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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-12

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

12.12.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] HISTORIC COPENHAGEN SUMMIT TO BEGIN TODAY, DECISION EXPECTED ON TURKEY’S EU CANDIDACY TALKS
  • [02] PRIME MINISTER GUL TRAVELS TO COPENHAGEN FOR EU SUMMIT
  • [03] GUL: “I’M HOPEFUL ABOUT TURKEY’S GETTING A DATE AT COPENHAGEN”
  • [04] ERDOGAN: “A REFERENDUM MAY BE HELD ON A POSSIBLE IRAQ CONFLICT”
  • [05] BAYKAL: “MAKING CONCESSIONS ON CYPRUS FOR THE EU IS OUT OF THE QUESTION”
  • [06] AS COPENHAGEN SUMMIT BEGINS, ALL EYES ON REVISED UN CYPRUS PLAN
  • [07] DEMOCRATIZATION, CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGES CLOSE TO FULL PASSAGE IN PARLIAMENT
  • [08] MINISTER COSKUN WOOS FOREIGN INVESTORS TO TURKEY’S ENERGY SECTOR
  • [09] ATO PREPARES ACTION PLAN IN CASE OF EU FAILURE TO EXTEND DATE
  • [10] PRODI: “THE EU WANTS TO SEE TURKEY IMPLEMENT THE HARMONIZATION LAWS”
  • [11] RASMUSSEN: “TURKEY’S ADMITTANCE TO THE EU IS A VERY LARGE TASK”
  • [12] BUSH PHONES RASMUSSEN IN SUPPORT OF TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID
  • [13] PAPANDREOU: “TURKEY WILL PROBABLY START MEMBERSHIP TALKS IN 2005”
  • [14] POWELL: “I HOPE THE EU WILL GIVE A DATE TO TURKEY AT COPENHAGEN”
  • [15] EU PRESENTS NEW FORMULA ON ESDP TO ADDRESS TURKEY’S CONCERNS
  • [16] TURKISH-IRAQ BUSINESS COUNCIL ISSUES REPORT ON NORTHERN IRAQ
  • [17] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [18] IS THE EU READY?
  • [19] ERDOGAN’S VISIT TO THE US

  • [01] HISTORIC COPENHAGEN SUMMIT TO BEGIN TODAY, DECISION EXPECTED ON TURKEY’S EU CANDIDACY TALKS

    The European Union’s historic Copenhagen summit is set to begin today. During the two-day summit, the 15 EU member states will determine the future borders and scope of the Union. Both Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will participate in the summit. The meeting represents a turning point for Turkey, an EU candidate since 1999, since it is here that a decision is finally due as to whether or not Turkey will get a date for membership negotiations. Gul and Erdogan are set to meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac tomorrow. /Milliyet/

    [02] PRIME MINISTER GUL TRAVELS TO COPENHAGEN FOR EU SUMMIT

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday flew to Copenhagen, Denmark, to follow the European Union’s summit beginning today. Before his departure, Gul told reporters that if the EU failed to extend a date to Turkey for membership negotiations, the country would continue to pursue its own course. Stressing that Turkey had accomplished more than the 10 other EU candidate countries, Gul said that the Union had no excuse for not giving a date. “If they give some excuse, this will demonstrate a lack of good will, ” said Gul. The prime minister stated if Turkey gains EU membership, both Turkey and the Union would end up winners. “Turkey is a great country and fully aware of this reality,” added Gul. /Turkiye/

    [03] GUL: “I’M HOPEFUL ABOUT TURKEY’S GETTING A DATE AT COPENHAGEN”

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that he was hopeful about Turkey’s getting a date at the current Copenhagen summit to start membership negotiations with the European Union. “I believe that Turkey will get a date from the EU,” said Gul. “If Turkey’s previous coalition government had fulfilled the EU laws which our government has passed in just three weeks, then certainly we could say that Turkey will start membership talks with the EU in 2003. Parliament has passed a host of EU harmonization laws, and the EU is pleased with this.” Gul also said that the EU had been pleasantly surprised by Turkey’s reforms. /Milliyet/

