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Turkish Press Review, 02-07-23

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

23.07.2002

ECEVIT’S WITHDRAWAL PLAN BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (HURRIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] BAHCELI: “IF ELECTIONS ARE NOT HELD, WE WILL WITHDRAW FROM THE GOVERNMENT”
  • [02] PARLIAMENT SESSION CUT SHORT, NEW DATE SOUGHT
  • [03] DSP: “WE ARE READY FOR ELECTIONS”
  • [04] MGK TO CONVENE THURSDAY
  • [05] NEW TURKEY HOLDS FIRST MEETING
  • [06] CILLER: “ALL PARTIES SHOULD SUPPORT TWO-ROUND ELECTIONS”
  • [07] EU LEADERS: “WE HOPE AND EXPECT TURKEY WILL MOVE CLOSER TO THE UNION”
  • [08] ECHR RULES IN TURKEY’S FAVOR IN ARMY CASE
  • [09] KAHKONEN: “DESPITE POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY, THE ECONOMY IS GOING WELL”
  • [10] VERHEUGEN DOUBTFUL OVER TURKEY’S RESOLVE FOR EU REFORMS
  • [11] PRELIMINARY STEPS UNDERWAY ON TURKEY-GREECE GAS PIPELINE
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [13] ECEVIT COULD RESIGN BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)
  • [14] ELECTION CAMPAIGN HAS ALREADY BEGUN
  • [15] BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
  • [16] ECEVIT’S WITHDRAWAL PLAN
  • [17] BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (HURRIYET)

  • [01] BAHCELI: “IF ELECTIONS ARE NOT HELD, WE WILL WITHDRAW FROM THE GOVERNMENT”

    At a press conference in Parliament yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said that his party would withdraw from the coalition government if elections were not held on Nov. 3. Recalling the coalition government leaders’ agreement at a summit in July concerning early elections, Bahceli said, “Despite this agreement, our other coalition partners, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP), have since been taken a different stance on the topic.” Bahceli claimed that the DSP wanted elections to be postponed, while ANAP was in favor of debating the European Union harmonization laws first rather than elections. Warning his coalition partners that the country might face a crisis if the current uncertainty continues, Bahceli said, “If a date for elections is postponed until after Nov. 3 or new conditions emerge which make it impossible to hold elections on this date, the MHP will not continue to serve in the current government. Establishment of a new government to hold elections will be inevitable.” /All Papers/

    [02] PARLIAMENT SESSION CUT SHORT, NEW DATE SOUGHT

    Parliament convened yesterday for an extraordinary session upon a proposal given by the True Path Party (DYP) and the Justice and Development Party (AKP). However, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi ended the session with no business having been done as a quorum of 184 deputies was not present, but said Parliament would reconvene on Sept. 1. Meanwhile, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) declared its intention to call Parliament for a session on July 29 to make a decision on elections to be held on Nov. 3. The True Path Party (DYP), the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and the Felicity Party (SP) are expected to support that call. /Aksam/

    [03] DSP: “WE ARE READY FOR ELECTIONS”

    Following Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli’s statement yesterday that if elections are not held on Nov. 3, his party will withdraw from the coalition government, Prime Minister and Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Bulent Ecevit gathered with the DSP Cabinet ministers to discuss the developing situation. After the meeting, State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel told reporters that the DSP was ready for elections in any case. Meanwhile, Ecevit is expected to meet with True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller today. /Aksam/

    [04] MGK TO CONVENE THURSDAY

    The National Security Council (MGK) is scheduled to meet this Thursday under the chairmanship of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, and with the participation of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. The Iraq issue will reportedly be at the top of the agenda during the MGK’s meeting. The council will discuss US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s contacts during his visit to Ankara last week and review Turkey’s Iraq policy as well as its strategy in case of possible US attack on Iraq. The council will also assess recent political developments in northern Iraq regarding the formation of a possible Kurdish state, the activities of the terrorist organization KADEK and the future of the Turkmen population living in the region. /Cumhuriyet/

    [05] NEW TURKEY HOLDS FIRST MEETING

    Members of the new political formation led by former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and former Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan yesterday became a political party under the name the New Turkey (Yeni Turkiye), or YT. The founders of the new party elected Cem as their founding chairman. Speaking at the party’s inaugural parliamentary group meeting, Cem said that the YT was ready for early elections and that it was also ready to fulfill its responsibility to pass laws crucial for Turkey’s membership to the European Union. Cem also said that the YT’s support for EU reforms would be unconditional. “What we have done in the past is the guarantee of our future performance,” Cem added. /Hurriyet/

    [06] CILLER: “ALL PARTIES SHOULD SUPPORT TWO-ROUND ELECTIONS”

