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Turkish Press Review, 02-11-19
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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
19.11.2002FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER APPROVES NEW CABINETPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved the list of ministers for the Republic of Turkey’s 58th Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. The list of the 25 ministers, all of them deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is as follows:
Prime Minister: Abdullah Gul
Deputy Prime Ministers: Abdullatif Sener, Mehmet Ali Sahin and Ertugrul Yalcinbayir
State Ministers: Mehmet Aydin, Besir Atalay, Ali Babacan and Kursat Tuzmen
Justice Minister: Cemil Cicek
Defense Minister: Vecdi Gonul
Interior Minister: Abdulkadir Aksu
Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis
Finance Minister: Kemal Unakitan
Education Minister: Erkan Mumcu
Housing and Public Works Minister: Zeki Ergezer
Health Minister: Recep Akdag
Transportation Minister: Binali Yildirim
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister: Sami Guclu
Labor and Social Security Minister: Murat Basesgioglu
Industry and Trade Minister: Ali Coskun
Energy and Natural Resources Minister: Hilmi Guler
Culture Minister: Huseyin Celik
Tourism Minister: Guldal Aksit
Forestry Minister: Osman Pepe
Environment Minister: Imdat Sutluoglu
State Minister Ali Babacan (35) is the youngest minister, while Guldal Aksit, tourism minister, is the only female minister in the new Cabinet. There are 10 fewer minister posts in the new Cabinet, thus fulfilling an AKP campaign pledge. Meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is expected to hand over his post to Abdullah Gul today at 2:00 p.m. at his office at the Prime Ministry. The new Cabinet list is set to be read out in Parliament today. Under the Constitution, the new government’s program will have to be read out within one week in Parliament by the prime minister or another Cabinet minister. Following that, after two full days, debates on the new government’s program will begin, and then after one full day, a vote of confidence will be held. /All Papers/
 SEZER TO PARTICIPATE IN NATO’S PRAGUE SUMMITPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer is set to participate in a two-day NATO summit in Prague, the Czech Republic, beginning on Thursday. During the summit, the NATO member countries will discuss the alliance’s military capabilities, its enlargement policy, relations with Russia and Central Asia, and the fight against international terrorism. While in Prague, Sezer is expected to hold separate meetings with US President George W. Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the prime minister of EU Term President Denmark. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “TURKEY AND GREECE WILL CONTINUE OUR COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP”Speaking in Athens yesterday after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said that he was proud to visit the seat of ancient Greek philosophy and the city that produced Plato. Erdogan stated that he and Simitis had decided to work in the spirit of Ataturk and Eleftherios Venizelos, the latter a prominent early 20th century Greek leader, in securing cooperation and solidarity between their two countries. Asked by reporters to comment on the new United Nations Cyprus plan, Erdogan said that both he and Simitis thought that the plan should be discussed by both sides. “However, the timing of the plan wasn’t very good, since [when it was released] there was a power vacuum in Turkey,” stated Erdogan, referring to the post-election government transition period. “After a parliamentary vote of confidence, the government will discuss the plan, as it has great importance.” Erdogan added that he saw enormous opportunity in Greece’s upcoming EU term presidency, set to begin in January. /Milliyet/
 EP CHAIRMAN: “WE ARE READY TO COOPERATE WITH TURKEY’S NEW GOVERNMENT”European Parliament (EP) Chairman Pat Cox said yesterday that the EP was ready to cooperate with Turkey’s new government, adding that a joint parliamentary commission should be formed between the EP and Turkey’s new Parliament to further develop relations. “I’m looking forward to meeting with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and learning about his party’s priorities and pledges towards Turkey’s EU membership bid,” added Cox. Erdogan, leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is expected to meet with Cox on Thursday. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN SEEKS SPANISH PRIME MINISTER AZNAR’S SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BIDRecep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), met yesterday with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to seek his support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid in the runup to next month’s EU Copenhagen summit. Spain was the third stop on Erdogan’s tour to get the EU member states’ support, after Italy and Greece. During their talks, Erdogan pledged that the new AKP government would do its best to end Turkey’s political bans. Speaking to reporters after meeting with Aznar, Erdogan said that he had been pleased with Aznar’s positive approach. “Turkey will prove that Islam and democracy can work together in harmony,” he added. /Milliyet/
