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Turkish Press Review, 02-03-22

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

22.03.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER TO CHENEY: “DON’T PLAY WITH FIRE IN THE MIDEAST”
  • [02] WORK CONTINUES ON TURKEY’S POSSIBLE COMMAND OF ISAF
  • [03] ECEVIT: “TO AVERT MILITARY ACTION, IRAQ SHOULD OPEN ITS DOORS TO UN INSPECTORS”
  • [04] LINDH APOLOGIZES TO CEM FOR SPEECH
  • [05] ECEVIT TO ATTEND NATO MEETING IN BUCHAREST NEXT WEEK
  • [06] YILMAZ: “THE BIGGEST HONOR FOR TURKEY WOULD BE TO KEEP ITS PROMISES”
  • [07] VERHEUGEN CRITICIZES TURKEY’S STANCE ON CYPRUS
  • [08] SPANISH AMBASSADOR: “HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS SHOULD BE IMPROVED”
  • [09] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [10] NEVRUZ OBSERVED
  • [11] BAHCELI CELEBRATES NEVRUZ IN KAZAKHSTAN
  • [12] TALAY CRITICIZES SEPARATISTS’ EFFORTS TO SPOIL NEVRUZ
  • [13] ANAP ANNOUNCES ANTI-EARTHQUAKE PROJECT
  • [14] WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS MEET IN ISTANBUL
  • [15] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [16] THE VICTORY SIGN AT NEVRUZ BY MEHMET Y. YILMAZ
  • [17] LET’S STAND TALL BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

  • [01] SEZER TO CHENEY: “DON’T PLAY WITH FIRE IN THE MIDEAST”

    Tacan Ildem, spokesman and foreign policy advisor to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, yesterday briefed the press on the president’s meeting this week with US Vice President Dick Cheney. Ildem stated that Sezer had conveyed his concerns to Cheney that a US military intervention in Iraq would wreak havoc on the Middle East peace process and plunge the region into chaos since the situation was already delicate and unstable. Sezer stated that Turkey stood opposed to an operation against Iraq since it would deal a great blow to the recent efforts aimed at making peace in the region. Recalling the losses Turkey has suffered in the decade since 1991’s Gulf War, Sezer called on the US not to take any action, which would increase the ongoing violence in the region. Sezer also criticized the European countries’ double standards in the fight against terrorism, stressing that international cooperation against the terrorist threat could only be successful through reaching a common definition of terrorism. Sezer reiterated that Turkey shared the US’ concerns over the threat of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and also believed that Iraq should act in accordance with the United Nations resolutions. For his part, Cheney remarked that the US would always take Turkey’s concerns and interests into consideration, some recent press reports to the contrary. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] WORK CONTINUES ON TURKEY’S POSSIBLE COMMAND OF ISAF

    Meetings with Turkish, US and British delegations regarding Turkey’s possible command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan (the ISAF) are continuing. The inter-delegations negotiations will resume at the beginning of next week. Although discussions on technical details were reportedly going well, they have not yet completed. Turkey’s conditions to assume the command are as follows: The scope of the peacekeeping force’s duty should be limited to the Afghan capital Kabul, financial support for the operation should be ensured, the term of the duty should be well-defined, logistical and intelligence support should be given, and other countries participating in the force should be required to keep their troops there as long as is needed. /Turkiye/

    [03] ECEVIT: “TO AVERT MILITARY ACTION, IRAQ SHOULD OPEN ITS DOORS TO UN INSPECTORS”

