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Turkish Press Review, 02-04-25

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

25.04.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] CEM AND PAPANDREOU PUSH FOR PEACE IN JERUSALEM
  • [02] DENKTAS REJECTS EU TIMETABLE FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT
  • [03] US CYPRUS COORDINATOR MEETS TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS
  • [04] DUTCH INTERIOR MINISTER: “WE WON’T BLOCK ADDING THE PKK TO EU TERRORIST LIST”
  • [05] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: “TURKEY POSES A MAJOR THREAT TO GREECE”
  • [06] “EU COMMISSION: “TURKEY IS ON THE RIGHT PATH”
  • [07] NEW CONDITIONAL RELEASE BILL APPROVED AT JUSTICE COMMISSION
  • [08] US SCHOLAR: “VIOLENT ARMENIAN ATTACKS LED TURKS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES”
  • [09] IRAQI TURKOMAN FRONT CELEBRATES 7TH ANNIVERSARY
  • [10] REMARKS SPARK DISCUSSION OF TWO-ROUND ELECTION SYSTEM
  • [11] TOSKAY CRITICIZES JOB SECURITY MEASURES
  • [12] MONETARY COUNCIL MEMBER GIVES OK ON EXCHANGE RATES
  • [13] WORLD TURKISH BUSINESSMEN GATHER IN ISTANBUL
  • [14] RED CRESCENT AID ARRIVES IN JENIN AND RAMALLAH
  • [15] AMSTERDAM HOSTS TURKISH THEATRE FESTIVAL
  • [16] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [17] NO MAGIC WAND, BUT...... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [18] WAS IT WORTH IT? BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)

  • [01] CEM AND PAPANDREOU PUSH FOR PEACE IN JERUSALEM

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou met yesterday in Jerusalem in a “Peace Coalition” meeting organized jointly by Israeli and Palestinian peace supporters. Speaking at the gathering, Cem said that the two ministers’ historic visit had only came about through his and Papandreou’s cooperative efforts. “We would like to contribute to decreasing tensions in the Middle East,” Cem added. Suggesting that turmoil in the Mideast could spill over to cause wider conflicts, Cem said that their visit hoped to bring a new point of view and approach to both sides. Papandreou added, “We haven’t come here to lecture you, rather we want to raise hopes and lend our support.” /Hurriyet/

    [02] DENKTAS REJECTS EU TIMETABLE FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas met yesterday with officials from the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Denktas rejected demands to find a solution for Cyprus problem before December’s EU summit in Copenhagen, calling such demands reflective of “an EU timetable, not ours.” He added darkly, “If no solution is reached to bring about a partnership, we could be delivered to a Greek slaughterhouse.” /Hurriyet/

    [03] US CYPRUS COORDINATOR MEETS TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS

    United States State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tom Weston yesterday met with Turkish Foreign Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and other Foreign Ministry officials. Turkish diplomatic circles characterized Weston’s visit as a sign of more US involvement in the current round of talks between Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot administration leader Glafcos Clerides. However, Turkish officials conveyed the message to Weston that they did not support the US interceding on the issue since Turkey believes that the two parties on the island will be able to overcome their problems by themselves. Meanwhile, Weston stated that the US administration has asked Turkey to increase its efforts to contribute to the peace talks. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] DUTCH INTERIOR MINISTER: “WE WON’T BLOCK ADDING THE PKK TO EU TERRORIST LIST”

    Speaking at the Dutch Parliament yesterday, Dutch Interior Minister Klaas de Vries said the Netherlands would not veto adding the terrorist group PKK to the European Union’s official list of such groups, as it had previously done along with other EU members. De Vries also said that he didn’t want his country to stand alone in opposing adding the PKK terrorist group to the list. /Sabah/

    [05] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: “TURKEY POSES A MAJOR THREAT TO GREECE”

    In an interview in the current issue of defense community newsweekly Defense News, Greek Defense Minister Yannos Papantoniou makes aggressive remarks about Turkish-Greek relations, arguing that Turkey poses a major threat towards Greek territories. Papantoniou also states that Greece will purchase new weapons as part of its new defense policy. “Turkey is the biggest threat to Greece,” says Papantoniou. “Under our new defense policy, Greece will purchase new tanks and planes as well as many other pieces of defense equipment. Greece spends 5% of its gross national product [GNP] on defense.” Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu stated that Turkey would respond to Papantoniopu’s remarks in the future should the need arise. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] “EU COMMISSION: “TURKEY IS ON THE RIGHT PATH”

    The European Union Commission recently released its spring 2002 report evaluating the economies of EU member and candidate countries. The Commission states in its report that Turkey suffered from a major economic crisis last year but had done its utmost to overcome the crisis, and had emerged as remarkably successful in its economic and financial policies. The report voices the EU’s belief that just as Turkey’s inflation rate will soon begin to fall, the growth of the Turkish economy will move upward significantly as well. The report also adds that positive developments expected within the structure of the EU will positively influence the Turkish economy. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] NEW CONDITIONAL RELEASE BILL APPROVED AT JUSTICE COMMISSION

