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Turkish Press Review, 02-03-06

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

06.03.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY TO TRAIN SLOVAKIAN OFFICERS
  • [02] ECEVIT: “TURKEY IS INDISPENSABLE FOR THE EU”
  • [03] COALITION LEADERS MEET
  • [04] TALABANI GIVES ASSURANCES ON PUK’S STANCE CONCERNING IRAQ
  • [05] DUTCH DELEGATION VISITS TURKEY
  • [06] KAHKONEN: “BE PATIENT, THE PROGRAM IS GOING WELL”
  • [07] COMMISSION AGREES TO REDUCE PRESIDENTS’ TERMS
  • [08] DENKTAS MEETS CLERIDES IN BUFFER ZONE
  • [09] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER DECLARES OPPOSITION TO TURKISH PARTICIPATION IN ESDP
  • [10] US RELEASES HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
  • [11] US FAVORS TURKEY IN STEEL TARIFF DECISION
  • [12] TURKISH-GREEK BUSINESSMEN’S ANATOLIAN TOUR STARTS IN BALIKESIR
  • [13] TURKEY TO ATTEND DRUG SUMMIT IN BOLIVIA
  • [14] US GOVERNOR BUSH SEEKS COOPERATION WITH ANTALYA
  • [15] JCR BOOSTS TURKEY’S RATING
  • [16] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [17] DON’T LET FEAR PREVAIL BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)
  • [18] THE WAR IS NOT OVER BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [19] US WRITER’S REVOLT AGAINST ARMENIANS BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)

  • [01] TURKEY TO TRAIN SLOVAKIAN OFFICERS

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday met with Slovakian President Rudolf Schuster. State Minister Tunca Toskay and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem accompanied Sezer during his visit to Slovakia. Speaking to reporters after a one-hour meeting between the two presidents, Schuster said that Turkey would train Slovakian officers who would take part in NATO. Schuster also said that the two countries had agreed to establish cooperation both economic and cultural. For his part, Sezer said that Turkey would support Slovakia’s bid to become a member of NATO. /Hurriyet/

    [02] ECEVIT: “TURKEY IS INDISPENSABLE FOR THE EU”

    In an interview with daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday offered his evaluations of current Turkish-EU relations and recent disputes on Turkey’s bid for EU membership between his government coalition partners the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP). Remarking that the MHP-ANAP dispute was not serious, Ecevit said that the coalition government had a strong political will to overcome all difficulties and added that despite all the disagreements on the issue, there was no doubt that every member of the coalition wanted Turkey’s full EU membership. Commenting on Turkish-EU relations, Ecevit stated that although there were certain circles who did not want Turkey to join the Union, Turkey was indispensable for Europe. “No matter how much certain European circles try to hamper Turkey’s bid for EU membership, the EU will never give up on Turkey,” said Ecevit. “That’s why I don’t place a high premium on what these circles say or do. For example, although they know that the judiciary is independent in Turkey, they ask us not to close down the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP). But it’s not the government which will have the final word on the matter.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] COALITION LEADERS MEET

    Government coalition leaders met yesterday to exchange views on a variety of topics. Following their one-hour meeting, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit told reporters that the talks had been very fruitful. Referring to recent discussions and speculations of Turkey’s adaptation to EU norms, Ecevit said, “We established very clearly that there was no doubt or disagreement among the coalition partners concerning EU membership.” /Turkiye/

    [04] TALABANI GIVES ASSURANCES ON PUK’S STANCE CONCERNING IRAQ

    Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), yesterday met with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal in Ankara. Talabani discussed security and stability in northern Iraq with the Turkish officials, since both Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds fear the instability which might result from any attempt to bring down Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Speaking to the press after his meetings, Talabani reiterated that the PUK advocated the idea of “an independent, united and democratic Iraq” and added that he had given his assurance to Turkish officials that the PUK would do its utmost to defend this idea. Talabani also remarked that the PUK would lend its full support to any operation aiming to bring a democratic regime to Iraq, adding that the PUK shared Turkey’s views on the necessity to eliminate all factors threatening Iraq’s territorial integrity and peace in the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] DUTCH DELEGATION VISITS TURKEY

