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Turkish Press Review, 02-04-16

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 Foreign Press Guide Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

16.04.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER VISITS LATVIA
  • [02] CEM MEETS PAPANDREOU, CONSIDERS MIDEAST VISIT
  • [03] YILMAZ: “THE EU WILL CORRECT ITS TERRORIST LIST MISTAKE”
  • [04] TURKEY, US TO CONSULT ON NATO ISSUES
  • [05] CHINESE PRIME MINISTER RONGJI VISITS ANKARA
  • [06] DERVIS DISCUSSES PLANS FOR TURKISH-GREEK “PEACE TRAIN” AND FERRY
  • [07] TERRORIST PKK PLAYS MUSICAL NAMES
  • [08] DENKTAS CALLS ON ISLAMIC COUNTRIES TO LEND SUPPORT
  • [09] IMF APPROVES $1.1 BILLION IN LOANS
  • [10] CAKAN: “BY 2020, TURKEY MAY IMPORT 80% OF ITS ENERGY”
  • [11] ORAL: “RISING TAX RECEIPTS POINT TO ECONOMIC REVIVAL”
  • [12] MEETING TO DISCUSS TURKISH-US INDUSTRIAL ZONES POSTPONED TO MAY
  • [13] NAZIM HIKMET CELEBRATED IN NEW YORK
  • [14] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [15] DENKTAS GETS THE EAR OF ISLAMIC WORLD BY SAYGI OZTURK (STAR)
  • [16] STEP BY STEP TOWARDS THE EU BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] SEZER VISITS LATVIA

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer began his five-day official visit of Baltic countries yesterday with a stop in Riga, Latvia. After a meeting with his Latvian counterpart Vaira Vike Freibega, Sezer said that Turkey and Latvia shared a common goal of integration with the European Union and that both countries were taking determined steps to realize it. Sezer pointed out that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were on track to be EU members before Turkey and added, “Turkey expects their support in its EU membership bid.” Then the two leaders laid a wreath at the nation’s Monument of Freedom. Speaking last evening at a dinner in his honor, Sezer said that Turkey had suffered greatly from terrorism and went on to pledge its continued support in the fight against terrorism. After completing his contacts in Latvia, Sezer is to proceed to its neighbors, Lithuania and Estonia. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] CEM MEETS PAPANDREOU, CONSIDERS MIDEAST VISIT

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who is currently in Luxembourg to attend the Turkish-EU Partnership Council meeting, met with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou yesterday. Answering reporters’ questions after the meeting, Cem stated that whether or not he and Papandreou would travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories depended on the results of US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s current visit to the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [03] YILMAZ: “THE EU WILL CORRECT ITS TERRORIST LIST MISTAKE”

    Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz yesterday traveled to Brussels to participate in the European Union Convention on Europe’s Future. Yilmaz told journalists that the EU would “correct its terrorism mistake” by adding the PKK and DHKP-C onto the EU’s list of terrorist groups. Yilmaz also met with European Commission President Romano Prodi and asked him to set a date for Turkey to start its EU membership negotiations. For his part, Prodi said that fixing such a date would require that all the current EU members reach a consensus on the issue. /Hurriyet/

    [04] TURKEY, US TO CONSULT ON NATO ISSUES

    Turkey and the United States are to hold consultations this week on the major topics to be addressed at NATO’s Prague summit scheduled for November 21-22. Marc Grossman, US assistant secretary of state for European affairs as well as a former US ambassador in Ankara, will meet with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal today in Ankara. The US policy on NATO focuses on the elimination of current and possible future threats against the alliance, enlargement of the alliance through taking in newly emerging democracies and improving relations with Russia and Ukraine. Furthermore, another US delegation is to arrive in Ankara today to make contacts with Turkish officials as part of the two-day 17th Turkish-US High-Level Joint Defense Group meeting. The meeting will be co-chaired by Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and US Assistant Secretary of State Jack D. Crouch. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] CHINESE PRIME MINISTER RONGJI VISITS ANKARA

    Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji yesterday arrived in Turkey to pay a three-day official visit. Speaking to the press at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Rongji stated that he would meet with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi to exchange views on bilateral relations and international developments. “I hope my visit will help to reinforce the good relations and friendship between our two nations,” said Rongji. He is the first Chinese prime minister to visit Turkey in over 15 years. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] DERVIS DISCUSSES PLANS FOR TURKISH-GREEK “PEACE TRAIN” AND FERRY

    State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis met yesterday with George Pashalidis, Greece’s minister for Macedonia and Thrace, and the two officials discussed plans for a Turkish-Greek “Eastern Express” rail line. The line, already dubbed the “Peace Train,” could begin running this summer, and the ministers also spoke of including an Izmir-Thessalonica ferry line. During the meeting, Dervis stressed the necessity for improving transportation between the two countries as a way to further improve economic ties. /Milliyet/

