|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 00-09-07
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From: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs <http://www.mfa.gov.tr>
Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEZER'S CONTACTS IN NEW YORKPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who is currently in New York for the UN Millennium Meeting, had a heavy schedule yesterday. First he met the representatives of the Jewish community and the heads of Turkish associations. Addressing the Turkish community living in the US at Lincoln Center, Mr. Sezer said, "We have to do our utmost to improve our relations with the United States as the US is our strategic partner." The President also met his French counterpart Jacques Chirac. Mr. Chirac said, "Turkey has shown its determination on the path towards the full EU membership by electing a President who is an expert jurist. We are so pleased with the election of Mr. Sezer as President." After holding talks with Mr. Chirac, Mr. Sezer met Georgian President Edouvard Shevardnadze, Mongolian President Natsagiin Bagabandi, Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski and Belarus President Lukasenko. Later he met Russian Head of State Vladimir Putin. /Cumhuriyet/
 SEZER'S MESSAGEPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent a message to Chairman of the High Court of Appeals Sami Selcuk to mark the beginning of the new judicial year. In his message, emphasizing that Turkish Nation and Turkish State were on the threshold of a new turn where modernization and universal values were adopted, Mr. Sezer said: "In Turkey individual-society and individual-state relations should be re-arranged and radical reforms should be rapidly implemented to meet all the needs of democracy and civilization." /Turkiye/
 TURKEY'S REACTION TO EP'S STIPULATION ON MEDA AIDTurkey has reacted to European Parliament's (EP) stipulation on Turkey's usage of the Mediterrenean Fund (MEDA) by stating that Turkey has to solve the "Kurdish" problem. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit refused EP's conditions and said, "We have never accepted such conditions." Foreign Ministry also issued a statement yesterday on the issue. The statement emphasized that EP has taken this decision due to a lack of information and evaluation, and its stance towards Turkey's accession process was not productive. "European Commission and Council of Ministers should take the necessary measures as soon as possible to avoid the possible obstacles against Turkey's usage of EU Funds.", the statement said. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY SIGNS THREE UN PROTOCOLSForeign Minister Ismail Cem will sign three UN protocols concerning women's and children's rights today. The aim of the protocols is to prevent gender discrimination against women and child abuse. Diplomatic sources stated that Turkey's signing of the protocols should be interpreted as a sign of its good intentions. They also reminded that Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) should approve the protocols. /Cumhuriyet/
 GOVERNMENT TAKES DECISIONS REGARDING EUThe government has taken three strategic decisions regarding Turkey's full EU membership: 1. Information will be given to the people about the EU and Turkey's accession process. 2. Programs will be organized to train qualified personnel with the knowledge of EU. 3. Lobbying activities will be carried out to ensure Turkey's full EU membership. Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said two thirds of the population support Turkey's full EU membership and categorically nobody rejects the membership. Mr. Yilmaz said, "EU will have prepared the accession partnership document in November, therefore, we have to prepare our national program until December." Mr. Yilmaz added, "European parliament ratified euro 150 million financial aid for Turkey but the financial assistance was linked to the Kurdish issue. Although this decision is not binding, neverthless since it is political in nature, we should increase our lobbying activities to remove these kind of disturbing obstacles. /Milliyet/
 NEW JUDICIAL YEAR BEGINSThe 2000-2001 judicial year began yesterday. During a ceremony held in the Conference Hall of the High Court of Appeals, Chairman of the High Court of Appeals, Sami Selcuk delivered a speech. During his 115-page speech, Mr. Selcuk talked about the topics such as democracy, constitution, human rights, independence of judiciary, freedom of thought, secularism, the EU, Kemalism, amnesty, corruption, the trial of civil servants, torture, execution system, death penalty, legal education, traffic and enviromental problems. Pointing out the need for a new Constitution instead of the 1982 Constitution, Mr. Selcuk asked for the abolishment of the Article 312 of the Turkish Penal code. Chairman of the Union of Bars, Eralp Ozgen also made a speech and accused the ones who desire the abolishment of Article 312 of serving fundamentalist dictatorship not democracy. He said: "The threat of fundamentalism still exists in Turkey." /Turkiye-Hurriyet/
 VERHEUGEN PRAISES TURKEYEuropean Union Commissioner responsible for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen said that Turkey is committed to carry out the necessary reforms required for integration with the EU. Mr. Verheugen said, beside enforcing the economic stabilization program, Turkey has proved her determination for full EU membership by signing the UN Civil Rights and Social, Cultural and Political Rights Conventions. /Milliyet/
 DENKTAS ON DIRECT TALKSThe fourth round of Cyprus proximity talks will start on 12 September in Newyork. Upon the UN Secretary Kofi Annan's call for starting the talks on the main issues regarding Cyprus, President of The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Rauf Denktas said that they submitted the necessary documents about the main issues to the UN. Mr. Denktas said,"To start direct talks both sides should accept the status and equality of two societies." Mr. Denktas said, "We expect the Un Secretary Generale tell Mr. Klerides that he knows he does not have any right to represent Turkish-Cypriots. Also Mr. Klerides should explain this fact to Greek Cypriots." /Milliyet/
 NATO'S MILITARY COMMITTEE MEETINGNATO's 139th Military Committee Meeting and 2000 Military Committee Tour will be held in Turkey and Greece between Sept. 10-16. According to a statement of Chief by General Staff, the first part of the tour will be held in Greece between Sept. 10-13, the second part in Turkey in Sept. 13-16. /Cumhuriyet/
 WAPC'S CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN TRNCThe Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is hosting an international formal conference for the first time in her history. The World Association of Press Councils (WAPC) and Cyprus Turkish Press Council are organizing a conference, entitled, "Improvement of the freedom in Press", in Magosa (Famagusta) at Salamis Bay Hotel. Despite all attemps by the Greek-Cypriot Admistration to prevent the Congress from being held in the TRNC, 98 representatives from 20 countries are going to attend the conference. During the conference to begin today, six different panels on press councils' role in free press, similar institutions' structure, Internet and media, press ethics, media's effect on public, media and human rights will be held. /Hurriyet/
