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Turkish Press Review, 03-01-28
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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 : email@example.com Press & Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
28.01.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 EARTHQUAKE ROCKS EASTERN TURKEY, KILLING ONE, DAMAGING BUILDINGSA strong earthquake shook the town of Pulumur in the Eastern Anatolian city of Tunceli yesterday, leaving at least one person dead and several others injured. The magnitude 6.5 quake seriously damaged houses and government buildings and was felt in the nearby provinces of Erzincan, Erzurum and Sivas. In 1967 an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale killed 97 people in Pulumur. More than 650 people lost their lives when another 6.8- magnitude quake hit nearby Erzincan in 1992. /All Papers/
 GUL: “TURKEY WILL NEVER FORSAKE ITS EU MEMBERSHIP BID”Speaking yesterday at a meeting of the Parliamentarians Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that Turkey would never forsake its European Union membership bid. Turkey would benefit from joining the EU, but so would the Union, added Gul, predicting Turkey would be a valuable EU member. Outlining the government’s reforms on human rights and democracy towards EU membership, Gul said that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration was striving its utmost on democratization. Touching on the Cyprus issue, Gul said that his government wanted a just and lasting settlement which would satisfy both sides on the island. “But if the solution doesn’t satisfy both sides, then the peace won’t last long,” he warned. Speaking on a possible US-led operation against Iraq, he said that Iraq should comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN: “BOTH THE TRNC AND GREEK CYPRIOTS NEED TO MAKE SACRIFICES FOR AN AGREEMENT”Appearing on television yesterday, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that both the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriots needed to make sacrifices in order to reach an agreement on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan. “Cyprus is a national cause for the Turkish nation as well as the Turkish Cypriots,” said Erdogan. “We should work to solve the problem together, with both sides making sacrifices.” /Turkiye/
 GROUND FORCES COMMANDER YALMAN VISITS TRNCGen. Aytac Yalman, commander of the Turkish Ground Forces, yesterday flew to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to meet with its President Rauf Denktas. During their talks, Yalman urged Denktas to reject any solution proposal which could jeopardize the TRNC’s future security. Yalman added that any agreement should have a firm basis in a negitioted peace. “Otherwise a crisis in the region is inevitable,” added Yalman. For his part, Denktas said that he was very pleased by Yalman’s visit. /Milliyet/
 PERLE: “TURKEY’S INDECISION ON IRAQ HAS DISAPPOINTED THE US”Turkey’s delays in definitively responding to US requests on preparations for a possible Iraq war have disappointed Washington, said Richard Perle yesterday, chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an advisory panel to the Pentagon. Speaking to Turkish news channel NTV, Perle urged Ankara to make an immediate decision, warning, “Tardy support is effectively no support at all.” Perle added that a military operation in Iraq was drawing nearer and that the US would go to war by itself if need be. “However, a common Turkish-US policy would constitute the best option regarding northern Iraq, ” said Perle. “Ankara could miss certain opportunities should it fail to support Washington in a possible Iraq offensive.” /Cumhuriyet/
 TOP EU OFFICIALS TO VISIT ANKARA IN BID TO PUSH CYPRUS PLANFour of the European Union’s top officials are due to visit Ankara on Friday to promote quicker progress on the Cyprus issue. EU Term President Greece’s Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen are expected to urge Turkey to help efforts to reach agreement on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s solution proposal before a Feb. 28 deadline. /Cumhuriyet/
 IMF DIRECTOR KRUEGER: “TURKEY’S ECONOMY IS NOW STRONGER AND MORE RESISTANT TO CRISIS”International Monetary Fund (IMF) First Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger said yesterday that Turkey’s economic program had made the nation’s economy stronger than ever, adding that now it was much more resistant to crises. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Krueger stated that Turkey’s success in reaching its economic targets had exceeded all expectations. “If the new government conscientiously sticks to the current program without cutting corners, I’m hopeful that Turkey’s economy will see further progress and realize sustainable growth,” said Kruger. “The Justice and Development Party [AKP] government is working hard to boost the economy.” In related news, two IMF officials arrived in Turkey yesterday to discuss economic issues such as the budget with government officials. /Hurriyet, Aksam/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 IRAQ’S CRITICAL WEEK, AND TURKEY’S BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes about the latest developments in the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:
“UN weapons inspectors yesterday presented to the UN Security Council their long-awaited, crucial report on the progress of their work in Iraq. Later today, US President George W. Bush will address his nation to explain his future Iraq policy. The UN Security Council is to convene tomorrow to discuss the weapons inspectors’ report and decide what to do. And on Friday, Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will meet to talk about the latest developments. That’s why this week is the most critical week regarding the Iraq issue. Will our world be closer to war after this weekend? I think so. However, the weapons inspectors’ report notes that giving them a few more months to do their work would be a valuable investment, because they could help to avert a war. A few months is also what many countries from Russia to China and anti-war activists worldwide are demanding from the US. However, the Bush administration has made it abundantly clear that it’s prepared to go to war without UN backing, if necessary. Have these words come out of Bush’s mouth just to make Saddam Hussein sweat, or is Bush really serious about waging a war without UN or significant international backing? We don’t know yet. If Bush fails to persuade skeptical allies abroad that there’s no point in giving Saddam any more time to disarm, he is likely to wage a war on his own. We’ll probably see how determined Bush is to attack Iraq after this weekend. Maybe Washington will issue a final ultimatum to Saddam and give peace another chance. However, the US isn’t very likely to wait more than a few weeks. That’s why this is the most critical week for our country as well. Turkey should make its official decision on the US demands as soon as possible. This week is also important for another region of the Middle East. The results of Israeli general elections to be held today are likely to influence not only the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also the future of the whole region. Ariel Sharon is expected to win the elections. However, we need to ask ourselves whether a Sharon-led government has any real chance of success in moving peace forward in the region.”
 ONE HOPE LEFT BY OKTAY EKSI (HURRIYET)Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on the Iraqi crisis. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Yesterday the months-long hopes of US President George W. Bush were dashed. More than 200 weapons inspectors who have scoured Iraq for more than two months on behalf of the United Nations and searched nearly 400 areas proved incapable of showing that Saddam Hussein possesses any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The whole world was waiting for the report to be presented to the UN Security Council on behalf of these inspectors. The report stated, in sum, ‘Iraq hasn’t cooperated sufficiently with the inspectors process. It hasn’t told us what happened with the weapons we know it had previously. It has failed to allow U2 spy planes to conduct air reconnaissance. Iraqi scientists have been reluctant to give us evidence.’ This situation shows that the Iraqi scientists have had the dignity not to betray their own country to foreigners. We should congratulate them.
Now everybody is waiting Bush’s annual State of the Union Address later today. We will see how Saddam can be guilty for his non-existent weapons. Likewise, when the Bush administration began to suspect that the UN report wouldn’t provide a smoking gun, it shifted tactics, saying that whatever the report stated, Saddam should be punished.
Now we are at a critical stage. In other words, we’re at a point where the basic principles which all of humanity tried to establish over the past 200 years are being flouted and ignored. Thousands of years ago, people fought over the choice of a mate. Then they fought over land. Then religion and wealth became rationales for war. However, whatever the reason, all wars make the losing sides poorer, and the winning sides richer. The 19th and 20th centuries were spent trying to establish this basic truth. Of course at the same time, people continued to wage war just as before.
Now it’s sad that the US is ignoring the United Nations, which is the product of efforts to solve international conflicts through peaceful means, and so people are obliged to live in a world in which the powerful dominate. Although nobody seems to believe in the assertions of Bush and his deputies on this issue, the world is being led into an ugly, meaningless war just because the US wants to dominate oil supplies in the Middle East. Unfortunately Turkey isn’t far removed from the region where this war will take place, and the Turkish people are in serious jeopardy due to claims which are both irrelevant to us and untrue. Now there’s only one thing that can be done: hope that God will grant Bush a single moment of wisdom.”
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