|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 02-04-02
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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
 TURKEY CRITISIZES ISRAELIn the face of Israel’s continued military incursion in the West Bank and siege of Palestinian headquarters in an apparent effort to further cut off Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Turkey has stepped up its criticism of Israel. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday stated that Israel was violating the human rights of Palestinians, adding that Arafat had become a “prisoner” in his own territory. Speaking to the press prior to a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem commented on recent developments in the Middle East. Cem’s remarks can be summarized along the following lines: 1) The UN Security Council’s latest resolution calling for Israel to pull back from Palestinian cities including Ramallah and urging both parties to carry out a ceasefire agreement must be implemented as soon as possible. 2) Turkey strongly denounces the terrorist activities and suicide bombings in the Mideast. Any act of terrorism targeting innocent people cannot be justified. 3) Since Yasser Arafat is a leader whom Turkey has officially recognized, there is no way for Turkey to accept what the Israeli government has recently been doing against him. 4) Escalating violence poses a major threat not only to Israel and the Palestinian territories but also to all neighboring countries in the region. The US has a fundamental role in the Middle East peace process and should never for sake it. The US must adopt an important position, in order to end the violence and the Israeli siege. 5) The two parties should come together to find a peaceful and permanent solution under the guidance of the Madrid and Oslo agreements. “Turkey strongly condemns the Israeli government’s recent attitude,” said Cem. “Since the administrative mechanism of the Palestinian Authority has been dissolved and its leader has been isolated, it would not be realistic to expect it to take action against the terrorist attacks.” /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY TO TAKE OVER ISAF COMMANDTurkey has reached an agreement to assume command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. A statement issued yesterday by the office of Turkey’s Chief of General Staff said that following lengthy negotiations with US and British officials, Turkey had accepted in principle to take over the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) command from Great Britain. A delegation headed by Maj. Gen. Akin Zorlu will leave for Afghanistan tomorrow to evaluate the current situation in the region and to coordinate with officials there. After preparations are completed, a delegation of the ISAF command, headquarters staff and additional units will travel to the region. /Turkiye/
 TOSKAY CONVEYS MESSAGE TO SADDAM FROM ECEVITState Minister Tunca Toskay yesterday met with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, carrying with him a message from Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to Saddam. In his message, Ecevit said, “The situation is still serious. The US is preparing for an operation, so you should let United Nation inspectors enter your country.” The Middle East cannot withstand any more tension, Ecevit added, and he stressed Saddam’s critical role in protecting Iraq’s territorial integrity. Toskay said that Saddam had given him a message for Ecevit in response, but supplied no further details. The state minister also characterized the meeting as “very positive.” /Hurriyet/
 CABINET: “UN RESOLUTIONS ON MIDEAST MUST BE IMPLEMENTED”State Minister and government spokesman Yilmaz Karakoyunlu answered journalists’ questions following yesterday Cabinet meeting. Karakoyunlu said that both the prime minister and foreign minister had made important contacts to promote the implementation of recent UN Security Council resolutions to end the violence in the Middle East. He stated that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had remarked that US involvement was a must to resolve the volatile situation. Karakoyunlu noted that the future of an agreement with Israel regarding Turkish tank modernization was also discussed at the meeting. Turning to economic topics, the minister reiterated projected figures for Turkey’s growth and inflation for all of 2002 as 3% and 35%, respectively. /Turkiye/
 EU TO RECONSIDER TERRORIST LISTThe Foreign Ministry is busy preparing for an April 9 meeting in Brussels on the subject of terrorism which European Union representatives and terrorism experts are due to attend. Just three days later, on April 12, EU member country representatives are due to meet to discuss the EU’s list of terrorist groups drawn up after last September’s attacks on the US. There is a good chance that the terrorist DHKP-C could be added to the list, diplomatic sources said. /Aksam/
 DANISH PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEYDenmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is scheduled to visit Ankara next Friday as the official guest of Turkish Prime Minsiter Bulent Ecevit. Denmark is due to assume the European Union rotating term presidency in July and hold it through year’s end. Turkey attaches great importance to Rasmussen’s visit since it wants to begin its negotiations for full EU membership at the Copenhagen summit, which is to take place in December. The main issues to be spotlighted during Rasmussen’s meetings are expected to be Turkey’s bid for EU membership and steps recently taken by the Turkish government concerning human rights and democratization. /Cumhuriyet/
 CHHIBBER: “WE ARE READY TO SUPPORT TURKEY’S GROWTH”A World Bank delegation arrived in Ankara yesterday and visited the headquarters of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) to hear out the group’s views. WB Turkey Director Ajay Chhibber said after the meeting, “We are ready to support Turkey to help its growth.” Chhibber also indicated that discussions were still ongoing as to how much to lend Turkey for corporate sector restructuring, but added that an announcement on the exact amount could come after the WB’s meeting on the matter on April 5. /Hurriyet/
