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Turkish Press Review, 02-07-17

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

17.07.2002

FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

CONTENTS

  • [01] LEADERS AGREE TO HOLD ELECTIONS ON NOV. 3
  • [02] GOVERNMENT LOSES ITS MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT
  • [03] YILMAZ MEETS WITH SLOVAKIAN PRESIDENT
  • [04] YILMAZ: “EUROPE CANNOT LEAVE US OUT”
  • [05] HIGHER BOARD OF ELECTIONS: “NOVEMBER ELECTIONS WOULD STRAIN OUR ADMINISTRATIVE LIMIT”
  • [06] DERVIS: “THERE IS NO PROBLEM, THE ECONOMIC PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE”
  • [07] WOLFOWITZ SPEAKS ABOUT A STRIKE ON IRAQ
  • [08] TOSKAY MEETS WITH IMF OFFICIALS
  • [09] TOBB CHAIRMAN: “TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP IS IMPORTANT FOR THE EU”
  • [10] CILLER CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO RESIGN
  • [11] AKP SECONDS CALL FOR EXTRAORDINARY SESSION ON MONDAY
  • [12] ERDOGAN: “I AM NO ISLAMIST”
  • [13] OPPOSITION PARTIES WELCOME EARLY ELECTIONS
  • [14] BAYKAL: “NOW PARLIAMENT SHOULD SET A DATE FOR EARLY ELECTIONS”
  • [15] WORLD BANK TO RELEASE EDUCATION LOAN TO TURKEY
  • [16] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [17] FOREIGN POLICY WON’T CHANGE, BUT ... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [18] ALLIES OF THE UNITED STATES BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)
  • [19] IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

  • [01] LEADERS AGREE TO HOLD ELECTIONS ON NOV. 3

    At a gathering chaired by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit at the residence of the Prime Ministry yesterday morning, Deputy Prime Ministers Devlet Bahceli and Mesut Yilmaz, leaders of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP) respectively, reached a consensus to hold early elections on Nov. 3, as previously proposed by the MHP. The leaders reportedly agreed to discuss the topic at their parties’ councils. Meanwhile, recently appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel attended the leaders’ meeting for the first time. /All Papers/

    [02] GOVERNMENT LOSES ITS MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT

    With six additional defections yesterday from the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the coalition government lost its majority in Parliament. The DSP fell to become the fourth-largest party in Parliament with 69 seats, while the number of coalition government deputies has fallen to 275. Under the Constitution, governments may face a vote of confidence when their seats fall below 276 in the 550-seat Parliament. However, as there are currently 13 vacant positions in Parliament, in practical terms the present government still holds the majority. Opposition party deputies yesterday made calls on the government to resign, recalling Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s previous statements that the government might withdraw if its votes fell below 276. /Turkiye/

    [03] YILMAZ MEETS WITH SLOVAKIAN PRESIDENT

    Motherland Party (ANAP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz yesterday met with Slovakian Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for the European Union Maria Kadlecikova. Before the meeting, Yilmaz said, “At the meeting we will exchange views on EU issues such as the efforts of both Slovakia and Turkey to join the EU.” Yilmaz said that they would also discuss relations between the two countries. /Turkiye/

    [04] YILMAZ: “EUROPE CANNOT LEAVE US OUT”

    Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz told a gathering of his party yesterday that under the present circumstances the Greek Cypriot administration being admitted to European Union had become inevitable, and that in such a case Turkey could not be excluded from the Union. Yilmaz said that Turkey had no alternative other than making the necessary arrangements and conforming with the EU’s Copenhagen criteria. He added that if Turkey could achieve this, the EU would set a schedule for it so that direct talks could begin for its full membership. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] HIGHER BOARD OF ELECTIONS: “NOVEMBER ELECTIONS WOULD STRAIN OUR ADMINISTRATIVE LIMIT”

    Tufan Algan, chairman of the Higher Elections Board, said yesterday that if Parliament convenes in September and decides to hold elections on Nov. 3, completing the necessary procedures for elections before that date would be next to impossible. Remarking on a date for elections, Algan told reporters that in order to revise the voters’ registration lists, at least three-and- a-half months were needed to prepare after the declaration of such a decision. Pointing to the cost of early elections, Algan said, “Elections would cost at least TL 45-50 trillion, but, we have no money in our budget to allocate.” He stated that if the goal is to hold elections in November, a decision should be made by July at the latest. “Next spring would be more appropriate for proper elections,” Algan added. /Turkiye/

