a "reality", Eroglu alleged that there are some countries which do not want to see this "reality".

    Eroglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side accepted all the UN solution plans submitted until today, but the Greek Cypriot side rejected these plans. "While we have been punished with embargoes, the Greek Cypriot sector has been rewarded by being accepted into the EU", he alleged arguing that "there are some wrong views and behaviors" and that "the world must see this".

    He went on and argued, inter alia, the following: "If the officials of the government of the Turkish Republic put the Cyprus issue as the first topic on their negotiations or discussions at every meeting they go, this means that our cause is in safe hands. I believe that the world will see this reality. It will see the realities in Cyprus. We asked from the world a viable lasting agreement taking into consideration the existing realities in Cyprus. We asked for this agreement to continue being under the guarantees of our motherland Turkey. We asked nothing else. Our only guarantee is motherland Turkey and its armed forces?"

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Reception for the breakaway regime's declaration was held in Bahrain

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (17.11.12) reports that the self-styled representation office of the breakaway regime in Bahrain, gave a reception for the celebration for the declaration of the breakaway regime in Manama, Bahrain.

    According to the paper, supervisor and representatives of diplomatic missions, along with the deputy chairman of the Bahrain Chamber of Industry and Commerce Jawad Al Hawai, the director of UN regional bureau Nejib Friji, representatives of the Combined Maritime Force from Turkey, Denmark, Holland, Spain and Pakistan who serve in Bahrain, academicians and habitants of Bahrain from Saudi Arabia, occupied Cyprus and Turkey, participated in the reception.

    [06] Lord Kilcklooney carried out contacts in the occupation regime; he accused the Greek Cypriot side for intransigent attitude on the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak television (16.11.12) a member of the British House of Lords, Lord Kilcklooney has stated that reaching a settlement in Cyprus is currently very difficult due to the "Greek Cypriot Administration's" status and stance.

    He said the international community, exerting pressure on the Greek Cypriot side and standing closer to the Turkish side, is the only way to pave the way for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Lord Kilcklooney met with the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Hasan Bozer today.

    Speaking during the meeting, Lord Kilcklooney said that the Greek Cypriot side's unilateral membership into the European Union has been the scenario of a disaster which added another mistake to the EU history.

    "South Cyprus has got all what it wanted. I don't think they will approach towards an agreement with the Turkish Cypriots under such conditions", he said.

    Lord Kilcklooney also touched upon the issue of natural resources around Cyprus and criticized the Greek Cypriot side for not willing to share those resources with the Turkish Cypriots.

    He went on saying that an anti-Islam stance was behind the EU's treatment of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

    [07] Talat criticized Eroglu on the Cyprus problem: "He got what he wanted; Negotiations' deadlock"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.11.12) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that the current Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu made great mistakes as regards the Cyprus problem.

    Talat, who was speaking at a television program of ADA TV, strongly criticized Eroglu and the self-styled government and said that due to their actions Cyprus negotiations are facing a deadlock. "As a matter of fact, this is what he [Eroglu] wanted", Talat said.

    Asked if he will be again "candidate", Talat said that the "presidential elections" are far away for the time being and he did not elaborate on the issue.

    [08] Atun participated in a meeting in Adana; he met with IMF's economist advisor Roubini

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.11.12) broadcast that the so-called minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun has attended a meeting in the Turkish city of Adana which focused on the developments concerning the global economy and their reflections on Turkey.

    Atun had an opportunity to meet with the world-famous advisor of the International Monetary Fund and economist Nouriel Roubini- who is called an oracle, known for his now-vindicated predictions of the current global financial crisis.

    During the meeting, Atun informed Roubini on energy-related activities in Cyprus and how the economic difficulties being faced in "south Cyprus" can affect a possible solution on the island.

    Roubini said that he was closely watching the developments in Cyprus and pointed to Turkey's effective power in the region.

    As part of his contacts in Adana, Minister Atun also met with the Turkish Minister of Economy Zafer Caglayan and gave an interview to the Turkish media which focused on the land drilling activities for oil in the "TRNC" as well as the water transfer project.

