tv [untitled] June 29, 2012 9:30am-10:00am EDT
old school colonialism, and others noted the divisive cycle of casualty. but whatever the backdrop, and the jury is still out, this ostensibly infinite loop was broken with the self-immolation of the young men in tunisia. over the next few months, youthful demonstrations led in search of fundamental rights and freedoms across the arab world. they did not burn american flags. they did not curse israel. they just demanded to live their lives in the same way as you and i do. an authoritarian regime can't be toppled in one night, but it takes years, if not decades to build strong government institutions and a cultural
democracy. and lest we forget, nanny revolutions have successfully been hijacked throughout history. it's the forces of change in the middle east attempt to once again manipulate power, they'll not be an arab summit to follow the arab spring. we should all keep in mind that the creation of an inclusive dialogue and cultural consensus is necessary for a successful political transition. we have to be extremely careful and vigilant against those challenges, and accountable, transparent democracy is the only viable response to overcome such dangers. where does turkey stand in these developments?
since the inception of the recent events, turkey's adopted a principle and value-based approach. prime minister was the first one to call on the president to meet the demands of the people or step down. the transition included the case in cairo that the principle of secularism was central to a functioning democracy. we very much welcome the completion of the presidential elections in egypt. we wish that the results of these elections which are very important for the progress of the transition process and democracy transformation in egypt would be beneficial for the people of egypt and for our region. we strongly believe their our egyptian brothers will emerge even stronger from these processes. it's essential that the egyptian
people's will is represented by all sides and that the transition process is completed in a successful and timely manner, in line with the egyptian people's legitimate demands and aspirations. it's equally essential for egyptian authorities to maintain a constructive and inclusive approach for the efforts to overcome the challenges at happenhand. turkey's position regarding libya has also been unambiguous. we extended our support to the nato-led operation, recognized the international council and have been continuing our engagement with the current government of libya. when it comes to our immediate neighbor, syria, we have been consistent from the very beginning.
even before the tidal wave of democracy reached their shores, we continued the consistency in our policy. in our messages to the syrian government, we emphasized the need for freedom, equality, justice, and democracy. we made it clear that the postponed delay or worse to ignore the will of the people would lead to chaos. we exer is ted enormous efforts convince the syrian leadership to lead the democratic transition. i regret to say that our neighbor syria has failed miserably in analyzing the developments in the region and to reacting to the currents of change. the brutal regime continues to use oppression and violence on
its own people and in response to that we continue to be actively engaged in the efforts to increase the regional and international pressure on the syrian government and to find an appropriate solution to this crisis. while president assad continues to fool himself that there can be a realistic exit for him from this hell, he and his cronies have created, the situation has come to a critical mass following the shooting of an unarmed arab or turkish aircraft in international airspace last week. although the aircraft which was on a test and training mission displayed no hostile attitude and was flying in the international airspace of the eastern mediterranean and inside identification systems open, the syrian forces did not hesitate to shoot at our aircraft without any prior warning.
after receiving a deadly blow, the aircraft diverted towards the syrian coast and crashed into the sea at eight nautical miles off the coast. now the syrians are engaged in a disinformation campaign on the matter to slant the facts and to evade responsibility. they even claimed that our aircraft was shot in syrian of foolproof evidence indicating the opposite. both turkish and syrian radar and radio records prove that our aircraft was shot at the international airspace. the illegal and unacceptable syrian attack on our aircraft flying solo and unarmed at the international airspace is hostile act against our national security.
it runs against all principles of good faith and good neighborness and is a great violation of international law. therefore, as we step into a new state of affairs with syria, i must underline that our depth perception for syrian regime has changed with this incident. we now regard syrian regime as a visible threat to our national security and the rules of engagement of turkish armed forces have been modified accordingly. we have acted in restraint so far. yet we will not hesitate to take the necessary steps within international law and reserve our right to respond to this setback. however, let me be crystal clear on a crucial point. the measures to be taken by turkey will be of a defensive
nature. we have consultations yesterday with our nato allies under the framework article four of north atlantic stretreaty. we have asked for solidarity from our allies and they have declared that they will stand together with us in the spirit of full solidarity. under the border between turkey and syria is also the border of the ally. we welcome our allies having stated that will remain -- of the developments of the development of nato. dear guests, the people of syria are our brothers. turkey is determined to maintain its support for the people of syria until they are freed from this brutal dictatorship.
