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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-17

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

17.12.2002

GUL: “TURKEY WILL BE READY FOR ITS EU BID BY NEXT FALL” SCHROEDER: “TURKEY COULD START MEMBERSHIP TALKS WITH THE EU IN 2005” VERHEUGEN: “TURKEY SHOULD BE PLEASED WITH THE EU’S DECISION” GOVERNMENT TO FORM PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON EU AFFAIRS TUSIAD: “FOLLOWING COPENHAGEN, TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID IS ON TRACK” TRNC WORKS TO MEET FEBRUARY DEADLINE FOR SETTLEMENT BAYKAL TAKES ISSUE WITH YAKIS’ STATEMENT ON TSK’S STATUS ON CYPRUS TRNC TO RENEW SEARCH FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT TOBB HEAD: “EVEN IF THE EU ISN’T READY FOR TURKEY, WE’RE READY FOR THE EU” JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK: “CORRUPTION WILL BE ROOTED OUT” FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… THE WAY TO THE EU GOES THROUGH THE AEGEAN BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET) TIME FOR A SOLUTION BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL: “TURKEY WILL BE READY FOR ITS EU BID BY NEXT FALL”
  • [02] SCHROEDER: “TURKEY COULD START MEMBERSHIP TALKS WITH THE EU IN 2005”
  • [03] VERHEUGEN: “TURKEY SHOULD BE PLEASED WITH THE EU’S DECISION”
  • [04] GOVERNMENT TO FORM PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON EU AFFAIRS
  • [05] TUSIAD: “FOLLOWING COPENHAGEN, TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID IS ON TRACK”
  • [06] TRNC WORKS TO MEET FEBRUARY DEADLINE FOR SETTLEMENT
  • [07] BAYKAL TAKES ISSUE WITH YAKIS’ STATEMENT ON TSK’S STATUS ON CYPRUS
  • [08] TRNC TO RENEW SEARCH FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT
  • [09] TOBB HEAD: “EVEN IF THE EU ISN’T READY FOR TURKEY, WE’RE READY FOR THE EU”
  • [10] JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK: “CORRUPTION WILL BE ROOTED OUT”
  • [11] ANAP, DSP TO HOLD CONGRESSES
  • [12] TURKISH CULTURE CONGRESS BEGINS
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [14] THE WAY TO THE EU GOES THROUGH THE AEGEAN BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)
  • [15] TIME FOR A SOLUTION BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

  • [01] GUL: “TURKEY WILL BE READY FOR ITS EU BID BY NEXT FALL”

    Speaking to Milliyet daily yesterday, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul pledged that Turkey would pass all the European Union harmonization laws necessary for its EU membership bid by the end of next year, just as the EU is set to publish a progress report on Turkey. “The EU won’t be able to find anything to object to in its 2003 progress report,” predicted Gul. “At last week’s Copenhagen summit, French President Jacques Chirac said that Turkey should insist on getting an date earlier than 2004.” The summit set December 2004 as the date the EU would consider scheduling Turkey’s membership talks. Gul also stated that the Cyprus issue carried great importance for Turkey’s EU bid and that it shouldn’t be politicized. Commenting on a possible United States operation against Iraq, Gul said that Turkey had made no commitments to the US, but that should a dispute arise between the two sides, Turkey would take a clear stance. “Turkey wants a peaceful solution in the region,” he stated. “However, in case of an operation, the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] would certainly fight for the nation’s rights.” /Milliyet/

    [02] SCHROEDER: “TURKEY COULD START MEMBERSHIP TALKS WITH THE EU IN 2005”

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said yesterday that should the European Union decide at its December 2004 summit that Turkey is ready for membership negotiations, then those talks would begin in mid-2005. Turkey and the EU will continue in the future to make serious but difficult negotiations on Turkey’s membership bid, stated the German leader. Schroeder added that he was pleased that 10 countries were slated to join the EU in 2004 and that the EU had presented a positive perspective to Turkey at last week’s Copenhagen summit. /Milliyet/