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said yesterday that he and US Vice President Dick Cheney had had fruitful talks during Cheney’s visit to Turkey on Tuesday. Speaking at his Democratic Left Party’s (DSP) group meeting, Ecevit said that he had told Cheney of Turkey’s concerns over the Cyprus issue and a possible operation in Iraq. Ecevit told him that the Greek side’s and the EU’s stance concerning Cyprus were neither constructive nor positive, and that this stance was preventing a fair settlement which would satisfy both sides. Ecevit remarked, “If the EU draws its support from the Greek side, they will accept the reality that there are two states and two nations on the island.” Regarding Cheney’s statement that the US was not planning an operation in Iraq in the near future, Ecevit said, “This period presents a good chance for Iraq to erase the US suspicions that it possesses chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons. To do that, Iraq should open its doors to the UN inspectors as soon as possible.” /All Papers/

    [04] LINDH APOLOGIZES TO CEM FOR SPEECH

    Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh telephoned Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem yesterday to apologize to him for a speech she made this week to a UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva. Lindh apologized to Cem for her allegation in the speech that Turkey’s government constituted a “dictatorial regime.” Saying that her remarks were in error and had clearly gone too far, Lindh added that she was sorry. /Milliyet/

    [05] ECEVIT TO ATTEND NATO MEETING IN BUCHAREST NEXT WEEK

    Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is scheduled to travel to Bucharest, Romania next Monday to attend a NATO meeting. Ecevit will pay a one-day official visit to the capital to attend a panel discussion which will be attended by various heads of state and government. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] YILMAZ: “THE BIGGEST HONOR FOR TURKEY WOULD BE TO KEEP ITS PROMISES”

    Speaking to reporters in Brussels yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz said, “The biggest honor for Turkey would be to keep the promises that it made to the European Union. The EU invited Turkey to its Laeken summit last year to discuss the future of the Union, which shows that they are not distant.” Yilmaz added that he believed the military was not opposed to the EU but that it thinks the Copenhagen criteria could divide Turkey. Yilmaz also said that there was no country which was admitted to the Union before fulfilling the criteria. Yimaz accused the EU of being “selfish” concerning its stance on terrorist organizations in its refusal to include the PKK and DHKP-C on its recent list of such groups. /Hurriyet/

    [07] VERHEUGEN CRITICIZES TURKEY’S STANCE ON CYPRUS

    European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen said yesterday that the EU wants to see Cyprus take on a “unique international identity.” Addressing an EU Commission Seminar on enlargement in Athens, Verheugen also said that Turkey’s attitude concerning Cyprus could stand in the way of its membership process. “The EU’s enlargement calendar will not be altered due to the Cyprus talks,” he added. /Hurriyet/

    [08] SPANISH AMBASSADOR: “HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS SHOULD BE IMPROVED”

    In a speech to the Strategic Research Center yesterday, EU Term President Spain’s Ambassador in Ankara Manuel de la Camara stated that there was no alternative to the EU for Turkey. Expressing his belief that Turkey would not have any serious problems concerning the economic and judicial realms during its integration with the Union, Camara stated that Turkey’s priority should be improving its human rights and freedoms. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI TO VISIT TURKEY

    Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is to visit Turkey on March 26-27 as an official guest of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The two leaders will discuss bilateral relations as well as regional issues. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] NEVRUZ OBSERVED

    The traditional spring Nevruz festival was celebrated yesterday in Turkey with largely peaceful celebrations marred by some incidents of violence. In the Mediterranean town of Mersin, two people died during the observations. In Istanbul, there were also demonstrations but a much lesser degree of violence. In southeastern provinces such as Diyarbakir, the Nevruz celebrations went off peacefully without any violence as compared to previous years. /Milliyet/

    [11] BAHCELI CELEBRATES NEVRUZ IN KAZAKHSTAN

    Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli marked Nevruz in Kazakhstan by attending a joyful celebration by local people there. Bahceli is currently visiting the country upon a prior invitation from Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. In an address to the celebrating crowd, Bahceli said that Nevruz, a festival marking the arrival of the spring, symbolized unity for the international Turkish community. Following the completion of official contacts, Bahceli headed for Almati, the former Kazakh capital, and finally to Turkestan, where he attended the Nevruz ceremonies. /Turkish News/

