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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-19
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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
19.12.2002FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 PRIME MINISTER GUL VISITS TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTASPrime Minister Addullah Gul yesterday paid a get-well visit to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas, who is currently resting and recuperating in Ankara. Following heart surgery and extended follow-up treatment in New York City, Denktas arrived in Turkey’s capital last week. After treatment at the Ibn-i Sina Hospital, he is now recuperating at a private residence in Cankaya. In related news, TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu is scheduled to arrive in Ankara on Saturday to meet with Denktas and Turkish mainland officials. /Turkiye/
 FOREIGN POLICY SUMMIT REITERATES TURKEY’S FULL SUPPORT FOR DENKTASA summit yesterday at the Cankaya Presidential Palace chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer was the scene of intense discussions on Turkey’s European Union membership bid as well as the Cyprus and Iraq issues. In addition to Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis and other officials were present along with visiting Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas. After the meeting, Presidential Foreign Affairs Advisor Tacan Ildem said that the participants had discussed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan and found it negotiable, adding that Turkey would continue to fully support the cause of the TRNC headed by President Denktas along with its Turkish Cypriots. On the Iraq issue, Ildem said that Turkey favored a peaceful solution. “However,” he added, “all possibilities were discussed at the meeting. Turkey is concerned over economic losses in case of an operation.” While leaving the meeting, Prime Minister Gul told reporters that the Turkish side would continue negotiations to reach a just and lasting solution for Cyprus. /Turkiye/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY TAKES TOUGH STANCE ON EU CYPRUS PLANThe European Union's decision to admit the divided island of Cyprus to the Union in May 2004 is unacceptable, said a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry yesterday, in response to the EU’s greenlighting of the Greek Cypriot government’s membership bid at last week’s Copenhagen summit. The statement underlined that there was no single state authorized to represent the whole island and that the EU didn’t have the right to make unilateral decisions on the future of Cyprus at the expense of international agreements. The statement also added that Turkey favored a just and fair settlement for the island, one recognizing the equal status of both sides, and that it would support the continuation of peace talks through UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s solution proposals. In 1974, Cyprus was divided into two separately controlled areas when Turkey launched a Peace Operation to protect the Turkish Cypriot population following a coup instigated by Greek Cypriots to take control of the entire island. In 1984, with the founding of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the island became home to two separate states. Cyprus’ EU accession was negotiated only with the Greek Cypriot administration, taken erroneously to represent the entire island. /Cumhuriyet/
 BAYKAL: “THE UN NEEDS TO PRESENT A NEW PLAN FOR A JUST AND PERMANENT PEACE ON CYPRUS”Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that the United Nations needed to substantially rework and revise its current Cyprus plan to pave the way for an equitable, just and permanent peace on the island. Baykal said that Turkey wanted a solution and peace for Cyprus. “However, the UN’s revised plan still has a number of weaknesses, since it aims to restructure the island into a Greek society,” he said. “Under the current UN plan, Cyprus will be a Greek island after 20 years. With such an aim, there’s clearly a need for a new plan.” /Milliyet/
 SIMITIS: “IF PROGRESS ISN’T MADE BEFORE FEB. 28, THE CYPRUS TALKS CAN BE CALLED OFF”Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday that if the two sides on Cyprus are unable to make considerable progress towards a settlement for the island before Feb. 28, then there was no need to continue the negotiations process. Feb. 28 is the deadline the United Nations gave to both sides to reach an agreement on the basis of its revised plan. Simitis also stated that he wanted a solution to the Cyprus issue before the UN deadline, adding, however, “If the two sides make significant progress in the negotiations, the date can be extended in order to continue talks.” /Milliyet/
 TSK DENIES MAJOR BUILDUP ON IRAQ BORDERThe leadership of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) yesterday denied reports of a major buildup of troops on Turkey’s border with Iraq, calling any movements there “routine.” A statement issued by the General Staff said that there had been no comprehensive buildup or extraordinary measures in the region other than routine preparations for possible contingencies. “With the well-known developments and events taking place in our region, it is only natural for the TSK to review certain measures and carry out training and exercises,” the statement added. Sources in the border region have reported increased numbers of troops along the Iraqi frontier, with about 15,000 soldiers complementing normal Turkish deployments. /Sabah/
 YAKIS TO MEET WITH ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDERSECRETARYForeign Minister Yasar Yakis is scheduled to meet with Israeli Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Yoav Biran next Monday in Ankara. Yakis and Biran are expected to confer on a possible Iraq war, the selling of water from Turkey’s Manavgat River to Israel and Turkish-Israeli relations in general. /Sabah/
 SOLANA: “TURKEY WILL BECOME AN EU MEMBER”Speaking at a meeting of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Washington on Tuesday, Javier Solana, the European Union’s high representative for common foreign and security policy, said that he hoped that Turkey would fully comply with the Copenhagen political criteria before the EU’s December 2004 summit so that it can then start its accession talks. “One of the most important achievements of last week’s Copenhagen summit was the EU’s setting a date to decide on the beginning of Turkey’s accession negotiations,” said Solana. “I believe that Turkey will become an EU member.” /Hurriyet/