    [03] VERHEUGEN: “TURKEY SHOULD BE PLEASED WITH THE EU’S DECISION”

    European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said yesterday that Turkey should be pleased with the decision that the EU made on it during last week’s Copenhagen summit. “For the first time, the EU issued a firm decision on Turkey and set a date to decide on its accession talks,” added Verheugen. “Never before have we done something like that.” Verheugen also stated that Europe’s borders should be clearly defined. “In addition to the EU’s 10 new members, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and other Balkan countries should take their places within the EU,” he said. “However, there the Union’s enlargement must come to a halt.” Bulgaria and Romania are next in line behind the 10 new members to get EU accession talks, a step which the Union failed to take on Turkey last week. /Hurriyet/

    [04] GOVERNMENT TO FORM PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON EU AFFAIRS

    Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Central Executive Board, yesterday said that a committee for European Union affairs would be established in Parliament to aid in Turkey’s EU membership bid. Following a four-hour meeting chaired by AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Firat said that Erdogan had briefed the board on last week’s summit in Copenhagen as well as his recent visit to the US. Stressing that much hard work lay ahead for Turkey’s EU bid, Firat stated that a new committee in Parliament would be established to follow progress on the matter. He added that the government’s Emergency Action Plan had also been discussed at the meeting. /Turkiye/

    [05] TUSIAD: “FOLLOWING COPENHAGEN, TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID IS ON TRACK”

    At last week’s Copenhagen summit the European Union effectively firmed up its perspective on Turkey’s membership bid, said a statement issued yesterday by the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD). The statement added that even though the EU’s decision on a date for the beginning of Turkey’s accession negotiations had not fully met the nation’s expectations, it did officially confirm that the EU was projecting a future for the Union which would include Turkey. To this end, Turkey should pursue concrete, rational and realistic policies, the statement stressed, adding that there was an urgent need to improve human rights and democratic standards in the country. /Sabah/

    [06] TRNC WORKS TO MEET FEBRUARY DEADLINE FOR SETTLEMENT

    A group of top-level Turkish Cypriot officials, headed by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas, held a meeting yesterday in Ankara. On the agenda of the meeting were details of the policy to be pursued on Cyprus peace talks through which a settlement on the island is expected to be reached before Feb. 28, 2003, the deadline the EU advised in its closing declaration at last week’s Copenhagen summit. Denktas previously announced that peace talks with the Greek Cypriots could only be resumed with the condition that the economic embargo on the TRNC be lifted. In related news, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and ruling Justice and Development Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan both denied yesterday that the government had pledged to find a solution to the Cyprus problem before the EU’s Feb. 28 deadline as a concession for Turkey’s EU membership bid. “The Cyprus issued did not play a central role during Turkey’s contacts at the Copenhagen summit pertaining to our efforts to get a date for accession negotiations,” said a statement issued by the Prime Ministry yesterday. /Cumhuriyet/

    [07] BAYKAL TAKES ISSUE WITH YAKIS’ STATEMENT ON TSK’S STATUS ON CYPRUS

    Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday took sharp exception to remarks by Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis earlier this week concerning Turkish forces on Cyprus. Yakis had said that in the absence of a settlement before the EU-set Feb. 28, 2003 deadline, units of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) present on the island to protect its Turkish Cypriot population would technically be an “occupying force” on European Union member soil. These remarks were grossly mistaken, charged Baykal, “and unfortunate. The government should announce at once that the remarks don’t represent Turkish government policy.” The EU agreed last week to admit Greek Cyprus into its ranks, erroneously taking its administration to represent the entire island, including the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) where TSK forces are stationed. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] TRNC TO RENEW SEARCH FOR CYPRUS SETTLEMENT

