ANKARA: Turkey Is Subject In International Arena, Turkish FM Says

TURKEY IS SUBJECT IN INTERNATIONAL ARENA, TURKISH FM SAYS

Today’s Zaman
March 25 2010
Turkey

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey was a subject in
international arena, not an object. "This means that Turkey is carrying
out its relations on its own, and it does not get any instructions
from any one," Davutoglu told a televised interview on Wednesday.

Davutoglu remarks came after allegations that Turkey had started to
normalize its relations with Armenia, launched a democratic initiative
and a process regarding the seminary in Heybeliada, Ä°stanbul after
US President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey in April 2009.

"This is an unjust accusation against the governments of the Republic
of Turkey," he said.

Davutoglu said Turkey would only make necessary consultations with
other countries.

The Turkish minister defined the normalization process with Armenia
as a part of Turkey’s program of "zero problem with neighboring
countries".

"Turkey will be in peace and deep relations with all its neighbors
today and tomorrow," he said.

Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on October 10, 2009 to
normalize relations between the two countries. The protocols envisage
the two countries to establish diplomatic ties and open the border
that has been close since 1993. Turkey and Armenia also agreed to take
steps to operate a sub-commission on impartial scientific examination
of the historical records and archive to define existing problems
and formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well
as Swiss and other international experts would take part. However,
on January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Armenia declared a
decision of constitutional conformity on the protocols. Turkey thought
the fifth article of Armenian Constitutional Court’s verdict regarding
the protocols was against the target and basis of the protocols.

On Iraq, Davutoglu said Turkey was having close relations will all
ethnic and political groups in Iraq.

"Iraq policy means northern Iraq policy, and northern Iraq policy
means fighting the terrorist organization," he said.

Davutoglu said Turkey would continue countering terrorism, but saw
Iraq as a whole.

The foreign minister defined the timing of the democratic initiative
during the counter-terrorism process as a right step.

"If our security is taken under guarantee as the area of freedom is
broadened, this is a permanent security," he said.

Commenting on stories that German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed
privileged partnership to Turkey, Davutoglu said it was not an
official remark and Germany was supporting Turkey’s European Union
(EU) full membership bid.

Davutoglu said Cyprus was one of the chapters that prevented healthy
course of the process.

"Unfortunately, the EU has not assumed an objective attitude towards
Cyprus," he also said.

The EU countries had decided in 2006 not to open 8 chapters in
accession negotiations and suspending the conclusion of the remaining
chapters in process on the grounds that Turkey failed to fulfill
its responsibilities stemming from the "Additional Protocol" to the
Association Agreement which stipulates Turkey to open its ports and
airports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes.

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