|Friday, 21 February 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-06-11
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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> e-mail : email@example.com <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 CABINET FINALIZES HARMONIZATION PACKAGE, SET TO SEND IT TO PARLIAMENTAt its meeting yesterday, the Cabinet finalized the contents of the sixth European Union harmonization package, and then decided to send it to Parliament soon. The government hopes to pass the package by this Sunday, and then prepare its 500-page National Program to be sent to the European Union Commission. After that, the two sides are expected to gather in July to finalize Turkey’s Accession Partnership Document. Within this framework, Turkey could have the opportunity to begin accession talks at the end of 2004. If the government is unable to pass the package through Parliament and the National Program is not ready by July 1, a meeting between the EU Commission and Turkey could be postponed to a later date, a scenario that Ankara wants to avoid. /All Papers/
 PARLIAMENT SPEAKER ARINC: “PEOPLE INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION SHOULD FACE PUNISHMENT”Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said yesterday that he was anxiously awaiting the results of Parliament’s special Anti-Corruption Commission, adding that anyone involved in corruption should face certain punishment. After a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Arinc told reporters that all the commission’s needs had been met to facilitate their work, adding that its members were working in cooperation with some 60 experts in their fields. “Everybody in Turkey wants to see the commission swiftly wrap up its work and the punishment of those involved in corruption, ” he said. In related news, former State Ministers Recep Onal and Gunes Taner yesterday testified before the commission about their terms in office. /Turkiye/
 SEZER VETOES APPOINTMENT OF DEMIROZ AS NEW TRT DIRECTOR-GENERALPrime Minister Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday vetoed a bill appointing Senol Dirioz as the new director-general of state broadcaster the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). Sezer sent the bill back to the Cabinet on the grounds that under the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) law, the RTUK lacked any authority to select the TRT helm. /Cumhuriyet/
 GENERAL STAFF: “GREECE IS DELIBERATELY TRYING TO PROVOKE TENSIONS OVER AEGEAN AIRSPACE”The Turkish General Staff issued a statement yesterday vehemently denying a news report claiming that on Monday Turkish fighter jets had harassed a Greek passenger plane en route from Athens to Istanbul. “This report is utterly without foundation and is furthermore provocative,” said the statement, adding that numerous false Greek allegations of Turkey violating its airspace in recent weeks were a deliberate attempt to raise tensions over Aegean airspace. “Flying a distance of 10 kilometers from a civilian aircraft constitutes neither a violation nor harassment,” the statement said. /Hurriyet/
 US ENVOY URGES TRNC TO RECONSIDER ANNAN PLANUS State Department Cyprus envoy Thomas Weston yesterday called on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to reconsider UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan for the island, alleging that its opposition to the plan had been a stumbling block to a settlement. Speaking in Brussels, on the first stop of a tour that will also take him to Ankara and Lefkosa, Weston told reporters that the TRNC should accept the United Nations plan so the island can join the European Union next year as a unified state. “I see a chance [for agreement] and I think we all have to work for it,” said Weston. “[This] will require a lot of work and contact between the US, the EU, EU member states and others.” He continued, “A solution to the Cyprus problem can only help Turkey’s own relations with and advancement towards the EU.” He also praised the TRNC decision in April to allow cross-border movements, but added, “These measures are not a substitute for a settlement, and don't diminish the need for a settlement.'' /Turkiye/ EU COMMISSION FOR ENLARGEMENT DIRECTOR-GENERAL LANDABURU TO VISIT ANKARA
EU Commission for Enlargement Director-General Eneko Landaburu is set to pay a two-day visit to Ankara tomorrow in order to hold a series of meetings with Turkish officials. Landaburu is scheduled to meet with Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Volkan Bozkir and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, among others. /Cumhuriyet/
 BAYKAL: “THE EU SHOULD SCHEDULE OUR ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS FOR 2005”Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that the government should implement the necessary reforms on its European Union membership bid but not only for the EU, but also for the sake of the nation’s future. Touching on the sixth EU harmonization package due in Parliament this week, the CHP leader said that at the end of 2004 the EU should give Turkey a date to begin accession negotiations in 2005. At its December 2004 summit, the Union is set to review Turkey’s accession progress with an eye towards beginning negotiations. Also speaking on the privatization of state petrochemical concern Petkim, Baykal said that the purchase price offered by Standard Chemical, a division of the controversial Uzan group, was less than even Petkim’s total sales for a single year. “This is no way to privatize,” he added. /Milliyet/
 POWELL SENDS LETTER TO GUL THANKING HIM FOR MODERNIZATION MESSAGE TO MUSLIM WORLDUS Secretary of State Colin Powell this week reportedly sent a letter to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul thanking him for his recent calls for reform at an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in Tehran, Iran. In an address to the OIC’s foreign minister’s meeting late last month, Gul urged his fellow majority-Muslim nations to follow a “new vision,” one embracing transparent democratic governance, freedom, human rights, and gender equality, and to furthermore reject the path of corruption, ignorance and violence. According to diplomatic sources, Powell praised Gul’s message at the meeting, saying such words deserved to resound and echo throughout the Muslim world. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN: “WITH THE TRUST OF THE NATION, WE’VE SUCCEEDED IN PUTTING THE ECONOMY ON THE RIGHT TRACK”Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that through the trust and support of the people and the AKP’s unceasing efforts, the nation’s economy has now been successfully stabilized, adding that difficult days were behind it. The nation has much more hope in the future, declared Erdogan. Furthermore, said the premier, economic indicators were on the upswing and there is no reason to expect the appreciating Turkish lira to cause any problems. Erdogan added that he expected Turkey to play a skillful role in efforts for peace in the Middle East. /Aksam/
