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Turkish Press Review, 03-01-09
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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
09.01.2003PLANE CRASHES IN DIYARBAKIR, KILLING 75 SEZER: “THE PROBLEM OF CORRUPTION SPRINGS FROM A LACK OF VALUES” GUL TO TRAVEL TO SAUDI ARABIA, IRAN AKP LEADER ERDOGAN: “KANADOGLU’S STATEMENTS REPRESENT HIS OWN PERSONAL VIEWS” CHIEF OF STAFF OZKOK: “RESERVATIONS ON YAS DECISIONS HAVE NO BASIS IN THE LAW” FOREIGN MINISTRY SIGNALS POLICY SHIFT ON CYPRUS HOON: “IF TURKEY DOESN’T DECIDE SOON ON IRAQ OPERATION, IT COULD BE CUT OUT OF POSTWAR DECISIONS” BARZANI IN ANKARA FOR TALKS ON IRAQ SUREYYA AYHAN NAMED “EUROPEAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR” FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... WHAT KIND OF A POLICY? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) SUBMISSION ON CYPRUS BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)
 PLANE CRASHES IN DIYARBAKIR, KILLING 75A Turkish Airlines (THY) flight en route from Istanbul to the southeastern province of Diyarbakir crashed as it approached the city’s airport runway last night. The Transportation Ministry said that 75 people had been killed and five injured in the disaster. In addition to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok issued messages to express their deep sorrow and condolences. An investigation is underway to find the reason for the crash, but the area had been plagued by heavy fog in recent days. The plane was a four-engine British Aerospace RJ 100. /All Papers/
 SEZER: “THE PROBLEM OF CORRUPTION SPRINGS FROM A LACK OF VALUES”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said yesterday that a lack of values lay behind the continuing problem of corruption in Turkish society. In a written message sent to the “Ethics Summit 2003” held in Istanbul by Turkey’s Center for Ethics and Values, Sezer said that only through embracing sound values and ethics could society hope to advance modern principles of civilization such as the state of law, human rights and democracy. Pointing to the importance of the public in ensuring ethical behavior, Sezer added that society needed to instill a sense of right and wrong at all levels and in all branches of life. /Turkiye/
 GUL TO TRAVEL TO SAUDI ARABIA, IRANIn the fourth stop of his tour of Middle Eastern countries to seek a peaceful resolution to the Iraq issue, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will travel to Saudi Arabia on Saturday. He is then set to proceed to Tehran, Iran on Sunday. /Turkiye/
 AKP LEADER ERDOGAN: “KANADOGLU’S STATEMENTS REPRESENT HIS OWN PERSONAL VIEWS”Justice and Development (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that High Court of Appeals Republican Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu’s recent remarks concerning Erdogan’s eligibility to run in upcoming by-elections in the southern city of Siirt represented his personal views and nothing else. Erdogan, who is currently visiting Baku, Azerbaijan, underlined that Kanadoglu had no jurisdiction over the elections process. Kanadoglu had said that Erdogan would not be eligible to run in the by-elections, which are considered a stepping-stone to the AKP leader’s becoming prime minister. In related news, Tufan Algan, chairman of the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK), the body with jurisdiction over Erdogan’s eligibility, also took sharp exception to Kanadoglu’s statements at a press conference yesterday. “If the heads of every single official institution in Turkey make their opinions public,” said Algan, “this would serve only to discredit the state and cloud our citizens’ minds.” /Hurriyet/
 CHIEF OF STAFF OZKOK: “RESERVATIONS ON YAS DECISIONS HAVE NO BASIS IN THE LAW”Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday took sharp exception to a decision late last year by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul to place reservations on a number of dismissals brought forward by the Supreme Military Council (YAS). Stressing that the YAS’s status and role were clearly defined under the Constitution, Ozkok charged that such reservations in contrast lacked any legal basis and also hindered the administrators’ ability to carry out the law. “This exceptional situation no doubt encouraged those members of the military who are involved in reactionary actions,” added Ozkok, referring to the military’s power to expel soldiers suspected of reactionaryism. Stating that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had always stood against reactionary movements and had developed methods to protect itself from this threat, Ozkok added that the recent YAS decisions were fully in line with this and were moreover not subject judicial review, as stated in Article 125 of the Constitution. /Cumhuriyet/
 FOREIGN MINISTRY SIGNALS POLICY SHIFT ON CYPRUSTurkey is currently working to revise its policy on Cyprus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yusuf Buluc said yesterday. Buluc stated that the United Nations’ proposal for the island constituted a “new element” that needed to be taken into consideration in Turkey’s policy stance. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for both sides on the island on the island to agree on the proposal before Feb. 28. “Our government is making some adjustments in its policy with the participation of all relevant institutions,” said Buluc. “What is important for us is the establishment of a just and lasting peace on the island.” He declined to go into detail on the upcoming changes. In related news, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign and Defense Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu yesterday said that there was no rift between the TRNC and Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government on the Cyprus issue. /Aksam/
 HOON: “IF TURKEY DOESN’T DECIDE SOON ON IRAQ OPERATION, IT COULD BE CUT OUT OF POSTWAR DECISIONS”Arriving in Ankara yesterday to seek Turkey’s support for a possible US-led operation against Iraq, British Defense Minister Geoffrey Hoon, accompanied by a delegation, met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal. During their meetings, Hoon said that he wanted Turkey to play a role in the reconstruction process in Iraq after a possible military operation there. He also urged the Turkish officials to make a decision on whether or not to support the US operation before Jan. 27, the day UN inspectors are due to issue a report on Iraq. Turkish officials had indicated they would wait until then to decide, but the US has reportedly said that would be too late. “If Turkey doesn’t decide before that date, there won’t be a place for it at the table during Iraq’s reconstruction process,” Hoon added. /Milliyet/
