|Wednesday, 27 May 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-05-08
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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 <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
08.05.2003ERDOGAN EXPECTED TO PRESENT ECONOMIC PACKAGE TO DENKTAS POWELL: “DESPITE OUR DISAPPOINTMENT, TURKEY REMAINS A GOOD FRIEND AND ALLY” GROSSMAN: “IN THE INTEREST OF BOTH COUNTRIES, TURKISH-US TIES SHOULD BE REPAIRED” PEARSON: “COOPERATING WITH IRAQI KURDS WILL GIVE TURKEY AN EDGE IN RECONSTRUCTION BIDS” POLAND OPPOSES TURKEY’S PARTICIPATION IN PROPOSED IRAQ STABILIZATION FORCE WOLFOWITZ’S COMMENTS DRAW HARSH REACTION FROM TURKISH LEADERS VERHEUGEN: “I THINK BETTER OF TURKEY NOW, BUT UNTIL IT FULFILLS THE EU CRITERIA, ITS SITUATION IS UNCLEAR” IMF’S KRUEGER URGES LOWERED INTEREST RATES TO EASE TURKEY’S DEBT BURDEN FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… WOLFOWITZ AND THE US’ ‘DEMOCRATIC’ SIDE BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET) PAUL BREMER, IRAQ’S NEW INTERIM GOVERNOR BY NUH GONULTAS (TERCUMAN)
 ERDOGAN EXPECTED TO PRESENT ECONOMIC PACKAGE TO DENKTASPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to pay a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) tomorrow, during which he is expected to present a proposal package to TRNC President Rauf Denktas. The package reportedly includes a number economic measures aimed at helping the country to improve its economy. The prime minister is also to call on Denktas and other TRNC political leaders to meet to discuss the package and other issues of the island. /Cumhuriyet/
 POWELL: “DESPITE OUR DISAPPOINTMENT, TURKEY REMAINS A GOOD FRIEND AND ALLY”US Secretary of State Colin Powell stated yesterday that despite US disappointment at Ankara’s declining earlier this year to take a major role in the Iraq war, Turkey remains a good friend and ally to the United States. “They are working with us now in a very cooperative way,” said Powell. “Notwithstanding that disappointment of a couple of months ago, Turkey remains a strong friend and ally and we have a good partnership with Turkey. I'm sure it will continue to grow in the years ahead.” Powell’s statement was seen by diplomatic circles as an effort to ease bilateral tensions which flared this week with US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s criticisms of Turkey’s stance on the Iraq war. /Hurriyet/
 GROSSMAN: “IN THE INTEREST OF BOTH COUNTRIES, TURKISH-US TIES SHOULD BE REPAIRED”Speaking to CNN Turk yesterday, a top US State Department official said that Turkey should take heed of recent remarks by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, but also underscored the mutual benefits of continued strong Turkish-US ties. Marc Grossman, US undersecretary of state and a former ambassador to Ankara, said the US had made its own mistake in overstating the military importance of Turkey in the months leading up to the Iraq war. Nevertheless, he added, Wolfowitz’s remarks critical of Turkey were important and worthy of consideration. “It was a great misfortune for Parliament to reject the US deployment,” said Grossman. “However, Turkey is still a very important country for us. What we want to do is to mend our ties with Ankara.” Grossman stated that it would be difficult for the US to act as if nothing had happened, but that the important point was for good Turkish-US relations to continue for the interest of both sides. “We didn’t face a wave of terrorism in northern Iraq, but the terrorist group PKK_KADEK is still in the region, and the US will do what is needed to deal with this,” said Grossman. “The importance and future of Incirlik Airbase is up to Turkey.” Grossman added that US support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid would continue. /Aksam/
 PEARSON: “COOPERATING WITH IRAQI KURDS WILL GIVE TURKEY AN EDGE IN RECONSTRUCTION BIDS”If Turkey wants to claim its fair share of the Iraq reconstruction pie, cooperating with Iraq’s Kurds would improve its chances, US Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson told a group of Turkish businessmen on Tuesday. “If Turkey establishes close contacts with Kurdish business circles in northern Iraq, your businessmen will have greater opportunity to win tenders for the country’s reconstruction,” Pearson told the businessmen, who are seeking contacts in postwar Iraq. “Turkish companies should get in touch with American firms as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, Turkey’s International Transporters’ Association (UND) is preparing to open a bureau in Baghdad. UND Chairman Cetin Nuhoglu predicted that Turkish companies could get an approximately $6 billion share of Iraq’s reconstruction. /Cumhuriyet/
 POLAND OPPOSES TURKEY’S PARTICIPATION IN PROPOSED IRAQ STABILIZATION FORCEPoland announced yesterday that it opposed Turkey’s participation in a proposed multinational stabilization force to be deployed in Iraq. The United States has designated three zones for the stabilization force – in the country’s north, center, and south – one under its own command and the two others to be led by British and Polish officers. Polish officials claimed that Turkey’s participation would somehow violate United Nations resolutions since the two countries are neighbors. /Cumhuriyet/
