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Turkish Press Review, 03-05-27
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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
27.05.2003FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... SECRETS OF SUCCESS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) A BETTER WAY… BY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)
 SEZER MEETS WITH ALBANIAN PRESIDENT MOISIUPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday met with his Albanian counterpart Alfred Moisiu at the Cankaya Presidential Palace in Ankara. The two presidents discussed relations between Turkey and Albania in detail as well as regional and international issues. Sezer stated that Turkey supported Albania’s NATO membership bid. The visiting President Moisiu also visited Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and was received by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Moisiu is today to meet with Turkish businessmen in Istanbul. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “OUR NATION IS RULED THROUGH DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife, yesterday traveled to Antalya to meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is currently paying a visit to Turkey. Following their meeting, Erdogan told reporters that he and the Kazakh president had discussed bilateral relations and resolved to take steps to boost trade relations. At a press conference at the Antalya airport before returning to Ankara, Erdogan commented on Chief of General Staff Gen.Hilmi Ozkok’s remarks to the press yesterday. Turkey is a democratic, secular republic governed under the rule of law, said Erdogan, adding, “Everything has taken place through democratic processes, and there is no need to look for anything besides that.” /All Papers/
 GEN. OZKOK DENIES REPORTS OF MILITARY RIFT OVER GOVERNMENTChief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday held a closed-door meeting with a selected group of Turkish journalists to counter recent media reports of disagreement within the military over the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. According to the reporters and editors present, Gen. Ozkok voiced his dissatisfaction with a newspaper article last week which sparked rumors of a possible attempt at a military coup. Reacting angrily to such rumors, Ozkok reportedly said he did not even want to hear the word “coup” mentioned again. Although he conceded that the military had certain sensitivities to the Islamist-oriented AKP government, he vehemently denied media reports that some younger army officers were "uneasy" with the government. “Any differences the military has with the government would be solved through democratic methods,” the top general reportedly added. On the other hand, Ozkok also voiced concern at the government's appointment of Islamists to certain key administrative posts. He also spoke in favor of Turkey joining the European Union, with the proviso that Turkey’s national unity not be open to negotiation. In Turkey, the military considers itself the guardian of Turkey's secular and democratic system, which is why it is reportedly suspicious of the AKP government’s roots in Turkey's pro-Islamist movement. However, the AKP has strongly denied that it has an Islamist agenda. /All Papers/
 GUL, PAPANDREOU REACH COMMON GROUND AT EURO-MED MEETINGForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou during the current Euro-Med foreign ministers’ meeting held on the Greek island of Crete. Speaking afterwards, Papandreou said that Turkey and Greece might sign an agreement regarding security measures in the Aegean Sea region. He said that he and Gul had negotiated the issue under two approaches, one with measures under NATO – to which both nations belong – and the other under a “good neighbor” relations umbrella. For his part, Gul said that they had reached agreement on a three-article package of confidence-building measures. “Under the package, high-level land, sea, and air force commanders of our two countries will hold regular reciprocal visits, there will be regular exchanges of students between our respective military academies, and our military hospitals will cooperate in matters of diagnosis and treatment,” said Gul. Asked if Turkey and Greece would cease conducting military exercises in the Aegean area, which have been a recent source of friction, Gul said that the issue had not been discussed. The Euro-Med meeting, hosting EU member and candidate foreign ministers plus those from Mediterranean-region countries, is due to conclude today. /Aksam/
 DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL: “TURKEY COULD HOST A MIDEAST PEACE CONFERENCE”Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul yesterday met with his Israeli counterpart Shaul Mofaz, who is currently paying an official visit to Turkey. Gonul said that during their meeting, they had discussed the defense industry and modernization projects. In addition, Gonul stressed Turkey’s desire for a peaceful resolution in the Middle East. “We are ready to host a peace conference aimed at resolving the problem,” he added. Mofaz also met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and was received by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. /Turkiye/
 DENKTAS: “THE UN’S PLAN IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas blasted the United Nations’ latest plan for a resolution on Cyprus, calling it completely unacceptable. This March talks collapsed over the plan, just before Greek Cyprus signed its EU accession treaty. Denktas said that the plan had been prepared with contributions from British, US, and Greek Cypriot officials – but not Turkish Cypriot ones – and that no part of it was defensible, adding that both the philosophy and vision of the plan were wrongheaded. “[UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro] de Soto has never gone to a Turkish village in the south [in Greek-controlled Cyprus] and never wanted to see how Greek Cypriots destroyed Turkish houses to prevent the Turkish Cypriots from returning,” said Denktas. “He still supports and continues to defend the UN plan, a plan rejected by both sides for a referendum, which shows that the plan needs changing. As long as de Soto continues to do that, he loses both credibility and reliability.” Denktas added that even if the TRNC were to accept the UN plan, the end result would be strife and conflict, not peace. /Aksam/