    [09] So-called minister Amcaoglu attended OIC's meeting in Antalya; he called on OIC's member states to support the lifting of the so-called embargoes

    According to illegal Bayrak television (17.11.12) the "TRNC" continues to take part in the meetings of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation as an observer state.

    The so-called minister of agriculture and natural resources Ali Cetin Amcaoglu who attended the 5th term meeting of the OIC Agriculture Ministers in Antalya, Turkey delivered a speech at the conference.

    Speaking at the opening session of the meeting, the Turkish Minister for Agriculture, Food and Animal Husbandry Mehdi Eker said that they were honored to see the "TRNC" minister of agriculture and natural resources at the meeting.

    Opening his speech by thanking all OIC members for their decision to grant the "TRNC" with an observer status on the 16th of October, Amcaoglu said that "north Cyprus" experienced no problems in food safety or the import and export of food.

    Pointing out that the "TRNC" attached great importance to food safety, he reminded that a National Food Reference Laboratory will be brought to service in the first half of 2013.

    Explaining that agricultural production will increase once water from Turkey via pipeline, arrives on the island in 2014, he repeated the "TRNC's expectation" from OIC members to support the removal of the "isolations" imposed on the Turkish Cypriots by the international community.

    Amcaoglu is expected to return to the "TRNC" this evening.

    [10] Aytug Fazil Plumer the new "representative" of the occupation regime in Doha

    According to illegal Bayrak television (17.11.12), Aytug Faz?l Plumer has been appointed as the new "TRNC Representative" to Doha, Qatar.

    Plumer who was serving as an "undersecretary" at the so-called foreign ministry, will officially start his duty on the 1st of December.

    A written statement was issued by the so-called foreign ministry announcing the "council of minister's" decision approving Plumer's appointment as the new "TRNC Representative" to Doha.

    [11] Italy's Eni company official stated that the company acts within legitimacy of the EU law

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.11.12) reported that the Italian energy company Eni has been in touch with the European Union as well as Rome concerning Turkey's recent warning to review the Italian energy firm's investments in the country, if it goes ahead with plans to explore for natural gas in "Greek Cyprus", as the Republic of Cyprus is called.

    "We are always doing what is legitimate according to EU law," said Leonardi Bellodi, Eni's senior Vice President of Public Affairs.

    Turkey has recently warned the company against exploring for natural gas off the coast of the divided island of Cyprus.

    Turkish Energy Minister Taner Y?ld?z has warned that the government will review Eni's investments in Turkey if it goes ahead with plans in "Greek Cyprus".

    Bellodi, who was in Istanbul yesterday to attend the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit, said: "We are a corporation and we always act within state's jurisdiction."

    In response to questions on Turkey's attitude, Bellodi described Turkey's statement as a "mild reaction, raising the issue." "We are in touch with the European Union and with our government about this issue," Bellodi said adding: "Eni is a corporation and borders between states are not a matter that our company can decide. We will comply with any government agreement."

    "Greek Cyprus" approved licenses at the end of last month for the exploratory drilling of oil and gas deposits in four blocks off its shores, also announcing that it would negotiate a partnership with Eni, South Korea's KOGAS, Italy's Total and Russia's Novatec.

    [12] Kucuk will "appeal" against the "interim order" suspending his authorities in the UBP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.11.12) reports that the Irsen Kucuk, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime and chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), has said he will "appeal" against the "interim order", which suspended his authorities as chairman of the UBP. In statements to Kibris, Kucuk noted that after the decision of the "appeal" they could decide as to whether they will hold a second round of elections [regarding the chairman of the UBP].

    Kucuk rejected information according to which he would not "appeal" and added that they have not decided yet as to whether there will be a second round of elections.

    (I/Ts.)

    [13] The breakaway regime distributed 53 building plots in occupied Lymnia Village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.11.12) reports that the breakaway regime distributed building plots of occupied Lymnia village to 53 young persons.

