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Turkish Press Review, 03-02-21

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> e-mail : newspot@byegm.gov.tr Press &amp; Information Turkish Press Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

21.02.2003

GUL TO DECLARE TURKEY’S FINAL DECISION ON IRAQ WAR PROPOSALS TODAY ELECTORAL AUTHORITY APPROVES ERDOGAN’S CANDIDACY IN MARCH BY-ELECTION BABACAN: “TURKISH AND US OFFICIALS STILL NEED TO SETTLE CERTAIN ISSUES FOR AN AGREEMENT TO BE REACHED” WHITE HOUSE: “OUR LATEST OFFER TO TURKEY IS NO BLUFF” PENTAGON: “LOSS OF TURKEY’S SUPPORT WOULD BE A POLITICAL CALAMITY” US TREASURY’S TAYLOR: “NO NEED FOR ADJUSTMENTS TO TURKEY’S IMF PLAN” OZILHAN: “THE GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH ON IRAQ IS THE RIGHT ONE” TURKISH, GREEK DELEGATIONS TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE IN ANKARA NATO AWACS TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY NEXT WEEK SEZER WARNS COMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL OF DANGERS OF MEDIA MONOPOLIES FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… IF TURKEY SAYS YES BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) “LEBENSRAUM” BY ZEKERIYA TEMIZEL (CUMHURIYET)

CONTENTS

  • [01] GUL TO DECLARE TURKEY’S FINAL DECISION ON IRAQ WAR PROPOSALS TODAY
  • [02] ELECTORAL AUTHORITY APPROVES ERDOGAN’S CANDIDACY IN MARCH BY-ELECTION
  • [03] BABACAN: “TURKISH AND US OFFICIALS STILL NEED TO SETTLE CERTAIN ISSUES FOR AN AGREEMENT TO BE REACHED”
  • [04] WHITE HOUSE: “OUR LATEST OFFER TO TURKEY IS NO BLUFF”
  • [05] PENTAGON: “LOSS OF TURKEY’S SUPPORT WOULD BE A POLITICAL CALAMITY”
  • [06] US TREASURY’S TAYLOR: “NO NEED FOR ADJUSTMENTS TO TURKEY’S IMF PLAN”
  • [07] OZILHAN: “THE GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH ON IRAQ IS THE RIGHT ONE”
  • [08] TURKISH, GREEK DELEGATIONS TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE IN ANKARA
  • [09] NATO AWACS TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY NEXT WEEK
  • [10] SEZER WARNS COMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL OF DANGERS OF MEDIA MONOPOLIES
  • [11] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
  • [12] IF TURKEY SAYS YES BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)
  • [13] “LEBENSRAUM” BY ZEKERIYA TEMIZEL (CUMHURIYET)

  • [01] GUL TO DECLARE TURKEY’S FINAL DECISION ON IRAQ WAR PROPOSALS TODAY

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that he would declare Turkey’s final decision today on a proposal to station US troops on Turkish soil after further negotiations with US officials. If the two sides reach an agreement, Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal next week. In related news, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis said yesterday that the most important task was to lay out the case for the proposal to Parliament’s deputies so that they would give their approval. /Milliyet/

    [02] ELECTORAL AUTHORITY APPROVES ERDOGAN’S CANDIDACY IN MARCH BY-ELECTION

    The Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) yesterday approved ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bid to stand as a candidate in next month’s Siirt by-election. YSK Deputy Chairman Ahmet Hamdi Unlu said yesterday that there were no legal obstacles to Erdogan’s candidacy in the special election, which is set for March 9. The poll is expected to pave the way for Erdogan’s assuming the prime ministry, a post for which he was previously ineligible when the AKP came to power last November. Other candidates in the race are as follows: Ekrem Bilek (Republican People’s Party, CHP), Oner Gulyesin, Oner Ergenc, Abdulhalim Cinar, and Abdurrahman Kayisi. /Milliyet/

    [03] BABACAN: “TURKISH AND US OFFICIALS STILL NEED TO SETTLE CERTAIN ISSUES FOR AN AGREEMENT TO BE REACHED”

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said yesterday that there were several matters outstanding, including economic issues, that Turkish and United States officials needed to discuss still further in order to reach an agreement on Turkey’s possible support for US war preparations. He also said that issues concerning an economic compensation package such as loans and grants were important, but that there were other issues as well. Babacan added that US officials had not as yet answered several of Turkey’s questions, which was leading to some confusion. /Aksam/

    [04] WHITE HOUSE: “OUR LATEST OFFER TO TURKEY IS NO BLUFF”

