Yazdır Paylaş Yazıları Büyült Yazıları Küçült


         The Charlie Rose Show

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Abdullah GÜL is here.  He’s the president of Turkey.  A key U.S. ally and NATO member, Turkey has a new presence on the international stage as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. 

         It seeks to mediate in the region’s most difficult conflicts, and it has not shied away from conflict.  Relations with Israel are tense after the Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla last spring.  At home, the Turkish government continues a path of democratic reform, waiting for membership in the European Union. 

         President GÜL is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.  I’m pleased to have him back at this table.  Welcome. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Thank you very much. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Very good to see you again. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  It’s always nice to be together. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Tell me where you see Turkey today, its role, its opportunity, its challenge. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Turkey is a unique position.  First of all, we have been negotiating with the European Union for the full membership.  This means that Turkey is adopting EU standards.  This means that all the democratic standards of Turkey is being upgraded to the EU.  So this is something very much meaningful.  A Muslim country is fulfilling the criteria of democracy. 

         Of course, this is making Turkey very powerful.  So power, power in Turkey also.  And Turkey is becoming a source of inspiration for the region. 

         We have history ties to all the countries in the region.  It means that we capacity to talk to all of them.  And our foreign policy is very positive.  We have a positive agenda. 


         We used to deal only with our problem in the past, but now we are trying to solve, contribute to the problem of others in the region.  This means that we own the region.  Regional ownership is very much important for the stability and security of the region.  If there is stability and security, then there will be cooperation, and then there will be welfare in the region.  It’s what we have been doing. 

         Of course, our relation with America is one of the main pillars of our foreign policy.  So we are the members of NATO since 1952 before many countries, and our relationship with the U.S. is very much important for us. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Let me talk about the European Union just for just a second, because some people think Turkey -- some -- has less interest.  And your prime minister said that’s not true.  Turkey very much wants to be part of Europe and the European Union. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  It’s true.  It’s very much seen, you see.  For some times we have been adopting reforms in Turkey.  These are only parallel to EU.  And we have started the negotiation and we have been pushing. 

         Unfortunately, because of domestic policies of some member countries, their approach is changing from time to time.  But none of them is saying that negotiations should stop.  So the negotiation is going on, and this is a strategic issue for us, and it’s also the party policies -- party politics in Turkey.  So that means that this is the state policy and it’s our priority issue. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  What is the -- what’s the impact of the referendum? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Referendum -- first of all, all the amendments, the items, they were put in front of the people, they were related to EU.  It means that all the items in the referendum, they fall under the EU framework.  Since it has been accepted our standards in different fields is upgraded. 

         So it is a positive impact, and it has been received very well, even though they did vote in favor of it.  I’m sure that the majority of the people, they didn’t work for it, they are happy with the items, with the amendments.  They don’t have any problem with the amendments. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  How do you view the United States? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Well, the United States is a superpower, of course, and has to deal with many issues.  It cannot focus on the Americans’ problems inside, so therefore from Afghanistan to Balkans, from terror to energy, so there’s so many, in fact, issues that the United States, America, should deal with. 

         Something is good that’s very much interesting.  Americans agenda and Turkish agenda is almost overlapping.  I don’t think there are many countries like that.  For instance, America is dealing with Afghanistan.  America is dealing with Middle East.  America is dealing with Balkans.  America is dealing with terror and energy transportation, diversification of energy sources. 

         We have the same agenda.  We have been dealing, also, with these issues.  It’s good that we are being coordinating it.  We have the same views, you see.  So I don’t think there are many countries in the world that they have the same agenda. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  You also have a good relationship with Iran. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Iran is our neighbor, and they have different regimes.  We are democratic, and we are trying to be member of the European Union. 

         So this is different, of course.  But if you have a neighbor, definitely you are -- you want to be friendly and you want cooperation with them.  So that’s all.  We’ve had a very stable border with Iran since 1659.  So there’s no border problem.  There’s no conflict. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  You don’t support sanctions against Iran. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  U.N. sanctions is binding us also. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Right. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  So therefore we are applying this.  We are arguing our reports to the U.N. committee.  But since we are neighbors, if there is something not pulling in factions that is creating it, that is taking place. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Do you believe sanctions will have an impact on Iran? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  In general, not just related to Iran, my view is this -- sanctions are not working well, you see, because then you imply sanctions, to whom you are going to punish?  The government or the people or what section of the people? 

