|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-07-14
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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
14.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS... A ‘MODUS VIVENDI’ WITH IRAQ’S KURDS BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM) SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ON US CONGRESS’ AGENDA BY GUNDUZ AKTAN (RADIKAL)
 SEZER SET TO MEET WITH PEARSON, REPORTEDLY PLANS TO CONVEY IMPORTANT MESSAGES TO BUSHPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer is reportedly set today to indirectly convey important messages to his US counterpart George W. Bush concerning the July 4-6 detention of Turkish soldiers by US forces in Sulaimaniyah and the incident’s impact on bilateral relations. During his meeting today with US Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson at the Cankaya Presidential Palace, Sezer is expected to tell Pearson that the detentions were unacceptable to Ankara and furthermore urge the Bush administration to act in act in line with the requirements of the two nations’ strategic partnership. Sezer will also request that Washington punish those responsible for the incident as soon as possible. Sezer is also reportedly planning to hold a meeting with Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in order to discuss the future of Turkish-US relations prior to the month-end National Security Council (NSC) meeting. /Cumhuriyet/
 JOINT INQUIRY ON SULAIMANIYAH INCIDENT MEETS FOR THIRD TIME, HEARS EVIDENCE FROM BOTH SIDESA Turkish-US joint inquiry set up to investigate the Sulaimaniyah incident held its third meeting over the weekend in Ankara. Lt. Gen. John Sylvester, chief of staff of US forces in Europe and head of the American contingent, briefed the participants on the results of his investigative trip to northern Iraq concerning the incident. Sources stated that the Turkish officials also presented extensive evidence to refute US claims that Turkish soldiers were involved in a plot to assassinate the interim governor of Kirkuk. The inquiry is expected to continue its work today. /Cumhuriyet/
 ERDOGAN: “THIS GOVERNMENT’S PRIORITY IS TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP BID”Speaking at a regional meeting of the Justice and Development Party yesterday in the Mediterranean port city of Mersin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the government’s priority was the nation’s European Union membership bid. Also touching on the economy, Erdogan said that Turkey’s recent economic indicators had been very positive and predicted that this situation would continue. “One of the state’s missions is to increase investment and encourage our businessmen so as to boost domestic production,” said the premier. “We have made it easier for our businessmen to set up new firms.” /Aksam/
 GUL: “WE WILL SEND THE SEVENTH EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGE TO PARLIAMENT THIS WEEK”Speaking at a Saturday regional meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the central Anatolian city of Eskisehir, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that the government would send the seventh European Union harmonization package to Parliament this week. Gul further pledged that the AKP was doing its best to assure Turkey’s entrance into the EU, adding that the Turkish nation deserved this membership. “We’ve vowed to our nation to ensure freedom and human rights in Turkey, so we will send the seventh package to Parliament this week,” said Gul. “The AKP came to power in the midst of an atmosphere of chaos and crisis, but it was embraced by the whole nation during last fall’s elections. Our party has dealt with the economic crisis in just eight months. With the revival of the economy, the business sector has begun to produce again.” /Turkish Daily News/
 PAPANDREOU, CEM TO TEACH COURSE ON TURKISH-GREEK RELATIONS IN ISTANBULGreek Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday arrived in Istanbul to attend the opening ceremony of Bilgi University’s summer school studies on Turkish-Greek relations. Papandreou is set to jointly teach a course on Turkish-Greek relations alongside New Turkey Party (YTP) head Ismail Cem, who while foreign minister under the 1999-2002 coalition government helped forge an historic rapprochement with Athens. Stressing that Turkey and Greece should improve their cooperation in all areas, Papandreou stated that he was very happy to participate into such a useful activity with his close friend Cem, as he believed it would greatly benefit Turkey’s young people. The Greek foreign minister is also expected today to meet with his current Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. /Hurriyet/
 BABACAN MEETS WITH IMF TURKEY DESK CHIEF MOGHADAM TO DISCUSS RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTSState Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday met with International Monetary Fund Turkey Desk Chief Riza Moghadam to discuss recent economic developments. Moghadam is in Turkey for the fifth review of its IMF- supported economic program. During their talks, Babacan assured Moghadam that the government would complete its structural reforms as soon as possible. Moghadam also briefed Babacan on his meetings with officials from the State Planning Organization (DPT) and the Central Bank. Also present at the meeting was Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci. /Miliyet/
 UNAKITAN: “AMERICAN INVESTORS ARE WAITING FOR TURKEY’S INTEREST RATES TO FALL”Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan yesterday returned to Turkey from the United States, where he had attended several meetings. Speaking to reporters, Unakitan said that US investors were waiting for Turkey’s interest rates to fall before putting their money here. “When our interest rates go down, we’ll see a flood of investors at our doors,” he said. The finance minister also said that the government would make further adjustments to certain taxes in the interest of a sounder financial sector. In related news, Industry and Trade Minister Ali Coskun returned this weekend from Rome where he had attended a conference. Speaking to reporters, Coskun said that he had briefed the participants on measures to boost Turkey’s competitiveness. /Turkiye/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM THE COLUMNS...