 JBIC CONTINUES TO SUPPORT TURKEY'S DEVELOPMENT PROJECTSThe Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Japan's international assistance authority, announced that they would continue to support Turkey's development projects since they have confidence in the future of the country. Head of JBIC Delegation Shozo Kitta, who arrived in Turkey to follow the ongoing economic projects in Turkey, said, "Turkey's economic performance so far is quite good." Mr. Kitta said that both the World Bank and the JBIC view Turkey's continuation of structural reforms in economy as a basic prerequisite for the loans. /Cumhuriyet/
 OECD'S ISTANBUL CENTER TO BE OPENEDIstanbul Center of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will be opened in Istanbul tomorrow. OECD's General Secretary Donald Johnston has arrived in Turkey to participate in the opening ceremony. Mr. Johnston will have talks with the Turkish officials in Ankara today. /Cumhuriyet/
 APOLLON TEMPLE UNCOVERED IN DATCADuring the excavations held in Datca's Emecik Village, the Apollon Temple was uncovered. The head of the excavations Prof. Numan Tuna said that an inscription belonging to a temple priest and statues were also unearthed. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 DEMOCRACY MESSAGES BY ESEN UNUR (STAR)Columnist Esen Unur writes on the meeting to take place between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the US President Bill Clinton. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Important messages were exchanged before the meeting to be held today between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the US President Clinton. The message President Clinton issued through his National Security Advisor Sandy Burger mentioned the two points President Ahmet Necdet Sezer talked about in his statement to the Turkish community. These two points focused on democratic reforms and the rule of law.
In the message issued by the American side the confidence of the US that President Sezer will continue to defend democratic reforms and the rule of law was stressed. The statement by Sandy Burger has clarified the agenda of the Clinton-Sezer meeting. There are few questions to be discussed on the agenda and they are bilateral relations, Turco-Greek relations, the Aegean and Cyprus".
This reveals that Clinton will bring these issues which could not be solved for years to the table and will have some suggestions for Sezer. According to diplomatic sources Clinton's suggestions are expected to maintain the atmosphere of good relations which surfaced in the aftermath of the earthquakes, and to carry the problems in the Aegean to an international court or to the attention of an international arbitration. He would also urge Turkey to be more active in the proximity talks to be held between Denktas and Klerides in New York.
President Clinton will not meet privately with Greek Prime Minister Simitis as he will with Sezer. However, it is expected that he will mention the same points to Simitis during the meeting of leaders to be held the same evening.
Sezer's messages in his statement at the meeting held jointly by the American Turkish Associations Assembly and the Turkish American Associatons Federation focused on the points that Turkey had close alliance and friendly relations with the USA and that democracy was the common denominator in these relations. He said that these relations were based on pluralism, human rights, freedoms of the press and expression from the very first day. Sezer added that Turkey stood as a democratic, secular state governed by the rule of law. 'Occasionally some powers are putting obstacles before Turkey. However Turkey is powerful enough to overcome every difficulty on its path with the determination of its people and democratic, secular regime.' Mr. Clinton and Mr.Sezer will come together in the light of these messages.
I would like to write on the US State Department's report concerning international religious freedom. The important points mentioned in the report state that in Turkey restrictions were brought by the State and Government on religious minorities and civil offices concerning religious expression. Although sects and religious orders were banned in 1920, during recent years great tolerance has been observed regarding the issue. Even though the National Security Council has decided to implement the restrictions against Islamic fundamentalists, the relations between political and social leaders are going on. No legal action has been taken against them during which this report was prepared."
 YILMAZ CONCERNED BUT DETERMINED BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the statement made by Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz concerning the EU membership. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Yilmaz began his words candidly. He said that when Turkey became an associate member of the European Economic Community in 1963, two years were spent by celebrations. He said, "In 1965, when we looked over we found out that we had not kept our promises...The same thing happened all over again when in 1999 we were accepted as a candidate to the EU in Helsinki. This time the celebrations lasted six months. We did not take any serious steps as the Government. We even could not establish the General Secretariat which would coordinate the activities in time. We are beginning to work now and we have a deadline and we have to race against time.'
Deputy Prime Minister responsible for EU affairs Mesut Yilmaz has shown his determination and expressed his concern in a self-critical approach during the dinner given by businessman Sarik Tara.
Tara has been organizing monthly meetings with a group comprising academicians, businessmen, diplomats, and writers for a year on the relations with the EU. The aim of these meetings is to discuss what can be done during Turkey's integration process with the EU, to suggest new ideas and thus provide the participation of the civil society in state policies. When the works on establishing an institution on EU affairs have begun to advance, Tara decided to invite Deputy Prime minister responsible for EU affairs Mesut Yilmaz and the EU Secretary General Volkan Vural to these meetings. The candid talks taking place at the closed meeting have turned into productive brainstorming.
We can summarize the atmosphere which dominated the meeting as, a marathon was beginning to reach the deadline set before. We have to race against time to have the Accession Partnership Document to be written in our favour and to complete the 'National Programme' until the end of the year. Turkey can overcome this if the necessary political will and determination is there. A great majority of the population is in favour of integration with the EU, according to Yilmaz. However, they would like this to be on our terms. Yilmaz stated this was not possible. As all countries Turkey had to conform with the standards of the EU. The problem stems from this view.
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