|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-07-11
Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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
11.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... AFTER THE SULAIMANIYAH INCIDENT BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE) CRISIS OVER US AID COMING SOON BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)
 ERDOGAN, SEZER MEET TO DISCUSS SULAIMANIYAH INCIDENTPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met to discuss last weekend’s detention of 11 Turkish soldiers by US forces in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq. During the meeting, Sezer and Erdogan took up recent developments on the issue. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “THE GOVERNMENT‘S SEVENTH EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE IS READY”Just weeks after the sixth package was passed unanimously by Parliament, the government’s seventh European Union harmonization package is now ready, announced Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. “We hope to begin membership talks with the EU at its December 2004 summit when our accession progress will be evaluated,” Erdogan told the Economic and Social Conference, a joint government-private group forum. “Therefore, our priority is to fulfill all the legal arrangements needed for EU harmonization by the end of this year.” He added that the Cabinet would soon discuss the National Program. Touching on the economy, Erdogan said that chronically high inflation had been falling dramatically, from last year’s 73.2% to only 29.8% so far this year. The premier also touted Turkey’s soaring export revenues of $21 billion. “These recent positive economic trends demonstrate the nation’s trust in the government,” he said. “However, our hard work to further boost our economy will be unceasing.” /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN TRAVELS TO AUSTRIAPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today flew to Austria for an official visit. Erdogan was accompanied by State Minister Kursat Tuzmen, Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, and Energy Minister Hilmi Guler. /Anatolia News Agency/
 EP SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC DEPUTIES VISIT ERDOGAN, HAIL TURKEY’S EU PROGRESSPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday received a delegation of social democratic European parliamentarians led by Hannes Swoboda, the deputy chair of the EP’s Social Democrat Parliamentary Group. Speaking after the meeting, Swoboda said that the EP welcomed Parliament’s recent passage of the sixth EU harmonization package, adding that he hoped it would pass the seventh package before going on summer recess. /Anatolia News Agency/
 PARLIAMENT’S JUSTICE COMMISSION RE-APPROVES PROVISIONS VETOED BY SEZERParliament’s Justice Commission yesterday discussed Articles 19 and 21 of the sixth European Union harmonization package, provisions vetoed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer after the package’s recent passage by Parliament. As the commission re-approved the bill without any modifications, it is expected to be re-debated by the full Parliament next week. In vetoing the provisions, Sezer argued that abolishing Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law would endanger Turkey’s national interests. Meanwhile, Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday stated that both the Anti-Terror Law and the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) had other sections adequately covering acts of terrorism and so approval of the bill would not damage the nation’s interests. He added that the seventh harmonization package was to be taken up next week by the Cabinet. That package includes many significant proposed changes to Turkey’s law books, including modifications to the structure of the National Security Council (NSC). /Hurriyet/
 GUL: “THE US EVIDENCE ON SULAIMANIYA INCIDENT IS UNCONVINCING”A joint inquiry set up by the United States and Turkey to investigate last weekend’s detention of 11 Turkish soldiers in Sulaimaniya, northern Iraq held its second meeting yesterday. Lt. Gen. John Sylvester, chief of staff of US forces in Europe and head of the American contingent, yesterday traveled to northern Iraq to continue his investigation there. The Turkish officials presented extensive files to their US counterparts said to refute US claims that the Turkish soldiers were involved in a plot to kill the interim governor of Kirkuk, a key city in northern Iraq. Sources said that Sylvester’s findings would carry great weight for the course of the inquiry, adding that the Turkish and US sides were expected to issue a joint statement after the investigation was concluded. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday repeated his rejections of US claims concerning the incident. “The US is well informed about the number of both Turkish soldiers commissioned in northern Iraq and their weapons,” said Gul. “Speculative evidence is unacceptable. Our soldiers went to northern Iraq to establish peace and stability in the region. This incident is nothing but a provocation.” /Cumhuriyet/
 COSKUN ATTENDS TURKISH-ITALIAN CONFERENCE IN ROMEIndustry and Trade Minister Ali Coþkun yesterday flew to Rome to attend a conference entitled “Politics for Competitive Europe in the Global Market.” During the event, Italian Industrialists’ Confederation Deputy Chairman Giancarlo Cerrutti said that he favored Turkey’s joining the European Union as soon as possible, adding that he believed that Turkey would contribute much to the EU. Italy currently holds the EU’s six-month term presidency. Asked about the appreciation of the Turkish Lira in recent months, Coskun said that due to the floating exchange rate the government would not intervene in exchange. “Inflation and interest in Turkey are both falling and our growth is at 7%, so intervening in exchange rates under such conditions would be inappropriate,” said Coskun. /Turkiye/
 PEARSON VISITS DEFENSE MINISTER GONUL, DISCUSSES SULAIMANIYAH INCIDENTUnited States Ambassador to Turkey Robert Pearson, whose tenure in Ankara is due to end soon, yesterday visited Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul to discuss a number of issues, including US forces’ detention of 11 Turkish soldiers last weekend in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq. Speaking afterwards, Pearson said that investigation by a joint Turkish-US inquiry was continuing smoothly and that both sides were trying to understand the incident. “We hope that such a thing never happens again,” added Pearson. For his part, Gonul said that he appreciated Pearson’s hard work to improve relations between Ankara and Washington during his nearly three years in the capital. /Aksam/
 IPUK LEADER TALABANI POSTPONES VISIT TO ANKARAIraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani yesterday postponed his scheduled visit to Ankara, news channel NTV reported. No reason was cited for the postponement. /Milliyet/
 ROTH: “TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID SHOULD BE SUPPORTED”Claudia Roth, Germany’s commissioner for human rights, yesterday stated that Turkey’s EU membership bid was deserving of European support. Calling Turkey a natural part of the continent, Roth said, “Some 40 years ago, Turkey began moving closer to Europe. If the Turkish government manages to fulfill the EU’s Copenhagen criteria, Turkey will become part of Union’s ranks. It’s the responsibility of the European Commission to support the country’s efforts towards this end. If Turkey fulfills all the necessary criteria, nobody can exclude it.” /Hurriyet/
 CHENEY’S “TELEPHONE DIPLOMACY” SUCCEEDS IN PREVENTING VOTE ON SO- CALLED GENOCIDE RESOLUTIONIn an effort to mend strained Turkish-US relations, “telephone diplomacy” conducted yesterday by US Vice President Dick Cheney succeeded in preventing a resolution indirectly recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide from being scheduled for a full US Senate vote, Washington sources said yesterday. US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a traditional friend of Turkey, and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage also pitched into the efforts to persuade senators to oppose a vote, top Senate sources added. The resolution was designed to implicitly recognize the so- called genocide while commemorating the anniversary of a United Nations human rights pact. Sources stated that Cheney’s efforts demonstrated Washington’s desire to keep good ties with Turkey and not further unsettle relations, especially in the wake of last weekend’s Sulaimaniya incident. President George W. Bush is currently touring Africa and so was unable to lobby the senators himself. /Sabah/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM THE COLUMNS...
