-

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated, ``we fear of a possible civil war in Iraq. It would cause a big danger.``

Appearing on a TV program yesterday, Erdogan replied to questions on several matters.

In regard to relations between Turkey and the United States, Erdogan stressed, ``we (Turkey and the United States) are maintaining our talks as strategic partners.``

Replying to a question on Hamas leader`s visit to Turkey, Erdogan noted, ``we respect the will of Palestinian people.`` Erdogan underlined that Turkey was working for settlement of peace in the Middle East.

In regard to problems in Iraq, Erdogan said, ``U.S. people and Bush administration have concerns over these problems. Diplomatic mechanisms should be maintained.``

Stating that the process (regarding Iraq) should continue under the auspices of the UN, he stressed, ``we fear of a possible civil war in Iraq. It may cause a big danger for neighboring countries.``

Erdogan noted that Turkey did not want a nuclear power in its region, underlining that he hoped that a consensus would be reached on this matter.

-``ISOLATION OF TURKISH CYPRIOTS SHOULD BE LIFTED FIRST``-

Replying to another question, Erdogan reiterated that first of all, isolation of Turkish Cypriots should be lifted, then Turkey opens its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes.

Erdogan also said there was an impact of internal and external factors in the source of the terrorist activities that had occurred recently. ``Opposing to ethnic nationalism is one of our red lines.``

-``TERRORIST ORGANIZATION WILL NOT TAKE THOSE MESSAGES-

Erdogan said he gave important messages during his visit to southeastern city of Diyarbakir, and noted that, ``terrorist organization will not and can not take those messages. The interlocutor of those messages is my people in the region.``

Erdogan said he had never seen the terrorist organization as the representative of the citizens whose ethnic structure is Kurd. ``There hadn`t been any problem between the Turkish and Kurdish citizens throughout the history. Now, terrorist organization is acting as if it is the representative of the Kurdish citizens and trying to make the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish citizens enemies.``

PM Erdogan said some mayors had made statements recently that prepared ground to terrorism, and noted that, ``leader of a political party uses the expression of guerilla. On the one side, you are a mass democratic organization, and on the other side you talk about guerillas. You do not consider PKK a terrorist organization although all EU member countries say `PKK is a terrorist organization`. It is not right.``

-CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR-

Replying to a question about appointment of Central Bank Governor, Erdogan said they would present a new candidate for this post this week.

-PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS-

Asked about presidential elections, Erdogan said it was the right of this parliament to elect the new President of Turkey.

Replying to a question whether he would make cooperation with the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) in election of the President by votes of the citizens, Erdogan said, ``why did not those, who make such statements now, have the people of Turkey elect the president in the past? Why did the President who made this statement come to power with the votes of the parliamentarians but not with the votes of people? Why didn`t he say, `I want to come to power with the votes of people, not with the votes of parliamentarians``.

-``REVISION OF COUNCIL OF MINISTERS NOT ON AGENDA-

Erdogan said any revision in Council of Ministers was out of their agenda.

Copyright © 2006