    Dutch Defense Minister Frank de Grave and Chief of General Staff Luuk Kroon visited Turkey yesterday with an accompanying delegation. Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu was unable to make an appointment with his Dutch counterpart due to scheduling conflicts. Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz reiterated Turkey’s views that the PKK AND DHKP-C should be added to the EU’s recent list of terrorist organizations and that the Netherlands should stop applying double standards on the issue of fighting terrorism. The Dutch delegation also met with State Minister Ramazan Mirzaoglu, who is currently serving as deputy for Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu. Stating that Turkey supported the Netherlands’ stance concerning the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan, Mirzaoglu said, “However, we don’t understand why the Netherlands has turned a blind eye to the terrorist groups the PKK and the DHKP-C. We consider this a clear double standard.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] KAHKONEN: “BE PATIENT, THE PROGRAM IS GOING WELL”

    International Monetary Fund Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen arrived yesterday in Turkey for the first review and consultation on the government’s economic program. Kahkonen met with members of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) in Istanbul and listened to the concerns of the real sector and told them to be patient, that the economic program was going well. Kahkonen is due to meet today with State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis and with the Turkish Banks Union (TBB). /Hurriyet/

    [07] COMMISSION AGREES TO REDUCE PRESIDENTS’ TERMS

    The Interparty Reconciliation Commission agreed yesterday that the term of office of Turkish presidents should be reduced from seven years to five, but that the current president would not be affected by these changes. The commission was however unable to reach an agreement on a measure that would restrict the pool of potential future presidents to members of Parliament, with the Democratic Left Party (DSP) coming out against the measure. /Hurriyet/

    [08] DENKTAS MEETS CLERIDES IN BUFFER ZONE

    Turkish Republic of North Cyprus President Rauf Denktas met Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides yesterday at the Cypriot buffer zone in the latest of series of direct talks to reach a solution for the island. UN Envoy Alvaro de Soto was also present as an observer. Continuing the policy of limited press statements during the negotiations, Denktas told reporters only that the second phase of direct talks would move to detailed discussion of issues raised in the first. /Star/

    [09] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER DECLARES OPPOSITION TO TURKISH PARTICIPATION IN ESDP

    Greek Defense Minister Giannos Papantoniou yesterday declared his opposition to Turkey’s participation in a planned European army to be formed under the auspices of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), a pan-European Union military mechanism. Papantoniou said that for the ESDP to be credible, it should stand independently. While ESDP plans call for it to use NATO assets, Turkey belongs to NATO but not yet to the EU. /Star/

    [10] US RELEASES HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

    The US State Department yesterday released its annual Human Rights Report for the year 2001. In the section covering Turkey the report noted that last October the country passed a reform package proposing important amendments to the Constitution. However, it claimed that human rights violations were still an important issue for Turkey. Stressing that the reform package, which addressed topics such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, private life, duration of detention and equality of the sexes in marriage, had passed Turkey’s Parliament by a majority with both the ruling and opposition parties’ support, it asserted that, however, no change has been seen in these matters as of last year. The report said that the PKK terrorist organization’s activities had decreased and that its militants had withdrawn to camps close to Turkey’s borders in neighbouring contries. On the other hand, it noted that violence at the hand of other terrorist organizations, namely the DHKP-C, Hizbullah, the IBDA-C and TIKKO, was still continuing. The report also stressed that the Greek government needed to improve its handling of education and freedom of belief for Turks living in Western Thrace. /Turkiye/

