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Turkish Press Review, 03-07-09
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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
09.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 SEZER DISCUSSES BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH ISRAELI PRESIDENT KATSAVPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday met with his Israeli counterpart Moshe Katsav, who is currently in Turkey for an official visit, to discuss a number of issues. During their talks, Sezer said that he had welcomed recent positive developments towards a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that “road map” which requires both sides taking concrete steps carried great importance. Sezer said that Turkey was ready to contribute to the peace atmosphere in the region. Touching on Turkish- Israeli relations, Sezer stated that he believed Katsav’s visit would create new opportunities to further improve relations between the two countries, adding that necessary steps to improve both economic and trade ties should be taken as soon as possible. He stressed that Turkey was one of the first countries which recognized Israel and began diplomatic relations. For his part, Katsav said that Israel attached great importance to relations with Turkey due to both its geographical location and its efforts for peace in the region. /Milliyet/
 GUL: “IT IS THE US THAT LOST, NOT TURKEY DUE TO THE
 DETENTION CRISIS”Speaking at Parliament yesterday, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that it was the United States that lost, not Turkey, due to the detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by US forces in the northern Iraqi town of Sulaymaniyah last Friday. “This matter must be explained,” said Gul. “Those who poison Turkish-US relations must be given necessary punishment. That is what we want.” /Milliyet/
 US GENERAL SEEKS TO EASE TENSION WITH TURKEYA top US general yesterday made an unexpected visit to Turkey in a bid to ease tensions between Washington and Ankara following the detention of 11 Turkish soldiers in the northern Iraq city of Sulaymaniyah. General James L. Jones, Supreme Allied commander (SACEUR) as well as commander of the US European Command (COMUSEUCOM, yesterday met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok in Ankara and presented him preliminary information about the July 4 detention of the Turkish soldiers. Gen. Jones was told by the Office of the General Staff that the US must punish the perpetrators of the detention, stressing that such incidents should not take place between NATO allies. Both sides agreed that a Turkish and US military committee would meet in Ankara today to investigate the detentions. The committee was scheduled to begin its work yesterday, but the meeting was rescheduled at Washington's request. /Hurriyet/
 CICEK MEETS PEARSON, DENOUNCES DETENTION OF TURKISH SOLDIERS BY THE USUS Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson yesterday paid a courtesy visit to Justice Minister Cemil Cicek as his duty expired. Responding to questions of journalists after the meeting, Cicek said that Turkey wished the continuation of its relations with the US, adding, however, that he had difficulty in explaining the reason for the recent incident. “Overthrowing Saddam’s regime is an important step, but state authority has yet to be installed in the region,” said Cicek. “There is no operating state structure. This creates an atmosphere suitable for different tricks. We wish the steps taken had earlier been taken… [However] It is not possible for us to accept the last incident.” Cicek said that the direction of the bilateral relations must be confirmed and supported by other efforts. “The most important leg of that is the bill on so-called Armenian genocide. If the US wants to apologize, the Congress should not bring this bill into Congress’ agenda. Such kinds of bills were not adopted by the US Congress in the past. This is an historic incident and we should not take political decisions about historical incidents. Turkey attributes importance to the voting to take place in the US Congress,” Cicek added. /Sabah/
 PEARSON: “WASHINGTON DOES NOT DEMAND TURKISH SOLDIERS’ WITHDRAWAL FROM NORTHERN IRAQ”US Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson yesterday denied recent media reports arguing that Washington demanded Turkish soldiers’ withdrawal from northern Iraq. Visiting the Anatolian News Agency, Pearson responded the questions on the July 4 detention of Turkish soldiers by the US in northern Iraq. Remarking that discussions between the two countries focused on nothing but the ways to improve cooperation, Pearson also added that Washington did not want Turkey to close its contact bureau in Sulaymaniyah. /Hurriyet/
 VERHEUGEN: “EU’S EASTERN BORDER IS TURKEY”EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen yesterday remarked that EU’s official borders should be determined by including Turkey as its eastern border. Stating that the EU needed to enlarge towards the east to establish political and economic stability on the continent, Verheugen said that the progress report on Turkey to be prepared by the EU Commission in 2004 was of great importance for the country’s EU membership bid. “When Turkey is to join the EU completely depends upon Ankara’s performance regarding its reform packages to fulfill Copenhagen criteria,” added the EU commissioner. /Sabah/
 TWO SOLDIERS SHOT DEAD BY TERRORISTS IN TUNCELIA group of terrorists yesterday ambushed a convoy of vehicles carrying Tunceli’s provincial governor Ali Cafer Akyuz, killing two soldiers in a 10-minute firefight. Another Turkish soldier was injured in the attack launched by around 10 gunmen from a narrow road some 22 miles east of the town of Tunceli. “I bitterly condemn this treacherous attack," President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said in a statement. "The Republic of Turkey will decisively destroy all efforts against the nation's indivisible unity." /All Papers/
 TALABANI: “THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF TURKEY’S ANTI-KURDISH ACTIVITIES IN NORTHERN IRAQ”Paying his first foreign visit to Moscow, Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani yesterday stated that although US officials told about the detention of Turkish soldiers in Sulaymaniyah they had acted on intelligence which suggested that the Turks were involved in a plot to assassinate an US-backed Iraqi official who is a member of the Kurdish ethnic group, the IPUK in fact had found no evidence to verify this claim. “These claims are based upon certain suspicions,” said Talabani. “However, they have yet to be verified.” /Hurriyet/
 AKSU MEETS WITH AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT ALIYEV IN BAKUInterior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu who is in Baku, Azerbaijan for a two-day official visit, met Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev and Interior Minister Ramil Usubov and discussed relations between the two countries. Aksu said that the ongoing Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh is threatening peace and stability of the Caucasus, and a lasting and fair solution is possible only by means of negotiation. Meanwhile, Aliyev, who has long been suffering from chronic bronchitis, arrived in Ankara late last night to undergo a series of medical tests in the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA). /All papers/
 IMF MEETS WITH TIM OFFICIALSInternational Monetary Fund delegation chaired by Turkey Desk Chief Riza Moghadam yesterday met with Turkish Exporters Association (TIM) Chairman Oguz Satici. During their meeting, Satici presented a letter to Moghadam which said that the IMF-supported economic program should be revised due to Turkey’s conditions. Later, the delegation visited Muslim Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Asociation (MUSIAD) for the first time to discuss recent economic developments. /Aksam/
 FIRST MOBILE UFO MUSEUM COMES TO IZMIRThe first mobile UFO museum of the world has come to Izmir as part of a tour including 55 provinces and districts throughout Turkey. The museum was established by the Sirius UFO Space Sciences Research Center. /All papers/
 ERDOGAN RECEIVES TURKISH BASKETBALL PLAYERSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received Turkish basketball players, Hidayet Turkoglu, Mehmet Okur, Mirsad Turkcan and Huseyin Besok, who are playing in foreign basketball teams. During their meeting, Erdogan presented plaques to the basketball players. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WHAT IS IT BEHIND THE IRAQ ARREST CRISIS?
