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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-02

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

02.12.2002

WHAT WILL COME OUT OF THE COPENHAGEN SUMMIT? BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

CONTENTS

  • [01] MGK DISCUSSES SECURITY REPORT ON TERRORISM
  • [02] BUSY DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC THIS WEEK FOCUSES ON IRAQ, CYPRUS
  • [03] ERDOGAN: “THE AKP WILL MAKE THE ECONOMY ITS PRIORITY”
  • [04] GUL: “THE AKP IS TRYING TO PREPARE EU LAWS EVEN BEFORE COPENHAGEN”
  • [05] MENDERES ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR DYP LEADERSHIP
  • [06] WESTON PROMOTES ANNAN’S CYPRUS PLAN
  • [07] PRODI: “TURKEY HASN’T YET FULFILLED ALL THE CRITERIA”
  • [08] IMF DELEGATION VISITS TURKEY
  • [09] DEMONSTRATORS PROTEST POSSIBLE WAR IN IRAQ
  • [10] TURKISH-TRAINED AFGHAN UNIT TAKES UP DUTIES
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [12] WHAT WILL COME OUT OF THE COPENHAGEN SUMMIT? BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)
  • [13] OZAN CEYHAN IS HOPEFUL BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

  • [01] MGK DISCUSSES SECURITY REPORT ON TERRORISM

    The National Security Council (MGK) has briefed the new government on terrorist groups which pose a threat to Turkey as well as the countries which support these groups. The MGK prepared a security report on terrorism evaluating the policies of the neighboring countries on the issue. The report stated that Iran had shut its eyes to the illegal activities of the PKK, violating an agreement signed between the two countries to coordinate their security operations against terrorist organization. The report also criticized Syria, Romania, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration for failing to crack down on the PKK. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] BUSY DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC THIS WEEK FOCUSES ON IRAQ, CYPRUS

    Ahead of a possible military intervention in Iraq, the United States and Britain have stepped up diplomatic pressure on Turkey in order to ensure the country’s full support. British Foreign Minister Jack Straw and former Chief of General Staff Lord Guthrie are scheduled to pay a joint visit to Turkey on tomorrow and Wednesday. Straw is expected to meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make sure that the high-level Turkish officials are ready to lend their full support to a possible operation against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. In addition, US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Assistant Secretary of State Marc Grossman are to visit Turkey tomorrow to exchange views on the Iraq issue. While Grossman is expected to hold meetings with Sezer, Gul and Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, Wolfowitz is to visit the Office of the Chief of General Staff to hold a series of meetings there. Furthermore, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou is scheduled to arrive in Ankara on Wednesday to discuss the Cyprus issue with Yakis. The two ministers are expected to discuss the UN Cyprus plan and to tell each other that they are ready for future negotiations. /Sabah/

    [03] ERDOGAN: “THE AKP WILL MAKE THE ECONOMY ITS PRIORITY”

    Speaking at the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) yesterday, AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his party would make the economy its priority. “The nation is expecting the AKP to put the economy back on its firm footing,” he said. “The economy is on the AKP’s agenda, and we don’t want to be distracted by other tasks.” Erdogan stated that he wanted every AKP official to be very careful about Turkey’s sensitive issues such as headscarves, referring to a recent dispute between President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. During the meeting, the relationship between the government and the AKP leadership was also discussed, with agreement reached that the latter would steer the course of the former. New deputy chairmen of the party were also selected during the meeting, as follows: Hayati Yazici, Idris Naim Sahin, Halil Urun, Nazým Ekren, Nurettin Canikli, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, Necati Cetinkaya, Saban Disli, and Reha Denemec. The meeting lasted for nearly three hours. /Milliyet/

    [04] GUL: “THE AKP IS TRYING TO PREPARE EU LAWS EVEN BEFORE COPENHAGEN”

    Speaking to reporters after the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that the AKP was working very hard to prepare European Union harmonization laws in the leadup to this month’s Copenhagen summit beginning Dec. 12. Gul said that Deputy Prime Minister Ertugrul Yalcinbayir, Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, and Justice Minister Cemil Cicek were doing their best to prepare the package before Copenhagen. “We’re also evaluating the EU package with the opposition Republican People’s Party [CHP],” he added. /Hurriyet/

