|Sunday, 28 February 2021|
Turkish Press Review, 01-11-29
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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
 SECURITY SUMMIT CONVENESIn a summit at the Prime Ministry yesterday, recent international developments were taken up. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, and Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, Foreign Minister Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and other bureaucrats were in attendance. During the one-hour-and-a-half meeting, the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), Afghanistan operations and a possible operation in Iraq were reportedly discussed. /Turkiye/
 ECEVIT URGES EU TO STAND AGAINST ANTI-TURKISH TERRORIST GROUPSDuring European Union Term President Belgium's Prime Minister Guy Verhofstads' two-hour visit to Ankara yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit presented a comprehensive file to his Belgian counterpart containing significant information on seven terrorist organizations which target Turkey. In the post-Sept. 11 period, the EU has decided to develop a new policy and take new measures in the fight against terrorism; however there is a dispute between Turkey and the EU over the issue due to certain shortcomings in international cooperation against terrorism. The EU is currently preparing a list of terrorist organizations, but this list does not include organizations which commit acts of terrorism in EU candidate countries. Turkey is trying to persuade the EU to include such organizations -including the terrorist PKK and DHKP-C- on the list. Under these circumstances, Ecevit conveyed Turkey's concerns to Verhofstads yesterday. Seven terrorist organizations listed in the file presented to Verhofstads have been proven to have contacts with a number of European circles. Ecevit reiterated that international cooperation was vital for the fight against terrorism to succeed. /Cumhuriyet/
 YILMAZ: "2002 WILL BE THE YEAR OF SACRIFICES"In his address at the Motherland Party (ANAP) group meeting yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and ANAP Chairman Mesut Yilmaz commented on recent economic developments. Arguing that Turkey's economy has begun to recover, Yilmaz remarked that a positive atmosphere had dominated the markets last week. Yilmaz stated that 2002 would be a year of sacrifices during which all Turkish people would do their utmost to help the economy recover. /Cumhuriyet/
 OFFICE OF CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF'S AFGHANISTAN PLANThe Office of the Chief of General Staff has reportedly presented a plan to the Turkish government concerning its troops to be sent to Afghanistan. The plan presents two alternatives, one sending 1,050 troops to the region, the other sending 800. The plan proposes establishing two headquarters in Afghanistan, the first under United Nations auspices where executive decisions will be made, and the other as a headquarters to fight Afghan domestic terrorism to be grounded at the airport near Kandahar recently seized by US soldiers. /Cumhuriyet/
 CAKMAKOGLU: "IRAQI QUESTION MAY BE RECONSIDERED"Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu said yesterday that Turkey was opposed to any attack on Iraq, but added that if new factors arise then the "Iraqi question" may be reconsidered. Reportedly Cakmakoglu's statement may signal a revision in Turkey's policy towards Iraq in the lead up to the visit of US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Turkey next week. /Hürriyet/
 GERMANY AND FRANCE OPPOSED TO EXPANSION OF WARThe leaders of Germany and France yesterday declared their opposition to any expansion of anti-terrorist military operations outside Afghanistan. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said that Germany would not allow German troops in the coalition against terrorism to fight in any other country. French Defense Minister Alain Richard, echoed Schroeder saying that there was no need to strike Iraq or another country. The Arab League also warned that a possible strike against any Arab country might alter the political atmosphere in the region. On the other hand, British Prime Minister Tony Blair remarked yesterday that the fight against terrorism could enter a second stage, a remark taken to signal an operation against Iraq. /Turkiye/
 PAPANDREOU'S CALLS DENKTAS-CLERIDES MEETING "HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY"Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou remarked yesterday that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas's call for a meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides was an important development. "The parties will sit the negotiation table without any preconditions," said Papandreou. "I believe this is a historic opportunity that mustn't be missed. Over 25 years, we have been disappointed many times. But this time we must reach a solution." Remarking that Turkish and Greek Cypriots might live peacefully together under a unitary structure to be established by the United Nations, Papandreou said, "Let the parties themselves determine their own destiny. An imposed solution by one party onto another can't possibly endure. We mustn't miss this opportunity. A permanent solution will be beneficial for all parties." /Hurriyet/