 BARZANI IN ANKARA FOR TALKS ON IRAQIraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKPD) leader Massoud Barzani yesterday arrived in Ankara to meet with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and a number of Foreign Ministry officials. Barzani’s visit carries great importance due to a possible US operation against Iraq and recent developments in northern Iraq. His visit had been twice postponed due to Gul’s tour of Middle Eastern countries in a bid to head off war in the region. /Milliyet/
 IMF’S KRUEGER TO VISIT TURKEYInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger is set to arrive in Ankara on next Thursday. Krueger reportedly will visit Turkey following stops in Italy and India to meet with Turkish government officials and economy bureaucrats. /Turkiye/
 SUREYYA AYHAN NAMED “EUROPEAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR”Turkish runner Sureyya Ayhan, recipient of a gold medal in last year’s European Championship games, yesterday was named “European Athlete of the Year” by the European Athletic Association. The 24-year-old sprinter is due to officially receive the honor at a ceremony in Leipzig, Germany on Feb. 14. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHAT KIND OF A POLICY? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on Turkey’s Iraq policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Does our government have a official Iraq policy? There are various and even contradictory views on this issue. According to the recent opinion polls, more than 70% of our citizens believe that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government doesn’t have a concrete Iraq policy. It’s natural for people to think so, since the members of the government and the Foreign Ministry have so far made contradictory remarks on the issue. That’s why people ask themselves which one represents our country’s official policy.
We should accept that Turkey is today facing a true dilemma. Turkey’s geopolitical importance, which has always been presented to us as a great advantage for our country, is in fact the main culprit behind our current dilemma. It’s understandable that the AKP-led government is being so hesitant to develop a definite official Iraq policy. There are various factors, such as our geopolitical position, political ties and the economy, hindering the AKP government from giving a straight answer to US demands. That’s why our government has preferred to adopt more flexible tactics rather than developing a definite policy.
The AKP government has based its ever-changing tactics on a number of main points: Turkey doesn’t want a war to be waged in the region. The Turkish government is determined to do its utmost to protect Iraq’s territorial integrity. In addition, our government believes that an Iraq war should have legitimate reasons as recognized by the international community. These are the basic elements of Turkey’s Iraq policy.
It seems that our government is on the one hand launching every possible initiative to protect peace in the region, and on the other hand drawing up strategies to be implemented in case of war. Although for the time being we aren’t able to give definite answers to all US demands since the northern Iraq issue is extremely sensitive for us, our government is striving hard to reach an agreement with US officials. For instance, the US military officials will conduct inspections at our bases to help their Turkish counterparts modernize their equipment. It seems that Turkey is giving the green light to the US. Our government will probably authorize the US military officials to deploy troops at our bases during a possible Iraq war.”
 SUBMISSION ON CYPRUS BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on Turkey’s policy concerning the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Diplomats know how to present you with the bitterest truths all wrapped up just like a birthday gift. The problem is what lies beneath the pretty wrappings. Yesterday’s statements by Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Yusuf Buluc were a prime example of this. ‘Our government is making new arrangements to our policy on Cyprus with the contributions of all relevant institutions,’ said Buluc. ‘As part of this, our policy will be revised. Work concerning this is underway.’ So what is the content of this revision? Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin, trying to explain the meaning of Uluc’s words, had this to say: ‘Turkey’s policy on Cyprus, which has been one based on the threat of annexation, isn’t this government’s priority.’ Translation: ‘Let’s forget about equal sovereignty, Turkey’s role as active guarantor and the acceptance of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] as a founding state. Now the government is putting together a new arrangement. As for our old principles on this matter, you can send them to the waste bin.’ Actually the Turkish government has never once said ‘We will annex Northern Cyprus into Turkey’ since 1960, when the London-Zurich agreements were signed. As a matter of fact, it couldn’t have said this because if it had, it would have stood in violation of those agreements. However, it has said, many times, ‘The Republic of Turkey and the TRNC will be united as much as the European Union and Southern Cyprus are united.’ The Parliament, which convened a special session in July 1999 for the 25th anniversary of the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation, declared then in a statement, ‘One cannot reach a solution without accepting the fact that there are two states on Cyprus, two equal states. Turkey won’t allow the violation of the TRNC’s rights and interests. The Turkish Parliament’s full support for the TRNC on the Cyprus issue, which is a national matter for us, will continue unconditionally and without interruption.’ Do yesterday’s words mean that this decision will be changed and a new policy forged without taking that declaration into consideration? If this is the case, then was Parliament lying when it said that our policy on Cyprus was a national one? We had better make this clear.”
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