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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-18
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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
18.12.2002LEADERS’ SUMMIT CONVENES TO DISCUSS TURKEY’S FOREIGN POLICY SEZER: “CULTURE IS SOCIETY’S GREATEST TREASURE” GUL: “THERE IS NO SECRET DEAL FOR CYPRUS” ERDOGAN: “THE COPENHAGEN SUMMIT WAS A NATIONAL SUCCESS” FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARY ZIYAL TO VISIT ATHENS SERDENGECTI: “THE CENTRAL BANK IS PREPARED FOR THE EFFECTS OF AN IRAQ OPERATION” GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION TO MAKE PASSPORTS AVAILABLE TO TURKISH CYPRIOTS CITIZENS TOBB PRESENTS ECONOMIC REPORT TO GOVERNMENT FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... ERDOGAN’S VIEWS ON CYPRUS BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET) TURKEY’S OBSTRUCTIONIST FRONT BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM)
 LEADERS’ SUMMIT CONVENES TO DISCUSS TURKEY’S FOREIGN POLICYA group of top-level Turkish officials including President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal is due to hold a summit at the Cankaya Presidential Summit in Ankara today to discuss recent developments on foreign relations issues. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas is also to participate in the second session of the summit, where the Cyprus problem is to be discussed. Denktas is expected to tell the Turkish officials that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s revised Cyprus plan should not be accepted as a basis for future negotiations. /Cumhuriyet/
 SEZER: “CULTURE IS SOCIETY’S GREATEST TREASURE”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said yesterday that culture constituted a vital bridge between society’s past and its possibilities for the future. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Turkish Culture Congress, Sezer said, “Culture lies at the foundation of society, and moreover is its greatest treasure.” Stressing that the Turkish nation enjoyed a rich cultural heritage, the president added, “To possess, protect and advance our cultural values, this is our fundamental responsibility.” /Turkiye/
 GUL: “THERE IS NO SECRET DEAL FOR CYPRUS”Prime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday briefed Parliament deputies about last week’s European Union summit in Copenhagen as well as recent developments on the Cyprus issue. “We haven’t made any commitment, nor is there any ‘secret deal’ for Cyprus,” stated Gul. Stressing that during the EU summit the main topic had not been the Cyprus issue, Gul said that the issue had not been taken up during Turkey’s bilateral meetings either. “The Cyprus issue was not a party or government issue, but rather a national case,” said the prime minister. “This government and its foreign minister will never swerve from their duty to protect and preserve the rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC].” /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “THE COPENHAGEN SUMMIT WAS A NATIONAL SUCCESS”Speaking at his party’s group meeting yesterday, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that last week’s historic European Union Copenhagen had been a success for Turkey. At the summit, the EU leaders pledged to review Turkey’s accession progress in December 2004 with an aim to then starting membership negotiations “as soon as possible,” should the Union like what it sees. Erdogan said that the AKP government would swiftly implement the Copenhagen criteria in order to push forward Turkey’s membership bid. Also touching on the Cyprus issue, Erdogan expressed optimism that negotiations on Cyprus would produce a solution and said that the government believes the talks should continue. “The Cyprus issue should be solved before Feb. 28 [an EU and United Nations deadline], and the entire island should become part of the EU,” he said. Erdogan added that time was of the essence and that the negotiations should be focused on an equitable, just and permanent solution. /Milliyet/
 ARINC MEETS WITH INDIAN PRESIDENTParliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, who is currently on an official visit to India, yesterday met with Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. During their talks, Abdul Kalam praised Turkey’s secular, democratic system as established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, and asked Arinc how the nation had maintained this institution for nearly 80 years. “Our nation has assimilated this system,” replied Arinc. “There is an atmosphere of tolerance in our country.” Abdul Kalam then said that his brother had been given the name Mustafa Kemal by their father, one of Ataturk’s admirers. /Milliyet/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARY ZIYAL TO VISIT ATHENSForeign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Ugur Ziyal is to pay an official visit to Athens tomorrow in order to hold meetings with Greek officials concerning problems of the Aegean region. According to diplomatic sources, Ziyal’s visit could be a key one for Turkey, particularly in light of the European Union’s insistence at last week’s Copenhagen summit that Turkey make progress on the Turkish-Greek Aegean issues in order to advance its membership bid. The EU has said it will review Turkey’s accession progress in December 2004, but Turkish officials have pledged to fulfill the necessary requirements before that. /Cumhuriyet/
 SERDENGECTI: “THE CENTRAL BANK IS PREPARED FOR THE EFFECTS OF AN IRAQ OPERATION”Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti said yesterday that the CB was fully prepared for the possible economic fallout of a possible United States operation against Iraq. “Such an operation could impact Turkey’s economy negatively, but we should continue our current economic program,” he said. “Our main target is to provide domestic price stability, and we would take the necessary measures in case of such an operation. We will continue to implement the economic program.” /Hurriyet/
 GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION TO MAKE PASSPORTS AVAILABLE TO TURKISH CYPRIOTS CITIZENSUnder a plan announced yesterday by Andreas Panayotu, the interior minister of Greek Cyprus, citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will be eligible for passports to visit the southern, Greek half of the island. The passport plan was one of a number of measures discussed yesterday by Greek Cypriot officials in the wake of last week’s European Union green light for southern Cypriot membership, even in the absence of a settlement for the island. In related news, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Parliament is to convene tomorrow to discuss recent developments. Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot administration leader Glafcos Clerides yesterday announced that he would not seek a third consecutive term as president, and so will end his tenure in office on Feb. 28, 2003. The United Nations and the EU have set a deadline for a settlement for the island on the same date. /Aksam/
 TOBB PRESENTS ECONOMIC REPORT TO GOVERNMENTTurkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchange (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu yesterday led a TOBB delegation on a visit to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. Hisarciklioglu presented to the leaders a TOBB-prepared report entitled, “Turkey’s Economy: Problems and Solutions.” The leaders thanked the delegation for the report, calling it was a serious and valuable document which the government would use in formulating economic policy. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 ERDOGAN’S VIEWS ON CYPRUS BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s views on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Let’s talk about Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s view on the Cyprus issue. Erdogan believes that the current public attitude doesn’t accurately reflect developments on the issue. Just like Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Mr. Erdogan is also opposed to any so-called ‘give away policy.’ When I spoke to him yesterday, Erdogan said that the current impasse couldn’t stand, but reiterated his opposition to any giveaway. ‘After last week’s Copenhagen summit, people are evaluating the situation,’ he told me. ‘The current impasse will produce nothing. We want to solve the problem through good will. Of course, that alone won’t be enough. The other party must also have good will and a genuine desire to solve the problem. Any solution must be fair and also protect the interests and security of the Turkish side.’ Speaking on United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s proposal for a settlement, Erdogan said, ‘We absolutely will not agree to any giveaways, or unfair concessions. I’ve clearly said this before. For example, the maps on Annan’s documents propose giving the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ [TRNC] northeast Karpaz Peninsula to the Greek Cypriots. This is unacceptable. What does Karpaz have to do with south? What’s more, Northern Cyprus is very important for Turkey and its security. Therefore I told them that these maps were completely unacceptable. Then UN Envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto presented one or two new maps to our Foreign Ministry, including six or seven alternatives. One can make certain changes to the proposals after suggesting just and fair reasons. Likewise, new proposals have been developed and are still developing.’ Erdogan’s approach on the Cyprus issue is very pragmatic. He refused to swallow just any settlement plan merely in order to secure a date for talks from the EU. He’s considering the Cyprus issue in terms of our national security and strategy. Erdogan thinks that grounds for compromise can be found for Cyprus. He says that if the Greek Cypriots have good will and the sincere desire for a solution, then one can be found before Feb. 28, the deadline set by both the UN and EU.”
 TURKEY’S OBSTRUCTIONIST FRONT BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM)Columnist Semih Idiz writes about Turkey’s quest for EU membership, the Cyprus issue and domestic circles “dead set” against any settlement for the island. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Here in Turkey, we have an ‘obstructionist front’ which has maintained a years-long presence on the political scene. This front’s hallmarks notably include an appeal to the lowest common denominator and a demagogic exploitation of our nation’s deepest fears and nationalist pride. The very same front is now blindly insisting that last week’s Copenhagen summit constituted a clear-cut defeat for Turkey. By so doing, it is trying to mask its own deep-rooted fear of change. The reason for this is quite obvious: The universal values which will take their place as our guiding principles once Turkey unites with Europe are quite beyond the limited imaginations of these obstructionists.
Turkey’s goal of integration with Europe is at the same time shaking an age-old political-bureaucratic interest group. The members of this circle know full well that they don’t stand a chance of holding back the values which Turkey’s EU membership would entail. And certain ‘experts,’ who suffer from a lack of both wisdom and vision, provide the ‘intellectual logistics’ the objection front needs. They label the quest for a settlement on the Cyprus problem as a ‘giveaway policy’ or as a concession for Turkey’s EU membership, thus blaming the EU supporters for ‘selling out’ the island. We have to admit that this line of argumentation strikes a deeply resonant chord in Turkish society. Even the so-called leftist Republican People’s Party (CHP) has taken a similar stance.
In the face of all this, the new government, which certainly did not return from Copenhagen with an empty plate, has one indispensable mission, namely to maintain Turkey’s EU orientation. True, the Copenhagen summit fell short of meeting fully Turkey’s expectations. Yet, the fact that our accession negotiations could begin in 2005 is an undeniable advance for the nation. Now we have two more years to make the necessary arrangements before the December 2004 rendezvous. But when that day arrives, could the EU do an about-face? Maybe. But for the moment, it’s not the Union’s future stance on Turkey which we should be worried about, but rather our ‘glorious’ obstructionist front which is ready to sell out Turkey’s future for its own interests.”
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