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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-09-21

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.183/07 21.09.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Glamorous welcome to Gul by the Generals at the Staff headquarters the day after returning from occupied Cyprus
  • [02] Ercakica: The two states reflect the real situation in Cyprus
  • [03] Cakici says that Guls statements do not serve peace and strengthen the division
  • [04] Izcan notes that Guls statements impose the division of Cyprus based on separatism
  • [05] Dincoglu expresses satisfaction with Guls statements
  • [06] The EU Commission on Guls statements about the Direct Trade Regulation
  • [07] Reactions to statements by the British High Commissioner to Nicosia regarding statements by President Gul during his visit to the occupied areas
  • [08] Danish and French right wing parties challenge Guls statements about two-state solution
  • [09] Avci meets with ICO officials and refers to his contacts in Syria
  • [10] The self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football Federation describes as very positive the results of the meeting with the CFA and FIFA in Zurich
  • [11] Ali Erel sends letter to EU officials
  • [12] More information on the skeletons found in occupied Dikomo village
  • [13] An evaluation meeting was held on the implementation of the EU Financial Aid Regulation
  • [14] Antiquities were unearthed yesterday in occupied Karavas village
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [15] Sabah columnist: Turkeys Cyprus policy is changing
  • [16] Turkish analysts comment on Guls statements during his illegal visit to occupied Cyprus
  • [17] From the Turkish Press of 20 September 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Glamorous welcome to Gul by the Generals at the Staff headquarters the day after returning from occupied Cyprus

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (21.09.07) reports that the new Turkish President Abdullah Gul made a return visit yesterday to the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit who paid a few days ago a congratulation visit to the new Turkish President after his election to the post.

    Mr Gul, who went to the headquarters of the Turkish General Staff for the first time after his election, he was received with a military ceremony. Mr Gul was received by General Buyukanit, the Deputy Chief of Staff General Ergun Saygun and the General Secretary of the Turkish General staff Major General Salih Zeki Colak.

    General Buyukanit received Mr Gul, who has the title of the commander in chief, at the presidential car. General Buyukanit, after giving a military salute to Mr Gul, he shakes hands with him. In response, the Turkish President greeted the ceremonial brigade and together with General Buyukanit entered the building, where he signed the visitors book. The meeting between the two men lasted for 50 minutes.

    (CS)

    [02] Ercakica: The two states reflect the real situation in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.09.07) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, said yesterday that Mr Talat will meet with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon on 16 October in New York. He noted that they will evaluate especially the latest situation in the Cyprus problem and that the Turkish Cypriot side will express the need for an urgent overall solution and its determination to work in this direction.

    Kibris reports also that Mr Ercakica described as great contradiction and tragic comic situation the fact that those who rejected the UN solution plan complained to the UN Security Council regarding the statements made by President Gul during his recent illegal visit to the island. He said that Guls message was clear and with his statements he described the current situation in Cyprus.

    Replying to a question regarding the emphasis given by Mr Gul to the two states, Mr Ercakica said that this is not something new, that it reflects the real situation in Cyprus and that Gul put forward the reality that this should be accepted so that progress is made in the efforts for a comprehensive solution. Pointing out to the political equality and the equilibrium of powers, Mr Ercakica said that these are important from the point of view of Turkey and the TRNC.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Cakici says that Guls statements do not serve peace and strengthen the division

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (21.09.07) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), has said that the statements made by the Turkish President Gul, who during his illegal visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus, stated that there are two separate states, two separate democracies, two separate religions and two separate peoples, do not serve peace and strengthen the division of the island.

    Mr Cakici pointed out that both Mr Gul and the speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Mr Toptan have not stressed in their statements the model of the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the political equality. Mr Cakici said that this solution is the main target of the Turkish Cypriots and this reality which is referred to in the parameters of the UN cannot be changed according to the interests and the wishes of others.

