|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 02-12-16
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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
16.12.2002FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 PRIME MINISTER GUL: “WE HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE”Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was working intensively, adding that there was no time to waste. Speaking at a foundation- laying ceremony for the Sereflikochisar-Aksaray highway, Gul stated that there was to much to do and that his government would fulfill the AKP’s pledges made during this fall’s election campaign. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN PLEDGES TO CONTINUE EFFORTS ON CYPRUS, EU BIDRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that it was time to solve the Cyprus issue, adding that Turkey would continue its serious and determined efforts for its European Union membership bid in the wake of last week’s historic Copenhagen summit. At that meeting, the EU resolved to make a decision during its December 2004 summit on giving Turkey a date for accession talks. “Now is a time for Turkey to improve itself in every area in order to open itself up to the world,” stated Erdogan. “In recent months, Turkey has been on the agenda of both the world and Europe. Moreover, Turkey and the EU have agreed to pursue mutual foreign policy goals.” He also said that the dividends from Turkey’s investments would come not in the short term, but the long term. “The AKP government’s priority is to solve the Cyprus issue, as it has vital importance for Turkey’s EU bid,” added Erdogan. He also stated that there was no need to revise the Customs Union, an agreement which Turkey and the EU signed in 1995. /Milliyet/
 YAKIS: “THE CYPRUS ISSUE WILL PROBABLY BE SOLVED BEFORE THE END OF FEBRUARY”Appearing on news channel CNN Turk yesterday, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis said that both sides on Cyprus would probably reach an agreement by Feb. 28, 2003 on the United Nation’s plan for the island. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked the two leaders on Cyprus to sign a letter of intent committing themselves to negotiating an accord by that date. In related news, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will reportedly meet with Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas to try to convince him to reach an agreement on Cyprus before that date. Denktas is currently in Turkey and plans to stay through this weekend to receive treatment for his health problems. /Milliyet/
 PARLIAMENT SPEAKER ARINC VISITS INDIAParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc yesterday traveled to New Delhi, India to pay an official visit to the country upon the invitation of Manohar Joshi, the speaker for India’s lower house of Parliament. Before his departure, Arinc told reporters that the visit would be his first abroad in an official capacity and that he would discuss improving Turkish-Indian relations with Joshi. /Turkiye/
 MEHMET AGAR ELECTED NEW DYP CHAIRMANMehmet Agar, deputy for Elazig and the sole True Path Party (DYP) representative in Parliament, was elected as the DYP’s new leader during the party’s Seventh Ordinary Congress held over the weekend in Ankara. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc sent congratulatory messages to Agar, as did former President Suleyman Demirel and Agar’s predecessor at the DYP helm, Tansu Ciller. Ciller stepped down in the wake of the DYP’s poor showing in the November elections. Following the announcement of the election results, inhabitants of Elazig poured into the streets to celebrate Agar’s leadership. /Turkiye/
 SCHROEDER: “2010 WOULD PROBABLY BE TOO EARLY FOR TURKEY TO JOIN THE EU”Appearing on German TV channel ZDF over the weekend, German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder labeled speculation that Turkey would be able to join the EU in 2010 as “overly optimistic.” “Negotiations with Turkey will begin in 2005,” said Schroeder. “I believe that membership discussions will be long and heated. Turkey has many problems left to be solved. That’s why I believe that it won’t be able to join the EU in 2010.” In related news, Gerhard Schmidt, deputy chairman of the European Parliament, expressed his opposition to Turkey’s admittance to the EU, arguing that the country had failed to meet the EU criteria. /Star/
 TOURISM MINISTER AKSIT TO VISIT GERMANYTourism Minister Guldal Aksit is set to fly to Germany tomorrow. As part of her first official trip abroad, Aksit will meet with representatives of travel agencies in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf. /Turkiye/
 CHOMSKY RECEIVES PEACE PRIZE IN ISTANBULProminent US intellectual and author Noam Chomsky was awarded the Turkish Union of Publishers 2002 Peace Prize at Istanbul’s First International Book Fair over the weekend. After receiving the award, Chomsky, a critic of plans for a war in Iraq, remarked that the prize was especially significant at a time when talk of war grows louder with each passing day. /Cumhuriyet/
 GERMAN VISITORS LEAD NOVEMBER TOURIST TRADEOf the 660,000 foreign tourists who visited Turkey this November, Germany contributed more visitors than any other nation, according to figures released over the weekend. Additionally, 59% of foreign tourists came from Organization for European Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and 29% from Eastern European countries. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SHALLOW PERSPECTIVES BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila writes about the Cyprus issue and the decision on Turkey’s EU membership taken at last week’s EU Copenhagen summit. A summary of his column is as follows:
“What happened at last week’s Copenhagen summit? According to a great many journalists, Turkey won a victory and assured its EU membership even though the summit’s outcome fell far short of its expectations. And as for the Cyprus issue, the very same people contend that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) missed a great opportunity, and that young Turkish Cypriots failed to join the prosperous civilization that the Greek Cypriots offered.