 CULTURE MINISTER TALAY KICKS OFF “TURKISH WEEK” IN EGYPTCulture Minister Istemihan Talay, who is currently visiting Egypt, opened a cemetery for Turkish martyrs yesterday in Cairo. He also met with his Egyptian counterpart Faruk Husni and made the opening speech of a “Turkish Week” celebration which will last through Friday. /Cumhuriyet/
 TALKS ON ISTANBUL APPROACH SCHEDULED THIS WEEKSpeaking at a Turkish Association of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) meeting held yesterday to promote the International Finance Corporation (IFC), TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said that he was hopeful about talks scheduled for this Friday to discuss the Istanbul Approach, a public-private oversight board. Saying that the daylong meetings would be attended by officials from the World Bank, the TOBB, the Union of Banks and the Treasury as well as State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis, Hisarciklioglu added that he hoped that the talks would bear fruit. In addition, a five-person delegation from the World Bank came to Ankara yesterday to discuss the Istanbul Approach and to visit TOBB headquarters. The delegation is also due to have contacts with representatives from the real sector and the economic bureaucracy and to attend Friday’s meeting. Stating that the Istanbul Approach was still in the discussion stage, IFC Turkey Director Sujata Lamba said, “If Turkey needs help, we will of course help it.” /Aksam/
 TALABANI INKS DEAL WITH TURKISH INDUSTRIALISTSThe Ankara Association of Industrialists and Businessmen (ASIAD) has established a joint venture called the “Dost Partnership” with northern Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani, reports said yesterday. Dost was founded with a 50% interest held by the ASIAD Partnership and the Nazar Company, the latter of which is attached to the PUK. The company hopes to broker United Nations bids in northern Iraq, particularly in the Suleymaniye region, and to market grains from the region through Turkey to third countries. The contract for the venture, which was discussed during Talabani’s recent visit to Ankara, was signed by PUK financial director Dara Nuri Benzinci and ASIAD Executive Board Chairman Cengiz Bozbeyoglu. /Aksam/
 OIL PRODUCTION BEGINS IN DIYARBAKIROil drilling started yesterday morning in Ergani, a town in the southeastern province of Diyarbakýr. The high-quality oil extracted from the well, called “Gokici-1,” was transferred by tractor tralier trucks to facilities in Diyarbakir’s Pirinclik district. On the first day, enough oil to fill eight trucks was drilled. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A GLANCE INTO THE PAST BY ERTUGRUL OZKOK (HURRIYET)Columnist Ertugrul Ozkok writes on the current crisis in the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Out of curiosity I searched the archives for the reaction of the Palestinians and Arabs when Cypriot Turks were being killed in Cyprus before 1974, as the 1960 Agreements were torn down overnight. I looked for the reactions of the Arabs and the Palestinians when a Turkish mother and her children were stabbed to death in a bath. I also wanted to find out what kind of a response came from our neighbors in the Middle East when the babies, children, women, elderly and youngsters in southeastern Anatolia were being massacred by the bloody murderers of the PKK. Leaving reaction aside, did they show any sign of grief? I searched all the archives and could not find any statements denouncing these violent acts. On the contrary, there were statements in favor of the Greek Cypriot majority. It seems that ‘Muslim solidarity’ didn’t apply during these massacres. It seems that these neighbors cared not a whit about the violence which caused Turkey such great sorrow and even took sides with the opposing party. However, today Turkey is not remaining indifferent towards their own sufferings. Since yesterday, Turkish foreign policy towards Israel has gotten tougher. Taking harsh notice of Sharon’s actions in Palestine, it issues firm statements supporting Palestine and calling on Israel to stop the violence. This is the correct policy. However, even while doing this, we cannot neglect to make this historical reproach left in us, towards our Palestinian brothers who never left the side of the Greek Cypriots since the massacres committed against Turks in the 60s, and towards our Arab neighbors who took the frontlines in every action against Turkey. I for one have never forgotten these actions taken at the time. You may ask if we should expect anything in return for the ‘humanity’ or solidarity shown. True, nothing is expected in return. If we would like to turn the feeling we call ‘humanity’ into an international spirit, we must fulfill it without expecting anything in return. However, someone else may ask, why should we be the side which is always displaying this solidarity unilaterally? However, in no way can these excuse what Sharon is doing. There is a second result which can be taken out from the incidents in Palestine. Israel is drawing a line between Palestine and itself and calling it a ‘green line.’ Doesn’t it look like the line Turkey drew in Northern Cyprus to protect its kinsmen? The aims and fairness of the issues could be discussed. What comes out in the end is that some people simply cannot live together. The events in Montenegro and Serbia reflect the same truth. It seems that Cyprus model will be implemented in two other regions apart from the island. There has been no bloodshed in Cyprus since 1974. However, both in the middle of Europe and in the Middle East, bloodshed is continuing. Which of the models seem fairer? Turkey, which was able to establish a model preventing bloodshed in Cyprus, has never been able to get the support of the present victims in the Middle East. They are now asking us for the support they had denied us at the time. Turkey is lending this support. It is doing this at the cost of hurting and disappointing Israel a nation which has helped it in its days of need over the last 20 years, as the standards of humanity require such an action. I hope all the suffering in the Middle East ends. Turkey has accumulated experiences which can guide everyone. Even those who didn’t show any sensitivity towards the sufferings of the Turks and Cypriot Turks can learn from them.”