 A ‘MODUS VIVENDI’ WITH IRAQ’S KURDS BY SEMIH IDIZ (AKSAM)Columnist Semih Idiz comments on the need for Ankara to establish a ‘modus vivendi’ with Iraq’s Kurds. A summary of his column is as follows:
“It’s been written too often recently that the US has become ‘Turkey’s neighbor’ and that this is no positive development. Actually, the usefulness for Turkey of the US intervention in Iraq was clear from the very beginning. Now I’m not only writing about developments on the ‘Kurdish issue,’ because the dynamics set on motion by the Iraq war aren’t limited to this. For instance, the dangers of a fundamentalist regime being established in Iraq are very clear. In addition, Turkey’s northern Iraq problem must be solved. If Ankara can cooperate with the northern Iraqi Kurds based on realistic assumptions, a ‘modus vivendi’ can be found for both sides. Contrary to the Arab thesis, Kurds constituting a society open to development according to the Western model should be considered a development in Turkey’s benefit.
Political developments in Washington on Iraq will probably make such a ‘modus vivendi’ a must. Everything depends on the US establishing stability in Iraq. If the US can succeed at this, US President George W. Bush will face fewer problems. This will also erase the perception that ‘Bush lied to the US people.’ However, Bush’s odds of success at this are gradually falling. Additionally, even Gen. Tommy Franks, until recently the commander of allied forces in Iraq, told the US Congress last week that US forces might stay in this country for years, which certainly shows the seriousness of the situation. But it’s not known if the US public will support such an extended engagement. With the recent military losses, the US public is losing patience and the possibility of a new ‘Vietnam syndrome’ grows every day. The calls for withdraw from Iraq which will surely come will also completely change the equation.
The real problem for Turkey will begin with the US’ withdrawal from the region. On that day, Washington will leave a power vacuum behind, thus worsening Ankara’s headache because then Iraq will fall into internal disputes and conflict between its Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. In this case, Turkey, looking for stability at its border, will find only the Kurds being cooperative. Of course Iraq’s ethnic Turkmen will also be involved in this. However, as they are in the majority, the Kurds will continue to be the dominant players. Ankara should make its plans with this in mind. Unless a ‘modus vivendi’ with the Kurds is part of these plans, Turkey falling into the ‘swamp of Iraq’ will be all but inevitable.
In sum, we cannot say that the US is really our neighbor. However, clearly we are living side-by-side with a potential instability which will bring serious problems. Thus, Turkey should take care to act reasonably so as to avoid falling into the same traps that have caught the US.”
 SO-CALLED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ON US CONGRESS’ AGENDA
 BY GUNDUZ AKTAN (RADIKAL)Columnist Gunduz Aktan comments on the so-called Armenian genocide and a possible US congressional vote on the issue. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Would it be the end of world for Turkey should the US Congress recognize the so-called Armenian genocide? Under the law, genocide is a crime, and it’s up to the courts to rule as to whether any given action constitutes a crime. Legislative bodies lack any judicial authority, and any decision they take in this heated debate would have no legal impact. That’s why the French Parliament’s recognition of these genocide allegations two years ago has so far amounted to nothing.
A possible yes vote by the US Congress on the issue is already handicapped anyway. Such a decision, taken on the heels of a recent Turkish-US rift following Ankara’s ‘failure’ to back Washington on the Iraq war, would inevitably look like a ‘payback’ decision. Do you think that Congress would be even considering the measure if our Parliament had allowed the US to use Turkish soil as a springboard for a northern front into Iraq? Who would believe in the sincerity of a decision about the world’s gravest crime, genocide, if it is completely dependent on shifting political minds?
A number of US insurance companies sold life insurance policies to a few thousand Armenians well before the incidents back early in the last century, but never paid on them up due to a lack of demand. Yet we heard recently that heirs to those Armenians, whose numbers are estimated at 7,000-8,000, have applied to these insurance companies to get their ancestors’ money. It’s not clear whether Congress’ decision to recognize the allegation would help them to get it. Following World War II, the US forced Switzerland’s Central Bank plus other banks as well as the Swiss government to pay huge sums of money to the Jewish people. But this was legally possible because there was a Holocaust decision taken during the Nuremberg trials. However, no judicial decision on the Armenian incidents has yet been taken by an internationally recognized court. Moreover, US courts are legally denied any power to pass a binding judgment on the issue.
Over the last five years, we have seen more and more research and meetings both domestic and foreign on the Armenian incidents. A Turkish-Armenian reconciliation commission has been established, and though only partially, the body has discussed this longstanding problem between the two countries. In time, the strength of Turkey’s thesis on the issue has come to be much better understood. Prominent figures within the British and Israeli government have declared that they do not regard the incidents as genocide. Even the Swedish Parliament withdrew its decision recognizing the so-called genocide just a year after adopting it.
Genocide is the attempted total destruction of a people due to racist hatred such as anti-Semitism. However, Turks have never had any feelings of enmity or hostility towards Armenians. Yet certain countries, ones which harbor racist hatred within their own cultures, are alleging that there have been genocides in many countries in the world, including Turkey. At a 2000 congressional hearing, one congressman said, ‘What we did to the Native Americans was also a genocide.’ Is the US trying to cover up its own genocide of Native Americans by periodically dredging up the so-called Armenian genocide issue?”
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