    He argued that Turkey does not want to lose Cyprus during its course towards the EU and alleged that the Greek Cypriots are following the policy of using Turkeys EU accession course and turning the Turkish Cypriots into minority. The Turkish Cypriots are no ones whipping boy, he said.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Izcan notes that Guls statements impose the division of Cyprus based on separatism

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (21.09.07) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the New Cyprus Party, commented on the statements made by the Turkish President Gul who claimed that the solution of the Cyprus problem will be based on the existence of two separate states, two separate democracies and two separate peoples and described them as interference in the will of the Turkish Cypriots for a solution on a federal basis. He noted that these statements are imposing the division based on the separatism.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Dincoglu expresses satisfaction with Guls statements

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.09.07) reports that Enver Dincoglu, chairman of the Turkish Refugees Association, has argued that the statements made by the new Turkish President Abdullah Gul during his illegal two-day visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus, caused fear to the enemies and gave strength to the Turkish Cypriots.

    In statements during a press conference yesterday, Mr Dincoglu thanked also the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat for his pro-peace attitude, the fact that he is defending the national policies and the efforts and statements he has been making recently.

    Referring to the relations with the Greek Cypriot side, Mr Dincoglu noted that what Mr Talat is saying today does not overlap with he was saying in the past. He pointed out that after Mr Talat became president, he began putting forward the communal and national interests and defends the national policies.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] The EU Commission on Guls statements about the Direct Trade Regulation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.09.07) reports that the EU Commission replied to the Turkish President Abdullah Guls demand regarding the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The spokesman of the Commission noted that efforts have been exerted on the issue of the Direct Trade Regulation during the Finnish and German term presidencies of the EU, but they gave no result.

    The spokesman added that it is not clear what the Portuguese term presidency will do on the issue and expressed the regret of Olli Rehn, Commissioner responsible for the Enlargement, because of the fact that the Regulation has not been implemented.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Reactions to statements by the British High Commissioner to Nicosia regarding statements by President Gul during his illegal visit to the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (21.09.07) reports that the reactions against the statements by the British High Commissioner to Nicosia, Mr Peter Millet, regarding the visit of President Gul to the occupied areas, continue. The Association of the retired non-commissioned officers of the security forces argued that Mr Millet should be declared as persona non grata in the occupied areas. The association accused Mr Miller of supporting the Greek Cypriots.

    The chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Tahsin Ertugruloglu argued that Mr Millets statements were unnecessary and inappropriate.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Danish and French right wing parties challenge Guls statements about two-state solution

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspapers (21.09.07) publishes a report by the papers Copenhagen correspondent that the radical right wing parties in Denmark and France have speeded up their campaign to preclude Turkeys EU accession. The paper reports that the leader of the radical right wing party (MPF) in France, Mr Philippe de Villers has started to collect signatures in order to put an end to Turkeys membership.

    In a statement yesterday the MPF, which is represented in the French Parliament with two deputies, declared that Abdullah Guls statement in the occupied areas regarding the two state solution was contrary to the International Law. In order to protest this statement the MPF has asked immediate breaking of the negotiations with Turkey. It also said that removal of the ban on wearing headscarf in the universities was against secularism.

    In Denmark the spokesman of the radical Peoples Party of Denmark, which supports the Danish government from outside, Mr Morten Messerschmitt, said that in view of Turkeys speedy heading towards Sharia its EU candidacy should be suspended.

    (MHY)

    [09] Avci meets with ICO officials and refers to his contacts in Syria

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.09.07) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci has said that they are holding intensive contacts with Syria, that there will be openings within the next few days and that concrete results will be seen. In statements yesterday afternoon during briefing correspondents of Media in Sweden, he noted that their general attitude is to avoid publicity until they have concrete results and added that they will announce in the forthcoming process the works carried out in the political, social and commercial fields as well as in the relations between universities.

    Meanwhile, Mr Avci met also with a delegation from the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO) which is visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to discuss the details and launch the preparation works for the workshop under the title Tourism in the Moslem World which will take place in the occupied areas of the island between 10 and 14 of December.

    In statements at the meeting with Nabika Diallo, economic affairs advisor of the general secretary of ICO Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Mr Avci said that a great progress has been scored during the past year in the relations of the TRNC with the ICO and added that the developments in the institutional relations will increase further.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] The self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football Federation describes as very positive the results of the meeting with the CFA and FIFA in Zurich

    Under the title Light of hope from FIFA, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.09.07) reports that FIFA invited the Cyprus Football Association and the self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football Federation (TCFF) to another meeting in Zurich on 28 October 2007.

