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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-04-03

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.62/03 03.04.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Unsuccessful efforts by Rauf Denktas to get out of the isolation his intransigence has led him to.
  • [02] The Turkish Foreign Ministry supports Denktas' efforts to gain recognition by offering a small fraction of the occupied Greek Cypriot properties.
  • [03] Denktas' statement was prepared together with Mr Gul.
  • [04] Mr Mehmet Ali Talat wants the Annan plan as a means of foiling the acquis communautaire after Cyprus accedes to the EU.
  • [05] How the Turkish Cypriot Press views the proposals made yesterday by Mr Rauf Denktas on the Cyprus problem.
  • [06] A march for peace and democracy will be organized tomorrow in occupied Famagusta.
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot political parties express different views on Prime Minister Erdogan's five-party conference proposal on Cyprus.
  • [08] Ozker Ozgur notes that the partition policy applied by the puppet regime annihilates the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [09] The Turkish Cypriot leader will be honoured by the Kayseri Bar.
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot "Cyprus Socialist Party" analysed its position on the Cyprus problem during a visit to ORTAM newspaper.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Reactions of the Turkish Cypriot press regarding Denktas' proposal.
  • [12] Turkish Professor accuses the US of arrogance and calls for the recognition of Turkey's puppet regime in occupied Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Unsuccessful efforts by Rauf Denktas to get out of the isolation his intransigence has led him to

    Illegal Bayrak Television (02.04.03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, made the following statement to the press today:

    "I have today written a letter to Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Cypriot leader, informing him that we have for too long overlooked the significance of the socio-psychological dimension of the Cyprus issue, and especially the deep crisis of confidence between the two sides. Based on this assessment, I have suggested to him some ideas, which I believe could initiate a process of dialogue and consultation, leading to a working relationship between us.

    "The outline of the package, which I believe could act as a catalyst for the realization of a mutually acceptable comprehensive settlement, is as follows:

    "1. As a first step, the fenced area of Varosha south of Democratias Street, including the area extending to the UN Buffer Zone, will be transferred to Greek Cypriot control to be opened for settlement.

    "2. Parallel to this, all restrictions on overseas trade, transport, travel and cultural and sports activities in both parts of Cyprus will be lifted. I am convinced that Turkey and Greece will also positively respond to this by removing the restrictions that they apply to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides respectively. We shall invite the UN and the EU to acknowledge and help implement these arrangements.

    "3. Freedom of movement will be facilitated between the two sides, subject only to minimal procedures. Restrictions on the movement of tourists will also be lifted.

    "4. Steps will be taken gradually for the normalization of the flow of goods between the two sides on the island. Cooperation will also be encouraged between the institutions of both sides to identify and develop joint projects.

    "5. The Turkish Cypriot side will lift the measures of July 2000 regarding the movement of UNFICYP.

    "6. A Bilateral Reconciliation Committee will be established with the objective of promoting understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect between the two sides. This committee will make specific recommendations for promoting bilateral contacts and projects.

    "The ideas and suggestions constitute an integrated whole, and I am convinced that their implementation, while greatly enhancing the prospect of a mutually acceptable comprehensive settlement based on the political equality of the two sides, would bring significant, tangible benefits to both parties.

    "It is understood that the acceptance and implementation of the package will neither prejudice the respective positions of the two sides nor be a substitute for a final settlement.

    "I am also prepared to discuss with the Greek Cypriot side how we could benefit from the assistance of the UN and the EU in the implementation of the proposed ideas and package.

    "In the context of the above, I have also informed Mr Tassos Papadopoulos that I am ready to discuss with him the core issues of a comprehensive settlement and matters related to EU membership, with the objective of reaching a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

    "Since both sides support the UN's good offices, I have also written to the UN Secretary-General about my ideas and suggestions."

    [02] The Turkish Foreign Ministry supports Denktas' efforts to gain recognition by offering a small fraction of the occupied Greek Cypriot properties

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.04.03) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that it fully shares and supports the proposals submitted by Rauf Denktas to President Tassos Papadopoulos in a letter today.

