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Turkish Press Review, 02-03-29

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

29.03.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] MGK TO MEET TODAY
  • [02] BAHCELI: “FOR THE DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION, CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WOULD BE NEEDED”
  • [03] US STATE DEBT: “A NEW NAME WON’T HELP THE PKK”
  • [04] MAJ. TOYTUNC LAID TO REST IN ANTALYA
  • [05] DE SOTO VISITS ANKARA
  • [06] ISAF’S TERM OF DUTY EXTENDED, LIMITED TO KABUL
  • [07] PKK ESTABLISHES PARTY IN NORTHERN IRAQ
  • [08] TURKEY AND GREECE SIGN GAS PIPELINE DEAL
  • [09] IMF’S DAWSON: “TURKEY HAS MADE A GOOD START”
  • [10] PARLIAMENT PASSES BORROWING LAW
  • [11] OZILHAN: “TURKEY’S ECONOMY IS STILL ON KNIFE’S EDGE”
  • [12] INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT BIENNIAL SLATED FOR ISTANBUL THIS OCTOBER
  • [13] KAZAKH WRITER VISITS TURKEY
  • [14] ANTALYA HOSTS ARCHAEOLOGY FILM FESTIVAL
  • [15] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [16] CYPRUS PROBLEM SHOULD BE SOLVED NOT IN THE EU BUT IN THE UN
  • [17] THE EU’S OUTLOOK BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)
  • [18] APO ISN’T WORTH IT BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

  • [01] MGK TO MEET TODAY

    The National Security Council (MGK) will meet today at the Cankaya Palace chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Both domestic and foreign developments are on the meeting’s agenda. /Star/

    [02] BAHCELI: “FOR THE DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION, CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT WOULD BE NEEDED”

    Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday attended the “International Turcology and Turkish History Research Symposium” and addressed the meeting. Speaking to journalists after the meeting about the Council of State’s recent vote saying that amendments to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) to abolish the death penalty were possible without having to amend the Constitution, Bahceli said, “The MHP respects the Council of State’s decision. However, we believe that a constitutional amendment would be necessary.” /Turkiye/

    [03] US STATE DEBT: “A NEW NAME WON’T HELP THE PKK”

    The United States weighed in yesterday on the terrorist organization PKK’s recent name change, saying that merely changing its name could not help the separatist group. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, “Such organizations sometimes take on new names, but we continue to watch and follow them closely and determine their ties to terrorism. When we see that such a group has taken on a new name, we then add it to our list of terrorist organizations. In other words, we don’t stop following them.” Boucher added that both the US State Department and Treasury prevent terrorist organizations from accessing or raising money under new names. “We have a procedure so that organizations can’t change their names and evade penalties by such actions,” he said. The terrorist PKK has been on the US State Department’s list of international terrorist groups for many years. Groups that are identified as terrorist organizations by the US can neither be legally active nor open bank accounts, nor raise money on US soil. /Aksam/

    [04] MAJ. TOYTUNC LAID TO REST IN ANTALYA

    Maj. Cengiz Toytunc, who was killed in an armed attack on the West Bank earlier this week, was laid to rest in the southeastern province of Antalya yesterday. The first ceremony for the slain officer was held at Ankara’s Kocatepe Mosque. In attendance were President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, military officials and citizens as well as Israel’s ambassador and the Palestinian military attache. Toytunc’s body was later sent to Antalya and after a funeral, he was interred there. Maj. Toytunc, a member of the unarmed Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), was killed in a gun attack by parties unknown on Tuesday. In the same attack, another Turkish officer, Huseyin Ozarslan, was injured, while a Swiss observer was also killed. /All Papers/

    [05] DE SOTO VISITS ANKARA

    United Nations Special Envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto arrived in Turkey yesterday to brief Turkish officials on recent developments concerning the direct talks process between Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides. Remarking that he believed a permanent solution would “absolutely” be reached on the island, de Soto met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal. The UN envoy stated that the two leaders of the island had made significant progress in their recent peace talks. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] ISAF’S TERM OF DUTY EXTENDED, LIMITED TO KABUL

    Even as plans for Turkey to take over the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan were discussed during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday, the UN Security Council decided to extend the ISAF’s term of duty and confine its operations to the capital Kabul. Ole Peter Kolby, Norway’s permanent representative and the council’s current chair, said, “The ISAF’s term of duty has been extended six months beyond June 20, when it had been due to expire.” Kolby remarked that the members of the council had reached a consensus that the ISAF’s area of duty would not be expanded beyond Kabul. /Aksam/

