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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-13

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

13.12.2002

EU SUBMITS CONDITIONAL DATE TO TURKEY TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS GUL, ERDOGAN MEET WITH BERLUSCONI, BLAIR, AND SIMITIS SEZER: “THE EU ISN’T DEALING SINCERELY WITH TURKEY’S EU BID” ERDOGAN: “WE EXPECTED MORE SUPPORT FROM THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT” ANNAN ASKS RASMUSSEN FOR MORE TIME TO FIND CYPRUS PEACE DEAL BY SUMMIT’S END SCHROEDER: “TURKEY HAS TO UNDERGO AN EXTENSIVE SOCIETAL CHANGE” PEARSON: “TURKEY IS READY TO JOIN THE EU” WORLD BANK: “TURKEY IS A KEY COUNTRY IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH” FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… BERLUSCONI: THERE IS A SEAT FOR TURKEY AT THE EU TABLE BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET) WHERE IS TURKEY HEADED? BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] EU COPENHAGEN SUMMIT BEGINS
  • [02] EU SUBMITS CONDITIONAL DATE TO TURKEY TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS
  • [03] GUL, ERDOGAN MEET WITH BERLUSCONI, BLAIR, AND SIMITIS
  • [04] GUL MEETS WITH RASMUSSEN, COX
  • [05] SEZER: “THE EU ISN’T DEALING SINCERELY WITH TURKEY’S EU BID”
  • [06] ERDOGAN: “WE EXPECTED MORE SUPPORT FROM THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT”
  • [07] ANNAN ASKS RASMUSSEN FOR MORE TIME TO FIND CYPRUS PEACE DEAL BY SUMMIT’S END
  • [08] SCHROEDER: “TURKEY HAS TO UNDERGO AN EXTENSIVE SOCIETAL CHANGE”
  • [09] PEARSON: “TURKEY IS READY TO JOIN THE EU”
  • [10] WORLD BANK: “TURKEY IS A KEY COUNTRY IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH”
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [12] BERLUSCONI: THERE IS A SEAT FOR TURKEY AT THE EU TABLE BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
  • [13] WHERE IS TURKEY HEADED? BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

  • [01] EU COPENHAGEN SUMMIT BEGINS

    The European Union’s summit in Copenhagen began yesterday with the attendance of the 15 EU countries’ heads of state and government. During the two-day summit, the Union is expected take a historic step forward in its enlargement process by greenlighting the accession of 10 candidate countries. After this enlargement is carried through, the EU is expected to have 25 members as of May 2004. The next step in Turkey’s own EU membership process as well as decisions on the EU’s defense mechanism, the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), are set to be discussed during the summit’s closing meetings today. /All Papers/

    [02] EU SUBMITS CONDITIONAL DATE TO TURKEY TO BEGIN ACCESSION TALKS

    European Union Term President Denmark’s Foreign Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen yesterday said that in December 2004, if the European Commission decides that Turkey has fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria, the EU would consider whether to submit a date to Turkey to begin the nation’s accession talks. Following a dinner with the EU member countries’ leaders last night in Copenhagen, the site of the EU’s current summit, Rasmussen spoke to reporters. “The EU appreciates Turkey’s new government’s resolution to fulfill basic reforms,” he said. Stressing that Turkey had taken important steps by passing reform packages in its Parliament, Rasmussen stated, “The EU has both the desire and aim to improve its relations with Turkey.” Remarking that the EU planned to give support to Turkey on the Customs Union, trade relations and offer certain aids before accession, Rasmussen said that if the EU decides in December 2004 that Turkey has fulfilled the criteria, membership negotiations would begin as soon as possible. After Rasmussen’s press conference, Turkish leaders Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis met to evaluate the EU’s decision. In related news, Gul and Erdogan today are set to meet with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac. /All Papers/

