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Turkish Press Review, 02-12-23

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

23.12.2002

FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS

CONTENTS

  • [01] PARLIAMENT SET TO RECONSIDER CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE
  • [02] BAYKAL: “THE AMENDMENT PACKAGE IS GENERAL, NOT SUBJECTIVE”
  • [03] GUL, OZKOK, FOREIGN MINISTRY TO HOLD IRAQ SUMMIT TODAY
  • [04] GUL: “TURKEY WILL DO WHAT NATO DECISIONS REQUIRE”
  • [05] ERDOGAN TRAVELING TO RUSSIA TO MEET PUTIN
  • [06] RUSSIA DENOUNCES KADEK STATEMENT AS TERRORISM
  • [07] MENDERES QUITS DYP, PROTESTING MEHMET AGAR’S LEADERSHIP
  • [08] VERHEUGEN: “AS A PART OF THE EU, TURKEY WILL BECOME A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COUNTRY”
  • [09] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE HEAD YILMAZ TO VISIT AFGHANISTAN
  • [10] JOURNALIST GROUPS URGE REJECTION OF PRESS LAW
  • [11] TURKEY, US, ISRAEL TO HOLD MILITARY MANEUVERS IN THE MED
  • [12] TUZMEN: “TURKEY HOPES TO FURTHER DEVELOP TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UAE”
  • [13] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
  • [14] THE ISSUE OF US SOLDIERS BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)
  • [15] THE FUTURE OF BAGHDAD BY MURAT CELIK (STAR)

  • [01] PARLIAMENT SET TO RECONSIDER CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE

    Parliament is set today to begin reconsidering a three-article amendment package that was vetoed last week by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The package’s proposed amendments to Articles 67, 76 and 78 of the Constitution were expected to allow ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to become a deputy, and thus prime minister. After the Constitutional Commission discusses the package today, the full Parliament will likely vote on the package on Friday, where it is expected to pass easily. /Aksam/

    [02] BAYKAL: “THE AMENDMENT PACKAGE IS GENERAL, NOT SUBJECTIVE”

    Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday defended a recently vetoed constitutional amendment package, saying that its provisions were general in nature, not subjective. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer last week vetoed the bill proposing changes to Articles 67, 76 and 78 of the Constitution, arguing that it was meant to benefit just one individual, meaning Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader who would gain eligibility to hold public office under its provisions. “We deeply respect Sezer, and feel that his presidency is a safeguard to the nation,” said Baykal. “However, the package in question is in fact objective and general. On the contrary, trying to block such an objective, general law would be overly subjective.” /Aksam/

    [03] GUL, OZKOK, FOREIGN MINISTRY TO HOLD IRAQ SUMMIT TODAY

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, and Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis and other Foreign Ministry officials are set to hold a summit today to discuss Turkey’s role in a possible United States operation against Iraq. During the meeting, the participants will also evaluate the assistance and access the US is seeking from Turkey in the leadup to such an operation. /Milliyet/

    [04] GUL: “TURKEY WILL DO WHAT NATO DECISIONS REQUIRE”

    Speaking to daily Aksam yesterday, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that Turkey could be included in a possible Iraq operation within the framework of its NATO membership. “We will do what NATO decisions require,” said Gul. “Using Turkey’s bases in such an operation, and sending in Turkish soldiers, would be done in accordance with a NATO decision.” /Aksam/

    [05] ERDOGAN TRAVELING TO RUSSIA TO MEET PUTIN

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is flying to Moscow today accompanied by a delegation upon the invitation of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. During the two leaders’ meeting, the Iraq issue and bilateral trade relations, including the terms of Russia’s gas sales to Turkey, are expected to be discussed. Erdogan will also attend the opening ceremony of a Ramstore complex built in Moscow by the ENKA and Koc groups, two Turkish companies. /Turkiye/

