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Turkish Press Review, 02-03-01

Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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> Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Turkish Press Review &gt;&gt; Foreign Press Guide Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

01.03.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RECOGNIZES SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS
  • [02] FOREIGN MINISTRY, YILMAZ CRITICIZE EP DECISIONS
  • [03] POLITICAL PARTIES IN TURKISH GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (TGNA) RELEASE JOINT STATEMENT CONDEMNING EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S SO-CALLED "GENOCIDE"RECOGNITION
  • [04] EP VOICES SUPPORT FOR HADEP
  • [05] FUTURE PRESIDENTS TO BE ELECTED FROM WITHIN PARLIAMENT
  • [06] TURKEY TO COMMAND AFGHAN PEACEKEEPING FORCE
  • [07] ECEVIT: "INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WANTS US TO LEAD AFGHAN FORCE"
  • [08] AZNAR LAYS OUT CONDITIONS FOR TURKEY'S EU NEGOTIATIONS
  • [09] LAW PREPARED TO COUNTER PKK POLITICIZATION DRIVE
  • [10] MINISTERS SUPPORT MILK CAMPAIGN
  • [11] CIVILIAN DEFENSE ORGANIZATION'S ESTABLISHMENT COMMEMORATED
  • [12] SECOND ROUND OF CYPRUS TALKS TO BEGIN TODAY
  • [13] MARMARA CITIES FEEL EARTHQUAKE
  • [14] IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY IN MARCH
  • [15] TURKS MAKE FORBES BILLIONAIRES LIST
  • [16] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [17] THE REAL BARGAINING IS STARTING BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [18] EU'S ACTION DOES NOT BEFIT A FRIEND BY RAHIM ER (TURKIYE)

  • [01] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RECOGNIZES SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS

    During its General Assembly meeting yesterday in Brussels, the European Parliament (EP) passed by a wide majority the Caucasus Report a document which includes allegations concerning a so-called Armenian genocide. In its decision, the EP asked Turkey to take steps in line with its desire to become an EU member. Recalling a previous 1987 EP decision which recognized the so-called Armenian genocide and called upon Turkey to recognize it as well, the new decision says that Turkey should take a compromising stance. The Caucasus Report claims that Turkey is a threat to Armenia since it supports Azerbaijan and also that Turkey's EU membership process could be used as an opportunity to apply pressure on this country. /All Papers/

    [02] FOREIGN MINISTRY, YILMAZ CRITICIZE EP DECISIONS

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement yesterday criticizing the EP's approval of allegations of a so-called Armenian genocide. Stating that parliaments should refrain from making unilateral and political evaluations of historical events, the statement declared that history should be left to the historians. It also said that the decision could only hamper efforts to improve Turkish-EU relations. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that the EP's decision was both unreasonable and invalid. While in Brussels to attend the EU Convention meetings, Yilmaz evaluated the two decisions taken by the EU yesterday regarding the so-called Armenian allegations and the other a call for Turkey not to investigate or ban HADEP. "The EP is a forum where Turkey has lacked both representation and a proper chance to express its views," he said. Turkey has always said that parliaments are political bodies, which have no place passing judgment on history. However, the Armenian lobbies are always eager exploit such bodies." Yilmaz also recalled that two years ago the EP also included such allegations in Turkey's report, but that proposals in line with those allegations were purposely excluded from the 2001 report. "Such contradictory stances and decisions cast a shadow over the EP's credibility and consistency," he remarked. Regarding the HADEP investigation case, Yilmaz said that it was an internal judicial matter, which should not be interfered with. /All Papers/

    [03] POLITICAL PARTIES IN TURKISH GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (TGNA) RELEASE JOINT STATEMENT CONDEMNING EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S SO-CALLED "GENOCIDE"RECOGNITION