    [03] GUL, ERDOGAN MEET WITH BERLUSCONI, BLAIR, AND SIMITIS

    During the opening day of the European Union’s historic two-day Copenhagen summit, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, a strong supporter of Turkey’s EU membership bid. Erdogan told his Greek counterpart that should the EU give Turkey a date for talks during the summit, that would smooth the way for solutions to a number of issues, most notably Cyprus. Simitis replied that a solution to the Cyprus issue would improve Turkey’s relations with the EU and facilitate it getting a date for negotiations. Gul and Erdogan also met yesterday with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to seek his support at the summit. During their talks, Berlusconi said that he wanted Turkey to start membership negotiations in 2004. Berlusconi also said that one year would be enough to observe the ruling AKP government’s implementation of Turkey’s EU harmonization laws. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Berlusconi stated that he would work as an advocate for Turkey’s rights at the summit. “I support Turkey’s getting a date at Copenhagen to start membership negotiations as soon as possible,” added Berlusconi. “The EU should first give a date, and the Cyprus issue will be solved after that.” Later, Gul and Erdogan met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. During the meeting, Blair said that the EU should give a definite date to Turkey at the summit to start membership talks with the EU, adding that 2005 would be too late. “The summit is a tremendous opportunity for the EU on Turkey, and we shouldn’t pass it up,” said Blair. “Britain will support Turkey and work for it to get a date.” /Milliyet/

    [04] GUL MEETS WITH RASMUSSEN, COX

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with EU Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen during the opening day of the European Union’s Copenhagen summit. During their talks, Gul said that Turkey deserved to get a date from the Union at the summit since it had fulfilled the EU’s requirements by passing a host of harmonization laws. “If we have to pass more legislation for our EU bid, then tell us,” said Gul. “This is my last call to you. Next year would be better to start our membership talks.” Rasmussen said that it was technically impossible to start negotiations next year. “Turkey has taken important steps for its membership bid, and the EU truly appreciates it,” he said. “However, don’t insist on getting a date. We will do our utmost for Turkey during this summit.” In related news, Gul also met with European Parliament Chairman Pat Cox. During their meeting, Cox briefed Erdogan on the latest views of the EU member states on Turkey’s membership bid. Cox said that Germany and France were insisting on 2005 as a date for setting membership talks, a date Turkey has called unacceptable. /Milliyet/

    [05] SEZER: “THE EU ISN’T DEALING SINCERELY WITH TURKEY’S EU BID”

    The European Union is not being sincere in its treatment of Turkey’s membership bid, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer charged yesterday. The president made the remarks against the backdrop of the current EU summit in Copenhagen, a meeting Sezer declined to attend to protest the Union’s apparent unwillingness to extend a date to Turkey for its membership negotiations. “The EU officials recently declared that Turkey would get a date at Copenhagen to start membership talks if the two sides on Cyprus reached an agreement on the issue,” said Sezer. “This demonstrates the EU’s insincerity towards Turkey. Unfortunately, I think that the EU’s decision will disappoint the nation. It will be a negative decision.” /Milliyet/

    [06] ERDOGAN: “WE EXPECTED MORE SUPPORT FROM THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT”

    In an interview with German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung, Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that Turkey had expected more sensitivity from Germany towards its European Union membership bid. The premier was speaking from Copenhagen, where he is attending the EU’s current summit, at which Turkey is seeking a date for its EU membership negotiations. Germany and France are reportedly two key holdouts in Turkey getting the earlier date that it wants. In the interview, stressing that Turkey had been waiting for EU membership for 40 years and that 80% of the Turkish public wanted Turkey’s accession to the Union, Erdogan said that Turkey was already effectively a part of the Europe through the millions of Turks living on the continent. Pointing to the close state of Turco-German relationship, Erdogan commented, “We expected more support from Germany for our membership. Unfortunately, the Turkish people’s love for Germans seems to be one-sided.” The AKP leader added that Turkey was trying to obtain a date for negotiations by 2003 and that a revival would be seen in Turkey if this happens. /Turkiye/

