Books on Turkey
Update No: 116 - (25/01/07)
The Armenian-Turkish imbroglio
Turkey has a very special relationship with Armenia. The genocide of the
Armenians in 1915 by the Turks, in which more than 1.5m died, is still a very
live issue, since the Turks deny it ever happened. It took pace at the moment
that it had become clear that the First World War had got quite out of hand.
Hitler said in 1938; "Who now remembers the genocide of the
Armenians?" with a genocide or two on his mind to come no doubt, indeed
another world war that got even more out of hand. Well, the answer today is
everybody - except the Turks.
Actually, this is not true of all of them, not the 60,000 Turks of Armenian
extraction for starters.
Turkey is a country prone to violence, not of course unusual in the Middle East.
It has had a running war with the PKK, the militant Kurdish party, responsible
for terrorist outrages, such as the slaying of 27 at the British Consulate in
Istanbul, two years ago, including the consul himself, Roger Short.
It looks as if they might have struck again, although there are several
terrorist groups in the country, with loose ties with each other. It is more
probably a far-rightist group responsible, deeply anti-Armenian, which the Kurds
Editor Of Turkey's Armenian Newspaper, Assassinated
Hrant Dink, an Armenian-Turkish newspaper editor was killed outside his office
on January 19th. Dink, aged 53, was the editor of Turkey's only Armenian
He had served as editor-in-chief and columnist of the Agos from 1996 until his
death from a gunshot wound to the head. Dink was born in Western Armenia and
immigrated, at age 7, with his family to Turkey.
Dink was convicted of insulting the Turkish state last year over comments he
made about the mass deaths during World War I of ethnic Armenians in what is now
Turkey. Dink received a six-month suspended sentence.
Many Armenians and foreign historians view the WWI deaths as Turkish genocide
but the Turkish government denies the events took place.
Dink was leaving his office in the early afternoon when he was shot three times.
A youth has been arrested and is being detained for the crime.
Both the New York Times and Bloomberg News reported that Dink had received
numerous threats against his life.
Erdogan: No Bloody Provocation Will Prevent Turkey From Advancing On Its Path
Towards Freedom And Prosperity
Official condemnation was immediate and condign. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan told Bloomberg news that he condemned the murder as an attack against
the "Turkish nation's togetherness and peace and Turkey's stability.''
Turkish stocks fell after the killing, Bloomberg reported.
Everyone is very sensitive to the terrorist threat, with the violence raging in
Erdogan said that everyone was shocked by the assassination. "A bullet was
fired to free thought and our democratic life with the bloody attack against
Dink. Two ministers and all security units are continuing their
investigation," Erdogan noted. "I believe that our nation will give
the best response to this traitorous homicide in unity," he stressed.
"No bloody provocation will prevent Turkey from advancing on its path
towards freedom and prosperity," Erdogan said on January 19th. Erdogan was
attending a ceremony to decorate Guenter Verheugen, Vice President of the
European Commission, with Turkish Industrialists' & Businessmen's
Association (TUSIAD) Foreign Policy Award in Ankara. There has been a massive
and positive reaction from Turkey's intellectual and political classes to this
At the funeral on January 23rd 50,000 turned out, with as many Turks as
Armenians. His death could spark the beginning of a reconciliation between the
two communities; that was the message of many mourners.
Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan to hold more talks on sharing of gas
Meanwhile life goes on. In the middle of winter nothing is more significant
Energy supplies from Azerbaijan's Caspian fields are playing an increasingly
important role in the region, as Russia raises natural gas prices. Turkey wishes
to reduce its heavy reliance on Russian 'Blue Stream' gas across the Black Sea.
The Caspian Sea beckons.
It has generously acknowledged that Georgia's need is greater than its own right
Energy ministers from Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan will hold more talks in
Istanbul to discuss the sharing of gas from the giant Shah Deniz field off
Azerbaijan's Caspian coast, the Turkish minister said on Boxing Day. They are
still doing so.
Georgia's energy minister said that Turkey had agreed to give up some of its
share from the giant Caspian gas field to Georgia, allowing the small Caucasus
nation to reduce its dependence on expensive Russian gas. Nika Gilauri said
Turkey had agreed to transfer to Georgia 800 million cubic meters of the Shah
Deniz natural gas it was entitled to.
But Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said Azerbaijan - which owns the gas -
as well as the companies involves, had a say on the issue of the transfer of the
gas. All three countries' energy ministers would therefore meet in Istanbul to
discuss the issue, he told reporters. "It was announced that Georgia needed
800 million cubic meters. We made a political decision and pronounced this
figure," Guler said. "However, such a deal ... requires separate
company-to-company agreements as well as government-to-government agreements and
therefore all three countries involved must reach an agreement."
Georgia has faced a doubling of the price it pays for Russian natural gas and is
seeking alternative sources of supply.
Turkey has been in talks on reallocating quotas from Shah Deniz with both
Georgia and Azerbaijan, former Soviet republics, which are eager to avoid
importing expensive Russian gas.
Elections will not be a risk for the country's economy
There will be elections, both general and presidential, in Turkey this year.
The outlook for them is reasonable, a close observer says, with the government
having achievements to its credit and a good chance of re-election.
Muhammed Rasid, a former top-level executive of one of the leading companies of
the world, Unilever, based in Turkey, is returning to his home country, Egypt,
to become the Minister of Industry. Rasid has given an informed outsider's view
in answer to SABAH reporter's questions about the possible economic scenarios
during 2007 general elections in Turkey.
Rasid said: "The Turkish economy has shown a great growth during the last
couple of years. Economic indicators look successful. Once there was
hyperinflation and very few foreign investors. Today, the inflation ratio is
single digit and the economy is growing rapidly. As a person who knows your
country well, I don't think presidential and general elections will create any
risk for the economy of Turkey."
EU Commissioner was in Ankara at a sensitive time, as we have seen, the very day
of Dink's assassination. Here is a more positive scenario:-
Verheugen:Turkey can rely on European assistance in its own reform
Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for
Enterprise and Industry said on the occasion of the award of the Bosphorus Prize
for European Understanding
Ankara, 19th January 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My first visit to Ankara was only in 1999. I came along together with J.
Solana, late at night, in a plane from Helsinki to inform the Turkish government
that the European Council has decided to accept Turkey as a full-fledged
candidate country to the EU, on equal footing with 12 other European countries
striving for EU membership. We flew back to Helsinki to inform the 15 heads of
States and governments about the positive response of Turkey and this was the
start of an historical process.
Now, almost 7 years later, the EU and Turkey are already negotiating because
Turkey, the Turkish nation has undergone decisive changes and already
substantially changed compared to 1999 or even 2002 and in doing so the
prospects of Turkish people have improved.
Some analysts call it a velvet revolution what has happened in Turkey within
only a couple of years. To be fair - the credit for such a velvet revolution
goes to Turkey itself - to its far-sighted political leadership, to the business
community, including TUSIAD, to all people working courageously for a full
fledged democracy, where human rights are respected and minority rights are
guaranteed. It was not the EU, not the Commission, not me who can claim
responsibility for that. What we could claim for ourselves is that we have
offered helping hands for the ongoing reform process in Turkey: through
partnership, through fair play and by placing trust in the Turkish nation's
capability to change its future to the better, being convinced that Turkey as a
European country shares the lessons of European history.
What are these lessons?
Some 60 years ago, a large part of the European continent has been wounded
by the greatest tragedy of mankind so far - the Second World War -a consequence
of German fascism. The political project of European integration started in the
middle of destruction, with the bitter heritage of millions of deaths, millions
of deported people, the near loss of the European Jewish community, in an
environment of hate and guilt and not to forget that new dividing lines between
East and West were looming on the horizon. In these bitter days, when European
integration started to give the Western part of Europe a stable future, it was
beyond any doubt that Turkey belonged to the free part of Europe, when it joined
the Council of Europe in 1949.
Soon in March 2007, we will celebrate 50 years of the Treaty of Rome, which
paved the way for peace, stability and equal chances, between meanwhile 27
European nations, which are bound together by the same values, the same rights,
the same duties, the same political goals.
Indeed European integration has already profoundly changed the face of a large
part of the European continent for better, since the break down of the Iron
curtain will now help to heal the wounds of the European division. However the
European mission, enshrined in the Treaties, to overcome the divisions of Europe
has not yet been completed - the doors of the European Union are not
artificially closed. On the contrary - the doors have been kept open, for the
countries of the Western Balkans as well as for Turkey, however with a clear and
non negotiable condition. Who ever wishes to cross the doorstep of the EU must
fully subscribe to the main lesson of European history - that lasting peace,
stability and welfare need democracy, the rule of law, the full respect of human
rights, the protection of minorities and a commitment to good neighbourly
relations. This is at the heart what we are expecting from Turkey- this is what
the European Union has committed to support when it comes to its relationship to
I wish to wholeheartedly restate the case for Turkish membership of the European
Union. We are not contemplating an act of charity or doing Turkey some kind of
favour. This historical project is in our mutual interest because it responds to
today's and tomorrow's pressing challenges. In the world of the 21st century,
the EU needs Turkey as an anchor and even exporter of stability and democracy in
the most unstable and troubled regions of the world, where there is so much at
stake at this juncture.
