Newsletter from, date: 21-03-2004 to 31-03-2004

[30-03-2004 ‘Region’]
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Source : `Turkish Daily News’ newspaper (Turkey)
Author: Mehmet Ali Birand


Seeing all the negotiations being carried out here, international
games being played, all the pressures being exerted; reading the Annan
plan and listening to statements being made, I can’t help asking
myself the same question:

“We were always right on the Cyprus issue. We carried out the 1974
intervention to defend our rights. Then what happened? What happened
that we ended up being the wrong party in the eyes of the
international community? We cannot simply tie this to Greek
propaganda. There must be other reasons as well.”

Am I not right?

Cyprus was our just cause.

We won the support of the international community as well.

Remember the developments until 1974.

We did not forget what certain Greek Cypriot and Greek circles did
after the London and Zurich agreements to destroy the Turkish
community on the island in order to achieve the goal of unification
with Greece. Raids onto Turkish villages by Grivas and his team, their
massacre attempts, their retreat in the face of threats from Turkey
and coming back as soon as things cool down, we all remember these
very well. The last drop to pour the water out of glass came with a
coup carried out by a Greek junta toppling Greek Cypriot leader
Makarios to achieve Enosis.

Turkey had no option but military intervention after this. It was the
Greek junta and their extension in Cyprus that forced Ankara to take
this option. Since the international community was aware of this,
nobody opposed Turkey’s intervention at that time.

Turkey was right.

Then how did it happen that we ended up the unjust party?

Is the whole world setting up a plot against us? Is there a game
being played out in Cyprus to punish us? Did we make a mistake? If we
did make a mistake, where was it?

Looking back, we see a few major mistakes having been made by the
Turkish side.

First mistake: Intervention was two-staged

Turkey’s first big mistake was that it completed the military
intervention in two stages. The first operation was met with
understanding in the international community. But the lack of
sufficient preparation on the part of the Turkish Armed Forces and the
failure to send the needed back-up in time led to a failure to achieve
the military goals in the first stage of the operation.

Then a 4-5 week interval followed. In the meantime, a peace conference
was held in Geneva. There was a proposal to divide the island and
even to create five different cantons. The military operation resumed
when the desired outcome could not be obtained.

But this time the whole world rose up. Turkey, which had received
applause before, became an occupier dividing a poor and defenseless
country. The embargo imposed by the U.S. Congress, reaction from
world parliaments, resolutions passed in these parliaments condemning
Turkey and accusations from the United Nations, all came at that

The “liberating” Turkey came to be known as the “occupier.”

Second mistake: Not signing the peace deal

You will lose what you won in a military operation if you do not make
peace afterwards. The success will disappear.

We were a most typical example of this.

We kept settling on the island. And while doing it, we sent all the
diseases in Turkey to the island. Instead of creating a model that
would suit the needs of Cypriots, we attempted to create a second
Turkish Republic together with its military and bureaucracy in
Cyprus. We turned a blind eye to international realities. We wasted
the chance to make peace that was offered to us several times.

We kept changing policies.

We first said we intervened in order to restore the order as created
under the 1960 agreements. Then we came up with the thesis of
federation. Then we presented the proposals of confederation and
independence. We failed to win recognition from a single country for
the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).

We were left alone.

Throughout all these years, Greek Cypriots took clever steps because
they saw better than us the course that the developments had
taken. They turned the last corner by applying to the EU for
membership. The train was missed as Turkey failed to prevent the
membership attempts of Cyprus.

Let’s do better calculations for the future

Now, the last stage is due to be played until May 1.

If Greek Cypriots can reach the date May 2 without becoming the side
who spoils the agreement, they will get what they want. What will
corner them will be incorporation of the Annan plan into Cyprus’
accession treaty. And this may be achieved by May 1. After May 1, they
can easily block the Annan plan because they will have veto right
after that time.

After May 1, the Turkish side may find itself in a position which is
far worse than the Annan plan.

This is the real danger.

Let’s leave conspiracy theories aside and see, perhaps for the first
time, the truths clearly. Let’s derive lessons from past
mistakes. Instead of putting the blame on others, let’s understand our
own realities.

[25-03-2004 ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan’]
Source : `Echo’ newspaper (Azerbaijan)
Author: H. Aliev, E. Alekperov

Bulgarian news agency reports about the conflict. The Defense
Ministry of the Country Does Not Confirm this Statement

Clashes occurred between the military forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia
stationed in Kosovo. This information was provided by Bulgarian
`Novinar’ news agency. This fact is brought forward by the agency as
one of the proofs of the failure of KFOR peacekeeping forces in
Kosovo. “KFOR-units are able to keep two communities (Serbian and
Albanian – Ed.) apart for a certain period of time, but it cannot last
forever. Moreover, when the contingents of such countries as
Azerbaijan and Armenia serve together in the international coalition”.

According to the reports by `Novinar’, the first clashes took place
already during the transportation of the servicemen via Budapest. The
agency also notes that there is a report of one `person killed’,
however it is not specified who he was – Azerbaijani or Armenian
military man.

In its turn, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan refutes the report of
the Bulgarian news agency. The Defense Ministry press-service
reported to `Echo’, that there are no Armenian servicemen in Kosovo
altogether. The press service keeps stating that official Yerevan
planned transportation of the peace contingent within the Greek
battalion. However, as this office reports, the plans of the Armenian
side fell flat. Besides, the press service also emphasized the fact
that Azerbaijani military men are transported to Kosovo via Turkey and
not via Hungarian capital. “Therefore, the reports of the Bulgarian
press do not correspond to reality”.

Commenting on the aggravation of the situation in Kosovo, the press
service noted that `fortunately, our servicemen did not participate in
military conflict”. The press service reported that 32 Azerbaijani
military men are in Gradush village near the city of Grizren.

