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Turkish Press Review, 02-08-14
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> <map name="FPMap1"> </map> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
14.08.2002WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN NORTHERN IRAQ? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
 ECEVIT, GUREL SEND LETTERS TO EU COUNTERPARTSBoth Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel on Monday reportedly sent multiple copies of a letter laying out Turkey’s recent progress towards European Union membership. Ecevit sent the letters to his EU member states’ counterparts, and Gurel to the EU members’ foreign ministers. Pointing out that Turkey recently passed a package of EU harmonization laws to fulfill the EU’s political criteria, the letters contend that now the EU should give a date to Turkey at December’s Copenhagen summit to start its membership negotiations. The letters also say that the harmonization laws are clear evidence of the Turkish nation’s desire for EU membership. In addition, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi will reportedly send a letter to the EU Parliament on the same issue in the near future. /Milliyet/
 CEM: “DERVIS IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE YT, NOT CONTROLLING IT”Speaking to Milliyet yesterday, New Turkey (YT) leader Ismail Cem said that former State Minister Kemal Dervis was working with the YT but not setting its agenda. “Dervis’s participation will affect our party positively, but we are continuing our way as the YT,” he said. “Our formation doesn’t stand or fall on any one person. We want to make alliances with our farmers and villagers. Neither I, nor the nation cares about alliances between parties.” He also stated that the nation needed politicians who are self- reliant. Cem asserted that the YT was supported by a majority of people in the nation and that he would explain the YT’s goals to people living in suburbs, whom he said had been most affected by the country’s misrule. /Milliyet/
 DERVIS CONTINUES TOUR SEEKING ALLIANCEAfter stepping down from his post of economy minister over the weekend, Kemal Dervis yesterday continued his tour seeking an alliance on the left of the political spectrum. After a meeting with Dervis, Sisli Mayor Mustafa Sarigul, who recently resigned from the Democratic Left Party and joined New Turkey (YT), told reporters that in his view, Dervis had signaled that he would continue his activities together with the YT, and would declare a decision this Thursday. Dervis also met with Turk-Is Chairman Bayram Meral. Answering reporters’ questions, Dervis said that he was not pursuing a leadership position. “The important thing is not being elected as a deputy in Parliament, but rather modern, capable leaders taking Turkey’s helm,” Dervis added. /Turkiye/
 ECONOMY MINISTER TURKER MEETS REPRESENTATIVES OF LABOR UNIONSState Minister for the Economy Masum Turker yesterday met with Hak-Is Chairman Salim Uslu, Confederation of Revolutionary Labor Unions (DISK) Chairman Suleyman Celebi and Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Union (TISK) Chairman Refik Baydur. Following the meetings, Turker said that he would introduce measures to boost the real economy without breaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed economic program. The minister added that he would continue to meet with representatives of labor and civil servants’ groups. “It’s no longer possible for the state to use its resources to make an economic recovery, but it may be possible to create a good environment,” Turker stated. He remarked that staying close to the citizenry while carrying out his duties was very important for him. Underlining that public support was very important to be a successful state minister, he pledged to never work against the public interest. Turker also noted that a production and finance advisory board would meet today. During the meetings, the unions’ representatives asked Turker to launch projects focused on the people. /Turkiye/
 YILMAZ MEETS WITH ISPARTA DEPUTY MUMCUDeputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz yesterday met with ANAP Deputy for Isparta Erkan Mumcu. Yilmaz reportedly asked Mumcu not to leave ANAP, and he told reporters afterwards that he had no problems with Mumcu. In addition, former Labor Minister and ANAP Yalova Deputy Yasar Okuyan yesterday resigned from the ANAP deputy chairman post. This was Okuyan’s second resignation, after stepping down from his labor minister post last week in the wake of Yilmaz objecting to a job security bill. /Hurriyet/
 BAYAR MEETS WITH AP LEADERDemocratic Turkey Party (DTP) leader Mehmet Ali Bayar yesterday met with Eurasia Party (AP) leader Husnu Dogan. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bayar said that his party was seeking alliances for the sake of democracy and trying to forge new solutions before this November’s elections. /Cumhuriyet/
 MHP COLLECTS SIGNATURES FOR APPEAL OF EU PACKAGEThe Nationalist Action Party (MHP) announced yesterday that it had collected 124 deputies’ signature to appeal certain provisions of the recently passed European Union harmonization law package at the Constitutional Court. The measures targeted for annulment in the appeal, ones abolishing the death penalty and allowing broadcasting and education in mother tongue languages, have a history of controversy and fierce MHP opposition. /Star/
 ERDOGAN: “A COALITION WITH THE CHP IS POSSIBLE”Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters yesterday that if the AKP proved unable to attract enough votes to come to power on its own, a coalition government with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) might be possible. When asked whether a coalition between the Islamist AKP and the leftist CHP would create dissention within the AKP’s ranks, Erdogan said that the AKP could enter into a coalition with any party, leftist or rightist. “But we must reach an agreement on an inter-party protocol first,” he added. /Sabah/
 US CONGRESS APPROVES SALE OF AWACS TO TURKEYThe US Congress yesterday approved the sale of six early warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft to Turkey. Under the sale, Turkey will buy four AWACS from US company Boeing in a $1.1 billion deal, with the option to buy an additional two. Since the contract was signed in June, no objections were made within the legally mandated 15-day period, so the US Congress’ approval officially seals the deal. /Hurriyet/