The press and television remind us everyday of our common foreign policy
challenges: whether on Iran, Iraq, Middle East, the energy crisis or the overall
dialogue with the Muslim world, Turkey can play a special role and enhance the
capacity of the European Union to contribute to stabilising the region. Turkish
diplomacy is very active in the Middle East while Turkish armed forces work side
by side with EU Member States armed forces in Lebanon, Afghanistan and the
Economic interdependence is another key force driving EU-Turkey relations. The
EU is by far Turkey's main trading partner and Turkey on the other hand ranks
seventh in the list of the EU's trading partners. EU investments in Turkey also
grew significantly over the years. At present, there are more than 7500
companies established in Turkey with EU capital. This month we are talking of
additional investment in Turkey of more than 1.1 billion Euro by Vodafone and
Renault. We are clearly coming to a situation where, clearly, tens of thousands
of jobs in the EU depend on economic growth in Turkey, while job creation in
Turkey depends also on the fast growing interdependence with the EU economy.
Energy is another key area in which our cooperation with Turkey is set to grow
in the coming years. Turkey is turning into a major energy hub for provisions to
Europe from Central Asia, the Middle East and even Northern Africa. The
completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline this year was a major step
towards increasing security of the supply and mobilizing of the Caspian oil
Last but not least, Turkey is an essential partner for the EU in dealing with
drugs and human trafficking, organized crime and illegal migration.
Europe is our common destiny. Kemal Atatürk saw in Europe Turkey's future, the
key to modernity, influence and prosperity. This strategic vision has not
changed since then.
First and foremost membership of the EU means higher democratic standards and
human rights for all Turks. Turkey has made impressive progress on this front in
recent years. However we need to continue to work together on issues such as
freedom of expression, women's rights, trade union rights, cultural rights and
civilian control of the military. EU Membership also means more welfare and
prosperity and means joining forces to address global threats and challenges.
For all these reasons, I could not agree more with Foreign Minister Gül when he
says that reforms in Turkey are made by Turks for Turkey's sake.
Turkey can rely on European assistance in its own reform process. We are
offering significant financial support. For example last year, pre-accession
programmes funded by the Commission and managed by the Turkish authorities
passed the threshold of € 500 million per year in non reimbursable grants
while the loan approvals by the European Investment Bank have passed the 2
billion Euro mark.
The EU-funded programmes in Turkey are relevant for all sectors: infrastructure,
environment, legislative and economic reform, business development, education,
health, reform of the judiciary, civil society, culture. During last 6 years EU
support was quadrupling. And what is more further significant increases are
planned for the years to come. We are offering human support and advice. It is
also not by chance that the biggest single-country Delegation of the European
Commission in the world is in Ankara.
We are ready to listen, we are ready to cooperate and to work towards a better
understanding between the EU and Turkey We need to focus on our overall
relationship, over and above the specific issues and the temporary problems that
occupy the headlines of the media. It is crucial that the impressive vigour and
vitality of our ongoing relationship be fully recognised. Interesting
opportunities exist in the cultural field for example, an essential ingredient
in the process towards better mutual understanding: take for example the
rendezvous of Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture, an event which should
be seen as a great opportunity to represent Turkey in all its rich diversity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I will however also not shy away from addressing tonight the recent difficulties
in our relations, which reached their climax last December when the EU Council
decided on how to continue accession negotiations with Turkey. I don't intend to
launch yet another controversy on the reasons which led to this decision. I am
aware of the disagreement on the conditions for the implementation of the
Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement, especially regarding the
access to Turkish ports and airports of vessels and planes from the Republic of
Cyprus. I am also aware of the frustration this decision triggered here in
However, the decision of the EU of 11 December keeps the doors open and allows
progress in the negotiations.
In fact already before the end of last year the EU signalled its intention to
open the "Enterprise and Industrial Policy" chapter and now we look
forward to receiving Turkey's negotiating position.
