|Sunday, 29 March 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 02-03-26
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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 & Information Turkish Press Turkish Press Review >> Foreign Press Guide Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 ECEVIT: “THE ESDP CAN’T BE ESTABLISHED WITHOUT TURKEY”Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday left for Bucharest, Romania to attend the NATO Candidate Countries Heads of State and Government Summit. Speaking at the meeting, Ecevit stated that the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) could not be an alternative to NATO. Ecevit also said that an ESDP in the Balkans while still excluding Turkey could not be established and would be unable to accomplish anything. “Turkey is in favor of including Romania and Bulgaria in NATO’s enlargement,” Ecevit added. Ecevit thanked Romania for blocking PKK activists from crossing into Turkey in order to disrupt Nevruz celebrations last week. Ecevit also met with US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage and told US reporters that Turkey was opposed to a military operation against Iraq and instead favored the problem being solved at the United Nation level. “Certain concerns remain for Turkey. We are seeking to take the command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan,” Ecevit added. /Hurriyet/
 CEM: “STOP ACTING LIKE COLONIAL GOVERNORS”Speaking at a conference organized by the Europe-Turkey Foundation in Brussels yesterday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that there are some EU representatives who were acting like “colonial governors” and that this attitude was hindering Turkish-EU relations. Cem also said that the list of terrorist groups prepared by the EU after last September’s attacks on the US had not met the expectations of the Turkish people. The attitude shown by the EU is not encouraging but rather discouraging, he remarked. Cem also met with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen yesterday. After the meeting Verheugen said that this year’s EU Summits in Seville, Brussels and Copenhagen were very important for Turkish-EU relations. European Commission member Michel Barnier spoke after Cem to the foundation and stated, “Nobody has the right to act like colonialists, and Turkey doesn’t need to take lessons from anybody.” /Hurriyet/
 CHENEY: “THE US HAS ASKED TURKEY TO TAKE ISAF COMMAND”US Vice President Dick Cheney said on Sunday that the US administration had asked Turkey to take over the command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. Following a 10-day tour of Middle Eastern countries as well as Turkey and Great Britain, Cheney appeared on NBC public affairs program “Meet the Press.” Regarding the command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, Cheney said, “The US has asked Turkey to take responsibility for the International Security and Assistance Force ?ISAF? that currently provides security in Kabul. I think that’s a very important mission, and I’m hopeful they’ll do it.” Cheney stated that the US would continue to deploy its troops in Afghanistan and to support the ISAF and the interim Afghan government until security was established in the country. Answering a question as to whether or not Iraq was connected with last September’s attacks and the terrorist organization al-Qaida, Cheney said, “We’ve not been able yet from our perspective to nail down a close tie between al- Qaida and Saddam Hussein. We’ll continue to look for it.” He also added that he had very fruitful meetings with leaders of the countries he visited on the Iraq issue and that he was still keeping in touch with them. /Turkiye/
 GEN. BUYUKANIT: “THE TURKISH ARMED FORCES AREN’T AGAINST THE EUROPEAN UNION”Speaking to the press at a reception yesterday at the Hilton Hotel, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit answered reporters’ questions concerning Turkish-EU relations and Turkey’s possible takeover of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. Gen. Buyukanit reiterated that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were not opposed to Turkey’s bid for EU membership, adding that certain political circles had purposely distorted TSK’s views. Furthermore, Buyukanit also stated that the TSK was planning to convey its views on Turkey’s possible takeover of Afghan peacekeeping force to the domestic political leadership next week. Stressing the importance of leading the force, Buyukanit remarked that Turkey should weigh its steps very carefully while taking its own security into consideration. /Cumhuriyet/
 CILLER: “IRAQ’S TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY IS IMPORTANT”True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said yesterday that Iraq’s territorial integrity was important for Turkey. At a conference entitled, “The Turkish Economy After the Sept. 11 Attacks” held at Istanbul’s Beykent University, Ciller said that preparations for an operation in Iraq were continuing and that such an attack would almost certainly to take place before this fall’s US congressional elections. “Iraq’s territorial integrity is important for Turkey. On the other hand, we have little interest in seeing Iraq’s current regime stay in power. Within this in mind, Turkey should get itself ready for an operation,” she said. /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS CRITICIZES EU COMMISSIONER VERHEUGENTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday harshly criticized EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen’s recent statement that no one could prevent Cyprus’ full EU membership. Denktas said that following the separation of the two sides in an ethnic struggle, nobody had the right to ask them to re-unify. “Which Cyprus was Verheugen thinking of?” Denktas asked. “Greek Cyprus is the side which applied for EU membership. Nobody asked us about it. The 1960 Constitution was violated.” He added that during previous talks a settlement had proved elusive due to the Greek Cypriots’ insistence that “Cyprus is ours” and that Turkish Cypriots are a mere “minority.” “We are asking for a partnership under conditions of equality,” he said. Meanwhile, Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides will meet today once more as part of the direct talks which began this January to find a settlement to the Cyprus issue. /Turkiye/
