|Sunday, 15 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-07-02
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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
02.07.2003ERDOGAN: “PARLIAMENT WILL RE-DEBATE ARTICLE 8 OF THE ANTI-TERROR LAW” GUL: “THE GOVERNMENT FORESEES NO CHANGES TO THE VETOED PROVISIONS OF THE EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE” BABACAN: “NO NEW LOANS WON’T MEAN AN END TO TURKISH-IMF RELATIONS” FINANCIAL TIMES: “TURKISH PRESIDENT BLOCKS HUMAN RIGHTS REFORM” TURKISH DANCER OGULCAN BOROVA TAKES TOP SPOT, GOLD MEDAL AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITION FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 SEZER APPROVES SHORTENED COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICEPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday approved a decree to shorten Turkey’s term of compulsory military service for males. Under the decree, military service will be reduced from 18 months to 15, and the number of active-duty soldiers will also fall by 17%. /Aksam/
 ERDOGAN: “PARLIAMENT WILL RE-DEBATE ARTICLE 8 OF THE ANTI-TERROR LAW”President Ahmet Necdet’s veto this week covered only two provisions of the recent European Union harmonization package, and Parliament will certainly reconsider the package, predicted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking before leaving for a state visit to Portugal, Erdogan stated that now Sezer had had his say, and Parliament would soon weigh in again with its own. The vetoed provisions were designed to annul Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law. /Aksam/
 GUL: “THE GOVERNMENT FORESEES NO CHANGES TO THE VETOED PROVISIONS OF THE EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE”The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has no intention of making changes to the vetoed provisions of the sixth EU harmonization package designed to annul Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law, said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday. “I believe Parliament will re-approve these provisions without making any changes,” added Gul. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed the provisions on Monday, arguing that removing the article would encourage terrorism and endanger the indivisible unity of the Turkish state. Sezer furthermore argued in his explanatory statement that annulling the article would create a legal void. However, the government believes that other existing legislation is able to protect Turkey from any genuine threats from separatist propaganda. The Constitution denies the president the power to veto the legislation again should Parliament return it to him unchanged, but Sezer could appeal to the Constitutional Court to annul the provisions after they come into force. /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL BRIEFS PARLIAMENT ON TURKEY’S NATIONAL PROGRAMForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday briefed Parliament on the government’s recent revisions to the National Program for the adoption of the European Union acquis communautaire. Gul warned that Turkey would suffer a tremendous blow should it squander its growing chances for EU membership. Meanwhile, Murat Sungar, Turkey’s secretary-general for European Union Affairs, yesterday briefed Parliament’s EU Harmonization Commission on the National Program. Sungar underlined that the necessary legal reforms should be completed before this October, when the EU Commission is due to draw up Turkey’s latest progress report. “We are at point where our country’s EU candidacy is about take an irreversible step forward,” said Sungar. /Cumhuriyet/
 CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF OZKOK VISITS ISRAELChief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok yesterday flew to Israel for an official visit and met with top Israeli officials to discuss a number of issues. Last week, he visited Amman, Jordan on the first stop of his tour of Middle Eastern countries. Ozkok is expected to return to Turkey on Friday. /Aksam/
 BABACAN: “NO NEW LOANS WON’T MEAN AN END TO TURKISH-IMF RELATIONS”State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan reiterated yesterday that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government did not plan to seek any new loans from the International Monetary Fund, adding, however, that this didn’t mean relations between Ankara and the Fund would end. “We will continue to pursue our fiscal policy until we are successful in reducing our high debt stock,” said the minister. Also touching on Turkey’s high first quarter gross national product (GNP) growth of 7.4% announced yesterday, Babacan predicted that the nation would achieve this year’s growth target of 5%. /Milliyet/
 FINANCIAL TIMES: “TURKISH PRESIDENT BLOCKS HUMAN RIGHTS REFORM”President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s veto of provisions of a reform package designed to annul Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law has effectively blocked human rights reform in Turkey’s EU membership ambitions, wrote British daily the Financial Times yesterday. “The presidential move underlined internal resistance from the establishment in Ankara to the changes being promoted by the country's reformist eight-month-old government,” the newspaper added. The FT further argued that President Sezer might have been influenced by objections to the changes raised by Turkey's “still-influential” generals at last week’s meeting of the National Security Council (NSC). /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH DANCER OGULCAN BOROVA TAKES TOP SPOT, GOLD MEDAL AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL BALLET COMPETITIONTurkish ballet dancer Ogulcan Borova yesterday came in first place and won the gold medal in the International New York Ballet Competition held at the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Over 40 dancers from 24 countries participated in the competition. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHAT IS EXPECTED FROM ITALY BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Turkish-EU relations during Italy’s just-begun EU term presidency. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Italy yesterday took over the rotating EU term presidency. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be in the spotlight in Europe and perhaps in our country as well for the next six months. Since Berlusconi is a one of Europe’s most controversial and colorful politicians, Italy’s turn at the EU helm is very likely to make headlines through the year’s-end.