    Brinkmanship over the US request to station its military forces on Turkish soil came to a head yesterday when Secretary of State Colin Powell demanded a decision from Ankara by the end of the day. The Bush administration stated that it expected to hear from Turkey by day’s-end whether it would authorize US troops to use its airbases and ports to prepare for a possible war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. “There may be other creative things we can do [on the US package], but the level [of financial compensation offered] was our ceiling,” said Powell, signaling that the US’ latest proposal to secure Turkey’s support for its possible Iraq operation was all but final. “This is not a bluff,” said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. “The US is preparing for war in case a decision is made to go to war. We have to deal with realities, and we will. And if basing is not allowed in Turkey, we will pursue other options. If Turkey does not make the decision to allow for the greater use of Turkey that doesn't mean that it is playing no role. Turkey is playing a role. Turkey has already allowed the US to go into Turkey to upgrade some of the [Turkish] Air Force bases and other bases in the area. So Turkey is indeed playing a role and will continue to play a role in all cases. It's a question of how active a role will Turkey play.” Meanwhile, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher denied that the Bush administration was trying to buy Turkey's cooperation. He said that seeing Iraq disarmed would be in Turkey's interest as well, and added, “In doing that, there may be economic costs, there may be economic consequences. And we are prepared to help Turkey, as a friend and an ally, with those economic costs and consequences. It is important to remember that Turkey is a key strategic ally and a friend. We have a long history with Turkey of close cooperation. We continue to consult with the Turkish government on issues related to Iraq in order to reach a satisfactory agreement for both of us.” /All Papers/

    [05] PENTAGON: “LOSS OF TURKEY’S SUPPORT WOULD BE A POLITICAL CALAMITY”

    US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld yesterday stated that although failing to win Turkey's approval to station American troops there for a possible invasion of Iraq would be a large setback for US military planners, it would not be insurmountable. Rumsfeld said US strategists were prepared for the possible failure of attempts to reach agreement with Turkey on using its territory. Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, the potential loss of Turkey’s support on the northern flank of a military campaign against Iraq is regarded within the Pentagon as “a potentially serious political calamity.” Unnamed military analysts told the US daily that the delays in Turkey’s decision also represent “a military complication for Washington because it may force last-minute redeployments of American and British military units and could push the earliest starting date for any combat operations deeper into March.” The paper added, “Ankara's decision to put off a Parliament vote inviting American forces into the country put Turkey on the roster of states expressing reservations about going to war in the next several weeks. It also raised the question of who would secure northern Iraq in the event of war between opposition groups and Islamic extremists vying for territory and influence.” /Cumhuriyet/

    [06] US TREASURY’S TAYLOR: “NO NEED FOR ADJUSTMENTS TO TURKEY’S IMF PLAN”

    Even as Turkey and the United States continue discussing financial terms of a deal for Ankara’s support for US war preparations, yesterday a top US Treasury official praised Turkey’s economic performance and said that its International Monetary Fund program was fine as it now stands. John Taylor, the US Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, told a Washington press conference that Turkey’s economy was showing continued strong performance. He further stated that there seemed no need for adjustments to the nation’s IMF-backed economic program, adding that a primary surplus target of 6.5% of national income seemed a reasonable goal. /Sabah/

    [07] OZILHAN: “THE GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH ON IRAQ IS THE RIGHT ONE”

    The head of the Turkey’s biggest business group yesterday threw his support behind the government’s stance on the Iraq crisis, saying its dealings with the United States and other countries and international bodies showed it had drawn lessons from the 1991 Gulf War. Tuncay Ozilhan, chairman of the Turkish Industrialists’ and the Businessman’s Association (TUSIAD), stressed the need for the US to extend written guarantees in order to win Turkey’s support. “Turkey has so far been unable to accept the US proposals since assured US congressional approval has been lacking,” Ozilhan told a tax conference. “Therefore a signed guarantee document is needed to ensure that the US holds up its end of the deal.” Ozilhan added that the US offer of financial compensation for Turkey’s possible war losses was reportedly $24 billion, with $6 billion of that in grants and the remainder as loans. /Sabah/

    [08] TURKISH, GREEK DELEGATIONS TO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUE IN ANKARA

    Delegations from mainland Turkey and Greece are set to gather today in Ankara to discuss the Cyprus issue in a bid to contribute to ongoing talks aimed at finding a permanent solution to the problems of the island. The same Greek delegation two days ago held a meeting with Greek Cypriot officials on the island to discuss UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Cyprus plan. All groups are working towards the deadline of Feb. 28, next Friday, for an agreement, absent of which southern Cyprus could join the European Union without its neighbor, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). /Cumhuriyet/

    [09] NATO AWACS TO ARRIVE IN TURKEY NEXT WEEK

    After brokering a deal last week to help bolster Turkey’s defenses for a possible war in Iraq, NATO is set to begin sending AWACS early warning planes to Turkey next week. The planes are set to be based out of an airbase in Konya, in south-central Anatolia. Meanwhile, under the same deal, Turkey has reportedly asked also NATO to send 10 Patriot missile defense systems. The alliance had proposed sending three such systems, but Turkish officials characterized this number as inadequate. /Sabah-Turkiye/