         And also the people they get hostile to those using sanctions, you see.  So it’s not very much workable, you see.  So therefore that is not very useful. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  So as an American friend, as a friend of Iran, so -- and the American and European view that it’s an unacceptable risk for Iran to have nuclear weapons. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Well, for us if Iran is having nuclear weapons, more dangerous for us than America --

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Yes. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  -- because we never wish to see any neighbor with a nuclear weapon.  It means that two friends, neighbors, they are walking together, one has the gun, another doesn’t have.  Saw the gun, who has, he will have irresponsible behavior.  So therefore Turkey as a neighbor to Iran will never see this.  

         CHARLIE ROSE:  So do you believe Iran wants nuclear weapons? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  I cannot say this.  Iran is the member of International

Atomic Energy Agency, and Iran is the --


         ABDULLAH GÜL:  -- a part of --

         CHARLIE ROSE:  The Nonproliferation Treaty. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  -- NPT.  So Iran is getting out from atomic energy, but Iran should be transparent to us then.  So this is the problem, you see. 

We want to see that this problem, this solved in a diplomatic way.  But definitely this should be solved. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Can Turkey play a role? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  I think we have capacity to help, at least, because we are neighbors, we are able to talk.  On the one side our alliance, member of NATO, very good, strong relation with America.  On the other side, Iran is our neighbor.  So we are in a position to talk to all of Iran’s leaders.

         CHARLIE ROSE:  I’m told that trade and the relationship between Turkey and Iran has grown. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Turkey depends on energy.  We don’t have oil, we don’t gas. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Right.  You need to find it. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  So we are getting gas.  In fact, we are getting gas from Iran.  Iran is getting gas from Turkmenistan.  So -- but they are selling it to us, you see.  We wish to sell them, of course.  Russia wants to sell them.  China wants to sell them.  American companies are also in different ways selling them. 

         So what is important here?  The sanctions should be respected and sanctions, all those items fallen into sanctions, we have to apply this.  So, as I said, sanctions are binding us, also.  We are very careful on that. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  What can Turkey do then?  Give me a sense of what you would say to President Obama? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  First of all --

         CHARLIE ROSE:  And what would you say to President Ahmadinejad? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  First of all, it should be known that -- because I know perception, you see.  We are not undermining American policies.  On the other side, we are coordinating, in fact, and we are talking.  We have the capacity -- again, I will repeat this -- we have the capacity to help this issue.  I think our friends should be happy with this.  So we are doing our best, and --

         CHARLIE ROSE:  But is it happening?  I mean, are you talking to the Iranians on behalf of the Americans or about Americans? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  I think something is happening.  Something is happening.  It maybe small progress, but something is happening.  If you seek counsel (ph) that after this decision, something is happening. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  What something? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Well, it means some statements were made, some meetings took place, and some wishes have been expressed.  I’m not optimistic.  I’m very much realistic.  But at least something is happening. 

         Good values, and our role is being appreciated by our allies, by our American friends and also the Europeans.  I think we have to be determined but work hard, because there are two ways.  The one way is war. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Right. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Another way is diplomacy.  We have to prepare -- prepare the diplomacy, of course.  This doesn’t mean that we should prepare ourselves to see nuclear weapon.  No, that’s not the question. 

         First Turkey rejects this.  No one wants to see weapon of mass destruction in the neighborhood.  This is very clear.  So Turkey’s intention should be understood very well. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  And do you think the Iranians are responsive to that? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  From time to time yes, from time to time no. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  But you are a little bit optimistic? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  At least something is moving here, see. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Let me come back to President Obama.  When he addressed your parliament he called the U.S.-Turkey relationship a model partnership.  Are you getting everything from the United States that you want? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  First of all, I want to appreciate here once more that

President Obama, he made his first visit to Turkey and he made it excellent, wonderful speech in our parliament, and we all appreciated this.  And he sent a message from Ankara to the region. 

         As I said before, our relation with America is one of the main pillars of our foreign policies, and we have been in constant contact and coordination with America, the administration.  Of course, from time to time we have different priorities, but we are working very closely. 

         The administration is also -- also President Obama’s multilateral policies, international issues is being also appreciated everywhere, you see. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  And how about his Cairo speech? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  That was also an excellent speech, of course. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  The Islamic community views him how? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  First of all, President Obama made the change in the mind of the Muslim people.  That is very important and many people, they are feel sympathetically.  This is very good, you see.  It’s because of  President Obama, you see, his speech, his message changed the world. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Some people in different political persuasions worry about Turkey being in every way a secular state, because you make no -- I mean -- go ahead. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Well, Turkey is a democratic and secular state.  I want

to draw the attention here.  Turkey adopting European molds, Europeans standards.  So Turkey’s direction is very clear. 