    A statement issued by the ministry noted that Ankara believes that Denktas' proposals he is putting forth will assist in overcoming the existing confidence crisis on the island, contribute to the normalization of the relations, and also give new impetus to the efforts for a comprehensive solution.

    "We assess that the United Nations and the EU should assist the sides in implementing these measures," the statement said, adding that Turkey is ready to fulfill its share in implementing Denktas' proposals, and the international community should display the same understanding.

    The statement continued:

    "In his appeal to Mr Papadopoulos, Mr Denktas said that these measures will not constitute a comprehensive settlement, and that he is willing to discuss separately with his Greek Cypriot counterpart the essential matters pertaining to a comprehensive solution and the issues concerning EU accession. We support this initiative proposed by Mr Denktas toward the attainment of a just and lasting solution as well as the UN Secretary-General's mission of good offices.

    "On the basis of this understanding, we hope that the proposals put forth by the Turkish Cypriot side will launch a process of dialogue and consultation between the two leaders and that this new opportunity will be exploited in the best manner."

    [03] Denktas' statement was prepared together with Mr Gul

    Istanbul NTV television (02.04.03) broadcast the following report by Murat Yetkin in Ankara, by which the Turkish Foreign Minister assessed Mr Colin Powell's visit to Turkey:

    Abdullah Gul first met with his US counterpart, Colin Powell, at the Foreign Ministry. They then held a working luncheon. After these contacts, I had the opportunity to chat with Mr Gul. It looks like very important results were achieved during the talks.

    Let me first dwell on the general atmosphere of the talks, as reported by Gul. The two sides stressed once again how important the relations are for them. They underlined that small incidents will not cause a crisis in the relations. After that, the strategic importance of the relations was affirmed. According to Mr Gul, this was not a visit aimed at solving specific problems. On the contrary, it was a visit where the importance of the relations was heavily underscored. The foreign minister said: "May be it was a sudden visit but it was a timely one."

    What are the important results of this visit? Undoubtedly, one of the most important results is that following this visit, Turkey will become almost a base for aid to Iraq and north Iraq, both during the war and after it. In other words, food, water, and later, even construction materials, will be bought from Turkey. There is no need to elaborate on how important that will be for Turkey and what an important position that will mean for Turkey. Turkey will become a humanitarian aid base during and after the war.

    What can go from Turkey to Iraq at the moment? You may remember that during the news conference, Colin Powell mentioned food, water, fuel, and general logistics. This caused a reporter to ask if weapons and ammunition will be transited through Turkey. Abdullah Gul replied concisely: "No, that will not happen."

    According to Abdullah Gul, the Americans attach great importance to Turkey's position in the region and they want to see Turkey as a model. Actually, Powell mentioned that at the news conference. It seems, however, that what was mentioned very briefly during the news conference was discussed in great detail during the talks.

    Of course, humanitarian aid is relevant for the Americans as well. US planes carrying the wounded will be able to fly over Turkey and to land at the Turkish bases.

    Another important issue is the north Iraq issue. As we said earlier, Turkey posited its red lines very clearly. Abdullah Gul took this a step further and he explained the issues which were very clearly underlined by the Turkish side. Accordingly, the Turkish side posited an unequivocal stand regarding Mosul and Kirkuk, and stressed strongly that Turkey will never accept a fait accompli there, meaning that it will never accept the entry of the Kurdish groups into these two cities. He told Powell: It is out of the question for us to accept that. There is a unity of views between the government and the opposition in Turkey in this regard. We can never make the Turkish public accept any fait accompli in this regard.

    The Turkish side assured the US side that it will never enter north Iraq simply for the sake of entering it, that it will enter Iraq only if there is a need for it and the conditions call for it. Under what conditions would the Turkish army go into Iraq? "The conditions will be incorporated in a written agreement in a few days," Gul said.

    The issue of the organization PKK/KADEK [Workers Party of Kurdistan/Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan] was also discussed. The Turkish side posited an unequivocal stand in this regard as well, and told the US side: If the terrorists get ready for action there or if they intensify their activities, we will never accept that. You must show the same sensitivity you show regarding the other terrorist organizations -- meaning the US troops' attacks on certain fundamentalist organizations near the Iranian border.