 PARLIAMENT TO ELECT NEW SPEAKERParliament is set to elect its new speaker today for its 22nd period. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has nominated Manisa Deputy Bulent Arinc as its candidate, while the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has nominated Onder Sav. /Turkiye/
 GREEK CYPRIOTS: “WE ARE READY TO DISCUSS ANNAN’S SOLUTION PROPOSAL”The Greek Cypriot administration yesterday officially declared that it was ready to discuss UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s recent solution proposal to the Cyprus issue. A statement issued by the Greek Cypriot National Council said that Annan’s plan could constitute a basis for negotiations, adding, however, that the council found its proposal for a three-year rotating presidency unacceptable. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY’S ACCESSION PARTNERSHIP DOCUMENT TO BE REVISEDMichael Leigh, Turkey director for the European Commission’s Enlargement Department, yesterday visited Turkey’s Secretariat-General for EU Affairs to discuss the country’s Accession Partnership Document (APD). Leigh met with a Turkish delegation chaired by Secretary-General for EU Affairs Volkan Vural to evaluate recent developments on Turkey’s progress in meeting the Copenhagen criteria. Diplomatic sources stated that Leigh was visiting Turkey in order to exchange views on the APD, which is due to be revised within the first quarter of next year. /Hurriyet/
 BAYKAL: “THE CHP WILL BE A CONSTRUCTIVE OPPOSITION PARTY”Addressing Parliament yesterday, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal pledged that his party would be a constructive opposition party. Besides the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) the CHP is the only party in Turkey’s new Parliament. Baykal said that the CHP was undertaking a great responsibility and that it would work to avoid crises. “As an opposition party, we will solve problems, not create them,” said Baykal. “What’s good for Turkey is also good for the CHP.” He added that Turkey had a large Muslim population and that the state shouldn’t interfere in anybody’s religious beliefs. /Milliyet/
 BELGIAN PREMIER: “TURKEY’S PLACE IS IN EUROPE”Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said yesterday that Turkey’s place was in Europe, calling this an indisputable truth. Speaking in Bruges, Verhofstadt stated that those who claim Turkey can’t join the EU due to its religion and culture were grossly mistaken. “Certain circles in Europe dream of a mono-cultural EU,” said Verhofstadt. “This is in no way acceptable.” /Star/
 EP CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS TO PROPOSE “SPECIAL STATUS” FOR TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIPThe Christian Democratic members of the European Parliament are expected to propose a “special status” for Turkey’s EU membership at an extraordinary session set to convene today in Strasbourg. Elmar Brook, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), yesterday said that the EU should alter its strategy on Turkey. There is a need to establish a “special partnership” between Turkey and the EU, he added, one recognizing both sides’ reciprocal importance. /Hurriyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “TURKEY ISN’T READY TO JOIN THE EU”Speaking yesterday to German daily Der Tagesspiegel, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen stated that Turkey was not yet ready for accession to the EU. “The EU granted Turkey a candidacy status at 1999’s Helsinki summit. About this, nothing has changed,” Verheugen said. “But to gain full membership, Turkey must first meet the EU’s political criteria on such issues as the rule of law, democracy and human rights.” He added that the EU Commission had not yet reached a final decision on whether or not to extend a date for Turkey’s negotiation talks during next month’s Copenhagen summit. /Cumhuriyet/
 TOBB CHAIR: “VERHEUGEN HAS SHOWN HIS IGNORANCE OF THE TURKISH ARMY”Guenter Verheugen, the European Union’s commissioner for enlargement, came under harsh criticism yesterday for alleging that Turkey’s military establishment held sway over the nation’s politics. Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu, one of the nation’s top business leaders, lashed out at Verheugen, accusing him of being ignorant of both history and current events. “Turkey’s army is the work of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, our founder, and it’s devoted to his legacy,’ said Hisarciklioglu. “Ataturk transformed a kingdom into a republic, and he went on to establish democracy in Turkey. The Turkish Army has made its share of mistakes, of course, but it has worked not to repeat them. Verheugen’s claim that our army dominates domestic politics, if accurately reported, proves that he is utterly ignorant of the Turkish Army.” Hisarciklioglu charged that Verheugen had obviously not followed events since the Nov. 3 elections. “After our recent elections, the chief of General Staff congratulated the winners and declared that the nation’s choice should be respected by all,” he said. “This clearly demonstrates the high level of democracy in the armed forces.” Verheugen trying to use such a false argument against Turkey was unacceptable, Hisarciklioglu added. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FIRST IMPRESSIONS BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the nation’s new Cabinet. A summary of his column is as follows.
