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Posted by Alexander from ( on Friday, July 11, 2003 at 0:28AM :

Once again, I just post these, and these articles do not represent my views, many of them I have not really read, but decided to post it here for information.:)

Denktas ready to meet with Annan, but...
The Turkish Cypriot leader reiterates that the Annan plan is dead and he does not believe the secretary-general will make another appeal and demand the document be accepted by the two sides on the island as a framework for a Cyprus settlement


President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus denied speculations Tuesday that United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been testing waters for some time and was expected to call for a new Cyprus summit soon.

Denktas said he was not aware of any such development and he has not received an invitation from the secretary-general, but would accept such a summit call if Annan eventually decides to issue a call.

The Turkish Cypriot president said he was not against negotiations and is ready to meet with Annan within the framework of the good offices mission of the secretary-general but he believed he would not be asked to accept a blueprint the U.N. chief had presented the two sides on the island last November and landed in a deadlock at a March summit at the Hague.

"I don't think I will be asked 'Come and accept this plan' because everyone must know for sure that we shall not accept that plan," said Denktas reiterating that the Annan plan was written by the secretary-general's special Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Soto in collaboration with former British Cyprus coordinator Sir David Hanney and former Greek Cypriot Attorney General Alekos Markides.

Denktas stressed that the good offices mission of Annan was still continuing but de Soto violated all fundamentals of the good offices mission, allided with the Greek Cypriot side and attempted to make impositions on the Turkish Cypriot side. He said the Turkish Cypriot confidence in de Soto has waned.

He stressed that de Soto was no longer considered as a "friendly" and "trusted" envoy "because of what he has done to the Turkish Cypriot people and to myself."

He reiterated his charge that the Annan plan was nothing but an effort to annihilate the rights and interests of Turkey on Cyprus, terminate the partnership status of the Turkish Cypriot people and patch them up to the Greek Cypriot state as a minority.

He said if ever a call was issued by Annan for fresh talks, the Turkish Cypriot side, taking into consideratiopn the experience of the past years, will decide and declare clearly before sitting in on such talks the issues that it considered as fundamental and on which no concessions could be made.

"We have no time to spend another 40 years in inconclusive talks," said Denktas and reiterated that a Cyprus settlement would be within reach only if the realities of the island were internationally acknowledged.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Turkish immigrant worker has Germany sentenced at European Court


The top office of the European Court condemned Germany for contravening Article 14 of the European Human Rights Contract (AIHS), concerning the prohibition of discrimination. Germany will pay pecuniary compensation of 24,500 euros to immigrant worker Asim Sahin, who applied to the European Court after Germany prohibited him from seeing his daughter whose mother was a German citizen.

Germany previously appealed against decision
The European Court had previously decided that Germany contravened Article 14 and Article 8 of AIHS relating to `the principle of respect to family life`. The German government later disputed this decision and demanded the application to be taken to the top office of the European Court.


Stop two-faced approach to Turkey, pleads Verheugen
EU enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen criticised what he called a "two-faced" approach to Turkey by some Member States, who advocate Turkey's accession in public and then say behind the scenes that Turkey should never become a member of the club.


In times of global conflict and uncertainty, it would be helpful for the EU to have a big Muslim country like Turkey in its corner, says EU enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen in today's Die Welt.

In comments likely further to stimulate the debate on the "wider Europe", Verheugen also said that the accession of Turkey to the EU would make Europe more of a "middle-eastern power".

He criticised what he called a "two-faced" approach to Turkey by some Member States, who advocate Turkey's accession in public and then say behind the scenes that Turkey should never become a member of the club.

Overall, more "fairness" is needed in dealing with Turkey, stressed the Commissioner.

Turkey's accession to the EU is an especially thorny subject. The EU is set to draw up a report by the end of 2004 to review Turkey's membership performance. If Turkey is found to have made the necessary political reforms, then accession talks will begin "without delay".

But some leading figures in Europe, notably Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the President of the Convention on the Future of Europe, have said that Turkey should never be allowed to join, citing, among others, cultural differences.

