Newsletter from, date: 06-04-2004 to 13-04-2004

[10-04-2004 ‘Armenia-Turkey’]
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Source : `Azg’ newspaper (Armenia)
Author: Tatul Hakobian

Azerbaijani journalists returned to Baku, now it is Ilham Aliev’s turn
to Visit Ankara

Yesterday 18 Azerbaijani journalists returned to Baku. On the
initiative of Baku ANS TV company, they conducted a three-day protest
action with the slogans `Turks help each other’, `No to Opening of the
border!’ in Kars and Igdir, and later – in the Turkish capital Ankara,
after which they returned to Baku. Already on April 13-15, Azerbaijani
President will leave for Turkey on official visit . On April 6,
`Zerkalo’ newspaper wrote that Azerbaijani journalists’ rallies
against opening of Armenian-Turkish border could not have passed
without the approval of Baku authorities.

In Ankara, Azerbaijani journalists and the activists of `Nationalist
Movement’ and `Grey Wolves’ parties jointly organized a protest action
in Azerbaijani cultural center. According to `Echo’ newspaper, the
rally participants cried out, `Karabagh is Turkish land’ `Armenians
will die in Karabagh’. Later, Azerbaijani journalists held one more
protest action in which deputy of Turkish Parliament, Yuksel Artandash
participated. Before returning to Baku, they were received by former
President of Turkey Suleyman Demirel and leader of opposition
Republican Party Deniz Baykal.

Opening of Armenian-Turkish border, i.e. lifting of the Armenian
blockade by Turkey (by government decision, on April 4, 1993 Ankara
imposed blockade on Armenia in response to occupation of Kelbajar by
Karabagh forces) causes serious concern to Baku authorities. On March
24, Ilham Aliev declared that if Turkey opens the Armenian border,
Karabagh problem settlement will be impossible. Chairman of
Azerbaijani Parliament, almost all NGOs and opposition parties sent
corresponding appeals to Turkey.

As `Zerkalo’ reports, vice-chairman of `Musavat’ pro-Turkish party,
Vurgun Ayub declared, `Turkey should keep in mind that opening the
borders with Armenia will harm not only Azerbaijan but Turkey
itself’. In his opinion, it is not only Armenia and member countries
of EU that are interested in opening of Armenian-Turkish border but
also neighboring states of Azerbaijan which exert indirect pressure on
Turkey, `If Turkey gives in to this pressure, tremendous political
cataclysms are expected in the future’.

Famous Azerbaijani analyst Zardusht Alizade gives a more realistic
assessment of Yerevan-Ankara relations. In the interview to `Zerkalo’
newspaper, he stated that Turkey will no longer base its foreign
relations on the benefit of others (Azerbaijan). `For the present
stage, the issue of opening the Armenian border is on Turkish
agenda. If Turkey made concessions on Cyprus issue, why not settle the
issue of Armenian-Turkish border as well? The rumors that opening of
the border will result in Azerbaijan’s losing Karabagh are an outright
lie. Karabagh problem may be settled through effective policy of
Azerbaijan’, Alizade declared. In his opinion, it is essential for
Azerbaijan to have large military potential, which, unfortunately, is
not the case since `the army is totally corrupted’. `Azerbaijani army
does possess modern weapons, its arsenal is made up of the junk left
from Soviet times’, Alizade stated.

The Turkish press ignored Azerbaijani journalists’ rallies. For
present, Ankara has more serious tasks, as for instance the future of
Cyprus, situation in Iraq Kurdistan. Thus Turkish press mainly focuses
on these issues. Turkey continues its hostile policy towards
Armenia. Keeping the neighboring country under blockade for over 10
years, threats voiced against Armenia periodically, rejection of the
Armenian Genocide cannot be otherwise qualified. However on the other
hand, it is clear to Ankara that for accession to EU, it has to open
the Armenian border. Opening of Armenian-Turkish border concerns not
so much Yerevan-Ankara relations as Turkey’s future in EU. This simple
truth is still above the understanding of President Ilham Aliev.

At the end of January, on his official visit to Washington, Turkish
premier Recep Tayip Erdogan declared that his government may adopt a
decision on opening the Armenian border if `the friendly initiatives
of Turkey are compensated’. Erdogan noted that the residents of the
developing neighbor regions of Armenia want the Armenian border to be

[10-04-2004 ‘Region’]
Source : `’ portal (Turkey)
Author: Ugur Akinci

Sedat Ergin, the Turkish foreign-affairs veteran columnist and the
mass-circulation daily Hurriyet’s Ankara Bureau Chief is one observer
that I follow closely on Cyprus. For the last couple of weeks Ergin
has been examining one aspect of the Annan Plan after another, helping
us envision the future of the United Cyprus through a matrix of fresh
data and cool-headed inquiry.

