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Turkish Press Review, 03-01-23
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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> e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
23.01.2003CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DISQUALIFIES ERDOGAN FROM AKP LEADERSHIP MILITARY OFFICIALS, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEY DENKTAS, CLERIDES DISCUSS PROPOSED REVISIONS TO UN PLAN RUMSFELD: “AN IRAQ WITHOUT SADDAM WOULD SERVE TURKEY’S BEST INTERESTS” IRAQI AMBASSADOR AL-DULEYMI: “TURKEY CAN SAY NO TO A WAR” FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… PEARSON ON TURKEY AND IRAQ BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR) WILL TURKEY’S REGIONAL INITIATIVE BE SUCCESSFUL? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
 GUL MEETS WITH OZKOK TO DISCUSS IRAQPrime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok to discuss a possible US-led operation against Iraq. Also present at the meeting were Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal. During the gathering, Ozkok briefed participants on his meeting earlier this week with US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, and also on joint Turkish-US military plans in case of war. Gul stated that he would meet with US Secretary of State Colin Powell during the World Economic Forum which begins in Davos, Switzerland today. The participants also discussed today’s summit for peace in Iraq to be held in Istanbul with the participation of the Turkish, Jordish, Eygptian, Irani, Syrian, and Saudi Arabian foreign ministers. In related news, Gul is expected to meet with German Chancellor Joschka Fischer today. During their meeting, Gul and Fischer are to discuss bilateral and regional issues in addition to the situation in Iraq. /Milliyet/
 GUL BRIEFS DYP LEADER AGAR ON IRAQPrime Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar to brief him on a number of issues, including a possible US-led operation against Iraq. Agar is one of only two DYP deputies currently in Parliament. During their meeting, Agar stressed the need for Turkey to have skilled, capable soldiers stationed in northern Iraq, an assertion that Gul seconded. Turkish forces are ready to face whatever may come, the prime minister added. Gul also said that he was concerned about the future and territorial integrity of Iraq should Saddam Hussein be deposed. “This is the critical issue,” he stated. “Our talks with US officials are continuing to grapple with this matter.” /Milliyet/
 GUL, ERDOGAN TO ATTEND DAVOS ECONOMIC FORUMPrime Minister Abdullah Gul and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by a number of government ministers and businessmen, are set to attend the World Economic Forum which begins in Davos, Switzerland today. Among other events, the gathering is set to host a seminar on recent developments in Turkey and the nation’s economic future. /Aksam/
 CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DISQUALIFIES ERDOGAN FROM AKP LEADERSHIPThe Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that it did not recognize Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). In its decision handed down concerning Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoglu’s request for suspension of Erdogan’s AKP leadership, the Court refused the request on the grounds that Erdogan had already withdrawn from the leadership by surrendering his AKP ‘founding member’ status last October. “Erdogan should have resigned the chairmanship along with his founding membership," said Judge Hasim Kilic, the Constitutional Court’s chief justice. "The fact that he has not resigned does not mean that he is chairman." The ruling could endanger Erdogan’s bid to become prime minister through a Parliament by-election in March, though AKP members said yesterday that would join the party and be re-elected its leader. /All Papers/
 PEACE SUMMIT ON IRAQ BEGINNING IN ISTANBULA summit to promote peaceful resolution of the Iraq issue is set to begin today at Istanbul’s Ciragan Palace with the participation of the foreign ministers of Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Prime Minster Abdullah Gul will chair the gathering. Following the Istanbul summit, another meeting is planned to be held in Damascus, Syria with the attendance of the heads of state and government or foreign ministers of the above countries, plus Kuwait and, in the latter arrangement, Iraq itself. /All Papers/
 MILITARY OFFICIALS, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEYBritish Chief of General Staff Adm. Michael Boyce is scheduled to arrive in Ankara today to meet with his Turkish counterpart Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and discuss a possible military operation in Iraq. Tomorrow, NATO Allied Forces Commander Gen. James Joyce is also scheduled to visit Ankara. His visit comes on the heels of a successful German-French effort to forestall any declaration of support for an Iraq operation, including measures to defend longtime alliance member Turkey against possible Iraqi attacks. Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is set to arrive in Istanbul today. Fischer will be received by Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and meet with Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis. During their meetings, regional issues and Turkish-EU relations as well as bilateral relations will be discussed. /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS, CLERIDES DISCUSS PROPOSED REVISIONS TO UN PLANTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides yesterday met for talks to seek a solution to the Cyprus issue. During their two-hour-and-a-half meeting in the island’s buffer zone, the two leaders discussed revisions that they are separately seeking to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan. As part of the Cyprus direct talks process, Denktas and Clerides are set to meet again tomorrow. /Turkiye/
 MHP LEADER BAHCELI VISITS TRNCNationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli accompanied by a delegation yesterday arrived in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). On the first day of his trip, Bahceli met with Parliament Speaker Vehbi Zeki Serter and then visited Turkey’s ambassador to the TRNC, Hayati Guven. The MHP delegation is set to be received by President Rauf Denktas and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu today. /Turkiye/
 RUMSFELD: “AN IRAQ WITHOUT SADDAM WOULD SERVE TURKEY’S BEST INTERESTS”Ahead of a possible war in Iraq, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told a Washington press conference yesterday that Turkey’s economy would benefit tremendously should a moderate administration take Iraq’s reins in a post- Saddam period, branding the current Iraqi leader “a serial liar.” Rumsfeld added that the US appreciated Ankara’s cooperative attitude on its concerns about the Iraq issue. Also participating at the press conference along with Rumsfeld, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers, just back from a visit to Turkey, reiterated that the US was not at all impatient to get a response from the Turkish government to US requests regarding war preparations. Stating that Turkish-US relations would continue on the same path they have taken in the past, Myers added that both countries shared a common vision that Iraq should rid itself of weapons of mass destruction. /Sabah/