The timing of Verheugen's comments may also be significant. Rumours abound in the Commission that Verheugen's mandate may soon be extended to dealing with this concept of the "wider Europe". The Commission's policy on this is due to be set out in Brussels today.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Aksu wants Azerbaijan to continue struggle against PKK/KADEK
Turkey tells the sides that it would support any confidence-building measures between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and a fair and stable solution of the Nogorno-Karabakh problem is possible only by means of negotiation


Turkish Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, who is visiting Azerbaijan said on Tuesday that he believes Azerbaijan will continue to struggle against outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK/KADEK) efficiently.

Aksu, speaking to press in Baku, underlined that Turkey is closely concerned with the stability of Azerbaijan, and Turkish people stand by their Azerbaijani brothers everytime.

Turkey and Azerbaijan are close allies and have historic and ethnic ties. The two countries try to develop common policies in the region and have joint projects, like the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan strategic oil pipeline project.

"The ongoing Armenian occupation of Nogorno-Karabakh is threatening peace and stability of the Caucasus. A positive development regarding the peaceful solution of the problem contributes to normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations and regional cooperation," said Aksu.

Turkey had told the sides before that it would support any confidence-building measures between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and a fair and stable solution of the Nogorno-Karabakh problem is possible only by means of negotiation.

Reportedly, Turkish, Armenian and Azerbaijani governments are moving in the direction of restoration of diplomatic ties, and contacts between Foreign Ministry officials of the countries are preparing groundwork for the solution of the problem.

Turkey and Azerbaijan also signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on organized crime, illegal immigration and human smuggling.

Azerbaijan President Haidar Aliyev, while receiving the Turkish interior minister, said he is pleased with the strategic cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan.

"Today, all the world believes terrorism is a threat for all humanity," Aliyev said.

Aksu also discussed the recent developments and security of the strategic BTC oil pipeline project with his counterparts. "Starting the oil flow will also open new cooperation areas between the two states," said Aksu.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan Interior Minister Ramil Usubov said Turkey casts a model for Azerbaijan in every area, including modernization of the Azerbaijan army.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Gul should cancel his visit to US, SP leader
Veteran politician calls on government to revise its Middle East strategy


Saadet [happiness or contentment] Party leader Necmettin Erbakan said on Wednesday that Foreign Minister and deputy prime minister Abdullah Gul should cancel his visit to the United States as a reaction to recent tension between the two countries.

Relations between Turkey and the U.S. were harmed after U.S. troops from the 173rd Airborne took Turkish forces into custody Friday in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.

Erbakan strongly criticized government officials for following a weak policy during the crisis.

"One is dining in Kayseri [Gul's hometown in the Central Anatolia region], the other is making propaganda in Samsun [Blacksea region city close to PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's homeland]. Are they kids or are they acting like one? The goal is to hide away the event," Erbakan said.

Both Gul and Erdogan were the members of the Erbakan led-Welfare Party (RP) before the party's closure by the Constitutional Court.

Former comrades are currently new rivals in the political arena.

Erbakan is the mentor of political Islam in Turkey and is famous for his interesting remarks about current political affairs and figures.

He said that the recent event between Turkey and the U.S. cannot be cured and called on the government to revise its Middle East policy.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Turkey moves back according to UNDP report


According to the "2003 Humanitarian Development Report," prepared by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Turkey moved backward to number 96 among 175 countries.

Trying to recover from the negative effects of the economic crisis, Turkey was at the level of less developed countries from the aspects of national revenue and humanitarian development in accordance with the report.

According to the report, Turkey's place on the list was lower than Azerbaijan, Georgia and Albania. Turkey's income level reduced to $5,890 from $6,974 from the aspect of purchasing power.

Turkey's humanitarian development index value dropped to 0.734 from 0.742. It was obvious that Turkey was at the end of the list among the candidate countries to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union.

