|Sunday, 28 February 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 01-11-27
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 MGK MEETING TODAYThe National Security Council (MGK) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will convene today. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Presidential Palace. The Cyprus issue and recent developments in the US operations in Afghanistan are the main topics to be discussed. Meanwhile, the Higher Military Council (YAS) is set to meet on Nov. 30 at the General Staff Headquarters. /Turkiye/
 POWELL TO VISIT TURKEYUnited States Secretary of State Colin Powell will pay an official visit to Turkey on Dec. 4-5. Powell will arrive in Ankara after attending an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Romania. Powell has several important topics to discuss with the Turkish authorities including developments in Afghanistan, the Cyprus issue, the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and Russia's possible NATO membership. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY PREPARING TO SEND A BRIGADE TO AFGHANISTANTurkey is reportedly preparing to send a brigade to Afghanistan in response to a US request. The brigade would have the mission of defending Kabul Airport as well as various other duties. The soldiers would arrive in Afghanistan after the end of Ramadan. The number of the troops to be sent is not yet clear, but it could be around several thousand reportedly. /Milliyet/
 BENDIT: "FIRST A SOLUTION FOR CYPRUS, THEN EU MEMBERSHIP"EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-Chairman Daniel Cohn-Bendit answered reporters' questions at a luncheon given by the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) yesterday. Bendit claimed that Turkey could not join the EU without a solution being reached on Cyprus. "Cyprus will become a member, but Turkey is still a candidate. A state which wishes to become a EU member would find a solution. The only solution is to establish one main structure which will represent both parties," said Bendit. Prior to the luncheon Bendit also stressed the same issue at the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission meeting. He said, "We want the entire island of Cyprus to join the EU by 2004. Cyprus should integrate with the EU. That's what the EU wants." Bendit presented a report on Turkey covering significant domestic issues such as the freedom of thought and expression, capital punishment and Cyprus. /Cumhuriyet/
 CEM CRITICIZES BENDITAfter the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission meeting yesterday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem criticized Commission Co-Chairman Daniel-Cohn Bendit's recent statements arguing that Turkey would not be admitted to the EU unless a solution is reached on Cyprus. Cem said that if Greek Cyprus joins the European Union, Turkey would then integrate with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). "This is not a threat," he added. Cem remarked that Greek Cyprus' EU membership would just cause more problems in long term for everybody. /Milliyet/
 OZILHAN: "CYPRUS AND EU MEMBERSHIP MUST BE DE-LINKED"Talking to reporters yesterday after a meeting with members of the European Parliament in Istanbul for the Joint Parliamentary Commission, Tuncay Ozilhan, the head of the influential Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), said that Cyprus was a critical topic and that the Cyprus issue and Turkey's membership to EU must be de-linked. "We're afraid of having problems with the EU if the Greek Cypriot's membership is accepted," he stated. /Milliyet/
 PEARSON: "WITHOUT A SOLUTION FOR CYPRUS, A CRISIS COULD OCCUR"Speaking to news channel CNN Turk yesterday United States Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson said that if the problems between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriots were not solved in the short term, a crisis could occur on the island. Pearson stressed the importance of the Dec. 4 meeting of the divided island's two leaders. "I know that there is no way we could of return to the pre-1974 period," he added.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY: "TURKEY'S DECLARATIONS DON'T WORRY US"Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman Panos Beglitis said yesterday that Turkey's recent declarations regarding deadlock on the Cyprus issue did not worry Athens. At a press conference, Beglitis evaluated Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's recent statements emphasizing that there was no relation between the Cyprus issue and the European Union. He said, "The EU decisions and EU authorities' declarations concerning Cyprus' EU membership are very clear. The Turkish authorities' statements and threats haven't caused us worry or sleepless nights." /Turkiye/
 PROGRESS CONCERNING ESDPProgress has reportedly been made between Turkey and the European Union towards reaching an agreement on the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). A fourth round of meetings on the issue was held yesterday in Ankara. Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, US State Department Assistant Undersecretary for European Affairs Robert Bradtke and British Foreign Ministry Political Director Peter Ricketts led their delegations during the meeting. According to diplomatic sources, Ankara has been given a guarantee that proposed EU rapid reaction force will not be deployed in conflicts between NATO members. However, the parties were unable to reach agreement as to whether or not Turkey will join autonomous EU operations in which NATO facilities are not deployed. The issues on which Turkish, British and US diplomats have reached agreement will be presented for the approval of politicians. /Cumhuriyet/
