The Virtual Press Conference on Twitter by the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Selçuk Ünal, 27 November 2012

Good morning.

For our English Twitter account followers, welcome to our first press conference held in English via Twitter.

Let me start by saying that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been improving its systems on social media. We have started to use social media more actively. Our Turkish account followers have surpassed 175 thousand as of this morning.

@denizdurmus: Our first press conference via Twitter was held on 7 August in Turkish. We thought we would do the same for our English account followers.

@BiTofTwiT: The EU’s enlargement policy has proved to be the most successful integration project in our continent. EU comprising of 27 member countries with a population of almost 500 million people has evolved into a multi-dimensional powerful international structure in our continent in terms of political, economic, social and cultural co-operation and development. The accession of a democratic and modern Turkey with its unique geo-strategic position would bring major benefits to the EU as well. Thanks to our dynamic economy and young population, the enlarged EU with Turkey on board can respond better to the challenges of globalisation. With our pro-active and multidimensional foreign policy and strong ties with the countries of the region. Turkey can contribute to the credibility and effectiveness of the EU’s foreign policy. Turkey’s location can also help to expand and diversify supply routes for oil and natural gas to European markets. Turkey could contribute to the EU’s perception of cultural diversity and the dialogue among cultures because we share the same universal values. Turkey’s membership to the EU would also contribute to regional and global peace and stability as well as the dissemination of universal values to a wider geography.

@MissProust: We are using internationally accepted diplomatic language in our Note Verbales.

@denizdurmus: Due to the then stock of the General Directorate of Security of Turkey, there was a delay in renewing of the passports two months ago. At this moment, there is not such a problem and it takes nearly 2 weeks to renew the passports.

@BeGoCYP: The work on new IDs are not concluded. Once it is concluded we will announce the procedure for the new IDs through our consulates.

@BeGOCYP: Our aim in Cyprus is a negotiated and mutually agreed political settlement. The Turkish side’s commitment to be “one step ahead” did not change. We fully supported the efforts of the UN Secretary General. 2013 will be the 50th year of the Cyprus problem. We cannot tolerate another 50 years. We want a mutually agreed, just and lasting political settlement in Cyprus. Reaching the settlement aim will not only be in the interest of the two sides on the Island, but of all concerned parties. Our position to be one step ahead did not change since the Annan Plan negotiations in 2004.

@lihony @rebwarkerim: Turkey is attaching high importance to security and stability of Iraq. We are following the increasing tension between Irbil and Baghdad with concern. We wish both sides could act with tandem and display active coordination between themselves. We hope that all the issues between the sides would be solved with dialogue and on a legitimate basis. We support such an approach. We are talking with all relevant parties to this end.

@MustafaGlderen: At first, you should have graduated from the faculties/departments of international relations, law, political science and public administration, history, sociology, public relations, psychology, economy, business administration or finance. Also, if you have the graduation from the faculties of any social sciences/engineering provided that the applicant is holding masters degree on international relations, political science, public administration, law or economy, you can apply to work in Foreign Ministry. At the same time, you shouldn’t be older than the age 35. (37 for those holding masters degree on any field) For further information visit our website.

@rebwarkerim: Turkish companies are actively engaged in reconstruction and provide services to the people of Iraq. They play an important role in reconstruction efforts. With their well-deserved prestige they will continue to contribute in the reconstruction process in Iraq. I believe any discriminatory approach towards them would first and foremost harm the interests of the friendly Iraqi people. Yet I do not have any concrete information at the moment that Iraqi authorities are implementing a discriminatory approach to Turkish companies.

Upon questions received on a different matter: The UN Secretary General is planning to visit Turkey between 7-8 December. His programme is currently is being prepared. His schedule could include a camp visit in Turkey to see the situation of the Syrian nationals in Turkey and receive first hand information.

Again on another topic upon questions received: The trilateral Foreign Ministers meeting between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran to be held in Erzurum tomorrow is postponed. There will be an important meeting to be held at the UN HQ in New York on Palestine. Turkey attaches high importance to the Palestinian issue. In order to display our solidarity and support to the Palestinian people, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu will attend the UN General Assembly session. Other Foreign Ministers are also expected to attend. Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran have spoken with each other over the phone yesterday and it has been decided to postpone that meeting to another date possibly in December. The Trilateral Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran will be held possibly in December. Trilateral Meeting contributes to the development of cooperation in all fields on the basis of mutual benefit by discussing the bilateral and the regional issues around a table, and to the strengthening of regional stability and security. That is why, we attach importance to this process.

@MissProust: On mediation: As a country situated in a highly volatile region and affected by all the conflicts, tensions and developments in its neighboring regions, Turkey is indeed very much interested and involved in mediation and facilitation efforts. Our efforts in the field of mediation are part of a larger policy that we conduct with the aim of creating a belt of stability, security and welfare in our region and laying the foundations for realizing its true potential. Enhanced regional cooperation and economic interdependence minimize the risk of conflict and acts as a preventive measure in itself.

@selimakan: Upon our request, the NATO Council has convened twice within the context of Article IV of the of the North Atlantic Treaty on an extraordinary basis, first on 26th of June, following the shooting down of our reconnaissance aircraft by Syria; second on the 3rd of October 2012, following the loss of life of five of our citizens and the wounding of many others in Akçakale as a result of artillery fire from Syria. It will be recalled that at these meetings, our Allies strongly confirmed their commitment to the defence of our country, based on the principle of indivisibility of security and Alliance solidarity. Since then, the crisis in Syria has not shown any sign of resolution and the regime’s attacks on the civili