Hurriyet Daily News
May 30 2012

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's group speech on Tuesday was
awaited with curiosity. He was expected to make important remarks.

However, we had already heard a bit broader form of what he had to
say on the same subject before. From time to time, I found myself
thinking how nice it would have been if Interior Minister İdris Naim
Şahin had taken speech lessons from his leaders.

I can summarize the prime minister's speech thus: He said that not
only in our country, but everywhere in the world, security forces
could make mistakes. He gave examples, such as the sinking of our own
ship Kocatepe by our air forces during the Cyprus operation, and also
the clash of our own divisions with each other during World War I. He
said, "Yes, there has been a mistake. Justice will determine who is
responsible." He emphasized that the security forces are under huge
pressure in these types of incidents, and that the government will
protect them.

He said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was the real
target of the recent attacks related to the Uludere incident. He said
the opposition and the media were exploiting this incident to wear
down the government, adding, "Why don't you show the same reaction when
the PKK [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party] is killing our people?"

There was no new element in the prime minister's speech, but it
was significant for demonstrating the angle from which he views the
incident. In effect, the AK Party government is openly stating that
unless the PKK lays down its arms, it will not start the political
negotiation process.

Armenian border, Azeri visa Two very interesting deductions are made in
the interview Murat Arvas of daily Yeni Şafak conducted with Professor
Kamil Veli Nerimanoğlu, from İstanbul Aydın University's Turkish
Language and Literature Department. I wanted to share them with you.

Nerimanoğlu mentioned an extremely significant point. He said, in a
nutshell: "Markets in Armenia are jam-packed with Turkish goods.

Because the border is closed, the mafia is using Georgian, Iranian and
Russian roads. There are nearly 100,000 Armenian citizens illegally
living and working in Turkey. In this situation, there is no sense
in keeping the border closed. Open the border gate, sell more goods
and also make entry and exit easier. Let's legalize a situation that
already exists in fact. This move would be very well thought of. This
step would also affect the viewpoint of Armenians."

What a correct presumption, isn't it? However, you would immediately
hear these words from politicians in Ankara: "The Azerbaijanis would
be very offended. We do not want to offend them."

Well, then why are our Azerbaijani brothers offending us? For example,
despite having negotiated numerous times, their visa policy has not
been lifted yet. According to Nerimanoğlu, Baku will not lift the
visa because Iran does not want it to, and Baku does not want to give
offense to Tehran. Is that true? Is there such a concern?

It has been said that Azerbaijan has vetoed the Nabucco pipeline
project that would pass through Turkey to Europe in order to avoid
offending Russia.

I guess we are the only country available at present that Azerbaijan
can easily afford to offend.