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Turkish Mass Media Bulletin 16-10-2007




No.199/07
A. NEWS ITEMS
1. Twelve thousand illegal immigrants overcame the Turkish occupation army and passed to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus
2. Refugee centers planned in Turkey with EU financial contribution
3. 47% of pupils of the elementary schools in occupied Cyprus are children of illegal workers or who have work permit
4. Data on the number of tourists who visited occupied Cyprus between 2005-2007
5. Salih Usar evaluates his contacts in Germany
6. Statements by Hasan Ercakica on tomorrow’s meeting between Mehmet Ali Talat and the UN Secretary-General
7. Turkish Cypriot committees to hold a meeting for the “defence of Turkey" under Rauf Denktas
8. The “TRNC Footsal Police Team” participated in the 25th World Footsal Championship in Holland
9. Turkish Gen. Saygun on the cross-border operation in Iraq: TSK stance is clear
10. Statements by the Director of Famagusta port on the occupied Famagusta – Latakia ferry services
11. The Turkish Prime Minister to visit the United Kingdom on 22-23 October
12. The Turkish Foreign Minister to visit Egypt and the Lebanon
13. The Syrian President arrives today in Turkey on official visit
14. Turkey to deliver first modernized F-16 to Jordan on 17 October

B. Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
1. Is it still valid to speak of communal rights in EU Cyprus?
2. The Turkish Press on 15 October 2007


A. NEWS ITEMS
1. Twelve thousand illegal immigrants overcame the Turkish occupation army and passed to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus
Under the title “12 thousand illegal immigrants deceived the military”, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.10.07) reports the following:
“Since Cyprus has become member of the EU, the most profitable work that emerged in the north is the human trafficking… The number of the illegal immigrants, who after arriving in the TRNC, crossed through the Green Line and passed to the south, has reached 12 thousand in three years.

The illegal immigrants, the majority of whom are refugees from Syria, instead of going directly to South Cyprus, they prefer to go through the TRNC because they find the suitable ground. Despite the fact that the situation is like this, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, instead of calling the Turkish Security Officers to account, he rose up and called from the Greek Cypriot side to account!

While the Turkish army (Mehmecik) thinks that not even a bird can fly over our borders 5 thousand 175 in the year 2005, 3 thousand 762 in 2006, 3 thousand 197 in 2007, illegal immigrants passed to South Cyprus.

The number of the refugees who went directly to South Cyprus is very small. In the year 2005, 16, in the year 2006 16 and in the year 2007 only three illegal immigrants went to the south without making use of the TRNC.

The Greek Cypriot Minister of Justice Sofokleous stated that the illegal immigrants, after being brought to the TRNC from Turkey, are carried across the Green Line by gangs that exist here.

Yesterday, the issue of the human trafficking was discussed at the assembly and Soyer complained that the Greek Cypriot police does not co-operate on the issue with the Turkish police.”

Reporting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.07) writes that the “Draft Law of the Protocol for Cooperation on issues of Customs and Smuggling Prevention”, which was signed between Turkey and the “TRNC”, was approved by the “assembly”.

Commenting on the matter, the “MP” of the Communal Democratic Party Mustafa Akinci stated that the protocol was necessary since the “TRNC” makes the most of its trade with Turkey and added that since 2004 a number of persons, especially from Syria, arrive in occupied Cyprus in order to pass to the Republic of Cyprus. He said that the human trafficking is taking place through Turkey and that cooperation with Turkey’s officials is needed on the issue.
(CS)

2. Refugee centers planned in Turkey with EU financial contribution
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:
“A project regarding the establishment of new refugee centres in Turkey has been presented to the European Union and we expect the EU will approve our project in the near future, said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Foreign Relations Representative Metin Corabatir on Monday.

Speaking to the A.A., Corabatir indicated that once the project gets approved, the implementation of it will begin in early 2008.

The project submitted to the EU foresees the establishment of refugee centres in seven Turkish provinces; namely Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Gaziantep, Erzurum, Van and Kayseri.