 WOLFOWITZ’S COMMENTS DRAW HARSH REACTION FROM TURKISH LEADERSA host of Turkish leaders yesterday firmly rebuffed US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s recent statements that Turkey had made a mistake in the Iraq war by not backing the United States. “Turkey, from the very beginning, never made any mistakes, and has taken all the necessary steps in all sincerity,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters. “While taking these steps, Turkey did not expect any advantage at the end.” Government spokesman and Justice Minister Cemil Cicek rejoined that in fact it was the US which should admit its mistakes, saying that Wolfowitz’s previous admission that Washington had failed to keep its promises to Turkey in return for its cooperation in 1991’s Gulf War had sparked Ankara’s hesitation earlier this year. Joining the chorus, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal described Wolfowitz’s remarks as a reflection of the US official’s own personal feelings of “disappointment.” Baykal added, “Turkey is a democratic country and everybody who appreciates the functioning of a true democracy should respect this.” Baykal’s CHP voted as a bloc against the government proposal to authorize US troop deployment in Turkey, the rejection of which was Wolfowitz’s major complaint. Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit commented on the statements by saying that military intervention in the affairs of Parliament was not welcomed in democratic countries. “The Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] always fulfills its duties in line with democracy and under certain rules,” he stated. Concerning the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, he said that there were some 5,000 PKK terrorists in the region and that as soon as security was ensured there, the troops would no longer be required. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul presented an apparent exception to the general Turkish ire, as on Tuesday he described Wolfowitz’s remarks as “sincere, pragmatic statements with prospects for the future.” He commented that Wolfowitz’s remarks carried positive messages looking towards the further development of Turkish-US ties on which much could be done. Regarding the top defense official’s statements on US forces leaving Adana’s Incirlik Airbase, which played host to Operation Northern Watch for several years till its recent completion, Gul added that it was the US administration which would decide on the matter. /All Papers/
 ROMANIAN PM VISITS TURKEYPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received his Romanian counterpart Adrian Nastase. The two leaders discussed bilateral economic and trade relations and agreed to work to further develop them. Nastase pledged to ease visa procedures for Turkish citizens and proposed cooperation between Turkish and Romanian firms during Iraq’s reconstruction process. /Cumhuriyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “I THINK BETTER OF TURKEY NOW, BUT UNTIL IT FULFILLS THE EU CRITERIA, ITS SITUATION IS UNCLEAR”EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen presented a mixed picture of Turkey’s EU prospects yesterday, praising the country and its government, but adding that until Ankara meets all the Union criteria its membership bid remains in doubt. “To join the EU, Turkey must fulfill our criteria,” Verheugen told a conference on EU enlargement in Berlin. “Ankara has time to do this before 2004 [when the EU is due to review its accession progress] and if it succeeds, then the Union will take it in.” He said that a recent visit to Turkey had changed his opinion of the country for the better, stressing its possible contributions to the EU’s cultural tapestry. “Islam, Christianity and Judaism are all part of the Union,” stated Verheugen. “And in light of current events, the membership of Muslim, secular Turkey is vital.” Asked whether the avowedly “Muslim democratic” Justice and Development party (AKP) government threatened Turkey’s official secular character, Verheugen said, “No, never. The AKP government is founded on the basis of modernization and other democratic values.”
 IMF’S KRUEGER URGES LOWERED INTEREST RATES TO EASE TURKEY’S DEBT BURDENInternational Monetary Fund First Managing Director Anne Krueger yesterday met with Turkish Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci, Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener to discuss recent economic developments. Speaking at a press conference after meeting later with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Krueger said that the persistence of Turkey’s high debt posed a critical problem to the economy. “Turkey needs to bring down its high interest rates, as doing so would ease its debt rollovers,” said Krueger. “The government should continue to fully implement the economic program, and there are some vital steps it needs to take within a few weeks. If it takes them, then the nation would be able to recapture some of its previous growth potential.” /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WOLFOWITZ AND THE US’ ‘DEMOCRATIC’ SIDE BY DERYA SAZAK (MILLIYET)Columnist Derya Sazak comments on US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s recent controversial remarks. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The US administration, which flouted United Nation resolutions by invading Iraq on the pretext of disarming it, has now put Turkey in its crosshairs. US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s remarks this week in an interview with CNN Turk’s Mehmet Ali Birand showed well the ‘democratic side’ of the US, which ignored the principles of international law when it seized Iraq through violence. Criticizing our Parliament’s rejection of US troop deployments, the US suggested through Wolfowitz that Turkey should accept that it had made a mistake.
