|Wednesday, 11 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-07-01
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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
01.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER VETOES REVISIONS OF ANTI-TERROR LAWPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday vetoed provisions of the sixth European Union harmonization package designed to annul Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law. In a statement explaining his veto, former jurist Sezer argued that removing the article would encourage terrorism and endanger the indivisible unity of the Turkish state. Parliament now has the option of trying to re-approve the vetoed provisions, which it unanimously passed last week in a bid to push forward Ankara’s EU accession. Commenting on this development, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin argued that Sezer’s fear that annulling article 8 would encourage terrorism was mistaken, adding that he believed the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) would close ranks with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on this matter. “I believe Parliament will re-approve these provisions without any changes,” predicted Sahin. /Aksam/
 SEZER TRAVELS TO MACEDONIA, CROATIAPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer is due to pay a visit to Macedonia today as the guest of his counterpart Boris Trajkovski. The two leaders are to chair interdelegation meetings as well as issue a joint press release. Sezer is also expected to proceed to nearby Croatia later in the day for an overnight visit as the official guest of his Croatian counterpart Stipe Misic. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH BUSINESSMEN, ASKS FOR SUPPORT ON EU ACCESSION AND ECONOMIC POLICYPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with representatives from the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) and the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’ Association (TUSIAD) at a banquet. Erdogan called on the businessmen to support the government on both EU harmonization laws and economic policy. Besides the businessmen, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and State Minister for Economy Ali Babacan also attended the dinner. /Sabah/
 ERODOGAN TRAVELS TO PORTUGALPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to travel today to Portugal for a visit as the official guest of his counterpart Jose Manuel Curao Barosso. State ministers Ali Babacan and Kursat Tuzmen are to accompany Erdogan, who will meet tomorrow with representatives from the Portuguese Union of Industrialists and Exporters. He is expected to discuss with Portuguese officials recent international developments as well as Turkish-EU relations. /Star/
 PARLIAMENT COMMISSION REPORTEDLY ESTIMATES COST OF CORRUPTION AT $150 BILLIONIn recent years corruption in Turkey has exacted an economic toll of some $150 billion, says a draft version of a report by Parliament’s special Anti- Corruption Commission, news channel NTV reported yesterday. In the report, due to be sent to the full Parliament on Friday, banking sector corruption is reportedly blamed for $54 million in national economic losses and energy sector corruption for $40 billion. /Turkiye/
 PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN SET TO TOUT BENEFITS OF EU MEMBERSHIPUnder a new promotional campaign, the expected benefits to Turkey of the nation’s possible European Union membership are to be touted to citizens living in 24 provinces. The campaign, prepared by Turkey’s EU Secretariat General and co-sponsored by the EU Commission and the Economic Development Foundation (IKV), is first set to host meetings on “Turkish-EU Relations in the Pre-Accession Period” in eastern Anatolia. EU Commission Representation in Turkey head Hansjoerg Kretschmer yesterday stated that the commission was very proud to sponsor the 900,000-euro project. /Star/
 ITALIAN EU MINISTER BUTTIGLIONE: “THE MILITARY IS THE GUARANTOR OF TURKEY’S POLITICAL REGIME”Speaking to Austrian daily Die Presse yesterday, Italian State Minister for European Union Affairs Rocco Buttiglione stated that Turkey’s military was the guarantor of the nation’s political regime. “If the military were to lose control over the political regime, Turkey would probably become an Islamic state,” warned Buttiglione. He argued that Ankara did not have a truly democratic regime since the military had total control over civilian state institutions, adding that nobody should expect Turkey to join the EU ranks in the immediate future. Italy today is set to take over the rotating EU term presidency for the next six months. /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKEY POSTS STRONG Q1 GNP GROWTH OF 7.4%The State Institute of Statistics (DIE) yesterday announced that Turkey’s gross national product (GNP) grew 7.4% in the first quarter of this year, well above market expectations of 6.2%. Gross domestic product (GDP) also grew 8.1%, beating expectations of 6.3%. The strong growth puts Turkey in line to meet the government’s annual growth target of 5%, said analysts. /All papers/
 PRIVATIZATION BOARD APPROVES PETKIM’S SALE TO UZAN GROUPThe High Board of Privatization (OYK) yesterday approved the sale of an 88.9% stake in state petrochemical concern Petkim to a division of the Uzan Group. The approval comes in the wake of questions raised by some of whether Uzan’s bid was large enough. /Milliyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WASHINGTON BLAMES OUR MILITARY BY SEDAT ERGIN (SABAH)Columnist Sedat Ergin comments on Washington’s stance towards the Turkish military. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Last week I participated in a conference on Turkish-US relations in Washington. The visit showed me that the aftereffects of Ankara’s refusal of US troop deployments back in March won’t easily dissipate, because all the discussions on the future of bilateral relations came back to this refusal. In other words, we’re still facing a traumatic situation. It seems that without treating this trauma, mending relations will be difficult.