The project is expected to cost 66 million Euro, 75 percent of which will be met by the EU and the rest by Turkey.”

3. 47% of pupils of the elementary schools in occupied Cyprus are children of illegal workers or who have work permit
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.10.07) reports that the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary Schools Trade Union (KTOS) Sener Elcil, stated that 47% of the number of the pupils in elementary schools in occupied Cyprus are children of workers who live in occupied Cyprus either having work permit or illegally. He also stated that the occupation regime is facing an increase of population and that there can be no appropriate planning with this “uncontrolled and irregular population flow”.
(CS)

4. Data on the number of tourists who visited occupied Cyprus between 2005-2007
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.07) writes that the self-styled minister of economy and tourism Erdogan Sanlidag has stated, inter alia, that advertising is their main goal for the increase of the number of tourists in occupied Cyprus. As he said, they will increase their advertising in the UK where the most tourists who visit occupied Cyprus come from and that he will take up this issue in a visit to the UK soon.

Mr. Sanlidag said that the hotel construction is living an explosion recently and added: “When we look at the occupancy of the hotels we see that the number of tourists has not increased. The only thing that increased is the bed capacity. We are sharing the same pie. This is not our main aim. Our main aim is both to increase the bed capacity and at a parallel level to increase the number of tourists. Our efforts are towards this direction”.

Regarding the number of tourists who visit occupied Cyprus the self-styled ministry of economy and tourism gave the following data:
Between January and June 2007, the number of tourists in occupied Cyprus was 365,719, in comparison with 319,279 in the same period of the previous year, an increase of 14.5%. In the years 2005-2007 there was an increase in the number of tourists who visited occupied Cyprus from Turkey and Germany, while the number of tourists from the UK slightly decreased. Regarding the hotel occupancy there was an increase of 1.3% in comparison with last year.
(CS)

5. Salih Usar evaluates his contacts in Germany
Illegal Bayrak television (15.10.07) broadcast the following:
“The Minister of Public Works and Communications Salih Usar has said that the realities on the Cyprus issue were better understood by the German public opinion as a result of recent visits paid to the country.

Mr. Usar also said that relations between German and Turkish Cypriot peoples will significantly improve during the former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s visit to North Cyprus next year.

The Minister of Public Works and Communications Salih Usar returned to the Republic last night at the end of his contacts in the German city of Frankfurt.

Speaking to the BRT on his return, the Minister said that the realities on the Cyprus issue were better understood by the German public opinion as a result of recent visits paid to the country and said that dialogue between Germany and North Cyprus will continue in the future.

Mr. Usar expressed the hope that such contacts will lead to important economic developments in the future.

He said that the acceptance of the realities on the island will help the efforts aimed at lifting the international isolation on the Turkish Cypriot people and help bring about a comprehensive and just solution to the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Usar noted that relations between German and Turkish Cypriot peoples will significantly improve during the former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s visit to North Cyprus.

During his stay in the German city of Frankfurt, Mr. Usar met with MPs from the German Federal Parliament and state parliaments as well as businessmen who are interested in investing in the Republic.

He also visited the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is one of the world’s most important book fairs.

The TRNC manned a stand at the fair for the first time this year.”

6. Statements by Hasan Ercakica on tomorrow’s meeting between Mehmet Ali Talat and the UN Secretary-General
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.07) reports in its first page that Hasan Ercakica, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that the proposals of President Tassos Papadopoulos regarding the opening without any condition of the Ledra Street and Pyrgos crossing points, is “a political game” and noted that it was made on the eve of the meeting between Mr Talat and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr Ercakica, who was making statements to the illegal TAK news agency, said, inter alia, that the Turkish Cypriot Side has received no information about the four-point package proposals of the Greek Cypriot side on the opening of new crossing points between the two sides to the UN Secretary-General. Mr Ercakica also said that “this is a trick to make tomorrow’s (today’s) meeting between the ‘president’ (Talat) and UN Secretary-General ineffective”.