The report stressed that the world faced a serious crisis due to lasting socio-economic slumps. Thus, during the 1990s, the number of countries, of which the economy shrank, rose to 21. It was further pointed out that these countries were in need of emergency aid in the field of health and education.

U.N. Coordinator to Turkey Jakob Simonsen promoted the report at U.N. House in Ankara and said that despite the crisis, Turkey had also developments, adding that the increase in literacy rates and lifespans.

The report said that because of its debts, Turkey could not invest in education and health, noting that fighting poverty played a key role to providing global security.

Ankara- Turkish Daily News


So-called Armenian genocide resolution hampers conciliation efforts
'The resolution does not contribute to a solution for the problems, it even hampers all efforts for conciliation, and afterwards it would be very difficult for Turkey to sit at the table with Armenia,' says Erdal Ilter


While secret groundwork for conciliation between Turkey and Armenia continues, a resolution draft at the U.S. Senate that indirectly recognizes the so-called "Armenian genocide" not only frustrates conciliation efforts, but also dismissed hopes for fixing relations between Turkey and the United States.

"The resolution draft may mark the end of the conciliation efforts, and may underline the souring ties between the two NATO allies Turkey and the United States," said Erdal Ilter, head of the Armenian desk of ASAM (an Ankara based think-tank institution).

The move came just after a Turkish Foreign Ministry official visited Armenian capital Yerevan for secret groundworks for a conciliation between the two regional states, before the meeting of the two countries foreign ministers at a U.N. Summit in New York in September.

Turkish and Armenian officials are reportedly discussing to normalize the relations between the two countries, and in parallel to this to solve the problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with which Turkey has historic and ethnic ties.

"The resolution does not contribute to a solution for the problems, it even hampers all efforts, and afterwards it would be very difficult for Turkey to sit at the table with Armenia afterwards," said Erdal Ilter, speaking to the Turkish Daily News.

Turkey was the first country to recognize independent Armenia in 1991 but diplomatic ties were later severed following the Armenian occupation of Azeri territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey has said it is ready to support every confidence building measure between the two states. Turkey also added normalization of ties depended on Armenia's signing an agreement with Turkey making sure that the current border is recognized by this country, Armenian administration's stopping to support Armenian lobby efforts to get international recognition for the alleged genocide and withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian announced Wednesday that Armenia has many proposals within the scope of taking "small steps" aimed at normalizing relations.

Oskanian also told the press in Yerevan that he hopes to reach some concrete agreements in September.

The resolution hampers US-Turkey fence-mending efforts
The move also coincides with a tense atmosphere between the two NATO allies, Turkey and the United States after seizure of Turkish commandos in northern Iraq in an incident that underlined souring ties after the rejection of deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey during the Iraq war by the Turkish Parliament.

Turkey wanted the U.S. Administration to show more effort for the rejection of the resolution, that might be viewed as a gesture in the relations strained after the seizure of Turkish commandos in northern Iraq.

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Wednesday that the resolution is not related to the U.S. Administration, it is related to the U.S. Congress, and added, "But, the U.S. Administration is showing sensitiveness on the issue."

"We are doing what is necessary to overcome the problem," Gul added.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Turkish, US generals meet, eyes on probe into crisis
President Sezer calls shocking detention of Turkish soldiers as 'inexcusable' and says Turkey has the right to demand a satisfactory explanation from the United States
Turkey appears to be holding back criticisms against Washington, preferring instead to wait for outcomes of a probe carried out by a joint committee headed by lieutenant generals


High-level military delegations from Turkey and the United States launched Wednesday a probe into July 4 detentions of Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq, as Turkey demanded an explanation for the incident that created a tense standoff in relations between the two NATO allies.

"Turkey has the right to demand a satisfactory explanation from the United States," said President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, calling the detentions as "inexcusable."

But Sezer, as well as the government, appeared to be holding back criticisms against the United States, preferring instead to wait for outcomes of the probe carried out by a joint committee headed by lieutenant generals and expected to last for days before deciding on how to respond to the U.S. move.

