|Thursday, 22 February 2024
Turkish Press Review, 00-10-12
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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
 CLINTON MEETS HASTERT CONCERNING THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILL
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 PRESIDENT SEZER TO VISIT CENTRAL ASIAPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer will official visit to several Turkish Speaking Republics in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The President will discuss bilateral relations and regional issues with his counterparts during his Oct. 16-20 visits. State Minister Abdulhaluk Mehmet Cay will accompany Mr. Sezer on his visits. /Turkiye/
 ECEVIT ON CNNPrime Minister Bulent Ecevit will attend a live TV programme on CNN International's, "Question and Answer", anchored by Riz Khan. Mr. Ecevit will reply to the questions from all over the world. /Hurriyet/
 PARLIAMENT TO ELECT THE NEW SPEAKERThe Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) will hold its first two votes today to elect the 21st speaker. The TGNA will convene at three o'clock today, presided over by Speaker Protempore Vecdi Gonul. Eight candidates from different parties will compete to become the next Parliament Speaker for a term of three years. The voting will be held by secret ballot. In order to be elected within the first two voting rounds, the candidate needs to obtain 367 votes, two thirds of all members. If no candidate attains this number, the third round of balloting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 17. in which 276 votes will suffice to be elected. If no result is obtained, the fourth voting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 18 and this time, the candidate who gets the majority of the votes will be the new Speaker of the TGNA. /Turkiye/
 CZECH PRESIDENT IN TURKEYCzech President Vaclav Havel, paying an official visit to Turkey, continued with his series of meetings and visits. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer presented a state medal to Mr. Havel during a dinner in his honour on Tuesday night. Speaking to members of the Turkish press at a breakfast yesterday, the Czech President said, "We do not have a say within the EU yet, since we are not yet a full member. However, in my view, the enlargement process is crucial in terms of the EU's historical evolution, and Turkey is one of the most important countries that comes to mind when one considers that process." Mr. Havel was also visited by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and was granted an honorary doctorate from Ankara's Bilkent University. After concluding his meetings in Ankara, President Havel proceeded to Izmir and visited the historical site of Ephesus. /All papers/
 CLINTON MEETS HASTERT CONCERNING THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILLAmerican President Bill Clinton met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, and asked him not to accept the so-called Armenian genocide bill. Mr. Clinton's spokesman for the National Security Council, P. J. Crowley said, "The President discussed this bill with Mr. Hastert face to face and urged him not to pass the bill. He also told Mr. Hastert the possible serious consequences that might emerge if this bill was passed." Meanwhile, two members of the American House of Representatives, Sonny Callahan and Norm Dicks, sent a letter to the other members of the House of Representatives and asked them to reject the bill. /Star/
 FRANCE'S ANSWER TO THE SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE BILLThe French magazine "Le Petit Journal" published an article which included pictures drawn by painters titled "How the Armenian Gangs Strangled Turks" in its November 24 1985 issue. The articles and paintings published by this magazine 105 years ago depicts once more how the "democratic" politicians of the "modern world" are trying to distort history in order to obtain votes. /Hurriyet/
 TURKEY DENIES OTTOMAN ARCHIVES ARE CLOSEDThe Prime Ministry denied allegations that the Ottoman archives were closed, noting that some 50 million archival items were classified and currently avaible to Turkish and foreign researchers. A written statement from the Prime Ministry said on Wednesday that the archives have been opened to the public since 1932 and a guide to facilitate searcing through the archives has been published. The statement also said efforts have begun to computerize the archive records. "Records belonging to 1890-1895 and 1914-1922, when the alleged genocide took place, are also avaible. Therefore, it does not reflect the truth to say that the Ottoman archives are not open," the statement said. It also emphasized that approximately 3,000 foreign and 11,755 Turkish researchers have made use of the archives since 1925. /Turkish Daily News/
 RAPPROCHEMENT BETWEEN IRAQ AND TURKEYTurkey is sending a warning to the US, as it prepares to pass the so-called Armenian genocide bill in the House of Representatives, by increasing its cooperation with Iraq step by step. Ankara put the Kerkuk-Yumurtalik petroleum project on its agenda after opening a second border gate between Iraq and Turkey which would by-pass the Kurdish groups. Meanwhile, a second Turkish plane carrying medical and humanitarian aid landed in Baghdad yesterday. Chairman of the Turkish Association of Chambers and Stock Exchanges Fuat Miras said there is an effort to establish a Turco-Iraqi Business Council. /Cumhuriyet/
 BAGHDAT RAILWAY TO BE OPENEDMinistry of Foreign Affairs stated that Baghdad railway, which was closed by Syria 20 years ago due to a disagreement with Iraq, was reopened to freight and passenger transport. Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi officials will meet next week to determine the tariff and shares for the freight and passenger transportation envisaged to be opened next week. /Cumhuriyet/
 INTERIOR MINISTER TANTAN IN PORTUGALInterior Minister Sadettin Tantan, currently in Portugal, will attend a two-day conference starting today on combatting drug abuse and drug trafficking. The conference is being hosted by the European Council and is taking place in the Portuguese city of Sintra. /Turkish Daily News/