I wish to flag that the Council also called for resumption without delay of EU
efforts aiming to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community, in
particular the draft regulation which, if adopted, would allow for direct trade
between the Turkish Cypriots and the rest of the EU.
Through a statement by the Finnish Presidency, the EU also emphasised the urgent
need for progress towards a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus issue under UN
auspices, which becomes urgent indeed.
It is in the EU's interest to see a reunification of the island and the end of
the over 40 years-old conflict on European soil. Such division is unacceptable
within our European Union, which is founded on the principles of peace,
reconciliation and human rights.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have, I believe, set out a series of arguments for Turkish membership of the
European Union which are grounded in today's reality and which will stand the
test of time. Moreover I have shown how the process, for all its complexities,
is moving forward, often with impressive results.
It is however also a matter of fact that wrong perceptions about the reality in
Turkey create public fears in a number of European societies. That cannot be
neglected. But fear does not take away our responsibilities. Political
leadership means that we all have to stand up and fight for our European vision.
Leadership is not based on opinion polls. It is based on clear views, strong
convictions, character and courage. Political leaders in Europe must explain,
again and again, that Turkey is the real test case for a fundamental question:
will Europe ever be able to play a role as a global actor, to accept global
responsibility and to contribute to the creation of a peaceful world,
sustainable development, social justice and decent living conditions for people
where ever they live. Only a strong European Union that joins its forces and
speaks with one voice can make such a contribution. If we Europeans don't do it,
others will do it, and we will have to accept what they decide.
Turkey's membership will make the European Union a truly global actor and that
may be another reason why some people are hesitant. Let us not allow them to
dodge the realities of the 21st century. As a strong and united Europe we can
meet the challenges of our century. As a group of nations driven by fear and
complacency we cannot.
Turkey will make Europe stronger. The membership of Turkey in the EU would
demonstrate that a country with a Muslim population can fully share our European
values and objectives. I do not believe in the inevitability of a clash of
civilisations. I was very encouraged by the recent visit of Pope Benedict in
Turkey and the way how he identified the European vocation of Turkey.
We should always tell people, particularly those who have still questions and
doubts what the result of the accession process of Turkey will be. A Turkey that
eventually joins the European Union will not be the same country that it was
before the process started. It will be a country with a full-fledged democracy
where the rule of law and human rights are fully respected and where minorities
will be protected and will have equal opportunities. The European Union as well
as Turkey would make a serious mistake if we would let such an opportunity slip
We should also be frank and highlight that an eventual membership of Turkey in
the EU will definitely change the EU as all previous accessions have contributed
to the development of the EU. It is our responsibility as policy makers to
demonstrate in the negotiations that Turkey will be not a threat but an awaited
and welcome asset.
To that end we need to unite our forces, more then ever, and to involve the
broader society. I think in particular of business people, of academics, the
media, people of culture, the civil society, who can bring different, wider
perspectives to the debate on Turkey's accession to the EU and help changing
In conclusion, despite the current, difficult circumstances, allow me to express
my strong belief in our common endeavour. Is there another choice than European
today's world? My clear answer is 'no'.
In this context, I would like to welcome the renewed commitment of the Turkish
government to continue with determination on the reform track. Reforms are not
needed to "please the EU or some so-called Brussels bureaucrats", as
one can read in some misleading comments. Yes, they are key for meeting the
accession criteria. But the objectives of the criteria coincide with the
objectives of these reforms, that is first and foremost to increase the living
standards of the Turkish citizens, reinforce human rights and governance and
create a more competitive and economically strong Turkey.
The case for Turkey's EU accession is and remains strong, even more today. The
accession process with Turkey will call for other difficult moments and
difficult decisions. At each of these moments, I trust that Turkey and the
European Union will keep in mind the key strategic vision which is the basis of
this project that is peace, security, democracy and prosperity in Europe.
I am more than grateful to be honoured today and I wish to share this prize with
all people in Turkey who share the European values and goals. Tolerance is a key
for Europe, for its presence, for its future.
It was not accidentally that the first theatre play after the Second World War
at the Deutsche Theatre in Berlin was "Nathan der Weise" of Lessing.
Why - because it is a centrepiece of the European Enlightenment- a call for
tolerance. In the famous parable of the rings Nathan compares the 3 world
religions and refuses any ranking but spoke in favour of tolerance and relied on
the individual contribution of all 3 world religions in order to give this world
a more human face.
