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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-20

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

20.12.2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] SEZER VETOES AMENDMENT PACKAGE
  • [02] MURDER OF ACADEMIC PROMPTS OFFICIAL OUTRAGE, PUBLIC SHOCK
  • [03] PRIME MINISTER GUL RECEIVES ARAB AMBASSADORS
  • [04] ERDOGAN TO MEET WITH PUTIN IN RUSSIA
  • [05] POWELL: “IF NEEDED, I CAN PAY A VISIT TO CYPRUS”
  • [06] DENKTAS: “THE TRNC WILL CONTINUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH GOOD WILL”
  • [07] ISRAELI UNDERSECRETARY BIRAN TO VISIT TURKEY
  • [08] BAYKAL MEETS US AMBASSADOR PEARSON
  • [09] CHHIBBER: “THE TURKISH ECONOMY IS RECOVERING AT A BRISK PACE”
  • [10] SEZER: “TURKEY MUST DO MORE TO SUPPORT SCIENCE”
  • [11] GUL, SEZER RECEIVE MISS WORLD AKIN
  • [12] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [14] CYPRUS SUMMIT AT THE CANKAYA PALACE
  • [15] BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [16] DENKTAS AND THE CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [17] BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

  • [01] SEZER VETOES AMENDMENT PACKAGE

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday vetoed a three-article amendment package proposing changes to Articles 67, 76 and 78 of the Constitution. The amendments were expected to allow Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to become a deputy, and thus prime minister, two positions for which he is currently ineligible. In a three-page statement giving the reasons for his veto, Sezer said that under the principle of the rule of law, laws should be enacted to serve the greater civil interest rather than the interest of any individual. Sezer had expressed similar sentiments in speeches made earlier this year. Following Sezer’s action, AKP Parliament Group Deputy Chairman Salih Kapusuz said that the vetoed legislative package would be resubmitted to Parliament next week without any changes and likely be passed for a second time, and then sent back to the president. Stressing that the amendments had been crafted through compromise between the ruling AKP and the parliamentary opposition, Kapusuz denied that the legislation was intended to serve personal interests. In addition to AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, several other politicians would benefit from the constitutional amendments, he added. /All Papers/

    [02] MURDER OF ACADEMIC PROMPTS OFFICIAL OUTRAGE, PUBLIC SHOCK

    Wednesday’s slaying of Ankara University Associate Professor Necip Hablemitoglu has prompted expressions of condemnation and sorrow from public officials and shock amongst the public. Hablemitoglu was shot to death outside his apartment building while he was returning from work. Some news outlets highlighted the scholar’s publications concerning Islamist groups, but police had no official word on any motive for the killing. There is no information pointing to any terrorist group involvement in the murder, said Police Director Kemal Onal. In an official statement, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said he wanted to see the scholar’s assailants captured and brought to justice. “I hope this is not the beginning of dark days,” added the president. Turkey witnessed a series of slayings of intellectuals during the 1990s, most of which remain unsolved, which bear an apparent similarity to the current case. Prime Minister Abdullah yesterday pledged that the authorities would do whatever was necessary to solve the murder. Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc issued messages of condolences, while opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal paid a visit to Hablemitoglu’s grieving family. Speaking in Parliament Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said the bullets which took Hablemitoglu’s life had been aimed not only at him personally, but also at the domestic stability obtained since Turkey’s Nov. 3 elections. Aksu said that all state law enforcement and security organizations were cooperating to solve the case and bring the murders to justice. The slain scholar, who was 48 years old, is due to be laid to rest after a funeral tomorrow in Ankara. /All Papers/

    [03] PRIME MINISTER GUL RECEIVES ARAB AMBASSADORS

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday received a delegation of Arab League countries’ ambassadors chaired by Fuad Yasir, the Palestinian ambassador to Ankara. They reportedly discussed last week’s EU Copenhagen summit and possible ways to improve economic and commercial relations between Turkey and the Arab League countries. /Cumhuriyet/

