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Turkish Press Review, 03-05-13
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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 <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
13.05.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… AFTER THE BAATH BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
 PRESIDENT SEZER SENDS MESSAGE TO ISEDAK MEETINGThe 19th meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference’s (OIC) Economic and Commercial Cooperation Permanent Committee (ISEDAK) yesterday began at the Marmara Hotel in Istanbul. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent a message to the meeting, underlining that Turkey advocated the establishment of a democratic and politically unified regime in Iraq. Sezer stressed that all the Iraqi people must have equal rights and access to the country’s national resources. He also added that he believed improvement of economic and commercial cooperation among ISEDAK member countries would also greatly contribute to global economic cooperation. /Hurriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “I AM SURE THAT ITALY’S SUPPORT FOR TURKEY’S EU BID WILL CONTINUE DURING ITS PRESIDENCY”Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is currently in Turkey for a two-day visit, yesterday had separate meetings with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc. During his meeting with Sezer, also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, Sezer said that he appreciated Berlusconi’s support for Turkey’s European Union membership bid and that he expected this to continue during Italy’s upcoming term presidency. Italy is set to assume the rotating six-month EU presidency on July 1. During his meeting with Arinc, Berlusconi reiterated that Italy would continue to support Turkey’s EU bid. Later Berlusconi and Erdogan participated in a Turkish-Italian Business Council meeting in Istanbul. Speaking at the meeting, Erdogan said that he had no doubt that Italy’s support would continue during its term presidency and that he was pleased to host the Italian premier. “Starting accession negotiations with the EU is one of Turkey’s top priorities, and our Parliament will do whatever this goal requires,” he stated. “Our government is determined to carry out the Copenhagen criteria as soon as possible.” Erdogan added that if a proposed merger between Turkish-Italian GSM network Aria and Aycell, Turk Telekom’s cellphone network, went through, this would usher in a new era. Also speaking at the meeting, Berlusconi said that Italy had always favored Turkey’s joining the Union. “Italy’s support will grow even more during its term presidency,” said Berlusconi. “A greater Europe will only be possible with the accession to the Union of Turkey, Belarus, and the Russian Federation.” /Turkiye/
 GUL: “TURKEY IS DETERMINED TO FULFILL THE COPENHAGEN CRITERIA BY YEAR’S-END”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, currently in Bulgaria on an official visit, said yesterday that Turkey was determined to carry out the European Union’s Copenhagen criteria by the end of this year, but that the EU should also contribute to this goal. Speaking at Bulgaria’s first private university, Burgaz Hur University, Gul urged the EU member countries to make the case to their publics concerning Turkey’s pending membership. “I believe that the EU will become a more effective power through Turkey’s participation,” he said. Bulgaria itself is set to begin its EU accession next spring, after the historic 10-nation enlargement but before Turkey. After meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha, Gul participated at a ground-breaking ceremony for a highway to be built by a Turkish-Bulgarian joint venture. Later Gul met with his Bulgarian counterpart Solomon Passy. Speaking afterwards, Passy said that a resolution could be found to the issue of electricity exports from his country to Turkey, one that would serve both countries’ interests. “Both Turkey and Bulgaria have the political will to solve this problem,” said Passy. Ankara recently cancelled energy imports from Bulgaria, citing an oversupply of electricity. /Aksam/
 JUSTICE MINISTER CICEK: “LEGAL EU HARMONIZATION WILL BE COMPLETED SOON, WHAT REMAINS IS IMPLEMENTATION”Turkey’s human rights situation is satisfactory from a legal perspective, and what problems remain can be largely addressed by implementing the existing laws, said Justice Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday. “Turkey’s sixth European Union harmonization package will be sent to Parliament any time now,” Cicek told reporters at a seminar in Ankara. “Our government intends to pass the package by the end of this month.” Cicek added that Turkey had 18 months left to complete its harmonization to EU norms, before its accession review in December 2004. “With the passage of the sixth package, our legislative harmonization will be fulfilled,” stated Cicek. “However, implementing the laws is more important than merely passing them. The EU wants to see changes in practice. The Turkish judiciary will bear a great responsibility in that.” The justice minister added that sentences handed down for crimes needed to be just and fair and must not violate the offender’s human rights. /Turkiye/
