|Friday, 15 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 02-11-12
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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
 ECEVIT CONCURS WITH SEZER ON INDIVIDUALLY
 TARGETED LAWSSpeaking at a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, whose term in office is set to end soon, said that he agreed with recent remarks by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer arguing that laws which apply to a single individual should be avoided. “I consider supporting Sezer’s statements my duty,” added Ecevit. “Sezer is very sensitive on secularism, and I am heartened that such a person is continuing his duty as Turkey’s president.” Ecevit also stated that Turkey would face a serious “state problem” under the government set to succeed his because, in his view, the Cabinet wouldn’t be led by a prime minister, but by a “shadow prime minister.” In both statements Ecevit was referring to the lack of clarity over who will lead the incoming government. While it is customary for the leader of the winning party to become prime minister, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently legally barred from doing so. Plans have been discussed to change the law to allow his prime ministry, which would amount to a law applying to a single person. “This problem [of Cabinet leadership] should be solved by the [incoming] ruling party [the AKP], since it wouldn’t be proper for the nation to be governed by a shadow prime minister for very long,” added Ecevit. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN: “SEZER’S STATEMENTS WERE
 DISRESPECTFUL TO THE NATION’S WILL”Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of incoming ruling government party the Justice and Development Party (AKP), yesterday took exception to recent statements by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, characterizing them as “disrespectful to the nation’s will.” Sezer had said that laws which apply to a single individual should be avoided and that the law shouldn't be politicized, both in apparent implicit reference to calls to change the law so that Erdogan can become prime minister, a post he is currently barred from. “Politics should proceed through the nation’s will,” said Erdogan. “The incoming AKP government will always listen to ideas from other parties, but it will carry out its duty by itself. This is a requirement of democracy.” He added that if the AKP shared the duty given to it by the nation, Turkey could enter an “antidemocratic process” and such a movement could damage politics. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN: “TURKEY NEEDS A NEW VISION”In an interview in Sunday’s Washington Post, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of incoming ruling party the Justice and Development Party (AKP), stated that Turkey needed a “new vision” and further modernization. The interview with Erdogan, whose party won a landslide victory in last week’s general elections, was also excerpted in Newsweek’s European edition. Asked whether his party constituted a threat to Turkey’s secular, democratic regime, Erdogan replied, “Our party sees secularism as an important segment of democracy. Secularism establishes the administrative structure of this country. Our political party is not Islamic. It is not based on religion. However, the Turkish media tried to place us in that category. A political party cannot be Islamist. It cannot be for Islam. These are inaccurate terminologies. Islam is a religion, and a party is just a political institution.” Erdogan also offered his views on Turkey’s IMF-backed economic program, stating that his party would review the social aspect of the program, which he charged “creates unemployment.” Asked whether the incoming AKP-led government would cooperate with an American-led invasion of Iraq, letting the US use Turkish airbases and station troops in this country, Erdogan said, “The UN decisions will have a binding effect on us. It would not be appropriate for us to act without a UN decision. If the goal is to remove weapons of mass destruction from Iraq, then Iraq appears to be willing to accept the UN specialists on this matter. According to US statements, if the reports of these auditors are positive, the problem might be solved peacefully.” /Cumhuriyet/
 ANNAN PRESENTS SOLUTION PLAN FOR CYPRUSUnited Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday submitted a comprehensive solution plan for the Cyprus issue to the two leaders on the island. Copies of the 150-page plan were reportedly also submitted to the island’s guarantor countries, Turkey, Greece and Great Britain. Annan also briefed the UN Security Council on the plan at a council meeting yesterday where the members discussed the issue. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said yesterday in New York that following his return to the island, the plan would be discussed in detail within the TRNC’s government and Parliament and with Turkey as well. Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides said yesterday that Annan expected a reply to his plan in seven days. He stated that the plan would be taken up by the Greek Cypriot National Council after he discussed it with his advisors. According to Greek sources, the plan emphasizes two fully politically equal states and a joint state formed by two founding states. The plan also proposes a rotating term presidency to represent the joint state. /All Papers/
 BAYKAL: “DESTROYING OUR REGIME WON’T
