Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BBC News - Turkey's widening diplomatic horizons

By Jonathan Marcus
BBC diplomatic correspondent, Istanbul
Long before Turkey sought to join the European Union, the European powers were eager to penetrate deep into Turkey's hinterland.

The governing Justice and Development party - the AKP - has crafted a whole new foreign policy for the country.
The relative isolation from its surrounding region, engendered by the frozen boundaries of the Cold War, has gone.
Now there is a new policy of engagement.
Remarkably the Turkish government has good relations with Israel and Syria, with the Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah, with Iraq and Iran and of course with the European Union and the United States.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Economist - Friends and neighbours

Sep 25th 2008
Rising hopes of better relations between two historic enemies
KEMAL ATATURK , father of modern Turkey, rescued hundreds of Armenian women and children from mass slaughter by Ottoman forces during and after the first world war. This untold story, which is sure to surprise many of today’s Turks, is one of many collected by the Armenian genocide museum in Yerevan that “will soon be brought to light on our website,” promises Hayk Demoyan, its director.
His project is one more example of shifting relations between Turkey and Armenia. On September 6th President Abdullah Gul became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia when he attended a football match. Mr Gul’s decision to accept an invitation from Armenia’s president, Serzh Sarkisian, has raised expectations that Turkey may establish diplomatic ties and open the border it closed during the 1990s fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. The two foreign ministers were planning to meet in New York this week. Armenia promises to recognise Turkey’s borders and to allow a commission of historians to investigate the fate of the Ottoman Armenians.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Commercial Appeal: "Bailey Station's salute to Turkey wins award"

Parents, teachers and students participated

By Beth Bracewell
Special to My Life
Friday, September 12, 2008

Bailey Station Elementary won the grand prize in Shelby County for the best schoolwide salute to the country of Turkey for Memphis in May.

MATCU and Memphis in May president and CEO James L. Holt sponsored the event and awarded Bailey Station Elementary $1,000 and a certificate for winning the grand prize.

The salute, which lasted more than a week, involved students, teachers and parent volunteers.

To begin the salute, there was a schoolwide project to create a Turkish mosaic. The students were able to see that when everyone works together, great things are created. The mosaic was hung outside the cafeteria for all to admire.

Then an in-school field trip took the students and teachers through three rooms in the school that were transformed by parent volunteers, to places in Turkey.

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Turkish Press: "Turkey's President Hopes Karabakh Issue Between Azerbaijan and Armenia To Be Solved"

Published: 9/13/2008

BAKU - Turkey`s President Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday that he hoped Karabakh issue between Azerbaijan and Armenia would be solved through dialogue, understanding and mutual talks.

Holding a joint press conference with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku, Gul said that they discussed bilateral and regional matters.

Gul said that relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan were perfect in every aspect. "Turkey has always supported Azerbaijan in political issues; and will continue to do so," he added.

Gul gave Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway projects as examples to good economic relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Al Jazeera English: Face-to-Face on Cyprus

Chillicothe Gazette: "Schmidt gets support from Turkish community"

By MALIA RULON • Gazette Washington Bureau • September 12, 2008
WASHINGTON - Rep. Jean Schmidt has become a darling of the Turkish community.
Schmidt is not Turkish, and there aren't many Turks in her southern Ohio district. There are just 3,159 in the state, including 297 in the 2nd Congressional District, according to the last census.
She is being challenged for her seat in Congress by an Armenian-American, David Krikorian, a Madeira businessman who is running as an independent. Schmidt also faces Democrat Victoria Wulsin, who is challenging Schmidt for a second time.

"Jean's been a big supporter of the U.S.' closest alley in the Middle East and Mediterranean region and has done everything she can to make sure our relations stay solid with them," campaign spokesman Bruce Pfaff said in response to questions about Schmidt's ties to the Turkish community.
G. Lincoln McCurdy, who is treasurer of the Turkish Coalition USA PAC, said Schmidt first appeared on the PAC's radar after she was harassed by Armenian groups for opposing a House resolution that recognizes the Armenian genocide.

"The Turkish community thought we should support her, because of this harassment. ... that's the primary reason why the Turkish-Americans have been supporting her," McMurdy said.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

New York Times: "Turkey’s President Makes Historic Visit to Armenia"

See excerpts from the article below:
Sept. 7, 2008

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president arrived in Armenia on Saturday, the first visit by a Turkish leader in the two nations’ history.

The president, Abdullah Gul, was invited by the Armenian president, Serge Sargsyan, to attend a soccer game in Yerevan, the capital, between the national teams.

The trip was widely seen as a symbolic gesture to normalize relations between the countries, which have recognized each other but have not established diplomatic relations.
“Although I cannot go into details, some consensus was reached for the normalization of bilateral relations,” said a Turkish Foreign Ministry official who asked not to be identified, under normal diplomatic rules.

“Expectations should not be hyped, but the visit is clearly a goodwill gesture from Turkey,” the official said.
The Turkish team won the soccer match, 2-0.

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Turkish Coalition of America Sponsors Event with Rep. Wexler