|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 02-04-17
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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 Foreign Press Guide Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 ECEVIT GREETS CHINESE PRIME MINISTER RONGJIChinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, who is currently visiting Turkey, yesterday met with his Turkish counterpart Bulent Ecevit. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations as well as recent developments concerning the Middle Eastern conflict and eastern Turkistan, a region in northwest China with a large population of mainly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighurs. Voicing his wish to improve economic relations between Turkey and the People's Republic of China, Rongji also conveyed his concern about certain groups in eastern Turkistan pursuing an anti-government agenda. Rongji stated that the Chinese people appreciated Turkey's stance concerning both the Xinjiang- Uigur region and separatist groups in eastern Turkistan. For his part, Ecevit stated that Turkey placed a high premium on China's territorial integrity and considered all acts of terrorism crimes against humanity. "Ours is a democratic country," said Ecevit. "However, we try to do our best to prevent the growth of extremist movements." Rongji also criticized the United States policy on Iraq, saying that the problem of weapons of mass destruction should be solved in accordance with relevant United Nations resolutions. After the meeting between the two prime ministers, they signed four agreements to boost economic relations between Turkey and China, namely ones on Agricultural Cooperation, Cooperation in Information Technology, Mutual Aid Between Turkish and Chinese Customs Administrations, as well as an agreement regulating Turkey's export of 1,000 Honda Civic automobiles to China. /Cumhuriyet/
 YILMAZ: "THE PKK'S RECENT PLOYS WON'T ALTER TURKEY'S POLICIES"Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party (ANAP) Chairman Mesut Yilmaz returned to Turkey yesterday after representing the country at the European Union Partnership Council meeting in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday. Speaking to journalists prior to leaving Brussels, Yilmaz addressed the news that the terrorist group PKK had announced it was changing its name to the "Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress" (KADEK). Yilmaz stressed that the Turkish state would never change its policy on the PKK regardless of the terrorist organizations' purported recent efforts to reform itself into a political movement by re-labeling itself. Later, Yilmaz held a press conference at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. Remarking that the European Union was in the process of reviewing its list of terrorist organizations, a review that could reportedly add the terrorist PKK and DHKP-C to the list, Yilmaz said, "I hope that the list will be revised this week." Telling of his recent meeting with EU Commission Chairman Roman Prodi, Yilmaz said, "I conveyed the message to Mr. Prodi that Turkey is determined to attain its short-term goals listed in its National Programme as soon as possible. I also emphasized the need to prepare a calendar for Turkey's accession negotiation period." /Cumhuriyet/
 EU: "NEGOTIATIONS WILL BEGIN AFTER TURKEY IMPLEMENTS COPENHAGEN CRITERIA"During the European Union Partnership Council meeting in Brussels yesterday, Turkey's representatives asked for a date when they could expect membership negotiations with the EU to begin. Declining to answer the question directly, EU officials stated that the Union welcomed Turkey's current reforms. They added, however, that Turkey had not yet fully implemented the Copenhagen criteria. EU Commission Representative for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said, "If Turkey fully implements the Copenhagen criteria, negotiations could begin in even 4-5 weeks." The EU took up a 22-page report about the progress made by Turkey at the meeting yesterday where the Turkish delegation was led by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Following the meeting, Cem held a joint press conference with Verheugen and EU Term President Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Pique. Commenting on the recent decision by terrorist group PKK to call itself by a new name, Cem remarked, "If Al-Qaeda changed its name, would the EU and the US strike it from their lists of terrorist groups?" Cem also emphasized that Turkey would continue its reforms in order to begin accession negotiations with the EU as soon as possible. /Turkiye-Sabah/
 GROSSMAN: "THE US SUPPORTS TURKEY'S DEAL ON ESDP"Turkish Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal met yesterday with US Undersecretary of State for European Affairs Marc Grossman, a former US ambassador to Turkey currently on an official visit to Ankara. Speaking to reporters after their meeting, Ziyal said, "Our meeting was important in the leadup to this November's NATO summit in Prague, Czechoslovakia." Ziyal also related that his talks with Grossman had focused on three topics, namely NATO's new tactics after the last September's attacks on the US, NATO's enlargement process and NATO's relations with the Russian Federation. For his part, Grossman told reporters that the US stood behind the deal Turkey, the US and Britain had reached on the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), adding that NATO member Turkey should be included in the new European Union defense structure. /Star/
 US SUPPORTS STATIONING HIGH-LEVEL PREPARATION FORCE IN TURKEYAs part of the 17th High-level Joint Defense Group meeting which began yesterday in Ankara, meeting co-chairmen Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and US Deputy Secretary of Defense Jack D. Crouch visited Third Army Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Ergun Saygun. Saying that the US was supporting and would continue its support for the existence of a High-Level Preparation Force in Istanbul, Crouch said, "If this is done under NATO, we will support the establishment of such a headquarters as well. In addition, we plan to station 19 of our personnel here." /Milliyet/
