|Tuesday, 2 June 2020|
Turkish Press Review, 03-06-04
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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
04.06.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... THE NEW MIDDLE EAST MAP IS READY BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE) GREEK AIRSPACE BY COSKUN KIRCA (AKSAM)
 SEZER ATTENDS TRILATERAL SUMMIT IN ROMANIAPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday arrived in Romania to attend a sixth trilateral summit with his Romanian and Bulgarian counterparts. Speaking at the summit’s opening, Sezer said that all three countries had developed cooperation in many areas over the last decade. He also held separate meetings with the Bulgarian and Romanian presidents, Georgi Pirvanov and Ion Iliescu respectively, to discuss bilateral and regional issues. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN: “FOR THE SAKE OF OUR EU BID, WE MUST ACT SWIFTLY”Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey needed to act swiftly for the sake of its European Union membership bid. “We must recognize that any efforts to block our EU membership bid will end up harming the future of our children,” he said. Erdogan added that the sixth harmonization package would be submitted to Parliament after the National Program. Later receiving a delegation from the Turkish-American Association (TAA), Erdogan said that he or Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul might soon pay an official visit to the United States. In related news, opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal reiterated that Turkey’s EU bid should never be used as a political tool, since its membership drive is a national cause. /Aksam/
 ARINC MEETS WITH JAPANESE EMPEROR AKIHITO, DISCUSSES BILATERAL COOPERATIONParliament speaker Bulent Arinc, who is currently in Japan for an official visit, yesterday was received by Japanese Emperor Akihito. Arinc was accompanied during his visit by Turkish Ambassador to Tokyo Solmaz Unaydin, and the three discussed Japanese-Turkish relations. Speaking afterwards, Arinc called their meeting useful, emphasizing that they had focused on bilateral cooperation as well as Japan’s celebration of this year as “The Year of Turkey.” Later Arinc visited the Tokyo Mosque. /Milliyet/
 BABACAN HAILS LOW INFLATION FIGURESThe State Institute of Statistics (DIE) yesterday released month-on-month inflation figures for May. Inflation last month was -0.6% on the wholesale price index (WPI) and 1.6% on the consumer price index (CPI). The figures pushed year-to-year WPI inflation to 33.7% and CPI inflation to 30.7. In related news, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan praised the Central Bank’s role in the lower-than-expected inflation. “Though we’ve revised our current account deficit target for this year, there is no need to revise our 20% inflation goal,” he said. “We can score this success to the CB.” /All Papers/
 BAYKAL: “LEARNING MOTHER TONGUE LANGUAGES SHOULD BE AN INDIVIDUAL CHOICE, NOT A DUTY”Just as in other democratic countries, all ethnic groups in Turkey enjoy the right to receive education in their mother tongue, thanks to a recent Constitutional amendment, but learning mother tongues should not be turned into a “civic duty,” opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal declared yesterday. Such education is a democratic right, Baykal told his party’s parliamentary group meeting, one to be exercised through individual choice and initiative. He added that Turkey now stood at a critical point in its relations with the European Union, presenting it with an opportunity that shouldn’t be squandered. /Milliyet/
 NATO PLEDGES TO CONTINUE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISMThe NATO foreign minister’s two-day meeting in Madrid, Spain ended yesterday. After the gathering, a joint communiqué was issued underlining the alliance’s determination to continue the fight against terrorism. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul represented Turkey at the meetings. He also held one-on-one meetings with his counterparts from various countries to discuss bilateral as well as regional issues. /Turkiye/
 PEARSON: “TURKEY AND THE US SHOULD CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER”The Turkish-American Businessmen’s Association (TABA) yesterday hosted a farewell reception and luncheon in honor of US Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson, whose three-year posting is due to end this summer. Addressing the reception, Pearson said, “Turkish-American relations should be protected, strengthened, nourished and helped to recover whenever damaged.” Also speaking at the reception, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener underlined that good Turkish-US relations made significant contributions to the interests of both countries, adding, “From now on, we should look at to the future of our relations rather than the past.” He also praised Pearson’s role in improving and strengthening bilateral relations during his soon-to-end term of duty. /Turkiye/
 EP TO VOTE ON OOSTLANDER’S TURKEY REPORTThe European Parliament is set to debate today on a Turkey report prepared by Dutch parliamentarian Arie Oostlander, which last month was the target of intense criticism from both Turkey and the EP itself. The report faces a vote tomorrow. Oostlander argued in the first draft of his report that Turkey's Kemalist ideology constituted a barrier to the country’s European Union membership bid, and he demanded that certain institutions such as the National Security Council (MGK) be abolished. However, after receiving fierce criticism both from Turkey and other EP deputies, Oostlander removed the offending sections on Kemalism, a philosophy revered by the country as the cornerstone of its modern, secular regime. In addition, the bill associated with the report includes a number of amendment proposals asking both Turkey and the EP to recognize the so-called Armenian genocide. /Cumhuriyet/