 DERVIS: "WITHOUT FLOATING FOREIGN CURRENCY REGIME, WE WOULDN'T HAVE RECEIVED $10 BILLION"In his address at a conference entitled "The Turkish Economy: Present and Future" organized by the Swiss-Turkish Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Geneva, State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis spoke at length about Turkey's recent economic reforms. Stating that Turkey had been adversely affected by the post-Sept. 11 economic developments, Dervis said, "If Turkey hadn't pursued floating foreign currency policy, it would have lost $10 billion in the wake of those terrible attacks." He remarked that the Turkish Parliament had worked with great resolve in enacting economic reforms and added that the financial aid given to Turkey by international financial institutions was the result of its successful monetary policies. Declaring that the IMF's intention to deliver $10 billion to Turkey had created a positive atmosphere in the Turkish markets, Dervis remarked that Turkish economic policies were successful in confronting the problems of the post-Sept. 11 period. /Hurriyet/
 BRITISH LORD: "LET TURKEY AND CYPRUS JOIN THE EU TOGETHER"Lord Kilclooney of Armagh, a member of the British House of Lords, stated yesterday that EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunther Verhuegen was pursuing wrongheaded policies concerning Turkish-EU relations and added, "Turkey and Cyprus should enter the EU together." Criticizing Verheugen's insistence on Cyprus's admittance to the EU without a permanent solution on the island, Lord Kilclooney argued, "If the Greek Cypriots enter the EU, Turkey would not be able to join the EU because the Greek Cypriots would veto Turkey's membership." /Hurriyet/
 SULTAN: "TURKEY MIGHT ASSUME AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST"Israel's Ambassador to Ankara David Sultan stated yesterday that if the world wants to win the international fight against terrorism, every kind of act of terrorism must be targeted. Stressing that Turkey and Israel are the only two democratic countries in the Middle East and that they share common interests, Sultan said that that's why Turkish-Israeli bilateral relations must be improved. "Turkey has begun to assume a more active role in the Middle East," said Sultan. /Cumhuriyet/
 DENKTAS VISITS ITALYTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas left for Rome yesterday for a four-day visit. Denktas had scheduled a conference at Luiss University, entitled " The TRNC's Economy Trade" but it was blocked by Greek Cypriot lobbyists. Meanwhile, concerning his proposed meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides, Denktas said, "If the Greek Cypriots accept the realities of the situation and act in accordance with the law, we can reach a settlement on Cyprus through negotiations." /Turkiye/
 TURKIC WORLD TO CONVENEThe Ninth Turkic States' and Communities' Friendship, Brotherhood and Cooperation Convention will be held on Dec. 21-23 in Istanbul. A higher level of participation from the Turkic world is expected at the convention which will be carried out under the auspices of former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel. /Turkiye/
 FOURTH TRANCHE OF IMF LOAN TO BE RELEASEDAfter the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board's meeting tomorrow, the fourth tranche of a loan is expected to be extended. The tranche totals $3.1 billion. The IMF's 10th review will also be officially completed at the meeting. The loan should be in Turkey at the beginning of next week at the latest. /Sabah/
 BRITISH AUTOMOBILE SECTOR TO ASK TURKEY FOR COOPERATIONBritish car producers are preparing to make a visit to Turkey. According to a statement posted at the web site of the British Automobile Association a number of British automobile producers plan to visit Turkey in mid-December to ask for Turkey's cooperation in their sector. /Milliyet/
 INTERFAITH DIALOGUEThe National Education Ministry has launched an initiative to improve interfaith dialogue, it announced yesterday. Priests and rabbis will be allowed to give conferences at the Turkish primary schools. An official from the ministry said, "The world is drifting dangerously towards a war between religions. Turkey might be a leader to prevent such a tragedy by encouraging interfaith dialogue. Our children must learn about other religions and cultures. If the project is approved, priests and rabbis will give conferences on common issues between the religions at the schools." /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH DIRECTOR IN HOLLYWOODAclan Buyukturkoglu, the only Turkish student at the prominent American Film Institute (AFI), is set to begin shooting a movie in Hollywood on the death penalty. Buyukturkoglu will begin working on the movie, entitled "Condemned", next month. The AFI is supporting the project with $11,000. /Cumhuriyet/
