|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-07-28
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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
28.07.2003FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 GUL RETURNS FROM US TRIP, TALKS POSSIBLE
 TROOP DEPLOYMENTForeign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday returned to Turkey from the US, ending his four-day official visit to Washington. Speaking to journalists upon his arrival at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport, Gul said that both nations were fully determined to take joint action in Iraq and that Ankara’s proposals regarding cooperation in the postwar period had been received positively by US officials. Commenting on the prospect of Turkish troop deployments in Iraq, Gul stated, “The question of sending our troops to the country cannot be concluded overnight. The government hasn’t yet discussed the issue.” A Reuters report quoted Gul as saying no decision on troop deployment would come before Parliament adjourns for its summer recess on Aug. 1, which could push the matter back to September. Stressing that the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) views also carried great importance for the government, Gul pledged that every necessary step would be taken in line with Ankara’s interests in the region. “We can’t ignore or deceive ourselves about what’s going on in Iraq,” added Gul. /All Papers/
 PARLIAMENT FACES BUSY SCHEDULE THIS WEEKBefore a summer recess to begin this Friday Aug. 1, Parliament is set this week face an intense schedule. Expected this week are votes on the historic seventh European Union harmonization package and the sale of state-owned former forestland as well as a law allowing amnesty for repentant militants of the outlawed PKK_KADEK terrorist group. Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Salih Kapusuz has asked Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc to preside over these votes. Meanwhile, the AKP administration has called on all its deputies to attend the sessions in full numbers. /Milliyet/
 GREEK PM SIMITIS: “GREECE SUPPORTS
 TURKEY’S EU MEMBERSHIP EFFORTS”During an interview with Greek daily Etnos yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that European Union membership constituted a great opportunity for Turkey. Stressing that Ankara stood at a critical crossroads, Simitis called on the Turkish government to fulfill all the necessary requirements for EU membership. “We’ll support those who say Turkey can’t be left out from developments in Europe, and should instead be admitted to its ranks,” said the Greek premier. Adding that efforts to find a settlement to the Cyprus issue should continue, he warned that “otherwise this matter will remain an open wound.” /Turkiye/
 US COMMANDER: TURKISH, AMERICAN FORCES CONDUCTING JOINT TRAINING EXERCISES IN NORTHERN IRAQTurkish and US forces have begun holding joint maneuvers in northern Iraq, the Associated Press reported over the weekend. “To improve security, the 101st [Airborne Division] has been conducting regular training exercises with Turkish special forces along the Iraqi-Turkish border,” said the AP, citing an interview with Maj. Gen. David Petreaus, the head of the 101st and the top US commander in northern Iraq. The report added that the exercises’ staging ground had been previously used by the terrorist group PKK_KADEK as a base for attacks on Turkish forces. Turkish officials, both civilian and military, have neither denied nor confirmed the report. The fight against the PKK_KADEK was taken up earlier this month in Ankara during meetings between top Turkish military officials and visiting US Gen. James Jones, the supreme commander of allied forces in Europe, and Gen. John Abizaid, the new head of US Central Command. /Sabah/
 WASHINGTON POST’S HOAGLAND: “TURKISH TROOPS
 COULD BE DEPLOYED TO IRAQI-SYRIAN BORDER”Troops from Turkey might best be used in postwar Iraq as border patrol forces, well away from Kurdish-dominated areas, wrote The Washington Post’s Jim Hoagland yesterday. “Turkish units might be useful in coming to Iraq as peacekeepers and then deploying to the Iraqi-Syrian border as a buffer force,” wrote Hoagland, a prominent opinion columnist. He further claimed that the US intends to keep Turkish troops out of the “Kurdish heartland” and said that in the wake of the Iraq war, the Kurds were the US’ “new best friends.” /Star/
 SYRIAN PREMIER DUE IN ANKARA TOMORROWSyrian Prime Minister Muhammed Mustafa Miro is due to arrive in Ankara tomorrow as the official guest of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Miro’s trip is of special importance, as he will be the first Syrian prime minister to come to Turkey in 17 years, and as the visit comes amid US pressure on Damascus to cooperate with its aims in the region and on Ankara to help with this. Miro is set to meet with Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and to confer on the postwar situation in Iraq, the stability of the region and the fight against terrorism. Miro is also expected to sign a number of political and economic cooperation agreements between the two countries. /Cumhuriyet/