    According to the paper, the title deeds of the building plots were given to the young persons by the self-styled minister of interior Nazim Cavusoglu who stated that as long as the National Unity Party (UBP) is in power, they will continue distributing building plots in occupied Cyprus.

    [14] The self-styled police stopped hunger strike of Kurdish students in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.11.12) reports that 40 students of Kurdish origin attempted to start a hunger strike in support of the Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkey, but they were forced to stop after the interference of the self-styled police.

    The action, which started at the branch offices of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) in occupied Famagusta, lasted only five hours after the "police" put pressure on the students to end the strike on the ground that they did not receive the necessary permissions to such actions.

    Speaking after the evidence, a representative of the students stated that they wanted to show their support to the Kurdish students in Turkey, as well as their determination.

    [15] The 68 day's hunger strike in Turkey ended; The Turkish government expressed satisfaction

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.11.12) reports that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ar?nc expressed satisfaction over the end of hunger strikes across Turkey's prisons on their 68th day, while the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) was cautious since the inmates' demands had not been met.

    "I thank those inmates who took this decision [to end the hunger strikes]. They did the right thing. They did not upset the Turkish people, because nobody wanted these strikes to end with deaths. The Turkish nation threw off great pain and trouble," Ar?nctold the reporters yesterday in the western province of Manisa.

    Deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) also held a press meeting yesterday and announced the end of the strike.

    Gulten K?sanak, Deputy co-chair of the BDP said the hunger strikes had reached their goal. "A very important message came from Imrali [referring to the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan]. He proved how much he cares about human lives. He contributed to the end of the hunger strikes by calling on inmates before anyone died," K?sanak said at a press conference in Diyarbakir yesterday.

    The decision for an end came after a call from the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan to hunger strikers in prisons across the country on November 17. The hunger strikes had been joined by nearly 1,700 inmates, according to Justice Ministry figures.

    The call came after Ocalan's brother, Mehmet Ocalan, visited the PKK leader on November 17 in his prison on Imral? island for the first time in months. Mehmet Ocalan said: "the leader believed the hunger strikes had reached their goals."

    Prisoners, as well as many people outside, launched the action on September 12 to demand an end to the isolation of Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence on Imral? island, as well as an end to restrictions on the use of mother tongues in court and in education.

    Meanwhile, according to a claim by Turkish daily Radikal, talks between Ocalan and Turkish intelligence service (MIT) officials over the last two months had paved the way for Ocalan's call.

    "A delegation went to Imral? on three occasions. A senior intelligence official joined one of these visits and Ocalan's intervention was sought to end the hunger strikes," the daily Radikal reporter Omer Sahin said without identifying the report's source. As the hunger strikes end, reports came from across Turkey that paramedic teams entered prisons to hospitalize many inmates for the recovery process.

    [16] Erdogan warns Israel over Gaza strikes; Davutoglu to visit Gaza tomorrow

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.11.12) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Israel of deliberately striking Gaza ahead of the elections in both 2008 and today, but urged that "the conditions of 2012 are different than they were in 2008." He also called for an immediate cease-fire to be observed.

    "Israel also attacked Gaza in 2008 prior to elections. Now elections are coming again and it is doing the same thing" Erdogan told a Turkish-Egyptian Business Forum in Cairo yesterday.

    "I am calling on [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. We are not in 2008. We are in 2012 and conditions are different than 2008. Make your calculations correctly," Anatolia news agency quoted him as saying.

    Erdogan reiterated that a cease-fire should be declared immediately. "I'm calling on Israel and Gaza to provide a cease-fire immediately, within 24 hours. Extending the situation won't bring anything to either side," he said.

    He criticized Western powers for wanting to pull the Arab world to pieces. "While Israel is attacking and sabotaging the peace, there will be no security or stability for any country in the region," he said.

    Erdogan said Turkey wished to see a cease-fire declared in Gaza immediately, while Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi told him that there were "some indications" a ceasefire could be reached soon, but said he had no firm guarantees.

    "The party using disproportionate force is obvious," Erdogan said in a press conference with Morsi following the meeting of Turkey-Egypt High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Cairo on November 17, according to Reuters. "Humanity will not forgive this if sovereign countries defend injustice under the guise of preserving Israel and its security," he said.