On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.10.07) reports that the meeting between the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will take place today in New York. He will stay at the UN Millennium Hotel. The meeting between the two men will take place at 15.00 (local time, 22.00 Cyprus time).

Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.10.07) also reports in its first page about the meeting and writes that according to a small opinion poll conducted by the paper, the “TRNC citizens” are not optimistic about the meeting.
(CS)

7. Turkish Cypriot committees to hold a meeting for the “defence of Turkey" under Rauf Denktas
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.07) writes that the “Talat Pasa Committee”, which is active in occupied Cyprus and the “TRNC National Action Foundation”, will organise a meeting between 1-4 of November, under the chairmanship of Rauf Denktas. The organisers of the meeting call on everyone to take their flag and come to Cyprus from where the defence of Turkey will start. In a statement the organisers declare, inter alia, that the EU wants Turkey to open its ports and airports to the ships and planes of the Republic of Cyprus and the withdrawal of the Turkish army from the island.
(CS)

8. The “TRNC Footsal Police Team” participated in the 25th World Footsal Championship in Holland
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (16.10.07) reports that the “TRNC Footsal Police Team” participated in the 25th World Footsal Championship which took place in Holland. The team came 4th among 96 teams which participated in the championship and the team’s trainer Cengiz Uzun, was elected “the best trainer”.

The paper reports that during the last two years Greek Cypriots do not participate in the championship and that this year the Turkish Cypriot team did not face any obstacle regarding its participation in it. At the opening of the championship the flag of the Republic of Cyprus was hoisted in the place of the “TRNC flag”. However, following intervention, the flag of the Republic of Cyprus was lowered and the “TRNC flag” was hoisted.
(CS)

9. Turkish Gen. Saygun on the cross-border operation in Iraq: TSK stance is clear
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:
“The attitude of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is clear on a possible cross-border operation and we will assess what are our requirements, if the parliament adopts such a motion, said Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun on Monday.

Attending the National Day reception of Spain in Ankara, Gen. Saygun indicated that "it is impossible to speak for certain on a possible cross-border operation if the parliament approves it. We will look at the season and go over our needs before launching a military operation."

In reference to a question on whether a cross-border operation would be in the best interests of Turkey, Gen. Saygun said that the TSK's attitude is very clear.

"What must be said on a cross-border operation has been already said. The UNSC adopted resolutions regarding the prevention of terrorist activities emanating from Iraq," he indicated.

Asked about the possible adoption of a bill on the incidents of 1915 by the U.S. House of Representatives, Gen. Saygun noted that taking measures against the bill is the duty of the government. "This issue is not new. It is an issue of the past decade," he underlined.”

10. Statements by the Director of Famagusta port on the occupied Famagusta – Latakia ferry services
Illegal Bayrak television (15.10.07) broadcast the following:
“Scheduled ferry services between the TRNC and Syria are to be resumed as from Thursday.

The services between Gazimagusa (occupied Famagusta) and Latakia will be carried out twice a week.

This Thursday’s sailing will be the first scheduled service between the two cities after a break of 28 years.

As from Tuesday onwards, there will be two scheduled services per week from Gazimagusa and Latakia ports, with ferries leaving Gazimagusa (occupied Famagusta) every Thursday and Saturday.

Ferries will return from Latakia on Thursdays and Sundays.
The services will be carried out by Akgunler-1 ferry.

Speaking to the BRT, the director of the Gazimagusa Port Serdar Canaltay said that the services, which were resumed about a month ago with special services, will be carried out regularly twice a week.

Also giving information about ticket prices, Mr. Canaltay said a return ticket for the three hour –and - 10 minutes journey will cost 100 US dollars for adults, 50 dollars for children between 5 and 12.
Under-fours will travel free.”

11. The Turkish Prime Minister to visit the United Kingdom on 22-23 October
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:
“Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a formal visit to Britain, the Press Centre of the Turkish Prime Ministry stated on Monday.
According to the press centre, Erdogan will be in Britain between October 22nd and 23rd.

Erdogan is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and hold talks with British authorities.”