    A bill proposing amendments to the Conditional Release Law was yesterday approved at the parliamentary Justice Commission. The bill was then sent to the full Parliament to be debated. Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said that some 3-5,000 people could be released under the new arrangements. /Turkiye/

    [08] US SCHOLAR: “VIOLENT ARMENIAN ATTACKS LED TURKS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES”

    Istanbul Yeditepe University yesterday hosted a conference on “The Facts About Armenian Genocide Allegations.” Speaking at the conference, US scholar Professor Justin McCarthy of Louisville University in Kentucky issued a stinging rebuke of the Armenian “genocide” allegations. McCarthy contended that the facts proved that no “genocide” had ever occurred, that on the contrary, Turks had been forced to defend themselves from violent unprovoked Armenian attacks during wartime. He went on to stress that the Armenian allegations were prompted by a desire to claim financial compensation and territorial concessions and that Turks would never give into these false and malicious claims. /Hurriyet/

    [09] IRAQI TURKOMAN FRONT CELEBRATES 7TH ANNIVERSARY

    The seventh anniversary of the Iraqi Turkoman Front was celebrated in Ankara yesterday. Cabinet ministers and parliamentarians attended the reception hosted by Iraqi Turkoman Front representative in Turkey Dr. Mustafa Ziya, and they discussed a possible US operation in Iraq and the Iraqi Turkoman’s situation. Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu remarked that Turkey’s policy on Iraq aimed to protect and preserve the existence of the Iraqi Turkomans. /Turkiye/

    [10] REMARKS SPARK DISCUSSION OF TWO-ROUND ELECTION SYSTEM

    Remarks made by Chief of General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu during a Parliament reception for April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day regarding the possibility of a two-round election system in Turkey made waves in political circles yesterday. Pointing to the success of extreme right-wing politician Jean Marie Le Pen in last Sunday’s French elections, adding that Le Pen then faced another election round, Gen. Kivrikoglu said that a two-round election system would better serve Turkey in blocking marginal parties from coming to power. True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller also said that she favored a two-round election system. Speaking at her party’s parliamentary group meeting, Ciller said, “While retaining the 10% threshold, let’s implement a two-round election system, which would serve to unite the center-right and center-left and ensure stability in our political life.” In addition, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi weighed in on the idea, remarking that the system in question had not been implemented in Turkey because it carried certain disadvantages. When Kivrikoglu spoke he was speaking for himself, Izgi added. /Turkiye/

    [11] TOSKAY CRITICIZES JOB SECURITY MEASURES

    State Minister Tunca Toskay spoke out yesterday on measures to increase job security in Turkey, saying that policies that would raise labor costs immediately after a 9.4% economic contraction “don’t make economic sense.” Addressing a chemical industry sector meeting in Istanbul, Toskay recounted how the industry had only recently emerged from two crises over the last two years and that the sector still faced serious problems ahead. While unemployment remains high, he continued, the government must be cautious about job security measures, which he said should be implemented at the proper time. “If the economy grows by 7% or more for three, four or five years in a row, and everyone is in good spririts,” he argued, “then we can address the issues of social security. But just after Turkey’s economy contracted 9.4%, I cannot approve of steps which would increase labor costs. They don’t make economic sense, nor are they compatible with social justice.” Elaborating on this last point, Toskay said that the government had a social responsibility to provide jobs to the unemployed, even at minimum wage. He said that he wanted private sector players to unite to voice their opposition to such job security measures. /Turkish Daily News/

    [12] MONETARY COUNCIL MEMBER GIVES OK ON EXCHANGE RATES

    A key member of the Turkish Council on Monetary Policy yesterday expressed disapproval of recent statements concerning exchange rates between the Turkish lira and foreign currency made by State Economy Minister Kemal Dervis as well as International Monetary Fund and World Bank officials. Professor Guven Sak, a founding member of the independent body founded last year to establish monetary policies with the Turkish government, called such statements an “interference in the market.” History shows us, he said, that the pattern in such crises is a sharp initial rise in exchange rates followed by a slowing of this trend and then movement in the opposite direction. Therefore, he cautioned, economic growth cannot be achieved by increasing exports but rather by boosting domestic demand. Sak also warned the private sector not to pursue unwise pricing policies. He added that he would ask World Bank Turkey representative Ajay Chibber why he had made such statements. /Milliyet/

    [13] WORLD TURKISH BUSINESSMEN GATHER IN ISTANBUL

    Some 2,000 Turkish businessmen converging from countries around the world will meet today in Istanbul as part of the Fourth World Turkish Businessmen’s Convention. The convention, organized jointly by the World Turkish Businessmen’s and Turkish Foreign Trade Foundation, as well as the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Trade Undersecretariat will last through April 27. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit are both expected to address the meeting. /Turkiye/

    [14] RED CRESCENT AID ARRIVES IN JENIN AND RAMALLAH

    Aid sent by Kizilay (the Turkish Red Crescent) to the Palestinians arrived yesterday in the Jenin refugee camp and Ramallah. Four large truckloads of food and medical aid were distributed by a nine-person Kizilay staff sent to the region. /Turkiye/