    [04] ERDOGAN: “A REFERENDUM MAY BE HELD ON A POSSIBLE IRAQ CONFLICT”

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that a referendum on how best to deal with Iraq might be held to determine Turkey’s stance on the issue. Upon completing his visit to the United States, and en route to Copenhagen, Denmark, Erdogan told reporters that he had been briefed about Iraq and terrorism during his visit to the Pentagon. “Although US officials want to solve the issue through peaceful means, as I understand it, the scales are tipping towards a military operation. They didn’t give any date for an operation,” said Erdogan. Asked whether a referendum could be held in Turkey to ask its citizens’ views on the issue, Erdogan said, “Ours is a democratic nation. The Parliament and even the public should decide on such a topic. If there is sufficient time, a referendum can be held.” Regarding the European Union’s expected decision on Turkey during its Copenhagen summit beginning today, Erdogan stated he expected a date for accession talks sometime in 2003. “If a date such as 2004 or 2005 is given, Turkey will have to evaluate the situation,” added Erdogan. /Turkiye/

    [05] BAYKAL: “MAKING CONCESSIONS ON CYPRUS FOR THE EU IS OUT OF THE QUESTION”

    Opposition Republican Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that Turkey had fulfilled the requirements to get a date at today’s European Union summit in Copenhagen, including Parliament’s passage of a host of EU harmonization laws. “Turkey deserves to get a date for membership negotiations at the EU summit,” said Baykal. “However, the EU wants Turkey to make concessions on the Cyprus issue. This is out of the question.” Complaining of a biased attitude on the EU’s part, Baykal added, “Turkey has implemented the Copenhagen criteria better than the 10 other candidate countries, but the EU also wants a solution to the Cyprus issue, and this is truly disappointing.” Baykal furthermore stated that he supported President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s decision not to attend the Copenhagen summit to protest the EU’s apparent unwillingness to extend a date to Turkey. /Milliyet/

    [06] AS COPENHAGEN SUMMIT BEGINS, ALL EYES ON REVISED UN CYPRUS PLAN

    In recent weeks, the United Nations has been pressing hard for a peace deal on Cyprus. Meanwhile, both sides on the island are engaged in a fierce contest of wills over each other’s demands. Earlier this week, UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan issued a revised version of his Cyprus plan. The document was delivered to both leaders of the island by UN Special Envoy Alvaro de Soto on Tuesday, nearly a month after the first draft was unveiled. The revised plan calls for the Turkish Cypriots to give up parts of their territories, while the Greek Cypriots would have to accept that not all refugees could return to their pre-1974 homes. A UN statement said the document was revised following intensive consultations with the two parties. Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides yesterday flew to Copenhagen ahead of the European Union summit in the Danish capital. However, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas, who recently underwent heart surgery in New York and is travelling to Turkey for further treatment, is instead sending a representative to Copenhagen, namely TRNC Foreign and Defense Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu, who will also be accompanied by a delegation of high-level officials. Denktas was reported as saying that the changes to Annan’s plan did not go far enough to meet Turkish Cypriot demands, adding that he would not sign a United Nations plan for the reunification of Cyprus. "This [new] document is just the old document," he reportedly added. "Our suspicions and concerns regarding our status, sovereignty and equality remain unaddressed." Meanwhile, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Annan in New York to discuss recent developments on the issue and told him that there was no need to shrink from talks on the issue. I believe the problem might be solved through negotiations, Erdogan added. /All Papers/

    [07] DEMOCRATIZATION, CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGES CLOSE TO FULL PASSAGE IN PARLIAMENT

    Deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) acted in unison in Parliament yesterday to pass 35 articles of a 37-article democratization package. The package is considered key in proving Turkey’s resolve to enact reforms for its European Union accession. A constitutional amendment package is also due to go through a second round of voting tomorrow, after which the last two articles of the democratization package will be considered. If all goes as expected, the three-article amendment package and the 37-article package will thus be passed in quick succession. /Hurriyet/