    [05] MENDERES ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR DYP LEADERSHIP

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Aydin Menderes declared his candidacy for the True Path Party (DYP) leadership ahead of its congress next month. Menderes said that the DYP had lost votes for nearly a decade now, especially after 1999’s general elections, and that his aim was to stem these losses and develop the party. “Self-criticism and opposition have failed to develop within the party, and this has caused us to lose more votes in every election,” he said. “The mission of the new DYP leader will be to restructure the party.” Menderes added that as part of this restructuring he hoped to unite the DYP with the Motherland Party (ANAP), neither of which received enough votes in the last election to be represented in Parliament. Aydin Menderes was born in 1946 and is the son of Turkey’s late Prime Minister Adnan Menderes. Should Menderes win the DYP helm, he would succeed Tansu Ciller, who vowed to step down after the party’s poor showing in November’s polls. /Hurriyet/

    [06] WESTON PROMOTES ANNAN’S CYPRUS PLAN

    The Bush administration has once again voiced its support for the Cyprus plan recently prepared by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Thomas Weston, the US State Department’s Cyprus coordinator, reiterated over the weekend that Washington believes the Cyprus problem should be solved before this month’s EU Copenhagen summit, set to convene in less than two weeks. Weston underlined that the UN Cyprus plan, which he called “faultless,” was a historic opportunity for both sides on the island. Stating that the US would continue to support peace efforts until a permanent settlement is reached on the island, Weston called on both sides to contribute to the Cyprus peace process by adopting more positive and constructive policies. “The Bush administration believes that the UN Cyprus plan is a fair proposal which can be a basis for future negotiations,” added Weston. _Cumhuriyet

    [07] PRODI: “TURKEY HASN’T YET FULFILLED ALL THE CRITERIA”

    In an interview with Greek daily Eleftherotipia, European Commission Chairman Romano Prodi said yesterday that he dreamed of a future European Union which included all of the Balkan countries as well as Turkey. He stated that although Turkey had carried out important reforms, it had yet to fulfill all the Copenhagen criteria. Regarding the EU membership bid of Greek Cyprus, Prodi said that the EU would prefer to admit Cyprus as a whole after finding a solution to the issue. “However,” he added, “We cannot wait any longer [on this]” /Turkiye/

    [08] IMF DELEGATION VISITS TURKEY

    International Monetary Fund (IMF) European Director Michael Deppler and Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen yesterday arrived in Ankara. Following their contacts with Turkish officials including Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and related ministers, Deppler and Kahkonen are expected to leave Turkey tomorrow. /Turkiye/

    [09] DEMONSTRATORS PROTEST POSSIBLE WAR IN IRAQ

    Demonstrations against war were held yesterday in various locales across Turkey, including Istanbul, with the attendance of thousands of people. To protest a possible United States military operation in Iraq, political party representatives, non-governmental organization (NGO) members and other groups chanted slogans and carried banners against the prospect of war. /Turkiye/

    [10] TURKISH-TRAINED AFGHAN UNIT TAKES UP DUTIES

    About 400 Afghan soldiers charged with guarding Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace graduated yesterday from an advanced military training course given by Turkish soldiers serving in the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The Afghan soldiers from the First battalion of theAfghan National Guard took their pledges of duty in a graduation ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in the capital Kabul. The National Guards, who were trained for 10 weeks, will serve as a backbone to the new Afghan National Army. /Turkiye/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

    [12] WHAT WILL COME OUT OF THE COPENHAGEN SUMMIT? BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

    Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli writes on Turkey’s EU membership bid, this month’s Copenhagen summit and the Cyprus issue. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Promoting Turkey’s EU membership bid in the leadup to this month’s Copenhagen summit, three of our leaders -- President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, in his contacts with European leaders, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during his tour of European Union capitals, and opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal, during his meeting with the Party of European Socialists (PES) -- all spoke with one voice: ‘The EU should extend a date for Turkey for its accession talks during the Copenhagen summit. Otherwise…’

    Following this ‘otherwise,’ each leader made different remarks. Sezer said: ‘The current pro-EU stance in Turkey could lose much of the wind from its sails.’ Erdogan warned: ‘Muslim countries have their eyes on the EU. The EU’s failing to give Turkey a date would create the impression that the EU is an institution based on religion.’ Baykal stressed: ‘This would be a double standard. The very foundations upon which the EU is built could be deeply shaken.’