    The two sides also discussed the $1 billion in aid. Gul said: We do not want to portray this as bargaining, anyway we do not see it as such. Statements that might hurt our feelings should absolutely not be made while Congress endorses this aid, because we do not consider this money as compensation for something we have been doing. Gul then referred to the US media coverage that hurt Turkey's feelings very badly, and asked the US Administration to be more effective in preventing that. Did the Americans give any dates about the end of the war? It looks like the Americans want to get results as quickly as possible with as few casualties as possible.

    We discussed the Cyprus issue as well. Rauf Denktas made a statement today. Abdullah Gul said: "As you know, we prepared that statement together."

    The foreign minister pointed out that he may postpone his visit to Cyprus by one or two days because of his visit to Brussels tomorrow [3 April]. I will be going to Cyprus on Friday or Saturday [4 or 5 April].

    To recap, the most important issues at the end of the visit are that Turkey will become a base for humanitarian aid; that we affirmed our unequivocal stand regarding Mosul, Kirkuk, and the PKK, and that we told the Americans not to turn the issue of the $1 billion in aid into something that might hurt Turkey's feelings. Another most important outcome of the visit may be -- as Mr Gul underlined - that the two sides stressed to each other that the relations are not so fragile, and that they affirmed the strategic dimension of the relations. The Turkish side's happiness with this visit may be best summarized by Gul's remarks that the visit may have been sudden, but it was timely.

    [04] Mr Mehmet Ali Talat wants the Annan plan as a means of foiling the acquis communautaire after Cyprus accedes to the EU

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.04.03) reported from Ankara that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) said on Wednesday that he didn`t see any change in the attitude of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the Annan plan.

    Mr Talat yesterday met with Prime Minister Erdogan.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Talat said that the Hague Summit resulted in failure, but the efforts continued. ``Turkey's EU process is very closely linked to the Cyprus problem. Everybody knows that. Mr Erdogan issued a statement about taking an initiative with Greece. This initiative has to be taken.``

    Talat said that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan foresaw Turkey and Greece to discuss particularly the security issue, adding that the negotiation between the two countries had great importance.

    ``We think that the Annan plan has to be on the agenda and it should be open to negotiation as the `U.N plan.` We tried to explain this to Erdogan. The Annan plan has to be taken into consideration in the context of the agreement to be made when Cyprus joins the EU, so that Greek Cypriots won't say in the future that `we will only abide by the EU norms while solving the Cyprus issue,` and they will be in a position to be bound by the U.N. plan,`` Talat said.

    When asked if the view of Prime Minister Erdogan about the Annan plan changed, Talat said that Erdogan believed that the Annan plan had to be negotiated.

    [05] How the Turkish Cypriot Press views the proposals made yesterday by Mr Rauf Denktas on the Cyprus problem

    The Turkish Cypriot Press (03.04.03) views the proposals made yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, on the Cyprus problem as follows:

    Under the banner front-page title "The surrendering flag of Denktas", YENI DUZEN supports that these proposals are leading the Turkish Cypriots to a situation even worse than the 1995 Confidence Building Measures, which had been rejected by Mr Denktas, who is now cornered because the Republic of Cyprus is heading towards the European Union. With these proposals, adds the paper, Mr Denktas admits that during the past 30 years he made absolutely no step to overcome the "confidence crisis" in Cyprus. According to YENI DUZEN, Mr Denktas tried to prepare proposals, which the Greek Cypriot side would reject.

    Under the banner front-page title "Package meant to confuse", ORTAM writes that while Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdullah Gul postponed his illegal visit to occupied Cyprus, Mr Denktas has "all of a sudden" announced a package. According to the paper this package came to the surface right after it had become known that the Government of Cyprus would announce some measures towards the Turkish Cypriots. Something else regarding the timing of Denktas' proposals is that they were announced just before the report of the UN Security - Council on Cyprus is announced, notes ORTAM, pointing out that some people support that the aim of Denktas' proposals is "softening the accusations against him" in the above-mentioned report. The proposals, argues the paper, aim at the same time at removing the Annan peace plan from the negotiating table for good.