 THE FRONTIER POST: "TURKISH TROOPS ARE IN AFGHANISTAN"Afghan newspaper the Frontier Post reported yesterday that Turkish troops had entered Afghanistan from Uzbekistan along with US troops two weeks ago and were currently conducting operations against Al Quaida and Taleban forces. The newspaper quoted native Afghans as a source for this story. The paper added that the Turkish troops might be particularly helpful in this operation due to their experience in fighting PKK terrorists in mountainous southeastern Turkey. /Milliyet/
 FORBES: "SADDAM HUSSEIN COULD BE DESTROYED WITH TURKEY'S HELP"The editor of influential US business magazine Forbes wrote this week that Saddam Hussein could only be destroyed with Turkey's help. Editor and former presidential hopeful, Steve Forbes wrote that a second front must be opened in Iraq apart from the Afghan front. Mr. Forbes called on Western countries to act together to destroy Saddam's regime and with Turkey's help. "I am sure that people living in that region would prefer to live under Turkey's control rather then Saddam Hussein," he wrote. /Milliyet/
 IMF RELEASES FOURTH TRANCHE OF LOANThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday approved the release of the fourth tranche of its current loan to Turkey. At the IMF Executive Board meeting, the extension of about $3 billion was approved. After the completion of necessary procedures, the loan is expected to reach Turkey late this week or early next week at the latest. /Turkiye/
 TURKEY TO TRAIN RABBANI'S BODYGUARDSFormer Afghan President Burhanettin Rabbani has reportedly sent a team of bodyguards to Turkey to be trained by Turkish security forces. Rabbani is expected to take part in the new government to be formed after the defeat of the Taleban regime in Afghanistan. Reportedly Turkish security forces are second only to those of the US and Israel in terms of personal defense. /Sabah/
 TIME PRAISES TURKISH WOMEN'S FREEDOMProminent US newsmagazine Time has posted an article on its website entitled "The Other Women of Islam". The article stresses the fact that Turkey's women are the most liberated among all the Islamic countries. "Turkey is an exception to many rules," the piece says. "Women in Turkey are the most liberated in the Muslim world, though Malaysia and Indonesia come close, having hosted relatively progressive cultures before Islam came to Southeast Asia in the 9th century. In Turkish professional life women enjoy a level of importance that is impressive not only by the standards of other Islamic countries but also by European lights. Turkey's liberalism is a legacy of the republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a secularist who gave women rights unprecedented in the Muslim world. Last week the Turkish parliament went a step further by reforming family law." /Hurriyet/
 THIRD VICTORY OF THE '12 GIANT MEN'The Turkish Basketball Team defeated Ukraine last night in Istanbul by a score of 80-67, in the third match of group qualifications for the 2003 European Basketball Championship. The Turkish team previously defeated the Bulgarian and Swiss teams. /Turkiye/
 YOUTH FESTIVAL STARTS IN ANKARAThe Third European Youth Festival is to start tomorrow in Ankara. Festival coordinator Ertugrul Senoglu said yesterday that 23 countries would take part in the festival. The festival's aim is to create an atmosphere in which people can share cultural and social ties. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHAT A FRIENDSHIP BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek comments on relations between Turkey and the US following the Sept. 11 attacks. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The West has two faces: When they need Turkey, Turkey is 'in,' but then when it suits their purposes, Turkey becomes 'out.' Since the Sept. 11 attacks, they have been buttering Turkey up. Turkey is in the foreground with its soldiers, who are due to be sent to Afghanistan as peace forces in the course of that country's political reconstruction. However, during the international meetings meant to lay out Afghanistan's future development, the doors were slammed in Turkey's face. The US, France, Britain, Germany and Pakistan were present during the international conference organized by the UN Development Program, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in Islamabad, but Turkey was not invited. Actually Turkish contractors could have helped in many areas such as boasting the fertility of Afghanistan's land and improving its education and health. The above-mentioned countries' ambassadors were invited to the meeting attended by 350 people, but Turkish ambassadors and contractors were excluded.
