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Turkish Press Review, 03-05-28

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 Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning

28.05.2003

FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

CONTENTS

  • [01] MGK TO CONVENE TODAY; EU, IRAQ, CYPRUS ON AGENDA
  • [02] ERDOGAN: “LET’S CONCENTRATE ON REAL ISSUES”
  • [03] GUL: “WE’VE RECEIVED A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM THE EU FOR 2004”
  • [04] GUL TO ATTEND OIC MEETING IN TEHRAN
  • [05] PAPANDREOU: “THE AEGEAN PROBLEM MUST BE SOLVED”
  • [06] EU PREPARES ECONOMIC SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR THE TRNC
  • [07] IMF: “TURKEY’S MACROECONOMIC BALANCES ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK”
  • [08] BABACAN: “TURKEY CAN’T CONTINUE TO SHOULDER THIS HIGH DEBT BURDEN”
  • [09] EUROVISION WINNER SERTAB ERENER HONORED BY SEZER, ERDOGAN AND ARINC
  • [10] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
  • [11] THE GOVERNMENT’S DUTIES BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)
  • [12] EUROPE OR THE UNITED STATES? BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

  • [01] MGK TO CONVENE TODAY; EU, IRAQ, CYPRUS ON AGENDA

    The National Security Council (MGK) chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer is set to convene today at 1:00 pm. at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. On the expected agenda of the May ordinary meeting are the sixth European Union harmonization package, a repentance draft law for PKK_KADEK terrorists to lay down their arms, recent developments concerning northern Iraq and the Cyprus issue, and Aegean border disputes with Greece. /Cumhuriyet/

    [02] ERDOGAN: “LET’S CONCENTRATE ON REAL ISSUES”

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with his visiting Bosnia- Herzegovinian counterpart Adnan Terzic. At their meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral and regional issues. Terzic thanked Turkey for its support during the Balkan wars of the 1990s and for its contribution to Bosnia-Herzegovina’s reconstruction process. He also called on Turkish businessmen to invest in his country. Later, during a ceremony to sign an agreement on social security cooperation, Erdogan was asked about claims that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was trying to fill many state posts with its own supporters. “We have no such aim,” said the prime minister. “We’re doing what is necessary and will continue to do so.” He called on the country to leave behind such artificial issues and instead concentrate on the nation’s real agenda. /Turkiye/

    [03] GUL: “WE’VE RECEIVED A CLEAR MESSAGE FROM THE EU FOR 2004”

    We have received a clear message from the European Union that our country’s EU accession negotiations could begin by the end of next year, said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday. Speaking at a press conference before his departure from the Euro-Med foreign ministers’ meeting on Crete, Gul stated that Turkey had no special conditions to put forward for EU membership. “However, nor could we accept any additional conditions from the EU to the already set criteria,” added Gul. As currently scheduled, the EU is due to review Turkey’s accession progress in December 2004. Asked about reports that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had reservations about the country’s EU accession, Gul replied, “The military is our military. We have no disputes with the TSK over our EU bid.” In related news, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou reiterated at a separate press conference Athens’ support for Turkey’s EU membership. Commenting on the TSK issue, Papandreou stated that the military should play the same role in Turkey as in other democratic countries. “In democracies, the military serves at the disposal of the elected government,” said Papandreou. /Hurriyet/

    [04] GUL TO ATTEND OIC MEETING IN TEHRAN

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday flew to Tehran, Iran, to attend the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s (OIC) 30th foreign ministers’ meeting. Gul is scheduled to address the gathering due to begin today and end on Saturday. /All Papers/

    [05] PAPANDREOU: “THE AEGEAN PROBLEM MUST BE SOLVED”

    Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said that the Aegean problem between Turkey and Greece must be solved within the framework of international law and “good neighbor” relations between the two countries. Commenting on alleged violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets earlier this month, Papandreou stated that the “violations” were nothing new and that Greece had no intention of making any concessions from its stance on the issue. At the EU’s 1999 Helsinki summit, it was decided that Turkey and Greece should reach a settlement on the Aegean problem by 2004, and that if no solution were found, the matter would go to the International Court of Justice. Turkey has long favored a bilateral approach to the issue rather than one involving international bodies or statutes. /Star, Cumhuriyet/

    [06] EU PREPARES ECONOMIC SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR THE TRNC

    The European Union Commission yesterday finalized a draft economic support package proposing to extend 12 million euros to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The package designed to bring Turkish Cypriots closer to the EU would reportedly enable the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce to export goods to Greek Cyprus as well as the EU. Other provisions of the package are said to include training and grants for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), money earmarked for infrastructure upgrades, and 3 million euros for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, the draft reportedly falls short of fully lifting the illegal economic embargo from the TRNC, a step Turkish Cyprus has repeatedly called for. /Turkiye/

    [07] IMF: “TURKEY’S MACROECONOMIC BALANCES ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK”

