|Thursday, 14 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 02-07-26
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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 & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 SEZER: "A STRONG DEFENSE IS VITAL FOR TURKEY"President Ahmet Necdet Sezer stated yesterday that Turkey had both the ability and the need to maintain a strong defense. Delivering the convocation address to the graduation ceremony at Istanbul's War Academy Commandership, Sezer said that uncertainty and threats on the international scene necessitated a strong defense on Turkey's part. "Our shipyards are fully capable of producing the world's most modern ships and submarines," he added. Also present at the ceremony were Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen and Chief of the General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu. In his speech to the academy graduates, Kivrikoglu stressed the need for a strong naval force. This year 390 students graduated from the War Academy Commandership. /Hurriyet/
 ECEVIT: "EARLY ELECTIONS MAY DELAY PASSAGE OF EU HARMONIZATION LAWS"Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit answered journalists' questions yesterday at Esenboga Airport before his departure for Istanbul to attend a National Security Council (MGK) meeting. Ecevit said that next week after Parliament makes a decision on early elections, work on Turkey's European Union harmonization laws might be delayed. Stressing that his party, the Democratic Left Party (DSP), had worked hard to push forward Turkey's accession to the full EU membership, Ecevit said, "Unfortunately, many circles are insistent on holding early elections. The DSP has been against them from the beginning. The government has been working on reforms for our EU membership bid. When all those are completed, this will be a great step forward for us. However, this opportunity seems to have been lost." Regarding rumors that State Minister Kemal Dervis will leave the government at the beginning of August, Ecevit said, "We have nothing to do if he prefers to serve in a different party. We will continue our duty." He also predicted that the DSP would emerge the winner in coming elections. /All Papers/
 MGK CONVENESThe National Security Council (MGK) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer held its July ordinary meeting in Istanbul yesterday. During the approximately four-hour meeting, the MGK discussed domestic and regional developments and a possible US operation in Iraq. Absent at the gathering were State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis, who is currently in the US, and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, who was in Rize to inspect damaged caused by recent floods in the region. /All Papers/
 CEM: "THE YT IS SECOND TO NONE ON EU ACCESSION"Stating that no one needed to vouch for his credentials on Turkey's European Union accession bid, New Turkey (YT) leader Ismail Cem said yesterday that he was only trying to head off exploitation of the mother tongue languages issue. Speaking to journalists, Cem criticized Motherland Party (ANAP) leader Mesut Yilmaz as trying to claim sole ownership of the EU issue. Cem denied recent media reports indicating that the YT opposed certain EU accession measures. "These reports are regrettable," he stated. "Our path is clear. As I have said before, the YT is second to none in the support for going forward with Turkey's EU bid. I've told Mr. Yilmaz this as well. We will support whatever approach will be the most fruitful." /Cumhuriyet/
 NEW TURKEY PREPARES FOR DERVISAccording to information leaked by diplomatic sources, State Minister for the Economy Kemal Dervis, who is currently visiting the United States, has sent a message to New Turkey (YT) Chairman Ismail Cem and former Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan indicating that he was ready to resign from his post and join their newly established movement. Dervis, who is expected to return to Turkey next Tuesday, will reportedly submit his resignation to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Wednesday in Ankara. After he steps down, Dervis is expected to put together a team within the YT consisting of representatives from various occupational organizations and business groups. /Milliyet/
 DEATH TOLL INCREASES IN FLOOD DISASTER; EMERGENCY AID GRANTEDHeavy rains across the Black Sea region and central-eastern Anatolia this week have taken at least 33 lives while scores of other people are missing. Hundreds of homes have been flooded and livestock killed, and many farmers' fields were ruined. Rescue teams are continuing to search for people in the wreckage. Following the disaster, many politicians and ministers have travelled to the Black Sea region, and especially to Rize. In addition to Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday arrived in Rize, the province hardest hit by severe floods. Yilmaz stated that the damage was extensive, and that TL 500 billion had been granted to the Rize governor in emergency aid. /All Papers/
 NAVAL FORCES CONDUCT ASSET HANDOVER CEREMONYThe Naval Forces Commandership yesterday held a handover ceremony in Golcuk to mark its purchase of five ships, seven boats, two helicopters and an airplane for its army from France and the United States. Speaking at the ceremony, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said, "I am very proud to see our Naval Forces reach such a distinguished point." /Turkiye/
 SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE OZKAYA: "THE DEATH PENALTY SHOULD BE ABOLISHED"Speaking to the Anatolia News Agency yesterday, Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Eraslan Ozkaya laid out his views on Turkish-European Union relations, underlining that Turkey should do its utmost to become a full EU member. Stressing his belief that solutions which would damage neither Turkey's territorial integrity nor its democratic regime could be found to certain sensitive issues such as education in Kurdish and ending the death penalty, Ozkaya stated that a new constitution must be prepared which would pave the way for more democratic practices in the judiciary. Stating that capital punishment should be immediately abolished, Ozkaya said, "Modern societies must protect certain basic rights and freedoms which are sine qua non for a fully democratic regime. The government should find solutions to Turkey's problems by taking national interests and priorities into consideration. I believe such solutions which will pave the way for Turkey's full EU membership aren't difficult to find." /All Papers/