 RASMUSSEN: “THE EU’S DECISION ON TURKEY WAS REASONABLE AND REALISTIC”Speaking at a general session of the European Parliament yesterday, EU Term President Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the EU’s decision on Turkey taken at last week’s Copenhagen summit a reasonable and realistic one. Rasmussen added that the EU appreciated Turkey’s efforts to meet the political criteria the Union had set and that it expected the continuation of reforms. “The EU has pledged to continue encouraging Turkey by augmenting financial aid for its implementation of political reforms,” added Rasmussen. /Cumhuriyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “TURKEY IS FULLY CAPABLE OF IMPLEMENTING THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA”Speaking at a European Parliament session held to evaluate last week’s historic Copenhagen summit, Guenter Verheugen, the European Union commissioner for enlargement, said yesterday that Turkey had the ability to implement the Copenhagen criteria, but added that it must eradicate the practice of torture in order to start negotiations with the EU. Ending torture only on paper and legislation won’t be enough, said, Verheugen, as the EU needs to see such laws actually implemented. Also speaking at the session, EU Commission Chairman Romano Prodi said that the commission’s evaluation of Turkey’s progress report at the end of 2004 would be an objective one. Prodi added that Turkey had enough time before that date to both pass and implement the Copenhagen criteria. /Milliyet/
 ACADEMIC HABLEMITOGLU SHOT TO DEATH IN ANKARAAssociate Professor Necip Hablemitoglu, a political science lecturer at Ankara University’s Faculty of Letters, was shot to death last night outside his home in Ankara by unknown assailants. Some of Hablemitoglu’s publications had focused on radical Islamist groups and German foundations active in Turkey, but there was no immediate word on the motive for the killing. Suspected Islamic militants have carried out attacks on pro- secular intellectuals in past years. Hablemitoglu had reported receiving several death threats before the attack. He was 48 years old, married and had two children. /All Papers/  FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 LAST TANGO ON CYPRUS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The two leaders of Cyprus, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides, will in the end have to return to the negotiations table. With the entire world waiting for their next moves, they can’t avoid getting back together. They will hold a series of meetings to discuss UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan. The important question this time is whether the two leaders will be able to reach a settlement before Feb. 28, the date the EU set as a deadline at last week’s Copenhagen summit. Although our past experiences preclude optimism on these new gatherings, one can’t deny that there are new factors this time, which are likely to force these leaders to try harder for a permanent solution than they have previously.
Let’s take a look at the picture: Since the Greek side believes that its EU membership is a done deal, it is unlikely to make concessions for the sake of a settlement. Meanwhile, the Denktas administration believes that if the Greek Cypriots are admitted to the EU, two separate states might continue their existence on the island. Despite significant opposition from his own Turkish Cypriots, it’s well known that Denktas thinks that the TRNC might integrate with Turkey in the absence of a solution. In fact, he’s not terribly concerned about what to do if the two sides fail to settle. We might think that the sides are quite satisfied with the status quo and so lack a strong motivation to return to the bargaining table. However, the reality isn’t so simple. This time, there are some new factors which will force the two parties to make certain concessions:
1) The European Union, United Nations and United States will all step up pressure on the Greek Cypriot administration to settle with the Turkish side. The EU doesn’t want a divided nation amongst its ranks.
2) The Greek Cypriots won’t be satisfied either if they join the EU on their own, since this will only escalate problems on the island. The presence of Turkish soldiers to their north is actually a very sore sticking point.
3) The Turkish Cypriots are extremely disappointed by the absence of a solution. This might spur an exodus to new territories, significantly changing the demographics of the north in the process.
4) The TRNC will continue its official existence under the guardianship of Turkey, but it would become even more isolated in the international arena.
5) Turkey might lose the support of the EU, the UN and the US.
The parties on Cyprus should take these factors into consideration. This might be the last chance for Denktas and Clerides, two old and veteran politicians, or, in a phrase, their ‘last tango’.”
 MENTALITY AND POLITICS BY OMER CELIK (STAR)Columnist Omer Celik comments on the relation between mentality and politics concerning the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Turkey is once again experiencing hard times. Our pressing domestic problems and foreign policy issues are taking their toll on the political life. Once again, Turkey is caught between rationally operating the political mind and swelling our nationalist feelings. It’s too easy to give priority to nationalist feelings when dealing with such issues as Cyprus. Of course Turkish nationalism, which can be a productive force, isn’t bad per se. This nationalism should not encourage chauvinism, but rather seek a better life and more democracy for its nation. This way Turkey could translate its own political values into inclusion in the world at large. Such a process, one directed to employ Turkey’s national values so as to integrate with the world of democratic values, could cause a higher operation of our political mind. Instead of this, however, an inward- looking nationalism has always taken center stage. The concepts of ‘national matters’ and ‘national interests’ became a basis for seeking new avenues for a rather brute nationalism. Expressing dissent on any issue was sometimes presented as conflicting with or even harming the national interest. Now we’re facing the same picture concerning the Cyprus issue, which has become a subject of ‘national matters’ and ‘concessions.’ Therefore the distinction between ‘brute strength’ and ‘firmness’ is disappearing. However, the framework that we have to accept concerning Cyprus is very clear. We shouldn’t give up our insistence that the Turkish nation’s rights of sovereignty should be accepted by the world and a fair peace ensured. However, for this purpose, speaking on the political level isn’t enough. Turkey must be directed to new approaches with our mentalities. The Cyprus issue will be much more important from now on, and the future will show if Turkey chooses to deal with its problems reasonably or instead foments a brute nationalism.”
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