 GONENC NAMED OECD TURKEY DESK CHIEFFor the first time a Turk will serve as head of the Turkey Desk at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the OECD has announced. Turkish economist Rauf Gonenc who has worked for the organization since 1992, was promoted to the position last week. Gonenc will take over the post from his colleague Alexandra Iwanchuk Bibbee. /Milliyet/
 OLYMPIC COMMITTEE CHAIR SINAN ERDEM PASSES AWAYTurkey’s National Olympic Committee (TMOK) Chairman Sinan Erdem passed away in Paris last Thursday at the age of 76. Erdem had been suffering from cancer of the liver for some time, and recently underwent liver surgery in France. On Sunday a funeral held in Istanbul for Erdem was attended by many high-level state officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin. /All papers/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…
 FROM THE COLUMNS
 TURKEY’S DECISION
 BY YILMAZ OZTUNA (TURKIYE)Columnist Yilmaz Oztuna comments on a possible deployment of Turkish troops to Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“During his recent visit to Washington, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was treated as if he were our country’s premier. Something incredible even happened: US Secretary of State Colin Powell kissed Gul, a la Turca, on the cheek. Obviously, the US has opened its doors as a test of Turkey. It wants to know our plans and intentions. It seems to be asking for Ankara’s friendship and cooperation. However, it says that covering the expenses of troops we might send to Iraq will fall on us.
We don’t want to act as a police force in Iraq. We sincerely want to participate in Iraq’s reconstruction. The Turkish-US negotiations must proceed on this basis, otherwise they will fail. This is completely a militarily issue. The opinion of our chief of General Staff is key. If he favors sending troops and considers conditions suitable, he should say so. Otherwise Parliament will never give its okay.
If the government decides to send troops, probably it will present a measure for doing so to Parliament. If Parliament rejects this, Turkey will be burning its bridges with the US, and we would have no business in Iraq or the greater Middle East, and the government could even resign. US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has urged Ankara to make a decision on the issue as soon as possible. Powell, however, said the same thing but more diplomatically.”
 BY FIKRET BILA (MILLIYET)Columnist Fikret Bila comments on the need to establish harmony among the government, president and Office of General Staff. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has just returned from the United States. He is expected to share impressions of his Washington visit with the president, government and the General Staff’s Office.
In the wake of the recent tensions between Ankara and Washington, our government needs to develop a new Iraq policy. However, its priority task should be to establish domestic harmony. Ankara failed at this concerning the Iraq war, since first it approved measures to upgrade ports and bases, meant as a prelude to US troop deployments, but then refused the deployments themselves.
While state authorities made conflicting decisions on the US demands, there was no harmony among Cankaya, the government and the General Staff’s Office. Since our government failed to develop a steady policy, we’ve recently run into significant problems in our relations with Washington.
Ankara should stabilize its inconsistent policy regarding the US and northern Iraq. The government should develop its policies together with Cankaya and the chief of General Staff before submitting any bills to Parliament. If it does this, no matter how Parliament decides, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government will be able to avoid incurring more of the harsh criticism it’s recently been subject to.
The first step Turkey should take is to establish harmony between the state authorities. During the decision-making expected to follow Gul’s return, state authorities should act harmoniously while taking care not to let their debates or controversies be leaked to foreign circles. As a matter of fact, the foreign media has recently extensively covered relations between our civilian and military authorities as if serious problems existed between them. This mistaken impression should also be immediately changed by establishing inner harmony.”
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