    The paper writes that yesterday during the meeting regarding the Future of Football on the Island of Cyprus in Zurich, the sides decided to impose a blackout in the statements they make. CFA and TCFF will meet in Nicosia this month and discuss what could be done. Officials of the TCFF said after the meeting yesterday that the developments will be positive, but gave no details.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (21.09.07) refers to the issue under the title The first step. The paper publishes statements by advocate Tahir Seroydas, who participated in the meeting in the delegation of the TCFF.

    He said that he could not disclose what was said in the meeting and added that the process has begun.

    I can only say this. From our point of view, it was positive, noted Mr Seroydas and added: We could not expect this issue to be solved in one day. Let no one expect this. And everybody should help each other on this issue. A meeting will take place again in Zurich on 28 October 2007. We could interpret this as the process has begun and it will continue. We have taken very positive signal from the officials of FIFA and UEFA. We have a target: To bring our youth together with the youth of the world. Our efforts to achieve this target will continue without a stop.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] Ali Erel sends letter to EU officials

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.09.07) reports that Ali Erel, chairman of the Cyprus EU Association, has sent a letter to the Speaker of the European Parliament, to the Portuguese Prime Minister and term president of the EU and to the President of the EU Commission.

    Mr Erel called on the EU officials to protect the Turkish Cypriots from being extinguished and if they cannot do this he asked them to declare it. Mr Erel noted that their hopelessness is incited from statements such as Every step which will be made by the EU for the Turkish Cypriots will be a by-product of the relation between EU and Turkey.

    Mr Erel argued that the EU Program Support Office or the High Level Contact Group of the European Parliament are not exerting enough efforts to stop the extinguishment of the Turkish Cypriot community. Mr Erel claimed:

    The fact that the government of the Republic of Cyprus prevents the Turkish Cypriots from using their right to be represented in the republic and finally the change in the demographic structure in the northern part of Cyprus do not leave a chance to the Turkish Cypriot community in order to be able to save itself alone from this vicious circle.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] More information on the skeletons found in occupied Dikomo village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (21.09.07) reports that the area in Dikomo village where two human skeletons have been found by a person named Ilhan Yildiz, who was digging a pit for his toilet in occupied Dikomo, is known as an area where Greek Cypriot members of EOKA organization used to live.

    The paper notes that experts of the Committee on Missing Persons went to the area yesterday and began excavations and researches which lasted until late in the night. The paper argues that the skeletons might belong to British or to two Turkish Cypriots from Agyrta village who had been murdered by EOKA and their names are in the list of the missing persons. The Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons, Mrs Gulden Plumer Kucuk told Star Kibris that a DNA test will be carried out for the skeletons at the laboratory in the buffer zone and added that there is no information from Dikomo regarding missing persons besides this incident.

    (I/Ts.)

    [13] An evaluation meeting was held in the occupied areas on the implementation of the EU Financial Aid Regulation

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.09.07) broadcast the following:

    The first evaluation meeting on the EU Financial Aid Regulation worth 259 million Euros has taken place at the Saray Hotel in Lefkosia.

    The meeting was co-chaired by the Head of the Turkish Cypriot Community Task Force in the EU Commission, Andrew Rasbash, and the Ministry of Finance Undersecretary, Zeren Mungan.

    The participants made a broad assessment of the Commissions latest annual evaluation report on EU financial aid, published earlier in the week.

    During the meeting, participants discussed the current EU projects being implemented in North Cyprus as well preparations needed for upcoming projects.

    [14] Antiquities were unearthed yesterday in occupied Karavas village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.09.07) reports that antiquities were unearthed yesterday during electricity infrastructure works in occupied Karavas village area.

    The paper notes that 18 earthenware jars, plates and earthenware water jugs of the Geometric period were found during the excavations. A group from the Antiquities and Museums Department will go to the area today. The police stopped the excavations because other antiquities might be in the same area.

    (I/Ts.)


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [15] Sabah columnist: Turkeys Cyprus policy is changing

    Under the title North, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (21.09.07) publishes a commentary by columnist Erdal Safak who writes that Turkeys Cyprus policy is changing, as follows:

    The first clue or the messages of this change was given during President Guls recent visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). In his speech at the TRNC Assembly Mr. Gul has listed the sine qua non parameters of a Cyprus solution as follows: In Cyprus there are two different peoples, two different democracies, two different religions and two different states. Solution could be realized only if these realities are taken into consideration. Our colleagues say that Assembly Speaker Koksal Toptan who visited the island earlier also spoke about two peoples, two democracies and two states and said that the solution should be based on these. Could this be a coincidence? Erdal Safak says, and adds that until now the solution of the Cyprus problem was based on the bi-zonal and bi-communal federation.