    [12] TALAY CRITICIZES SEPARATISTS’ EFFORTS TO SPOIL NEVRUZ

    Addressing the Turkish Parliament yesterday to mark the spring Nevruz festival, Culture Minister Istemihan Talay said that those who try to turn March 21’s “day of fellowship” into an occasion for violence were acting “treacherously.” Saying that Turkey’s citizens preferred peace and brotherhood to provocation, Talay added, “Those who try to spoil this festival have nothing at all to contribute to society.” Taking the podium to speak after Talay, Motherland Party (ANAP) group deputy leader Yasar Dedelek said that it was wrong to try to exploit Nevruz and to turn it into a separatist event. Agah Oktay Guner from the True Path Party (DYP) told the parliamentarians that the land on which Turkey’s citizens live was indivisible and that it was important for everybody to accept the fact that Turkey’s flag was the flag of all its citizens. Meanwhile, Romania and Bulgaria held up convoys of terrorist organization PKK partisans at their borders, preventing the separatists from infiltrating Turkey and trying to ruin the ceremonies. Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen, who is currently holding contacts in Romania, thanked the Romanian government for acting against the terrorist PKK and for prohibiting a protest which the group wanted to hold in Bucharest. /Aksam/

    [13] ANAP ANNOUNCES ANTI-EARTHQUAKE PROJECT

    The Motherland Party (ANAP) announced yesterday that it was initiating a project called “We Will Protect Istanbul” under the behest of ANAP leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. Under the project, ANAP members will discuss Istanbul’s problems, and in particular the threat of earthquakes, and propose and support possible solutions. ANAP will reportedly request that a ministry or undersecretariat be established for Istanbul and also suggest anti-earthquake measures, including an amnesty for unauthorized buildings. Yilmaz, spearheaded the project by meeting with Kandilli Observatory Director Ahmet Mete Isikara and is due to be briefed by Istanbul Governor Erol Cakir tomorrow. ANAP will also reportedly work to enact laws to make Istanbul’s buildings stronger and more earthquake resistant. /Sabah/

    [14] WOMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS MEET IN ISTANBUL

    The Southeastern European Women Parliamentarians’ Conference sponsored by the Strasbourg-based International Democracy Institute begins today at Istanbul’s Pera Palas Hotel and will last for two days. The subject of the conference will be “the Prevention of Conflict and Woman’s Role in its Resolution.” It is expected that 50 women parliamentarians from 12 countries will attend the conference. Delegations from Greece, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Albania, and Bosnia-Herzegovina arrived yesterday and were welcomed by leaders of domestic women’s organizations. /Star/

