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Turkish Press Review, 02-07-10

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> <map name="FPMap1"></map> Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

10.07.2002

FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] RESIGNATIONS FROM DSP CONTINUE
  • [02] NEW APPOINTMENTS MADE FOR VACANT MINISTER POSITIONS
  • [03] CABINET MINISTERS TO CONVENE
  • [04] BAHCELI: “WE WILL GATHER PARLIAMENT IN SEPTEMBER”
  • [05] NINE DSP DEPUTIES CALL FOR EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS
  • [06] DERVIS MEETS WITH OZKAN, CEM
  • [07] CILLER MEETS WITH ECEVIT
  • [08] BAYKAL: “ELECTIONS SHOULD TAKE PLACE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE”
  • [09] WORLD PRESS ON DSP RESIGNATIONS
  • [10] KAHKONEN: “IT’S TOO EARLY FOR EVALUATIONS”
  • [11] US CONGRESSMAN PRAISES TURKEY’S ISAF COMMAND
  • [12] EUROPEAN UNION SPOKESMEN: “DON’T NEGLECT YOUR REFORMS”
  • [13] CLINTON: “DO YOUR UTMOST FOR EU MEMBERSHIP”
  • [14] KUTAN: “PARLIAMENT SHOULD GATHER ON AUG. 1 AT THE LATEST”
  • [15] AKP OFFICIALS MEET WITH IZGI
  • [16] TUSIAD: “DESPITE POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY, THE PROGRAM IS WORKING”
  • [17] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [18] THE WEST EXPECTS A STRONG GOVERNMENT IN NOVEMBER BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)
  • [19] TURNING POINT FOR FOREIGN POLICY BY SAMI KOHEN MILLIYET)
  • [20] AN EQUATION WITH THREE UNKNOWNS BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] RESIGNATIONS FROM DSP CONTINUE

    A series of resignations from within the DSP which began on Monday with Husamettin Ozkan stepping down continued yesterday. The number of DSP deputies who have resigned from their party has reached 33, including six Cabinet ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, Culture Minister Istemihan Talay, State Ministers Mustafa Yilmaz, Recep Onal and Hasan Gemici, and Education Minister Metin Bostancioglu. With these defections, the number of DSP deputies in Parliament has fallen to 95. Further resignations are reportedly being expected. /All Papers/

    [02] NEW APPOINTMENTS MADE FOR VACANT MINISTER POSITIONS

    Following the resignations of a number of ministers from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and their respective positions, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday made new appointments to fill the vacant positions. Under a decree signed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Sukru Sina Gurel has been appointed state minister and deputy prime minister while Tayfun Icli and Zeki Sezer moved up to be state ministers and Suat Caglayan became culture minister. No names have yet been specified for the vacant positions of another state minister and education minister. /Turkiye/

    [03] CABINET MINISTERS TO CONVENE

    The Cabinet ministers chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will convene today at 11:00 a.m. with the attendance of several newly appointed ministers. During the meeting, recent political and economic developments are expected to be discussed. /All Papers/

    [04] BAHCELI: “WE WILL GATHER PARLIAMENT IN SEPTEMBER”

    Government coalition partner the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) held a meeting yesterday headed by its leader Devlet Bahceli to evaluate recent political developments. Following a series of resignations from senior coalition partner the Democratic Left Party (DSP) on Monday and Tuesday, the MHP currently holds the most seats in Parliament among the three government parties. After an hour-long meeting Bahceli said, “Our party has decided to call Parliament back on Sept. 1 to work out the early elections to be held on Oct. 3.” /Star/

    [05] NINE DSP DEPUTIES CALL FOR EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS

    A group of nine Democratic Left Party (DSP) deputies, led by Uluc Gurkan and called the “Nine,” yesterday declared that they had no intention of resigning from their party. At a press conference, the deputies stated that an extraordinary DSP congress led by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit should be held as soon as possible in order to prepare the party for a future without Ecevit. “For years, we have been presented to the public as an ‘opposition movement’ in the party,” a group statement said. “However, for the time being this group remains in the party, whereas others, those thought of as loyalists, have left the DSP.” /Turkiye/

    [06] DERVIS MEETS WITH OZKAN, CEM

    State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis yesterday met with former Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, who resigned from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) on Monday. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dervis said that he would not step down from his post. Dervis also stated that he had discussed with Ozkan recent political developments. “He explained to me everything from his point of view and I listened, and we discussed Turkey’s problems, especially those concerning the economy,” Dervis added. Dervis also met with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Dervis told reporters after the meeting that he agreed with Cem that the European Union process is important both for Turkey’s economy and its people. /Hurriyet/