    At a meeting yesterday of her party’s parliamentary deputies, True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said that her two-round elections proposal should get broad support. Touching on Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s charges that the People’s Democratic Party (HADEP) and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) constitute threats for Turkey, she stated, “All the political parties which shun HADEP and the AKP should support the two-round elections proposal.” She added, “If they fail to support this proposal, it means that they fear the nation’s decision.” Ciller also said that she would visit political party leaders for a fourth time to discuss such issues as the Elections and Political Parties Law. She is to meet with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit today. /Sabah/

    [07] EU LEADERS: “WE HOPE AND EXPECT TURKEY WILL MOVE CLOSER TO THE UNION”

    Even as recent domestic political developments have caused relations between Turkey and the European Union to be temporarily suspended in practice, the European Union continues to issue encouraging messages. During its General Work Council convened yesterday under the chairmanship of current EU Term President Denmark, political developments in Turkey were among the important issues on the agenda. Speaking at the meeting’s morning session, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller said that in spite of the political uncertainty, he wanted Turkey to move closer to the EU. Meanwhile, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said that Turkey should continue to implement its reforms. He added that a more effective formula focused on the EU membership target should be found in Turkey. In addition, EU Commission head Romano Prodi stated that the EU was waiting for Turkey to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria, adding that he wanted to visit Turkey in the near future. /Milliyet/

    [08] ECHR RULES IN TURKEY’S FAVOR IN ARMY CASE

    The European Court of Human Rights yesterday dismissed a complaint filed by 13 former Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) officers alleging religious discrimination on the TSK’s part. The officers and noncommissioned officers were discharged by the Supreme Military Council in 1995-97 for supporting fundamentalist activities incompatible with their military duties. The complainants -- five from the Nakshibendi religious faction, three Fethullah supporters, and five supporters of other fundamentalist groups -- claimed that Turkey had violated the European Convention of Human Rights’ guarantee of freedom of faith, but the court rejected these arguments. “Officers and noncommissioned officers in Turkey can carry out their religious duties within the framework of their military tasks and responsibilities,” said the ECHR’s decision. “Just as in every country, the armed forces in Turkey perform their activities within a certain discipline. Those who enter the armed forces are responsible to stay in compliance with this discipline.” /Milliyet/

    [09] KAHKONEN: “DESPITE POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY, THE ECONOMY IS GOING WELL”

    At a joint press conference yesterday with IMF Turkey representative Odd Per Brekk, International Monetary Fund Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen said that the nation’s recent political uncertainty had negatively affected Turkey’s financial indicators but that nevertheless the economic program was continuing to go well. Kahkonen also that if everything goes as expected at the IMF Executive Board meeting in August, a $1.1 billion loan tranche would be released to Turkey. /Hurriyet/

    [10] VERHEUGEN DOUBTFUL OVER TURKEY’S RESOLVE FOR EU REFORMS

    Speaking at the European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday, European Union Commissioner Responsible for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen said that he had serious doubts about the current Turkish government implementing needed EU reforms. “There is political and economic uncertainty in Turkey, and a date for the early elections is not even clear, ” he said. EU Term President Denmark’s Foreign Minister Per Steg Moller stated that it was very important for the EU that Turkey implement the EU reforms and make progress for its membership bid. Verheugen also said that a government formed after early elections this November, just before December’s EU Copenhagen summit, would not have enough time to enact the required legislation for EU membership. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Austrian Foreign Minister Waldner Ferrero echoed Verheugen’s remarks. /Sabah/

    [11] PRELIMINARY STEPS UNDERWAY ON TURKEY-GREECE GAS PIPELINE

    Preliminary engineering studies are currently underway on a planned natural gas pipeline which will link Turkey to Greece. Through the pipeline bridge between the two nations, natural gas extracted from the Caspian Basin, Russia and the Middle East is going to be pumped first from Turkey to Greece and than from Greece to other countries in Europe. The pipeline construction is scheduled to begin next year and to be finished in 2005. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS

    [13] ECEVIT COULD RESIGN BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak writes on the latest political developments and the various election strategies of the political parties. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Politics is becoming so complicated that the politicians who gathered in Ankara yesterday for the funeral of Metin Toker seemed very confused about what might happen in the coming days. Prime Minister Ecevit could resign. After Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli stated yesterday that his party would withdraw from the government if elections were postponed, Ecevit called an urgent meeting with the ministers from his Democratic Left Party (DSP). Ecevit expressed his opposition to early elections a few days ago by saying ‘If the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) get into Parliament then we will be faced with a regime crisis.’ Bahceli, on the other hand, doesn’t look as if he is going to retreat on his resolve to hold elections on Nov. 3. Bahceli, with his statement yesterday, definitely burned his bridges regarding the future of the government. It is said that if Ecevit resigns, then President Sezer will have to assign the largest party in Parliament, the MHP, to form a government. If the MHP is unable to form a government with the political parties in favour of early elections, then it may play for time and wait until 45 days are up, which is the time it has to get a vote of confidence from the Parliament. If a government isn’t formed within 45 days, then the president is obliged to dissolve the Parliament and call for elections. One other party that would be willing to come to power until elections are held is the newly established party, ‘New Turkey’ (YT). While its leader Ismail Cem says that they are ready for early elections, it is being said that YT co-founder Husamettin Ozkan and Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz are exploring the possibility of establishing a government that could pass the necessary EU adaptation laws. Cem and Ozkan have no doubt that current Economy Minister Kemal Dervis will join their new party upon his return to Ankara from the United States on August 1. However, there are a number of deputies who are uncomfortable with the fact that the new party’s ranks have so far been limited to ex-DSP deputies. They argue that the only way New Turkey can be successful is if Dervis joins the party. Judging by the latest developments, this Parliament won’t be able to pass the EU adaptation laws or decide to hold elections on Nov 3. Ecevit considered withdrawing from the government yesterday, but the final decision is going to be made after his meeting with the True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller today.”