Meanwhile, despite the statements of the Defense Ministry of the
country, Armenian media officially reported that on February 12 a
platoon of RA armed forces left for Kosovo. “Within the Greek
battalion, the Armenian platoon will participate in peacekeeping
mission in the Balkans”.

It is to be mentioned that the information source within the Defense
Ministry of the country also doubts whether `Novinar’ reports are
true. In its view, the Bulgarian press might confuse details related
to the murder of Armenian serviceman by the Azerbaijani officer Ramil
Safarov. The incident, as it is common knowledge, occurred in
Budapest. At the same time, the source confirmed the reports of the
Bulgarian news agency on the Armenian peacekeeping contingent in
Kosovo. However, according to the source, Armenian military men serve
at quite a distance from Azerbaijani peacekeeping units.

Besides, he noted that Azerbaijani peacekeepers are transported to
Kosovo via Turkey. The expert excludes the possibility of the clash
between the peacekeeping forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia also for the
reason that this information did not leak anywhere. “In case this
happened, international community would be informed”, the source

It was also noted that the recent events in Kosovo kept the
Azerbaijani peacekeeping in full fighting capacity.

[23-03-2004 ‘Region’]
Source : `Azg’ newspaper (Armenia)
Author: Hakob Chakrian

On March 16, upon the initiative of Writers’ Union of Armenia a forum
of intellectuals was organized. It was devoted to Russian-Turkish
(March 16, 1921) and Kars (October 13, 1921) treaties. The forum
called on RA National Assembly to denounce the Kars Treaty and to
apply to State Duma of the Russian Federation with a claim to annul
the articles of Russian-Turkish treaty concerning Armenia.

What is this initiative conditioned by? The appeal to the National
Assembly on addressing State Duma is still more incomprehensible in
the sense that Kars Treaty is not simply a duplicate of
Russian-Turkish treaty. Russia also has its signature under it
similarly to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

In other words, even if State Duma annuls the points of
Russian-Turkish treaty, pertaining to Armenia, still the fact that
Russia signed the Kars Treaty, will not allow RA National Assembly to
abrogate the treaty unilaterally without Russia’s
agreement. Apparently, the initiators of the forum missed this
circumstance, which raises doubts concerning the validity of the

Ajarian crisis demonstrated that in the case of Kars Treaty, the
problem lay not only in the validity of reconsideration process but
also in controversial approaches and speculation with these issues on
international level.

Speaking about speculations, I mean Turkey. Its interests clashed with
Georgian and Russian resistance. That is, the problem of Kars Treaty
appeared on the agenda not only in Turkey but also in Georgia and
Russia. With the only difference that if in Armenia it was due to the
initiative of the Writers’ Union, in the countries mentioned it was
the result of the peculiar reaction of the Turkish Ambassador to
Azerbaijan, Unal Chevikoz.

On March 17 in Baku, Chevikoz declared to the journalists that Turkish
authorities, in accordance to Kars Treaty of 1921, are entitled to
deploy troops in Ajaria. Further, he added, `I think no explanations
are required in this aspect. The treaty will remain in force, and it
is already sufficient’. Georgian ambassador to Moscow, Constantine
Kemularia objected to it. He noted that in compliance with the Kars
Treaty, Ajaria cannot hope for the assistance of Turkey. He also
emphasized, `Any comments on the treaty are senseless. It is already
invalid. At present, international relations are built on the
realities of XXI century. Totally different relations appeared to form
between Russia and Turkey, Georgia and Turkey, Georgia and Russia”.

In its turn, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented its
objection to Georgian Ambassador in Russia, declaring that Kars
Treaty, signed in 1921 among Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey,
lost its validity. At the same time, the statement of MFA of Russian
Federation reminds about Turkey’s agreement to cede Ajaria to Georgia
under the condition that Ajaria be provided with the highest autonomy
status. In this period, Russian national newspapers started to
actively criticize Chevikoz, viewing his declaration about deployment
of troops in Ajaria as a challenge.

The approaches of the countries in question towards the Kars Treaty
are conditioned by the interests they have in Ajaria. By the
willingness to station troops in Ajaria, Turkey recognizes the
validity of the Kars Treaty. Georgia considers it `to be invalid’ in
order to exclude any interference (Turkey included) in ensuring
territorial integrity of the country. As for Russia, despite its
opposition to Turkish interference, by preservation of the status quo
in Ajaria, it plans to influence Georgia and insists, in an attempt to
account for its actions, on the validity of the Kars Treaty.

In other words, Georgia has polar views with Turkey and Russia on the
issue of the validity of the treaty, whereas Russia and Turkey are in
agreement. As regards the initiative of the Writers’ Union of Armenia
on reconsideration of the treaty, though Georgia involuntarily
supports the Armenian stand, viewing this issue as anachronism, still
it should be kept in mind that it is Russia that is the strategic
partner of Armenia.

Moreover, if RA National Assembly resolves to meet the appeal of the
forum, it will have to apply with the claim `to recognize the points
on Armenia of the Russian-Turkish treaty (16 March, 1921) invalid’ not
to Georgian parliament but Russian State Duma. Since State Duma will
not be able to ignore this position held by MFA of Russian Federation
on the treaty affecting the national interests of Russia, the claim
will probably be rejected. And it means reconsideration of the Kars
Treaty is not feasible.

Yerevan Press Club of Armenia, ‘Yeni Nesil’ Journalists’ Union of
Azerbaijan and Association of Diplomacy Correspondents of Turkey
present ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey: Journalist Initiative-2002’
Project. As a part of the project web site has
been designed, featuring the most interesting publications from the
press of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey on issues of mutual
concern. The latest updates on the site are weekly delivered to the