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Turkish Press Review, 03-07-21
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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
21.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 SEZER: “IGNORING THE TRNC WILL NEVER LEAD TO PEACE”So long as the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is ignored, peace can never be achieved on Cyprus, declared President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday. In a statement marking the 29th anniversary of Turkey’s Cyprus Peace Operation, Sezer called the TRNC a beacon of peace on the island. Echoing Sezer’s comments in his own commemorative statement, TRNC President Rauf Denktas said that recognizing his nation would pave the way for a lasting resolution. /Milliyet/
 GUL TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTONForeign Minister Abdullah Gul is set to begin a four-day official visit to the United States tomorrow. Turkey’s top diplomat is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with high-level US officials, including his counterpart Colin Powell. He is also expected to discuss details of the US’ recent request for Turkish troops to serve in Iraq as well as Ankara’s contributions to Iraq’s reconstruction. In addition, Gul is set to convey Turkey’s concerns over the appointment of Kurdish representative Mahmoud Osman, a known supporter of the terrorist PKK/KADEK, to Iraq’s interim Governing Council. /Turkiye_
 ERDOGAN: “THE US HAS ASKED TURKISH TROOPS TO SERVE IN IRAQ”Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that the Turkish-US strategic partnership was going in a positive direction. Addressing the AKP’s provincial congress in the southeastern Anatolian town of Batman, Erdogan said that Turkey had boosted its profile in the region through implementing effective policies. Stressing that US military leaders visiting Ankara last week had asked Turkey to send troops to Iraq, Erdogan stated that his government had protected the nation’s interests during the Iraq war. Remarking on regional differences between western and eastern Anatolia, the prime minister stressed that the government would support businessmen who want to invest in the nation’s underdeveloped regions. /All Papers/
 BAYKAL: “TERRORISTS IN NORTHERN IRAQ SHOULD BE HANDED OVER TO TURKEY”After attending last week’s Socialist International meeting in Rome focusing on Iraq’s reconstruction process, People’s Republican Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday returned to Turkey. Speaking to reporters, Baykal said that some 5,000-6,000 PKK_KADEK terrorists remaining in US- controlled northern Iraq should be handed over to Turkish authorities as soon as possible. “If Turkey were harboring al Qaeda militants, how would the US react?” asked the CHP leader. /Star/
 BABACAN: “THE FIFTH REVIEW IS DUE TO END BEFORE THE IMF’S SUMMER RECESS”Speaking at a press conference yesterday, State Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan said that the current fifth review of the nation’s International Monetary Fund-supported economic program is due to end just before the IMF’s summer recess, which is set to start next week. “We will present our letter of intent [LOI] to the Fund after completing the review, ” said Babacan. Also present at the press conference were International Monetary Fund Turkey Desk Chief Reza Moghadam, Turkey’s Central Bank Governor Sureyya Serdengecti, and Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci. Moghadam said that the Fund’s Executive Board would gather sometime in the next few weeks when Ankara has completed its reforms. “Now we’re much closer to finalizing the fifth review,” said Moghadam. “Implementation of reforms will pave the way for the IMF Executive Board to consider the fifth review.” /Aksam/
 KOC HOLDING-TURK TELEKOM CONSORTIUM TO PURCHASE BULGARIAN TELECOM FIRMA consortium formed by private group Koc Holding and state landline monopoly Turk Telekom yesterday signed an agreement with the Bulgarian Privatization Agency to purchase 65% of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company, one of the largest state enterprises on Sofia’s privatization slate. Bulgarian Transportation Minister Nikolay Vassilev said over the weekend that the Koc-Turk Telekom consortium had successfully completed meetings with the Bulgarian Privatization Agency and related state ministries. /All papers/
 IZMIR HOSTING FIRST INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ANCIENT SMYRNAThe First International Smyrna Symposium sponsored by the Greater Izmir Municipality is to begin in the coastal city today. The municipality says that over 100 Turkish and foreign archeologists will take part in the symposium held at Sabanci Culture Hall. During the event, participants will discuss and evaluate excavations in Smyrna, as Izmir was known in the ancient world. The symposium will end on Wednesday with a session on “History, Archaeology and Religion.” /Anatolian News Agency/
 ENVIRONMENT AND FOREST MINISTER PEPE RETURNS TO TURKEYEnvironment and Forest Minister Osman Pepe yesterday returned to Turkey from a meeting of European Union environment and energy ministers in Italy. Speaking to reporters, Pepe said that clean energy usage, climate change and various environmental problems had been discussed at the meeting. /Anatolia News Agency/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS
 TURKISH-US RELATIONS BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the latest developments in relations between Ankara and Washington. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Commenting on the US’ bitterness towards Turkey after our Parliament rejected US troop deployments for the Iraq war, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok said at the time, ‘I hope the US won’t be in a position to ask for Turkey’s assistance once again.’ Now we see that the US is effectively in that position and knocking on Ankara’s door for help – albeit after the scandalous Sulaimaniya incident – as part of an international peacekeeping force to work things out in Iraq. However, Turkey granting the requested support on a permanent basis hinges on smoothing out the contradictions between our two countries’ interests on the northern Iraq issue.