12. The Turkish Foreign Minister to visit Egypt and the Lebanon
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:
“Turkish Foreign Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan will visit to Egypt and Lebanon between Oct 17-19 to have bilateral talks and exchange views about the situation in the region.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif will receive Babacan and he will meet Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and Parliament Speaker Nebih Berri will receive Babacan during his visit to Lebanon.

Babacan will also meet Saad Hariri, leader of the Parliamentary majority in Lebanon.

Turkish Foreign Minister will also visit Turkish troops assigned in Lebanon within the scope of UNIFIL and inaugurate a primary school in Srifa constructed by Turkey.”

13. The Syrian President arrives today in Turkey on official visit
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:
“Syrian President Bashar al-Asad will arrive in Turkey on Tuesday on a formal visit, it was reported on Monday. Al-Asad will be in Turkey between October 16th and 19th. President Abdullah Gul will host a dinner in honour of al-Asad on Tuesday.

Al-Asad will visit Ataturk's Mausoleum (Anitkabir) on October 17th. A formal welcoming ceremony will take place at the Cankaya Palace for al-Asad.

Gul and al-Asad will hold a joint press conference following their tete-a-tete meeting.
Al-Asad is scheduled to meet Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan. Al-Asad will attend a dinner to be hosted by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On October 17th, al-Asad will also meet former Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer at Sezer's residence in Golbasi town of Ankara.

On the morning of October 18th, al-Asad will proceed to Istanbul.

Al-Asad will deliver a speech at Istanbul's Bilgi University.

On October 19th, al-Asad will visit the Marmaray construction site and the Tuzla shipyard. Al-Asad will attend the inauguration of the Istinye Park with Prime Minister Erdogan.

Al-Asad will depart from Turkey on October 19th.”

14. Turkey to deliver first modernized F-16 to Jordan on 17 October
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:
“TUSAS (Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc.) will deliver the first modernized F-16 aircraft of Royal Jordanian Air Forces (RJAF) with a ceremony to be held in Ankara on Wednesday, October 17th.

Turkish National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul and Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein of Jordan will participate in the ceremony, TUSAS reported on Monday.

According to an agreement signed between TUSAS and RJAF in July 2005, TUSAS carries out the modernization process of seventeen Block 15 F-16 aircrafts of Jordan.”

B. Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
1. Is it still valid to speak of communal rights in EU Cyprus?
Under the above title Turkish Daily News newspaper (15.10.07) publishes the following article by Alkan Chaglar:
“In Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriots do not have individual citizenship rights like in Britain but “communal rights” according to the 1960 constitution of that country. A concept that is central to the foundation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 and the under-pinning of the functioning of a bi-ethnic Republic of Cyprus based on an equal partnership, communal rights has been more recently exploited as a justification to suspend or some may argue deprive an entire ethnic community of its citizenship rights. But following the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004 is it fair to still speak of “communal rights” as opposed to Individual Rights? Is it fair to grant different rights to a citizen based on what ethno-linguistic community they happen to be born into? And indeed how compatible is the Cyprus-based concept of “communal rights” now with EU Community law?

Suspended
Since the two communities were partitioned in 1974, Communal rights of Turkish Cypriots have been suspended by the Cyprus Government pending a political solution. In the government's view, it is simply not physically possible to pretend that the Republic can function as a bi-ethnic unit as before while Turkish Cypriots mainly remain in the occupied areas beyond their control and while the 15 Turkish Cypriot seats in the House of Representatives remain vacant. Naturally, when the Republic joined the EU in 2004, it made a point of signing in the accession agreement that it does not exercise control over the occupied North, and consequently the EU suspended the acquis communautaire in this area. As a further consequence of this policy, the two European Parliament seats belonging to Turkish Cypriots are now filled up by Greek Cypriots, while Turkish Cypriots now wishing to be elected on a Turkish Cypriot electoral register in the Republic cannot do so.

