|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 02-12-30
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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
30.12.2002FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 ERDOGAN: “WE CAN SEE THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL”Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Aydin-Horsunlu-Denizli highway. Recalling his campaign pledge this fall to build a 15,000- kilometer divided highway, Erdogan said that the AKP administration would keep all its promises. Stating that in recent years Turkey had been passing through a dark tunnel, the AKP leader added, “However, now we can see the light at the end of this tunnel.” /Aksam/
 DENKTAS: “CYPRUS IS NOT AN OBSTACLE TO TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP”Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas yesterday returned to the island after recuperating in Ankara for three weeks. Upon departing, Denktas told reporters at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport that both the TRNC and Turkey had been under pressure for years under the view that the Cyprus issue constitutes an obstacle to Turkey’s EU membership. “However,” he said, “it is not.” Pointing to the maps proposed in United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s recent Cyprus plan, Denktas predicted that they would mean the immigration of some 60,000 Greeks to the TRNC. He added that the TRNC would continue its efforts with goodwill to find a just settlement on the island. /Turkiye/
 KUTAN: “THE AKP GOVERNMENT’S POLICIES WILL DAMAGE TURKEY AT HOME AND ABROAD”Felicity Party (SP) leader Recai Kutan charged yesterday that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was letting foreign policy goals dictate its entire agenda, adding that this approach would ultimately harm the nation. “The AKP government is pursuing policies which will hurt its relations with fellow Islamic nations and isolate it in the Middle East, ” said Kutan. “One cannot say that such policies are in the nation’s interest.” Kutan further predicted that Turkey’s economy would fare no better under the AKP than under the previous government. While both the AKP and SP grew out of the banned Virtue Party (FP), November’s elections led to a single-party AKP government, while the SP failed to capture a single seat in Parliament. /Milliyet/
 PAKDEMIRLI TO SEEK ANAP LEADERSHIPEkrem Pakdemirli yesterday declared his candidacy for leadership of the Motherland Party (ANAP). Along with Lutfullah Kayalar, Ali Talip Ozdemir, and Isin Celebi, Pakdemirli’s announcement brought the field for ANAP’s helm to four candidacies. Speaking at a press conference, he said that every member of ANAP, not just former leader Mesut Yilmaz, was responsible for the party’s poor showing in the general elections this November. Pakdemirli likened ANAP to a “gravely wounded giant.” Pakdemirli added that he was conservative, nationalistic, innovative, and also that he would stand for social justice and individual freedom. /Milliyet/
 IMF DELEGATION TO VISIT TURKEY IN JANUARY FOR FOURTH REVIEWA delegation from the International Monetary Fund chaired by IMF Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen is set to visit Turkey during the second half of January. The delegation is expected to complete the fourth review of Turkey’s economic program, in conjunction with officials from the Treasury Undersecretary, State Planning Organization (DPT), Finance Ministry and Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK). During its meetings, the delegation is expected to urge the government not to delay needed staff reductions in the public sector. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is expected to present a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the delegation after completing the review of the program. /Star/
 AID AGENCIES WARN OF HUMANITARIAN DISASTER IN CASE OF IRAQ CONFLICTInternational aid agencies have warned that some 1 million refugees could flee from Iraq if the US launches an operation against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Humanitarian groups predicted that in addition to vast numbers putting pressure on Iraq’s borders with Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Iran, Iraqis could contract life-threatening diseases, including typhoid and cholera, on a "vast, epidemic scale." Any war which targets the electrical stations providing power to Iraq’s water system run the risk of leading to a wide range of epidemics and a "grave danger of water-related diseases," the groups added. /Sabah/
 US SECRETARY OF STATE POWELL: “THE US WON’T LET IRAQ BE DIVIDED”US Secretary of State Colin Powell over the weekend asserted that the United States would not let Iraq be divided up into smaller states during a postwar period. Remarking that there are three competing ethnic groups in Iraq, namely its Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis, which might want to set up their own independent states after leader Saddam Hussein is toppled, Powell stated that the US didn’t believe that such division would benefit the Iraqi nation. “The US is determined to protect Iraq’s territorial integrity, ” he added. /Sabah/
 TOBB CHAIRMAN HISARCIKLIOGLU: “A WAR WOULD COST TURKEY $24 BILLION”Appearing on news channel CNN Turk over the weekend, Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu predicted the economic toll of a possible war in Iraq would total approximately $24 billion. Hisarciklioglu stressed that Turkish-US economic relations should be upgraded in order to buffer the economic impact of a war. Recalling that Turkey had been a close ally of the US since the 1950s, Hisarciklioglu said, “Turkey would suffer great losses in an Iraq war. The strategic partnership between Turkey and the US cannot continue unless our bilateral economic relations are improved. The US should pledge to assist our country in economic areas.” /Hurriyet/
 BLUE STREAM PIPELINE BEGINS PUMPING NATURAL GASThe Blue Stream pipeline linking Turkey and Russia yesterday reportedly began to pump natural gas for the first time. In the first stage, gas will be pumped at low pressure and then in 15 days’ time, it is to reach the targeted level. Over the next year, the pipeline is expected to pump a total of 2 billion cubic meters of gas into Turkey. /Turkiye/
 ESRA ERON PLACES THIRD IN EUROPEAN BEAUTY CONTESTEsra Eron, 22, was awarded third place in the 2002 European Beauty Contest held yesterday in Beirut, Lebanon. Russia’s Svetlana Koroleva took home the crown of the contest, where young women from 35 countries competed. /All Papers/
FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 TURKEY’S IRAQ POLICYBY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the prospect of a US-led military campaign in Iraq and Turkey’s possible role in it. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which rules over a country where a deep economic crisis and ethic and even moral decay prevail, has taken on three very broad and complex foreign issues: the European Union, Cyprus and Iraq. It tried its level best for Turkey’s EU accession at the Union’s recent Copenhagen summit, but it was unable to get what it expected. I hope that we haven’t missed our chance on Cyprus, and the government is still working on the Iraq issue.