 IRAQI AMBASSADOR AL-DULEYMI: “TURKEY CAN SAY NO TO A WAR”Iraq’s Ambassador to Ankara Talip Abid Saleh al-Dulymi said yesterday that Turkey could say no to a possible US-led military campaign in Iraq. Charging that the US’s real aim was to redraw the map of the Middle East and control its oil resources, al-Duleymi underlined that Iraq’s goal was peace. “Turkey can play a major role in heading off a war by rejecting saber-rattling threats as any solution to the problem and then by sharing its attitude with the international community,” he said. “By doing so, Turkey could leave the US, Great Britain and Israel alone in their cause.” /Cumhuriyet/
 TRADE MINISTER TUZMEN TO VISIT SYRIATrade Minister Kursat Tuzmen is set to pay a visit to Syria at the end of the month to promote further development of economic relations between the two countries. A large group of Turkish businessmen is expected to accompany Tuzmen. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH TEXTILE PRODUCTS DISPLAYED IN NEW YORKThe third Turkish Fashion Fair began in New York yesterday. More than 60 Turkish textile and ready-made firms will display their spring and summer offerings for coming fashion seasons at the two-day show. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 PEARSON ON TURKEY AND IRAQ BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on her recent conversation with US Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The looming possibility of an operation against Iraq, Turkey’s reluctance to support the US and the rapid succession of high-ranking visitors to Ankara are all raising questions in people’s minds. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with US Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson and ask him about these matters. Our top issue was the US’s view of today’s summit in Istanbul to be attended by the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Pearson said that Washington certainly supported this meeting. Stating that the US had warned Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein many times but to no avail, Pearson said, ‘Maybe a warning from its neighbors will convince Baghdad to get rid of its weapons of mass destruction this time.’ And what about the recent visit to Baghdad of a trade delegation led by State Minister Kursad Tuzmen? How much did this visit irritate Washington? Contrary to reports in the Turkish press, the Washington administration was more interested in the message Tuzmen conveyed to Saddam than by the delegation’s actual visit. He told Washington about Turkey’s message to Saddam. According to Pearson, this message, which urged Saddam to comply with United Nations’ resolutions and cooperate with the weapons inspectors, pleased Washington. The US supported this message, Pearson told me candidly.
The main issue bothering the US right now, in fact, seems to be Ankara’s refusal so far to permit US soldiers to be stationed on Turkish territory. Choosing his words carefully, Pearson said, ‘On the one hand, there are Turkey’s worries, and on the other, there is the US’ determination. Our meetings are aimed at finding a way between these.’ Pearson also told me about what sort of soldiers would be stationed in Turkey: they won’t only be logistical in nature, some of them will certainly be slated for combat duty. According to Pearson, the purpose of this will be to make Saddam think twice, comply with the UN resolutions and understand that this time the US means business. Pearson also emphasized that following US military officials’ inspections of certain Turkish airbases and harbors, Turkish and US officials will discuss which of these facilities will be upgraded to US standards. He said this upgrading could cost some $200 million, depending on which harbors and airports Turkey will open for US use.
It’s my understanding that a recent letter from Prime Minister Abdullah Gul to US President George W. Bush unambiguously indicated that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) grassroots were opposed to any operation against Iraq and so there is no way for Turkey to accept all of the US requests on the issue. Reportedly, this letter made waves in Washington. Don’t take the reports of the US press too seriously. US officials have already recognized that Turkey is a democratic country, and so decisions here aren’t taken so easily.”
 WILL TURKEY’S REGIONAL INITIATIVE BE SUCCESSFUL? BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes about the latest developments on the Iraq issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Six Middle Eastern nations are meeting in Istanbul today to discuss ways to avert a US-led war on Iraq. This summit is a major step towards a peaceful solution to the current crisis.
Will this regional initiative be successful?
The foreign ministers of Iraq's neighbors Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Egypt are all aware that they have undertaken a very difficult, almost impossible, mission.
These six countries are deeply concerned about the impact of a war on both their economies and regional stability. Their common goal is to reach a peaceful solution without resorting to war, a prospect which carries the threat of destabilizing the region.
But how? What will their strategy be? The attendees of the summit have different views on this issue. The content of the common declaration to be issued after the summit is still unclear and likely to cause further friction among these countries.
What kind of decisions should we expect from this summit? Will the Bush administration or Saddam Hussein take its decisions seriously? Won’t Saddam say, ‘I’m already doing whatever the UN wants, what the hell else do you expect’? Is Bush, whose ambition to oust Saddam is well known, likely to change his mind?
Taking into consideration recent remarks from both sides, I have serious doubts that Bush and Saddam will take this summit seriously. For example, Saddam recently pledged to offer UN monitors more help in their search for evidence of weapons of mass destruction and accepted a 10-point statement issued after UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix’s visit to Iraq last weekend. However, the US has zero trust in Saddam. The world has seen how determined the Bush administration is to attack Iraq.
Here are the rules of the game currently being played by Bush and Saddam:
Saddam is trying to gain time by employing a number of tactics. He seems to be doing whatever the UN demands of him and wants to help foment the anti- war movement. If he can gain another month in the meantime, he hopes that the US might be forced to put off a military operation.
Meanwhile, Bush is planning to attack Iraq at the end of February. He gives no credence to Saddam’s words. He steadfastly believes that Saddam’s regime should be ended and a democracy put in its place.
In the midst of such an atmosphere, what are the Istanbul summit’s chances of success?”
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