Citizenship vs. communal rights
But even though the acquis communautaire is suspended in the North, where the Republic has no physical let alone legal control let us not forget that the occupation is not the fault of Turkish Cypriots, nor is it influenced or controlled by them, but most importantly nor does it cancel their continued citizenship to the Republic of Cyprus. Let us also not forget that when Cyprus joined the EU, it's accession had not been linked to a political solution in the first place, so how can one now suspend the rights of an entire community (communal rights) pending a solution? If feasibility of applying citizenship rights is the issue, then surely there are ways to tackle this….

Discrimination
Despite the division, citizenship rights of the Republic of Cyprus continue and since Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, the island country regardless of its division was brought into the pan-European system of law, binding all member states. According to Article 17 of the Treaty of Rome, which Cyprus signed, Citizens of a member state and the European Union have a right to vote and a right to stand in local and European elections. The inherent message behind the later Amsterdam Treaty signed in 1997, which Cyprus is still a party to even though it joined after this date, emphasizes that member states must strive towards equality of citizens. The Treaty itself speaks not of “communal rights” but of the rights of “citizens” and of “equality” regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.

Surely, if one suspends “communal rights” then they are infringing on the equality of citizens and thus failing to comply with the Treaty? Just how can a responsible government quite justify the denial of voting rights and the right to be elected of citizens based on their ethnicity? Unquestionably, under EU law this also opens up possible charges of discrimination? An anachronistic concept, communal rights clearly clashes with the rights of citizenship as mentioned in the Amsterdam and Rome Treaties. It is this clash that has triggered legal action recently by Turkish Cypriot politicians Ali Erel and Huseyin Damdelen among 87 others in the European Court of Justice who seek representation in the parliament of their own country. Different yet similar, cases brought before Court of Justice over the decades affecting employment law, fiscal and other varieties of law have reaffirmed the supremacy of the court itself and the precedence of EU law over national law.

EU law takes precedence
In the case Internationale Handels-gesellschaft GmbH (1972), the Court of Justice, which is the highest Court in the EU, upheld Community regulations over German national law. Underlining the importance of Community Law, it was said: “No provisions of national law of whatever nature may prevail over Community law lest it be deprived of its character as Community law.” In a different case brought before the Court of Justice, Application des Gaz SA v Falks Veritas Ltd (1974), Lord Denning remarked: “.the Treaty is part of our law. It is equal in force to any statute. It must be applied by our courts...”

To learn from the United Kingdom's experience, I invite you to consider a more recent case Marshall v Southampton and SW Hampshire Health Authority (1993), where Marshall had originally been required to retire earlier than a man. She successfully argued before the European Court of Justice that such a practice was discriminatory and contrary to the Community's Equal Treatment Directive of 1976. Her case related to the level of compensation she received under the UK's Sex Discrimination Act 1975, which imposed limits on how much could be offered. Marshall again argued that the imposition of limits itself was “contrary to the 1976 EU Directive, and by maintaining such limits the UK had failed to comply with the Directive.” The case was referred by the House of Lords to the Court of Justice, which overruled limitations imposed by UK legislation. The case like many others, demonstrated that EU law clearly takes precedence over national law. In fact under Article 77 of the Treaty of Rome and I believe this can be applied more generically and not only to cases of employment as above, the Court of Justice does not attempt to interpret national law (that is to say the laws of 27 states) but delivers a general interpretation of Community Law. “It is then the responsibility of the domestic (national) court of the member state to enforce the ruling. “If the ruling cannot be enforced as a result of limitations by national law, then the member state is expected to alter its law as soon as possible,” i.e. through parliament.

Commitment to EU law
Whether Turkish Cypriots form a community or not is therefore immaterial as each Turkish Cypriot is ultimately a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus with equal citizenship rights. Since the Republic of Cyprus clearly surrendered its sovereign right to legislate contrary to the provisions of the Treaty when it joined the bloc in 2004, surely, it must be assumed that it is the intention of the Cyprus Government to legislate in favour not in breach of Treaty obligations, which it accepted when it joined. Furthermore if the government too has any good will towards its citizens of Turkish Cypriot origin then the House of Representatives must act whenever it passes legislation not to best represent Hellenism but to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty, where the rights of all her citizens can be respected equally. Understandably, issues pertaining to the rights of Turkish Cypriots are no doubt politically sensitive in Cyprus in light of the current division of the island but it is essential that the treaty must be interpreted by Cypriot courts in the same way as all other 27 states in the EU. Suspending the rights of over 120,000 Cypriot citizens on ethnic grounds poses crucial questions on Cyprus' commitment to EU Law and European practices.”

