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Turkish Press Review, 03-07-08
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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
08.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... CRITERIA FOR POLITICAL POWER BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)
 GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN CICEK: “TURKISH TROOPS WILL CONTINUE TO REMAIN IN NORTHERN IRAQ”Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek said that Turkish troops would not withdraw from northern Iraq and continue to remain there. Cicek briefed reporters on recent developments in the region. “Iraq is still unstable and a land of baseless accusations, lies, and provocations and only way to end this chaos is cooperation and constant dialogue between allied countries,” Cicek said. “There is still an authority vacuum in Iraq.” Cicek said that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had briefed ministers on detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by US forces last Friday. “All top US officials we were able to speak over the weekend told us that detention of Turkish soldiers were unacceptable and not appropriate,” government spokesman added. “This incident justifies Turkey’s concerns regarding northern Iraq.” Cicek further stated that Turkish troops would continue to remain in northern Iraq no matter what and would not withdraw since Turkey’s concerns are still valid. Cicek added that Gul’s visit to the US was not canceled due to detention crisis. In related news, US Vice President Dick Cheney yesterday called Erdogan and said that he was sorry due to detention of Turkish soldiers by US forces and would do his best to make the incident obvious. /Aksam/
 OZKOK: “DETENTION OF TURKISH SOLDIERS BY US FORCES IS THE WORST CRISIS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES”Robert Pearson, US ambassador to Turkey yesterday visited Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok to discuss a number of issues, including detention of Turkish soldiers by US forces last Friday. During their talks, Ozkok said that detention of 11 Turkish soldiers was the worst crisis between Turkey and the US and that the US administration had much to repair Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) honour. Ozkok recalled that a 100-member US force surrounded special bureu team in Sulaymaniyah and attempted to enter the bureu by force. “Unfortunately, this incident created the biggest crisis of confidence between the two countries,” said Ozkok, adding that he did not believe that it was a policy of the US. For his part, Pearson said that he was pleased with return of Turkish soldiers to Sulaymaniyah. “We will always continue to be allies with Turkey,” he added. /Aksam/
 US ARRESTS OF TURKISH TROOPS IN NORTHERN IRAQ CAUSE FRUSTRATION IN NATOThe US must immediately apologize to both Turkey and all other NATO allies for detaining 11 Turkish special forces officers over the weekend in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya, said a NATO source yesterday. Characterizing the incident as unacceptable, the same source stated that the US arrests dealt a tremendous blow on the respectability on the Alliance, adding that for the first time in NATO’s history the soldiers of an ally arrested those of another ally. /Cumhuriyet/
 BOUCHER: “THE DETAINED TURKISH SPECIAL FORCES MIGHT HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN DISTURBING ACTIVITIES”Turkish special forces who were detained by US troops over the weekend in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya might have been involved in disturbing activities, US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher told a daily press briefing yesterday, adding that the US military was acting on reports about possible illicit activities. Boucher said the US had information that raised serious concerns about the activities of these forces in northern Iraq, but he declined to provide details on what the information was. Asked whether Washington shared this information with Ankara, Boucher said, “We have discussed these matters with the Turkish side and that the US and Turkish military and civilian officials will be undertaking a joint investigation to look into all the facts of the matter.” /Cumhuriyet/
 TURKISH-US RELATIONS LIKELY TO FACE DEEPER CRISIS ON NORTHERN IRAQ FOLLOWING FRIDAY’S ARRESTSTurkish-US relations are likely to face a deeper crisis on the northern Iraq issue, as the detention of 11 Turkish special forces officers by US troops over the weekend in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya suggested a further damaged to the already tattered alliance between Turkey and the US. Ankara and Washington had tense relations since last March when the Turkish Parliament rejected a US request to use the country as a springboard for a northern front against Saddam Hussein. Certain US officials have been openly voicing concerns about Turkish forces in northern Iraq and their activities and relations with the native Turkmen population there. Turkey has been sending troops to northern Iraq since 1991’s Gulf War to track down militants of the terrorist group PKK_KADEK and to monitor possible Kurdish ambitions for an independent state. Ankara had earlier warned the US that the formation of an independent Kurdish state would be a casus belli for Turkey. /Cumhuriyet/
 INTERIOR MINISTER AKSU VISITS BAKUInterior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu yesterday flew to Baku for a two-day official visit. Aksu is scheduled to meet with Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev and Interior Minister Ramil Usubov to discuss relations between the two countries. /Anatolia News Agency/
 FINANCE MINISTER UNAKITAN TO ATTEND PRIVATIZATION MEETINGS IN THE USFinance Minister Kemal Unakitan is set to visit the US today in order to attend some meetings concerning privatization. During these meetings, Unakitan would brief participants on Turkey’s privatization process. /Aksam/