"We have to see the results of the efforts underway and their results. A policy can be considered in the light of results that would come out of these considerations," spokesman Sermet Atacanli said on behalf of Sezer at a press briefing.

U.S. authorities have said the American forces were acting on intelligence that the Turkish special forces detained might have been involved in some "disturbing activities" but Turkey has denied any plot.

"They have some intelligence and we are saying that they are not true. Today, these will be discussed at a high level," Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters Wednesday.

Newspaper reports have said the U.S. forces in Iraq had the intelligence that the 11 Turkish soldiers detained in a July 4 raid in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniya were preparing for an assassination against the civilian governor of Kirkuk. There were also reports that explosives had been found in the building used as headquarters by the detained soldiers.

These explosives, as well as some documents seized during the U.S. forces' raid in the building, have not been returned to the Turkish side.

The committee, comprising a Turkish delegation headed by Lt. General Koksal Karabay and a U.S. team led by Lt. Gen. John Silvester, was originally expected to meet in Kirkuk on Tuesday but arrival of Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. James Jones in Ankara for an unexpected visit delayed the meeting.

Jones, estimated to have been sent on a mission to defuse tension with Ankara, met for about two hours with top diplomatic and military officials, including Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, the chief of staff, in Ankara and presented preliminary information about the July 4 detention of the Turkish troops, officials said.

Diplomatic officials in Ankara was not to say what preliminary information was presented by Gen. Jones.

Senior diplomats from the Turkish Foreign Ministry were also expected to attend the meeting. The two sides have agreed to remain silent until the committee's work ended.

The committee's work has delayed a decision over whether or not to cancel a scheduled trip to the United States by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as well. Gul said Wednesday that he would consider comments that he should not start a visit amid such a crisis and added that Turkey would act in the most realistic way that a state was expected to act under such circumstances.

The detentions sparked one of the most serious crisis between long-time allies Turkey and the United States, created an outrage and led to what Chief of Staff Ozkok called "the biggest crisis of trust" between Turkish and U.S. armies.

"The aggressive behavior against soldiers of a friendly and ally country in Sulaymaniya can by no means be excused," Atacanli said, reading a statement on behalf of the president.

"At a time when we think there has been a progress in overcoming some misunderstandings, an unfortunate development that hurt our people took place. The justified reaction and sensitivity that was brought forward by this incidents is shared by the president," Atacanli also said.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have been soured after Turkey rejected a U.S. request to open a northern front on Iraq from Turkish soil.

The once close allies are now faced with increasingly diverging interests in Iraq. While Turkey is concerned by Iraqi Kurds' growing influence in Iraq, Washington has been working closely with Kurdish groups there.

Turkey has long maintained a military presence in northern Iraq to pursue terrorists of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which have bases in northern Iraq. It also sent military observers to the region after the Iraq war.

Turkish officials have said the detained soldiers were a part of Turkish military presence deployed in the region to hunt the PKK. The United States has pledged to cleanse northern Iraq of terrorist groups and said Turkish presence was unnecessary.

The government has said it had no plans to end its military presence in northern Iraq, saying the PKK threat was still alive.

Parliament is set to pass a partial amnesty law for members of the PKK and the government expects half of PKK's 5,000 terrorists in northern Iraq to put down guns to benefit from the proposed amnesty.

Some media commentators have speculated that the U.S. detention of Turkish soldiers was a move to prevent the complete dissolution of the PKK, a group that could later be used as a gun against Turkey and even Iran.

U.S. Ambassador in Ankara Robert Pearson has denied newspaper reports that the U.S. officials had talks with the PKK members

"The United States is determined to eliminate this organization," Pearson told the Anatolia news agency and added that his country was working in cooperation with the Turkish government.

The ambassador said the claims of secret talks, which he called gossips and tales, had been fabricated by some circles which worked to damage Turkey-U.S. ties.

Sezer has not talked to Erdogan over crisis
In the meantime, Atacanli said the president had not talked to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the detention crisis that lasted more than two days.