    Ergun Olgun, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) presidential undersecretary, said yesterday that he had agreed to a request by Didi Tsirter, assistant to UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto, to renew efforts to find a settlement on the island in light of the European Union’s green light given last week to Greek Cypriot accession. After arriving in Ankara yesterday, Olgun met with TRNC President Rauf Denktas, who is currently undergoing medical treatment. He said that there would be a meeting to evaluate recent developments as chaired by Denktas with the attendance of Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the TRNC’s foreign and defense minister, as well as Turkish officials. “Then the matter will be discussed within the TRNC government and its other political parties and a joint policy will be established,” said Olgun. Stressing that de Soto would arrive in Cyprus after the New Year, Olgun stated that he expected to return to the TRNC with Mr. Denktas either today or tomorrow. /Turkiye/

    [09] TOBB HEAD: “EVEN IF THE EU ISN’T READY FOR TURKEY, WE’RE READY FOR THE EU”

    Last week’s European Union Copenhagen summit proved that even though the EU doesn’t seem ready for Turkey, Turkey is surely ready for its EU membership, yesterday commented Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchange (TOBB). Hisarciklioglu also said that the Cyprus issue would be solved after guaranteeing the future of the island’s Turkish Cypriots. Also touching on economic issues, Hisarciklioglu said that Turkey’s growth and inflation targets should be considered together, adding that a reduction in inflation shouldn’t result in slower growth. /Milliyet/

    [10] JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK: “CORRUPTION WILL BE ROOTED OUT”

    Justice Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday vowed that the government would wage a war in order to root out corruption in Turkey. Speaking at the Education Center for Justice and Prosecutor Candidates in Ankara, Cicek said, “Our European Union membership bid has become Turkish state policy. Whether the date is 2004 or 2005, Turkey will join the EU.” Commenting that Turkey had been sharply criticized by the EU for its shortcomings in the judicial area, the justice minister said that the implementation of laws was more important than their mere passage. Speaking on corruption, Cicek stated that it was one of the most insidious threats to the republic and that therefore there should be a war fought against it. “If need be, we will make amendments to the system in order to eradicate corruption,” added Cicek. /Turkiye/

    [11] ANAP, DSP TO HOLD CONGRESSES

    The Democratic Left Party (DSP) and the Motherland Party (ANAP), two ex-government parties now lacking representation in Parliament due to their poor showing in last month’s elections, are both set to hold important congresses in the coming months. The ordinary congress of the DSP, which led the last government but polled less than 1% in November’s elections, is set for sometime between April 2003 and April 2004. A number of DSP deputies, however, are pushing for an extraordinary congress to be held before that period. With the retirement of its longtime leader Mesut Yilmaz, ANAP is due to elect a new chairman at its Jan. 11 ordinary congress. The candidates for the post are as follows: acting Chairman Ekrem Pakdemirli, Ali Talip Ozdemir, Lutfullah Kayalar, Bulent Akarcali, Ahmet Ozal, Oltan Sungurlu, Gunes Taner and Isin Celebi. /Turkiye/

    [12] TURKISH CULTURE CONGRESS BEGINS

    The Fifth Turkish Culture Congress is set to begin today at Ankara’s Capital Teacher Guesthouse with the participation of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. During the four-day gathering, over 300 participants will deliver speeches in 16 sessions on various subjects ranging from secularism to the Turkish language, handicrafts, historiography, philosophy and music. /Hurriyet/