    Even so it’s quite unlikely that the EU will extend a date at the Copenhagen summit. But neither it will exclude Turkey altogether. EU officials are now working on a new formula for Turkey’s membership. The new proposal, which might be called ‘Helsinki plus,’ projects a ‘diplomatic status’ for Turkey. Accordingly, Turkey will join the EU when it fully complies with the political criteria. Moreover, the new formula will break with statements made by certain EP members that a country’s candidacy should be revoked if it proves incapable of abiding by the membership conditions in ‘due time.’ However, it will not extend an exact date for Turkey’s full membership.

    Turkey’s membership hinges on the Cyprus issue. With the new proposal, once more it will all boil down to reaching a settlement on the island. Indeed, Turkey’s candidacy won’t be the EU’s sole topic at the Copenhagen summit. The Union will decide on the future of 12 other candidate countries as well, and will greenlight 10 of them for full membership to the Union in 2004, including Greek Cyprus. In no way could the Greek Cypriot administration be left out of these 10 countries, as Greece is already a member country and among those approving the current enlargement. And there’s nothing Turkey can do to block the Greek Cypriots from joining the EU. The wisest move for Turkey right now would be to try to figure out a permanent solution for the Cyprus issue before 2004 and to carry the Turkish Cypriots into the EU with an equal status as the Greek side.

    In a matter of days the Cyprus issue will be tensely discussed in both European capitals and Ankara. And those discussions will deeply affect both Turkey’s EU alignment and our future itself.”

    [13] OZAN CEYHAN IS HOPEFUL BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on his meeting with a social democratic member of the European Parliament. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “I met recently in Berlin with Ozan Ceyhun, a social democratic member of the European Parliament and an ethnic Turk. Ceyhun is hopeful about the upcoming Copenhagen summit. He spoke with German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder before Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent visit to Germany and received positive messages. Schroeder said that during the summit set to convene on Dec. 12, ‘a date for a date’ will be given to Turkey for it to start its European Union membership negotiations. Schroeder’s strong signal, which he expressed during President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s visit to Berlin, amounts to the same thing. Ceyhun is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which established the government with the Greens in Germany, and he has close relationships with both Schroeder and the coalition leaders. The votes that buoyed up the social democrats in Germany’s last elections came largely from its Turkish citizens. Sensitivities concerning foreigners in the country people and the policy of supporting Turkey’s EU candidacy played a key role in terms of nearly half a million Turkish people voting for the SDP. The Christian Democrats lost the elections by only the slim margin of 6,500 votes. However, the balance of power and opposition in Germany is on a knife-edge. Elections will be held in Hessen and Lower Saxony in February. Economic problems and unemployment in Germany are weighing on Schroeder’s administration. According to Ceyhun, losing elections in these two states would create new difficulties for the government in terms of passing bills in Parliament, and therefore the SPD-Greens partnership might come to an end and a large coalition between the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats might come together. There are 35,000 Turkish voters in Hessen and 24,000 in Lower Saxony. During his tour of Europe, in Berlin, Erdogan said, ‘Nobody but Germany is against giving Turkey a timetable,’ and these words created some uneasiness on Schroeder’s side. Ceyhun thinks that the possible effects of such words on the elections are much more than people think. When he visited Ankara, he told Prime Minister Abdullah Gul about this situation because the problem isn’t limited to getting a date at the Copenhagen summit. Turkey should also start membership negotiations before 10 countries become EU members in May 2004. Ceyhun hopes that there won’t be any erosion of the Schroeder government’s coalition. If Germany acts constructively, then France’s resistance will be worn away. Turkey might start its full membership negotiations with the EU during the its Thessalonica summit next year or in the spring of 2004. When I told Ceyhun of my negative impressions of the EU Parliament in Brussels, Ceyhun said, ‘The decision out of Copenhagen will be made in Turkey’s favor’.”

    ARCHIVE

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