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Turkish Press Review, 03-07-18
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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
18.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS… WHITHER TURKEY? BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE) LAWLESSNESS AND CORRUPTION CANNOT GO UNPUNISHED BY ALI BAYRAMOGLU (YENI SAFAK)
 SEZER RECEIVES ERDOGAN, OZKOK TO DISCUSS TURKISH-US RELATIONSPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday received Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok to discuss the future of Turkish-US relations. They reportedly discussed the detention of Turkish soldiers by US forces in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq earlier this month and subsequent developments. A joint Turkish-US inquiry released a statement on the incident earlier this week. /Sabah/
 ERDOGAN MEETS WITH IRISH PRIME MINISTER AHERN, DISCUSSES TURKEY’S EU BIDPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with his visiting Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern to discuss Turkey’s European Union membership bid. Ireland is due to assume the EU’s rotating presidency next January. During their talks, Erdogan sought Ireland’s support for Ankara to begin accession negotiations after the EU’s December 2004 summit. For his part, Ahern praised Turkey’s recently passing the sixth EU harmonization package. He added that next May, during Ireland’s presidency, he hoped to admit a united Cyprus into the EU’s ranks. Speaking afterwards, Erdogan said that Turkey’s top goal was to get a date to begin accession talks with the Union. “Our government is determined to implement all necessary reforms by the end of this year,” said the premier. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN: “GREECE SHOULD OPEN ITS BORDERS TO VISITING TURKISH CYPRIOTS”Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with Ali Buluc, Turkey’s ambassador to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). During their meeting, Erdogan spoke of Turkey’s decision earlier this year to unilaterally lift visa requirements for Greek Cypriots visiting Turkey for short periods. Greece should extend the same courtesy to citizens of the TRNC, said Erdogan. /Anatolia News Agency/
 TOP US GENERALS TO VISIT ANKARA IN WAKE OF SULAIMANIYAH INCIDENTUS Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Gen James L. Jones and Gen. John Abizaid, the head of US Central Command and successor to Gen. Tommy Franks, are scheduled to arrive in Ankara today. There they are set to meet with Turkey’s top military commander, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, and are expected to discuss the US detention of 11 Turkish soldiers in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq earlier this month as well as how to defeat PKK/KADEK forces in the same region. /Aksam/
 BAYKAL LEAVES FOR ITALY TO ATTEND SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL MEETINGOpposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday flew to Italy to attend a meeting of the Socialist International. Speaking before his departure, Baykal told reporters that such issues as postwar Iraq and the Middle East peace process would be taken up during the two-day meeting. Baykal said that Socialist International officials had recently visited the region and would tell the meeting what they saw. “Problems on the Iraq issue and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute are holding back international peace and stability,” said Baykal. “The CHP will express its views and approaches towards the Iraq issue.” /Anatolia News Agency/
 ATALAY PLEDGES NEW PRESS LAW HARMONIZED WITH EU STANDARDSState Minister Besir Atalay yesterday announced the draft of a new Press Law at a press conference at Ankara’s Bilkent Hotel. The draft, which was prepared in accordance with all relevant EU norms, proposes a wholesale revision of the current Press Law. Atalay stated that the main goal of the bill was to expand the scope of freedom of the press in line with all relevant universal values and EU standards in particular. He added that the draft was due to be submitted to Parliament together with another bill on the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) at the beginning of the new legislative year, after Parliament’s summer recess. /Sabah/
 TUSIAD, US CYPRUS COORDINATOR WESTON ADDRESS FUTURE OF ISLANDBogazici University and the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’ Association (TUSIAD) yesterday jointly hosted a conference entitled “The Annan Plan: Dreams and Realities” to discuss recent developments on the Cyprus issue. TUSIAD Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan told the gathering that the issue should be resolved as soon as possible to further Turkey’s own national interests. “TUSIAD has never believed in forsaking Cyprus,” added Ozilhan. “However, we can see that policies which isolate Turkey from the rest of the world only work against us.” Also speaking at the conference, US State Department Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston said that Washington considers UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan “the last opportunity” for the island. Arguing that the plan presents a fair and balanced settlement, Weston argued that a unified Cyprus would greatly help Turkey’s own EU membership bid. /Cumhuriyet/
 DE SOTO AIDE: “ANNAN’S PLAN WOULD EXPAND TURKEY’S RIGHTS ON CYPRUS”In an address to yesterday’s Cyprus conference jointly hosted by TUSIAD and Bogazici University, Robert Dann, an aide to UN Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto, said that Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan would give Turkey more rights and responsibilities concerning Cyprus. Underlining his disagreement with those who believe Annan’s plan will be difficult to implement, Dann stated, “The plan would actually expand the scope of Turkey’s rights and responsibilities on Cyprus. It would also guarantee the island’s territorial integrity, security and constitutional order. Greek Cypriots are looking more favorably at the plan than the Turkish Cypriots and their leaders.” Broaching the possibility of a federal Cypriot state, Dann added, “These nations could move forward under a new name and a new flag.” /Turkish Daily News/