    "This hypocrisy should end. These double standards should end," Erdogan said.

    "I had a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue. I asked them to convince Israel and to give an important assurance. Israel did not accord with the previous Cairo ceasefire agreement, and I told them that this could not be repeated again," Erdogan further said.

    Erdogan also met the Arab League's Secretary General Nabil Elaraby and Qatar's Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani yesterday, in order to discuss the situation in Gaza.

    (?)

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.11.12) reported that diplomatic sources have said that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to pay a snap visit to Gaza on November 20, noting that the visit will take place as part of the Arab League's initiative to show support with the territory's people following ongoing Israeli air strikes.

    The Arab League decided Sunday during a meeting in Cairo to send a delegation that includes Davutoglu to Gaza to express support and solidarity. The Arab League's decision came hours after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly criticized the league for not taking effective steps in the face of the Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

    In the meantime, Davutoglu accelerated an ongoing diplomatic campaign to halt the Israeli operation through hectic face-to-face and phone conversations with relevant parties. Erdogan and Davutoglu met Hamas political leader Khalid Mashaal in Cairo, and the Foreign Minister later talked to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    According to sources, Davutoglu said a truce could be reached if the United States guaranteed that Israel would abide by a cease-fire.

    This visit to Gaza will also mark a first for Davutoglu, since he became the top diplomat in 2009.

    [17] Turkey will reportedly convey an official request today for Patriot defense system

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.11.12) reports that Turkish diplomatic sources have said that the consultations with NATO and its leading members over the deployment of Patriot defense systems are still underway. The sources neither confirm nor deny a German daily's claim, that Turkey's official request will be conveyed today.

    "I can't say when precisely the request will be made, but it will be soon," diplomatic sources told the Hurriyet Daily News over the weekend following German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung's report claiming Ankara's appeal will be made today.

    It also argued that the Patriot system will be provided by Germany and that some 170 German soldiers will be stationed to Turkey for the deployment of the system along the Syrian border.

    In continental Europe only Germany and the Netherlands have these systems, and it was the latter which twice provided Patriots to Turkey during the first and second Iraqi war. Diplomatic sources see Germany, who has more of these systems, as the potential donor in the current situation. "The Netherlands sent 360 troops for the deployment of these systems in the second Iraq war. So it's only natural to see a number of foreign troops stationed temporarily only for the deployment of this system," sources said.

    Turkey and NATO have been working on contingency plans in the face of the ongoing Syria crisis that also include protection of Turkey from a potential ballistic missile attack.

    Syria has a very strong missile arsenal, which causes concerns in Turkey that it could use them in the future phases of its ongoing fight against the Syrian opposition and its supporters.

    The deployment will not come under the alliance's Article 5, which binds all members to come to the defense of an ally that is attacked by an external power, the German daily said, noting that the mobilization and provision of missiles is designed to protect Turkey from rocket and jet attacks along the border.

    The German government has reportedly agreed to participate in such an operation, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported, adding that Berlin did not see the matter as an intervention in Syria's affairs. Turkey hosts more than 170.000 Syrians on its border with Syria.

    [18] Turkey's Economy Minister due to France

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.11.12) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan will visit France between November 19 and 21.

    His ministry stated on Sunday that Caglayan would meet CEOs of leading investor companies on November 20, and explain the investment opportunities as well as the new incentive system in Turkey.

    Following his meeting with French Foreign Trade Minister Nicole Bricq, Caglayan will attend the third term meeting of France-Turkey Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) where Turkish-French commercial and economic relations will be discussed. Caglayan and Bricq will sign a JETCO protocol.

    On November 21, Caglayan will attend a fair in Paris, and then return to Turkey.

    Highest trade volume between Turkey and France was recorded in 2011 with 16 billion USD. Turkey's export to France was 4.54 billion USD and import from France was 6.4 billion USD in the first nine months of 2012.

    35 Turkish companies have investments in France worth of nearly one billion USD. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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