|Thursday, 21 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-07-07
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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
07.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… TURKEY IS PAYING THE PRICE BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET) US DETENTION OF TURKISH SOLDIERS BY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)
 THE US RELEASES 11 TURKISH SOLDIERS11 Turkish soldiers who were detained by US soldiers in northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah and taken to Baghdad last Friday were released yesterday. According to the news channel NTV, the soldiers spent the night at a guesthouse before being taken today to the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah where thay had been captured last Friday. The release came after US Vice President Dick Cheney spoke with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Daily Hurriyet over the weekend reported that the Americans were acting on intelligence reports that the Turkish commandos were plotting to assassinate the Kurdish governor of nearby Kirkuk. However, Turkish officials strongly denied the claim. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN CALLS CHENEY TO DISCUSS DETENTION OF TURKISH SOLDIERSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday called US Vice President Dick Cheney to discuss the seizure of 11 Turkish soldiers in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah. During their conversation, Erdogan said that he wanted Turkish soldiers to be released as soon as possible. The Turkish soldiers were released in the wake of Erdogan’s conversation with Cheney. /All papers/
 POWELL CALLS GUL, SAYS DETENTION PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED BY THE END OF THE WEEKENDUS Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday called Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to discuss the detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by the US troops. During their talks, Powell said that the problem would be solved by the end of the weekend. However, Gul said that this incident would unease Turkish-US relations. In related news, the Turkish soldiers were released yesterday. /All papers/
 PEARSON TO VISIT CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF GEN. OZKOKUS ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson, whose duty is due to end soon, is expected to visit Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok today. Pearson and Ozkok are expected to discuss the detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by the US troops, who were released yesterday. /Turkiye/
 REACTIONS TO THE DETENTION OF 11 TURKISH SOLDIERS IN IRAQTurkish officials, political parties and nongovernmental organizations protested over the weekend the detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by American forces in northern Iraq. Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman Bulent Ecevit said that the US “insulted” Turkey and harshly criticized the “late” stance of the government. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Bahceli said, “an apology should be made to Turkey” whereas True Path Party (DYP) leader Agar said, “it is an incident for which ultimatum should be given.” /Anatolian News Agency/
 THE NY TIMES: “THE DETENTION HAS FURTHER DAMAGED THE US-TURKISH RELATIONS”In a news analysis, the New York Times correspondents Dexter Filkins with Douglas Jehl wrote that the detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by American forces in Iraq “appears to have further damaged the American-Turkish relationship, which came under strain earlier this year when the Turkey refused to allow its territory to be used as a springboard for a northern front against Saddam Hussein's government.” “Turkey's leaders vehemently denounced the detention of their troops and demanded their immediate release,” said the NY Times. “Turkish demonstrators marched outside the United States Embassy in Ankara and the American Consulate in Istanbul. Privately, Turkish officials said the American raid, and the heavy-handed way in which they said it was carried out, had caused lasting damage to the American-Turkish relationship. The Turkish press roundly criticized the detentions as well, and carried unsubstantiated reports that the Americans had handcuffed and hooded the Turkish soldiers in the manner of Al Qaeda suspects.” /Cumhuriyet/
 STRASBOURG TO HOST A SIGNIFICANT MEETING FOR CYPRUSLeaders of political parties at the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) parliament left for Strasbourg on Sunday to meet with leaders of Greek Cypriot political parties and European Commission officials upon the invitation of European Commission Secretary General Walter Schwimmer. Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas, Communal Liberation Party (TKP) leader Huseyin Angolemli, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Reformist Initiative Party (YAP) leader Hasan Hasipoglu will attend the gathering. They will also hold meetings with chairmen of the Human Rights Commission and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The delegation is expected to return to TRNC on Tuesday. /Cumhuriyet/
 GAS STATION BLAST IN ANKARA, INJURES 189Explosions at a liquefied petroleum gas station in Ankara injured nearly 189 people over the weekend. Explosions in a low-income district occurred while a tanker was discharging LPG at the station. However, the exact cause of the explosion is not known. /All papers/
 TRANSPORTATION MINISTER YILDIRIM RETURNS TO TURKEYTransportation Minister Binali Yildirim yesterday returned to Turkey from Italy, where he attended European Union Transportation Ministers Council Meeting. Speaking to reporters, Yildirim said that he had expressed his views during the meeting in Naples. “They stressed paying equal importance to transportation network of Southeast European countries covering Turkey, importance of full integration of EU transportation network and network of Southeast European countries,” said Yildirim. He added that he had had the opportunity to meet with EU Commissioner for transportation and infrastructure Loyala de Palacio, Italian Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Pietro Lunardi and also Bulgarian Transportation Minister Plaman Petrov. /Anatolia News Agency/