 ISTANBUL HOSTS SIXTH ANNUAL “THREE SEAS” ENERGY CONFERENCEThe sixth annual “A Tale of Three Seas” energy conference began yesterday in Istanbul. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day event, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that since 1994 significant progress has been made on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project to transport oil and natural gas from the Caspian Basin to Western markets. Conference organizers Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) bill the event as the premier gathering of senior energy decision makers on the integration of Eurasian energy markets, and key issues influencing the energy futures of the Caspian, Black and Mediterranean Seas, and the Middle East. /Cumhuriyet, http:__www.cera.org/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A NEW JUNCTURE
 BY CUNEYT ULSEVER (HURRIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Ulsever comments on Turkish-US relations in the wake of the Iraq war. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkish-US relations, which became tense with Parliament’s rejection of the deployment of US soldiers here, are now faced with a new juncture. The US will test our desire to help the US in the Iran, Syria and Israel- Palestine triad as part of its plans to reshape the Middle East.
I don’t think that the US is planning a military attack against Iran or Syria any time soon. There’s no realistic prospect of this. The US has yet to get a handle on Iraq’s social situation. In addition, the US has to regain its image of a ‘merciful imperialist state’ in order to gain firm legal ground. Following the Iraq war, the US is being seen instead as a despotic imperialist state.
However, the US is still pushing on the following three issues:
The regimes in Iran and Syria are hostile to the US. These hostile regimes indisputably support anti-American terrorism. 2. However, if Iran’s liberal moderates are supported against the mullahs and if those who favor Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are supported against the Baathists, these regimes could be changed without need for war. 1. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be solved in order for the new US order in the Middle East to be accepted.
As part of its peace road map, the US made Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon admit that there were occupier-settlers on Palestinian land. However, the US has lost its confidence in Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Turkey knows better than anyone that Iran and Syria allow terrorism. It’s also true that Arafat is in bed with Islamic terrorist organizations. Along these lines, there is no difference between the US’ views and Turkey’s interests. However, the US must remember that our country borders both Iran and Syria and that we have important economic ties with Iran in particular.
During such a time, the new period ushered in by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal’s visit to the US this week will be critical for Turkish-US relations.
The US is expecting full cooperation from Turkey in terms of its policies on Iran and Syria. It wants Turkey to express this clearly and explicitly. The US is expecting Turkey to support Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and conversely to shut out Arafat.
Turkey failed the reliability test on March 1 when it rejected the troop deployments. I wonder if it will pass the make-up examination or else fail entirely.”
 TURKEY AND THE AKP’S FATE
 BY ISMET BERKAN (RADIKAL)Columnist Ismet Berkan writes on the importance of EU membership for both the AKP government and the greater welfare of the Turkish nation. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey is now at a crossroads. Our country will either undergo the most radical democratic transformation in its history in joining the European Union, or continue with its old regime. Since everybody’s ultimate goal is to raise the welfare of our nation, Turkey must do its utmost to successfully integrate with Europe. Furthermore, even if Turkey chooses to maintain the status quo, it can no longer pursue its old economic policies. We are all aware how we need the implementation of these criteria in order to catch up with international standards in both the economic and social realms. For instance, Turkey cannot attract more foreign investments without sustaining its political and economic stability. Again, the only way to do so is to fulfill the EU’s Copenhagen criteria. The cornerstone of these criteria is helping developing countries to establish democratic institutions and improve their human rights. In brief, not for the sake of the EU membership, but for our own welfare, these criteria should be fulfilled at all costs. Let’s face it! Turkey’s future depends upon them.
What about our government? The Justice and Development Party (AKP) is now facing a difficult test. Suspicions about the ideological roots of this party will never disappear. Both civilian and military bureaucracies alike are currently putting pressure on the AKP. Our government must stick to the EU criteria to ensure its continued rule. Without first improving democracy, righting the imbalance between civilian and military authorities – which is causing the AKP great grief – will prove impossible. In other words, if the AKP chooses a path other than the one leading towards the EU, its days will likely be numbered. That’s why presenting the sixth reform package to the Parliament without first getting the National Security Council’s (NSC) say- so was the right move. I hope we will again do the same thing on June 15, when the National Program is expected.”
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