 TURKISH SECRETARIAT GENERAL FOR EU AFFAIRS PREPARES FOR NEW ACTION PLANIn the wake of European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen’s recent prediction that Turkey could begin its membership negotiations in the first half of 2005 if it manages to fulfill the EU’s political criteria, relevant Turkish institutions have accelerated their work to complete all reform packages necessary to improve the nation’s democracy and human rights. The Turkish Secretariat General for EU Affairs is about to complete a new action plan jointly prepared with the Foreign Ministry. Deputy Secretary-General for EU Affairs Ahmet Acet yesterday stated that the action plan is to be put into force next week, a plan which includes new regulations concerning nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and universities. /Hurriyet/
 EP COMMISSION APPROVES REVISED REPORT ON TURKEYThe European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission yesterday approved an annual report on Turkey. During the vote on the report prepared by Dutch Christian Democrat Parliamentarian Arie Oostlander, sections containing criticisms of Kemalist philosophy were removed upon the request of Oostlander himself. In a draft version of the report, Oostlander claimed that Kemalism, meaning the philosophy of the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, constituted an obstacle to Turkey’s EU membership bid. Following protests from Turkey and criticisms from other EP members, Ooslander pledged to remove the offending sections from the final version. /Turkiye/
 ETUC SECRETARY-GENERAL: “TURKEY IS A POTENTIAL MEMBER OF EUROPE”The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is to hold its 10th statutory congress on May 26-29 in Prague, the Czech Republic. A number of ETUC representatives yesterday met with journalists from the European Union’s 10 soon-to-be-member countries in Prague in order to discuss the confederation’s new perspectives. ETUC Secretary-General Emilio Gabaglio stated that the confederation had always regarded Turkey as a potential member of Europe. “Europe is currently undergoing a very significant enlargement period,” said Gabaglio. “For the ETUC, our continent no longer means only the Western European countries. All EU candidates, including Turkey, will of course have to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria. We expect Turkey to breathe new life into its democracy, and especially the rights of its trade unions. The ETUC believes that Turkey is determined to take effective steps on these issues. Since Turkish trade unions already belong to our organization, we consider Turkey a potential member of the European Union.” /Cumhuriyet/
 ITALIAN NAVAL COMMANDER DECORATED WITH TSK ORDER OF MERITItalian Naval Forces Commander Adm. Marcello De Donno yesterday arrived in Ankara to pay an official visit upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Adm. Bulent Alpkaya. During their meeting, the two commanders agreed to further develop the current military ties between their countries. Additionally, Alpkaya decorated the Italian commander with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) Order of Merit. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 AFTER THE BAATH BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yýlmaz Oztuna comments on the fall of the Baath regime in Iraq and the postwar period in the Middle East. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Baathism is an Arab ideology which combines elements of Arab nationalism, anti-imperialism and socialism. And Islam is merely a tool which is used to support it. Supposedly, Baathism is the Arab people’s ‘resurrection’ movement. Organized as a political party, the Arab Socialist Resurrection Party (Baath), this ideology came to power in Syria in 1953 and in Iraq in 1968. Last weekend, the Baath Party in the latter was officially done away with. It is very likely that the US will soon move to do the same thing in Syria, too.
Baathism strives for the unification of all Arabs under one great Arab nation. It has no leanings towards democracy. It has an anti-Western stance, yet it has chosen the Turkish nation as its foe. Turkey does not seek a stake in other countries’ regimes. But the Turkish people surely have the right to criticize and dislike an ideology which inherently bears feelings of enmity towards the Turkish nation.
Now that the US wants to reshape the political structure of the entire Middle East, the international ‘Arab nation’ is likely to hit very troubled waters concerning the US’ plans. There are 11 independent Arab countries in the region, plus Palestine and Israel. The picture will dramatically change in this part of the world, and anti-US sentiments in the region will rise. Yet the US will surely get it wants.
The Middle East, together with Iran, will be introduced to a completely different context. The US will have the final word on two-thirds of the world’s oil resources. Israel will have peace for the first time since the day it was founded. And these changes to the balances of the region will a have a deep impact on Turkey.”
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