 LETTERS LAY BARE ARMENIAN LOBBY’S PLOTS IN FRANCEThe Union of Turkish Associations in France has sent letters to French President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and other French politicians expressing Turkey’s views on the issue of the so-called Armenian genocide. The letters stressed how it was through the efforts of the Armenian lobby that animosity had been sown between the Turkish and Armenian peoples. Criticizing the lobby’s policies as anti-republican, the letters laid out Armenian efforts to leverage political power in France through the influence of a comparative handful of votes in this year’s French elections. /Cumhuriyet/
 TERRORIST PKK CHANGES NAMEAt the conclusion of its so-called eighth congress, the terrorist organization PKK decided to change its name to the “People’s Liberation Party” (PAG), a move in line with its “politicization” for the sake of its European supporters. Towards the same strategy, the separatist group avoided using the word “Kurdistan” in its resolutions. /Hurriyet/
 WORLD TURKISH BUSINESSMEN SLATED TO MEET IN ISTANBUL THIS APRILThe fourth World Turkish Businessmen’s Congress, an annual meeting jointly organized by the World Turkish Businessmen’s Foundation and the Turkish Foreign Trade Foundation, will be held in Istanbul this year on April 25- 27. Turkish businessmen from over 50 countries will attend the congress, which is the most extensive economic forum in Turkey. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and State Economy Minister Kemal Dervis are also expected to attend the meeting. Sabanci Holding Board of Directors Chairman Sakip Sabanci yesterday handed over the helm of the congress to Turkish Union of Commodities and Stock Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu. /Cumhuriyet/
 DUTCH PATIENTS TO BE TREATED IN TURKEYAgis Groep, the largest insurance company in the Netherlands, yesterday signed an agreement with 35 private hospitals in Istanbul. Under the agreement, Dutch patients will be treated in these 35 hospitals and it is expected that the number of Dutch tourists visiting Turkey, which now totals 650,000, will come to surpass 700,000. The agreement between Kunart Medical Assistance, which has 850,000 subscribers, and the Agis Groep covers some 42 provinces and 22 districts. Speaking at the project’s signing ceremony, Agis Greop Board of Directors Chairman Eelke Van Der Veen said that they were looking for new ways to treat the patients covered by Agis. Agis Groep Director Turkey General Savas Avci said that Agis Groep would open an office in Istanbul in June and that the first patients from the Netherlands would arrive soon thereafter. Kunart Medical Assistance Divisionhead Huseyin Kurt said that health services in Turkey were of a high quality. /Aksam, Star/
 GERMAN DELEGATION LEARNS ABOUT ISLAMFather Wolfgang Bour, a prominent German Catholic priest, accompanied by 50 German tourists visited Marmara University Theology Faculty Dean Zekeriya Beyaz yesterday in Istanbul. Briefing the guests on Islam, Beyaz said, “Although our religions are different, we both believe in the basis of faith. We consider everyone as our brother or sister. The aim of Islam is to bring peace to all people.” Beyaz added that he regretted last September’s terrorist attacks on the US very much. /Star/
 TURKISH-GREEK PIPELINE PROTOCOL TO BE SIGNED THIS WEEKThe Ankara-Dedeagac pipeline, a project to transport Caspian natural gas through Turkey to Greece, is due to move closer to reality this week. During Greek Development Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos’s official visit to Ankara on Thursday, the protocol, one of the key steps in the project, is expected to be signed by Tsochatzopoulos and Turkish Energy Minister Zeki Cakan. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 LONG AND WINDING TALE BY HASAN CEMAL (MILLIYET)Columnist Hasan Cemal writes on the supposed ban on Kurdish. A summary of his column is as follows:
“There is freedom to publish a Kurdish newspaper in Turkey as long as you abide by the rules. One can also publish magazines and books in Kurdish and release audiocasettes in Kurdish. There is freedom to do all of this so long as you comply with the laws. You can find all of them being sold on the stands and stores and buy them. In other words newspapers, magazines, books and audiocasettes in Kurdish are all freely sold and bought. Only radio and TV broadcasts in Kurdish are banned, in addition to teaching or learning Kurdish. No one can set up a course to teach Kurdish. These bans have existed all along. However, in practice Kurdish TV exists, and what’s more these are TV broadcasts of the PKK. Med-TV, the PKK terrorist organization’s station can reach a wide audience of its followers in the Southeast through satellite antennas. PKK propaganda is being followed right from the horse’s mouth and Kurdish is being taught. But the ban in the country has not been lifted. The view is that if Kurdish is taught or Kurdish broadcasts are allowed, the state would have done what the PKK asked for. ‘What’s more, the spread of the Kurdish language aids the separatist movement and the threat to division will grow more than ever.’ If these rules are there to prevent such developments, they are being broken, as Kurdish TV is watched and Kurdish is taught in Turkey. PKK television is not the only institution acting in spite of this ban. There are other Kurdish channels broadcasting from northern Iraq, Armenia and Europe. Let’s also not forget that, there are serious studies being conducted to standardize and improve the Kurdish language in many centres abroad, including many European capitals. What do the bans in Turkey accomplish? Don’t these bans help those serving the cause of separatism and Kurdish nationalism? Now that PKK has been weakened and Ocalan imprisoned, isn’t it time to lift these bans? If these bans together with capital punishment obstruct Turkey’s road to Europe, will the separatist threat directed towards the country grow or fade? Will holding onto these bans facilitate the work of those in the EU trying to puts obstacles in Turkey’s way by applying embarrassing double standards regarding terrorism and politicizing the PKK, or not? Bans may backfire. It is time to think calmly. I believe Turkey must lift these bans, taking the French model as an example. France is a unitary state with French as the official language of education. The first year of our National Programme presented to the EU ended yesterday. That is to say, the time for short-term goals is up, the calendar for the medium-term goals has been set in motion. Time is passing. We hope Turkey doesn’t miss its date with history as in the 1970s.”
 SENDING OUR TROOPS ABROAD BY YILMAZ OZTUNA ((TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on sending troops to serve in the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Many wealthy nations, such as Germany and Britain in addition to Turkey, were willing to take over the command of the international force known as the ISAF in Afghanistan. None of them are raising their voices to volunteer now. Afghanistan is an ethnically complex country. It has almost no infrastructure (for example, there isn’t a mile of railroad trade laid down there). It lies in a highly mountainous region. It has become obvious that the Europeans do not want to come between the quarrels of tribes in such geography. They would rather have Asians such as Bangladeshis, Jordanians and us on the front lines. Turkey’s situation has another aspect. Is it preferred for Turkey to be in need of the United States regarding the contingent in Afghanistan, when a military operation against Iraq begins? In Washington, there are scenarios involving Turkish units entering northern Iraq to protect US troops giving military training to the opponents of Saddam’s regime. That is to say, we shall ensure that Saddam will not prevent the establishment of a Kurdish army! Although it may seem nonsensical, we have witnessed many such projects in the last half-century. We have to distinguish the facts from untruths. In fact we must be able to see two steps ahead and take immediate and informed decisions. We believe in the government and the coalition leaders as there is no other alternative. However, in crucial decisions such as sending troops abroad, the Turkish Parliament must be included in the process and the national will must be expressed in the fullest sense of the word. Our Asian adventure in 1918 led to the collapse of an Empire for us. Let us not forget our location as a European state for even a moment.”
 ARAB SUMMIT BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)Columnist Sedat Sertoglu comments on the Arab summit which will begin tomorrow in Beirut and Turkey’s relations with the Arab countries. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Leaders of the Arab countries will meet tomorrow in Beirut. The main issue to be discussed at the Beirut summit is the Middle East conflict. However there is one more issue which will be discussed during the behind-the- scenes meetings: Saddam Hussein and the future of Iraq.
Leaders are expected to issue a joint declaration at the end of the summit. We will see whether or not recent initiatives launched by Syria and Egypt against Turkey’s interests will be included in this declaration! In other words, we’ll see if the declaration will reflect the two countries’ discontent over Turkey’s military relations with Israel and their view that Turkey must hold consultations with Iraq and Syria over the use of water from the Tigris and Euphrates (Firat and Dicle) rivers.
Believe me if the Arab countries take a stance against Turkey at the Beirut summit it wouldn’t be the first time. What the Arab countries fail to comprehend is that Turkey cannot shape its foreign policy in accordance with their desires.
Which Arab country stood by Turkey when Abdullah Ocalan hid out in Damascus for years? Where were these countries when Turkey was struggling against the PKK?
Whether or not Egyptian President Husni Mubarak or Jordan’s King Abdullah will attend the meeting has been thrown into doubt after recent rumors of assassination plots. Al-Quaeda fighters might try to take advantage of the political chaos in Beirut. After all, only God knows who serves whom in Beirut! Israel recently announced that it would not let Yasser Arafat travel to Beirut if a cease-fire agreement were not signed.
The summit could have been a great opportunity for the Arab countries to solve their problems. However, the current atmosphere clearly shows that their plans will not work! We await for the results with great curiosity!
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