 BRUSSELS COURT TO CONTINUE ERDAL PROCEEDINGS THROUGH MID-MAYA Brussels appeal court decided yesterday that its deliberations concerning the fate of fugitive from Turkish justice Fehriye Erdal would continue through May 14. The Belgian court also said that it would rule on that date as to whether or not to continue Erdal's trial in the country. Erdal is wanted in Turkey in connection with the murder of a Turkish businessman, but she has committed offenses in Belgium as well. Turkey has been pressing for Erdal's extradition from Belgium for several years. /Hurriyet/
 TERRORIST PKK TRIES TO PULL WOOL OVER EU'S EYESAt a press conference in Brussels yesterday, the terrorist group PKK announced its expected name change to the "Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress" (KADEK). PKK so-called high official Osman Ocalan said that the PKK had completed its "historic mission." Ocalan claimed that the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz regarding the PKK's inclusion on a revised EU terrorist organizations list was tantamount to preparing the grounds for denying the presence of Kurds or laying plans for their destruction. Hinting that the group could resume terrorist activities, Ocalan said that even if Europe doesn't support the Kurds, it should not stand in their way either. /Hurriyet/
 WORLD BANK APPROVES $1.3 BILLION IN LOANSThe World Bank Executive Board met yesterday to take up a $1.3 civil and financial sector adjustment loan (PFSAL 2), and the board approved the first tranche of that loan to Turkey. The loan is to be distributed to Turkey in three tranches, the first totaling $450 million. /Star/
 US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HEAD MAKES GROUNDBREAKING VISIT TO TURKEYUS Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue will arrive in Turkey today to pay a two-day visit with the aim of lending impetus to Turkish-US economic and commercial relations. Donohue is scheduled to meet Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu tomorrow at a press conference to be held by the Turkish- American Business Council. Since Donohue's trip marks the first official visit of a US Chamber of Commerce head to Turkey, Turkish officials and businessmen are attaching great importance to the visit. /Cumhuriyet/
 IMF'S KRUEGER PRAISES AND CAUTIONS TURKEYThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board approved a first loan tranche of $1.1 billion to Turkey on Monday, but yesterday IMF Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger also sounded a note of caution. Stating that Turkey was progressing well but that there were still some risks facing the national economy, Krueger said, "The Turkish government has made a great deal of progress in the implementation of its economic reform program. In the past, Turkey has been unable to make full use of its economic potential due to a lack of financial discipline as well as structural weaknesses, and it was left exposed to an atmosphere of unstable growth and inflation. The current program, which is working to eliminate these weaknesses, should decrease the economy's vulnerability to shocks as well." Stating that she was continuing to alert Turkey to the timing of production growth and the possibility of new economic blows, Krueger added, "Therefore it is absolutely essential that the program be implemented vigorously with the full support of the coalition government so that the Turkish economy can enjoy uninterrupted growth." /Aksam/
 OZTRAK LAYS OUT NEW RULES OF ECONOMIC GAMETreasury Undersecretary Faik Oztrak said yesterday that Turkey's private sector should be aware of changes to the rules of the economic game and advised them to restructure themselves accordingly. Oztrak remarked that if the sector does not restructure itself quickly, the costs would only grow larger and the transition to the new conditions of economic growth would take even longer. Therefore, he stressed, the private sector must take appropriate measures in its own self-interest. Oztrak added that long-term credit resources with low interest could be obtained from development banks and that the banks should not hesitate to allocate these funds to the private sector. "For economic growth to begin, necessary capital must be put into the banks," Oztrak commented. /Milliyet/
 AGREEMENT SIGNED ON TREATING BRITISH PATIENTS IN TURKEYA preliminary agreement was signed yesterday between Turkey's Acibadem Health and Hospitals Group and UK consultancy firm Operations Abroad on sending British patients to Turkey to receive medical treatment. Operations Abroad has been working on a deal for several months on behalf of the British government to send heart surgery candidates to hospitals abroad owing to a waiting period in Britain that stretch to 16 months. Under the deal, such patients could be treated at Acibadem Group and German hospitals in Istanbul. /Milliyet/
 ATAA HOLDS FAREWELL RECEPTION FOR BAYARThe Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA) held a farewell reception in Washington D.C. last night for Mehmet Ali Bayar, who recently stepped down from a successful tenure as counselor and spokesman at Turkey's Embassy in the US capital. Bayar is to return Turkey to attend the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) Congress on May 18 and to stand as a candidate for the party's leadership. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 GAME WITHIN A GAME BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek comments on news regarding the EU's possible inclusion of the PKK and DHKP-C onto its terrorist organizations' list. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz predicted in Brussels that the European countries would finally add the PKK and DHKP-C onto their list of terrorist organizations. Yilmaz said that all indications pointed to such a development. In a strange coincidence, at the very same time that Yilmaz heralded this news, the PKK itself released another piece of news to the international community. Newswires said that the PKK announced it had concluded all its activities under its current name and would here after continue to work under the name the 'Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress' (KADEK). For some time it has been known that certain countries through their intelligence organizations were trying to free the PKK from its 'terrorist' label. Now, isn't there a connection between the EU's telling Yilmaz that it would add the PKK to its terrorist organizations list and the group's almost-simultaneous name change of the organization? A simple name change won't eradicate the armed PKK. There is an underlying cause for this development. Who can guarantee that Europe won't use this name change as a cover to overlook the PKK's years of offenses? Another question is, why did the EU delay the decision to add the PKK to this list for so long? It probably waited for such a change in its name. If we count our chickens before they hatch, crowing with great satisfaction over the revised list without taking into account the EU and PKK's future agendas, we may be surely disappointed. We have to wait and see what the EU decision on the PKK will bring or take. Many times we have been obliged to adopt such a policy. While dealing with the list, no result emerged from Yilmaz' initiative to prod our accession negotiations with European Commission President Romano Prodi. He stated that Turkey should come back after it has fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria. Certainly, the first thing Mesut Yilmaz will do following his return from the European Convention will be to reiterate some of the impositions both on the government and the public. The bill to abolish capital punishment except for crimes of terrorism or during wartime is now before Parliament. If the right to publish in mother tongue cannot be provided or capital punishment is not abolished unconditionally, it's be easy to guess what Yilmaz will say. He will state that the accession negotiations are going to be shelved. Then will come the threat supporting this argument: 'Whoever obstructs Turkey's EU membership will have betrayed the country.' It is an interesting development that the EU is repeating that we have to fulfill the criteria at a time when the prime minister is sending the bill on capital punishment to the Parliament."
 MODERATION IN OUR REACTIONS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the clashes in the Middle East and Turkey's reactions to them. A summary of his column is as follows:
"It is natural for the Turkish public to react to actions of foreign countries which are contrary to our interests or simply intolerable. It is the democratic right of society to show its thoughts and feelings on the subject through demonstrations. However, these activities should not go to extremes, and impassioned feeling should not lead us to irrational behavior. Recently, the Turkish public has been demonstrating its feelings over developments in the Middle East. The harsh denunciation of Sharon's policies in the demonstrations for solidarity with Palestine, protesting the tragedies occurring in the West Bank, and a show of solidarity with the Palestinians all have just cause. However, the extremist slogans chanted in these demonstrations are contrary to Turkey's mentality, traditions and culture. It should be asked what purpose would it serve if all ties with Israel were cut off, as demanded by Felicity Party (SP) Chairman Recai Kutan. Even Palestinian leaders and their representative in Ankara have made it known that they consider it beneficial for their own purposes for Turkey to maintain its relations with Israel. In other words, no such extreme demand is coming from the Palestinian administration itself. None of the Arab countries which have diplomatic ties with Israel are cutting off their diplomatic relations. Only Egypt has severed some ties. Is there any need for Turkey to move ahead of the Arab countries? In fact, Turkey wants its significance to be felt in the Middle East as a regional power. This is only possible through pursuing a balanced policy. Therefore, if we want Israel to listen to us, we should not cut off the dialogue between our two countries. Within this context, the recent argument concerning an agreement over tanks with Israel should be clarified. The reason why an Israeli firm was chosen for the bid was because it was the only country which agreed to share its technology with Turkey. Turkey should be moderate in its reactions, balanced in its relations and realistic in pursuing its policies."
 WHAT STAGE IS THE WAR AT? BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmlaz Oztuna writes on the ongoing war in the Middle East war. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The war waged between Israel and Palestine seems to nearing an end. Israel had intended to enter Lebanon and eradicate Hizbullah forces based in the southern part of the country. However, the US seems to have halted plans for this operation. US Secretary of State Colin Powell tried hard to block the war from spilling into Lebanon or Syria. As we believe that we are nearing an end to this war, we may now discuss its consequences. It seems that Israel will withdraw from Palestine after making long delays. However, it is understood that it will leave troops at some points for security reasons. Sharon will put this down as a point gained. Nevertheless, throughout the whole world over the last few weeks, antisemitic sentiments, hesitations and, suspicions regarding Israel have grown. No one approved of the violence they inflicted on the Palestinians. Israel lost much prestige. Meanwhile, over 20 Arab countries dithered in useless discussions and left a solution up to the US. As the US was seriously forced to make Sharon stop, it lost face too. It isn't even clear if it has stopped Israel as yet. The US, which already has many enemies and those who envy it, was subjected to criticisms in many countries. It had to delay its plans over Iraq for some time. Saddam must be delighted. The Palestinians lost many lives. However, the idea of a fully independent Palestinian state was accepted by the whole world. In fact the German chancellor has prepared a peace plan based on dividing Jerusalem into two as the capitals of both countries. Notwithstanding all these developments, this war and the peace negotiations which seem near constitute only one stage of the Palestinian problem. Many stages lie before us still."
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