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Turkish Press Review, 02-04-26

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

26.04.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] CEM AND PAPANDREOU BRING AEGEAN SPIRIT OF RECONCILIATION TO MIDEAST
  • [02] ECEVIT CRITICIZES AKP, CHP
  • [03] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CELEBRATES 40TH ANNIVERSARY
  • [04] NSC TO DISCUSS AFGHANISTAN AND MIDDLE EAST TODAY
  • [05] INTELLIGENCE REPORTS: “GREECE STILL CONDONES PKK’S ACTIVITIES”
  • [06] LA CAMARA: “PKK AND DHKP-C WILL BE ADDED TO EU’S TERRORIST LIST”
  • [07] DERVIS SIGNS $1.35 BILLION WORLD BANK LOAN
  • [08] DENKTAS CRITICIZES CYPRUS RAPPORTEUR
  • [09] WORLD TURKISH BUSINESSMEN’S CONVENTION BEGINS
  • [10] CENTRAL BANK ANNOUNCES 2001 PROFIT OF TL 7.5 QLN
  • [11] ARMENIA HINTS AT IMPROVED DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY
  • [12] AUSTRIAN SCHOLAR: “ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONS ARE BASELESS”
  • [13] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS HEAD ON WAY TO VISIT VATICAN
  • [14] DEMIRKUBUZ’S “CONFESSION” TO BE SCREENED AT CANNES
  • [15] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [16] TO THOSE WHO MAY UNDERSTAND BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
  • [17] WOULD THEY TRY IT FOR CYPRUS TOO? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] CEM AND PAPANDREOU BRING AEGEAN SPIRIT OF RECONCILIATION TO MIDEAST

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou met yesterday with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in his headquarters in the West Bank of Ramallah, where he is currently under siege by Israeli forces. After meeting with Arafat, Cem said, “We made a number of proposals to Arafat, one of which was to condemn terrorism using very strong language.” Cem and Papandreou told Arafat as well as the Israeli side that they should convene an international peace conference and work in coordination with the US on a proposal to establish a Mideast peacekeeping force. For his part, Arafat said that until a peace agreement is established in the Holy Land there would be no peace in the Middle East. Then the two ministers met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem. Sharon told them, “We are ready to make difficult concessions,” adding, “I hope that one day we can visit your countries together with the Palestinians.” /Hurriyet/

    [02] ECEVIT CRITICIZES AKP, CHP

    Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit said that he could see the emergency of new divisions in the political spectrum and new initiatives to form parties, adding that an uncertainty was prevailing over Turkey’s political life. Remarking that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was an “heir to a dark past,” Ecevit said, “They depict themselves as exonerated and expect to lead other political parties.” Speaking about the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Ecevit claimed that the party was daring to cooperate with a separatist party for the sake of gaining votes. “Turkey’s citizens have common sense and are not inclined to follow the foolhardy. The DSP will continue its leadership in the political arena,” Ecevit said. /Turkiye/

    [03] CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CELEBRATES 40TH ANNIVERSARY

    A ceremony was held in Ankara yesterday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Constitutional Court. In addition to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, present at the meeting were Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other judicial officials. Addressing the meeting, Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mustafa Bumin said that the court carries out its duty in a manner which is both neutral and independent. Stressing that Turkey was criticized abroad in large part due to its decisions to ban certain political parties, Bumin stated, “Even if a political party is not fully in line with the values of the Turkish nation, such a party should not be shut down due to the thoughts and words of its members, so long as they don’t incite people to violence. Necessary amendments should be made to the Constitution as soon as possible.” Pointing to the court’s busy schedule, Bumin called upon the main opposition political parties to take care when applying to the court. He also added that no one could give orders to the judiciary and that all individuals and groups should avoid trying to influence it. /Turkiye/

    [04] NSC TO DISCUSS AFGHANISTAN AND MIDDLE EAST TODAY

    The National Security Council (NSC) is scheduled to meet today at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara. The Middle East conflict and recent developments in Afghanistan are expected to be major issues on the council’s agenda. Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal will brief the council on their recent visit to the Israeli and Palestinian territories. Cem and Ziyal are also expected to convey their views on the possible roles Turkey might assume in the international arena to help end the ongoing conflict in the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] INTELLIGENCE REPORTS: “GREECE STILL CONDONES PKK’S ACTIVITIES”

    A report recently prepared by Turkish intelligence states that Greece is still continuing to permit and condone activities of the PKK terrorist organization within its borders. The report listed recent PKK activities in Greece as follows: 1) PKK supporters held a protest demonstration in Athens this February 15 to mark the anniversary of terrorist head Abdullah Ocalan’s capture. 2) PKK militants held another demonstration on March 1 in Athens to protest Turkey and to voice their support for Ocalan. 3) The Greek-Kurdish Solidarity Association distributed written announcements at Salonica University on March 6. Furthermore, the report contends, PKK militants are still being trained in a number of refugee camps in Greece. These militants are sent to Europe or northern Iraq after completing their training. /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] LA CAMARA: “PKK AND DHKP-C WILL BE ADDED TO EU’S TERRORIST LIST”