    All the political parties represented in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), or Parliament, released a joint statement on Thursday condemning a decision taken by the European Parliament concerning the so- called Armenian genocide. Parliament Deputy Speaker Yuksel Yalova read out the joint statement in which political parties expressed their regret over the European Parliament's resolution which included allegations supporting baseless Armenian claims. The joint statement signed by all the political parties in TGNA reads as follows: ''The European Parliament composed of parliamentarians elected from 15 European countries is known as an esteemed institution. Its adopting baseless Armenian claims by ignoring well-known historical facts and accepting a resolution harming Turkish history, state and nation will stain only those taking this decision. This decision does not have any basis, and unfortunately, it is not the first demonstration of an unfair attitude of the European Parliament towards Turkey. However, the European Parliament's taking such a decision at the same date as it opens the European Convention which was convened to discuss the future of the European Union with the participation of Turkish parliamentarians, constitutes a clear and unacceptable intention. If this shameful action against Turkey, which has been exerting great efforts and making sacrifices with its all institutions, especially in its Parliament and its public opinion to become a full member of the EU, is meant to make Turkey abandon its target of full EU membership, we consider it our duty to declare that you have made a serious mistake and that you will fail. History cannot be distorted with arbitrary decisions. The attitude displayed at the European Parliament against Turkey which for over 40 years since the days of the Cold War has been exerting great efforts within the scope of joint defense frameworks in order to protect the freedom and territorial integrity of those taking this unfair decision against us, is extremely distressing. This decision will not help them. We hope that archives will be opened to the historians one day, and historians will reveal facts that will bring shame to those taking this decision. The TGNA's response to the arbitrary decision of the European Parliament will be historical facts. The facts are in our favor." The statement received a standing ovation from the MPs. Meanwhile, Yalova denied allegation of the European Parliament rapporteur saying that Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk recognized the so-called ''Armenian genocide'' in a speech to TGNA on April 10, 1921. Yalova said, ''the TGNA convened on April 9 and 11 of that year, but no session was held on April 10. The record proves this.'' Yalova further pointed out that no such speech had been given on April 9 or 11 either.

    [04] EP VOICES SUPPORT FOR HADEP

    The European Parliament (EP) passed by a wide margin yesterday a bill on "Human Rights in Turkey." In the bill, the EP voiced its opposition to investigations into the Peoples' Democracy Party (HADEP), saying, "HADEP has struggled for Kurdish civil rights in Turkey and it refuses to be linked with the PKK and other terrorist organizations." The bill calls upon Turkey to stop investigations into HADEP. The report underlined that Turkey could advance in its EU membership process only if it respects basic human rights and fully implements the Copenhagen criteria. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] FUTURE PRESIDENTS TO BE ELECTED FROM WITHIN PARLIAMENT

    The Interparty Reconciliation Commission agreed yesterday to procedural changes stipulating that future Turkish Republic presidents be elected from within the ranks of Parliament members and cannot serve more than one term. The Commission had a three-hour meeting headed by Deputy Parliament Speaker Yuksel Yalova. Under the Commission's decision, future presidents could not be elected from outside Parliament. The Interparty Reconciliation Commission also agreed that the president could only be elected once, and that his term should probably be reduced from 7 years to 5. On the latter issue, however, no final decision was taken, and it will be discussed next week. The commission also decided that the president will no longer have the right to appoint the members of the Constitutional Court, one-third of the members of the Council of State, the chief prosecutor of the Court of Cassation and his deputy, the members of the military supreme court, or the members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. /Star/

    [06] TURKEY TO COMMAND AFGHAN PEACEKEEPING FORCE

    A difference of opinion between Turkey and Germany on the leadership of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan was solved yesterday. Under the agreement reached, Turkey will be the General Commander of the peacekeeping force and Germany will head the ISAF's Central Operations. /Hurriyet/

    [07] ECEVIT: "INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WANTS US TO LEAD AFGHAN FORCE"

    Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the US, England, France and NATO, all insisted that Turkey should assume command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan and that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had accepted Turkey's conditions for doing so. Britain currently heads the force. Ecevit added, "Obviously, they all find it appropriate that Turkey, a respected country within the Islamic world which has reconciled Islam with modernity, will take up this duty. Hamid Karzai, the head of Afghanistan's temporary administration, also phoned to express his support for our command." Ecevit further said that Blair told him that US President George W. Bush would also support Turkey's leadership." /Milliyet/