    [06] DERVIS: “THERE IS NO PROBLEM, THE ECONOMIC PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE”

    State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis yesterday met with International Monetary Fund Executive Director for Europe Willy Kiekens and IMF Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen. After the meeting, Dervis said that the work on the economic program was proceeding smoothly and that the program would continue. Dervis also said that there was no problem regarding Turkey’s economic policy commitments to the IMF. Dervis called on everybody to be patient, because the work is going well. “Everyone is worried about the coming four to five months, and alternatives are being weighed at the moment, but we have promised that all the alternatives would involve continued implementation of the program,” Dervis added. Dervis also met with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to discuss recent development in the economy. /Hurriyet/

    [07] WOLFOWITZ SPEAKS ABOUT A STRIKE ON IRAQ

    The US’ Bush administration told Ankara yesterday that it was determined to carry out a military attack on Iraq in any case, with or without Turkey’s active support. Yesterday the US delegation headed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz along with Deputy Secretary of State Marc Grossman and Commander in Chief of US European Forces Gen. Joseph Ralston held a series of meetings with Turkish Chief of General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. After the meetings, Wolfowitz told reporters that the US knew that Turkey had some very important and legitimate concerns about Iraq, adding that the Iraq issue was a very complex one to which there were no simple solutions. “I came here to learn Turkey’s views on Iraq,” he said. “We will assess and discuss this opinion when I get back to Washington.” Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit reiterated Turkey’s position that whatever the circumstances, it could not accept any compromise of Iraq’s territorial integrity, the establishment of a Kurdish state, or any harm coming to Iraq’s Turkmen population. Wolfowitz stated that the US administration recognized Turkey’s sensitivities on the issue and it would take them into consideration, but also that it was determined to strike at Iraq to bring down Saddam Hussein’s regime and there was no way it would alter its decision. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] TOSKAY MEETS WITH IMF OFFICIALS

    State Minister Tunca Toskay yesterday met with International Monetary Fund Executive Director for Europe Willy Kiekens and IMF Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen in order to discuss the effect of the current political atmosphere on Turkey’s economic program. After the meeting, Toskay told reporters that high interest rates had been hurting the economy. Toskay also said that the first five months’ indicators were better that anticipated and the IMF too accepts the government’s economic projections for the future. /Hurriyet/

    [09] TOBB CHAIRMAN: “TURKEY’S MEMBERSHIP IS IMPORTANT FOR THE EU”

    Speaking at a conference in Spain, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said yesterday that Turkey’s full European Union membership was also important for the EU itself. “If Turkey obtains EU membership, then the EU markets would enjoy growth of 9%,” Hisarciklioglu added. Hisarciklioglu called on Spanish businessmen to support Turkey’s membership bid. The TOBB is visiting EU member Spain in order to get support for its membership efforts. /Hurriyet/

    [10] CILLER CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO RESIGN

    True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said yesterday that she welcomed the idea that early elections would be held on Nov. 3. Ciller called on the government to convene Parliament for an extraordinary meeting next Monday and said that if this doesn’t happen, then the DYP would agree with the date the government partners reach a consensus on. Following a DYP Chairmanship Council meeting, Ciller said that since the government’s number of seats in Parliament had fallen below 276, the government had effectively ended already. Stating that Parliament didn’t have the power to represent the nation anymore, Ciller added, “It is impossible for Parliament to work with such a government. We call on the government to resign.” Ciller suggested that after EU accession laws and revisions to the Elections and Political Parties Laws were enacted, then elections should be held. /Aksam/

    [11] AKP SECONDS CALL FOR EXTRAORDINARY SESSION ON MONDAY

    Leaders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) stated yesterday that the AKP would sign onto the True Path Party’s (DYP) proposal that Parliament should convene next Monday. AKP deputy leader Abdullah Gul said that the AKP’s idea had been to convene Parliament next Tuesday, but that it would support the AKP’s proposal so as not to exacerbate the current political chaos. Following his party’s chairmanship council meeting, Gul said, “The agenda should be focused on making a decision to hold early elections. After such a decision is reached, then the EU laws can be enacted by Parliament.” /Milliyet/