 TUZMEN: “TURKISH-RUSSIAN COMMERCIAL RELATIONS WILL SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE IN 2004”State Minister Kursad Tuzmen over the weekend held a press meeting prior to his visit to the Russian Federation. Tuzmen stated that he was to hold a meeting with Russian State Minister of Property Relation as well as Chairman of the Joint Economic Commission Farit Gazizullin in order to discuss bilateral economic and commercial relations in detail. Remarking that the Russian Federation was one of them most important commercial partners of Turkey, Tuzmen stated that he believed both countries would overcome their common problems and that 2004 would be a golden year for Turkish-Russian commerce. /Hurriyet/
 INTERNATIONAL NASREDDIN HODJA FESTIVALEvery year, between July 5-10, an International Nasreddin Hodja Festival is held in Akþehir where his tomb is located. To keep the renowned Turkish humourist, Nasreddin Hodja’s character alive, Turkish writers and artists have used it in drama, in music, in movies (animated cartoons), in comic strips, and in paintings. Culture and Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu also attended the Festival in Akþehir. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 TURKEY IS PAYING THE PRICE
 BY TUFAN TURENC (HURRIYET)Columnist Tufan Turenc comments on Washington’s detention of eleven Turkish soldiers. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The things we have been experiencing for the last eight months are the expected difficulties of bringing an inexperienced staff to power alone. It was impossible for a nation which went to the ballot box angrily to make a right decision. We handed over the country to this staff and now we are going to put up with its results. The US has been our ally for 50 years. For the first time, Washington treated Turkey in a hostile way by detaining eleven Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been following an undecided and wrong Iraq policy, is responsible for it. This is unfortunate for Turkey but unfortunately this was what the Turkish nation wanted.
As far as it’s understood, the operation in northern which degrades Turkey was made by ‘hawks’ in Pentagon. Washington administration’s statements, ‘We have no information about it’ aren’t convincing at all. If Ankara evaluates the situation as follows: ‘Relations with the US aren’t in the process of recovery, instead, they’re getting worse,’ it would have been a realistic approach. It’s also most likely that the US made calculations to put the Turkish government on the spot with this operation. It shouldn’t be forgotten that there is also the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in these calculations because Washington previously stated that the TSK was responsible for Turkey’s refusal of US troop deployments as much as the government was. Clearly ‘hawks’ aren’t considering the ally with Turkey important anymore. The serious development in Iraq against Turkey proves this opinion.”
What’s more, the AKP government has difficulties with governing Turkey. Now Turkey is paying the price of its votes for the AKP.”
 US DETENTION OF TURKISH SOLDIERS
 BY FEHMI KORU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Fehmi Koru comments on the detention of Turkish soldiers based in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq on Friday by US forces. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Certain political observers tend to relate US detention on Friday of 11 Turkish special forces in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq to Ankara's refusal in March to allow US troop deployment on Turkish soil during the US-led Iraq war. This is what they say: ‘Washington had yet to stomach this bitter refusal, thus trying to force Ankara to share its disappointment every way that it can.’
No doubt the ‘hawking wing’ in Washington could hardly put up with the Turkish Parliament’s rejection of a US request to use the country as a springboard for a northern front against Saddam Hussein. And in fact, they themselves have openly been stating this for quite a long time now. But at the same time we’ve heard them saying, ‘All those things are in the past now; let’s look in the future.’ In addition, Washington has been seeking ways to put Turkish-US relations back on track, and it is set to host Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul towards the end of this month.
Apparently, the Turkish refusal to give US troops access to northern Iraq has left deep scarves on the US’ ‘hegemonic’ world view, though it did not affect the course of the Iraq war substantially. Contrary to what the war planners in the Pentagon had defended, the failure to open a northern front did not result in mounting US casualties or a prolonged war.
What was the driving force behind the aggressive US detention of Turkish soldiers? There are important points in the timing of the detentions, the way they happened and their immediate aftermath. First of all, the Turkish Special Forces have been based in Sulaymaniyah for many months now. Yet, the US troops have seemed to deliberately choose the 4th of July, the US Independence Day, to detain Turkish soldiers out of awareness that top US officials in Washington would go on a four-day vacation. As a matter of fact, Turkish officials, when they heard of the incident, had hard times to find someone to talk to in the Washington administration. Secondly, when at last Turkish officials found some counterpart to consult on the detentions, they realize that Washington had no idea about the incident.
The government must manage this crisis wisely. Otherwise, Turkish-US relations could enter an irreversible path.”
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