    [07] TERRORIST PKK PLAYS MUSICAL NAMES

    Even as the European Union is reportedly taking steps to add the terrorist PKK to its official list of such groups, the terrorist organization has apparently had another change of heart and settled on a new name. While previous reports indicated that the group had decided to re-name itself the “People’s Freedom Party,” it has now reportedly decided to declare itself the “Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress” (KADEK). It plans to announce the new label at its so-called eight congress in Brussels today, but intelligence reports indicate the group has no intention to abandon its armed attacks. The terrorist group also plans to declare the April 4 birthday of its convicted head Abdullah Ocalan as its “foundation day,” and to pursue diplomatic and cultural activities. /Turkiye/

    [08] DENKTAS CALLS ON ISLAMIC COUNTRIES TO LEND SUPPORT

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday called on fellow Islamic countries to support the TRNC in the pursuance of its “just case.” Addressing the Fifth Eurasian Islamic Council Organization meeting held on the island, Denktas asked that decisions made by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) regarding support for the TRNC be implemented. Denktas added that Turkish Cypriots were struggling to protect their sovereignty, a cause for which past generations had given their lives. /Turkiye/

    [09] IMF APPROVES $1.1 BILLION IN LOANS

    The International Monetary Fund Executive Board met yesterday to discuss its first review of the Turkish economy. The executive board approved a first loan tranche of $1.1 billion to Turkey, since Turkey has met all of the conditions set by the IMF during the review period. The World Bank Executive Board is scheduled to meet today to take up a $1.3 civil and financial sector adjustment law (PFSAL 2). That loan is to be granted to Turkey in three tranches, the first totaling $450 million. /Hurriyet/

    [10] CAKAN: “BY 2020, TURKEY MAY IMPORT 80% OF ITS ENERGY”

    Energy and Natural Resources Minister Zeki Cakan said yesterday that Turkey’s energy requirements were climbing upward at a rapid pace. In a speech to the Second Energy Summit organized by the Strategic Technical Economic Research Center in Ankara, Cakan predicted, “Turkey will have to import some 80% of its energy demands by the year 2020.” Pointing to the need for urgent investments in energy, Cakan noted that some $4 billion in financial resources were required to establish a new energy network as well as other facilities. Former President Suleyman Demirel also spoke at the meeting, stating that Turkey should decrease its dependence on foreign sources for energy and calling on local and foreign investors to invest in Turkey so that it can use its own resources more effectively. /Turkiye/

    [11] ORAL: “RISING TAX RECEIPTS POINT TO ECONOMIC REVIVAL”

    The revival in Turkey’s markets and businesses is showing up in its tax receipts, Finance Minister Sumer Oral said yesterday. Oral pointed to a sharp 81% increase in collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) this March when compared to last year as evidence of renewed economic growth. Tax revenues for this January-March shot up 66% as compared to 2001. “Our target was just 53.6%,” said Oral. He also noted a 145% boost in domestic VAT revenues, while taxes from imports rose 123%. Furthermore, Oral added, domestic VAT receipts reached 400 trillion Turkish liras in February and climbed to over 1 quadrillion liras in March. These increases are clearly a great success, remarked Oral. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] MEETING TO DISCUSS TURKISH-US INDUSTRIAL ZONES POSTPONED TO MAY

    A meeting scheduled for this month at which the establishment of Turkish-US qualified industrial zones (QIZs) was to be discussed has been postponed to May, it was announced yesterday. Reportedly the postponement of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) meeting arrived at mutually. Sources said the rationale for pushing the gathering back was to ensure that no objections would be raised to the QIZs in the US Congress. Both the sites and schedules from the QIZs as well as the goods to be produced there are on the future meeting’s agenda. Sources said that the current crisis in the Middle East was not posing any problems “for the time being” for the project. /Aksam/

    [13] NAZIM HIKMET CELEBRATED IN NEW YORK

    The life and work of renowned poet Nazim Hikmet were honored earlier this month in a special one-night celebration held in New York City. Turkish actor Genco Erkal, journalist Zeynep Oral, singer Zulfu Livaneli, journalist Can Dundar, and scholar Dr. Mutlu Konak as well as Stephen Kinzer, former Turkey correspondent for the New York Times, were among the participants. During the event, which was held to mark the late poet’s 100th birthday, readings were done of his poems both in Turkish and English translation. In addition, pianist Ayse Durakoglu debuted a work composed especially for the poet and rare archival footage of his funeral was shown. /Aksam/

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

    [15] DENKTAS GETS THE EAR OF ISLAMIC WORLD BY SAYGI OZTURK (STAR)