 NSC SPOKESMAN MCCORMACK: "THE US WILL COOPERATE WITH WHOMEVER THE TURKISH PEOPLE ELECT AS THEIR LEADER"Sean McCormack, spokesman for US presidential advisory group the National Security Council, yesterday told a foreign press briefing that the US was ready to cooperate with any leader the Turkish people might elect in coming polls. Stating that Washington was closely following the recent political developments in Turkey, McCormack said, "We're aware of the discussions over early elections in Turkey. Since this issue is a domestic matter for the Turkish people and politicians, I'd rather not remark any further. All I can say is that Turkey is a close ally and friend of both the US and NATO. We're ready to cooperate with whomever the Turkish nation elects as its leader." /Sabah/
 TURKISH AND GREEK DIPLOMATS MEET IN ANKARAOfficials from the Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministries gathered together in Ankara yesterday as part of their regular political discussions. During the meeting, which took place amid recent Greek government operations against the November 17 terrorist group as well as Turkish concerns that DHKP-C terrorists were taking shelter in Greece, a number of regional issues were discussed. The meeting was co-chaired by Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin and George Yenimatas, political director for the Greek Foreign Ministry. Sources from the Turkish side stated that such issues as the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucasus were discussed during the meeting but that it had not touched on bilateral issues. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRAQ ISSUE EXPECTED TO TOP RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT'S VISITRussian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov will arrive in Turkey on Monday as part of a round of Middle East region visits expected to focus on the Iraq issue. During his visit, Turkey and Russia, whose reservations about US intervention in Iraq are well known, will likely discuss common ways to defuse the situation peacefully through the United Nations and other political means. While Saltanov will stress Moscow's opposition to military intervention, Turkey will tell how it has briefed the US extensively on problems that intervention risks creating. /Cumhuriyet/
 OZTRAK: "WE CAN'T AFFORD THE HIGH INTEREST BURDEN INDEFINITELY"Treasury Undersecretary Faik Oztrak said yesterday that if the current high interest rates persisted, this might endanger the achievement of targets in Turkey's economic program. Speaking at a meeting hosted by monthly Global Finance in Istanbul, Oztrak remarked that the Treasury could not afford these rates indefinitely and pointed to the end of political uncertainty to bring the rates down. "We will carry on our borrowing policy in line with the demands of the markets and within the limits of the economic program," he said. "Nevertheless, the present high interest rates must decrease if we are to stay on track with this year's as well as next year's program goals." /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 IS THERE NO HOPE LEFT? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes about the steps that Turkey needs to take to pass the European Union adaptation laws and how likely it is for the European Union to give Turkey a date for the start of accession negotiations. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Have we really missed the train to take us into the European Union? Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stated yesterday that if the issue of early elections hadn't been brought up, steps could have been taken to enact the reforms. Earlier in the week, Ecevit also said that the debate over early elections had made it almost impossible to pass the necessary laws. So Ecevit believes that the Parliament is going to convene next Monday, decide to hold elections and then end the parliamentary session without approving the laws. Hopefully the Parliament will prove Ecevit wrong and put some extra time and energy into passing the EU reform package. If it doesn't approve these laws and elections are held in November then it will be impossible for Turkey to get a date for the start of accession negotiations at the Copenhagen summit in December. EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen made it clear, earlier this week, that Turkey shouldn't expect a date at the Copenhagen summit. He pointed out that the needed laws still hadn't been passed and that under these circumstances it would be unrealistic to expect the EU to start negotiations. So, is the Copenhagen summit Turkey's last chance? The EU diplomats that we spoke to told us that there was still some hope for the coming year. They said that if the government formed after the elections in November is serious about the EU, then Turkey still might have a chance next year to catch the train. However, if Turkey still hasn't taken the necessary steps by 2004, then it should forget about getting a date for negotiations because by then EU will have already enlarged and accepted 10 new members. So if the laws are not passed this year, what's going to happen next year and what should the new government do to make sure it isn't too late for Turkey? Firstly, the new government has to be committed to the objective of EU membership. Secondly, the EU perception of Turkish politics in the post-election period will be very important. If, for instance, the legitimacy of the Turkish Parliament is called into question in relation to the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) and the Justice and Development Party (AKP), then the EU's reluctance to give Turkey a date will increase. So next year we may be up against new obstacles and may well wish we had passed the laws this year, when the time was ripe."