    [08] MINISTER COSKUN WOOS FOREIGN INVESTORS TO TURKEY’S ENERGY SECTOR

    Industry and Commerce Minister Ali Coskun yesterday issued a call for foreign investors to lay their stake in Turkey’s energy sector. Speaking at the “Turkish Energy Forum” held in Ankara, Coskun admitted that the nation had gone through some difficult economic periods. “However,” he added, “things have changed for the better. I now call on investors to put their money into Turkey’s new climate.” Stating that improved prosperity depended on enhanced competitiveness, Coskun pledged that the government would eliminate obstacles to investment. The minister added that energy was “the engine of industry” and that energy investment would greatly aid Turkey’s development. /Turkiye/

    [09] ATO PREPARES ACTION PLAN IN CASE OF EU FAILURE TO EXTEND DATE

    Should the European Union fail to give Turkey a date for accession talks during its Copenhagen summit beginning today, Turkey will be ready to implement a unilateral embargo on the EU member states, under a proposal outlined yesterday by Sinan Aygun, chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO). Aygun stressed that the ATO would stop buying goods or service which originate in EU member countries. Stating that the chamber had a two-stage plan ready, Aygun said, “In the first phase of the plan, within the framework of our chamber, we’d stop buying goods and services from EU countries and ask our members to do the same.” The ATO would initiate and coordinate with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) a campaign of encouraging the use of domestic goods, said Aygun, adding that they would call on Turkish citizens not to spend their holidays in EU countries which had voted against Turkey. In the second phase, the chamber would ask the government to pass a “Domestic Goods Consumption Law,” review the Customs Union with Europe, and suspend political relations with EU countries. Furthermore, Aygun added, if no further progress was made on Turkey’s EU bid, the ATO would ask the government to withdraw its membership application. Finally, the plan also proposes initiatives for free trade with the United States. “Turkey has done its homework. Now, the EU, not Turkey, must vote and decide on whether it’s a Christian club,” stated Aygun. /Turkiye/

    [10] PRODI: “THE EU WANTS TO SEE TURKEY IMPLEMENT THE HARMONIZATION LAWS”

    European Union Commission Chairman Romano Prodi said yesterday that while EU officials did appreciate Turkey’s passing a number of harmonization laws, it was important for the EU to see these laws actually implemented. “We will support Turkey carrying out the Copenhagen criteria,” said Prodi. “Implementation is as important as adoption.” In related news, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said yesterday that the EU should give a date to Turkey at the current Copenhagen summit no later than 2004. /Milliyet/

    [11] RASMUSSEN: “TURKEY’S ADMITTANCE TO THE EU IS A VERY LARGE TASK”

    European Union Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen yesterday stated that he believed the EU would make a decision on Turkey’s membership bid at the Copenhagen summit beginning today, rather than pushing the issue back to the mid-2003 Salonica summit. “Taking in 10 more countries is a big mouthful, but still not as big as the task of admitting Turkey,” said Rasmussen. The Danish prime minister sent letters to the EU leaders underlining that the Union member countries have to reach a settlement in Copenhagen as to whether or not to set a date for Turkey’s accession negotiations. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] BUSH PHONES RASMUSSEN IN SUPPORT OF TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID

    Turkey’s strategic partner United States is continuing to step up diplomatic pressure on the leaders of the European Union to promote Turkey’s EU membership bid ahead of its historic summit in Copenhagen which starts today. US President George W. Bush yesterday phoned European Union Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to discuss recent developments on Turkish-EU relations. Bush told Rasmussen that all the EU leaders should understand that Brussels’ doors should not be closed to Turkey, a country which deserves to get a date for its accession negotiations. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday also phoned Rasmussen to discuss the latest developments on the Cyprus issue. Rasmussen reportedly pledged to do his utmost in Denmark’s remaining time as EU term president to contribute to the Cyprus peace process, stressing that there was no direct link between the Cyprus issue and Turkey’s EU membership bid. /All Papers/