Interestingly, although there are varying views, there is a widespread opinion in Washington that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are responsible for the refusal of US troop deployments. There are many people who consider this refusal the military’s decision, instead of seeing it as a result of a democratic process within our Parliament.
However, this incident occurred after a very complicated process, but it’s understood that Washington has yet to grasp the facts within this process. A great many factors played a role in this situation. Firstly, the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) message sent by its special representatives to Washington stating, ‘If the military had helped us, the US troop deployment would have been accepted’ has had a great effect. Secondly, the Pentagon’s belief that ‘in any case the military wouldn’t leave us short’ has been left unaddressed, and this has caused great anger and even accusations against the TSK.
Then, too, there is the psychological dimension of the situation. Decision makers in Washington, who took a great risk by seeking to bring 60,000 soldiers to Turkey and then saw their plans go down in flames, don’t want to face up to their own mistakes. At this point, perhaps laying the blame at the feet of our military and muddling through somehow is the easiest way of escaping responsibility. In addition, one could claim that certain calculations towards reaching other tactical goals by taking advantage of the current situation are playing a role in this game. By limiting the TSK’s freedom of movement, Washington might be seeking to act just as it pleases in Iraq.”
 OOSTLANDER’S NOTORIOUS TURKEY REPORT BY MURAT BELGE (RADIKAL)Columnist Murat Belge comments on a controversial report on Turkey prepared by Dutch parliamentarian Arie Oostlander and approved by the European Parliament. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I’ve written a couple of times before about a report on Turkey prepared by Dutch parliamentarian Arie Oostlander, a controversial document which was approved by the European Parliament last month. The report was revised several times due to the internal dynamics of the European Union, and moreover, it was nothing official and lacked any binding force. Yet, the report’s criticisms of, and reservations about, our country in its EU ambitions were typical in that an average European on the street would say the very same things about Turkey. Let’s take a closer look at what Oostlander said in his report: ‘Turkey’s current Constitution, adopted under a military regime two years after the 1980 coup, does not form an appropriate legal basis to guarantee the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.’ Could you ever imagine a European who would object, saying, ‘No, that’s not so, the 1982 Constitution is a fine democratic one for Turkey’? Or take our country’s 10% parliamentary representation threshold: The report argued that this threshold, while it prevents a fragmented legislature, unfortunately sacrifices to that end the representative nature of the Parliament, which now represents only 55% of the voters. Can you think of a European who wouldn’t agree with that? Oostlander stated in his report that recent banning of the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) and the likely future banning of its successor the Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP) both showed that Turkey lacked the necessary political determination to practically guarantee basic democratic rights. Who in Europe would think anything different? Oostlander’s major criticisms of Turkey have their roots in this following observation: ‘The underlying philosophy of the Turkish state implies an exaggerated fear of the undermining of its integrity and an emphasis on the homogeneity of Turkish culture (nationalism), an important role for the army, and a very rigid attitude towards religion, which means that this underlying philosophy is incompatible with the founding principles of the European Union.’ Could anyone advocating a democratic perspective argue anything contrary to this? However, there are quarters in Turkey ready to protect the status quo and even argue for more of the same. In their unhealthy minds, living under a military dictatorship is no dishonor but trying to put the military under civilian control would be. Due to this unhealthy mentality, there is a large and rigid resistance to democratization and normalization in our country. Are these the pillars of the Turkish Republic? Does it make any difference to put these principles another way? Or can one even do so?’
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