    [10] SEZER WARNS COMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL OF DANGERS OF MEDIA MONOPOLIES

    The Communications Council, which is organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information and the state Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) under the coordination of the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK), convened yesterday for only the third time in 68 years. Speaking at the meeting’s opening, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer warned about the danger of media monopolization. Stressing that monopolization and media cartels were both grave dangers which threaten liberty as much as outright censorship, Sezer remarked that certain groups wield significant power through unfair income via monopolization. The president also asked for revisions to the nation’s press law. Prime Minister Abdullah Gul also spoke, stating that new arrangements in communications had great importance both for democratization and Turkey’s European Union accession process. At today’s session of the council, four commissions -- covering respectively the media, radio and television broadcasting, state broadcasting, TRT and the Internet -- are to convene, and their reports are set to be discussed individually at the meeting. /All Papers/

    [11] FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…

    [12] IF TURKEY SAYS YES BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the possible outcomes of Turkey’s saying yes to the deployment of US soldiers in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Today we’ll examine what would happen if Turkey says yes to the deployment of US soldiers in Turkey for a possible war in Iraq. Saying yes has certain benefits and downsides, just like saying no. The important thing is to consider the issue using a realistic, pragmatic approach.

    How would Turkey benefit if it says yes? Everyone is thinking about the great harm that Turkey might suffer in a possible war. Some estimates put the economic toll at $25-30 billion in just one year. In addition, the economic losses Turkey suffered due to the 1991 Gulf War totaled $150 billion. The war and Turkey’s participation in this war are separate issues. If a war breaks out, we could see such problems as oil price increases, drops in tourism, scared investors and choked-off trade, and these trends would affect many countries even if Turkey doesn’t participate in the war. Estimates of Turkey’s losses from reliable sources run very high.

    Whatever the scope of our losses, the only way for Turkey to recoup any substantial portion of this toll is to cooperate with the US. If Ankara says no, it will have to foot the war’s bill all by itself. The government is bargaining for an agreement that can lighten its losses as much as possible. It’s very natural for Ankara to bargain hard for the best possible deal politically, militarily and economically. It’s not good that the press has made it seem as if this bargaining is only about the amount of grants and loans. However, there’s no need to make this a matter of honor and sensitivity because sometimes countries try to drive a hard bargain with rich Western powers. Here, the important thing is to not go beyond the other side’s limits of tolerance. Such institutions as the Foreign Ministry, the General Staff Office and the president have had an active role in Turkey’s approach.

    If Turkey says yes, another expected key benefit is the strengthening of our hand in shaping the future of Iraq, and especially northern Iraq. Then Turkey will have more of a say and can try to head off trouble down the road. In this respect, it will be able to continue its military presence in northern Iraq as long as it deems necessary. Otherwise our soldiers in northern Iraq might face opposition from Iraq, its people and the international community. It should be accepted that Turkey’s active role in restructuring the region depends on its ability to skillfully use its geostrategic importance.”

    [13] “LEBENSRAUM” BY ZEKERIYA TEMIZEL (CUMHURIYET)

    Regular columnist and former Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel comments on the prospect of a US-led war against Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Why are we being dragged into a dirty, bloody war in Iraq? US officials seem quite sure of their reasons: Saddam Hussein, the number one ally of terrorists, must be toppled before he once again strikes against the world using his weapons of mass destruction. -- For God’s sake, is there anyone who can deny the obvious truth that terrorism is being used as a tool for imperialistic claims? Here’s the simple recipe: First, create the necessary conditions so that terrorism can rise. Then, declare to the world that terrorism poses a great threat to everyone. And finally put this forward as a casus belli against those countries for their support of terrorism.

    But what is the real, behind-the-scenes reason? It is ‘lebensraum.’ This is a German word that could be translated as ‘living space,’ a word which forces us to remember the horrors of World War II.

    For Hitler, lebensraum meant all of the geographical space needed to supply the German nation with its material demands and security. [Directorate note: Hitler used these alleged needs as pretexts for invading Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, and other countries.] ‘Indeed, nature, too, wants the most productive soils of the earth to be possessed by those nations which have the courage to conquer and the energy to fully cultivate them,’ [said Hitler]. With this in his mind, Hitler threw the world into the fires of a horrible war.

    Then, what does ‘living space’ mean for the US? To see, just take a look at the US Energy Information Administration’s official website at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu. In 1960, the US produced 33.5% of the world’s total oil output, while it consumed 31% of it. But by 2000, these figures changed to 8.5% and 25.9% respectively. And today the US alone consumes one-fourth of the world’s oil production yet produces just one-fifteenth of it. Statistics predict that within seven years, the US will have completely exhausted all of its own domestic oil resources.

    On the other hand, Iraq still possesses an estimated 112 billion barrels of oil reserves, and at current production rates, the country could continue supplying oil to the world for a half-century to come. What it all comes down to is this: The US desperately needs the oil extracted in the Middle East to sustain its economic development and ever-growing need for energy. Thus, the US’ real aim is to turn the vast oil-rich territories of the Gulf Region into its own national ‘living space’.”

    ARCHIVE

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