Wolfowitz also laid down the ‘red lines’ that will characterize future Turkish-US relations. To wit: Northern Iraq isn’t Turkey’s backyard, Ankara shouldn’t question US plans and it shouldn’t be overly concerned about the Kurds. Moreover, Turkey is now supposed to follow the US’ lead in its relations with Syria and Iran.
Wolfowitz’s statements, which showed a marked lack of respect for Turkey’s democratic will and process, are another unfortunate reflection of the US’ double standards: “[The military] didn’t play the strong leadership role … that we had expected… They could have said firmly that it was in Turkey’s interests to support the United States.’ This is the true face of American democracy.
If Parliament had passed the proposal, there would have been no problem. Was the US yeaning for a ‘military rule’ to ignore our Parliament’s ‘democratic will’ so as to end the Iraqi dictatorship? Such an approach suggests the spectre of the US Pentagon favoring Turkey’s history of periodic military coups.
So why weren’t our Western allies who complain about the military’s influence on politics satisfied with Parliament’s decision? For Wolfowitz, Turkey should have taken part in the ‘bombing’ -- oops, I mean, ‘salvation’ of Iraq in the name of ‘Muslim solidarity.’
My final thoughts are for my journalistic colleagues … The interview with Wolfowitz was very wide-ranging, but there are several good questions that went unasked: Where are these ‘weapons of mass destruction’ which the US claimed necessitated war? Where is Saddam? Finally, why should Turkey apologize for its ‘mistake’? Because it refused to take part in a war for oil?”
 PAUL BREMER, IRAQ’S NEW INTERIM GOVERNOR BY NUH GONULTAS (TERCUMAN)Columnist Nuh Gonultas comments on the Bush administration’s appointment of Paul Bremer as the head of Iraq’s interim government. A summary of his column is as follows:
“While everyone was widely expecting that retired US Lt. Gen. Jay Garner would be the figure overseeing Iraq’s transition to ‘democracy,’ quite surprisingly, George W. Bush has now appointed L. Paul Bremer, an anti-terrorism expert, to head the country’s interim regime. The rumor has it that Washington’s change of heart resulted from a well-publicized rift between the US State Department and the Pentagon. The Bush administration already knew that Garner was a weapons dealer with ties to Israel, and so hardly the right person to settle the delicate balances of the nation. Indeed, it would be a grave mistake to give the reins of US-occupied Iraq to this man. The appointment of an anti-terrorism expert like Bremer becomes even more telling when one realizes that US designs in Iraq have far-reaching implications for the entire Middle East region.
Bremer, 62, once chaired an anti-terrorism commission in the US, and was part of a group which fully a year-and-a half before the Sept. 11 attacks prepared a report warning of a ‘grave terrorist threat.’ The report predicted that in the not-too-distant future, the US could fall prey to a devastating terrorist attack rivaling the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
The US is now moving to abandon its bases in Saudi Arabia and no longer needs Turkey’s military assistance. Iraq is the new staging ground for US forces in the Middle East. But what does all this mean? Bush’s choice of a retired anti-terrorism expert rather than an ex-military man gives us clues to the answer to this question: The US’ top priority in Iraq is not the country’s reconstruction but rather gaining an extensive foothold in the region, under the guise of the war against terrorism, so as to be able to besiege all the countries of the Middle East. According to Bremer, to prevent new terrorist attacks against the US, countries such as Libya and Iran must be strictly controlled and kept under constant pressure.
The appointment of Bremer to a position over Garner is a positive development for Turkey, since Bremer supports keeping a chokehold on the terrorist group PKK_KADEK. For example, I remember him saying last year that the Netherlands must ban the PKK in their country, and that if Amsterdam continued to pursue a tolerant attitude towards the PKK and similar groups, US-Dutch relations could suffer severe damage.
We must wait and see what the new regime in Iraq under Bremer will bring to the region in general, and Turkey in particular.”
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