    [08] AZNAR LAYS OUT CONDITIONS FOR TURKEY'S EU NEGOTIATIONS

    Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister of current EU Term President Spain, said yesterday that the date to start Turkey's full membership negotiations could not be fixed before the death penalty and education in mother tongue languages were solved. Aznar also sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stating that he was ready to accelerate Turkey's full membership process until the end of Spain's EU term presidency which runs through this June. Ecevit is scheduled to attend the EU Summit on March 15- 16 in Barcelona. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis are also to attend to the summit. /Hurriyet/

    [09] LAW PREPARED TO COUNTER PKK POLITICIZATION DRIVE

    The Justice and Interior Ministries announced yesterday that they were preparing a new law to counter the politicization drive of the terrorist organization PKK. The separatist PKK is expected to work towards this politicization during its eighth congress later this month. Reportedly the National Security Council (MGK) also supports this new law, which is known as the penitence law. Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk sent a draft of the proposed law to the Interior and Defense Ministries and all judicial bodies. State Security Court circles also (DGM) agree that the new law is a significant step towards countering the PKK's aim of politicization. Turk said that he is set to present the draft to the Cabinet after getting feedback from the other relevant bodies. The Parliament is expected to discuss and pass the law in one month's time, and the law should take effect within one year. /Aksam/

    [10] MINISTERS SUPPORT MILK CAMPAIGN

    A campaign to promote milk consumption which has recently hosted events in Istanbul, Izmir and Diyarbakir yesterday held a ceremony in Ankara which was attended by State Minister Hasan Gemici, Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu, Agriculture and Village Affairs Minister Yusuf Husnu Gokalp and Health Minister Osman Durmus. As part of the campaign, one million Turkish children will be provided drinking milk over a 76-days period. At the ceremony, Gemici pointed out that society's proper development depended on healthy future generations, and Gokalp said, "Milk from Turkish cows promotes health." In addition, Bostancioglu said the children should lead adults with their example of drinking milk and Durmus touted milk's health benefits. /Milliyet/

    [11] CIVILIAN DEFENSE ORGANIZATION'S ESTABLISHMENT COMMEMORATED

    Civilian Defense Day and the 43rd anniversary of the Civilian Defense Organization were commemorated in a ceremony held at the Civilian Defense Directorate's Search and Rescue Unit in Ankara. Speaking at the ceremony, State Minister Edip Safter Gaydali said, "Achieving the desired results in this field will be possible provided that our nation is educated in the field of civilian defense." /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] SECOND ROUND OF CYPRUS TALKS TO BEGIN TODAY

    Special US Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston yesterday arrived in Turkey in the lead up to the second round of meetings concerning Cyprus. Weston, who flew to Ankara from Athens, is expected to deliver a message during his contacts today that the US expects a solution to the Cyprus issue to be found as soon as possible. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot administration leader Glafcos Clerides will begin to hold detailed negotiations during the second round of meetings to begin today. The process of direct talks, which were started by Denktas' initiative for a solution to the Cyprus issue, has reached a new stage with the second round. Denktas and Clerides, who put forth their general opinions concerning issues during the first round, will hold detailed negotiations on the same issues in the new round. The two leaders will try to overcome their disagreements on such difficult issues as the structure of a future government, constitutional arrangements, sovereignty, land distribution, immigrants and compensation. The second round of meetings will be held twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Lefkosha Cultural Center and will also be attended by UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro De Soto as an observer. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] MARMARA CITIES FEEL EARTHQUAKE

    An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale was felt in the Marmara region yesterday, Kandilli Observatory announced. The quake's epicenter was 80 kilometers from Eregli in the Marmara Sea, and tremors were also felt in Kocaeli. The quake was a comparatively mild one, the observatory said, and there was no need to panic. /Sabah/

    [14] IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY IN MARCH

    An International Monetary Fund delegation headed by Juha Kahkonen and Turkey Desk Chief Odd Per Brekk is scheduled to visit Turkey for two weeks beginning March 5 for its first review this year. According to a statement released by Brekk, the IMF Board of Directors will meet in the beginning of April in order to discuss Turkey's $1.1 billion additional aid package. /Hurriyet/