    [11] US FAVORS TURKEY IN STEEL TARIFF DECISION

    Bowing to pressure from US steelmakers, US President George W. Bush reportedly decided on Tuesday to impose tariffs of 30% of most international steel imports to the US, but he exempted Turkey from this decision. The Washington Post reported that Bush reached this decision after consulting with his advisors in the Oval Office. But while the tariffs are expected to hit Europe and Japan hard, such US neighbors as Canada and Mexico and developing nations such as Thailand and US ally Turkey were reportedly exempted. A representative of a legal firm representing Turkish steel exporters in the US said, “This is a very important decision. Under it, Turkey will not be subject to any protectionist measures.” /Aksam/

    [12] TURKISH-GREEK BUSINESSMEN’S ANATOLIAN TOUR STARTS IN BALIKESIR

    At the first stop yesterday of the “Turkish-Greek Businessmen’s Anatolian Tour” in Balikesir organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Committee (DEIK), Turkish businessmen called upon their businessmen neighbors to make more investments. The Greek businessmen, hosted by the DEIK and Balikesir Chamber of Commerce Chairman Rona Yircali, first visited Balikesir Governor Utku Acun. Turkish-Greek Friendship Association Chairman and Greek National Bank Director Panagiotis Koutsikos said, “It is time to improve commercial relations between our two countries and to open up to other countries.” Koutsikos added that they could come to an agreement with Turkish businessmen and export olive oil, tobacco and grapes, beginning with the Black Sea region and then to the Central Asian market. Remarking that the two sides have taken important steps towards political cooperation over the last two years, Koutsikos added that the political developments should move forward along with strengthened economic cooperation. /Aksam/

    [13] TURKEY TO ATTEND DRUG SUMMIT IN BOLIVIA

    Turkey announced yesterday that it would attend a drug summit to be held in La Paz, Bolivia, later this year, as an observer. Turkey will be represented by a delegation of three from the Security and Customs Directorate, consisting of Security Director General Kemal Onal, Customs Protection Director General Hakki Teke and Security Organization Anti- Smuggling Department Chairman Ismail Caliskan. The struggle for global cooperation against drugs and operations effective in fighting drug trafficking will be discussed at the summit, the first of its kind since 1980. The summit, which will be attended by 100 delegates from 32 countries and the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s Middle East and Turkey representative, will last for three days. /Aksam/

    [14] US GOVERNOR BUSH SEEKS COOPERATION WITH ANTALYA

    Jeb Bush, the governor of the US state of Florida and brother and close ally to President George W. Bush, sent a letter to the Antalya Chamber of Commerce (ATSO) recently saying that he hoped to establish broad cooperation with the Mediterranean province. ATSO Executive Board Chairman Menderes Turel disclosed the letter and discussed how during an ATSO delegation’s visit to the US, a series of meetings were held in order to improve the economic, commercial and social issues with high-ranking officials there. Turel added that during this visit, they had a phone conversation with Jeb Bush and invited him to visit Antalya. Turel added, “Governor Bush had previously said that he would visit Antalya this February. However, he postponed this visit following the Sept. 11 attacks. In his letter to ATSO, Jeb Bush wrote that he had given authority to his economic advisor Manny Mencia to establish economic, commercial and social cooperation with Antalya, and that he hoped to forge wide-ranging ties with us, which pleased us greatly to hear.” /Milliyet/

    [15] JCR BOOSTS TURKEY’S RATING

    Japanese rating institution JCR yesterday raised Turkey’s economic rating from negative to stable and confirmed its rating as B+ in terms of the Japanese yen. JCR officials stated in their evaluation of the Turkish economy that their rating reflected the improvement of Turkey’s implementation of its economic program, supported by the IMF, as well as Turkey’s geopolitical importance. /Milliyet/

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

    [17] DON’T LET FEAR PREVAIL BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