 IMF’S DAWSON: “STATEMENT ON FIFTH REVIEW IS EXPECTED TOMORROW”The start of the sixth review of Turkey’s International Monetary Fund- supported economic program has been held up due to delays in negotiations and certain legislation, said IMF External Affairs Director Tom Dawson yesterday. But, speaking to a Washington press conference, he signalled that combining the current fifth review and the sixth was unlikely to happen. “The [visiting] mission that is hopefully completing tomorrow is conducting the fifth review, so that is a review underway,” Dawson stated. “Therefore, there would be a sixth review at a later point. I fully expect that the Fund will have a statement when [the mission] concludes tomorrow.” Dawson also called it premature to set a date for the IMF Executive Board to discuss Turkey. “Time is running short at this point, but … we will, again, informally let you know when we have a date,” he said. He added that the delay of the sixth review was part of a “natural process.” /Milliyet/
 MASSIVE RESEARCH SHIP SET TO BEGIN OIL EXPLORATION IN BLACK SEAThe Ramform Challenger, one of the world’s largest seismic research vessels, yesterday docked in Istanbul prior to embarking on exploration for oil in the Black Sea. The ship’s 50-day exploratory mission is a joint venture between the Turkish Petroleum Cooperation (TPAO) and British Petroleum. /Anatolia News Agency/
 FROM THE COLUMNS… FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS…
 WHITHER TURKEY?
 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on Turkey’s course in both its relations with the US and its European Union membership bid. A summary of his column is as follows:
“I hope that Sulaimaniyah incident is now behind us. Inevitably, we’ll have more problems with the US in Iraq and the surrounding region. Therefore, we should tread carefully. Otherwise, disagreements between Ankara and Washington will multiply. For example, clearly the US doesn’t look favorably on Iraq’s ethnic Turkmen. Due to its overly high esteem for the Kurds, the US might give them more than their due in Iraq’s future government.
If a trio of the US, the Britain and Turkey had set up camp in Iraq some time ago, the nation might have more quickly gotten a proper government. But we squandered this historic opportunity back in March. If now we find ourselves in a tight spot, we’ve no right to complain. Good relations with Washington are more important than Iraq’s problems. Any foreign policy failing to grasp this will be to our detriment.
However, our relations with the European Union supercede all other issues. On this matter hinges Turkey’s very civilization. Stubbornly resisting EU standards would cause us within a few years to degenerate into an undeveloped third world country. In so doing, we would effectively abandon Ataturk’s dream project of Turkey attaining the standards of modern civilization.”
 LAWLESSNESS AND CORRUPTION CANNOT GO UNPUNISHED
 BY ALI BAYRAMOGLU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Ali Bayramoglu writes about allegations of lawlessness and corruption in Turkey. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The last living general involved in Greece’s 1967 military coup still languishes in prison, unable to even get an old-age release before he apologizes to the Greek people, something so far he has refused. Meanwhile here in Turkey, the leader of the 1980 military takeover – the nation’s third plus the ‘postmodern coup’ of 1997 – is now living a relaxing retirement on our southern Mediterranean shore, opening exhibits, posing cheek-to-cheek with pop singers for the paparazzi and commenting on heated political debates like some respected senior statesman.
If a crime goes unpunished then it’s no longer a crime. It gains legitimacy and becomes part of the normal functioning of the system. Sheer might and power worship replace rules and principles. This has always been the picture in this country, and so it remains. This is how military coups in Turkey have become legitimate, as have the massacres of the 1970s and almost every political corruption case to date.
Turkey is the only country which has yet to shed light on its role in the international Lockheed scandal of 1976, when it was revealed that the company had bribed politicians and prominent military figures all over the world, including in Turkey, to boost its aircraft sales. The incident was covered up with the resignation of the Air Forces commander of the time. Certain provisions the 1982 Constitution itself prevent any further investigation into the affair. Moreover, Turkey is the only country where writing and commenting on this scandal are still seen as an insult to certain institutions.
Koray Aydin, who served as public works and housing minister under the 1999- 2002 Democratic Left Party (DSP)-led coalition government, had to step down after delivering a pathetic, miserable speech, due to corruption allegations and near-indisputable evidence of his involvement in such shameful acts. But that was the end of it. How can our corrupt system be brought to an end without punishing people like Aydin, if he really is guilty? How can we establish a transparent system if lawlessness, corruption and those involved in such misdeeds escape punishment? If transparency requires bringing former state ministers, prime ministers and even chiefs of General Staff before the law, isn’t that worth it?”
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