Furthermore, it has often been said in recent weeks that Turkey would have a major role in the new Afghanistan. Really? Turkey wasn't included in meetings convened to draw the outline of a new Afghan state. But when we are asked to be prepared to sacrifice the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and leave the entire island to the Greek Cypriots in exchange for EU membership, Europe comes knocking at Ankara's door. When our manner becomes harsher concerning the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (who represents the current EU term president) comes knocking on Bulent Ecevit's door. I think they must have thought that they would be able to make Turkey fear the attacks of those who are accustomed to street violence like Daniel Cohn-Bendit. The National Security Council's (MGK) attempt to protect TRNC President Rauf Denktas blow to the repeated mentor "give up and you will be free." Why would the Turkish government find sufficient Verhofstadt's guarantee that 'The European army wouldn't intervene in crises around the Aegean or Cyprus issues or disputes between two NATO countries'? Consider this strange logic: an army that will use all of NATO's assets is guaranteeing that it won't threaten a NATO country (Turkey) with weapons. Bravo! The EU thinks that Turkey will be satisfied with such a guarantee, which is only a dream.
The EU doesn't think that Turkey needs a place in the ESDP. The sudden change in the US, which had supported our policy on the ESDP issue before the Sept. 11 attacks, makes our eyes water in the name of friendship and alliances. The US gives is now fully supporting the EU on the European army issue. Some even say that it told Ankara, "If you resist, the European army might be established without Turkey, which is a NATO country." In addition, there have been scenarios floating around since the Gulf War, suggesting that northern Iraq would be given to Turkey. Every day another US commentator writes of removing Saddam Hussein with Turkey in the mix. If Saddam is overthrown with Turkey's support, Ankara's reward has even been determined: a piece of Iraq's oil. One cannot help but feel that the US is preparing to play the same game as in Afghanistan, but this time in Iraq through using us. The US has trounced the Taleban regime by supporting the Northern Alliance with money and materials, and is now searching for Bin Laden, whom it plans to hang - all in territory that was cleansed without losing a single US soldier. Why wouldn't the US think of leaving us to tame the enemy-ridden Iraqi deserts (note: This column was written before the confirmed combat death of a CIA operative in Afghanistan( and then coming to Baghdad with a clear path and enjoying overthrowing Saddam? The US puts its own national interest first and foremost; it would certainly do this."
 IS THE IRAQI POLICY CHANGING? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Turkey's policy concerning Iraq. A summary of his columns is as follows:
"It might be thought that there has been a change in Turkey's policy towards Iraq. Along these lines, yesterday some TV channels presented National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu's words that 'if there are new conditions, we might reconsider our options' as a sign of such a change. Previously there were people who interpreted Turkish Ambassador to Washington Faruk Logoglu's words in the same way. The seasoned diplomat said if the US puts for convincing evidence that Iraq has something to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, then Ankara might 'review its policy.' The fact that some American commentators have spread the interpretation that the US might open a second front in Iraq after Afghanistan has created the impression that Ankara might agree with such an action, in other words, that it might change its policy in this direction.
As I wrote last week, the US has not yet decided whether to act against Iraq, or even how this would be carried out. No strategy has been determined, one can only read position papers from think tanks and the like. Another interesting issue now is that a different rationale is being put forward for possible action against Iraq. The previous argument spoke of punishing Iraq due to its links to the Sept. 11 attacks and terrorism in general. However, US officials have come to accept that there is not enough evidence concerning this issue. So now Washington has changed its reasoning entirely: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and as Saddam has driven out the UN inspectors, there is no way to check or control him. Thus the Bush administration now says to Baghdad "Either you let the inspections resume, or else...' The meaning of 'or else' is unspoken but clear. Even Bush says 'they will see' and closes the subject. Actually this situation could help Turkey show its position more openly. If the US attacks Iraq due to its 'support for terrorism' and wants Turkey to second this cause, Ankara will evaluate the issue. According to Turkish officials, it would be impossible for Turkey, whose stance against terrorism is so open, to say 'No, it isn't our business.' If this is so then Ankara's support is inevitable. Otherwise, if the US acts against Iraq for its rejection of inspections of its weapons of mass destruction,' Ankara might not feel obliged to support it. In that case Ankara would evaluate the new conditions according to the situation. Turkish officials think that the US might want to solve this problem through other means. The US might involve the UN Security Council or it might use other ways to depose Saddam, or it might attack using its own military capabilities, not including Turkey's. Thus, one should not conclude after reading and listening to every statement and article that the US will open a second front against Iraq and that Turkey would participate in this."
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