2. The Turkish Press on 15 October 2007
Following are summaries of reports and commentaries from the Turkish Press of 15/10/07 on issues of the current political agenda:
Possible Cross-Border Operation into Northern Iraq
A report in Hurriyet by Ramazan Imrag informs that Democratic Society Party [DTP] Deputy Hasip Kaplan warned that the Justice and Development Party [AKP] Government should avoid launching a cross-border operation into northern Iraq as it might turn into a war. The report quotes him as saying: "The [Kurdish] problem can only be solved through dialogue." According to the report, Kaplan warned against the initiatives to lift certain DTP deputies' parliamentary immunity and said: "We will side with our people and stage the biggest civil protest if we are dismissed from the parliament."

In an article entitled "No more excuses," in Ortadogu columnist Orhan Karatas urges the parliament to fully authorize the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] for a cross-border operation as a reaction to the passage of the Armenian bill by the Foreign Affairs Committee. He calls for certain changes to the Counterterrorism Law and adds that Turkey should take certain steps showing its determination not to back pedal on his former remarks regarding an operation. He says: "We know that the AKP will be unable to do that. That is why the other political parties have to fulfil this mission. They have to put pressure on the AKP and force it to keep its word." Accusing certain AKP and DTP deputies of supporting separatism, he calls for measures to dismiss them from the parliament.

An editorial by Yusuf Kanli in Turkish Daily News views the advantages and disadvantages of a cross-border operation in northern Iraq as follows: "Naturally there are many points we share with both the opponents and proponents of the motion to authorize a cross-border operation. We believe government authorization will at least serve to boost Turkey's deterrence force. And, indeed, though this debate is continuing under very strong public pressure in favour of an operation, the fact that such a key issue can be discussed at length in society demonstrates the maturity of Turkish democracy."

A report in the Turkish Daily News says that as the government is planning to discuss a motion authorizing the military to proceed with an incursion into northern Iraq, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have intensified operations in areas near the border with Iraq.

In an article under the title "Whose message is the PKK conveying?", Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Aktay asserts that the PKK has earned nothing but the "hatred" of the Kurdish people by staging its latest "brutal" attacks before the Feast of Ramadan. He claims that the PKK's terrorist attacks have never been as devoid of meaning as an effort to press for a solution to the "Kurdish issue" as they are now, adding that the terrorist organization has entered a process where it is destroying the basis of its "legitimacy" in the eyes of at least part of the people of the southeast. He also argues that the terrorist group's latest strikes could make sense only as a bid to provoke Turkey into staging a military incursion into Iraq and that the US House of Representatives' adoption of a bill recognizing the Armenian claims of genocide appears to be complementary to this effort.

In an article entitled "Before making a decision", Zaman columnist Ali Bulac warns of the short, medium, and long-term consequences of a cross-border military campaign into Iraq such as the "major costs for Turkey and the region" that would be entailed by possible US efforts to treat such a campaign as a means of achieving the failed objectives of the US occupation of Iraq, the further weakening of the democratic regime in Turkey, the compounding of Turkey's economic problems, the fostering of antagonism between Turkey and Arabs and Kurds that could last centuries, and the endangerment of domestic social peace in Turkey.

In a "news analysis" entitled "Turkey to shoot itself in the foot", Today's Zaman writer Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that according to "both Turkish and Western analysts," the Turkish government's decision to "give the green light to a cross-border operation and make moves in "retaliation" for the adoption of the Armenian bill by the House Committee on Foreign Relations "will in the long term affect Turkey's political and economic reforms" adversely.