    [04] ERDOGAN TO MEET WITH PUTIN IN RUSSIA

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to travel to Moscow next week to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting carries importance because of recent tensions between the two countries, particularly over Russia’s war in the breakaway province of Chechnya. During his visit, which begins on Wednesday, Erdogan will also participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of a new Russian Ramstore shopping center, a venture of Turkish conglomerate the Koc Group. /Milliyet/

    [05] POWELL: “IF NEEDED, I CAN PAY A VISIT TO CYPRUS”

    US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday stated that he hoped that the Cyprus problem would be solved as soon as possible, adding that he might visit the island to contribute to the Cyprus peace process. Powell yesterday met with EU Term President Denmark’s Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller. Speaking to the journalists after the meeting, Powell said, “The US is determined to promote the Cyprus peace process. The Bush administration supports UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s efforts and keeps close contact with the EU officials to follow recent developments. I hope that the both sides on the island will do their best to promote peace and won’t miss this historic opportunity.” /Sabah/

    [06] DENKTAS: “THE TRNC WILL CONTINUE NEGOTIATIONS WITH GOOD WILL”

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas said that his nation was ready to continue Cyprus negotiations with good will through Feb. 28, the United Nations’ deadline for reaching agreement on its revised plan for the island. Denktas remarked that the island’s Greek Cypriots should also be flexible and understanding if they sincerely want peace. “It is immoral for the Greek Cypriots to prepare an economic package in order to sway our nation to sign the UN’s Cyprus plan,” he added. /Milliyet/

    [07] ISRAELI UNDERSECRETARY BIRAN TO VISIT TURKEY

    Israeli Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Yoav Biran is to pay an official visit to Ankara on Monday. According to a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Biran is to visit Turkey to hold political consultations with his Turkish counterpart Ugur Ziyal. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] BAYKAL MEETS US AMBASSADOR PEARSON

    Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Deniz Baykal yesterday met with US Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson. The two officials reportedly discussed the Iraq issue and recent developments in Turkey’s foreign policy issues. /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] CHHIBBER: “THE TURKISH ECONOMY IS RECOVERING AT A BRISK PACE”

    At a conference entitled “Leadership and Peace: A World Bank Perspective” held in Ankara yesterday, World Bank Country Director for Turkey Ajay Chhibber remarked that the Turkish economy was recovering at a very brisk pace. Stating that Turkey had managed to take significant steps towards recovery since its most recent economic crisis, Chhibber underlined the importance of the economic restructuring program and recent reforms in making this success possible. /Sabah/

    [10] SEZER: “TURKEY MUST DO MORE TO SUPPORT SCIENCE”

    Speaking at a Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) awards ceremony yesterday, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that Turkey needed to do more to promote scientific research and advancement, adding that the state should play a leading role in this process. “We need to improve conditions at our universities, encourage our scientists, and provide ample resources for their research and development activities,” said Sezer. “Turkey is in the midst of an economic and social restructuring, and we can draw on both our scientific expertise and a well-qualified work force.” Sezer added that reforms in the field of science would help Turkey to boost its productivity. Also speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Ertugrul Yalcinbayir said that science and technology were vital factors in Turkey reaching its goal of European Union membership. /Milliyet/

    [11] GUL, SEZER RECEIVE MISS WORLD AKIN

    Azra Akin, the 21-year-old Turk who won this year’s Miss World pageant, was yesterday received by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. The premier praised the image Akin had projected on the international stage, not only with her beauty but also through her linguistic talents and educational background. For her part, Akin told reporters that Gul had been gracious and kind. Later in the day, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer also met with the Miss World winner. /Milliyet/

    [12] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [13] FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [14] CYPRUS SUMMIT AT THE CANKAYA PALACE