 EU ANNOUNCES 12 MLN EURO TRNC AID PACKAGE, MEASURES TO EASE TRADEThe European Union Commission yesterday announced a 12 million euro aid package for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as well as measures paving the way for easier access for its exports to European Union markets. The aid package is meant to encourage rapprochement between the Turkish and Greek sides of the island as well as to help the TRNC integrate into Europe. Under the measures, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce will be responsible for the exportation of non-agricultural products to the EU markets. Some 9 million euros of the package will be allocated for improving the TRNC’s infrastructure, with the remaining aid allocated for Turkish Cypriot nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). However, the draft fails to meet both Lefkosha and Ankara’s expectations of the EU, falling short of fully lifting the economic embargo on the country. /Hurriyet/
 TURKISH FIRM CYBERSOFT WINS COMPUTERWORLD 2003 HONORS AWARDTurkish software company CyberSoft yesterday received one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for computer technology, Computerworld magazine’s 2003 Honors Award in the category of government and nonprofit groups. The award recognized CyberSoft’s VEDOP, a pioneering e-government initiative allowing Turkish taxpayers to file their tax returns and check balances online. CyberSoft bested five finalists in their category to win the award, and company representatives were in Washington yesterday to receive their award from the top tech magazine. /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 THE NEW MIDDLE EAST MAP IS READY BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the US’ plans for the Middle East in the 21st century, and Turkey’s role in this. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has to swiftly pass the latest harmonization package, enact Constitutional amendments and meet the Copenhagen criteria, all of which are the sine qua non principles of modern democracy. In addition, it has to protect and improve our economy and repair the damage in our friendship alliance with the United States. If it fails on these issues or else deals with them ineptly, then the 21st century will see Turkey’s downfall.
However, we lack a sufficiently serious approach towards our relations with the US. We are thinking only of Iran. There are even certain pitifully naïve figures in Turkey’s politics and bureaucracy who’ve been deluded into believing that we can frustrate the US in the Middle East by entering into an alliance with Tehran.
The US is determined to once again hold sway over Iran. There’s no way the US will change its mind on this issue, and at any rate there is nobody who can stand against it. What’s more, this plan is the US’ national project for the 21st century. They consider it a requirement of the war against terrorism. It would be a mistake to think that the Sept. 11 attacks would be left unanswered. In addition, the US wants to provide Israel with security. However, the most important factor for the US is to establish domination over the distribution of two-thirds of the world’s energy resources.
Soon Turkey will be presented with a map. Unfortunately, I guess Russia has already seen such a map and given its okay. The map of Iran, and thus the Middle East, will be drawn according to Turkey’s stance. The map will terrify both Turkey’s supporters of the status quo and its radicals. I’m very sure of this. Actually the map will earn the US a great many enemies, but nothing can stop its implementation. Those who aren’t ready to face the map have no business in politics.”
 GREEK AIRSPACE BY COSKUN KIRCA (AKSAM)Columnist and former ambassador Coskun Kirca writes about the Turkish-Greek disputes over Aegean region airspace. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Last week, we witnessed an unusual development in a longstanding Turkish- Greek dispute over the limits of the two countries’ respective airspaces over the Aegean. Athens once again alleged that Turkish fighter jets had violated the Greek airspace and so sent a letter of protest to Ankara. But then an unexpected Greek diplomatic maneuver took the issue to the European Union Commission, officially complaining about the Turkish ‘violations.’ What was the meaning of this Greek move towards the EU Commission, an institution which lacks any internationally recognized authority to pass judgment on the issue? Apparently, Greece was trying to brand EU candidate Turkey as completely unwilling to settle the dispute. And the commission unfortunately bought the Greek trick, and so backed Athens in its cause.
Just as for Turkey, Greece’s territorial waters in the Aegean extend for six nautical miles, but unlike Turkey, its claimed national airspace over the Aegean extends for 10 nautical miles. We can thus see that Greece has long claimed an extra four nautical miles of ‘no man’s’ airspace. However, each country’s airspace is bounded just by the portion of the atmosphere over their territories. This is an international rule set down by a 1919 international agreement and reiterated by the 1944 Chicago Civil Aviation Convention. Yet, Greece is the first country ever to claim airspace over international waters which Athens itself officially had recognized as open seas.
Greece argues that from 1931 to 1975 Turkey didn’t voice any opposition to its unilateral widening of the airspace in question, and in so doing effectively accepted it. However, in this argument, Greece fails to recognize that it did not formally inform Turkey about its decision in 1931 as international law requires. It was only in 1974 that Greece officially informed the International Civil Aviation Organization about its unilateral decision, and in short order the following year Turkey formally declared that it did not recognize this decision. Moreover, in 1974 certain European countries also rejected the Greek airspace claim when Athens withdrew from NATO. Most of those countries are EU members, but now they are inconsistently supporting Greece in its cause.”
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