turning to iraq, ladies and gentlemen, let me say that the developments there are also of critical importance in regional affairs. with the final departure of the u.s. troops at the end of the last year, iraq has regained its rightful place in the community of nations as a fully sovereign state. as a friend and neighbor which extended all assistance it could to help the stabilization and security efforts in iraq, turkey, warmly welcome this historic development. today, iraq is the second largest export market for tur y turkey, 12 billion u.s. dollars. turkey has diplomatic representation throughout the country which embassy, consulate
general in mosul and basra. they are limited not only to krg. we are in central and southern regions and turkish airlines are carrying hundreds fr s every da the week. after decades of conflict, embargoes, wars and oppression, our iraqi brothers are now in charge of their own destiny. if managed well, this new era in the history of iraq can only bring peace, prosperity, and security for iraq. its neighbors and beyond. in that regard, iraq is at a very critical juncture. the relative security and stability that iraq achieved at that very high price is still fragile.
in order to meet the challenges it is facing, iraq needs to make meaningful progress in two main areas, power sharing and revenue sharing. our iraqi brothers have suffered dramatically from ethnic and sectarian agendas as well as authoritarian policies in the past. no other country in the region has the humanitarian and natural wealth that iraq has and it's this wealth can only be beneficial if all iraqis have an equal and fair say in the way their country to be run. turkey will continue to engage actively with all the segments of iraqi society to help iraq successfully navigate this volatile period. in our eyes, there is only one iraq. and regardless of the
backgrounds, our goal is to help all iraqi. our policy towards iraq is drive by principles such as inclusiveness, power sharing, and a functioning free market economy that is integrated with the region and international markets. we stand ready to support any leader and mitt cal gropolitica will work for the realization of these principles, because we believe that the only way to enhance the territorial integrity, political unity of iraq is to honor these principles. our profound concern is that unless these principles are upheld, a dark future may be awaiting iraq, and as a neighbor who paid a very high price for the instability in iraq over many decades, we will do our utmost to prevent that eventuality. as always, the strategic
partnership between turkey and the united states is indispensable. turkey's ever-increasing cooperation with the krg is the linchpin of stability and prosperity in iraq. our cooperation with krg encompasses the wide range of sectors and is geared towards serving the interests of both iraq and turkey. we are convinced that if a more inclusive system is forged which allows for the meaningful participation of all iraqi groups, then krg's increased involvement in the central government will inevitable concern the unity of the country. dear friends, the rising tension in iran's nuclear program is another significant issue. on turkey's doorstep and in a
literal way against which we cannot afford to remain indifferent. we do not want iran to acquire nuclear weapons. we do not want any other country in the region acquire nuclear weapons. turkey is probably the only country most directly concerned about the possibility of iran acquiring nuclear weapons. such a development would gravely threaten the peace, security, and stability in the region by triggering a nuclear armament race. that is completely against turkey's vision for the region, and we have said so at every opportunity, new york, brussels, and in tehran. similarly, we are against any military intervention in iran. it would have devastating effects on an already volatile region.
diplomacy is the only viable option in resolving the issue of iran's nuclear program. likewise, continued engagement and dialogue even at the point where it seems to fail is important to prevent iran from going further astray. therefore, we are committed to facilitating diplomatic dialogue among the parties. in this regard, we hope that the technical experts meeting to be held in istanbul next year on the 3rd of july will find enough common ground to resume the talks between p-5 plus 1 and iran which had initially commenced in another istanbul meeting last april. on the other hand, there are, of course, issues particularly concerning regional developments which we don't see eye to eye with iran.