“The new Cabinet, established under Abdullah Gul’s prime ministry, was announced last night. It would be quite mistaken to describe the new Cabinet with such extreme expressions as ‘Nothing could be better than this’ or ‘This is a very bad Cabinet.’ It would be better and more democratic to hold off evaluating the Cabinet until after seeing its first 100 days in office, since the Cabinet’s skills will emerge only in this period of time. Another factor hindering proper evaluation of the Cabinet is that it’s full of fresh, unknown faces. Our voters made a near-clean sweep, wiping 90% of yesterday’s politicians of the stage. Therefore we don’t know most of the people serving in the new Cabinet. However, we can say a few things about the ones we do know: Deputy Prime Ministers Abdullatif Sener, Mehmet Ali Sahin and Ertugrul Yalcinbayir are all experienced politicians. Sahin and Yalcinbayir have espoused positions fully in line with the principles of our secular, democratic republic. Sener’s background is less moderate and centrist, and whether he’ll stay that way is unclear. State Minister Mehmet Aydin is a serious religious scholar. If he can approach his new job with a scholar’s rigor, he could earn a measure of respect. State Ministers Ali Babacan and Kursat Tuzmen were known within the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as young intellectuals. Now it’s their turn to put this credit to good use. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek is an experienced and pragmatic politician. As state minister in former times, he earned a reputation for impartiality. The choice of former Interior Ministry Undersecretary and former Court of Accounts Chairman Vecdi Gonul as new defense minister was in keeping with Turkish political tradition. Similarly, it was proper that an experienced figure like Abdulkadir Aksu was named interior minister. The same thing can be said of Murat Basesgioglu, the new labor and social security minister. Ali Coskun, the new industry and trade minister, is an experienced figure in the business and political world, and now he faces new challenges. As I know Dr. Hilmi Guler personally, it was a very appropriate decision to appoint him as energy and natural resources minister. Now we all should wait till the time is ripe to hand out the new Cabinet’s report card.”
 A GLANCE AT THE CYPRUS PLAN FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes on the United Nations Cyprus plan recently proposed to the leaders of the Turkish and Greek communities on the island. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Greek Cypriot administration recently announced that it was ready to discuss the Cyprus plan prepared by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a solution proposal under which the parties are being asked to sign ‘no later than early December’ a deal on the main articles of the final agreement, including a map of the borders of the ‘component states.’ However, Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides underlined that he had reservations on certain points which, he thinks, need further clarification.
What about the stance of the Turkish side?
Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan had previously stated that the UN plan was open for discussion. Erdogan reiterated this view during his recent visit to Cyprus. However, he also added that this didn’t mean that the Turkish side would accept the plan in its current form without demanding any changes. He believes that the UN plan had certain unfair points which needed addressing. It’s clear that new Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will also assume a similar stance on the Cyprus issue.
What does the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) think about this plan? Due to his ongoing health problems, TRNC President Rauf Denktas has yet to make any official statements on the issue. However, we can see that the TRNC seems more suspicious and cautious than the AKP. TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu believes that the territories demanded from the Turkish side under the UN plan are strategically very important to the Turkish Cypriots. He thinks that if the Turkish Cypriots agree to give these territories to the Greek Cypriot administration, the TRNC would be effectively under siege at the hands of the Greek side. That’s why he considers the territorial adjustments proposed by Annan unacceptable. Although the TRNC is currently avoiding giving negative signals on the issue in order not to harm the Cyprus peace process, the UN plan in its current form is, in fact, a non-starter to the Turkish Cypriots.
In addition, military experts stress that the territorial adjustments lowering the Turkish Cypriot stake on the island would spell nothing less than military siege for the Turkish side. They believe that especially Cape Karpaz, which is strategically critical to Turkey, cannot be handed over to the Greek Cypriot administration. Both Turkey’s Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Chief of the General Staff share these concerns.
Erdogan is currently making statements stressing these concerns on the one hand, and clarifying the Turkish stance as determined and ready to negotiate on the other. He also rejected the deadline set out by Annan, by remarking that it was almost impossible to reach a permanent settlement before the EU’s Copenhagen summit in December.
We’ll see in due time whether approval of Annan’s plan is a prerequisite for Turkey’s EU membership bid.”
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