    [07] ANNAN ASKS RASMUSSEN FOR MORE TIME TO FIND CYPRUS PEACE DEAL BY SUMMIT’S END

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday phoned EU Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to ask for additional time to continue seeking a peace deal on the Cyprus issue before today’s scheduled end of the EU Copenhagen summit. Upon Annan’s request, the EU member countries’ leaders decided to give an extra 14 hours, until 4:30 pm today, to see whether or not a settlement could be reached. Towards this end, Rasmussen is reportedly set to prepare two separate draft texts for either contingency on the Cyprus issue, an agreement or a lack thereof, to be presented within the summit’s closing declaration. /Hurriyet/

    [08] SCHROEDER: “TURKEY HAS TO UNDERGO AN EXTENSIVE SOCIETAL CHANGE”

    Speaking to the German Press Association (DPA) yesterday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said that Turkey was still lacking certain basic principles pertaining to democracy and human and minority rights, adding that the nation had to undergo an extensive societal change before joining the European Union. Schroeder also said that he was sure a reasonable outcome, in line with a joint German-French proposal, for Turkey’s EU membership bid would emerge from the Copenhagen summit set to end today. Germany and France have reportedly proposed that Turkey be given membership talks in 2005, a date Turkey has called unacceptable. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] PEARSON: “TURKEY IS READY TO JOIN THE EU”

    US Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson reportedly said yesterday that Turkey was ready to enter the European Union, adding that the nation’s future lay in Europe. “The main question is whether or not the EU is ready and sincere to let Turkey in,” stated Pearson. In related news, US Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller yesterday and reportedly told him that the EU would be grossly mistaken if it failed to take Turkey in the Union. Moller is currently at the Copenhagen summit, set to end today with a decision on Turkey’s EU candidacy talks. Denmark currently holds the rotating EU presidency. /Hurriyet/

    [10] WORLD BANK: “TURKEY IS A KEY COUNTRY IN GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH”

    Turkey’s economic performance is expected to play a key role in global economic growth over the next year, said the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects and Developing Countries 2003 report released yesterday. The report stated that while the global economy was expected to grow less slowly over the next 12-18 months than earlier anticipated at a rate of 2.5%, falling far short of 2000’s 3.9%, annual economic growth in 28 European and Middle Eastern countries could in contrast reach as high as 3.6%. The report underlined that Turkey’s economic recovery would be decisive in this upward trend throughout its broader region. /Aksam/

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

    [12] BERLUSCONI: THERE IS A SEAT FOR TURKEY AT THE EU TABLE BY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Ferai Tinc writes on the European Union’s Copenhagen summit. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “ ‘Will it be just like the Last Supper?’ I asked Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi in Copenhagen, pointing out to him yesterday’s Hurriyet with its reproduction of da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper,’ which the paper believes very much resembles the picture of the Christian European world today. Really, I was trying to ask him whether there’s a seat reserved for a Muslim country at the EU table. ‘No, it won’t be like the Last Supper,” answered Berlusconi. ‘But we’re trying to do our utmost to reserve a seat for Turkey.’

    Berlusconi yesterday met with Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan as soon as he arrived in Copenhagen. Stating that he was striving very hard to persuade the EU to set a date for Turkey’s accession negotiations, Berlusconi added, ‘I’ve been dealing with this issue as if it were a national issue of my own country.’

    Europe is again holding a significant summit focused on Turkey. The streets of Copenhagen are full of foreign visitors and journalists. The largest room is booked for Turkish journalists since they make up the biggest single group from the foreign media. It’s easy to understand why Europe is so very hesitant to open its doors to our country. Size does matter.

    The German government has serious concerns about Turkey’s EU membership bid. Look at the difficult phase the Europeans are currently going through: Their governments have to tackle racism, xenophobia and unemployment along with economic problems. Which is why Europe isn’t sure if such a large country should join the Union.