 CEM’S REACTION BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on Foreign Minister Ismail Cem’s reaction to Israeli Prime Minister Sharon’s taking Palestinian leader Arafat hostage. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Israeli Prime Minister Sharon’s laying siege to Palestinian leader Arafat is turning increasingly into an operation of humiliation, insult and deliberate offense. Sharon, who took the elderly Palestinian leader as hostage, leaving him without food, water or medication, and under circumstances where he could kill him at any moment, is not only trying to humiliate and psychologically oppress him, but also the Palestinians. The first to see Sharon’s intention was Ankara, and it reacted harshly. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem conveyed Turkey’s official reaction to taking Arafat hostage to the US Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson and Israel’s Foreign Minister Simon Peres through diplomatic channels. In a statement he issued Cem yesterday harshly protested Sharon’s approach ‘humiliating’ Arafat. In his statement Cem recalled that Arafat was the leader of the Palestinian Authority Turkey officially recognizes. Even during wartimes, heads of state do not receive such treatment. Before he came to power, Sharon charged that Palestinians were offending Israel’s honor through a terrorist campaign and that then Prime Minister Barak had permitted that. It is obvious that the aim of his current operation is to wound the pride of the Palestinians. He can take Arafat hostage right in front of the eyes of the entire world due to the support Israel receives from the US. Similar reactions from every capital, including those of the Arab states, should come to end Sharon’s approach, which complies neither with the standards of human rights nor the rules of war. The UN must quickly intervene and US President Bush must restrain Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon without delay. If the Ankara’s reaction is strongly supported by the Arab states, Arafat may be rescued from the situation he is in. However, the reaction shown by the Arabs, including at last week’s Beirut summit, is weak. This weak stance displayed by the Arab countries is only encouraging Sharon, and he is becoming more daring.”
 THE PALESTINIAN WAR SPREADS BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on recent developments in the Middle East. A summary of his columns is as follows:
“This is the fifth day of Israeli’s warlike operation in Ramallah. Israeli troops moved into Bethlehem and are advancing towards the Gaza Strip.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is meeting this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, who is also chairing the meeting, got a harsh reaction from fellow OIC members when he argued that Palestinians who carried out armed attacks in Israel must be considered terrorists. Meanwhile, many countries, from Cuba to France, stressed that recent developments in the Middle East necessitated immediate UN action.
Israeli troops moved into the Palestinian territories on the grounds that the terrorists who are perpetrating the wave of suicide bombings and armed attacks within Israel’s borders must be caught immediately. The Israeli government is accusing Arafat of supporting these attacks. Washington tends to agree with this view.
Yesterday in Ankara, the Turkish government also discussed these developments. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem harshly criticized the Israeli operation but also stressed that Palestinians should immediately end their attacks on Israeli civilians. The autopsy report on the Turkish soldier who died last week near Hebron has not been released yet. It is clear that some people are trying to send a warning to Turkey on certain sensitive issues!
Furthermore, Turkey’s command takeover of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan has almost become definite. However, all other world problems, even Iraq and Afghanistan, have recently been overshadowed by the Israeli offensive.
One searches in vain for any positive and hopeful developments in the Middle East. We’ll see how the US tries to tackle this chaos and violence. Considering that the Palestinians have no regular army with might to speak of, the US’ argument to the world that Israel’s operation is part of ‘the war against terrorism’ will likely fall on deaf ears.”
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