    [12] ERDOGAN: “I AM NO ISLAMIST”

    In an interview with British daily the Financial Times yesterday, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted that he was not an Islamist. “In my whole political career I never chose the label Islamist,” he said. “I'm only a Muslim, trying to do what the religion says.” The newspaper wrote that Erdogan was trying to win back the Turkish nation’s confidence and given that the Turkish Constitution draws a thick line between religion and state, it is “hardly surprising” that Erdogan, the popular ex-mayor of Istanbul, is at pains to make such a distinction. The newspaper added that Erdogan saw himself as the solution to the country's current political and economic turmoil. The actual performance of the AKP, a party still mistrusted by Turkey's secular political establishment, would depend on whether a new reformist movement could offer voters an appealing new alternative, the paper predicted. In the interview, Mr. Erdogan dismissed both his emerging political competition and suggestions that he may not be eligible to run in elections that could be held as early as this fall. /Milliyet/

    [13] OPPOSITION PARTIES WELCOME EARLY ELECTIONS

    Parliament’s opposition parties reacted positively yesterday to coalition parties’ decision to hold early elections on Nov. 3. Evaluating the early election date, Felicity Party (SP) leader Recai Kutan said that it would be dangerous to topple the current coalition government before a new government is in the offing. “Turkey is at a critical stage and faces significant issues such as its European Union accession process and a possible operation against Iraq,” he said. Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Group Chairman Mehmet Sahin said that the party would also support a decision to hold early elections before Nov. 3. True Path Party (DYP) Group Chairman Turhan Guven said that the party had no issue with a November election. /Turkiye/

    [14] BAYKAL: “NOW PARLIAMENT SHOULD SET A DATE FOR EARLY ELECTIONS”

    Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that now that the coalition parties had decided on a date for early elections, Parliament should be convened to make this decision official. Baykal also stated that current political developments made early elections inevitable and added, “The opposition parties should also support this decision.” /Star/

    [15] WORLD BANK TO RELEASE EDUCATION LOAN TO TURKEY

    The World Bank Executive Board yesterday approved the release of an educational loan totaling $300 million to Turkey as part of its second 2nd Adaptable Program Loan (APL II). The World Bank’s Turkey Representative stated that preschool education and special education were integral parts of basic education, and that they would be developed thanks to this loan. Implementation within the first basic education program will be expanded, and the government’s basic education program for this year through 2005 will also be supported, the WB added. /Aksam/

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

    [17] FOREIGN POLICY WON’T CHANGE, BUT ... BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen writes about changes that may or may not occur in Turkish foreign policy due to the recent change of ministers.

    “Newly appointed Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel said on his first day in office that no matter who the foreign minister was, Turkish foreign policy would be carried out unchanged and in a consistent manner, and that the only changes would be in the details. This applies to all democracies, including Turkey. There has never been a significant change in Turkish foreign policy due to the appointment of a new minister and there’s no indication to suggest that such a change will occur under Gurel. Turkish foreign policy is based on fundamental principles that no minister can single-handedly change. Having said this, however, it is true that Gurel’s appointment as foreign minister was met with concern, especially abroad. This can be explained by the hard-line stance he had previously taken when state minister on issues ranging from Cyprus to the European Union. Naturally, it would be good if he tried to alter his image of being a bit of a ‘hawk.’ As Gurel said yesterday, the only difference that might occur would be in the details of how foreign policy is carried out. There might be a change in the flexible approach that his predecessor Ismail Cem used to have. Nevertheless it must not be forgotten that even while Cem was at the post, Turkey’s Cyprus policy, largely formulated by Ecevit, was not much different than previous policies on Cyprus. The ‘no-concession’ approach to the Cyprus issue is more or less the approach Gurel will take. The same thing can be said of Turkey’s EU policy. Of course the new minister wants Turkey to become a member of the EU, and there is no doubt that he will do all that he can to get a date for the start of accession negotiations. The key issue, however, is how he will go about doing this. Ecevit wants to pass the necessary legislation to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria. The Nationalist Action Party (MHP) has reservations on this matter. Judging by Gurel’s previous statements, it seems that he has similar worries. Now, however, he is the foreign minister and has the responsibility to work to get Turkey into the EU. There are also other critical matters, such as a possible US intervention in Iraq, that require fast decision-making on Turkey’s part. So the really important question for Gurel is whether the government is going to stay in power long enough for these decisions to be made.”