Ankara is not likely to back Washington before the US fully acknowledges our country’s rightful concerns about a grave threat, one demonstrated in 25 years of armed attacks coming from within northern Iraq. The main reason for the Turkish military presence in the region is the terrorist group PKK_KADEK. Moreover, Turkish forces are determined to stay there until this terrorist group is completely eradicated. Ankara has said as much to Washington many times. Yet the US is still suspicious about the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) activities in northern Iraq, an attitude which is hard to understand.
The protection of Iraq’s territorial integrity, the establishment of a national army and police force, and the elimination of other armed groups in the region besides these two might be cited as common goals that Turkey and the US share. If Washington is truly sincere in attaining these goals in Iraq, then it should not be pursuing policies at loggerheads with Ankara. Turkey and the US could move in concert and cooperation for the Iraqi people’s interests and security once both our political objectives in Iraq converge and Washington stops acting under the influence of certain regional forces. Moreover, the US must work hard to avoid another Sulaimaniya incident. Turkish-US relations cannot bear another such blow. Now that the US has hit very troubled waters in Iraq, putting relations with Ankara back on the right track depends more on Washington’s constructive efforts.”
 SYRIA’S GROWING PAINSBY FERAI TINC (HURRIYET)
Columnist Ferai Tinc writes on strains in Turkish-US relations over the best policy to take to encourage reform in Syria. A summary of her column is as follows:
“After Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul travels to Washington this week, Syria’s prime minister will visit Ankara. Washington’s hawks consider Syria the biggest obstacle to the Middle East peace process and so are urging us to cooperate against Syria at every turn.
However, when we ask what this cooperation entails, no clear answer is forthcoming. Secretary of State Colin Powell, a figure at odds Bush’s neocons on many issues, thinks it would suffice for Ankara to tell Damascus (and Tehran) to stop supporting terrorists and dismantle their weapons of mass destruction.
Our own neoconservatives agree that Turkey should cut its ties with Syria and Iran. I disagree. Turkey should instead maintain good relations with them while urging them to do better in areas such as democracy and human rights. Such a course would surely please the agents of change in those countries.
Significantly, Syria is expected to end the activities of 10 Palestinian organizations designated as terrorists by the Washington and Israel.
Syria is looking to act carefully, keeping an eye on domestic power balances, and also taking into account the reactions of Palestinian refugees within its own borders.
However, clearly Damascus is trying to draw this issue out so as not to lose its trump card in the Middle East peace process.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been trying to accelerate domestic reforms while not provoking resistance in his ruling Baath Party. He has taken some steps, such as releasing his political opponents. US pressure behind these steps is undeniable. But even Syria’s staunchest reformists would prefer the existing regime to any US intervention. Along these lines, I feel that Ankara’s messages to Damascus will find a better audience than would American invasion.”
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