         So we have to question the values.  Our values are the common values, modern values.  Look at the U.K. commonwealth from New Zealand, Australia to Canada, from Canada to subcontinent, U.K. is having good relationship. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  When I was --

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Turkey is also the kind of political advantages.  We have been using this -- I think this should be seen quite normally.  France, Spain, Spain’s relation to Latin America, very special agreement. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  So you’re saying that the relationship you can have with the cross section of people within the Islamic community and otherwise? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Exactly.

         CHARLIE ROSE:  President Assad in an interview with me that was widely quoted said when I asked "What is your fear?" and he said "Making sure Syria remains a secular state." Do you have that fear at all about Turkey? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  There’s not any question, any debate on if Turkey should be secular or not secular.  There’s a consensus on this, you see, and it’s not a question that Turkey should not be a secular state.  Secularism is the fundamental part of the constitution.  No one wants to change this. 

         Religious freedom for all the religion is different.  These are individual preference, choice.  But state and religion should be separated if they are unhappy with this. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  What, then, worries you the most about the future of Turkey? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Instability in the region. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  From? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  From Middle East, Asia, Afghanistan, Caucasus.  It’s why we’re repeating security and stability.  There’s no stability and security there and that cooperation, and welfare, as I said earlier.  So therefore it’s very much important for us, because many conflicts, hot issues, are around us. 

         So therefore our attempt, our world and our insistence to contribute to the solution of the problems is appreciated. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Appreciated and needed.  So therefore has there been any progress in terms of Turkey serving as a -- some kind of bridge between Syria and Israel? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  We tried hard. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  I know you did.  But you broke it off after the --

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  It wasn’t because of us, you see.  You’re about to pass that torch (ph).  And so it’s good intention from both sides.  Not because of us but because we have that capacity.  We had good relation with Israel and we have good relations with all Arab countries.  I think this is an asset. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Was it you that said Israel must apologize for the incident before there could be -- was that you? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  First of all, we have to just look at what happened, you see.  Humanitarian aid convoy led by mostly Turks, but people from six countries, professors, academics, intellectuals, some activists.  And these ships were attacked in the international waters.  This is very much important.  Then nine people were killed, eight Turks and one Turkish-American. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Right. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Now, should we ignore this?  Can we ignore this?  Can we forget this?  Can we act as if nothing happened?  Now it has happened.  What happens within the countries?  Two ways.  In the old years they used to fight each other.  In the modern days, what is the way?  International law.  So that’s what we’re asking, you see. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  What are you asking? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  For an apology. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  But are you demanding an apology? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Definitely, of course.  There was a great -- it was a crime, first of all. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  So if they don’t apologize, what’s the consequence? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  It’s up to them. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  But if they do not apologize, what’s the consequence? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  It’s up to them.  It’s up to them.  So it means that they don’t need Turkey in the region.  It’s up to them.  It means that they don’t value our relationship with them.  It’s up to them. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  They think they were set up. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  International law should be applied there. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Where is the Kurdish issue today? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Since the democratic standards of Turkey’s being upgraded, the people are happy and they are complained as being removed, but the terror is preventing us to move more.  There’s a terrorist organization.  They are killing civilians. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  What’s the name of t organization? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  PKK it’s call. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  PKK< yes, that’s what I was talking about.  You think the PKK is a threat to your government? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Not to our government, to Turkey and to the region, in fact. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  And where do you think they get their support? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  You know, there’s no authority in Iraq.  There’s no strong security force in Iraq.  Northern Iraq became a safe haven for them.  It’s why I said the turmoil in Iraq had negative consequences on us.  That’s why we are worrying about another war in the region.  One should understand this.

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Another war in the region between?

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Iran. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  In other words, you worry that somebody might take military action against Iran to stop them from developing a nuclear weapon? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Yes. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  And what else do you worry about? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Well, if another war is there, then there will be immigration --

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Where is war most likely to happen with Iran? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  I’m not saying that it will happen, because now we all are going the diplomatic way and there’s also some good steps going on there.  So I hope that this issue will be solved through diplomacy. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Clearly with your economic success, with your efforts to qualify for membership in the European Union, with your relationship with Syria, Iran, you can play a very, very important if not the most important role in the region. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  You are right.  We have 800 kilometer border with Iran -- with Syria. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Right.

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  And our policies was questions at the beginning, our engagement policies.  But now, this is America.  So you are right.  So you are right.  I have been repeating that we have the capacity.  We have been advising them.  We have been telling them that look at the democracy, the peaceful way.  It’s the good things, free market economy. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  You’ve been telling the Syrians this? 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  Of course, the Syrians.  It’s been a source of inspiration for them, in fact. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  It is. 

         ABDULLAH GÜL:  They have been following very closely, and indirectly

we’ve been influencing the region.  So these are positive things. 

         CHARLIE ROSE:  Thank you.  

Yazdır Paylaş Yukarı