    [07] CILLER MEETS WITH ECEVIT

    True Path (DYP) Party Leader Tansu Ciller yesterday met with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to discuss recent political developments in Turkey. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Ciller said that her party would support all measures designed to dispel the country’s political uncertainty. Ciller also said that DYP would give full support to early elections and European Union adaptation laws. “If Parliament doesn’t reconvene, the EU train would be missed,” Ciller added. Ciller also stated that Political Parties and Election Law should be changed prior to elections. Ciller reiterated that the 10% election threshold should not be lowered but that a two-round election system should be implemented. /Hurriyet/

    [08] BAYKAL: “ELECTIONS SHOULD TAKE PLACE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE”

    Appearing on CNN Turk yesterday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Leader Deniz Baykal said that elections should be held as soon as possible with the current government. Baykal also said that a power vacuum persists in Turkey. “There is no need to wait until November for elections,” he stated. “In this case our road to the European Union could be closed, so elections should take place in the short term.” /Hurriyet/

    [09] WORLD PRESS ON DSP RESIGNATIONS

    A series of resignations from within the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the ensuing uncertainty received coverage in the world press yesterday, and a sampling of that coverage follows. British daily The Financial Times wrote that the developments in Turkey would ultimately be constructive, not destructive. The newspaper also wrote that State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis might become active in politics and have a role in a future new government. In the US press, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the political confusion was affecting the International Monetary Fund’s program vis-a-vis Turkey. “A change of government seems inevitable, and early elections will probably come soon,” the paper added. “Those who favor Turkey’s European Union membership suggest establishing a government without the Nationalist Action Party [MHP]. However, Deputy Prime Minister and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli won’t give in because with the DSP resignations, his party became the largest party in Parliament.” In the Greek press, daily Kathimerini wrote that if this crisis leads to early elections, then domestic EU reforms would come to a halt. Stating that many sectors of Turkish society and government, including the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), were opposed to early elections, the Italian Il Sole 24 Ore wrote, “Moving from the Ecevit government without holding elections will be on the agenda. Another formation, led by newly resigned Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan together with the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party [DYP], will emerge.” The newspaper added that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Kemal Dervis would join this formation as well. French daily Le Monde wrote, “The Ecevit government is undergoing a complete crisis. The three-party government is on the brink of being dissolved, and the early elections are inevitable. Husamettin Ozkan used to be considered the heir apparent to Prime Minister Ecevit, but his resignation caused a storm in the DSP. Those who resigned from the DSP might establish a new party. Voters want Kemal Dervis to become active in politics.” In addition, Iranian daily Irna wrote, “A great many government ministers and deputies are awaiting Foreign Minister Ismail Cem’s decision. Cem is the most prominent candidate in line to replace Ecevit.” /Sabah/

    [10] KAHKONEN: “IT’S TOO EARLY FOR EVALUATIONS”

    International Monetary Fund Turkish Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen said yesterday that it was too early to evaluate recent developments in Turkey’s politics. Kahkonen came to Turkey yesterday for the IMF’s third review and started his work by visiting the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD). Following the meeting, which was closed to the press, Kahkonen said, “It’s too early make any evaluations, but it was interesting to learn from TUSIAD the private sector’s take concerning these developments. We will continue our meetings with other institutions of the private sector and then with the government in Ankara.” Asked if the current crisis would affect relations between Turkey and the IMF, Kahkonen said that he would evaluate this issue after completing his meetings. /Aksam/

    [11] US CONGRESSMAN PRAISES TURKEY’S ISAF COMMAND

    US Congressman Elton Gallegly, a Republican from California, yesterday spoke out in praise of Turkey for its taking over the command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Speaking before the House of Representatives, Gallegly said, “The leadership of Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim country, gives the clear message that the international war against terrorism is not a fight against Islam, and it also demonstrates that the US has Muslim allies in its struggle to combat this terrible menace.” Saying that Turkey taking the helm of the ISAF had underlined its importance in the Muslim world, Gallegly added, “Turkey’s assuming the duties of command shows the respect it has earned in the eyes of both the US and the West in general. Ankara’s government is praiseworthy in many ways for its willingness to take on this important role. We congratulate Turkey and wish the greatest success for its soldiers.” In related news, an official period of mourning was declared yesterday for late Afghan Vice President Haci Abdulkadir, who was assassinated last weekend. ISAF Commander Gen. Hilmi Akin Zorlu said that the force’s 5,000 soldiers were on a state of high alert to prevent any similar tragedy from occurring. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] EUROPEAN UNION SPOKESMEN: “DON’T NEGLECT YOUR REFORMS”