 AFTER THE SULAIMANIYAH INCIDENT
 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on the detention of Turkish special forces by US troops in Sulaimaniyah last weekend and the incident’s impact on Turkish-US relations. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The political and diplomatic fallout left by the Sulaimaniyah incident must be cleared away at once. However, this won’t be easy to do without both sides exerting sincere efforts. Blowing the issue out of proportion obviously would serve neither Washington’s interests nor our own. The US is indisputably the world’s sole superpower. The Washington administration has an ambitious agenda in Asia and a steadfast determination to see it through, and neither Turkey nor any other country is capable of holding it back. Moreover, despite certain bumps in the 50-year Turkish-US relationship, Washington is a true ally to Ankara. And of course, the worst policy for Turkey to pursue would be to challenge the superpower’s global designs. Yet this is not to say that Turkey should move in lockstep with every US demand or willfully ignore such incidents like the one in Sulaimaniyah. But wavering from its basic policy towards the US could have a tremendous impact. Looking from a wider perspective, Turkey failed to handle wisely both the first and second Iraq wars. As a result, Ankara’s hand in northern Iraq is now much weaker in the face of the US, a bitter reality which we must accept.
Powerful countries such as Germany, France, and Russia effectively resisted US pressures and challenged its superiority during the recent Iraq war. But sooner or later the European states will settle their disputes with Washington. What about Turkey? We must be careful not to be branded as a third world country and thus be excluded from global politics. It’s this we should most be concerned about.
Looking from the US perspective, achieving ‘Pax Americana’ in Asia would be quite difficult without Turkey in its corner. Now that Syria and Iran are Washington’s next two targets, it’s just a matter of time before the US puts pressure – first political and then physical – on these countries. Thus, Ankara should be careful about the US’ prospective moves towards these two countries in ‘the axis of evil.’ Rather than opposing it, siding with the US on this issue would be the wisest course for us, one which would boost Ankara’s leverage in the future of the Middle East.”
 CRISIS OVER US AID COMING SOON BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli predicts a crisis over US aid expected for Turkey. A summary of her column is as follows:
“The three-day detention of 11 Turkish special forces soldiers last weekend by US troops in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq, was bad enough. However, this seems to be just the beginning of a new tension between Ankara and Washington. US sources have started to signal a new crisis, one involving a US credit to Turkey. Earlier this year, in his Iraq war budget, US President George W. Bush requested that Turkey be provided with a grant totaling $1 billion, translatable into long-term credits of a much greater amount. However, there were two conditions of disbursement of this sum: Turkey would cooperate with the US in Iraq and comply completely with the International Monetary Fund’s economic program.
At that time there was no great crisis between Turkey and the US over northern Iraq, so those conditions didn’t sound any alarm bells in Ankara. However, with the Sulaimaniyah incident all bets are off. It showed that Turkey and the US aren’t cooperating in northern Iraq; instead, they are competing. Since the incident, US sources have been reminding Turkey of Washington’s conditions for the credit and started to signal that the funds might be delayed. While doing this, the US is effectively saying that Turkey’s soldiers should withdraw from northern Iraq.
The Sulaimaniyah incident is only the tip of the iceberg, and the part underneath is much more complicated and intractable. The detention was nothing but Washington’s warning to Ankara to withdraw its soldiers from northern Iraq. The US doesn’t want any foreign forces there besides its own. However, Turkey’s grounds for keeping an eye on what’s going on in its ‘backyard’ are much more justified. This is where the problem gets knotty. The hidden part of the iceberg lies in Turkey’s the domestic political balances. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) reacted very harshly to the detention, thus defending its right to be in the region. In a way, it’s signaling that withdrawing from Iraq would be a mistake.
By moving European Union reforms forward and not reacting against the US forces’ harsh treatment of Turkish soldiers, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is playing to its domestic audience. The TSK thinks that it’s trumping the AKP’s influence on domestic politics by playing the US or EU card, but actually it’s losing a ‘bargaining chip’ with Europe and especially Washington in terms of foreign policy.”
Turkish Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article