 SOLVE THE PRIME MINISTRY ISSUE”Speaking to reporters yesterday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said that “tearing apart the regime” wouldn’t solve the “prime ministry problem” of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of incoming ruling party the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Baykal, the incoming opposition party leader, was alluding to a recent exchange of words between Erdogan and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer over whether passing legislation to enable Erodgan to become prime minister would be proper or not. Asked about Erdogan’s calls for constitutional amendments to allow his prime ministry, Baykal said that the principles which Sezer had put forth in a speech on Sunday were worthy of everyone’s consideration. “Politics shouldn’t put together regulations according to its own needs, and the law shouldn’t hinder politics,” stated Baykal. He added that Turkey shouldn’t be dragged into “ill-conceived problems” and a superfluous agenda. “We should avoid creating meaningless political tension,” stated Baykal. /Milliyet/
 CIA DELEGATION VISITS TURKEYA delegation from US foreign intelligence service the CIA headed by Deputy Director John McLaughlin arrived in Ankara yesterday to hold a series of meetings with Turkish authorities. The Iraq issue and the war against terrorism will reportedly be the primary topics of discussion during the meetings. /Turkiye/
 TALABANI TO VISIT ANKARAIraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani is to arrive in Ankara today to hold meetings with several high-level figures, including officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Chief of General Staff. According to diplomatic sources, Talabani wishes to visit Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), to convey his congratulations on the AKP’s landslide victory in last week’s elections. While Talabani is expected to discuss recent developments in northern Iraq with the Turkish officials, Ankara is planning to express its concern for the ethnic Turkmen groups residing in the region. /Cumhuriyet/
 SOLANA TO STEP UP PRESSURE ON ESDP, CYPRUSJavier Solana, EU secretary-general and high representative for the common foreign and security policy, is to arrive in Turkey on Thursday for a visit where he is expected to put out feelers to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the issues of the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and Cyprus. Solana is expected to both discuss the latest developments on the ESDP issue and to convey the EU’s wish that the new AKP government should take constructive steps on these two sensitive issues. He is scheduled to meet with AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the day he arrives. /Aksam/
 CHEYRE: “IRAQ SHOULD OBEY THE UN RESOLUTIONS”Gen. Juan Emilio Cheyre, the head of Chile’s General Staff, yesterday told an audience at War Academy that the Iraq problem was an issue that belonged to the whole world and so should be solved in line with the relevant United Nations resolutions, new versions of which were passed this week. Cheyre, who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey, also asked Turkey for technical and personnel support in the war against terrorism. /Turkiye/
 MOLLER: “TURKEY MAY BECOME AN EU MEMBER”Per Stig Moller, European Union Term President Denmark’s foreign minister, said yesterday that during the EU’S Helsinki summit in 1999, Turkey had officially gained candidate status, which had paved the way for its full EU membership. “If Turkey fulfills the conditions as other candidate countries have done, it may become a full member,” said Moller. Stressing that the future course of Turkey’s candidacy would be settled at the EU’s Copenhagen summit next month, Moller said that the EU was preparing its decision on the matter. In related news, Angela Merkel, leader of German opposition party the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told her party’s convention in Hannover yesterday that Turkey was not ready legally, politically or economically for EU membership. /Turkiye/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY BRIEFS CHP ON TURKISH-EU RELATIONSOfficials from the Foreign Ministry yesterday briefed a delegation from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the incoming opposition party, on Turkish- EU relations. After the briefing, which was chaired by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, CHP Chairman Deniz Baykal stated that his party would cooperate with the incoming Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to promote Turkey’s EU membership bid and to put pressure on the EU member countries to set a date at December’s Copenhagen summit for Turkey’s accession negotiations. A CHP delegation is soon set to hold a series of meetings with EU officials. /Cumhuriyet/
 BUSINESSMEN PROMOTE TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BIDA Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’ Association (TUSIAD) delegation is set to meet today with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenther Verheugen in Brussels in order to promote Turkey’s EU membership bid. The delegation is to participate in a panel on Turkish-EU relations at the European Political Research Center, where TUSIAD Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan is also scheduled to deliver a speech. The delegation is also expected to meet with European Parliament Turkey Rapporteur Arie Ooslander tomorrow. In addition, another delegation led by Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu is to meet today with Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh to convey Turkey’s views and expectations on its relations with the EU. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS…
 A FEW GOOD SIGNS
 BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on recent “positive signs” given by the Justice and Development Party (AKP). A summary of his column is as follows:
