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Turkish Press Review, 03-06-13
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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
13.06.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… THE US, PALESTINIANS AND THE KURDISH ISSUE BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)
 ERDOGAN: “THERE’S NO NEED TO BLOW AIRSPACE VIOLATION ALLEGATIONS OUT OF PROPORTION”Speaking at Esenboga Airport yesterday before leaving for an official visit to Malaysia, Erdogan said that there was no need to blow recent Greek allegations of Turkish jet airspace violations out of proportion, adding that the Aegean disputes had always given rise to exaggerated accounts. “Our media sometimes makes too much of such news,” said Erdogan. “Turkey is determinedly progressing along its European Union membership bid. Both Turkey and Greece should be sensitive about such issues.” /Hurriyet/
 SIXTH EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE SENT TO PARLIAMENT, WORK UNDERWAY ON SEVENTHThe sixth European Union harmonization package was sent to Parliament yesterday after a number of changes were made to it, and it is expected to face a vote in the General Assembly next week. In related news, Ankara’s European Union Secretariat General has already begun work on a seventh package to advance the nation’s EU membership bid. The package reportedly includes a measure to restrict the president’s authority to make appointments and also addresses a potentially contentious issue in proposing to make the National Security Council (NSC) an all-civilian body. The seventh package is expected to reach Parliament next month. /Aksam/
 FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY ZIYAL DUE IN WASHINGTON TO DISCUSS TURKISH-US RELATIONSForeign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal is set to fly to Washington on Monday to meet with top US officials to discuss recent developments in Turkish-US relations. Ziyal will reportedly meet with US Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, a former ambassador to Ankara, as well as Undersecretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Alan Larson. Ziyal is also expected to meet with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, whose criticisms of Turkey last month caused a firestorm of controversy. /Anatolia News Agency/
 OZKAN TESTIFIES AT ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSIONAs part of the special Parliament Anti-Corruption Commission’s ongoing investigation of corruption under previous administrations, former Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan yesterday testified regarding allegations about his term in office. Today, the commission is set to hear from former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. At the beginning of the week, former State Ministers Gunes Taner and Recep Onal as well as former Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel also testified before the commission. /Turkiye/
 COLIN POWELL: “TURKEY IS HEADED TO EUROPE”Washington supports Turkey’s ongoing progress towards European Union membership, declared US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday. “The United States and Turkey are great nations,” said Powell in a written message sent to the opening ceremony of a new US Consulate building in Istanbul. “As Ataturk said, we have both been inspired by democratic ideals, and this experience indeed deepens our friendship. Both Turks and Americans are focused on the future, a future that will be a very bright one for the Turkish people despite the many challenges you face today. It will be bright for the same reason that my country’s future is bright: because innovative people freed to use their creativity and initiative can produce wonders.” Regarding Ankara’s EU membership bid, he said that by implementing new reforms, Turkey was ensuring its further progress towards joining the Union. “Turkey is headed to Europe, as it modernizes and undertakes political, economic, and administrative reforms,” stated Powell. “We will encourage and strongly support Turkey’s future in Europe, while we maintain close bilateral ties. That is the future for Turkey, and Europe should welcome its future with Turkey as an integral part.” /Turkiye, http://usconsulate-istanbul.org.tr/
 US REPORTEDLY PLANS TO BOOST SEAPORT INSPECTIONS WORLDWIDE, INCLUDING IN TURKEYAs part of its fight against terrorism, the US is now reportedly planning to place teams of American inspectors at certain critical harbors around the world. In line with reports from its intelligence services, the US will send expert teams to various majority Muslim nations and other strategic countries, including Turkey, to prevent any attempt to target its shores through smuggling weapons of mass destruction by ship. Meanwhile, the US State Department annual human trafficking report released this week alleged that Turkey had failed to take sufficient measures against this scourge, placing it among the least compliant countries in that respect. /Sabah/
 GENERAL STAFF REPORTEDLY BOTHERED BY “LACK OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT” IN COUNTERING AIRSPACE VIOLATION CHARGESThe Turkish General Staff is reportedly concerned and unhappy about a perceived lack of support on the government’s part in countering recent allegations that Turkish jets have violated Greek airspace. Sources in Ankara said top Turkish military leaders were bothered by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s “silence” and “indifference” to the increasing allegations, which “left them alone” to fight the charges. To buttress this argument, the military cited the absence of any government statement denying an alleged passenger plane “harassment” incident this week, whereas the General Staff did issue such a statement. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) feel targeted in these charges, added the sources. /Cumhuriyet/
 CONCESSIONS ON TWO POWER STATIONS CANCELLED BY GOVERNMENTThe Energy Markets Regulatory Authority (EPDK) yesterday cancelled the concession agreements of two power stations owned by the controversial Uzan group, namely Cukurova Electric and Kepez Electric, on the grounds that both facilities had violated provisions of their 1998 agreements with the government. Shortly after the decision was made, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler announced that the government had taken control of the two stations. The decision came in the wake of a recent bidding process for the privatization of state petrochemical concern PETKIM, in which the Uzan Group had made the favored bid, an offer which many observers charged was too low. /Cumhuriyet/