 BALIKESIR FOREST FIRE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROLA fire which broke out on Monday in the countryside near the western Anatolian city of Balikesir was brought under control yesterday. Before the successful intervention of firefighters, the blaze destroyed 1,500 hectares of forest and 43 houses in addition to killing two people. /All Papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 CHAOS... BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the political chaos prevailing in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“We are in an atmosphere of chaos. The acting speaker yesterday said that the Parliament would convene on Oct. 1, when the new legislative year is to begin. However, there is also the decision to hold general elections on Nov. 3. What would happen if Parliament, after convening on Oct. 1, decides to revisit its election date decision? Our colleagues asked former Deputy Parliament Speaker from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) Uluc Gurkan about this issue. He said that Parliament had settled on an election date. However, the deputy candidates lists will be finalized on Sept. 11, and deputies who don’t see their names on the lists might try to go back on the early elections decision to protect themselves. This important possibility must be considered. More than likely Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller, who are all in favor of holding elections on Nov. 3, will find a solution to this problem. The first chaos centers on this issue. However, there are many more: For example, without changing the Political Parties and Elections Laws, the elections clock has already begun to tick. In addition, on the one hand, there is the ‘alliance of leftist parties’ and on the other hand, New Turkey (YT) leader Ismail Cem’s announcement that he had agreed to an alliance with Democratic Left Party (DTP) leader Mehmet Ali Bayar. There is also the rumor that the Eurasia Party (AP), whose leader Husnu Dogan is known to be a conservative rightist, will join them. No one knows why but the value of Dogan’s party, whose numerical membership is even unclear, has increased. Why does no one ask what program Cem, Bayar and Dogan will present to the voters as partners? The Motherland Party’s (ANAP) problem child, Erkan Mumcu, also found a couple of like-minded friends and he is also searching for an alliance. When speaking of chaos, one cannot neglect to mention the situation of those who left their own parties and joined other ones in order to protect their positions in elections. They have closed the old door behind them. In their new parties, the showy words used by their new leaders have been forgotten. Do they think they are clever and those in the parties’ provincial organizations are fools? As a matter of fact, they neither receive the acclaim they think they deserve at the parties’ headquarters, nor are they well received by the provincial organizations. (There is some good in this, since there must be a price for pulling the wool over people’s eyes.) We shouldn’t worry. Democracy doesn’t settle without first being shaken.”
 WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN NORTHERN IRAQ? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on recent rumors and stories appearing in the Turkish and foreign press about the latest developments in northern Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“There are many confirmed and unconfirmed stories and rumors afoot about recent developments in northern Iraq. The communication techniques of our age provide the world’s media with the opportunity to manipulate public opinion on a particular subject in line with their own interests, a strategy which is technically known as ‘disinformation.’ Who knows how much correct information is able to slip through the cracks of the foreign media corporations?
Needless to say, Turkish journalists have to be very careful about this issue. However, they don’t really have the opportunity to collect firsthand information. Although many foreign journalists visit northern Iraq to investigate the region and speak to its people and leaders for themselves, Turkish journalists cannot travel there since Turkish politicians have barred them from doing so.
We can, of course, easily understand why Ankara is extremely sensitive on the issue. Turkey is trying to monitor and head off movements in the region which might threaten its territorial integrity.
However, the international news flow often has negative repercussions on our domestic press due to the circulation of some distorted or false stories. In order to put a stop to this disinformation, the Turkish government itself should tell the press about the actual developments in the region.
Two interesting stories recently appeared in the Turkish press about northern Iraq: First, according to the dailies, Bamerni Airport near Dhohuk, across the border from Sirnak, is now completely under the control of Turkish troops. This development has been evaluated as a sign of imminent US intervention against Saddam Hussein since Turkey has brought the flurry of activity in the region under stricter control. However, as yet we don’t have enough information about the actual story. Soon after Ankara’s official denial that Turkey had deployed troops at the airport, we received information about struggles in the region.
The second story concerns Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP). According to information leaked, Barzani’s red passport was canceled and his nephew Nechirvan Barzani obtained official permission to pass through Turkish territory to travel to Washington, where Iraqi opposition leaders recently met to discuss ways of overthrowing Saddam Hussein. This story has also been denied by Turkish officials. However, rumors say that a rapprochement was recently reached between Ankara and Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK). Turkish officials stated that Turkey still maintains its cautious relations with both leaders. However, it’s clear that Ankara is dissatisfied with Barzani’s recent statements advocating the establishment of a federal state in the region.
There is no doubt that these issues are extremely sensitive for Turkey. However, the best way to discuss them is to let Turkish journalists collect firsthand information at the very source of the developments.”
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