 JUSTICE MINISTER TURK IN STRASBOURGJustice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk traveled to Strasbourg to attend the European Conference on Combatting Racism being organized by the European Council. The conference will last two days and Mr. Turk is expected to address it on Friday. He will also have a series of meetings with both European Council authorities and justice ministers of participating countries. /Turkish Daily News/
 BARAK'S LETTER TO ECEVITIsraeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak sent a letter to the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit warning Palestinian leader Yaser Arafat and urging him to bring an end to the violence. Barak also wants Turkey to use its influence over Syria and Lebanon to ensure release of the three kidnapped Israeli soldiers. In his letter to Ecevit, Barak claimed that Arafat was responsible for all the negative incidents that occurred during the peace process. Barak pointed out that it was important for Turkey to suggest that parties meet in order to convince Arafat to end the violence. /Cumhuriyet/
 FIGURES FOR THE 2001 BUDGET DISCUSSEDThe budget for the next fiscal year was taken up at a meeting of the High Planning Board chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday. During the two and a half hour-meeting, the extent of the budget envisaged as 48.4 quadrillion TL, with budget revenues of 43.1 quadrillion TL. The growth rate for 2001 was foreseen as %4.5. The Council of Ministers will discuss the budget during its meeting on Monday. The budget has to be sent to the TGNA on Tuesday, Oct. 17. /Hurriyet/
 CENTRAL BANK'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVE INCREASESAccording to the data obtained from the Central Bank, the foreign exchange reserve at the Central Bank increased by 308 million dollars between 6 and 8 October and reached 24 billion 530 million US dollars. The foreign exchange reserve of the Central Bank amounted to 23 billion 117 million US dollars at the end of last year. /Cumhuriyet/
 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECLINESAccording to figures announced by the State Institute of Statistics (DIE), the unemployment rate in the second three months of this year declined to 6.2 percent. In the first three months, the rate was 8.3 percent. In the second period, total employment is estimated to be 21.312.000 and the number of unemployed people is 1.415.000. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
 IRAQI POLICY CHANGING BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the change in Turkey's policy towards Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
"There are signs of a serious change in Turkey's policy towards Iraq. First, it has sent two planes full of humanitarian aid. Second, the Turkish Government plans to open a second bordergate to Iraq in addition to the one at Habur. In a third move, Ankara is getting ready to send an ambassador to Iraq to normalize diplomatic relations. Finally, Turkish authorities have begun surveys to re-open Kerkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline at full capacity. All these developments and the mutual visits by the Turkish and Iraqi officials recently taking place reveal a normalization of relations.
Do these developments have any relation to the debate over the pro-Armenian House resolution in the US House of Representatives? Yes and no. Some of the decisions Ankara has made or is set to make are not directly related to the stance of the US Congress. For example, Turkish Government has been taking initiatives to normalize diplomatic and economic relations with Baghdad for some time. The decision to appoint an ambassador was reached three months ago. However, Ankara taking into consideration the discontent of the US, delayed implementing its decision. When discordant voices were heard over the pro-Armenian resolution, Turkey decided to broaden its foreign policy scope more freely.
At first glance, sending planes loaded with humanitarian aid to Iraq is not related to the Armenian question. During recent weeks many countries including France, Russia and Jordan have sent planes carrying humanitarian aid to Iraq after informing the United Nations. Turkey is doing the same today. Even if the pro-Armenian resolution had not been taken by the House of Representatives Turkey would probably have sent planes along with the countries violating the embargo 'within the regulations'.
The absence of any US reaction to these violations is important. For some time, the purpose of the Iraqi embargo has been openly debated. As David Schenker of the Washington Institute has said, the US silence regarding these flights is a sign that the US is changing its policy regarding the sanctions. As Turkey is taking steps towards a rapprochement with Iraq, Ankara is taking these points into consideration. Ankara decided that the time has come to initiate its own relations with Iraq and in retaliation for the stance the US has taken against Turkey with the pro-Armenian resolution.
However, officials in Ankara are evaluating the coincidence of a change in Iraqi policy and the Armenian question the US rather differently. Some believe that there is no relation between these two developments as Ankara would have taken these steps anyhow... Others believe that there is a relation between the two and if the resolution is approved in the House of Representatives other steps, such as stopping the operations carried out from Incirlik Base, will follow.
Even if there is such a relation, it is not correct to stress the point in official statements. Giving the impression that Turkish policy towards Iraqi relations, or towards any other country is indexed to pro-Armenian activities, is wrong. This would lead to negative reactions both in the US Administration and Iraq. Does Turkey want to improve its relations with Iraq just to defy the US? If a negative decision comes out from the House of Representatives Ankara will take steps. But if not will these projects be shelved?
Interests should come before reactions in foreign relations."
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