    As the stream of resignations and defections from within Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s Democratic Left Party (DSP) are continuing, a spokesman for the European Union Commission, Jean-Christophe Filori, yesterday stated that the EU was watching closely the recent developments on the political scene in Turkey. He remarked that the EU believed that Turkey’s political institutions were strong enough to maintain the political stability necessary to continue reforms for the country’s EU bid. Meanwhile, former European Parliament Turkey rapporteur Hannes Swoboda also voiced his concern about the recent developments in Turkey, underlining that Turkish politicians would probably neglect needed reforms in such an atmosphere of political instability. According to diplomatic sources, many other EU officials believe that Turkey will fail to continue its reforms under a hurly-burly atmosphere of elections. In addition, Jonathan Faull, another EU Commission spokesman, yesterday noted that the commission was in close contact with Turkish Foreign Ministry officials in order to stay up to date on the latest developments. Furthermore, EU Commission Chairman Roman Prodi is expected to visit Turkey on July 18 in order to discuss a number of “essential” and “urgent” issues with Turkish officials. /Cumhuriyet/

    [13] CLINTON: “DO YOUR UTMOST FOR EU MEMBERSHIP”

    Former United States President Bill Clinton yesterday participated in a conference entitled “Turkish-American Relations on the Path Towards the European Union” organized by the Turkish-American Business Association (TABA) at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul. Remarking that Turkey should do its utmost in order to join the European Union, Clinton stated that the Turkish nation should not allow the recent political instability to make it pessimistic. Underlining that there were a number of important problems before Turkey such as abolishing the death penalty, advancing human rights and granting minorities greater freedom, the former president said, “The EU needs Turkey, just as Turkey needs it. Turkey must also immediately address its problems. The world of the 21st century also needs a modern Turkey as one of the most important protectors of secularism and democratic values.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [14] KUTAN: “PARLIAMENT SHOULD GATHER ON AUG. 1 AT THE LATEST”

    Speaking at the Chairmanship Board of his party yesterday, Felicity Party (SP) leader Recai Kutan said that the current government was effectively finished and added, “Parliament should be convened on Aug. 1 at the latest.” Kutan also said, “An election government should be formed as soon as possible and Parliament should take decisions on issues which have vital importance for Turkey such as elections, political parties and the European Union.” /Star/

    [15] AKP OFFICIALS MEET WITH IZGI

    Opposition Justice and Development Party (AKP) Parliament Group Deputy Chairmen Huseyin Celik and Salih Kapusuz yesterday visited Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi and presented a proposal that Parliament consider holding early elections for October. The officials said that they wanted Izgi to reconvene the Parliament on July 23 to look at the proposal. /Star/

    [16] TUSIAD: “DESPITE POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY, THE PROGRAM IS WORKING”

    Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan said yesterday after meeting with International Monetary Fund Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen that despite Turkey’s political uncertainty, its economic program is working. Ozilhan also said that he discussed with Kahkonen the implementation of the economic program and the importance of European Union membership. /Milliyet/

    [17] FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS … FROM THE COLUMNS

    [18] THE WEST EXPECTS A STRONG GOVERNMENT IN NOVEMBER BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

    Columnist Zeypnep Gurcanli writes on the political crisis in Turkey and its repercussions on the US and the EU. A summary her column is as follows:

    “The US and the European Union are following the government crisis in Turkey probably more closely than are the Turkish people, as this political crisis is concerned with two timetables in the US and the EU. US President George W. Bush is resolved to carry the fight against terrorism he started in Afghanistan to Iraq. Bush, who ended the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and challenged Arafat in the Middle East, has started operations to overthrow the ‘real enemy,’ Saddam Hussein. US Assistant Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz will come to Ankara next week to sound out the situation in Turkey. Wolfowitz, who is a Turkey booster as well as a leading ‘hawk’ advocating the overthrow of Saddam, will learn the concerns and expectations of Turkish officials. The US will shape its plans in line with these views. Bush is expected to wait until after the elections for the US Congress this November to begin an operation against Iraq. Therefore, the US needs a serious and stable government in Ankara to coordinate its operation plans against Iraq. The second issue which causes concern in the US is the economic situation. State Minister Dervis’ statement saying that the cause of economic instability is psychological has been noted in Washington. The US expects the formation of a strong government in order to break this psychological barrier either through elections or from the Parliament itself. When all these conditions are cited, it is apparent that the US expects either immediate elections and a new government in November or a new government and elections in autumn 2003. The EU timetable is a little more complex. On the EU calendar there are three issues which concern Turkey in the short term. They are the proposed European army, or the ESDP, Turkey’s membership process and the Cyprus problem. The European Union will decide on admitting new members at the end of December. Therefore, the EU expects a strong, stable government in Turkey in November at the latest. This in turn depends on immediate elections or the formation of a strong and new government. If a decision on ‘immediate elections’ is made, the European Commission in its October Progress Report on Turkey may say that Turkey is determined to complete its reforms. However, as a result of democracy, the elections came in between. Therefore the reforms were not carried out. This in turn would prevent the closing of the EU doors to Turkey. The deadline given for a new government either formed within the Parliament or at the end of new elections is November. If Turkey can accomplish reforms in between, it will still have the right to get a date for the beginning of accession negotiations. On the ESDP there is not that much time. The EU wants to take over the responsibility of the peacekeeping force in Macedonia in autumn all by itself. This will be the EU’s first military operation. However, the EU still lacks the facilities and capabilities to run this operation. Therefore it needs NATO and the key to NATO’s facilities and capabilities is in Turkey’s hands. That is to say the ESDP issue has to be solved as soon as possible. The EU needs a strong counterpart, a stable government in Turkey to negotiate on the issue. The concern over Cyprus is due to the fact that the political instability in Turkey is influencing negotiations in Cyprus. The lifting of Turkey’s pressure, and the withdrawal of TRNC President Denktas from the talks, is a nightmare scenario for the EU. When all these issues are enumerated, the political preferences of the EU for Turkey are the same as those of the US. Both the EU and US officials are expected to convey these messages to Ankara in two important visits. Commissioner Romano Prodi from the EU and Assistant Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz will pay two separate visits to Ankara next week. Both Prodi and Wolfowitz will give the same messages to Turkey even though with different goals. ‘Instability in Turkey will influence the whole region.’ That is if they can find a governmet to relay this message to.”

