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Turkish Press Review, 03-07-15
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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
15.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... TRUTH AND LIES BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET) THE NEXT STEPS FOR ANKARA AND WASHINGTON BY TUNCAY OZKAN (AKSAM)
 ERDOGAN: “TURKEY HAS RECENTLY TAKEN GREAT STEPS FORWARD ON HUMAN RIGHTS”Turkey has recently taken great steps forward on human rights, but further measures remain to be taken, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. “Our nation must break free of ideological quarreling and instead focus on development, justice, welfare, peace and production,” Erdogan told the Human Rights Advisory Board, a state-founded body bringing together nongovernmental organizations (NGO) representatives to discuss Turkey’s human rights situation. “Our government considers human rights to be a cause which will not only boost the nation’s standing, but also will strengthen ties between the state and the people.” Also speaking to the board, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said that in recent months the government had implemented a number of human rights regulations that would move the nation’s European Union membership bid forward. /Turkiye/
 GUL BRIEFS BAYKAL ON SEVENTH EU HARMONIZATION PACKAGEForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday met with opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal to brief him on the seventh European Union harmonization package due to be sent to Parliament this week. Speaking afterwards, Gul said that he had given Baykal details of the package, adding that he hoped to get the CHP’s support it. Gul further stated that the package would be Turkey’s last and should take effect as soon as possible. /Aksam/
 GUL MEETS WITH PAPANDREOU, DISCUSSES TURKISH-GREEK RELATIONSForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday flew to Istanbul to meet with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who is currently in Turkey to attend the opening of Bilgi University’s summer school session on Turkish-Greek relations. During their meeting, Gul and Papandreou discussed both bilateral relations and regional issues. Later, asked about the upcoming seventh European Union harmonization package, Gul reiterated that the government would send it to Parliament this week. /Turkiye/
 DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF BUYUKANIT: “AS LONG AS THE PKK_KADEK THREAT REMAINS, WE WILL STAY IN NORTHERN IRAQ”Turkey withdrawing its troops from northern Iraq is out of question until the terrorist group PKK_KADEK is completely vanquished and its threat brought to an end, said Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit yesterday. Speaking to journalists at a reception given by the French Embassy, Buyukanit reported that during the meetings of a Turkish-US joint inquiry set up to investigate the Sulaimaniyah incident, US officials hadn’t suggested that Turkey pull back its troops from northern Iraq, adding that Ankara had just cause for the presence of its forces. Earlier this month US troops detained 11 Turkish soldiers in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq, acting on intelligence reports they say alleged a Turkish special forces plot to assassinate a regional Kurdish governor. Many political observers have characterized the incident as a message signaling growing US uneasiness with the continued presence of Turkish forces in northern Iraq. /Cumhuriyet/
 IRISH PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT ANKARAIrish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern is scheduled to arrive in Ankara tomorrow for a one-day official visit. Ahern is expected to meet separately with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. During the meetings, a number of issues, including Turkey’s relations with Ireland and the European Union, are expected to be taken up. Ireland has belonged to the EU since 1973, when it was known as the European Economic Community (EEC). /Turkish Daily News/
 PALESTINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SHAATH TO VISIT TURKEYPalestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath is due to arrive in Ankara today for a three-day working visit at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Shaath is set to meet with Gul and other senior government diplomats and also deliver a speech at a conference on the Palestinian- Israeli peace process and the road map for peace. /Cumhuriyet/
 EP SOCIALIST GROUP HEAD SWOBODA: “EU MEMBERSHIP WOULD REQUIRE TURKEY TO MAKE CONCESSIONS FROM ITS SOVEREIGNTY”Full membership in the European Union will require Turkey to make concessions from its principle of sovereignty, declared European Parliament Socialist group head Hannes Swoboda yesterday. Underlining that the EU constituted an extensive political project, Swoboda said Ankara’s politicians should realize that membership in the Union not only meant being part of Europe but also participating in a political entity that could one day evolve into a European confederation. “I know that Turkey is quite a nationalist country,” remarked Swoboda, who visited Ankara just last week. “Thus, should it really want to take part in this great project, it must be expected to make certain concessions.” /Cumhuriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM THE COLUMNS...
