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Editorial

Anastasiades, Erdogan and the State Department spokesman

Important news is often hidden, sometimes in a brief but telling sentence from politicians, when they distort the accusations against them and sometimes in the way they fail to answer a question.

I’ve gathered examples of all three types, because they reveal so much and they are among the most important news stories of the week that past:

First, Nicos Anastasiades’ president of Cyprus,response to the highly publicized report on the ‘60 Minutes’ program on CBS that accused Cyprus, during his presidency, of massive corruption: “so you can understand… the other day’s report by the American network that Cyprus refuses to implement the sanctions imposed by Europe – nothing can be more untrue… Cyprus is in the crosshairs on these issues.”

This response is not serious.

In effect is an appeal to the Cypriot people to protect the flag… so that it can cover…him.

Second, Tayyip Erdogan responded as follows to the cover story of the influential British newsmagazine The Economist titled ‘Turkey could be on the brink of dictatorship’ – one of the most disparaging (and possibly prophetic) articles against the Turkish president, or any other leader, ever published:

“[A] British magazine determines Turkey’s fate? Whatever my Nation says, that’s what’s happening in Turkey. Turkey’s fate cannot be determined by the British magazine.”

This is a much more crude effort by a leader to wrap himself in the flag of the nation, in Turkish patriotism, in order justify banning at publication.

Third, a journalist’s question to the spokesperson of State Department: “The fact that there is no press conference featuring the today’s dialogue – between the Secretary of Stated and the Foreign Minister of Turkey- how do you want us to read that? Is it a reflection of the nature of the trip or the nature of the relationship between Türkiye and the U.S. or the nature of the state of press freedom in Türkiye?”

Spokesman: “I certainly wouldn’t read much into it.”

Question Two: “Senator Menendez said that he is going to block the transfer of F-16s to Türkiye, and he said till Ankara, as he said, improves its human rights record and cease threatening U.S. regional allies like Greece and Cyprus. He said that Erdogan is undermining international law, and Türkiye is not a good ally. I don’t know if you agree with the senator, but I wanted to hear your comment, please.”

Spokesman: “Well, Congress has a key role to play when it comes to these decisions. … we’ve been clear that with our allies, we may not always see eye to eye. We have disagreements with our Turkish allies…. We remain deeply concerned by the continued judicial harassment of civil society, media, political and business leaders in Türkiye…”

This must be described as a selective and long-winded response aimed at pushing away the thorny part of the question.

You will have noticed that he gave a long answer to the first part of the question, which concerns human rights, but… he forgot to answer the second part, which concerns Turkey’s threats against Greece and Cyprus. Αnd that says something.

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