    [13] PAPANDREOU: “TURKEY WILL PROBABLY START MEMBERSHIP TALKS IN 2005”

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou predicted yesterday that Turkey would probably start membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005. The date was jointly proposed by the two of the EU’s most important members, Germany and France, but Turkish officials have called it unacceptable. “Though Greece and some other members support Turkey’s starting membership talks in 2003, it seems the German-French proposal will guide the EU’s decision,” added Papandreou. Greece will assume the EU’s rotating term presidency in January. /Milliyet/

    [14] POWELL: “I HOPE THE EU WILL GIVE A DATE TO TURKEY AT COPENHAGEN”

    US Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday that he hoped that the European Union would give a date to Turkey at its current Copenhagen summit to start membership talks as soon as possible. “The EU has an historic opportunity on Turkey, and I believe the EU’s decision [in favor of a date] would be pleasing for both sides,” said Powell, who met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul earlier this week. “Turkey has made great efforts to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria.” /Milliyet/

    [15] EU PRESENTS NEW FORMULA ON ESDP TO ADDRESS TURKEY’S CONCERNS

    At a meeting of the EU General Affairs Council yesterday, ahead of the Copenhagen summit, the EU member countries’ foreign ministers prepared a new formula on its proposed rapid reaction force, the European Security and Defense Policy (ESPD), a formula which acknowledged Turkey’s concerns about the issue. Under the new arrangement, those countries not part of NATO’s joint peace program would be denied access to the treaty’s military assets and facilities. Accordingly, Greek Cyprus and Malta, which currently do not participate in the peace program, would be barred from using NATO’s military assets. Whereas Turkey is a long-standing member of NATO, it has yet to gain entry or even membership talks from the EU. /Hurriyet/

    [16] TURKISH-IRAQ BUSINESS COUNCIL ISSUES REPORT ON NORTHERN IRAQ

    The establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq would likely plunge Turkey’s southeastern Anatolia region into renewed ethnic conflicts and incite separatist groups there, predicts a new report on northern Iraq prepared by the Turkish-Iraq Business Council. The report added that such a development would pose a threat not only to Turkey’s territorial integrity but also to that of all the neighboring countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [17] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [18] IS THE EU READY?

    BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Copenhagen summit starting today. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Finally, we’ve reached the big day… Turkey has been dealing with the issue of the Copenhagen summit for weeks, even months. We’ve put forth extraordinary efforts to prove that we’re ready to start the process of European Union membership. Turkey has been anxiously waiting for today, when the EU will make a decision. This decision will direct not only our future, but also theirs. This issue belongs not only to us, but also to the EU, because the issue of Turkey has been on the top of the EU’s agenda. Just like us, the EU has been anticipating the Copenhagen summit. The difference between our two sides is that we know what we want, and we’re determined and speak openly. As for them, however, they don’t know what they want, they’re indecisive and they seem unable to speak clearly. This is the situation up to now. We will see how they will behave today.

    Up to now, Turkey has never had a moment of hesitation or doubt in terms of its goal of uniting with the European world, that is to say, for fully 40 years. Nor is it having any now. However, the EU has consistently stumbled concerning the issue of opening its doors to Turkey, and it continues to do so. The leaders of the 15 countries will gather together in Copenhagen to consider this question: ‘What would we lose, and what would we gain, if we give Turkey a date in the way it wants?’ Actually ‘giving a date or not’ reflects the disagreement. This problem will be solved in Copenhagen with a diplomatic formula. However, the problem won’t be solved completely with a face-saving decision that both satisfies Turkey and relieves the EU. The important thing is that at Copenhagen, the discussions on giving Turkey a place within the EU or not will result in the victory of those who support Turkey’s place within the Union. If this doesn’t happen, there might be those who will try to hinder this process using various pretexts.