 TRT APPEALS FOR ANNULMENT OF LAW MANDATING MOTHER TONGUE BROADCASTSState broadcaster the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) appealed yesterday to the Council of State (Danistay) to annul a provision of last year’s EU harmonization package mandating that TRT offer broadcasts in mother tongue languages. Should the Council rule in favor of TRT, its television and radio stations would not have to make such mother tongue broadcasts. /Cumhuriyet/
 NATO NAMES IZMIR BASE AS NEW SOUTH WING AIR-OPERATIONS COMMAND CENTERAt a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting held in Brussels yesterday, the alliance named its current base in Izmir as its new south wing air- operations command center. Under the decision, all NATO air components currently deployed in Spain, Italy and Greece are due to be transferred to Izmir within two years’ time. /Cumhuriyet/
 COE HUMAN RIGHTS HEAD MEETS WITH GUL, OTHER OFFICIALSCouncil of Europe (COE) Commissioner for Human Rights Alvaro Gil-Robles met yesterday in Ankara with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mustafa Bumin and Parliament Human Rights Commission head Mehmet Elkatnis. Following the meetings, Gul and Robles said that Ankara had made considerable progress of late on its human rights situation. /Anatolia News Agency/
 ISTANBUL CHOSEN TO HOST 2004 NEWSPAPERS ASSOCIATION MEETINGThe World Association of Newspapers (WAN) yesterday chose Istanbul to host its 57th annual meeting in May 2004. Speaking at the WAN meeting in Dublin, Ireland yesterday, Dogan Group Chairman Aydin Dogan said that he had invited his fellow WAN members to come and visit Turkey. “Turkey is a country which embraces a multitude of cultures,” said Dogan. “Actually, words are not enough to describe our country. Our history and cultural variety are truly unique.” Dogan added that Turkey was a democratic Muslim nation which can serve as a model for other countries. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 TURKEY’S DETERMINATION FOR THE EU 1. BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkey’s determination to gain European Union membership. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The most brilliant performance of this government so far has been its determination to attain European Union membership. This cause is just. Those who oppose the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have found fault with it: for them, the AKP thinks that it will be easy to establish in Turkey a regime based on religion, a power inclined to reactionaryism.
Let’s say that there is a longing for reactionaryism in the AKP or Turkey, or alternately perhaps separatism, racism, communism or fascism. These are merely marginal, fantastic, romantic and nostalgic longings seen in even the most developed countries. Neither the regime nor the state is endangered by such yearnings. Democracy can defend itself.
Our regime based on the cornerstone of Turkey’s secular democracy will not be changed. Moreover, EU membership can provide an even greater safeguard. The borders of EU member countries aren’t open to negotiation, and dividing up members is a closed subject. Governments based on reactionaryism and anti-democratic tendencies aren’t allowed. The rules of democracy cannot be violated.
Our fear of reactionaryism has always been fed and exaggerated. By playing up this threat, a certain mentality has restricted the nation’s rights. But a secular democracy shouldn’t cower in fear of this bogeyman. Rather, it should take necessary measures. More importantly, using the threat of reactionaryism to justify opposition to EU membership is unacceptable.
The enthusiasm for Europe of the government, opposition, and the Turkish nation at large shouldn’t be dampened. Such discouragement can only take us backwards.”
 THE US, PALESTINIANS AND THE KURDISH ISSUE 2. BY MURAT YETKIN (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Yetkin comments on Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The United States’ new Consulate-General, which was dedicated yesterday in Istanbul, is said to be one of the largest American buildings ever built outside the country. Ambassador Robert Pearson yesterday conveyed an important message from US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Turkish officials at the opening ceremony, declaring that the Bush administration would continue to support Turkey’s EU membership bid since it believes our country belongs in Europe. Underlining that both Turkey and the US still face the threat of terrorism, Powell stated that the two nations would never be cowed by terrorist groups, while he called the new consulate’s completion the best rejoinder to those who want to see the US leave Turkey. This building seems to be a token of a new beginning for Ankara-Washington relations which were strained after Turkey’s refusal of US troop deployments prior to the Iraq war.
Ankara’s first move to mend strained relations will be Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal’s visit to Washington due to begin on Monday. A prominent military leader, Maj. Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu, head of the General Staff’s Maneuvers Department, is set to accompany Ziyal. Maj. Gen. Kalyoncu was one of the key military personnel in Turkish-US negotiations before and during the Iraq war. Ziyal and Kalyoncu are to discuss postwar developments with American officials. They have already found a slogan for their contacts with the Bush administration: ‘Let’s tell the truth to each other and share our vision!’ There are two significant messages to be conveyed to the US:
Turkey wants peace and democracy in the region. 1. We should cooperate in the fight against terrorism.
What about Turkey’s strategy on these two issues? Looking at recent statements by our prime minister and certain other prominent figures, we can see that there are three important points in Turkey’s plans:
Turkey supports the Middle East ‘road map’ to peace which was recently proposed under the leadership of the US. Ankara is ready to do its utmost to contribute to this plan’s success. 2. Turkey is ready to cooperate with the US against terrorism. Ankara favors establishing democratic regimes in the region instead of repressive ones. 3. Turkey is fully aware that its steps toward democratization will ultimately fall short without a solution to the Kurdish problem. Ankara is preparing to take effective and serious steps on this issue. One such step is to encourage PKK militants to participate in the nation’s social fabric. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most important issues in Ziyal’s briefcase.”
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