    Columnist Gungor Mengi writes on the Turkish-EU relations. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “There are only six weeks now for Turkey to fulfill her short–term commitments to the EU. Everything is up in the air right now. Those promises which also appear in the National Programme will be kept through the enactment of amendments to 64 articles of 17 laws by Parliament before March 24. No one, including the anti-EU lobby in Turkey and those against Turkey in Europe, deemed it possible that Turkey would reach such a point. However, the working through this calendar, albeit with difficulty, alarmed the opposing fronts whose aims were one and the same, and consequently provocations aimed at derailing the process came one after another. As this activity was going on, the Motherland Party’s (ANAP) initiative for the complete abolition of the death penalty was a mistake. In Foreign Minister Ismail Cem’s words, it led to a nonsensical dispute which damaged Turkey’s path. Politics is the art of doing what is feasible. The Nationalist Action Party’s (MHP) stance obstructed Turkey’s ability to act more quickly. Yesterday MHP leader Bahceli stated that discussions over the abolition of death penalty, education and broadcasting in Kurdish and the efforts to provide a political groundwork for the PKK were being conflated. Would not carrying out these policies snatch the initiative away from the PKK? However, at present there are no grounds under which the issues can be discussed calmly and with common sense. Therefore, the government must be satisfied with the amendment to the Constitution effectively abolishing the death penalty except during times of war, close combat or terrorism. However, it must manage to reach an agreement over the granting of freedom to TV and radio broadcasting in native tongues and over opening courses to teach Kurdish. Turkey should not permit a defeated, decimated PKK to stand in its way. Those who know that our EU membership goal is stronger and more precious than our fears may be grieved or they may be subject to slanders. No difficulty or sacrifice should deter those believing in this casue.”

    [18] THE WAR IS NOT OVER BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the ongoing war in Afghanistan and Turkey’s stance. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “It was believed that the war in Afghanistan was over. However, incidents which led to the downing of two US helicopters and the death of eight American soldiers this week demonstrated that the clashes were continuing and Al Qaida and Taleban forces were hiding in the mountains. The US is preparing broad operations against these hostile forces among whom are Arab and Chechen warriors.The operations’ aim is to sweep Afghanistan clean of Al Qaida and and Taleban militants. The heating up of clashes in Afghanistan may have two results which closely concern us. First, this incident shows that it will not be easy to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan. The international community has sent troops with this aim to the country. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is right now deployed only in Kabul. In April the command of the force may be turned over to a Turkish officer. However, Ankara is insisting on certain conditions. The last incident has demonstrated how right Turkey is in acting carefully on the issue... Secondly, these last clashes have shown that the US has to stay in Afghanistan for some time longer. Can the Bush administration open new fronts in other parts of the world under such circumstances? Officials in Washington state that US will go wherever Al Qaida is present. Is Iraq included? The US officials cannot give a clear answer to this question. At the moment, there has been no decison made on the issue. This does not exclude such a possibility in the future. While the US is battling in the swamp of Afghanistan, it may hesitate to open another front in Iraq. US military sources say that they will certainly end the war in Afghanistan but it may take some time. It is easy to start a war but hard to end it.”

    [19] US WRITER’S REVOLT AGAINST ARMENIANS BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Tufan Turenc writes on a book published by an American writer on the Armenian deception campaign. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Armenian fanatics are expending every possible effort to sabotage the friendship between two nations. It is not comprehensible why they are doing this or what purpose they think this would serve? Their aim is to pit Turks and Armenians against each other. A new book on the issue, entitled ‘Armenia- The Great Deception,’ will be published in the US on April 6. The writer is Sam Weems, a retired prosecutor living in Arkansas. A fervent Christian, Weems states in his book that Armenians used all kinds of lies and slanders to defame Turks using their religious identity in the process, and supports these claims with documents. Weems studies the archives in Washington, London, Paris, Moscow and Istanbul, but he was barred from access to the Armenian archives. He says that the large number of churches in Turkey show the tolerance of its people, whereas none of the old mosques on Armenian soil stand any longer. His demographic calculations, extrapolated from the reports of US and British civil servants and military officials serving in Turkey, show that a genocide having occurred out of the question.”

    ARCHIVE


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