    Speaking at the fourth World Turkish Businessmen’s Convention in Istanbul yesterday, European Union Term President Spain’s Ambassador to Turkey Manuel de la Camara said that the terrorist groups PKK and DHKP-C would be added to the EU’s list of terrorist organizations. /Milliyet/

    [07] DERVIS SIGNS $1.35 BILLION WORLD BANK LOAN

    State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis signed yesterday a $1.35 billion structural adjustment loan with World Bank Vice President Johannes Lynn in Washington. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dervis said that domestic political changes or elections would not greatly affect the economic structure in Turkey. For his part, Lynn said that Turkey’s current economic program was going well, adding that the WB supported the social side of the program, namely programs to help agriculture, health and education. /Hurriyet/

    [08] DENKTAS CRITICIZES CYPRUS RAPPORTEUR

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday criticized the European Council Parliamentary Assembly’s (ECPA) Cyprus rapporteur, Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty. At a press conference, Denktas spoke on his recent contacts with the European Council. Denktas said that Marty had prepared a biased report without examining the Cyprus issue from both sides and that the report needed to be amended before bringing it for debate at the full ECPA. Denktas called on the Council to prepare a report detailing the numerous violations of Cypriot Turks and constitutional rights as well as the effects of the economic embargo. Recalling that direct bilateral talks were still continuing in Cyprus, the president stated that the EU was wrong to apply pressure for a solution within a limited timeframe. He reiterated that a settlement on the Cyprus problem was only possible by a partnership founded on the principle of equality for both sides. /Turkiye/

    [09] WORLD TURKISH BUSINESSMEN’S CONVENTION BEGINS

    Turkish businessmen active in many parts of the world as well as in Turkey gathered together in Istanbul yesterday. The theme of the fourth World Turkish Businessmen’s Convention, “One More Step for Turkey’s Future,” has a special significance at a time when the nation is emerging from one of its largest crises ever, one in which many Turkish businessmen and entrepreneurs moved their investments outside of the country. Some 2,000 Turkish businessmen converging from countries worldwide met in Istanbul’s Lutfi Kirdar Congress Hall for the convention. The gathering, organized jointly by the World Turkish Businessmen’s Association, Turkish Foreign Trade Foundation, Foreign Ministry and Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, will last through tomorrow. Chief sectors of the Turkish economy which have a potentially significant role in Turkish industrial exports are being discussed in eight meetings. Additionally, country-specific workshops are being held to discuss strategies for Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, the United States, Spain, Israel and others. Many Turkish and foreign firms are expected to participate in the convention. Information booths will also help visitors with brochures and other publications from public and private institutions and professional organizations. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent a message to the convention saying that the recent difficult period of economic crises represented an opportunity to reach the standards of a world class market economy and modern participatory democracy, both of which Turkey had taken important steps towards. /Turkiye/

    [10] CENTRAL BANK ANNOUNCES 2001 PROFIT OF TL 7.5 QLN

    The Turkish Central Bank yesterday announced that in 2001 it had made profits of TL 7.5 quadrillion, mostly due to the economic crisis last year that hit the public and private sector alike. The profit will be used to offset the losses of the public sector and private banks in the government’s rehabilitation fund. According to 2001 balance sheet figures released by CB Governor Sureyya Serdengecti, the bank earned 8.2 quadrillion from high interest rates stimulated by the crisis, but also incurred considerable losses in exchange transactions when the crisis broke out. These losses decreased following the implementation of the government’s economic stability programme, which pushed exchange rates down. The CB’s total net profit in 2000 was TL 992 trillion. /Milliyet/

    [11] ARMENIA HINTS AT IMPROVED DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY

    Armenia’s government recently conveyed positive messages to Turkey on improving political dialogue between Ankara and Yerevan at a panel entitled “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation” recently held in Stockholm, Sweden. Motherland Party (ANAP) Deputy Bulent Akarcali represented Turkey at the panel, and Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Rouben Shougarian attended the panel as the representative of Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian. During a face-to-face meeting with Shugaryan, Akarcali stated that he had the impression that Armenian policy on Turkey was evolving towards a more peaceful understanding of bilateral relations in favor of improving political dialogue. While Shougarian stressed the need for political pragmatism and policies towards regional cooperation, Akarcali underlined Turkey’s efforts to normalize its relations with Armenia. Akarcali also reiterated Turkey’s view that history should be judged by historians and scholars and criticized Armenia for not allowing historians full access to its state archives. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] AUSTRIAN SCHOLAR: “ARMENIAN ALLEGATIONS ARE BASELESS”

    An Austrian scholar yesterday declared at an international conference that Armenian allegations of a genocide early in the 20th century were “baseless.” Speaking to the conference held at Gerhard Mercator University in Duisberg, Germany, Professor Erich Feigl said that the Armenians were trying to mislead the international community through unfounded allegations and false documents, especially on the so-called “genocide commeration day,” April 24. /Aksam/

    [13] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS HEAD ON WAY TO VISIT VATICAN

    Religious Affairs Directorate head Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz left for the Vatican yesterday to sign a “Declaration of Intentions” with Pope John Paul II. Before his departure, Yilmaz told reporters that he and the pope would sign the declaration in the interests of promoting human peace, prosperity and mutual cooperation between people of faith within the framework of dialogue between religions. /Turkiye/