    [15] TURKS MAKE FORBES BILLIONAIRES LIST

    Six Turkish businessmen placed on Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the world's richest billionaires released in its current issue. The prominent US business weekly announced that Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, Sakip Sabanci, Ferit Sahenk, Rahmi Koc, Kemal Uzan, Turgay Ciner had made its closely watched list. For the eight straight year, Microsoft founder Bill Gates placed number one. /Aksam/

    [16] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [17] THE REAL BARGAINING IS STARTING BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the second round of Cyprus talks to begin today. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Following a short recess due to Turkey's Sacrifice Holiday, the second round of face-to-face talks on Cyprus is beginning today. In the first stage of the negotiation process which began on December 4, both parties expressed their basic views on the issues, presented papers relating to the essence of the problem and began to test the grounds. In the new round, the real bargaining is to begin. It is expected of the parties to find a common path and establish a base for an agreement. The impressions of both sides from the first round are not terribly bright. The proposals and views brought to the table clearly demonstrated that the positions of the parties were wide apart from each other. Details regarding the negotiations, which were supposed to remain confidential, are known by all due to leaks to the press from the Greek Cypriot side. The Turkish Cypriots want a partnership based on two separate states and a loose central administration. That is, the Turkish argument requires a restructuring. The Greek Cypriot side would like a few changes to be made in the present constitutional system based on federal principles but to retain the unitary system of the state. There are other disagreements apart from this issue, such as the territories to be exchanged, their status and the reinstatement of Greek Cypriot refugees there. However, the basic dispute and the hardest issue to reconcile concerns basic parameters. In view of these developments, an agreement does not seem close at hand. In fact officials from neither side are optimistic about the results. Both Denktas and Clerides had promised to continue the negotiations until a result was achieved. This means that the sides won't easily be able to walk away from the negotiation table. There are other factors which are influencing both sides to reach an agreement on the issues. The Greek Cypriots are taking their EU membership for granted and, depending on Europe may want to use their advantage to insist on their views. However, both the Clerides administration and Athens must understand that this could create situations which may affect their position adversely. In this round of talks, the search for a solution should be focused on what is reasonable and feasible rather than insisting upon the utmost of what the parties can get."

    [18] EU'S ACTION DOES NOT BEFIT A FRIEND BY RAHIM ER (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Rahim Er writes on the latest report accepted by the European Parliament regarding the Armenian allegations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    "Yesterday the European Parliament decided to accept the Armenian allegations. Furthermore, acting upon the 'Human Rights in Turkey' issue it suggested that we not shut down the People's Democratic Party (HADEP). Our judicial organs have the final say on the issue as the rule of law prevails in Turkey. Turkish intellectuals believe that political parties, which were not involved in terrorism, whatever their tendency may be, should not be closed down. In fact, the closure of these parties serves no purpose. Turkish intellectuals suggested that HADEP should become a political party instead of a representative for one ethnic group. Intellectuals of Kurdish origin also accept the correctness of this approach. However, whatever its purpose, the European Parliament (EP) is applying double standards on the issue. While representatives belonging to other European parties are being tried, the EP takes no notice of this. It should not ignore any of them, but should not intervene either. Politics and the law should not be mixed. These are Turkey's internal problems. Such considerations lead us to ask does the EP want anti-EU currents in Turkey to gain strength? Is it the duty of the EP to dredge up historical events using the groundless allegations of one side, or rather to act with moderation in supporting peace? If such a decision does not foster any secret goal for the future, what purpose will it serve apart from deepening old grudges? When some Hinchak or Tashnak militants shed blood, fury will rise in Turkey. Almost a century has passed since the incidents that are alleged. The regimes have changed. No one approves of genocide, whatever the cause or whoever the perpetrator. Yesterday Turks did not approve of it, nor do they approve of it today, nor will they do so tomorrow. When the situation can be summarized thus, why does the EP use the Kurdish and Armenian cards against Turkey? Turks in Turkey have no problems with either citizens of Kurdish or Armenian descent. We have lived on the same territories for centuries and will continue to do so. There is no need for intervention from abroad. Furthermore, these actions do not seem to bear goodwill towards Turkey. This all makes one wonder if the EU wants Turkey as a member or not."

    ARCHIVE


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