    However, he adds, the new parameters voiced first by Toptan and then by Gul have radically changed the status which was envisaged for the island. The people is taking the place of the community and federation has given way to the two separate states and Mr Gul by introducing two religions in place of the single citizenship is introducing a totally different dimension to the issue.

    After the new parameters introduced with these changes of concepts one could draw only one conclusion: that solution based on federation is in the past. It is no more valid. Erdal Safak stresses that what will take the place of the federation, which nobody openly voiced yet, could be a confederation and if this is not realized two independent states, that is like Czechoslovakia; first, separation and then unification within the EU structure where there are no borders.

    In order for these realities to gain acceptance in the international forums and search to start, which will be suitable for these realities, first the only super power, in fact the hyper-power in this single pole world: the USA should give the green light just as in the case of Kosovo.

    At this point, just putting the full stop to this article, the devil made me feel suspicious: Is it Kosovo or the Northern Iraq? Could it be that they are cooking Northern Cyprus against the Northern Iraq? Did not even Henry Kissinger start demanding the division of Iraq into three? What a devilish thing, isnt it?

    (MHY)

    [16] Turkish analysts comment on Guls statements during his illegal visit to occupied Cyprus

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (21.09.07) reports the following:

    Remarks made by President Abdullah Gul during his recent visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) hinted at some relief to the longstanding concern in Ankara that the more independent Turkish Cypriots become, the more they will be independent from Turkey.

    Gul's remarks during his address to the North Cyprus Republican Assembly last Wednesday, when he cited the importance of a functioning democracy on the Turkish section of the island, were particularly important in that they set a tone encouraging further strengthening of Turkish Cypriot institutions so they can compete with their Greek Cypriot counterparts.

    Turkish analysts closely watching the Cyprus issue told Today's Zaman that Gul's remarks provided an important clue that Ankara has been gradually relieving its own concerns that a more independent northern Cyprus will turn against or distance itself from Turkey. This mindset, which has been prevalent in various Turkish institutions, stems from the fact that the Cyprus conflict has remained unresolved for more than four decades. The KKTC on the north of the island is recognized only by Turkey and the international community acknowledges only the southern state composed of Greek Cypriots.

    Meanwhile Turkish diplomats stressed that Turkey has had no alternative but to encourage moves that would make the Turkish Cypriots as independent as possible in order to stand on their own feet and match Greek Cypriots. There have been important steps made in recent years toward strengthening the Turkish Cypriot community and the increased number of Turkish businessmen attracted for investment purposes have raised the per capita income to nearly $11,000, stressed Turkish diplomatic sources.

    The KKTCs institutional development to a great extent helps the Turkish community gain self-confidence and thus become an equal partner with the Greeks, said the same sources.

    During his nearly five-year-long tenure as Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul played a key role in removing fears in some Turkish sectors that the more the Turkish Cypriots become independent, the more they will not listen to their brothers in Turkey, said Turkish diplomatic sources.

    An on-and-off war of words taking place between the Turkish top generals based on the island and the Turkish Cypriot administration have been the result of the lingering fears in Turkey.

    Subtitle: Two states remarks and partition concerns:

    Guls visiting the KKTC for his first trip abroad as president has also sent a message to the Greek Cypriots, the European Union and the Turkish Cypriots.

    The visit itself as well as the remarks suggesting that there could be no step back from a solution based on two states and two democracies on the island, sparked reactions from the Greek Cypriot administration, which called Guls visit to the Turkish side illegal and accused the Turkish president of encouraging partition of the island.

    Turkish diplomatic sources argued, however, that Gul has been referring to the Annan plan, taking its name from the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, while ruling out that his emphasis on the two-state concept has anything to do with a policy of the division of the island.

    On the contrary, Gul was referring to the Annan plans concept, where both the Turkish and the Greek communities will be preserved if they decide to reunify, said Turkish diplomatic sources. In 2004, Greek Cypriot voters overwhelmingly rejected Annans reunification plan which Turkish Cypriots accepted in a separate referendum. The UN has repeatedly pressed the two sides to reopen negotiations.