    Columnist Saygi Ozturk writes on the Fifth Eurasian Islamic Council Organization meeting held in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Representatives from 25 countries attended the fifth Eurasian Islamic Council Organization meeting held in Gazimagusa in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Most certainly, this was an important meeting. The TRNC is not recognized by many Islamic countries. However holding the meeting here has a distinct meaning. As it was known beforehand that a TRNC seal on the passports of those coming to the meeting would cause some problems, they were treated as if visiting mainland Turkey. There were some who were called back just because they came to Turkey to attend this meeting. They returned to their homelands from Istanbul before stepping on TRNC soil. Some of those are from the Russian Federation: European Desk Religious head Talat Tacettin, Asian Desk Religious Administration head Nafiullah Ashirov, and the Muftis of St. Petersburg, Chuvashistan and Omsk, Moscow and Daghestan. They all made it as far as Istanbul. When it was learned that these religious leaders were to then proceed to Cyprus, a panic ensued in the Russian Foreign Ministry. A call from the ministry they were instructed them not to go to the TRNC, nor to attend the meeting, but to return their homes at once. The representatives of sisterly states such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan didn’t attend the meeting either. In other words, same states we know as our friends are still spooked by the TRNC problem. TRNC President Rauf Denktas, Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, Parliament Speaker Zeki Vehbi Sertel, Turkey’s Ambassador to Lefkosha Haati Guven and other government ministers attended the opening ceremony of the Islamic Council meeting. The message Denktas issued was clear. ‘Islamic countries make a show of supporting us, but somehow their words are not translated into action. I am addressing all of Islamic society: there is neither a majority nor minorities on Cyprus. There is, however, the problem of seizure of a jointly established state at the hands of the Greek Cypriots. Explain the situation to your governments.’ It is an interesting fact that apart from the republics of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, none of the Turkic-speaking countries sent a representative to this meeting. However, to have brought together representatives and religious leaders from 25 countries and taken them to the TRNC is an important success for Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate. There are sentimental reasons for holding the Eurasian Islamic Council meeting on Cyprus. Religious Affairs Directorate head Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz explained it in these words: ‘Our kinsmen in Cyprus suffered great hardships and were oppressed. Muslim Turkish Cypriots have been fighting since 1963 not to snatch away the rights of others but to defend their own rights, laws, and to obtain justice.’ Yilmaz also stated that Denktas had extended his hand in friendship to the Greek Cypriots to establish a new partnership based on equal sovereignty, but that he did not get the answer he expected. He added that no one should expect Denktas and the Turkish Cypriots to accept an agreement turning the clock back to the conditions of pre-1974, which do not in any way guarantee their rights and constitutional interests. In the meeting hall one could find the representatives of a nation oppressed. They were Palestinian students. Following the September 11 attacks, world opinion regarding terrorism changed. One of the important topics discussed during the council meeting was terrorism. Yilmaz said, ‘It is the duty of everyone to oppose terrorism, take measures against it, and contribute to these measures. Another important matter is eliminating the conditions fostering terrorism. We must all fight against terrorism.”

    [16] STEP BY STEP TOWARDS THE EU BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on Turkey’s EU membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “On the long, hard road leading to Turkey’s integration with the EU, another important step will be taken today. Foreign Minister Cem will attend the Partnership Council meeting at the foreign ministers’ level in Brussels and a 23-page report on Turkey will be discussed and most probably approved. The report expresses waxes positive over the recent political and economic reforms made in Turkey. However, it also notes that even though steps have been taken to conform with the Copenhagen criteria, the expected progress on controversial issues such as freedom of expression, Emergency Rule (OHAL) in southeastern Anatolia and the use of Kurdish have not been seen. In the section regarding Cyprus, it is stated that the start of negotiations is a positive development; however it is also put forth that these talks should yield some results by the month of June. In general it is a balanced and objective report. It doesn’t block Turkey’s path, on the contrary it lends hope that accession negotiations can start at the end of this year or the beginning of 2003, if the well-known conditions are fulfilled. During today’s meeting, Foreign Minister Cem will insist on setting the date for accession negotiations by year’s end. The stance of the Partnership Council is important but not decisive. In fact there are other milestones to cross on our way. The decisive development will be the ‘Progress Report’ to be released in October or November. In other words, it is the report which will guide the decision to start negotiations with Turkey. Turkish officials hope that this decision will be finalized at the summit to be held in Copenhagen during Denmark’s term presidency. If not, the issue will rest in the hands of the Greek term presidency in 2003. This would weaken Turkey’s chance to begin accession negotiations with the EU as part of the enlargement process. That is why both Foreign Minister Cem and Deputy Prime Minister Yilmaz are frequently saying that we must not miss the train this year. Notwithstanding all the hesitations and discussions, it is a fact that both the government and the Parliament have taken important strides for political reforms. However, will these be enough for the EU to give a green light to Turkey at the end of the year? Or will it insist that all the EU conditions be met unconditionally? In principle it may be so. However, it should not be forgotten that the issues will be finalized at the end of lengthy discussions and compromises in the EU. If the next seven or eight months are used well, a decision in favor of Turkey’s EU membership could well come true.”

    ARCHIVE

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