    Under the banner front - page title, "Lift the embargo and take Varosha", AFRIKA says that "Ankara and Denktas have began to act in order to eliminate the negative developments after the 16 April and proposed to the Greek Cypriots a six-point proposals package".

    KIBRIS covers the proposals under the front - page banner title "Opening from Denktas".

    Under the banner front-page title "Here is the plan!" KIBRISLI writes that the proposals confirm the existence of Mr Denktas' "alternative plan to the Annan plan", which had been published in KIBRISLI two weeks ago. The paper notes that the Greek Cypriot side is expected to reject Denktas' proposals. KIBRISLI points out that in his proposals Mr Denktas has not referred to the three fundamental freedoms and the properties issue.

    HALKIN SESI covers the issue under the banner front-page title "We give Varosha, but." and describes Mr Denktas' proposals as "package for reconciliation".

    In its front-page title VATAN describes the proposals as a "Good will offensive".

    VOLKAN claims that the proposals are "Peace offensive" on behalf of Mr Denktas, while BIRLIK writes that the proposals are "another opening" from the Turkish side.

    [06] A march for peace and democracy will be organized tomorrow in occupied Famagusta

    KIBRIS newspaper (03.04.03) reports that some political parties, trade unions and civilian organizations will organize a rally under the title "Walk for Peace and Democracy" at 7:00 p.m tomorrow in occupied Famagusta. In a written statement on behalf of the organizers Mr. Erdogan Sorakin said that, at a time when the UN Secretary-General will submit a report to the Security Council and Cyprus' accession to the EU will be discussed at various EU organs, it is the duty of the Turkish Cypriots to raise their voice and declare that their struggle for peace, solution and EU accession will continue.

    [07] Turkish Cypriot political parties express different views on Prime Minister Erdogan's five-party conference proposal on Cyprus

    KIBRIS (03.04.03) writes that the five Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the illegal "assembly" of the puppet regime have expressed different approaches on Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal regarding organizing a five-party conference on Cyprus, with the participation of the three guarantor powers and representatives of the two communities of the island.

    The "ruling" Democratic Party and its partner National Unity Party (NUP) have expressed their support to the proposal describing it "positive and well-timed". Suha Turkoz, general secretary of NUP, said that they support this proposal because "it takes into consideration the realities in Cyprus". Kemal Havali, general secretary of DP, said that they had to support the proposal because "the guarantors might solve the problem which the sides alone could not solve".

    Ertugrul Hasipoglu, leader of the Renewal Progressive Party (RPP) said that they support this proposal because they support "every proposal towards a solution".

    Ferdi Sabit Soyer, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), noted that we could abandon the basis of the Cyprus talks, adding that this basis is the UN. Noting that the insistence on this proposal would mean wasting time because the Greek Cypriot side has rejected it, Mr Soyer said: "These initiatives could not end positively. Abandoning the basis is not possible. The basis is the UN".

    Ozal Ziya, general secretary of the opposition Communal Liberation Party (CLP), supported that searching for a solution should continue on a basis accepted by both sides. Mr Ziya noted that the Erdogan proposal was not official because it has been rejected and added that the international community exerted a lot of efforts and took a lot of decisions towards reaching a solution in Cyprus. "One of them is the Annan plan. We could not expect the Greek Cypriot side to permit taking the issue to another basis", Ziya said.

    [08] Ozker Ozgur notes that the partition policy applied by the puppet regime annihilates the Turkish Cypriots

    AFRIKA (03.04.03) reports that a delegation of the United Cyprus party (UCP) visited yesterday Elia village, in occupied Morphou area. UCP' foreign affairs secretary, Ozker Ozgur was participating in the delegation headed by Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the party.

    Addressing a gathering, Mr Ozgur said, inter alia, the following: "We want to live having our identity as a community. The partition policy imposed on us, annihilates both our existence and our identity. .Denktas and the civilian and military bureaucracy in Ankara which supports him and wants the division to be permanent, benefit from the conflict between us. .".