I believe the ultimate accession of Turkey to the European Union will strengthen
tolerance in Europe and world wide and will be understood as a strong signal
that Europe is mastering its diversity and turns it into opportunities to the
benefit of mankind...
A journalist's perilous mission
Stephen Kinzer IHT, January 22nd 2007
The last time I met Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist who was murdered
in Istanbul on Friday, I felt a sudden need to do more than just exchange
pleasantries. This was several months ago, and we were sampling one of Turkey's
great delights, dinner aboard a boat cruising the Bosporus. Life for Dink,
however, had become less than delightful. He was being fiercely denounced by the
ultranationalist press, and seemed subdued and preoccupied.
I pulled him aside and told him how important his work was, how much support he
had in Turkey and beyond, and what a journalistic hero he had become. "I
understand," he replied simply. "I do not stop."
Dink was in the forefront of a growing number of Turks who want their government
to admit that leaders of the crumbling Ottoman Empire directed a mass slaughter
of Armenians in 1915. These are the same Turks who want their country to break
away from its authoritarian past and complete its march toward full democracy.
Some Turkish nationalists, however, feel deeply threatened by their country's
progress toward modernity. During the 1980s, they gunned down Turkey's leading
journalists. In the 1990s they concentrated their fire on Kurdish nationalists,
hundreds of whom were killed by death squads that acted with absolute impunity.
In recent years, many Turks had allowed themselves to believe those bad days
were over. But with an election campaign approaching, nationalist rhetoric is
again surfacing in political speeches and militant newspapers. Much of it
contains ugly insinuations that Armenians, Kurds and members of other minority
groups threaten Turkey's national unity and its very survival.
Rare is the government official or military officer who condemns this rhetoric.
Some not only encourage it but protect accused killers from prosecution. That
has emboldened radicals and led them to believe that the state tacitly supports
By their silence, and by failing to condemn attacks like a bombing evidently
staged by army officers in the Kurdish town of Semdinli 14 months ago, Turkish
political leaders and military commanders helped set the stage for Dink's
murder. In his weekly newspaper, Agos, which was published in both Turkish and
Armenian, Dink wrote as he pleased, refusing to observe unwritten taboos that
shackle the Turkish press. He was charged several times with the Orwellian crime
of "insulting Turkishness." On one occasion he was convicted, although
his six-month sentence was suspended. Each time he appeared in court, a crowd of
ultranationalists staged a violent scene, showering him with abuse and trying to
This was the same gang that screamed insults at the Nobel Prize-winning novelist
Orhan Pamuk when he was brought to trial last year. Dink attended Pamuk's trial
in a show of solidarity, driving the militants to new heights of fury.
Turkish nationalists believed they won a great victory when, at the end of last
year, the European Union suspended talks aimed at making Turkey an EU member.
They still hope to turn back the democratic tide that is engulfing their
country. Some apparently believe that if they cannot do it by indicting free
thinkers, they can do it through murder. This attack has generated revulsion
across Turkey. It will undoubtedly galvanize the country's large and
increasingly bold corps of human rights advocates.
Their first step may be to intensify their campaign for repeal of the notorious
Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which places a series of restrictions on
free press. To achieve that, and to finish reshaping Turkey's political system,
will not be easy. Turkey is being torn by an epochal crisis of identity. The old
and oppressive political tradition is dying, but its death throes are becoming
Political leaders, and their colleagues in uniform, seem to believe they can
tolerate and even make use of ultranationalist ideologues. Dink's murder shows
how dangerous that course is.
The arrest of a suspect in the murder will not calm outraged Turks. Their anger
is directed not simply against the man who pulled the trigger, but also against
those who created the venomous climate that made this crime possible.
Turkey's violent ultranationalist fringe, long supported by elements in the
police and military, aims not only to kill journalists but also to stop the
progress of Turkish history. No government has tried seriously to crush it.
Dink's murder, and the wave of anger it has set off, gives Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan a chance to do so.
Turkish Airlines to join Star Alliance
Turkish Airlines, Turkey's largest airline, will formally join the Star
Alliance, putting it in close cooperation with companies such as Lufthansa,
United and Thai Airways, Turkish Daily News reported, cited by website
reporter.gr on December 11th 2007.
Turkish Airlines operates a fleet of 91 planes and transported 14 million
passengers in 2005. It will become the 19th member of Star Alliance, which
already controls 25 per cent of the world's airline traffic.