    [13] FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [14] THE WAY TO THE EU GOES THROUGH THE AEGEAN BY SEDAT ERGIN (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on the need to solve Aegean issues for the sake of Turkey’s European Union membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The European Union’s postponing to the end of 2004 giving Turkey a date for starting membership negotiations at its summit last week has put Turkey at a decisive stage in terms of Cyprus and Turkish-Greek problems. Among these two, Cyprus is the one lying in the short-term. The Turkish side has nearly three months to decide how to proceed on the issue. The solution plan prepared by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan states that the deadline for the parties to sign the agreement is Feb. 28. Under the plan, once the agreement is signed there will be a referendum on March 30 in both Northern and Southern Cyprus. This will be followed by the signature of EU accession agreements by the Union’s 10 new members on April 10. The mood and enthusiasm of the agreement’s signing ceremony depends on a solution to the Cyprus problem. If a solution can be found, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot administration leader Glafcos Clerides will both sign the agreement as the island’s ‘founding partners.’ But if a solution is not found, Clerides will sit at the table alone and his signature will represent the Greek Cypriot side only. However, a single signature would cast a dark shadow over the ceremony. This is the scenario the EU most wants to avoid. The EU’s restlessness on this issue shows that Turkey holds some good cards to bargain with. The Turkish side can use this situation for its own benefit.

    Meanwhile, the matter of the Turkish-Greek issues will be on Turkey’s agenda in the middle term. It’s interesting to note the parallelism between the decision taken at last week’s Copenhagen summit and 1999’s Helsinki summit, in that the date 2004 was pronounced at both occasions. As the fourth paragraph of the Helsinki document states, ‘The European Council [EC] stresses the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter and urges candidate states to make every effort to resolve any outstanding border disputes and other related issues. Failing this they should within a reasonable time bring the dispute to the International Court of Justice. The EC will review the situation relating to any outstanding disputes, in particular concerning the repercussions on the accession process and in order to promote their settlement through the International Court of Justice, at the latest by the end of 2004.’ Clearly, here we can see a direct relation between Turkey’s accession process and bringing Turkish-Greek problems to the International Court. In other words, even if Turkey meets the political criteria in 2004, the EU can easily use a lack of progress on the Aegean issues to justify delaying us again. This possibility will spur Turkey to find a solution to the Aegean problems within two years. Thus, we should be prepared to discuss all the conflicting issues of the Aegean Sea, including the matters of the continental shelf, territorial waters and airspace.”

    [15] TIME FOR A SOLUTION BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the European Union’s Copenhagen summit and the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “We would do well to quit discussing whether the EU’s decision on Turkey’s membership bid taken at last week’s Copenhagen summit was a ‘disaster’ or a ‘victory.’ Such discussions are fruitless. From now on, Turkish politicians need to focus on what their next moves should be.

    Turkey first of all should put its political reforms into practice in accordance with the Copenhagen criteria. We’ve got plenty of time to do this, and our single-party government might be able to take effective decisions on democratization relatively quickly. Our politicians should also work on Turkey’s social and economic harmonization with the EU. These steps should be immediately taken not only for the sake of our EU membership bid, but also for a better future for the nation.

    Another important issue is to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. It’s vital that the parties on the island begin negotiations on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan as soon as possible. If they can reach a settlement within approximately two months, then northern and southern Cyprus will be able to join the EU together. However, under the recent decision taken at the Copenhagen summit, only southern Cyprus is to become an EU member in the absence of a settlement.

    What are the possible consequences of such a development for the Turkish side? There are two opinions on this issue, both controversial. Some believe that if only the Greek Cypriot administration is admitted to the EU, this will spell disaster for the Turkish side. In that case, Turkish Cypriots are likely to be totally dependent on Turkey’s support and will probably begin flocking to other territories. Such developments would pave the way for new problems not only for Turkey or Greece but also for both the EU and the United Nations. In addition, some other circles argue that the Greek Cypriots joining the EU would cement Cyprus’ status as a divided island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) would then integrate with Turkey, and such developments would give rise to new tensions between ourselves and Greece.

    The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has already given its green light to recent UN efforts to reach a permanent settlement on the island. There’s no doubt that it’s high time for us to find a solution to this problem. We’d do best to leave behind old discussions and find a better way to deal with the issue, a method which will provide us with a new point of view.

    The AKP-led government’s Cyprus policy is encouraging. However, we need to see how great is the determination of this government to solve the issue.”

    ARCHIVE

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