    [07] PKK ESTABLISHES PARTY IN NORTHERN IRAQ

    The terrorist organization PKK, which recently changed its name to the “Peoples’ Freedom Party” at its so-called eighth congress, has reportedly begun to implement plans to establish new parties around the region where it is active. Under these plans, a new party named the “Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party” has been established in northern Iraq as an alternative to Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the two parties currently dominant in the area. The PKK is also expected to establish new parties in Iran and Syria in the near future. /Turkiye/

    [08] TURKEY AND GREECE SIGN GAS PIPELINE DEAL

    Turkey and Greece yesterday signed a historic gas pipeline deal under which 500 million cubic meters of natural gas will flow to Greece from Turkey by 2005. The deal was signed by BOTAS General Director Gokhan Bildaci and Arististes Vakilis, the head of Greek energy concern DEPA. Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Zeki Cakan and Greek Development Minister Akis Tsohatsopoulos attended the signing as witnesses. Of the 285 kilometers of pipeline connecting Turkey and Greece under the deal, 200 kilometers will be within Turkey’s borders and 85 kilometers on Greek soil. /Hurriyet/

    [09] IMF’S DAWSON: “TURKEY HAS MADE A GOOD START”

    International Monetary Fund Foreign Relations Director Tom Dawson yesterday stated that Turkey had made a good start in implementing its new economic program. Stating that the IMF was planning to hold a meeting on Turkey in April, Dawson said that a new loan amounting $1.1 billion was expected to be released to the country at that time. /Cumhuriyet/

    [10] PARLIAMENT PASSES BORROWING LAW

    Parliament yesterday passed the Borrowing Law, which is one of the pre-conditions for the International Monetary Fund to grant $1.1 billion in additional loans to Turkey this April. /Hurriyet/

    [11] OZILHAN: “TURKEY’S ECONOMY IS STILL ON KNIFE’S EDGE”

    Turkish Businessman’s and Industrialists’ Association President Turncay Ozilhan said yesterday that despite some improvements, Turkey’s economy was still on “the knife’s edge.” The business leader added that in such a situation, just one mistake could put Turkey in danger of becoming another Argentina. /Star/

    [12] INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT BIENNIAL SLATED FOR ISTANBUL THIS OCTOBER

    The International Environment Biennial will take place in Istanbul this October, the event’s organizers announced this week. The main theme of the biennial has been decided on as “The Future of Natural Life.” Journalists, artists and politicians will gather to discuss environment problems and to attend a number of panels, symposiums, film festivals and exhibitions at the biennial. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] KAZAKH WRITER VISITS TURKEY

    Famous Kazakh writer Abish Keklibayev is currently visiting Turkey to attend events marking the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish-Kazakh diplomatic relations. Keklibayev yesterday received an award from the Foundation to Serve the Turkish Culture for his contributions to the relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] ANTALYA HOSTS ARCHAEOLOGY FILM FESTIVAL

    The International Kubaba Archeology Documentary Festival, organized by the Inan Kirac Research Institute and the Association of Documentary Filmmakers, will begin today in Antalya. The audience will enjoy 33 outstanding films from Turkey, France, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Egypt and Iran for free during the festival that lasts through Sunday. /Aksam/

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

    [16] CYPRUS PROBLEM SHOULD BE SOLVED NOT IN THE EU BUT IN THE UN

    BY ISMET GIRITLI (TURKIYE)

    Columnist Ismet Giritli writes on the Cyprus issue and discussions over it. A summary of his column is as follows: “We learned from press reports that EU Commissioner Responsible for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen criticized Turkey during the ‘EU Enlargement’ meeting held in Athens and thus decreased the chances of success of the intercommunal negotiations going on under UN auspices between Clerides and Denktas, openly backing the Greek Cypriot administration and threatening Turkey and the TRNC. In fact Verheugen, who is Karen Fogg’s boss, should know better than anyone else that under international agreements, Cyprus cannot participate in any organization that does not also include both Greece and Turkey. Southern Cyprus is not the Republic of Cyprus established by the 1959 Zurich and London agreements. Southern Cyprus cannot represent the Republic of Cyprus in compliance with the Constitution of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus. It cannot represent Turks living in the north of the island as they are represented by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas. By recognizing the membership application of the Greek Cypriot administration made in the name of the so-called Cyprus Republic, the EU has tacitly accepted the division of the island. As this has been done, not only according to the Zurich and London Agreements but also in compliance with the Guarantor Agreement, the Cyprus Republic cannot participate in any political or economic institution which either Turkey or Greece is excluded from. This fact is clearly expressed in the accords of the Guarantor Agreement. Therefore, under certain conditions the road to the International Court of Justice will be opened for Turkey if the Greek Cypriot administration is admitted into the EU by itself. In fact the Republic of Turkey, upon the Greek Cypriot administration’s membership application to the EU, entered these aspects into EU accords on July 3, 1990. The EU Commission’s acquiescing to admit the Greek Cypriot administration in the EU conflicted with the UN negotiations process conducted by the UN secretary-general and even aimed at excluding them. In fact, Commissioner Verheugen’s recent statements and threats are directed at derailing the UN negotiation process. Therefore, I believe that the EU and Verheugen must take their hands off Cyprus.”