    The EU members discussed their opinions on Turkey’s membership bid up until the last minute at yesterday’s meeting. The main issue at the center of these discussions was the Cyprus problem. Sir David Hannay, the veteran British diplomat who made significant contributions to the UN’s Cyprus plan, was also in Copenhagen and held a series of meetings with Turkish and Greek officials.

    The discussions on Turkey were so heated that no diplomat wanted to comment on them, fearful of destroying extremely delicate balances. However, the statement Gul made after his meeting with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis was quite interesting. Gul remarked that he believed all problems would be solved if Turkey is admitted to the EU, but he chose to stay silent on the Cyprus issue. For his part, Simitis told reporters that Greece wanted the Cyprus problem to be solved as soon as possible, adding that the coalition between Greece and Turkey would continue even in the absence of a permanent settlement on the island.

    ‘It’s all right to be born into a duck family if you aren’t a swan,” said the favorite storyteller of my childhood, Hans Christian Andersen, in his famous fairy tale ‘The Ugly Duckling.’ I recalled this fairy tale yesterday when I looked at both Europeans and ourselves in Denmark, Andersen’s homeland.”

    [13] WHERE IS TURKEY HEADED? BY TAHA AKYOL (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Taha Akyol comments on Turkey’s bid to integrate with Europe. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Yesterday’s comments by Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis in Copenhagen showed that the old enemies had developed a new friendship based on common interests. Simitis sincerely talked about friendship and said that Greece firmly supported Turkey’s European Union friendship. However, he had one condition: First the Cyprus problem should be solved! Mr. Gul gave a good answer to this. He emphasized the importance of Turkey’s EU membership bid and the Turkish-Greek friendship. But he had a condition as well: First give Turkey the date it requests! Each problem, including the Cyprus issue, can be solved within the house of Europe.

    The per capita income of the 10 countries now slated for EU membership is two- or threefold of Turkey’s. Even in Bulgaria, per capita income is $6,000, compared to $2,000 in Turkey. What’s more, Bulgaria went through the economic depression of communism! The much more rapid development of the Balkan countries, former territories of the Ottoman Empire, caught the attention of both the Ottomans and the first generation of the Turkish Republic. This situation hasn’t changed for 80 years, and some pointed the finger at Islam. This is the root of Turkey’s ‘militant secularism.’ The Balkan countries also claimed their lack of development compared to Western Europe was rooted in ‘Ottoman oppression.’ Contrary to the claims of these Balkan countries, the Balkans were richer than the Anatolian steppes due to the productivity of their territory and trade. Omer Lutfi Barkar’s research into the Ottoman budgets shows this. Or, as the Turkish racists claim, did the ‘racially mixed Ottomans’ neglect Anatolia and enrich the Balkans? As we learn from George Ostrogorsky’s History of the Byzantine State, the Balkans were richer than Anatolia during the Byzantine era as well. This is intimately tied up with long-term developments in geographical movements, climate and world trade.

    One reason for the development of Turkish-Greek relations is of course the expectations of common political and economic interests weighing more heavily than the reasons for conflict. Accordingly, the two nations’ way of writing history is slowly changing. I’m sure that historians of the two nations will one day write a ‘History of the Aegean.’ Now, in the course of history, no two countries have been more hostile to each than the Germans and the French. However, a pair of great leaders, France’s Charles de Gaulle and Germany’s Konrad Adenauer, managed to establish the European Union around the German-French axis. The European writing of history is changing as well. A General History of Europe, published by Longman, is considering incidents not from a nationalist point of view, but from the point of view of being European. Turkey’s economy, culture and regime will develop in the direction of Europe, and the Islamic and Turkish culture’s integration with Europe will create a new synthesis for Eastern nations. Of course there will be great problems, and even tumbles, on this long and narrow road. But if we don’t lose our way, then we can overcome them.”

    ARCHIVE

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