The government was subject to criticisms from the government for "mishandling" the crisis and not reacting in an effective manner. Erdogan has said in response that the opposition parties were exploiting the issue for political gains.

Atacanli said the president had planned to hold an emergency meeting with the government and army officials but this was not done as the crisis was resolved with the release of detained soldiers last weekend.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News


Katsav: Muslims and Jews are not enemies
Israeli President Katsav, who recalled that Turkish public accepted Jews when they were refused by all countries in the world and gave them the right to live in peace for hundreds of years, said, 'On behalf of Israeli and Jewish public, I thank noble Turkish people'


Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who came to Istanbul yesterday, visited Neva Shalom Synagogue. Stating that the most important reason of his visit was to show that Muslims and Jews were not enemies, Katsav thanked the Turkish public for their closeness to Jews. Katsav stated he learnt that Jews fought and lost their lives to defend the Ottoman Empire in World War I and in the establishment process of the Turkish Republic.

Katsav, who recalled that Turkish public accepted Jews when they were refused by all countries in the world and gave them the right to live in peace for hundreds of years, said, "On behalf of the Israeli and Jewish public, I thank noble Turkish people."

Katsav, who pointed out that Israel always faced terror attacks, said, "We try to do our best to get peace but unfortunately Palestinians don't cooperate with us on this issue. Terror attacks still continue. We hope that they will end in the near future. I believe that the days when the Arabic community will recognize the existence of Israel and make peace will come soon."

Turkey Chief Rabbi Ishak Haleva expressed his happiness for the visit of Israeli President Moshe Katsav to the Turkish Jew community. Pointing out Katsav's efforts to improve relations between Turkey and Israel, Haleva said, "Our community welcomed you as a peace angel. I hope you will be so."

The ceremony, which was attended by Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler, Mayor Ali Mufit Gurtuna and a number of guests, ended with prayers and hymns.

'There is big economic potential in Turkey'
After his visit to the synagogue, Katsav attended the lunch that was organized by Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), with 100 Israeli businessmen. Katsav stated that Turkey and Israel, two democratic countries in the Middle East, could be models in the region and said, "Relations between Turkey and Israel are very important to contribute to the peace process in the region." Noting that Israel accepted the establishment of a free Palestinian state and that Israel and Palestine had mutual benefits, he said, "I hope Palestine is also aware of mutual benefits."

"I don't think that all the Arabic community want the establishment of a Palestinian state because we experienced it in the past. But we can get very good results in the region if Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and Palestinian autonomous areas cooperate," Katsav said.

Stating that they visited Turkey since they believed that there was much economic and commercial potential between Israel and Turkey, Katsav said, "I address Israeli businessmen; Turkey has a population of 70 million. It has a very young population. It is getting ready to access the EU." Recalling that Israel was also a very developed country in technology and research and development (Ar-ge), Katsav said that the economic advantages of the two countries completed each other.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav also toured the Bosphorus and attended the dinner given by Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler.

Istanbul - Turkish Daily News


Chalabi: Seizure of Turkish commandos is an "unfortunate event"


Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, branded the crisis between Turkey and the United States an unfortunate event and the solution of the problem between two NATO allies is possible only by means of diplomacy.

Chalabi, a leading U.S.-backed figure in Iraq, told the press after visiting the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday and said that Turkey is a very good ally of the United States and the seizure of Turkish commandos in northern Iraq by the U.S. forces was an unfortunate event.

Chalabi said he and Turkish officials evaluated the latest developments in Iraq. He is also expected to meet Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

The leader of one of the Kurdish factions in northern Iraq, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani, is expected to visit Ankara as planned before.

Talabani was showed by the Turkish press as being responsible for the seizure of the Turkish commandos in northern Iraq, under his control. But, afterwards Talabani rejected the claims and claimed he had nothing to do with the seizure of the Turkish commandos.

"The Turkish soldiers are our guests, we invited them to northern Iraq. We told the Americans that what they did was wrong," said Talabani just after the seizure of the commandos.

Ankara - Turkish Daily News

-- Alexander
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