IMF DELEGATION CHAIRED BY MOGHADAM ARRIVES IN TURKEY
International Monetary Fund Turkey Desk Chief Riza Moghadam accompanied by a delegation yesterday arrived in Turkey. The delegation chaired by Moghadam is expected to meet first with Turkish Exporters Association (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici today. During the meeting, Satici is expected to present a letter to the delegation which says that the program should be revised according to Turkey’s conditions. Later, the delegation is expected to meet with officials from the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD). /Milliyet/
 BLACK HAWK, SUPER COBRA HELICOPTERS MODERNIZED BY ASELSAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TURKEYASELSAN, a Turkish military electronics industrial company, has modernized Black Hawk and Super Cobra helicopters for the first time in Turkey by using completely domestic technology. The modernized helicopters are expected to be dispatched to the Turkish Armed Forces soon. /Turkiye/
 FIRES CLAIM 100 HECTARES OF FORESTED AREAFires broke out in Bodrum and Marmaris towns of western province of Mugla which are among the most important tourism centers of Turkey. A total of 100 hectares of forested area were burnt down to ashes in the fires. Two villages were evacuated in Marmaris town due to the fire. /Anatolia News Agency/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 WHAT IS THE REAL REASON?BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the US detention of 11 Turkish special forces in Sulaymaniyah. A summary of his column is as follows:
“How did the US detention on Friday of 11 Turkish special forces in Sulaymaniyah take place? Did this ugly incident happen upon an individual initiative of local US military authorities in the region, or was it a result of overall US military strategy? What was the driving force behind the aggressive US detention of Turkish soldiers? Although the crisis now seems to be over by the joint efforts of both sides, these questions need to be answered for the future of Turkish-US relations.
As a matter of fact, it’s hard to believe that local US military authorities commanded such an operation on their own. However, we can’t either believe that Washington or Pentagon directly ordered the US army to hold an operation against Turkish soldiers. I believe that this incident took place because US military authorities made a decision to hold this operation in the light of overall US military policy for Iraq. Therefore, we can’t consider this incident just an individual decision.
This was the biggest crisis of confidence ever happened between the two allies. Nothing like that ever took place in the history of NATO. This “Rambo crisis” caused great resentment and anger in both Turkish people and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
There is no doubt that both sides’ determination to end this grave crisis and to establish better mechanisms of communication between their armies is to help overcome common problems and build a better future. However, it’s also clear that this incident showed it would be very difficult to keep bilateral relations at the same good level as it was before the Iraq war. We can briefly explain the driving force behind this detention incident:
Turkey’s and US’ strategies and agendas on northern Iraq are quite different from each other, and even controversial on some points. Turkey wants to maintain its military presence in the region on the grounds of its national security. However, the US wants to help Kurdish ethnic groups, which lent their full support to Washington during the Iraq war, lead the regional administration. That’s why the Americans have to take into consideration Kurdish leaders’ dissatisfaction for the cooperation between Turkish army and Turkmen groups in the region.
Washington warned Turkey against unilateral military operations in northern Iraq on suspicions of anti-Kurdish activity. The US officials argued that Turkish troops were preparing to harm civilian Kurdish officials. Officials from both countries said a joint committee would investigate the incident. However, the only way to prevent similar crises in the future is that both Ankara and Washington should clearly express their northern Iraq policies to each other. Otherwise, such crises would never reoccur…”
 CRITERIA FOR POLITICAL POWER
 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the required criteria for the political power in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The best side of the power of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is its determination about Turkey’s European Union membership bid. However, the issue through which it flounders is our relations with the US. The issue of 11 Turkish soldiers’ detention by the US in northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah and then their release is one of the last signs of the problems in Turkish-US relations. The possibility of the growth of this serious situation is also alarming.
The AKP’s attempts at investigating and stopping corruption caused the nation’s optimism. Up to now, a series of commissions had been established in Parliament and so many things had been told about it. However, those who caused corruption hadn’t been punished. Therefore the Turkish nation is angry. Turkish people aren’t interested in the hindrances about regulations and judgment. They also despise the political powers who don’t remove these hindrances.
However, these hindrances will be removed when we reach the EU standards. What’s more, rearing the Turkish national culture will be possible only this way. The sources of evil bothering Turkey will be removed with our integration with Europe.
Consequently, we favor all the political, bureaucratic and intellectual staff in Turkey which are trying to reach Turkish Republic to the EU norms, which is the level of modern civilization itself.”
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