    [17] THE EU’S OUTLOOK BY MUSTAFA BALBAY (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Mustafa Balbay writes on the discussions over the list of terrorist organisations released by the EU. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “It seems that discussions over the list of terrorist organizations will continue for some time. Turkey has examined the sources fostering ethnic terrorist organization with great scrutiny, and is acting with great care not to be the target of new waves of terrorism. Following the Sept. 11 attacks, the EU told the world that a new phase had begun in the war against terrorism, yet it didn’t include the names of the terrorist organizations, including the PKK, given by Turkey in the list it drew up. For a while, it was rumoured that there was a second ‘secret list.’ However, it was soon became clear that this was only a rumour utterly lacking foundation. While the policy of delaying Turkey on the issue was continuing ýn the issue, the lines connecting Brussels with terrorist groups in northern Iraq were running smoothly. A report in January that a three-person Belgian parliamentary delegation had gone to northern Iraq to meet with terrorist organisation officials, in order to convince them to change their name of the organization and to press the issue of cultural rights was not denied. In fact, the Belgian ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and told of Turkey’s displeasure over the incident. During its recent so-called eighth congress, the PKK accepted decisions in the direction of the suggestions made to it by the EU countries. The news that it changed its name was discussed by the Turkish public at the beginning of the week. Following this news, a report was published by the EU Commission which says in brief that an organization of Kurdish origin has entered into illegal activities in northern Iraq and directed the smuggling of cigarettes. We had said before while examining the PKK-EU connection that the PKK would change its name and that immediately afterwards, the EU would accept that it was a terrorist organisation. But then it would say that no such organization exists now as there is a new party which calls for cultural rights. These rights are of vital importance for us. We have entered into a process where the possibility regarding such developments has begun. Following the EU Commission report, Greece also stated that the PKK was a terrorist organisation. Good morning after supper! The process ongoing in Cyprus is no different. Since the start of the negotiations between Denktas and Clerides at the end of last year, every month one or two EU representatives visit the island and declaim loudly that they will admit the Greek Cypriots into the EU whether the Cyprus issue is solved or not. In Athens, Verheugen doesn’t talk of compromise but instead backs the Greek Cypriots. One of the cards Turkey uses against the EU is to say that it is aware that it is being delayed by the EU deliberately, but it is also aware that it is an indispensable country for the EU. Although it may be right in essence, we have to be careful in using this argument. We should not use it too often or too loudly. Turkey looks at the world and sees blocs. However, all the countries in the world do not move exclusively in blocs but rather have diverse relations. Therefore, we should not say that we are in such a bloc, but that we feel close to a certain bloc and have such a plan.”

    [18] APO ISN’T WORTH IT BY GUNGOR MENGI (SABAH)

    Columnist Gungor Mengi comments on discussions over Turkey’s death penalty abolition. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The Council of State has concluded its discussion about the death penalty, which is one of the obstacles to Turkey’s EU membership. Under the council’s unanimous decision, a constitutional amendment is not needed for Turkey to completely abolish the death penalty. The changes to be made to the law would be sufficient to strike the death penalty from our books. Will the decision of the Council of State break this deadlock? Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli yesterday uttered some words that can be interpreted in two different ways. He said, “We respect the decision of the Council of State, as it is their judgment. But we are of the opinion that a constitutional change is needed.” The MHP is acting as the spokesman of a common concern, one which fears the possibility that one day an amnesty might be implemented. This fear cannot be ignored, but it cannot be said that those who think this way want Apo (PKK terrorist Abdullah Ocalan) to be hanged at the cost of damaging Turkey. An arrangement ensuring that crimes deserving the death penalty will never be included in any amnesty and that those who commit such crimes will be sentenced to a hard life sentence would satisfy the expectations of justice. This is because a hard life in prison, under which amnesty is impossible, is a punishment worse than death. The coalition leaders should solve this problem without turning it into an occasion for bickering. Damaging Turkey’s goal of EU membership for Apo’s sake would mean giving this accursed man a place that he does not deserve. It would mean ruining the life of our children to whom we owe welfare and freedom.”

    ARCHIVE


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