    [06] RUSSIA DENOUNCES KADEK STATEMENT AS TERRORISM

    Russia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a statement in response to threats made by terrorist organization KADEK against Turkey during a recent press conference in Moscow. KADEK is the label the terrorist PKK adopted earlier this year. Ministry spokesman Aleksandir Yakovenko said that KADEK’s so-called Russian representative Halit Cudi’s statement that the organization might resume armed attacks in Turkey was an exemplification of terrorism. Stressing that Russia was opposed to all kinds of terrorism, Yakovenko said that his country wanted to develop relations with Turkey in all areas and that KADEK’s statements did not reflect the Russian government’s policy towards Turkey. /Turkiye/

    [07] MENDERES QUITS DYP, PROTESTING MEHMET AGAR’S LEADERSHIP

    Former Deputy Aydin Menderes yesterday tendered his resignation from the True Path Party (DYP), announcing at a press conference that he was leaving in protest of Mehmet Agar taking the party helm. Menderes, also an ex- member of the closed Virtue Party (FP), said that the cloud of allegations hanging over Agar would damage the DYP and made working with him impossible. “Agar will end up dragging the party down,” predicted Menderes. Agar, the DYP’s sole deputy in Parliament, was unofficially implicated in the wake of the 1996 Susurluk incident, when he was interior minister. He resigned soon thereafter, but has been protected from prosecution by his parliamentary immunity. Agar was elected DYP leader, succeeding Tansu Ciller, at an extraordinary party conference earlier this month. /Cumhuriyet/

    [08] VERHEUGEN: “AS A PART OF THE EU, TURKEY WILL BECOME A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COUNTRY”

    Speaking to Greek newspaper Katimerini yesterday, European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said that once Turkey had entered the EU it would undergo a thorough transformation. Verheugen stated that Turkey had recently taken enormous strides towards compliance with the Copenhagen criteria, stressing that the nation’s expectations to join the EU’s ranks were based in reality. Verheugen added that he found it hard to understand why certain circles in Europe were still debating whether or not Turkey could ever be an EU member. “Turkey will become an EU member, and once this is achieved, it will become a completely different country,” said Verheugen. “Yet Turkey must still convince the Union that the country has completely eradicated the practice of torture.” /Hurriyet/

    [09] RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE HEAD YILMAZ TO VISIT AFGHANISTAN

    Religious Affairs Directorate head Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz and an accompanying delegation are set to begin a visit to Afghanistan today. During the trip, Yilmaz is set to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan government officials as well as Gen. Aki Zorlu, the Turkish leader of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) protecting Kabul and its environs. Yilmaz and the delegation will return to Turkey on Thursday. /Turkiye/

    [10] JOURNALIST GROUPS URGE REJECTION OF PRESS LAW

    Twenty-five journalist groups released a joint declaration over the weekend denouncing a press bill popularly known as the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) law, and urging that the Constitutional Court rule its provisions null and void. The law was passed last summer under the Bulent Ecevit-led government, but was sent to the court by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer for review and so has never gone into effect. “The proposed press law is contrary to human rights and freedoms” and poses a grave threat to freedom of the press, said the declaration. The bill’s provisions setting large fines for certain violations and prison sentences for those who fail to pay the fines have drawn harsh criticism. /Cumhuriyet/

    [11] TURKEY, US, ISRAEL TO HOLD MILITARY MANEUVERS IN THE MED

    Turkey, the United States and Israel are set to hold joint military maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea beginning on Jan. 1, 2003, next Wednesday, according to Israeli radio news reports. The three countries’ naval and air forces will participate in two days of maneuvers to improve joint defense tactics. /Cumhuriyet/

    [12] TUZMEN: “TURKEY HOPES TO FURTHER DEVELOP TRADE RELATIONS WITH THE UAE”

    State Minister Kursad Tuzmen yesterday held a press conference telling about his recent two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates as part of the Islamic Countries’ Ninth Private Sector meetings and the Ninth Islamic Countries’ Fair. Stating that the Islamic joint market was discussed at his bilateral meetings, Tuzmen said that a possible Iraqi operation was causing anxiety among Arab countries. Pointing out that the current trade volume between Turkey and the UAE was $150 billion, the minister said with the contributions of 60 Turkish firms based in the UAE, this volume had increased by 20% in recent years. He stated that Turkey hoped to further develop trade relations with the UAE. “Islamic countries have relatively weak trade ties, and we must work to change this,” added Tuzmen. /Turkiye/