First of all, the decision on Turkey taken at the Copenhagen summit, which at the end boiled down to extending a conditional date in 2004 for the country’s entry to the Union, is anything but a guarantee of its candidacy status. Turkey’s candidacy was already approved at 1999’s Helsinki summit. In this respect, there is nothing novel about the decision. The only new element is that Turkey has to wait for two more years to receive a date for the beginning of its accession negotiations. Thus, it wouldn’t be realistic to evaluate the 2004 rendezvous as a guarantee of Turkey’s future EU membership. Yet, there is nothing more reasonable for Turkey to do than maintaining its EU orientation.
When it comes to the Cyprus issue, the EU granted membership to the Greek side, a decision which benefited neither Turkey nor the TRNC. It would be too shallow a perspective to claim that if TRNC President Rauf Denktas had put his signature on the UN peace proposal, the Turkish Cypriots could have entered the EU with their Greek counterparts. The Cyprus issue is crucial to Turkey’s national interests and it carries great strategic importance. Turkey’s 1974 Peace Operation on Cyprus came as a reaction to Greek Cypriots’ efforts to invade and take control of the rest of the island and their attempts to massacre Turkish Cypriots. As I have said, the Cyprus issue is critical to Turkey’s national interests and strategic concerns. That’s why it cannot be given as a concession for Turkey’s EU membership.
Moreover, Turkey and the TRNC have sufficient time to reach settlement on the issue before Greek Cyprus officially joins the EU in May 2004. Both Turkey and the TRNC have powerful cards to play at the negotiation table, as the EU favors a reunified island before it lets the Greek side in.
National issues cannot be handled in the way that individual issues are. Inter-state relations do not resemble in any way those between individuals.”
 WHO LIKES EMPTY PROMISES?BY EROL MANISALI (CUMHURIYET)Columnist Erol Manisali comments on the EU’s decision on Turkey taken at last week’s Copenhagen summit. A summary of his column is as follows:
“In December 2004, the European Union will decide whether or not to give Turkey a date for negotiations, just as 10 other countries join the Union and swell its ranks to 25 members. Turkey is ahead of these other countries in a number of respects, but it has been given nothing but empty promises. As Athens stated, not only the Copenhagen criteria, but also the Cyprus and the Aegean issues are included in our ‘homework.’ Two months ago I wrote that the EU would certainly produce something including the words ‘date’ and ‘timetable.’ The reasons for this are as follows:
1. ‘Brussels wants the single-sided arrangement to continue.’ The EU is exploiting Turkey. They say that this situation shouldn’t be changed!
2. As stated in a report given to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer by the Turkish Confederation of Labor Unions (Turk-Is), the other side thinks it would be better if Turkey is kept on a leash and under control’ so that concessions can be won.
3. The most important thing is to continue the policy of empty promises so Turkey is kept both at bay and under control.
This policy was ensured at last week’s summit, and Turkey wasn’t cut loose. They didn’t give Turkey anything and so they prepared an atmosphere for telling lies. Turkey should have been put in the same group as Bulgaria and Romania, the two nations left out of the 10 but set on track for a later admittance, to at least give it something. Turkey was only given a bone so the policy of empty promises could continue. Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan confessed in Copenhagen that he had participated in this policy, saying, ‘Turkish-EU relations stayed on the rails.’ But President Sezer, who once said, ‘Europe doesn’t have good intentions: it’s only feeding us empty promises’ was the only politician to tell the truth. He told the truth courageously, refusing to lie to 70 million people, unlike certain others. Not a single good decision was made on Turkey during the Copenhagen summit last week. This was no surprise to those who have been involved in this previously, because the EU’s policy on Turkey has been clear since 1989: Turkey won’t be included in the future ‘United States of Europe.’ However, it will be kept on a leash. The current uproar reflects the clash between those who support this policy and those who oppose it.”
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