 LET US LEAVE THE EU ASIDE BY ALI SIRMEN (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Ali Sirmen writes on the recent discussions over the acceptance of EU adaptation laws. A summary of his column is as follows:
"The Parliament will convene on Monday. Everyone is wondering if the process to pass the EU harmonization bills will be started. Motherland Party (ANAP) Chairman Mesut Yilmaz, who saw his party has lost most of its voters, seems like a statesman who is ready and determined to do everything he can for Turkey's EU membership bid. The other party leaders are putting forward some excuse or another to evade the issue. Deputies are already caught in the climate of elections which will not solve any issue at all. The bosses in the press are harshly criticizing the politicians by causing us to miss the EU train. The press wants Turkey to enter the EU, and the deputies are concerned with the coming elections. In such an atmosphere, can a positive development be expected on the EU issue? There is no need for any expectations. I would like to call on the deputies to say, 'Let's leave the EU adaptation laws aside, let us be the one who have abandoned the issue.' In fact there is no point in discussing the issue at this time. I would like to make clear that I am in favor of entering the EU. However, neither the EU wants Turkey nor does Turkey want the EU under these circumstances. Do not let the polls do mislead you. The results of all polls demonstrate a willingness on the part of a majority of the people for EU membership. However, the same public doesn't want to fulfill the 'sine qua non' commitments for the EU such as the Copenhagen criteria. Therefore if questions are asked properly, I believe the answers in the polls will come out differently. The greatest problem in a country is not the confusion of its politicians but rather that of its people."
 THE EU PACKAGE, YILMAZ, AND ELECTIONS BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)Columnist Derya Sazak writes on the discussions over how the EU adaptations bill should be debated in the Parliament. A summary of his column is as follows:
"When Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz could not find the support he sought from the political party leaders for a discussion of EU adaptation laws before a decision for new elections on Nov. 3 is taken, he challenged everyone by saying,' If all the parties which have said that they would support our EU bid, work in the Parliament with us, we will not bring up the EU issue during the elections. However, if the enactment of this law is obstructed with trivial excuses, despite all the promises made before the public, we shall build our election campaign on the issue.' Yilmaz's message was directed more to opposition parties such the True Path Party (DYP), the Justice And Development Party (AKP) and the brand new New Turkey (YT) rather than his coalition partners. The request on the part of the YT, which was built around the goal of entry to the EU, regarding the exclusion of the abolition of the death penalty as well as allowing teaching and broadcasting in the mother tongues from the package swept it to the side of Nationalistic Action Party (MHP). However, following criticism in the media, YT leader Cem said they woud sign the bill. There has been a certain softening in the MHP's stance. The Felicity Party (SP) supports it. The Democratic Left Party is in favor of the abolition of capital punishment. Only the DYP and AKP are left. If they too support the 13- article package 'unconditionally' as they had promised the Parliament can pass the EU laws in two or three weeks. Besides, the discussion of EU laws will not hinder deciding on a date for new elections. In the UN Humanitarian Progress Report Turkey ranks 85th, way below Greece which is 24th. It is quickly becoming a Third World country. Even under these circumstances we are resisting the EU. In fact, those governing the country are trying every method to leave Turkey out of the EU enlargement policy at the Copenhagen summit to meet in December. All surveys show that all the political parties are on razor's edge, except for the AKP. However there are no guarantees. All parties could stay well below the election threshold, as the public is furious. The people will not forgive parties which will darken its projects for brighter futures such as the EU."
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