    [15] AMSTERDAM HOSTS TURKISH THEATRE FESTIVAL

    This year’s Turkish Theatre Festival, the fifth staging of the annual event, is slated for May 1-12 in Amsterdam. The festival is organized through the joint efforts of the Dutch Culture Ministry, the Turkish-Dutch Theatre Foundation and the Amsterdam Municipality with the aim of promoting bilateral cultural relations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [16] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [17] NO MAGIC WAND, BUT...... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou’s visit to the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “What can be expected from Cem and Papandreou’s Middle East mission? The answer is clear: not much. The Turkish and Greek foreign ministers are also saying that no concrete immediate results should be expected from the visit. Neither Papandreou nor Cem is carrying a magic wand which could straighten out the situation in the Middle East. US Secretary of State Powell lacked such a wand when he embarked on his visit to the Middle East on which all hopes were pinned. If he had, he would not have returned to Washington empty-handed. So why then did Cem and Papandreou undertake the responsibility for such an impossible mission? Both sides believe that stopping the clashes in the region and establishing peace are in the advantage of their own countries. Up to now, neither the US nor the EU has been able to solve the crisis, but efforts are continuing. Therefore, whoever is in a position to have his voice heard and whose location is convenient must help with these efforts. Turkish and Greek diplomatic circles, even though limited, do have such a potential. In the words of one Turkish official, ‘If we do not hold the standard for expectations high, even a modest result from this mission will carry importance.’ Moreover, no harm will come from such a mission. No one will blame Ankara or Athens if the mission fails. On the contrary, everyone will congratulate both countries for exerting efforts with good will. In fact, at the beginning of the mission the US, the EU and Egypt, one of the leading Arab countries, all expressed their support for the trip. What is more, Turkey and Greece’s getting together hand-in-hand for such a mission has surprised the international community. The two rival states, even though they have some serious questions among themselves waiting solutions, have established a constructive dialogue for such a good cause. This has a symbolic significance. Such a common initiative could not be dreamed of even a few years ago. While they are holding talks in the most complicated region of the world, Cem and Papandreou will say, ‘Do as we did. Establish a dialogue and try to solve your problems by talking.’ Certainly both sides are trying to gain from this mission. Turkey will have entered the scene in the Middle East in line with the desires of the public. Launching such an initiative with EU member Greece sends a message to the EU on the importance of Turkey’s location and role. In short, this mission is serving as a public relations mission. There is no peace plan Cem and Papandreou will present to both sides. However, they have some recommendations such as suggesting to them to begin negotiations immediately. Certainly, it will not be easy. However, what is important is somehow beginning an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and searching for a solution to the problems having priority in parallel with the negotiations process aimed at a political solution. Just as in Turkish-Greek relations... Certainly, Turkish-Greek disputes are different in nature than those between Israel and Palestine. However, in crisis management and methods for seeking a solution, everyone has lessons to learn and benefit from others.”

    [18] WAS IT WORTH IT? BY SEMIH IDIZ (STAR)

    Columnist Semih Idiz writes on the Middle East problem. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “It seems as if the suicide bombings have stopped following the operation Israel launched on the Palestinian territories. Only time will tell if they will start again in the future. However, these attacks are not taking place nowadays, when they are expected the most. Certainly, everyone and common sense would dictate it to continue this way. This state of affairs has encouraged all the hawks, namely Ariel Sharon. They may say that the Palestinians are now cowering in fear after they acted determinedly and harshly. Israelis did not care a whit about the anger of the international community, and many unpleasant metaphors and harsh labels were attached to them in recent weeks. In other words, they could not care less. Israel does not attach importance to the UN or the EU. Certainly, it empowers them to take the support of the US. However, even if the US administration changed its pro-Israeli policy, it would not result in a significant change in Israel. In other words, if necessary, the Israeli government would have defied even the US. Here it is not important what foreign countries say, but what happens within the country. Terrorist attacks resulting in the death of increasing number of innocent civilians had become ordinary occurrences. These attacks had led the Israeli in the street to cry out, ‘Stop this violence, no matter the cost.’ I won’t dwell on the history of the suicide bombings, their political or sociological causes and whether the savage Israeli operations against them are right or wrong. My question is to Arafat: Was it worth approving of the terror campaign if the Palestinian administration and its infrastructure built after long, hard efforts would be destroyed? From whom did the Palestinians expect any help? From the UN, which could muster neither the strength nor the will in the face of the incidents in Bosnia? From the EU, which is unreliable in such issues, or from the Arab World, which I believe has done nothing but shed crocodile’s tears for the Palestinians? What exactly did Arafat gain? Sharon has been squeezed into a corner. He now has to accept concepts such as an ‘independent Palestine’ or ‘halting Jewish settlements.’ This is Sharon’s blunder. He stirred up the conflict just to prevent the peace process covering these matters, and the situation has led to a point he least wanted. What Arafat gained from this conflict was the support of the Palestinian people. Formerly, there were groups espousing different views such as Hamas, Hizbullah and many other factions. This may be an achievement. But when its cost to the Palestinian people is considered, one cannot help but asking, was it worth it? Is it leadership?”

    ARCHIVE

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