 OTTOMAN PHOTO EXHIBIT SHOWN IN HUNGARYTurkish photo historian Ergin Ozendes has opened an exhibition in Budapest, Hungary featuring the work of over 156 Ottoman photographers'. The exhibit, sponsored by the Hungarian Culture Ministry, will last through next March. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH FILMS SHOWN AT MADRID EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA FESTIVALA Turkish Cinema Week was held as part of the 11th Madrid Experimental Cinema Festival this year. Spanish audiences and movie critics praised the Turkish films and commercials screened during the festival. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 DEPARTURE OF TURKISH SOLDIERS BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on sending Turkish soldiers to Afghanistan. A summary of his column is as follows:
"It was decided some weeks ago to send Turkish soldiers to Afghanistan, but they haven't been sent yet. Will the Turkish soldiers go to Afghanistan? If so, when will they go and how many will there be? I wrote previously that answers to these questions would emerge following US Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit to Ankara. Powell will be in Ankara on Dec. 4-5. Ankara will give him its final decision on sending Turkish soldiers in light of what request and information he conveys from the US administration. One could say that the delay in sending Turkish soldiers comes from both US wishes and recent developments in Afghanistan. The US asked for our soldiers not through NATO but through bilateral channels, and it seems to have imposed a breather before the departure of those soldiers. Furthermore, same forces in Afghanistan, particularly those of deposed leader Rabbani, have publicly came against sending Turkish soldiers and this should be considered as a factor. Pakistani head of state Pervez Muserref's suggestion that Turkish soldiers not participate armed conflict is another factor.
Under these circumstances, the departure of the Turkish soldiers will become clear during Powell's stay in Ankara. Military and political circles in Ankara favor the idea that the Turkish soldiers will be in charge, except during conflicts, and that they will serve as 'protectors'; for example, they will protect airports and provide security for humanitarian aid. If Powell makes a firm request that Turkish soldiers be sent, then our troops might go to Afghanistan on the heels of his visit. Ankara doesn't want to look like the countries which rushed into Anatolia hoping to carve up the remains of the disintigrating Ottoman Empire. The Turkish soldiers' place and definition of service has not yet been determined, and this comes from Ankara's dignified manner."
 THINKING ALOUD ABOUT CYPRUS BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
"After being criticized for 'leaving the negotiation table,' Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas understood that the issue has been clauded and so he challenged the world and said that he was ready to meet Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides. Now everybody who is interested in the Cyprus issue is waiting for the face-to-face meeting between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders on Dec. 4. In fact, this meeting's intent is to determine whether solutions can be found for the island this way, rather than actually finding such solutions. Therefore neither pessimism nor optimism is precisely warranted. However, there is a great pressure on Turkey both from the European Union countries and the EU's commissioner responsible for enlargement, Gunter Verheugen, on behalf of them and from the Western world, insisting that Denktas should be convinced that the Turkish Cypriots can live with the Greek Cypriots and that a solution to the Cyprus issue can be found.
But those who give such high-sounding advice forget that although there is no difference between the actions of Slobodan Milosevic - who is being tried at the International Court of Justice for committing atrocities against innocents in Bosnia-Herzegovina - and the actions of the Greek Cypriots against Turkish Cypriots between 1963 and 1974, no one is prosecuting the latter murders. What's more, they want us and the Turkish Cypriots, who lived through the massacres, to forget as well. In addition, they accept that following the crimes against humanity committed by Milosevic and his accomplices, the former Yugoslavian Federation will end up divided, but when it comes to Cyprus, they reject the same solution.
West's double standards, which I have often discussed in this space, appear here concerning the Cyprus issue. While we are unable to either convince the Western world, or reach a solution under the current arrangement, would it not be possible to deal the cards again and to look for a solution through a new arrangement? For example, the main problems for Turkey and for the Turkish Cypriots are the security of Turkey and the Turkish people there and the Turkish Cypriots' living under their own sovereignty with their own identity.
Why is Britain, one of the three countries which gave Cyprus the guarantee of maintaining its status in the London and Zurich agreements, contented with merely giving advice to the parties, particularly saying that the Turks should abandon their current views? Why didn't Britain make some sacrifices? For example, why doesn't it leave the Dikhelia Base near Magosa to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which will guarantee the protection of the Turkish Cypriots and protect the sovereignty of the North? If this main problem, that is, the issue of security and sovereignty, is solved this way, why can't the others be solved?"
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