    [09] The Turkish Cypriot leader will be honoured by the Kayseri Bar

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN (03.04.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, will visit Kayseri, in Central Turkey on 5 April where he will be honoured by the "Legal Person of the Year" award on the occasion of the Day of the Lawer.

    At Kayseri Mr Denktas will also participate in a panel discussion on the issue:

    "Cyprus Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow".

    [10] Turkish Cypriot "Cyprus Socialist Party" analysed its position on the Cyprus problem during a visit to ORTAM newspaper

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM (03.04.03) reports that a delegation of the Cyprus Socialist Party (CSP) yesterday visited its offices in the framework of an initiative to promote the will of the Turkish Cypriots for "Peace and EU" together with the peace-loving forces.

    The delegation was composed of the party's General-Secretary, Mr. Mehmet Suleymanoglu, the Chief of the Political Office, Mr Kazim Ongen, and the party official in charge of the Youth Branch, Mr Kamil Incirlili.

    In a statement during the visit Mr Suleymanoglu said that the status Cyprus will accede to the EU on 16 April is important and that as CSP they are in favour of the Turkish Cypriots taking their place in the EU with their state order and as politically equal. "Otherwise the imperialist forces will increase their interventionist positions regarding Cyprus", he added.

    Regarding the solution to the Cyprus problem Mr. Suleymanoglu said: "A solution to be reached in Cyprus must be based on two regions, the Turkish Cypriots should have a say in their region and the two communities must be sovereign in their region. It seems that with the existing administration it is not possible to reach to a solution. What is necessary to be done at this point of time is to hold early elections and the peace forces should go to elections by forging a peace union. The rights prescribed as `Republic of Cyprus rights' are minority rights and for the Turkish Cypriots these are not accepted".

    On his part the chief editor of ORTAM, Mr Mehmet Davulcu, said that early elections could be a solution to the existing impasse, but at this point he attaches great importance to the number of voters and their composition.

    With a clear reference to the illegal settlers from Turkey, Mr Davulcu added: "The number of voters is much higher than the real population of the Turkish Cypriots. The composition of the voters must be re-examined in the framework of international law and the forces supporting peace should exert efforts on this issue".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Reactions of the Turkish Cypriot press regarding Denktas' proposal

    Basaran Duzgun, writing in KIBRIS newspaper (03/04/03) under the title "Salami", wonders why Denktas did not wait for Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to visit the occupied area and in his presence to announce his six-point plan which could be summarized as "Let us give part of Varosha and in turn you remove the embargo". Basaran Duzgun then writes that the Greek Cypriot side most probably would reject the six-point plan and the UN would not say anything.

    He then wonders who is trying to by-pass the UN in the Cyprus problem and adds that "Denktas knows very well that the UN could not be by-passed in the Cyprus problem".

    Basaran Duzgun goes on and says:

    "All the proposals made by Denktas are included in the Annan plan. The Annan plan has envisaged the return of the whole of Varosha to the Greek Cypriots and the removal of the embargoes as well as the free movement of the tourists and the Cypriots.

    Well then what is the meaning of submitting these proposals after rejecting the Annan plan a short while ago?

    The meaning is very clear.

    Despite the fact that Denktas rejected the Annan plan in the Hague he still sees that the plan is on the agenda, so with this tactical move he wants to do away with the plan.

    He is doing this with the confidence building measures package that ten years ago he had branded as "confidence building measures that aimed at annihilating the Turkish Cypriots by salami policy".

    He concludes by saying: "It is unfortunate that those who ten years ago considered the UN confidence building measures as salami policy to annihilate the TRNC, today they put them forward as an opening. "

    On his part, Hasan Ercakica, writing in YENIDUZEN newspaper (03.04.03) under the title "The new versions of the old film", says that nobody will pay attention to Denktas' new proposals because, he adds, the method that Denktas is following is an old method that the Turkish side always tried to use when it faced opposition on the international arena or to ease criticism in the UN Security Council when the Cyprus peace talks entered into an impasse.