 BY ALI BAYRAMOGLU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Ali Bayramoglu comments on the detention of Turkish special forces officers by US troops over the weekend in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Let’s realize this first: US arrests of 11 Turkish officers during a weekend raid in Sulaimaniya can in no way be explained in reference to Parliament’s refusal last March to allow the US to use Turkish soil as a springboard for a northern front against Iraq. In other words, short-minded scribbling like, ‘Turkey would be in a different position in the face of the US today should it meet Washington’s requests during the Iraq war,’ is completely false. If this were true, then we would have to accept that Turkey were nothing but the 51st state of the US, a puppet state which unconditionally moved in lockstep with every US demand. The main reason for the recent standoff between Ankara and Washington is in fact related to the Kurdish issue in northern Iraq. Both Turkey and the US’ policies on the issue have remained the same over the years until the fall of the Saddam regime. The US military presence in Iraq would sooner or later have an inescapable impact on Turkish-US relations. And now we are effectively facing that impact. For the Bush administration, Kurds and the northern Iraq are now more important than ever, as they are crucial to the new US-established order in Iraq and Washington’s quest for a forced ‘Pax-Americana.’ Obviously, US ambitions in Iraq could not get along with Turkey’s official view on the issue, and apparently, there is now a clash between Ankara’s interests and those of Washington. This situation wouldn’t be different if Turkey ‘fully’ cooperated with the US during the war.
Yesterday’s Vatan newspaper wrote: ‘The Sulaimaniya raid was planned in Washington and constituted a message to Turkey that it is not wanted in northern Iraq… In fact it was the very first attempt to oust the Turkish forces in the region.’
Why did the US raid in Sulaymaniyah come on the 4th of July? Was it related to the assassination attempt to Cemil Bayik, one of the terrorist group PKK_KADEK’s top figures? Who is it behind this assassination attempt? Murat Yetkin from daily Radical asked in his column yesterday: ‘Is it possible that Turkish special forces could engage in such activities in northern Iraq without Ankara’s consent?”
 THE US OR THE EU?
 BY HADI ULUENGINColumnist Hadi Uluengin comments on necessary changes in Turkey’s foreign policy. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I have been writing for years that Turkey should give up the US-Israeli axis and follow the European Union route. Because for almost two centuries, foreign dynamics have been determining the course of events in Turkey and the main engine of freedom and democracy, which constitutes our target, is directing towards Europe, which has a more ethical stance than the New World. The reason for this is that although Washington mentions the word ‘democracy,’ it complies with authoritarian regimes, including military intervention. Thus, the US can do us no good in terms of influencing the domestic structure. In addition, Turkey is the extension of the Old Continent historically, geographically and economically. In other words, Atlantic’s western shore isn’t our ‘actual West.’ It’s too normal that Ankara’s foreign policy is routed towards Europe.
I have been defending these ideas for many years but I also suggested that we should address ourselves to this task rapidly because I know that foreign policies are changing gradually. In other words, I wanted that the ‘infrastructure’ which became concrete with our harmonization packages would be completed as soon as possible because the foreign policy, which is the ‘superstructure,’ can be built on its base. For Europe, the latter cannot be fulfilled unless the former is achieved. However, we distracted ourselves in this process because of the tripping of ‘status quo forces.’ They have been playing the US card from the very beginning. However, firstly the war in Iraq and then the detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by US forces last Friday caused the status quo to lose its confidence. It’s early to estimate now but the same ‘status quo forces’ might treat the US in a cool manner from now on. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will accept the EU route. This is the situation and the status quo will make a decision now.
However, whatever the result will be, the current ‘conjuncture’ in Turkey and the world seem to be too negative for following a foreign policy with the EU axis because the US divided the EU so much in the utter confusion of the war in Iraq. Today as a ‘focal point,’ the EU is less powerful than its situation six months ago. Thus, unfortunately it’s now harder for Brussels to establish an alternative against Washington in Ankara’s foreign policy but it’s still possible for us to return to the axis of the Old Continent by thinking in a strategic way.”
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