 PAPADOPOULOS: “TURKEY’S JOINING THE EU WOULD HELP A RESOLUTION ON THE ISLAND”Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday that he favored Turkey’s European Union membership bid, adding that its success would aid efforts for a resolution on Cyprus. “If Turkey joins the Union, then it will have to act as an EU member country and respect its principles,” he stated. /Aksam/
 IMF DELEGATION MEETS WITH UNAKITAN, CONTINUES FIFTH REVIEWAn International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation headed by Turkey Desk Chief Juha Kahkonen this week is continuing its contacts with Turkish officials. As part of the fifth review of the nation’s economic program, the delegation yesterday met with Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan. Kahkonen stated that the delegation had seen positive indications from the first quarter of this year. However, Kahkonen also warned officials not to increase expenditures in the remaining months, as was done in some previous years. /Turkiye/
 UN HOLDS INFORMATIONAL SEMINAR ON IRAQ FOR TURKISH BUSINESSMANThe United Nations’ Turkey Representation yesterday held an informational seminar in Gaziantep for the benefit of Turkish businessmen seeking to work with the UN in both Iraq and Afghanistan. UN Turkey Representative Jacob Simonsen stated that Turkey could meet certain needs of both the Iraqi and Afghani peoples due to its geographical proximity to those countries. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SECRETS OF SUCCESS BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkey’s winning this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and the secrets of success in the international arena. A summary of his column is as follows:
“For many years Turkey has over emphasized the Eurovision Song Contest. Our media trumpeted news about the contest on the front pages and columnists often attributed political meaning to it. And now Turkey finally managed to capture the contest. Sertap Erener’s winning performance on Saturday night caused a great deal of enthusiasm in Turkey and the media made this news its top story.
This is Turkey’s first-ever win in Eurovision since first competing in 1975, and its enthusiasm about this success stems from its years-long desire for international distinction in areas like sports, movies, literature, business and even beauty contests. Turkey has been showing its creativity and dynamism beyond our borders and scoring some notable successes of late. This development is also a result of Turkey’s opening up, its determination and efforts to live up to international standards and its competition with developed countries.
Turkey’s success in Eurovision and in other fields shows the following: * The way to do well in international contests is to follow accepted norms and also present quality work. This is true for all fields, including art, letters, technology and movies. Music critics attribute Sertab’s success to the quality of her work, her abilities and the choreography of her performance that evening. * We might ask ourselves, must we make Europe like us in order to win? This is a matter of ideas and mentality. If we want to be successful on international platforms, including Europe, we have to play the game according to the rules. In addition, we can still put our national distinctiveness into our works while staying within universal norms. Certain people wrote that the politics plays a role in Eurovision and that’s why Turkey has been ignored in previous years. Of course this has an element of truth. All the participants do so, including Turkey. This time Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration gave high points to Turkey, and politics played a part in this. From now on, it should be accepted that a friendly approach will yield the best results.
Finally, this incident shows that efforts made free of anger and spite but instead with determination and patience will sooner or later result in success. This is equally true for Turkey’s European Union membership bid.”
 A BETTER WAY… BY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Fehmi Koru comments on recent developments concerning reported tension between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the military. A summary of his column is as follows:
“In democratic countries, the military refrains from publicly airing its views on issues of the day except for those related to national defense. That’s why the recent statements by National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General Gen. Tuncer Kilinc and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok’s have been judged by certain circles to be strange and wrong. There were even those who were angered by the statements.
However, I’m not among them. On the contrary, I believe that everyone and every institution should get involved in the debate over our European Union bid, as we are now witnessing the final act of our accession attempt, standing on the verge of a thorough transformation process which will dramatically change each and every paradigm in this country. As EU harmonization reforms come into effect one after another, most of all we should hear from those people whose positions will be changed by the new upcoming legal arrangements. They should speak their mind, for once this debate is over we want the new situation to be binding on everyone.
Since the day it came to power, the AKP government has successfully demonstrated its commitment to the European Union. Positive statements by Brussels that Turkey’s accession negotiations could begin in early 2005, and also that sometime between 2007 and 2011 the nation’s EU membership could be completed, are all fruits of the AKP’s efforts. We have entered the final stage of enacting EU harmonization laws. A series of legal reforms, ones about which certain institutions of the state are highly sensitive, are now on Parliament’s agenda. Most of the new arrangements are related to national security or directly to redefining the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) role within the state. If the military has reservations about the recent developments, now is right time for it to make them known.
The military, by its very definition with its hierarchical order and disciplinary understanding, must be an institution closed to different voices and opinions. Otherwise it cannot perform its duty, which is national defense. If the military has certain anxieties, the right way to alleviate them is to consult with the elected organs of the state in full coordination, rather than making them public.”
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