    [14] DEMIRKUBUZ’S “CONFESSION” TO BE SCREENED AT CANNES

    Organizers of the 55th annual Cannes Film Festival have announced the official selection of films for this year. Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz’s “Confession” will be screened under the category “Un Certain Regard.” In addition, “La Mort en Exil,” a film by Turkish director Ayten Mutlu Saray, will be screened under the category “Cinefondation” in which more than a dozen short and mini-feature films from film schools will compete. /Cumhuriyet/

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

    [16] TO THOSE WHO MAY UNDERSTAND BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Okay Eksi writes on the message US President George W. Bush issued on April 24 commemorating the Armenians who died during World War I. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “As discussions continued as to whether US President Bush would label the incidents during World War I a ‘genocide,’ he issued a message showing that he didn’t define them that way. We’re not talking about the word ‘massacre.’ I don’t know if the word ‘annihilation’ used last year was less strong, but from the point of view of international law, the important word is ‘genocide.’ In line with a resolution the US Congress adopted, the president has to issue a message every year on April 24 and commemorate the Armenians who died while they were being deported to Syria, which at that time was another province of the Ottoman Empire. For years the Armenian lobby has been pressuring Washington to say that Turks committed ‘genocide.’ And if they manage to get this done, they are then hoping to get compensation from Turkey. What interests us are the facts. The allegations are due to the decision taken by the government to relocate Armenians by force to another part of the Empire as a result of the Armenian uprisings against the state in various locales, their raiding, burning and destroying villages, massacring many civilians, and enrolling in the Russian and later French armies to fight against the Ottoman Empire they were a part of. In fact renowned historian and Middle East expert Professor Bernard Lewis spoke with former Pakistani Ambassador and journalist Akbar Ahmed earlier this year, and he said the following: “The point that the massacre of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was the same as what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany is a downright falsehood. What happened to the Armenians was the result of a massive Armenian armed rebellion against the Turks, which began even before the war broke out, and continued on a larger scale. Great numbers of Armenians, including members of the armed forces, deserted, crossed the frontier and joined the Russian forces invading Turkey. There was guerilla warfare all over Anatolia. And it is what we nowadays call the National Movement of Armenians Against Turkey. The Turks certainly resorted to very ferocious methods in repelling it. There is clear evidence of a decision by the Turkish government to deport the Armenian population from the sensitive areas... not including the Arab provinces which were then still part of the Ottoman Empire. There is no evidence of a decision to massacre. On the contrary, there is considerable evidence of an attempt to prevent it, which were not very successful. Yes, there were tremendous massacres, the numbers are very uncertain but a million may well be likely. The massacres were carried out by irregulars, by local villagers responding to what has been done to them. But to make this a parallel with the holocaust in Germany, you would have to assume the Jews of Germany had been engaged in an armed rebellion against the German state, collaborating with the allies against Germany... This seems to me a rather absurd parallel.”

    [17] WOULD THEY TRY IT FOR CYPRUS TOO? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the Turkish and Greek foreign ministers’ visit to the Middle East and asks if it would be possible for them to try the same for Cyprus. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Maybe it was the last question to ask Arafat, who certainly has his own concerns... Did the Palestinian leader believe that the joint Middle East peace initiative by the Turkish and Greek foreign ministers would have positive effects on relations between the two countries? In fact this question posed to Arafat is asked in another way: If Cem and Papandreou are on such good terms and taking on the responsibility to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, why aren’t they doing the same for Cyprus? For example why aren’t they concentrating on launching a joint initiative for Cyprus and taking a symbolic step? The answer may be that there are great differences between the Cyprus issue and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. There is an ongoing dialogue in Cyprus. Denktas is meeting Clerides and both Ankara and Athens are supporting this dialogue. Furthermore, Cem and Papandreou, who are launching a joint initiative aimed at easing tensions in the Middle East, are striking examples in creating an atmosphere of confidence in Turkish-Greek relations. However, following the Middle East mission, can’t they make a similar effort for Cyprus? We know that it isn’t easy, but everyone expects two ministers such who have shown the will to solve a more complicated problem to show the same courage for Cyprus. On Cyprus, the negotiations between Denktas and Clerides are going on their fifth month. Up to now, improvement has been seen on basic issues. When the negotiations began, it was hoped that they would be concluded by June. Now Denktas is complaining of setting such a deadline and of the EU’s pressures. However, if there are no improvement in the next few weeks, it will be hard to avoid unpleasant developments in the second half of the year. This is true both for the TRNC and Turkey, and the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece. Recently, experienced diplomat turned politician Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik presented an interesting idea which attracted great attention both in the press and diplomatic circles. He said that Turkey and Greece should be actively involved in a search for the Cyprus problem. This idea should be seriously discussed in view of the recent developments. The time has come for Ankara and Athens to play a role towards easing and accelerating a solution. The first steps in this direction can be taken by Cem and Papandreou, and then a positive impact of the Middle East mission would be felt in Cyprus.”

    ARCHIVE

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