As the parties including the United States, the European Union, Japan,
and the World Bank are getting ready for the Cyprus Donors Conference
on April 15, Ergin provided a run down of the monetary costs of
putting the two communities together again. It seems like billions of
dollars are needed right off the bat to preempt any quick
disillusionment with the Plan.

Here are the numbers provided by Ergin:

The Annan Plan projects a deadline of 42 months to finish building new
housing for the settlers who would be moving from the South to the
North and vice-versa. On December 31, 2007 all settlers must be in
their new homes, with their titles in hand.

A round figure for the number of families that would be affected by
this new wave of migration is put at 15,000, which roughly corresponds
to 50,000 individual settlers. Annan Plan foresees the construction of
high-quality housing for the settlers, varying between 70 sq-m for a
family of two, to 120 sq-m for a family of four or five.

If we assume that an average house would cost $40,000, this would
translate to a fund requirement of $600 million dollars. When the cost
of the new roads, public utility networks, sewage, common areas and
the new schools are also added, Ergin projects a minimum and immediate
cost of $1 billion as the amount needed to welcome the 50,000 settlers
to their new homes in the new federated Cyprus.

There are other immediate costs as well. According to the Annan Plan,
Turks will be leaving the ghost-city of Maras, famous for its (now
rundown) touristic hotels, to the Greek-Cypriots. To restore these
hotels back to their days of glamor would require untold millions of
dollars which the Greek-Cypriots would probably like to charge to the
account of the same donor parties.

The 25-to-30,000 Turkish-Cypriots who will be repatriated to Turkey
would each be paid 10,000 Euros of “severance payment” which adds up
to another $300 million Euros.

Then in the fourth year of the plan, the “compensation payments” will
kick in. Ergin wonders if these compensations which will be paid to
the Greek-Cypriots who will not be able to reclaim their pre-1974
properties might add up to another $10 billion dollars. As of today no
one seems to be sure what the final and total bill would be. The Plan
proposes to compensate such Greek-Cypriots through issuing
bonds. However it is still not clear who will buy such bonds and if
such a solution would really work in practice.

The whole world is discussing how to overcome the political obstacles
on the way to a United Cyprus. But the financial obstacles are
equally formidable and deserve equal attention.

[08-04-2004 ‘Azerbaijan-Turkey’]
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani journalists continue their protest action in Turkey
Source : `Echo’ newspaper (Azerbaijan)

In a short while, Azerbaijani consulate will open in Kars. The
statement was made by Kars governor Nezhdet Turhan at the meeting with
Azerbaijani journalists. They are now conducting ANS TV-initiated
protest actions on Turkish-Armenian border with the slogans: ‘Turks
support each other!’ `No to opening of Turkish-Armenian border!’

According to `Echo’ correspondent Ilham Rzaev, the governor declared
that after a telephone conversation with the Azerbaijani Ambassador in
Turkey Mamed Aliev, he already selected a proper building for the
consulate. Besides, Turhan noted that in unanimity with Azerbaijani
people, the Turkish side intends to organize Turkish-Azerbaijani
culture festival in September.

The journalists visited Kars businessmen. The meeting was held in Kars
Chamber of Commerce whose Chairman Ali Zaman noted that the issue of
the border is state policy, and Kars businessmen are interested in
opening of the borders. “However, despite this interest we will never
raise the issue of opening the border to the consideration of Turkish
government”, Ali Zaman asserted. At the same time he admitted that EU
representatives and Armenian businessmen repeatedly applied to him
with this request. According to Chamber of Commerce Chairman, their
position is clear: the priority is Azerbaijani-Armenian

As our correspondent stated, the journalists got familiar with the
position of `bashkan’ of Nationalist Movement Party local branch,
Oktay Aktash. He emphasized that their local organization is very
powerful in Kars, and opening of Turkish-Armenian border is out of the

After this meeting, laying flowers on the memorial of Armenian
massacre victims at the beginning of past century, Azerbaijani
journalists held a picket near the memorial. The visit to Kars ended
with another picket on Turkish-Armenian border. According to our
correspondent, it was organized in a place called `Ani
Kharabalari’. After the picket, Azerbaijani journalists headed for

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