The US will stop at nothing to topple Saddam Hussein. Moreover, there is no force in the world which can hold Washington back from doing so. If only Saddam Hussein were to take a step back, a war in Iraq could be averted. The United Nations’ efforts to head war off are useless. The US is greatly determined to take control of oil resources all by itself, and its doing this is a certainty. Great Britain will get its share, and Israel will strengthen its security in the Middle East. What about Turkey? What will it get?
Turkey’s only goal is to minimize its prospective losses from a possible war. It is in no way after the spoils of an Iraq war. We are solely concerned about the possible consequences our country may face should the Mideast’s power balances shift. Washington is speaking gently to Turkey, but it’s avoiding making any specific pledges to us. Turkey cannot declare war on Iraq. It cannot embark upon such an adventure. However, it will no doubt support the US to this or that extent. Otherwise, when this chapter is over, Washington may accuse Turkey of taking a pro-Iraq stance. If that happens, Turkey could suffer greatly. We haven’t yet forgotten those long years of US embargo on our country after the 1974 Cyprus peace operation.
The political leadership will make a decision after hearing the General Staff’s opinion, as the issue largely has to do with the military. The clock is ticking. Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will visit Arab countries to convince them that Turkey doesn’t want to get involved in a war, but that it has no choice. And even these countries, which are greatly dependent on the US, will hypocritically accuse us of failing to stand up to America. Yet, Turkey has to seek the opportunity to have its say on the future of Iraq.”
 THE WAR ISN’T OURS, BUT THE CONSEQUENCES WILL BE BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Turkey’s position on a possible US-led war against Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“More and more demonstrations against a war in Iraq are being held every day. This is very good. Everybody should be opposed to this war. The Turkish nation is also telling the whole world that it’s against war. It’s saying, ‘This is not our war.’ All these reactions against the prospect of war are appropriate. However, they won’t be enough to stop the US. Clearly the US will start this war. This won’t be our war, but its consequences will be our problem to deal with. This shows that Turkey can’t just be a spectator in this situation. Turkey won’t go to war with Iraq, but it will have to have an active stance militarily against the problems resulting from the war. Turkey’s military posture was a subject of debate during the 1991 Gulf War as well. The discussions at that time resulted with the resignation of then Chief of General Staff Gen. Necip Torumtay. The soldiers were opposed to President Turgut Ozal’s suggestion that Turkey open a front from the north alongside the US, and then Torumtay resigned. As a result, Turkey was incapable of changing the military situation and no front was opened. Today Turkey would prefer not to open a front from the north or a land war from our border. The atmosphere in Ankara shows that if Turkey can’t prevent war and stop the US, Turkey should take active military precautions. Why is Ankara taking a stance that is so different from that during the Gulf War? The military strategists’ answer to this question is as follows: ‘First, in 1991 there was no northern Iraq, there was only Iraq. Opening a front from the north with the participation of Turkish units would have meant opening a war against Iraq, and the Iraqi army had six military divisions across the border. There was no reason for Turkey to participate in a land war against Iraq for the US. Today, there still isn’t any reason. However, there is a situation in northern Iraq today. This situation constitutes a grave threat to Turkey’s present and future both militarily and politically. Therefore Turkey has to ensure its security in the region. Ankara’s military posture can’t be that of a spectator. However, it can’t wage war against Iraq, either. It should be limited to playing an active role in order to ensure and maintain peace and security for its future. This time the US is proceeding with a permanent intention. It’s planning a land war from the north and south. There’s also the aim of reconstruction in Iraq. Turkey can’t be a spectator to this situation, either. It can’t be indifferent to this, for reasons having to do with history and international law.’ These interpretations show Ankara’s stance in the face of future developments.”
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