    During his visit to the KKTC, Gul also attempted to alleviate Turkish Cypriot fears that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which formed the new government after re-election on 22 July, will make concessions on Cyprus to the EU in order to further its entry into the EU.

    Gul instead called on EU nations not to use the dispute over Cyprus as an excuse to slow down Turkeys membership process. It is not right to link the Cyprus problem with Turkeys EU membership. This is a wrong assessment, Gul said.

    Turkey began membership negotiations in October of 2005 but progress came nearly to a standstill late last year when EU leaders decided to partially suspend negotiations in protest of Ankaras refusal to open its ports to trade with Cyprus, an EU member. Turkish officials have reiterated they will not implement a 2005 agreement to open Turkish ports and airports to Cyprus until the EU lives up to its commitment to lift the trade embargo on the Turkish Cypriot community.

    In his speech Gul called for the international embargo against Turkish Cypriots to be lifted. The international community should understand that the discrimination and restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people must now end, he said.

    [17] From the Turkish Press of 20 September 2007

    Following are summaries of reports and articles from the Turkish Press of 20 September 2007.

    Headscarf issue: A column by Fikret Bila of Milliyet asserts that President Gul is trying to prevent his wife's headscarf from becoming a source of tension in Turkey. Noting that military officials' behaviour during Gul's visit to the "occupied areas of Cyprus" showed that they will avoid participating in the meetings attended by First Lady Hayrunnisa Gul, Bila outlines the president's approach on the headscarf issue as follows: 1. The right to use headscarf should be seen as an "individual right and freedom," but not a political right. 2. The EU approach on the use of headscarf in universities should be taken as a basis in the solution of the issue.

    Asking whether "Turkey might turn into another Malaysia," an article by Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok expresses concern that the removal of the headscarf ban might increase the public pressure over the women who refuse to cover their heads. Recalling sociologist Serif Mardin's warning that "women should be concerned about their future," Ozkok says that regardless of the assurances given by President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan, there is a potential threat against the women who do not want to cover their heads.

    A column by Mustafa Akyol of the Turkish Daily News criticizes the headscarf ban in Turkey, describing it as a violation of human rights. He says: "The citizens who wear the headscarf should pay fewer taxes. They obviously don't get anything from Turkey's education system, and they should not be required to take a share in its finance. If they are second-class citizens, why should they pay the same rates with the folks in the first class?"

    A report in Milliyet views the protocol rules followed by the military officials in occupied Cyprus and Turkey during President Gul's visit. It says that Commander of the Ankara Garrison General Aslan Guler left his place in the welcoming line-up at the airport in Ankara in order not to shake hands with First Lady Hayrunnisa Gul who wears a headscarf. Gen Guler is quoted as saying that his behaviour should not be misinterpreted as he acted in accordance with the rules. According to the report, none of the military officials participated in the receptions and meetings in occupied Cyprus that were attended by President Gul's wife.

    Under the headline, "[Erdogan:] Let university rectors mind their own business," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which quotes Prime Minister Erdogan as saying in response to statements by certain university rectors amounting to "interference" in the parliamentary work on the new constitution, that "everybody should know their place" and that the legislative power is vested only with the National Assembly.

    In an article entitled "Are different life styles in jeopardy?", Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Dogan criticizes certain circles sharply for representing demands for the lifting of the headscarf ban at universities as a threat to other people's life styles and conducting a "psychological campaign" aimed at propagating the belief that the AKP-ruled Turkey is turning the country into another Malaysia. Dogan asserts that if there is any group in Turkey whose life style is in danger, it is female students who are not allowed to go to university wearing Islamic headscarves, adding that preventing these students from covering their heads so that they could not pose a threat to other people's life styles in the future is a form of "despotism" comparable to the Bush administration's post-September 11 strategy of pre-emption.

    In an article entitled "What business does the Chief Public Prosecutor have meddling with students' dress?", Vakit columnist A. Ihsan Karahasanoglu slams Higher Education Council, YOK, Chairman Erdogan Tezic and Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya for raising objections to the draft constitution prepared at the AKP's instigation. Karahasanoglu calls on President Gul to hold a meeting with the "politically active" chairmen of bureaucratic bodies like the YOK and the Supreme Court and try to extract a promise from them that they will work in harmony with the Government, adding that Gul should dismiss these bureaucrats if they refuse to make such a promise.