    [19] TURNING POINT FOR FOREIGN POLICY BY SAMI KOHEN MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes about the possible effects of the current political situation on Turkish foreign policy and the steps that should be taken.

    “If we take into consideration the urgent steps that should be taken in foreign policy matters, we’ll see how unfortunate the current political crisis is. Issues such as our relations with the European Union, direct talks in Cyprus and a possible US intervention in Iraq all require decisive, active leadership. Right now, however, Turkish leadership lacks both qualities. At the head of government, we have an ailing prime minister who is being urged to resign. Disagreement has recently surfaced among the coalition partners, especially on the subject of democratic reforms, and now we witness a split within the senior partner Democratic Left Party (DSP). It doesn’t matter how hard diplomats tried to defend Turkish positions, the political crisis was bound to give rise to doubts on matters such as Cyprus and relations with the EU, for example. The recent events surprised even the diplomatic bureaucracy, but there’s nothing they can do other than to wait and see. If politics centres upon a government crisis or early elections then we will have to put the EU process on hold, because neither the government nor the Parliament will have any time to carry this process forward. Until last week, EU officials were hoping that Turkey would take a decisive stand, despite disagreement within the government, and that this December’s Copenhagen summit would have a positive outcome for Turkey. Now, however, they are doubtful. It’s still not too late to make this happen, though. The only way it’s possible, however, is for the Turkish Parliament to convene as soon as possible (before September even) and pass the EU adaptation laws. If the political crisis escalates, Turkish politics will become ‘reactive’ (as opposed to ‘proactive’) and this will mean a lack of strategy if, for example, the EU decides in favour of the accession of Greek Cyprus. So we can say that, if Ankara is preoccupied with internal politics for the next few months, this will constitute an excuse to avoid making hard decisions. Turkey should take decisive steps to achieve its goals because ‘playing for time’ sometimes amounts to nothing other than time lost.”

    [20] AN EQUATION WITH THREE UNKNOWNS BY CUNEYT ARCAYUREK (CUMHURIYET)

    Columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek writes on the recent political developments concerning the split in the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the crisis in the government. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Turkey’s fate hangs on an equation with three unknowns, to wit: What will be the fate of the government as headed by the DSP? Who will lead the new party formation of DSP defectors? And are the early elections going to be held on Nov. 3 or at an earlier date? The government question hinges on Prime Minister Ecevit’s decision, and Ecevit on his coalition partners. Ecevit’s strategy is clear; he is going to meet his coalition partners Bahceli and Yilmaz on the question of government and his own prime ministry. Bahceli is of the opinion that Ecevit should stay at his post until elections are held. Whereas Yilmaz’s Motherland Party (ANAP) is putting forth its own condition that the Parliament should be back from recess to work and that necessary changes be made for the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria. On the other hand, there are also strong signs -- such as the appointment of new ministers to fill the recently vacated posts -– pointing to the government continuing to carry on. Moreover, the coalition government still has its numerical superiority within the Parliament, even if the number of the DSP’s deputies decreases to the 80s. A vote of confidence is safely secured: the opposition would need 276 votes to overthrow the government, but at present that looks impossible. The timing for early elections is another problem. Devlet Bahceli, the head of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), proposed a date of Nov. 3, whereas ANAP and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) want elections to be held earlier. When it comes to the new party formation, the question is that of leadership. Will it be Husamettin Ozkan or Kemal Dervis? Or will it be Ismail Cem, who might also quit DSP in the very near future? We need one more week for the fog to lift so we can see clearly.”

    ARCHIVE

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