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Turkish Press Review, 02-03-27

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

27.03.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT VISITS ANKARA
  • [02] ECEVIT: “THE ECONOMIC CRISIS HAS EASED”
  • [03] BAHCELI: “TURKEY’S EU NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BEGIN THIS YEAR”
  • [04] KARZAI’S VISIT POSTPONED
  • [05] EU: “THE PKK IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION”
  • [06] DENKTAS: “SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO MODEL COULD WORK IN CYPRUS”
  • [07] SWEDISH PARLIAMENT TURNS BACK GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS
  • [08] HARMONIZATION BILL PASSES PARLIAMENT
  • [09] TOURISM MINISTER TASAR TRAVELS TO MOSCOW FOR FAIR
  • [10] WORLD BANK CONSIDERING LOAN TO TURKEY
  • [11] WEST BANK GUNFIRE TAKES TURKISH CASUALTIES
  • [12] LIO OIL TO PLANT OLIVE TREE FORESTS
  • [13] KOREAN DANCE GROUP PERFORMS IN ISTANBUL
  • [14] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [15] A DIFFICULT TASK BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [16] THE PLOY OF SEPARATISTS BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

  • [01] MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT VISITS ANKARA

    Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski arrived in Ankara yesterday to pay an official visit upon the invitation of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. At a dinner in honor of his Macedonian counterpart, Sezer reiterated Turkey’s support for Macedonia’s territorial integrity and independence. /All Papers/

    [02] ECEVIT: “THE ECONOMIC CRISIS HAS EASED”

    Before attending a diner hosted by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in honor of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski yesterday, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit told reporters that Turkey’s economic crisis had recently eased. /Hurriyet/

    [03] BAHCELI: “TURKEY’S EU NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BEGIN THIS YEAR”

    Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday spoke about Turkey’s EU membership process during his speech at his party’s parliamentary group meeting. Pointing to Turkey’s importance for the EU, Bahceli said, “One of Europe’s biggest political-strategical faultlines passes through Turkey.” Bahceli stressed that Turkey had implemented most of the short-term targets proposed in its National Programme, and added, “Turkey has demonstrated its determination to integrate with the EU. We hope that the EU will begin full membership negotiations with Turkey this year.” /Turkiye/

    [04] KARZAI’S VISIT POSTPONED

    Afghan interim government Prime Minister Hamid Karzai’s visit to Turkey which was scheduled for today has been postponed due to the earthquake in northern Afghanistan which took place yesterday. Karzai is expected to visit Ankara tomorrow and to leave on Friday. Turkey will send a special plane to transport Karzai. Karzai is scheduled to meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Major topics on the agenda are recent developments on the question of Turkey’s command of the ISAF peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. /Hurriyet/

    [05] EU: “THE PKK IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION”

    A just completed report prepared by the European Union Commission on cigarette smuggling refers to PKK as a “Kurdish terrorist network,” apparently the first time that the EU has recognized this. The report says that the terrorist organization had made large sums of money marketing smuggled US cigarettes funneled by prominent US tobacco companies, and thus that these US companies were financially supporting terrorists and terrorism. The report especially emphasizes that the US government characterizes the PKK as a “terrorist organization,” and also says that the group carries out terrorist activities in Europe. In these respects the report contradicts the EU’s own list of terrorist groups prepared after last September, which notably failed to include the PKK. /Turkiye/

    [06] DENKTAS: “SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO MODEL COULD WORK IN CYPRUS”

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said yesterday that the model exemplified by the Balkan states of Serbia and Montenegro could also work in Cyprus. “Montenegro and Serbia’s relationship is close to what we want, recognizing each other while still having a unifying effect,” Denktas added. But this model was rejected by one Greek administration spokesman on the grounds that it lay outside the guidelines set down by the United Nations. /Hurriyet/

    [07] SWEDISH PARLIAMENT TURNS BACK GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS

    The Swedish Parliament announced earlier this week that it would be improper for it to make an official determination regarding allegations of a so-called Armenian genocide, stressing that such issues must be evaluated by historians rather than politicians. The Parliament also admitted that it had acted incorrectly by recognizing the allegations two years ago since there was no United Nations resolution covering such matters. Recalling that the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide was not retroactive, the Parliament supported Turkey’s views considering discussions over the allegations. Murad Artin, Swedish Left Party representative and parliamentarian, had previously presented a motion to the Parliament’s Foreign Relations Commission. The motion argued that the Ottoman Empire had committed genocide against the Armenian people at the beginning of the 20th century and that the Parliament must recognize this fact. After analyzing the motion, the commission presented a report to the full Parliament stating that no official decision could be made on the issue and stressing the importance of openness and historical understanding of events which should be investigated by professional historians. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] HARMONIZATION BILL PASSES PARLIAMENT

    A key harmonization bill passed the Turkish Parliament yesterday as part of Turkey’s ongoing effort to make its laws match European Union norms. The bill proposes amendments to nine articles in the Constitution and would widen the freedom to establish foundations as well as revise criteria for closing political parties. /Sabah/

    [09] TOURISM MINISTER TASAR TRAVELS TO MOSCOW FOR FAIR

    Turkish Tourism Minister Mustafa Tasar left the country yesterday to attend the ninth International Moscow Travel and Tourism Fair. Speaking to the press prior to his departure, Tasar stated that the Moscow Fair was very important to Turkey as a significant opportunity to promote Turkish tourism. Tasar stated that he believed tourism would greatly help Turkey surmount its economic problems. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] WORLD BANK CONSIDERING LOAN TO TURKEY

    A delegation from the World Bank will come to Turkey next week to hold meetings to look into providing domestic exporters and medium-sized business with loans through Istanbul Approach, a public-private oversight board. The Turkish Treasury Undersecretariat and the World Bank’s Representation in Turkey also stated that a financial and public reform sector loan totaling $1.35 billion was on the WB’s Executive Board agenda. After the loan is approved in April, it is to be given to Turkey in three installments of $450 million apiece. Turkey will use the loan in order to restructure public banks, strengthen the banking sector, fight against corruption and improve its public debt service. /Milliyet/

    [11] WEST BANK GUNFIRE TAKES TURKISH CASUALTIES

    One Turkish member of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) on the West Bank died last night in gunfire from parties unknown, while another was wounded. Maj. Cengiz Toytunc and Lt. Huseyin Ozarslan were traveling south of Halhoul, near Hebron, in a car belonging to the TIPH unarmed observer force when they came under gunfire. A Swiss observer in the same car, Katrine Brooks, was also killed. Israel Army spokesman blamed Palestinian gunman for the shooting, but Hebron Mayor Mustafa al-Natsheh accused Israeli Army forces. A written statement from the Palestinian Authority expressed condolences to Toytunc’s family. Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu learned about the attack during a reception given in honor of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski. Stating that the incident was an act of terrorism, Kivrikoglu said that the attackers had opened fire on the international observer force’s car without knowing that there were Turks inside. Turkish Consul General in Damascus Huseyin Avni Bicakci said that an investigation was being launched into the incident. /Aksam/

    [12] LIO OIL TO PLANT OLIVE TREE FORESTS

    Turkish company Lio Oil, which provides 5% of the olive oil on international markets, announced plans yesterday to establish olive tree forests in the provinces of Mugla and Balikesir. Lio Board of Directors Chairman A. Sevket Aksoy said that they expected the forests to bear fruit in three years’ time. Stating that Lio had increased sales last year to $68 million in spite of difficult economic conditions, Aksoy said, “Some $56 million of this came from our exports to over 30 countries. Our sales and exports will increase with the olive forests project.” /Milliyet/

    [13] KOREAN DANCE GROUP PERFORMS IN ISTANBUL

    A Korean traditional dance group, Jung Je Man, yesterday staged a performance at the Ataturk Culture Center in Istanbul. Representatives from the Turkish Culture and Foreign ministries as well as Korean Ambassador Young-Ki Kim and Korean War veterans attended the Korean night jointly organized by the Korean and Turkish Culture Ministries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [15] A DIFFICULT TASK BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on sending Turkish troops to Afghanistan and taking over the command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). A summary of his column is as follows:

    “If a poll had been taken on sending troops to Afghanistan and Turkey’s taking command of the international force when the military operation began, clearly a great majority of the population would have supported the idea. If such a poll were taken today, the results are anybody’s guess. However, it is certain that support for the idea of taking military responsibility has weakened and the numbers of those opposed to it are growing with each passing day. The reason for this is clear: the Turkish people know the situation in Afghanistan better now and understand the risks involved in sending Turkish troops and taking over the command of the international force. That is why the Turkish government, who knew the situation even better, has been hesitant and insistent on the conditions it put forth. The picture in Afghanistan where the international community is trying to establish peace is a cause for grave concern. Although the Taleban has been overthrown, many al-Qaida forces got through the operation’s net, and Kabul is still far from controlling the country. The warlords are all based in their own territories. Ethnic and religious clashes are continuing. The country is far from being a nation-state. There is no national army or police force to establish peace and security in the country. The situation in Afghanistan where the Turkish troops and, if it comes to pass, the Turkish commander who will take command of the ISAF will serve is this complicated. The government is expected to announce its final decision this week. Certainly, it will be a very hard decision. The argument in favor of taking over the command of the international forces and increasing the number of the Turkish troops serving there is that it will increase Turkey’s credibility and influence all over the world, strengthen Turkey’s presence in Central Asia, and provide the opportunity to get more active support from the West. On the other hand, the risks involved are great. First of all the lives of Turkish troops are in question. No one wants a Turkish soldier to lose his life in Afghanistan. Some diplomats are warning Turkey not to get bogged down in Afghanistan and saying that the Turkish Parliament’s approval should be gotten before sending troops there.”

    [16] THE PLOY OF SEPARATISTS BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

    Columnist Gungor Mengi writes on the terrorist organization PKK’s change of name. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The PKK has taken the expected turn and changed its name to PAG and with this decision called itself the ‘People’s Freedom Party.’ As it is established by the PKK, it is reasonable to expect that PAG will be a party, or at least as much as the PKK was one. Can there be a party made up of hordes of murderers established with the aim of dividing the nation and the country, and who killed 30,000 people. The PKK was the bloodiest, most ruthless terrorist organization of the recent past. While it keeps the remnants of its armed bandits left after its defeat in the mountains as a threat, it cannot convince anyone with any common sense that it will no longer engage in armed actions and has instead become a ‘party’. If the opportunity to wash the blood off the hands of the terrorists is granted this easily, terrorism will continue without end. It is impossible to believe that PKK has adopted a new identity by simply removing the words ‘communist’ and ‘Kurdistan’ from its name for now. A political party does not deal in armed threats. Any such organization is called a terrorist organization throughout the entire world. The main issue here is to formulate new policies which will not damage our national goals. We must not leave aside issues to our country’s potential benefit with the sheer reasoning that ‘they too want it,’ as societies ruled not even by their minds but by their complexes are governed by their enemies. The separatist organization, during its congress where it changed its name, decided to give support to campaigns for Kurdish radio-TV, education in Kurdish and abolition of the death penalty. These are among the medium-term goals Turkey has promised to keep to be admitted to the EU. Our society is already discussing them and has even covered some distance in accomplishing them. It is a ploy, a trap by the separatist organization to show itself as a player in to these discussions and to try to provoke a social reaction and increase the power of those opposed to reforms. When these reforms are carried out, the administrators of the organization who are responsible for so many murders will be left in the lurch, and will be left tongue-tied trying to explain why they persist in maintaining armed militants in the mountains. However, if their ploy in provoking the public and Parliament takes hold, they will continue to find supporters for the role of ‘underdog’ they are playing. Where is the self-confidence we must have as a nation which has defeated terrorism? We must be self-confident and govern ourselves instead of being governed by others”

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