    [15] BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the press conference held by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Rauf Denktas at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “During a press conference held yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas attempted to respond to his critics. We understood from Denktas’ statement that Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides was invited to last week’s European Union summit in Copenhagen as ‘Cyprus’ president.’ Denktas, however, was not extended the same courtesy. He was told only to travel to Copenhagen and to sign UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s proposal before Dec. 13, last Friday, at 5:00 p.m. Denktas told of these things during the summit held two days ago at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Denktas said that if Annan’s proposal were signed in its current form, in just 5-10 years there would be no Turks left on Cyprus, leaving the island completely in the hands of the Greek Cypriots. He added that if the formula is signed, the island would be lost, just like the Turks lost Crete. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer also made a speech expressing his support for and agreement with Denktas. During the summit, the national importance of the Cyprus issue and the importance of a coordinated policy were emphasized. As a result, negotiations on Annan’s plan are to continue with a view to revising it to protect the Turkish side’s interests and security. Denktas has previously stated that he was ready for negotiations. He reiterated this following the Copenhagen summit, and now he’s waiting for United Nations to set a date for negotiations. If the Greek Cypriot side has good will, it will agree to sit on the table, but if it refuses to do so, then the plan that was decided on before Copenhagen will be implemented in stages. The upshot will be the same even if it sits at the table bereft of a consensus. The important thing is what will happen after Feb. 28: What sort of a policy will Ankara follow? The answer of the AKP government to this question is important, not least in terms of Denktas’ bargaining power. Under previous governments, it was announced to the world that if the TRNC is ignored and the Greek Cypriot side joins the EU alone, there would be no choice but to integrate the TRNC with Turkey. The stance of the AKP government is very important. If the Greek Cypriots think, ‘We’re an EU member now, from now on it will be Turkey’s problem,’ then Ankara is expected to take a determined stance. The decisions taken at Copenhagen showed that the EU’s treatment of Turkey wouldn’t change even if we followed a complete giveaway policy. In dealing with Cyprus, this should never be forgotten. The Turkish media are currently looking for defects in Ankara and Denktas, but they should also look at the Greek Cypriot media.”

    [16] DENKTAS AND THE CYPRUS ISSUE

    [17] BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)

    Columnist Oktay Eksi writes about the recent UN peace proposal for Cyprus and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President (TRNC) Rauf Denktas’s stance on the plan. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “At long last, Ankara has finally made up its mind on UN’s revised Cyprus proposal. We learned of this yesterday when TRNC President Rauf Denktas announced that he and the Turkish government stood together on the issue. Following Wednesday’s foreign policy summit in Ankara, Denktas said that the new government had experienced some hesitation before it could fully grasp the problem. ‘But I now see that we’re in full agreement on the issue, ’ he declared.

    This is Denktas’s fate: He always faces hard times and sometimes is even left alone to defend his cause. Yet his goals are well defined, and he knows how to get there. He never gives up before finally reaching his destination. Once again he has been forced to struggle alone, even while fighting heart problems, against UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s solution proposal, a plan which we had previously thought was very close to the Turkish side’s interests. Yet we had a change of heart when we came to see how the proposal uses underhanded tactics to try to snatch away the Turkish side’s sovereignty rights. Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis himself flew to New York earlier this month to convince Denktas not to reject the UN plan, but returned home convinced by Denktas that the plan needed to be examined more carefully. Surprisingly enough, Yakis said that the international community could declare the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) present on the island as an ‘occupying force’ if a settlement for Cyprus isn’t reached before next Feb. 28, the deadline the UN has set. Nevertheless, Denktas has finally managed to bring Ankara around to his line of reasoning.

    Entering the EU is now everyone’s dream. Many people in both Turkey and the TRNC accuse Denktas of blocking this dream. They say that once integration with the Union is achieved, the problem of sovereignty will pale in importance. Every member will be dependent on each other on equal terms. But if that’s the case, why do you think that Greek Cyprus and Great Britain refuse to give any ground on the sovereignty issue? Why do they not give any concessions but on the contrary Turkey is expected to do?

    Those who put the blame on Denktas should ask themselves this question: What if Denktas had not resisted, how could they have led their lives under a Greek Cypriot administration?”

    ARCHIVE

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