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

    [14] THE ISSUE OF US SOLDIERS BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Derya Sazak comments on Turkey’s possible stance on a US attack against Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “US Ambassador in Turkey Robert Pearson recently conveyed a message from US President George W. Bush to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader: ‘Make your decision about US soldiers as soon as possible.’ Mr. Erdogan must have told Pearson to meet with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, because he then visited Mr. Gul and told him the same thing: ‘We are waiting for your reply to our requests.’ This is our foreign policy situation. Even though we say, ‘We haven’t promised anything, ’ the Turkey-US dialogue is having reverberations. Similarly, the US administration is reminding Ankara of the recent meetings in Washington. The US, which is trying to gather its forces at the Persian Gulf, is determined to attack Iraq from the north. The use of bases and harbors isn’t enough, so it wants to place US soldiers in Turkey. As the Erdogan- Gul administration is trying to buy time, the US is saying, ‘If you don’t hurry, we will make our war plans without Turkey.’ Can the Pentagon take such a risk? The strategic importance of northern Iraq is crucial. During the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam redeployed eight of Iraq’s military divisions to Turkey’s border. Following the war, Iraq’s power in the north diminished and the region fell under control by the Kurds. The US is suggesting to Turkey that the two countries’ forces attack Iraq in unison. Otherwise it’s ready to move alone. Ankara’s sensitivities due to Mosul and Kirkuk in northern Iraq attach much more importance to not leaving the US and Britain alone in the region. In spite of this, the General Staff is very guarded, wanting Turkey’s military contributions to be limited to the bases at the beginning. It’s also sitting on the fence in terms of the land support that the US is expecting. Actually the government must bring the problem to Parliament as soon as possible. During the Gulf War, United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 was in effect. Soon after Kuwait was invaded, President Turgut Ozal tried to get an authorization from Parliament in September 1990, but he was unable to convince then Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut. After the war started, the Akbulut government applied to Parliament and got permission to send the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) outside Turkey’s borders and to provide forces under the UN resolution in order to ‘protect Turkey’s interests during and after the crisis.’ This is what Gul’s government is having problems with today. However, now the US is preparing to attack Iraq without any authorization from the UN or NATO. Turkey’s opening its territory to US soldiers would effectively mean declaring a war. That’s just how the Ottoman Empire got involved in the First World War, wasn’t it?”

    [15] THE FUTURE OF BAGHDAD BY MURAT CELIK (STAR)

    Columnist Murat Celik writes on a possible US military operation against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “The United States, Great Britain, Turkey, France, Australia, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates: these are the nine countries which will contribute to the formation of an international force in Iraq in the postwar period. Under a plan which the US recently presented to Turkey, Saddam’s regime will be overthrown and a new government focused on improving the country’s democracy will be formed. In order to achieve this task, an international military force will sustain peace and security in the region during the first five years of the post-Saddam period.

    The military operation against Saddam is at the top of the Bush administration’s agenda. However, the US is also working on a more comprehensive plan to lay out the country’s long-term interests in the region. The US has already started to prepare detailed plans concerning the postwar period.

    Washington is currently waiting for Turkey’s final word on the issue. The Turkish government last week permitted US soldiers to carry out advance appraisals at Turkey’s military bases. This was the first sign showing that the Turkish government is planning to permit US planes to use its bases during a military operation in Iraq. In addition, US military officials are to begin site surveys at our bases this week. After these are completed, the officials will determine their needs and begin to make necessary arrangements to address shortcomings at the bases.

    The two countries are currently holding heated discussions on the post- Saddam period in Iraq. Turkey doesn’t want to leave northern Iraq after the operation is completed. Our government wants to have control over Mosul and Kirkuk, the two important cities of the region. It also wants to control the exodus of refugees and prevent a rush of Iraqi people to Turkey’s borders. The two countries are still discussing these sensitive issues, and the world is waiting to hear Turkey’s response to Washington’s plan on an international postwar force.”

    ARCHIVE

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