    [18] ALLIES OF THE UNITED STATES BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

    Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on what US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s recent visit to Turkey actually means in terms of US plans to launch a military operation against Saddam Hussein. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “The United States has a two-pronged strategy concerning the operation it is planning to launch against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein: US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz’s recent visit to Turkey on the one hand, and the recent meeting of Iraqi opposition leaders in London on the other. Wolfowitz’s visit has demonstrated that the US is trying to persuade Turkey, a neighbor of Iraq, to support the operation. In addition, a number of Iraqi opposition leaders met in London to discuss ways of toppling Saddam and how to run the country after he is out of the picture. The opposition leaders agreed upon establishing a council which will work as an extension of the US forces. The council is also expected to try to stir into action other opposition groups in order to deal a domestic blow to Saddam’s administration. According to the information recently leaked, the operation is expected to begin in November, which is also the month for congressional elections in the US. What is on Bush’s mind is neither his ‘sacred war against terrorism’ nor ‘the welfare of the Iraqi people.’ Instead, he seems to be focused on the polls to be held this fall. The polls might provide the Bush administration with a tremendous opportunity to change the disaster of Sept. 11 into a victory for his Republican Party. Bush’s tool to use the campaign season to boost his votes has already been selected: the issue of Iraq. The US president has failed so far to capture Osama bin Laden, but he’s planning to serve Saddam’s head on a platter to the American people as compensation. Meanwhile, Turkey has already been working for a long time on various scenarios concerning the operation and the post-Saddam period. One of the expected scenarios is as follows: Saddam will be overthrown by his closest compatriots, which means a coup d’état by his domestic allies. The other scenario is based on stories of espionage. The CIA might launch a covert operation in Iraq. Despite these alternative theories, the story which Turkey is mostly focused on goes as follows: Public riots break out in the country and the Iraqi people themselves topple Saddam. However, both Ankara and Washington are aware that an Iraqi opposition needs to be supported by foreign powers in order to be successful in organizing such riots. That’s why Wolfowitz is not traveling alone but has been accompanied by US Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman -- a former ambassador to Ankara -- and Commander in Chief of the US European Command Joseph Ralston on his visit to Turkey. The US is determined to persuade the Turkish government. Wolfowitz, Grossman and Ralston are something like an ‘advance guard’ in Turkey, but soon they may be joined by thousands of American soldiers in their wake.”

    [19] IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY BY SEDAT SERTOGLU (SABAH)

    Columnist Sedat Sertoglu writes on recent political developments in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “In politics, a thick cloud of uncertainty hangs in the air. The number of deputies in the coalition parties taken together fell below the critical number of 276. This is a situation where the government should resign in accordance with the rules of democracy, and what is more, wit the rule of ethics. However, there are those who silently continue their work within this turbulent atmosphere. One of them is the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Committee... Turkish and Armenian specialists who had stopped their meetings for a while due to a conflict, met in Bodrum last week away from curious eyes... We believe that they have made important decisions in the meeting which took place in a very positive atmosphere. The request for the meeting had come from the Armenian side. Leaving this issue aside and returning to Ankara, we see that the Motherland Party (ANAP) claims that it is sincere on the EU and election issues. An official from ANAP stated that Nejat Arseven, who is the chairman of the Reconciliation Committee Interparties, has begun to visit all political parties with a text prepared on EU issues. He is asking their views, and next week ANAP will be in the Parliament as the party which undertook the responsibility of the EU issue. If the other parties accept the text prepared as it is, the Parliament can convene on July 22, and if they ask to work on it a little more, on Aug. 1. If they are sincere in the opinions they have expressed, these bills will be passed. It is interesting for ANAP to begin working by undertaking political responsibility. It is praiseworthy behavior. The only party whose stance is clear is the Nationalist Action Party (MHP). The others all seem to be in favor of Turkey’s entrance into the EU. One must, wonder what will they do under these circumstances? Who will have what kind of conditions to vote in favor of the EU bills?”

    ARCHIVE

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