    [14] ELECTION CAMPAIGN HAS ALREADY BEGUN

    [15] BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi writes on Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s recent statements on the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) arguing that these two parties pose a threat to Turkey’s democratic regime. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Despite all his recent statements against the political circles who argue that early elections should be held this fall, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is seemingly preparing for early elections. Ecevit’s recent statements on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) show clearly that he has already started his election campaign. If Ecevit really thought that the polls might be held in 2004, he would never made those remarks, underlining that an increase in the votes of AKP and HADEP would mean that Turkey’s democratic regime is under the threat of either radical Islam or ethnic separatism. Above all, he would never publicly voice such a combative argument that HADEP represents a separatist movement. Although we believe that Ecevit should immediately explain the basis for his arguments to the public since they might spur a judicial process to close the two parties down, we can’t argue that his remarks are truly baseless. In our interviews with representatives of HADEP, we’ve always asked the same two questions: ‘Why do you always label yourself as “Kurds” while at the same time talking about being a party representing the Turkish nation as a whole?’ and ‘Can’t you see that HADEP is isolating itself from all other groups in society by putting so much emphasis on its Kurdish identity?’ If it really wants to be a party of the whole Turkish nation, HADEP should abandon its arguments downplaying Turkish identity and stressing Kurdish identity. If the Supreme Board of Elections decides to include these parties on the list of political parties to participate in the polls, nobody would have the right to oppose this decision by saying, ‘The policies of this or that party will endanger Turkey’s democratic regime.’ However, if it is the premier himself who makes such remarks, then nobody will believe that Turkey has a truly democratic regime.”

    [16] ECEVIT’S WITHDRAWAL PLAN

    [17] BY MUHARREM SARIKAYA (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Muharrem Sarikaya writes on the current developments regarding the discussions over holding elections. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The sudden press conference held by Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, who usually avoids such unplanned events, accelerated the scenarios regarding new elections and the suspension of enacting EU laws. The reasons for Bahceli’s statement that the MHP would withdraw from the government if a decision for new elections on Nov. 3 is not taken were that he believed there were some efforts to prevent the holding of elections, and the MHP wanted to show its determination on the matter. The policy pursued by the prime minister for some time was held up as an example of ‘some efforts.’ Prime Minister Ecevit, who seemed to favor elections on Nov. 3 at the leaders’ summit, announced 24 hours before a parliamentary group decision that he was against it. When Prime Minister Ecevit said that he would hold a meeting with his ministers, just after Bahceli’s press conference, there was a hubbub in the corridors of Parliament. The reason was the possibility that Ecevit would decide to resign . During the meeting with the ministers, the possibility of his resignation was in fact discussed. However, if he resigns, both the laws on election and the EU reforms will have to be suspended. The reason for such a development lies in Article 78 of the Parliamentary Regulations. ‘In the event of a withdrawal of the Council of Ministers, discussion of bills and proposals other than Constitutional amendments and changes in parliamentary regulations in commissions and the plenary session is therewith suspended until a new Cabinet wins a vote of confidence.’ The resignation of the prime minister means the withdrawal of the Council of Ministers. The commissions and the plenary session cannot work until a new Cabinet is formed. Therefore, the EU reform bills and a decision on new elections cannot be passed. The only exception is if the Council of Ministers reports to the Bureau of the Speaker that certain laws have priority. It is not probable for the Democratic Left Party to state that a decision on elections has priority. If the prime minister resigns, a new Cabinet has to be formed and receive a vote of confidence to decide on Nov. 3 as an election date. For a government to receive a vote of confidence in a Parliament made up of many different parties, a quorum of 276 has to be reached. What is more, the possibility of a quick agreement in forming a coalition government is very weak. Therefore, if Ecevit resigns, a chaos will ensue in the Parliament. The only person capable of overcoming these bottlenecks is President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who is equipped with constitutional powers to dissolve the Parliament and decide on holding new elections and forming a new government.”

    ARCHIVE

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