Putin, Erdogan discuss Mideast, bilateral cooperation
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, discussed cooperation in the trade economic, political and other areas
in a telephone conversation on December 9th, Interfax News Agency reported.
At the start of the conversation, Erdogan expressed his condolences over the
deadly fire at a Moscow hospital, the Kremlin press service said.
"Satisfaction with the active dynamism of Russian-Turkish relations was
expressed. A substantial exchange of opinions took place on relevant
international issues, primarily the situation in the Middle East region. Both
sides confirmed that they have similar views on and approaches toward the
settlement of the situation in the Middle East, which remains difficult,"
it said. Putin and Erdogan "emphasised the need for responsible and
consolidated actions by the international community to facilitate the resolution
of the region's problems and the role of foreign political coordination between
Russia and Turkey in this process," it said.
Inter RAO mulls building coal power plant in Turkey
The operator of Russian electricity imports and exports, Inter RAO UES, is
considering building a coal-fired power plant in the north west of Turkey with a
capacity of 300 megawatts, at a cost of US$400 million, the Turkish newspaper
Sabah quoted the main coordinator of TGR Enerji, the Turkish subsidiary of Inter
RAO, Ibrahim Artvinli, as saying.
Inter RAO has confirmed its interest in this project. "This project is of
interest to us, like all other projects in Turkey, but no concrete agreements
have been reached," Boris Zverev, aide to the Inter RAO director general,
said, Interfax News Agency reported.
According to the Sabah report, the Turkish authorities have already granted
Inter RAO a licence to produce coal in the region. The decision to build a
second station in this region will depend on the volume of production and the
quality of the coal, Artvinli said. He said that Inter RAO might also apply to
take part in auctions for the sale of regional grid companies in Turkey, which
are expected to take place in 2007, and to receive a government contract to
build a first nuclear plant in Turkey.
The Inter RAO official did not confirm the report about the nuclear plant.
Unified Energy System of Russia has been waiting since 2003 for the
privatisation of energy assets in Turkey to begin. UES CEO Anatoly Chubais has
called the Turkish market "fantastically attractive," and Inter RAO
Chairman of the Board Andrei Rappoport announced plans "to become an active
player" in the privatisation of energy assets in Turkey - in both the grid
and generating sectors.
UES started to prepare to take part in the privatisation of Turkish energy
companies in spring 2005: the UES board of directors approved participation by
Inter RAO UES in a deal to acquire at least 70 per cent of Turkish energy trader
TGR Enerji. Inter RAO UES considers this company as a basis for the further
development of its business in Turkey, including exports of electricity to
Turkey from neighbouring countries, including transit through Georgia,
participation in the privatisation of grid and generating companies and the
implementation of investment projects.
The acquisition of a share in TGR Enerji, according to the conditions of the
deal, should have cost Inter RAO UES about US$0.7 million. UES owns 60 per cent
of Inter RAO UES and Rosenergoatom owns another 40 per cent. Foreign energy
acquisitions are included on the Inter RAO UES balance sheet.
Russia boosts gas deliveries to Turkey
Russia's gas major Gazprom has boosted natural gas deliveries to Turkey.
"For several days Gazprom has been delivering gas on a greater scale to
Turkey - 20 million cubic metres a day in addition to the regular 63 million
cubic metres," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov has said, Interfax News
On January 3rd Iranian Petroleum Minister, Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh, announced that
Iran had suspended natural gas deliveries to Turkey for domestic reasons. Iran
assured the Turkish side that deliveries may resume in the near future.
Armenia to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey
Turkey has received a proposal from the Armenian government on establishing
diplomatic relations to pursue joint projects and open frontiers, New Europe
Armenian Defence Minister, Serge Sarkisyan, according to the Wall Street
Journal, said: "We intend to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey not
bringing up genocide as principal condition." Saying that "we want to
look at the future," The Armenian Minister hoped that Turkey's talks with
European Union would open such opportunities for Yerevan. At the same time, he
stressed that the remaining issue of the so-called "genocide" on the
agenda is necessary from the point of view of memory of the past and prevention
of such crimes against humanity.
"If Turkey opens its frontiers Armenia will be closer to Europe from a
geopolitical point of view, and we don't want to be enemies with Turkey
forever," Sarkisyan said.
Political observers of Turkey said that this proposal is backed by the Armenian
lobby of America and Europe, and the basic proposal is that Armenians want to
exploit the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Gumru railway.