    In an article entitled "Coming to terms with differences", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone argues that while President Gul's response to rumours about the possibility of a coup linked to the AKP's bid to cancel the headscarf ban - "everybody should come to terms with [social/cultural] differences and respect one another's differences" is a "correct" one, "not everything that is correct is consistent with reality." Turkone goes on to warn the AKP about the "paradox" that it cannot solve the headscarf dispute without winning the "power struggle" first and that it might lose the power struggle in trying to address the headscarf issue.

    Under the banner headline, "Everybody should know their place," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which lambastes the YOK for objecting to constitutional amendments aimed at lifting the dress restrictions at universities. The report also accuses Professor Tezic and certain university rectors of turning universities into "barracks devoid of learning and universality."

    Relations between Turkey and the USA: In an article entitled "US changing its Turkey policy," Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz asserts that certain developments showed that Turkey and the United States need to adopt a "new and constructive" approach to strengthen their relations which were harmed by the Iraq war. Recalling that US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns stressed before he left for Turkey that Washington is willing to "revive its strategic partnership" with Ankara as it might help the United States better understand the situation in the Middle East, Idiz says: "Those remarks show that the self-confident and arrogant approach adopted by Washington before the occupation of Iraq has been replaced by a more moderate and realistic attitude. Washington, which ignored Turkey's warnings before the occupation and adopted a 'challenging' attitude after the rejection of the authorization bill on 1 March 2003 [the bill that called for authorization for the transfer of US troops to northern Iraq via the Turkish territory], has begun to openly say that it needs the advice of an ally."

    In an article entitled "An indecent proposal", Yeni Safak columnist Hayrettin Karaman accuses US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns of making an "indecent proposal" to Ankara in "offering to "help Turkey get rid of the scourge of PKK terrorism" in return for support for the US policy on Iran and the Middle East.

    In an article, Sabah columnist Asli Aydintasbas also says that Burns' visit aims to strengthen the bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States. She notes that regardless of the fact that both sides are willing to stress how strong the relations are, the US failure to take concrete steps against the PKK prevents the efforts being made to increase the US popularity in Turkey. Stressing that the PKK continues to be a problem between the two countries, she says: "However, the most important positive development is that Turkish politicians and leaders have stopped criticizing the United States before the public frequently. By doing so, they managed to place the social hatred [toward the United States] under control. Washington owes a thank you to the civilian and military leadership in Turkey."

    In a column in the Turkish Daily News, Cengiz Candar argues that Burns, the number three figure in US diplomacy, arrived in Ankara to convey a message of a "new strategic partnership."

    In an article entitled "Only a step away", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru comments on the efforts of the TOBB [Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges] delegation in Washington to persuade US Senate and House members not to pass the resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide. Koru claims that those who are conversant with the workings of the US system are hard-pressed to say that the resolution will be rejected once again. He also asserts in a "warning to those who believe that the United States would not sacrifice its long-standing friendship with Turkey in one fell swoop and make a mistake that would place itself in a difficult position" that Washington stands "only a step away from the mistake" this time.

    In an article entitled "Iran", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that the Bush administration is preparing to launch an offensive against Iran's nuclear facilities, radar stations, air defence systems, military bases, munitions depots, industrial facilities, political centres, and "other strategic targets." In explaining why a US military campaign against Iran is likely to end in "disappointment," Dilipak calls attention to such perceived challenges as the absence of "international consensus" on the need to take military action against Iran, the possibility that such a campaign against Iran will create an "avalanche of anger and hatred" against the United States in the month of Ramadan, and that Iran has enough missiles to wreak havoc on Israel.

    Finally in an article under the title "The American has come for Iran", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal asserts that Nicholas Burns has come to Turkey to seek the AKP's support for a military operation against Iran that will spell a "doomsday scenario" in the region where nuclear weapons might be used to destroy Iran's underground nuclear facilities. Unal expresses doubt as to whether the Erdogan government will be able to tell Burns "not to get us involved in this business" and warn Washington not to undertake such an offensive at all.

    ES/


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