    "There are certain facts that we should accept and know them; all the major powers in the world want a Cyprus settlement through negotiations held under the auspices of the UN. The possibility of success of the efforts to try to chance this framework is almost zero.

    And also we should know that any attempt that might lead to indirect recognition of the `TRNC' or might give the `TRNC' officials functional responsibilities would not be welcomed by the Greek -Greek Cypriot duo.

    Their expectations are to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem based on the UN resolutions. If one takes into consideration these facts then one could conclude that the proposals announced by Denktas would not last more than two or three days as news item.

    Under these conditions the only thing that remains regarding Denktas' proposal is that it is food for propaganda in order to corner those in Turkey who favor peace and the Turkish Cypriot opposition", Ercakica concludes.

    On the other hand, the main editorial in AFRIKA newspaper (03.04.03), under the title "Turkish Proposals," says: "Ankara and Denktas, who did not take any serious step until now for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, have realized that after the Accession Agreement to be singed in Athens on 16 April they will be in a very difficult situation.

    There is no doubt that Denktas has prepared and submitted this package together with Ankara. And it would be better if one calls it Ankara's package rather than Denktas package. Had it been for Dnektas most probably he would not do it. He doesn't care.

    It is Ankara that would carry the brunt of the criticism that would be directed after 16 April.

    It would be accused by the EU as occupier.

    Compensations would be in the pipeline.

    Who knows, may be embargoes would be on the agenda.

    Ankara is looking for ways to avoid these. By submitting proposals to the other side it is trying to demonstrate good will.

    The Varosha bribe could be attractive for the Greeks. But they will never give up the EU membership against it. nor will they remove the embargo. So the Turkish side instead of making such a provisional proposal it should look into concrete ways of solving the problem."

    [12] Turkish Professor accuses the US of arrogance and calls for the recognition of Turkey's puppet regime in occupied Cyprus

    Under the title "From arrogance to humility", Turkish Daily News (03.04.03) publishes the following article by Mr Hasan Unal, Associate Professor at Bilkent University, who assesses the position adopted by the US Administration after the refusal by Turkey to allow US troops to move to Northern Iraq through its territory:

    "These are difficult days for the U.S. military in Iraq and for the U.S. administration in Washington. U.S. troops are facing fierce resistance from the Iraqis in various parts of southern Iraq while the hyped-up Shia uprising against the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein is not forthcoming. It is obvious that the Americans miscalculated almost everything. Though the situation is not yet a quagmire, it is not far from that.

    The biggest blunder the U.S. strategists and policy planners made was the rejection of the northern front Turkey offered on March 17. The offer was waved aside -- `too late', they said. Had Washington officials not rejected it, a powerful U.S. force up to 60,000 strong would have gone into northern Iraq, forcing its way through Saddam's divisions in oil rich Kirkuk and Mosul. Having routed Iraqi troops loyal to Saddam Hussein or forced them to surrender, U.S. forces would have made their way down to Baghdad to encircle the city within a few days. The Saddam forces in the south could not have gathered their strength as much as they have now, and would have dispersed or surrendered. This would have made it much easier for coalition forces to swoop down on Baghdad, putting an enormous amount of psychological pressure on the Republican Guards defending the city.

    But the arrogance with which the higher-ranking echelons of the State Department saw fit to treat Turkey ruptured relations between Ankara and Washington and made the northern front plan impossible. True, there was an inexperienced government in Ankara with a confused mind-set. It did not seem to know what it wanted but it is a public secret that the U.S. establishment did want the ruling JDP to win the November elections. It would be no surprise to learn that the U.S. officials even tried to pull whatever strings they could in favour of JDP, with its Islamic pedigree. The reason behind this was simple: JDP needed legitimacy abroad in order to establish itself domestically and this, it was thought, would make it easier for the U.S. to persuade them to support the U.S. operation against Iraq for whatever return the U.S. would offer. But as things are, this assumption has fallen through.