 TRUTH AND LIES
 BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen writes on the Iraq war and Turkish-US relations in light of the postwar situation. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Every day it’s becoming clearer that US President George W. Bush started the Iraq war under false pretenses and that his rationale for war consisted of nothing but made-up stories.
Where are Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction? Prior to the war, the Bush administration insistently told the world that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical and biological weapons and had even developed a nuclear weapons program. Who would believe that Bush lied to us? Who would believe that his most important argument would prove utterly hollow?
The Americans are now arguing over who lied to whom. Did the CIA mislead the president? Or did Bush lie to the world by using some dodgy evidence? No matter who’s responsible for the current situation, it’s clear that the world is now questioning Washington’s credibility.
Yesterday I attended a conference in Istanbul hosted by Professor Lisa Anderson, a Middle East scholar from New York’s Colombia University. Dr. Anderson boldly asserted that each and every piece of evidence which the Bush administration had put forth on Iraq had since been proven outright false or, at a minimum, misleading. According to Anderson, Bush launched his war of aggression in the region not for its oil supplies nor due to the threat Saddam posed to world peace. The real motive was his desire to reshape the whole region, that is to say the Middle East. Anderson contended that Bush believed regime change in Iraq would cause a domino effect leading the whole region into similar so-called ‘liberations.’
However, the Iraqi experience so far has yet to prove successful. ‘The Bush administration didn’t make any plans on how to establish peace and stability in postwar Iraq,’ argued Anderson. ‘Washington is acting like the cowboys of the Wild West!’
How long will this attitude continue? We don’t know. All we know is that the US military presence in the region is meant to be a long-term one. And what will Turkey do under these circumstances? In Dr. Anderson’s view, strained bilateral relations will be mended sooner or later. However, the important point is that Ankara must clarify its Iraq policy as soon as possible. Turkey must immediately decide what it will do in northern Iraq. There are significant differences and controversies between the northern Iraq policies of Washington and Ankara. Therefore, in order to head off future crises, our government should fine-tune its policy, and our countries should put their heads together to develop a joint strategy.”
 THE NEXT STEPS FOR ANKARA AND WASHINGTON
 BY TUNCAY OZKAN (AKSAM)Columnist Tuncay Ozkan comments on what Turkey and the US should do in the wake of the Sulaimaniyah incident. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The joint inquiry set up to investigate the July 4-6 detention of Turkish soldiers by US forces in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq has now completed its work. What will happen next? I consider a quarrel between Washington and Ankara over the report’s findings to be likely. Therefore, we should determine a strategy for this contingency right now.
The US should neither have conducted an operation to get the Turkish soldiers out the region, nor treated them badly and accused them of assassination. The US says that it cannot apologize. This is just the beginning. Washington is only preparing for future attacks. However, it’s on the wrong road. Soon it will realize its mistake but until that time, Turkey mustn’t get upset or fearful.
For this reason, Turkey should clarify its stance. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should maintain the stance he took during his recent telephone conversation with US Vice President Dick Cheney. In addition, the records of this conversation should be distributed to other members of the government so they can all speak with one voice. The US detentions in Sulaimaniyah were clearly planned. Now the language and conclusions of the joint inquiry’s report is very important because it will determine the situation from now on. At this point, Turkey should not relent. We must do what is needed on every issue, including punishing the US soldiers involved.
From now on, Turkey should boost its initiatives in the region both militarily and politically. It should meet the needs of its national interests in northern Iraq with both its military presence and political approach. Towards this end, it should use trade and the economy. As Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok said recently in Diyarbakir, the US will soon turn back to Turkey because there’s no other way. In addition, soon the US and Britain will understand that they’re stuck in a swamp in Iraq.
Ankara should also prepare an agreement on ‘cooperation against terrorism’ and tell Washington against whom it must fight. Turkey should show the US that it’s a great country. However, we should be careful. If the US can’t comprehend our strength, we might end up stuck in the same swamp as the US. For this reason, our politicians should be very careful.”
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