    Of course Turkey’s membership will create more problems than that of some other candidates (and new members) within the EU. Due to various factors such as our large population, sensitive geography, economic difficulties, cultural differences, etc., it would be difficult to integrate Turkey in one fell swoop. The rich, established EU members will have to make sacrifices. However, those who describe this as an obstacle should also take the profits of Turkey’s membership into consideration. The number of European leaders who have grasped and are discussing this grows with each passing day. For some of them, the EU will have a broader and more effective role with Turkey, which has a strategic importance. For some of them, rapprochement with Turkey will send a positive signal to the Islamic world and will help smooth relations between civilizations. For some of them, it would help to solve the Cyprus problem and pave the way for more rapprochement between Greece and Turkey. These are all important. However, the critical thing for the EU is the following question: Does the EU want to remain a homogeneous and also static community, or does it prefer to give itself a new identity and a dynamic mission? As the Guardian daily recently wrote, ‘The Europe of the 21st century should unite around a common vision. There’s no reason for it not to share this with Turkey.’ We will understand today if the EU is ready for this.”

    [19] ERDOGAN’S VISIT TO THE US

    BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

    Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli writes about Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent visit to the US. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “Before AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan took off for his recent visit to the US, the prospect of a date for the beginning of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations weighed heavily on the minds of the Turkish delegation. However, both Turkey’s priorities and its immediate concerns have shifted after Erdogan met with US President George W. Bush. Suddenly it was realized that a war in Iraq was inevitable, and that the launch of US operation was just a matter of time. Top US military officials briefed Erdogan and his entourage in detail about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. They first spoke of Iraq’s connections with Al-Qeida and then explained how powerful Saddam’s weapons were. They concluded by saying this: ‘These weapons pose more of a threat to Turkey than the US, so we are requesting Turkey’s full support for our fight against terrorism.’

    The briefing had the expected impact on the Turkish delegation. Erdogan, en route to Copenhagen, said that the dimensions of the Iraqi threat were grave, and he added: ‘We would prefer the problem were solved through peaceful means, but I now see that war is growing more probable than ever.’

    Erdogan told every top US official he met in Washington about Turkey’s sensitivities and expectations from the US. He reminded the Bush administration that the nation had lost some $100 billion since 1991’s Gulf War. Moreover, he stressed that the delicate balances of Turkey’s economy would be shattered and that the country’s prospective losses were estimated at $48 billion if the US hit Iraq once again. He added that Turkey’s tourism trade would suffer enormously and that commerce along the southeastern borders of the country near Iraq would die. And then he opened the way for the US to make ‘an adequate offer’ to Turkey. Yet no such offer came from Bush. Even Erdogan himself was shocked by the paltry amounts of money the US offered for the compensation of Turkey’s losses, and he made no secret of it: ‘They first spoke of $2 billion, and then even ratcheted this to $1 or $2 billion.’

    This attitude on the US’ part led Erdogan to put forth new reservations in taking an active role on the Iraq issue. ‘Turkey is a democratic country,’ he said ‘US’s launching an operation into Iraq from Turkish soil would shake Turkey’s image in the eyes of Muslim world. The US should first convince Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria to join an alliance.’ He added that it was already very difficult to explain the situation to the Turkish people, and that a referendum might even be held to decide on the issue.

    Erdogan suggested that US administration increase international pressure on Saddam Hussein instead of undertaking a military campaign. He gave the example of Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharrif. ‘If we force Saddam through more decisive means to step down, he won’t be able to stand the pressure,’ he said. ‘Just like the US did to Nawaz Sharrif.’ Isn’t it ironic for Erdogan to bring up Sharrif, a leader who was overthrown by a military coup led by Pakistan’s chief of general staff?”

    ARCHIVE

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