Armenian genocide bill by US Foreign Affairs Committee:
A column by Milliyet's Semih Idiz asserts that many officials and experts in Washington believe that the Bush administration takes Ankara's warnings over the Armenian bill very seriously. Noting that US officials Edelman and Fried's urgent visit to Turkey has justified that view, Idiz asserts that the passage of the Armenian bill by the House Committee is part of the Democrats' "smear campaign" against President Bush. According to the Democrats, he adds, Turkey is just "bluffing" and that "it will not shoot itself in the foot." The columnist goes on to stress that Armenian Prime Minister Sarkisyan, who will be in the United States on 17 October, will try to refute the Bush administration's argument that the adoption of the bill will harm the dialogue process between Turkey and Armenia. He concludes by saying that Ankara will have to take certain steps showing the US Congress that it is not bluffing.

In a column in Hurriyet, Ferai Tinc asserts that she agrees with Nationalist Action Party Deputy Gunduz Aktan, who said that Ankara should take the measures expected by the Bush administration, which is said to be planning to use the Armenian bill against the Democrats. She says that the Republicans expect Ankara to stop or, at least, restrict the land and air transportation from Turkey to Iraq because they want the Democrats to pay a price for the passage of the bill. Tinc adds: "Now, the American officials are looking for an alternative route. Many reports say that the logistical route might be moved to Kuwait or Jordan. However, there is another matter that needs to be underlined: [The change of route] will cause an increase in military spending. The Democrats, who put pressure on the government for the withdrawal of the troops from Iraq and the reduction of the defence budget, should be prepared to pay the price if they vote in favour of the Armenian bill regardless of this warning."

Writing also in Hurriyet, Tufan Turenc writes that Tom Lantos, a US parliamentarian of Jewish origin who had obstructed the adoption of the Armenian bill in the Foreign Affairs Committee for many years, did not take action for the rejection of the bill this time because of the AKP Government's warm welcome to the HAMAS leader some time ago. Turenc argues in his column that the draft resolution will be adopted by the House of Representatives because of the ruling AKP's failure to establish favourable relations with the Democrats. The AKP should have realized that the Bush administration does not have the power to obstruct the adoption of the Armenian bill anymore, he adds.

A front-paged a report in Vakit entitled "Reactions to US grow," writes that the United States has come in for criticism from all social sections in Turkey over the House of Representatives' adoption of a bill recognizing the events of 1915 involving Ottoman Armenians as genocide. According to the report, many NGOs are calling for the closing down of Incirlik Air Base.

In an article entitled "Another trap for Turkey", Vakit columnist Huseyin Uzmez warns that “a US House committee's adopting of a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide could pave the way for territorial demands from Turkey in compensation for the alleged mass killing of Ottoman Armenians.”

In an article entitled "Armenian 'Genocide' as an Instrument of denial", Zaman's Brussels correspondent Selcuk Gultasli accuses the EU of abusing the Armenian issue as a means of blocking Turkey's accession to the Union. He also asks whether Holland, France, Belgium, Britain, and Italy would not be supposed to have apologized many times already to the "victims" of their colonial practices in Indonesia, Algeria, Congo, Ireland, and Libya if there were sincere in treating the events of 1915 in Ottoman Turkey as genocide.

In an article under the title: "Ain't misbehaving", Today's Zaman columnist Fehmi Koru asserts that "the Turkish public will never accept small measures as a reaction to the [US] Congress' decision. They will take it as a blow to their dignity and an affront they will never forget."

In an article entitled "What has the House Committee achieved?", Today's Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay argues that the House of Representatives' recognition of the Armenian allegations of genocide "has opened the way for further deterioration of Turkish-American and Turkish-Armenian relations."

In an article entitled "Quake in Turkish-US relations", Milli Gazete columnist Birol Ertan asserts that in adopting the resolution describing the events of 1915 in Turkey as genocide, US House of Representatives has done irreversible harm to the United States' relations with the only country in the world that could help Washington address its dilemmas regarding Iraq and Iran, place Syria under control, and keep the United States from being a target for radical Islam.







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