    International Monetary Fund Turkey desk chief Juha Kahkonen said yesterday that the nation’s macroeconomic balances were on the right track, adding that the IMF-supported economic program was set to expire next year. “If these recent positive developments continue, the program will not be renewed,” said Kahkonen. “If Turkey attracts foreign direct investment [FDI], then the economic program will be successful and the annual inflation target of 20% will be achievable.” Speaking after meeting with Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Kahkonen said that the TOBB had played a constructive role in supporting the IMF program and positive developments in Turkey’s economy. For his part, Hisarciklioglu said that the Central Bank was an independent institution and that there should be no political intervention in it. He added that the government should work to bring down high interest rates. /Milliyet/

    [08] BABACAN: “TURKEY CAN’T CONTINUE TO SHOULDER THIS HIGH DEBT BURDEN”

    State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said yesterday that Turkey couldn’t continue to bear the burden of its heavy debt stock, since it would be difficult to maintain macroeconomic balances in such a situation. “We have to bring down high interest rates,” he added. Babacan also predicted that the government would reach its 20% inflation target for this year. /Milliyet/

    [09] EUROVISION WINNER SERTAB ERENER HONORED BY SEZER, ERDOGAN AND ARINC

    Turkey’s Eurovision Song Contest winner Sertab Erener, accompanied by her backup singers and dancers, yesterday was received separately by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Parliment Speaker Bulent Arinc. All three leaders expressed their happiness for the pop singer’s historic success in the contest and congratulated her and her colleagues. With Erener’s triumph, Turkey is due to host next year’s Eurovision contest. /All papers/

    [10] FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...

    [11] THE GOVERNMENT’S DUTIES BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)

    Columnist Fikret Bila comments on Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok’s statement to the press earlier this week and the government’s duties. A summary of his column is as follows:

    “Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok’s statements during Monday’s closed-door meeting with the press should be evaluated as a whole, particularly by the government and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The government can hardly welcome Ozkok’s words with joy and happiness. Supposing that Ozkok held the meeting so the words ‘young army officers are uneasy with the government’ would make headlines again would be sheer folly. Obviously it was pleasing to hear Ozkok say that he was respectful and proud of our democracy and democratic structure and that he wanted all talk of ‘coups’ to cease. However, thinking that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) warmly welcomed these words and various attempts to arouse suspicions concerning the character of the republic would mean deceiving ourselves.

    Gen. Ozkok clearly said, ‘Of course the TSK has certain deep concerns and sensitivities about various issues.’ As an example, he cited the government’s appointment of certain ruling party figures to key administrative posts. Then he said, ‘If there is a concern within the TSK, then it’s within the entire TSK,’ and proceeded to lay out the developments which concerned the entire TSK. He also described the common denominator within the TSK as the democratic, secular and social rule of law and the great leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s principles and revolutions.

    Consequently, the government and the AKP should take lessons from these statements. Protecting the democratic, secular republic shouldn’t be considered the duty of only the TSK. Loyalty to the general principles of the republic isn’t the TSK’s exclusive area of responsibility. The government also has important duties on this issue. It should avoid certain policies and stances which might harm the central pillars of the republic and should encourage confidence within all segments of society. It shouldn’t edge towards moves which might stoke tensions within our country.

    Ozkok’s words were thought provoking. The government also should be aware of its responsibility in terms of the republic and democracy. It should focus its attention and efforts on vitally important national foreign problems. We saw recently that we can’t achieve success in the foreign policy arena without TSK support. In order not to face this problem again, Turkey shouldn’t sacrifice its economy or military through domestic disputes. Guarding against this is mostly the duty of our political leadership.”

    [12] EUROPE OR THE UNITED STATES? BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)

    Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli writes on Turkey’s relations with the US and the European Union. A summary of her column is as follows:

    “In the wake of the Iraq war, most Turkish politicians are asking themselves whether they should choose to move closer to Europe or the United States. The question becomes even more complex when it comes to the countries like Turkey, which are geographically close to Europe but strategically speaking partners of the United States.

    Following the US and Britain, Turkey has the most developed army in the world. However, the Turkish economy has failed to improve our military technology. As a matter of fact, our politicians are currently between the devil and the deep blue sea: If they choose to meet all the US’ strategic demands, they fail to support the Turkish economy and ignore their own people’s cry for a better future. However, if they refuse the US demands as during the Iraq war, bilateral relations with the US will be strained.

    However, there are certain other countries which have already solved this dilemma. For example, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Prime Minister Adnan Terzic seems to have overcome this crisis very easily. Speaking to Turkish journalists before his meetings in Ankara this week, Terzic said that he was well aware that it was a must for his country to catch up with EU standards for the sake of bettering his country. However, he also didn’t shrink from openly expressing his lack of confidence in European countries concerning security issues. He hasn’t forgotten how these countries opposed US interference in the Bosnia war but themselves failed to address regional problems and so caused the war to worsen.

    ‘The EU countries once had the opportunity to earn our confidence,’ said Terzic. ‘However, they missed it. We want NATO, and especially US forces, to stay in our country until peace and stability are fully established.’

    Even the prime minister of a country located at the center of Europe says that the US is a must to ensure the safety of his people.

    It seems that there will soon be two poles in the world, the US on the one hand, and Europe on the other. Turkey should reconsider relations between its politicians and army in this context. Because countries failing to address this development will always waver between the two poles.”

    ARCHIVE

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