    [15] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [16] THE VICTORY SIGN AT NEVRUZ BY MEHMET Y. YILMAZ

    Columnist Mehmet Yilmaz writes on Nevruz celebrations and how and why it is celebrated by different societies. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “In Persian, ‘Nevruz’ means the ‘new day.’ It is the first day of the first month on the Iranian calendar. In other words, it is the first day of the New Year ... This day when the sun enters the sign of Aries has been accepted as the day God created the universe and also humans. It is a well- known fact that before adopting Islam, Turks in Central Asia celebrated the advent of spring and that this day has taken on a religious meaning following the acceptance of Islam under Arab influence. This day is still being celebrated in many Central Asian cities as an official holiday and festival. For the Alawites and Bektashi, Nevruz is the birthday of Caliph Ali and the day he married Fatma, the Prophet Mohammad’s daughter ... As for the Sunni (orthodox) Turkish traditions, it is the day when the spicy ‘mesir paste’ is distributed ... It is also celebrated in Egypt and Iraq as a tradition. For the Kurds it is the day, as legend has it, when blacksmith Kawa defeated the cruel tyrant Dehhak ... In other words there are various stories about the day. It is a day celebrating nature, nurtured by legends and taking on religious elements over time. It is one of the common aspects uniting the Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Iranians, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Turcomans. Two scenes attracted my attention when looking at the photos of yesterday’s Nevruz celebrations. One was taken in Kabul, where Nevruz has begun to be celebrated after being banned for seven years under the Taleban regime ... Reuters reported the news as, ‘Iranian new year Nevruz celebrated in Kabul and Mazar-i Sharif.’ The second picture was taken in our Southeastern city of Van. Some foreigners posed under a banner with the colors yellow, green, and red (the signature colors of the terrorist PKK). It is evident that they knew nothing about Nevruz, its historic or religious meaning. If they had known how special a day it was, they would realize the meaningless of their action. They would have understood that the day was not directed at dividing Turks and Kurds but in fact at uniting these people with historic ties. I cannot blame them, as those who should be embarrassed by these pictures are the ones who declare this festival as only a ‘Kurdish freedom day’ ... It is the result of racist fanaticism and ignorance, a responsibility lying with many parties beginning with Kurdish chieftains and going on with some Turkish bureaucrats. In many encyclopedias entries for ‘Nevruz’ and neurosis stand cheek by jowl. This proximity in dictionaries between the psychiatric disorder neurosis, which leads to physical and social failures in a continual state of restlessness, and ‘Nevruz’ as celebrated in various cities explains our state of mind as a society ... Is that what the foreigners who don’t even know the meaning of Nevruz intend to do when making victory signs? Do they really want to contribute to pitting the Turkish and Kurdish peoples against each other? Are they celebrating this?”

    [17] LET’S STAND TALL BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

    Columnist Gungor Mengi writes on the debates regarding the European Convention. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Participating in the European Convention which is discussing the future of the European Union is an important opportunity for Turkey. We must benefit from this opportunity to the best of our ability. We have to use this important organization as means to reach the European people. In general, we are complaining of the EU’s indifference to ourselves. As it doesn’t lead to any solution on the issue, it results in the deepening of distrust towards the EU in Turkey. That is why we are getting farther away from our goal as we would like to be nearing it. When seen from Europe, the debates over the issue make it seem as if our ardor for the EU target is cooling. The just reasons for these debates are not understood. Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, in a press conference in Brussels where he went to attend the Convention, explained that the suspicions over the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) opposition to the EU were groundless. Secondly, he underlined the selfishness of Europe on the issue of terrorism. He added that the mistrust in the army stemmed from this fact. Turkey had reacted to the EU’s exclusion of the PKK and DHKP-C from its terrorist organizations list and than received a reply that the EU was ‘studying the issue.’ What exactly is the EU studying? Yilmaz said that the studies were looked into whether these organizations posed a danger to the EU member countries. ‘The damage they are inflicting on Turkey is not a criterion for them.’ True, even after the Sept. 11 attacks, Europe has acted in this way regarding the US. This selfishness will make them bitterly regret these actions in the future. Yilmaz must use the platform of the European Convention to make them face their weaknesses in stronger terms and with documentation. Up to now, we have pardoned Greece and Germany in a sense. It shows that they don’t understand from politeness. If Europe is saying he who doesn’t touch us can do whatever he wants, Turkey has the right to say that it will not be to blame for the things that follow. Such a fight doesn’t mean excommunicating the European Union. We see membership in the EU as the meeting point of modern civilization. If this is neglecting the fight against terrorism out of pitiful self-interest, opposing it is not only our right but also our duty ... Turkey is moving forward to get in step with the EU criteria by the debates within the country and occasionally settling old accounts. It also knows that if Turkey’s membership is not in line with Europe’s interests, the country will not be admitted to the organization even if it achieves the impossible. We cannot refrain from pointing out the faults and shortcomings of a family we would like to enter. If they can say that ‘we don’t consider organizations which wage a racist struggle, commit massacres to this end and finance their actions by narcotics trafficking as terrorists,’ let them say it. Everyone should rest assured that we will not lose as long as we stand tall. No family can punish a society claiming its right. If it does so, it punishes itself!”

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