Europeans see Berlusconi, known to them as ‘Cavaliere,’ quite differently than we do. For them, the Berlusconi phenomenon gives them more cause for concern than confidence. Allegations of bribery surrounding this man of scandals and his efforts to cover them up are a matter of great concern for the European countries. Witness these headlines from some European dailies yesterday: ‘Berlusconi: A serious threat to European democracy,’ ‘An amateur incapable of leading the EU” and “A European Anomaly.”
However, Turkey considers him a friend of Turks and expects him to do a lot to help our EU membership bid move forward. In truth, we expect too much of him!
Before going into detail on the Berlusconi issue, let’s take a look at what former EU Term President Greece did from January to June: Our neighbor was generally successful in its decisions and actions. Due to the Iraq war, it faced a difficult period for presiding over the EU. However, Greece did manage to handle the Iraqi crisis and subseqent war. It acted positively towards our membership bid. Greek politicians conveyed a message to Europe at last week’s Thessaloniki summit that Turkey deserved more careful attention from the Union. The only problem between us was the Cyprus issue.
Now let’s return to our main topic. Berlusconi is set to announce his agenda and program today at the European Parliament. The Italian leader is surely ready to do his utmost to help us, as he once again emphasized in his address to the Italian Senate yesterday. This represents a good chance for Turkey. In this period, the EU Commission is to prepare a new progress report on Turkey and perhaps decide on the beginning date of our membership negotiations at the year-end Rome summit. Under these circumstances, Italy’s support is hugely importance for us. However, we shouldn’t overemphasize the situation. First of all, no single country – even if it’s the president – can manage the EU on its own. Secondly, Berlusconi’s controversial political profile as a politician could hinder his effectiveness in Europe.
In the final analysis, the main duty is ours, not Berlusconi’s. Turkey must strive to pass its reform packages and implement them in practice. This is the most important condition.”
 BALKANS KNOCKING AT THE EU’S DOOR BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the religious situation of Balkan countries in terms of their European Union membership aspirations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The European Union has begun an initiative to take countries from the former Yugoslavia into its ranks. Of the ex-Yugoslav countries, only Slovenia is due to join the EU next year. Now the Union is holding contacts with the ‘new Yugoslavia’ (Serbia), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Croatia and even Albania.
The most developed of these countries is Croatia, which is also the only Catholic one. Orthodox Christianity dominates the other three countries, and Islam is very common in Albania. However, Islam is also very common in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and the former Yugoslavia. In this respect, the EU will one day include millions of Muslim people, populations who got this faith from the Ottomans. Romania, Bulgaria and Greece are also Orthodox. Thus, the EU will no longer be a Protestant_Catholic community.
If these five countries become EU members, the unification of Bulgaria with Macedonia, Albania with Kosovo and Hungary with Vojvodine [a majority-Catholic province in largely Orthodox Serbia] will be prevented. This way the EU will include all the ex-Ottoman territories in the Balkans, excepting Moldova. This project clearly aims at rescuing the remnants of Yugoslavia and developing Serbia. It’s uncertain how separatist tendencies in Karadag [in English, Montenegro, which has a sizeable Muslim minority], Kosovo and Vojvodine from Serbia will turn out. When Karadag [Montenegro] was about to make itself independent, the EU gently prevented it and in this way, Serbia’s access to the Adriatic Sea was preserved.
Now the EU’s candidate countries, including Turkey, cover all of Europe.
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