however, we seek -- we seek to sort our differences through dialogue, trying to avoid mutual public accusations. here again we consider dialogue as the sole way to achieve results. ladies and gentlemen, the fight against terror continues to be one of the top priority issues in our joint agenda with the united states. there aren't any other two countries that understand, appreciate, and help each other than turkey and the united states. for that reason, the foreign ministers of our two countries have been co-chairing the global counterterrorism forum which held its second administrative meeting in istanbul three weeks ago. the global anti-terrorism forum is a strong testament of our
continued determination to work together combatting violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations. furthermore, i can honestly tell you that the u.s. is the strongest supporter of turkey in its fight against the terrorist organization. in that regard, i would like to take this opportunity to state our sincere thanks and gratitude to senator mccain and senator lieberman in their leadership in introducing the senate resolution 4886 condemning the pkx a pkk and expressing solidarity with turkey. this resolution is a significant statement that reaffirms our united commitment to addressing the ongoing pkk threat. unfortunately, the pkk conduct outrageous and indiscriminate attacks targeting our civilian
population. just last week, the heinous attack against a military post claimed the lives of eight turkish soldiers. i would like to express once again my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family members of the fallen and to all our citizens. turkey will continue to fight against the pkk terrorism with full determination and in absolute compliance with the rule of law. we expect full support in this fight from the international community in line with their international obligations. distinguished guests, usually the middle east is regarded as synonymous with tensions, conflict, and underdevelopment. but our region has been the center of civilization for millenia, leading to strong traditions of political order in which multicultural environment
flourish. in addition to this heritage, we have sufficient economic resources today to make our region a global center of gravity. it's now time to make historic reassessment in order to transform our region into one of stability, freedom, prosperity, cultural survival and peaceful co-exist co-existence. in this new regional order, there should be hess violence and fewer barriers between countries, societies, regions, ethnicities and sects. the road ahead is full of major challenges. therefore, the international community must do its utmost in helping the people achieve their democratic aspirations. this will make a hugely policy impact at global levels in political, economic, and security terms. it will also require turkey and the u.s. to cooperate as closely as ever to tackle all these
challenges and many more that i have not had the chance to even broach where we also stand shoulder to shoulder hike afghanistan, balkans, and others. today, as a turkish turkish ci are proud to be a truly secular liberal democracy among 57 nations with predominantly muslim populations. however, we no longer want to be an exception. the people of the middle east rightfully deserve a dignified life and the lasting dividends of democracy and peace. to the extent that we work together to meet these challenges, we will not only strengthen our bilateral partnership, but also help maintain an advanced peace and
security on a global level. as always, along with the united states, turkey will continue to uphold democratic principles. thank you. [ applause ] >> we have time for about ten minutes of questions. are there any questions? you've already asked -- the lady in red, please? lady in red, please? could you wait for the microphone?
>> thank you for your remarks, ambassador. i realize in your speech you didn't mention about israel and i was wondering if the current situation with syria continues to escalate and given last week's events, the shooting of the jet, it seems like that it will. how do you foresee that the turkish/israeli relations may change given the further escalation of the crisis? will there be any cooperation between the two nations or will the severing of ties just continue against the crisis with israel? thank you. >> thank you for the question. but may i just ask a question to wendy? what is this -- [ laughter ] >> you got me there.
>> it really scared me throughout this whole speech. anyway, well, thank you for this question. i think i want to just go into details of how we see the situation. we just evaluate our relations with israel. as a person who has served in israel as an ambassador, i have been deeply involved in this process, but i will just tell you -- make a very brief remark in saying that the conditions for us for turkey to mend the fences, if we can just phrase
this as such, are there on the table, and the israeli leaders and all of them at all walk of life, they know what they are, so i think today, israel has a strong government, as we see, which is inclusive. it's probably unprecedented in the last few decades. therefore, we expect them to honor all those conditions, and if they do so, we are ready to move on. that's my i think brief answer to this question. >> last question because you really do deserve a break. barbara?
>> thank you very much, ambassador. barbara slaven from the atlantic council. i would be interested in your government's evaluation of the current strength of the opposition forces within syria. we have seen some unprecedented attacks just yesterday and today on installations near damascus. i believe a republican guard facility and also a television station. do you think that this conflict is going to reach a tipping point and what more is turkey prepared to do to help the opposition? thank you. >> i think first, we should all know that there is no quick solution. no quick solution to all those problems. this is a big, big challenge. there are no magical formulas, unfortunately. so we have to keep this in mind
and then work together, all together, for the opposition in order to have a legitimate opposition, we need that opposition to be inclusive. it should represent all segments of society because it is a sectarian country, so i think we should be very careful in working with the opposition to advise them that they should take every necessary step in order to diversify the basis of that opposition and we are again, we are helping the opposition. we are helping them to structure themselves in the best possible
way, and i believe, as you can imagine, the institutional things and some of the structural changes in any country is not easy, especially if you go and get true democratic ways and means, it's not easy. it takes time. we need help and a unifieed joint work all together, cooperation. the international community should be together in helping them. it is not a matter that only interests turkey. it is of course -- it's an adjacent country so we have to engage with this whole problem, but we need the support and
solidarity from all our international friends and partners and allies, and in that sense, we are very happy that we yesterday witnessed this in this nato meeting on article four consultations on this issue and they have given us i think an iron-clad support. so we appreciate that. we should continue this. together, we can find a solution, i believe, to this problem. and we should also make assad understand that the way he talk has a dead end. there is no exit in that way. so i think he should step down
immediately and pave the way for a peaceful democratic transition, and give the opportunity to its people to enjoy the freedoms that we all cherish. [ applause ] >> the supreme court in their 5-4 decision yesterday upheld the nation's health care law and this morning, the heritage foundation is hosting a discussion on that decision and they will hear reaction from plaintiffs in the case. texas attorney general gregg abbott speaks on behalf of the 26 states in the suit, and the national federation of independent business executive director karen harned will talk about the impact of the court's decision on states and small businesses. it will get under way in just a moment.