“For a few days, spokesmen for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) were overly enthusiastic about the results of their election victory. AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan was feeling so keen that a couple of times he put his foot in his mouth on certain international issues, including Cyprus. But this is normal, because they deserved this enthusiasm. However, at this point, some people have confused their own dreams with the party’s policies. Or so it seems to me. However, this isn’t so important either. What’s more important is that the AKP has its supporters on a tight leash and that its victory enthusiasm didn’t disturb anybody. I remember seeing supporters of the Democrat Party, which won victories in 1950 and ‘54, playing drums and horns in front of Republican People’s Party (CHP) buildings. But now I must say it’s significant that Erdogan urged the AKP supporters to hold back their cheers when the election results were announced. We hope Erdogan will continue to control his nerves. Another sign is that Erdogan told the AKP deputies, who have come to Ankara after their victory, ‘Don’t live in the Parliament’s public housing. We will sell these residences and instead give you a rental allowance.’ Erdogan’s attitude is correct. We were glad that he made such a decision, for a special reason: the above-mentioned public housing was built in 1983-87, when Necmettin Karaduman was Parliament speaker. During both that time and later, I wrote that it was wrong to build public housing for deputies. ‘It would be right to allocate such public housings to governors, to public servants living in poor regions and to lecturers,’ I said. ‘The others should be given rental allowances.’ But nobody listened. Since 90% of the parliamentarians failed to win reelection in last week’s polls, we should think about how much this public housing served to buttress and spread the public impression that politicians have no idea what things are really like in Turkey. For someone who fails to engage the nation in dialogue can’t possibly understand their problems and so can’t seek solutions and earn the nation’s respect. However, we don’t know what the CHP will think about Erdogan’s attitude, which I judge to be correct. Actually its reaction won’t change the result, but it might create unnecessary tension.”
 D’ESTAING AND TURKISH-EU RELATIONS
 BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on European Convention Chairman Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who last week publicly stated that Turkey’s accession to the EU would bring about “the end” of the Union, and the future of Turkish- EU relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“It wouldn’t have mattered if he were a garden variety politician or diplomat. But Valery Giscard d’Estaing is the head of the European Union Convention, an institution responsible for shaping the EU’s future and its constitution. He is also a former president of France. Giscard’s statements are by no means acceptable and they are quite unfortunate, and they reflect shamefully on him.
I say ‘unfortunate,’ because they were spoken at just the wrong time. Turkey has just held democratic general elections and the incoming government seems to be giving the utmost priority, before everything else, to integration with the EU, and it has even take steps towards achieving that goal before officially taking power. And we hear Giscard saying, ‘Turkey’s place is not in Europe. Turkey’s culture and lifestyle can’t get along with those of Europe. Turkey’s accession would bring about “the end” of the EU.’ Giscard made a terrible mistake if he said these things deliberately, because these sentiments are far too shallow to let them just spill from your mouth.
Is geography the determining factor for being a EU member? Or is it not the political and economic criteria? Turkey has been trying to integrate with the EU for years now. Why has no-one told us before that the EU’s borders could be extended only to the Balkans, and no further? Turkey is already a member of certain organizations in Europe, such as the European Council and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Have these organizations in any way been ‘shaken’ or ‘torn apart’ because of Turkey? Giscard has not even the slightest bit of logic on his side in expressing such views. His issues with Turkey are completely emotional. Moreover, we have to admit that Giscard is not the only one among the EU’s top echelons who hold such an opinion about us. The reasons for this vary.
The EU says that Turkey is currently far from meeting the political criteria the Union has set. But Turkey also knows this, and it is trying to take necessary measures to reach that goal. However, certain quarters are abusing this situation to stop Turkey from becoming a member. Turkey is a crowded country, currently holding a population of 68 million people. Thus certain circles have deep concerns about our high population. There are also those people who do not want the EU to enlarge anymore, and who oppose extending the Union’s borders to the Middle East. In addition, they think that there are huge differences in terms of religion, culture and tradition between Turkey and Europe. And there are certain people who see Turkey as a poor country and hold that Turkey’s accession will bring an additional economic burden to the European countries.
Some of the above-listed reasons are nothing but the product of European prejudices and values. Giscard’s statements were also along these lines. Yet, many of the top EU officials gave him the right response. An EU Commission spokesman said that Giscard’s remarks reflected his ‘personal views’ alone, adding that the EU had not had a change of heart in its stance towards Turkey. Some people even called for Giscard to step down from his post.
So then, what should Turkey do right now? Our attitude should emulate the French saying: Les chiens aboient, la caravane passé [The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on].”
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