    The U.S. troops are now bogged down in Nasiriye, Najaf and Karbala, and they are unlikely to make a huge breakthrough. If anything, their lines of supply and communications are under constant threat from Iraqi special units, Fedayeen and others. Even if they were to reinforce U.S. troops and make a further thrust, it is unlikely that it would result in full encirclement of Baghdad, without which the U.S. could not win the war. Or alternatively, the Baghdad war would result in such huge civilian casualties that the U.S. victory would turn into a Pyrrhic one, over a country so wrecked as to be a nightmare for foreign governors.

    The situation on the northern front is even worse for the U.S. When the U.S. rejected Turkey's offer of the northern front, on the grounds that it was too late, it must have assumed that a quick and an easy victory was attainable. It must have also assumed that the Kurds in northern Iraq could open a northern front, should they be aided by U.S. air power. But this is not happening, and there is no reason to assume that it will happen in the next few days. If anything, the U.S. efforts in the north have got entangled: the Kurds are alarmed at the degree of Iraqi resistance, both Shia and Sunni, and they are now less willing to fight. Even if they were mobilized and organized by U.S. Special Forces, they are no match for the powerful divisions of Saddam in Kirkuk and Mosul. Should Saddam's divisions withdraw from Kirkuk and Mosul to drive a wedge between Ankara and Washington, the Kurds could and should not enter these towns because such action would almost immediately trigger a huge wave of Turkish intervention in northern Iraq. The U.S. Special Forces are in northern Iraq to restrain the Kurds from going into those towns to realize what they call their historic dream. Under the circumstances, a powerful northern front is almost impossible and without a northern front it is going to be terribly difficult for the U.S. to win this war.

    A northern front without full Turkish cooperation is a fantasy that could be of some use only if the war was a simple computer game. But it is not, as the American troops are now experiencing. Allowing a northern front has never been easy for Turkey, given that the country is overwhelmingly Muslim with long borders with Iraq. But it offered the northern front to the U.S. because the U.S. has been its strategic ally. Since the U.S. rebuff and the Iraqi resistance, things have obviously changed: the Turkish public mood has changed as a result of the language tinged with invective used by the U.S. at the onset of the war against Turkey. And the Turkish government might find it even more difficult to consider sending a new bill to the Parliament authorizing the U.S. to use Turkish territory to move troops to northern Iraq with their heavy equipment and tanks.

    But it has to be done in order to mend the frayed relationship between Washington and Ankara. Turkey needs to understand that its ties to the US are important for any number of reasons; equally, the U.S. should make the necessary moves and be frank with Turkey as to what it wants. Doling out a billion dollars and then getting some senators and others saying that should Turkey send troops into northern Iraq, the aid package should be made smaller is only a recipe for further disasters, and it should be avoided. People like Marc Grossman should stop appearing on Turkish television to say to the Turks that if the government bill does not go through the Parliament, the Turks would face serious consequences. And Ambassador Thomas Weston should be made to realize that going to anti-Turkey meetings in northern Cyprus together with the U.S. Ambassador in southern Cyprus, and then boasting to the press that he was there to contribute to the development of democratic process has a price. All this nonsense has hurt the Turkish nation and we shall not easily forget it.

    But we are not a nation that is apt to leave its friends in the lurch. The U.S. should ask for the opening of the northern front openly and the Turkish government should, however difficult the circumstances, respond positively. The U.S. should be generous in its dealings with Turkey, the only ally of Washington in the region, and Turkey's legitimate concerns about the Kurds, the Turcomans and the others should be well respected. Iraq should not be restructured in the form of an ethnic federation, but as a unitary state giving the Turks and the Kurds equal political and cultural autonomy. The motley crew that has set itself up as the Iraqi dissidents, who have misguided U.S. policies up to now, should be ignored and the two allies, Ankara and Washington, should work together towards the establishment of a new Iraq that would satisfy all Iraqi citizens. In return for Turkey's full cooperation, the U.S. should review its policy over Cyprus, a policy that in any event does not serve U.S. interests, and stop preventing other countries from recognizing `TRNC'."

    /SK


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