|Tuesday, 12 November 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 03-07-29
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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
 SEZER APPROVES RTUK LAWPresident Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday signed into law a measure amending the Law on the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK). Under the new law, the members of RTUK are authorized to appoint the head of state broadcaster the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). Meanwhile, the seventh EU harmonization package proposing modifications to the structure of the National Security Council (NSC) was approved yesterday by Parliament’s Justice Commission. /Sabah/
 PARLIAMENT SET TO VOTE ON CONSTITUTIONAL
 AMENDMENT FOR SALE OF FORMER FORESTLANDBefore it breaks for summer recess on Friday, Parliament is scheduled to convene today to vote on a constitutional amendment allowing the sale of state-owned former forestland. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies are expected to be in full attendance at today’s general assembly session in order to get the 367 votes required to pass the amendment. /All Papers/
 CABINET DISCUSSES GUL’S WASHINGTON VISITThe Cabinet convened yesterday to discuss Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s recent visit to Washington as well as bills expected to be debated by the Parliament before it goes on summer recess this Friday. Gul briefed the Cabinet on impressions from his visit, reiterating that the US expected Turkey to participate into a future stabilization force in Iraq. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the prospect of Turkey sending its troops to Iraq would soon be discussed during a separate summit to be attended by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. The government believes that such deployment would necessitate authorization from a new bill prepared in cooperation with the president and the General Staff’s Office. Speaking to the press after the meeting, government spokesman and Justice Minister Cemil Cicek noted that Parliament was expected today to approve a bill allowing amnesty for repentant militants of the outlawed PKK/KADEK terrorist group. /Cumhuriyet/
 GUL: “A PARLIAMENTARY MOTION WOULD BE NEEDED
 TO SEND OUR TROOPS TO IRAQ”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday that in his view, a parliamentary motion would be needed in order for Turkey to send its troops to Iraq. Speaking on television, Gul said that during his visit last week to Washington, US officials had told him of their desire for Turkish-US joint action in Iraq. Noting that the final decision would be Ankara’s, Gul said, “If our troops serve in Iraq, they will be under Turkish command.” Commenting on Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (IPUK) leader Jalal Talabani’s recent statement that there was no need for Turkish troops in northern Iraq, Gul said, “In order to intervene in this region, Turkey should obtain a separate invitation from Iraq’s Governing Council, as well as Talabani and Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party [IKDP] leader Massoud Barzani.” The prime minister added that Turkey could not ignore the continued presence of the terrorist organization PKK/KADEK in northern Iraq and would take all necessary measures in order to defeat it. /Turkiye_
 ECEVIT: “THE US CANNOT IGNORE TURKEY’S INTERESTS”The United States cannot ignore the interests and needs of Turkey, an indispensable part of the Middle East, said Democratic Left Party (DSP) Chairman and former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit yesterday. Urging Ankara to clarify its Iraq policy as soon as possible, Ecevit added that Turkey should not make concessions from its national interests for the sake of maintaining good relations with Washington. /Cumhuriyet/
 SYRIAN PM MIRO: “WE SHOULD ACT TOGETHER ON IRAQ”Syrian Prime Minister Muhammed Mustafa Miro said yesterday that Turkey, Syria and Iran should all act together concerning US policies on Iraq. Miro, the first Syrian premier to visit to Turkey in 17 years, is set to arrive in Ankara today. Speaking on television, Miro stated that Turkey and Syria had security agreements regarding terrorism. “However,” he added, “in both countries, there are people who are violating the law.” Stressing that Damascus wanted to boost its relations with Ankara, Miro said that both nations would benefit from the development of bilateral economic, political and social relations. /Turkiye/
 S&P UPGRADES TURKEY’S RATINGInternational rating organization Standard and Poor’s yesterday announced that it had upgraded Turkey’s rating and affirmed the country’s outlook as stable. S&P said that the upgrade reflected the government’s progress in implementing its International Monetary Fund-backed economic program, despite certain delays. The rating agency warned, however, that Ankara should take care not to deviate from the program in the runup to expected local elections. /Anatolia News Agency/
 GERMAN DAILY BILD: “TURKEY IS 2003’S
 FAVORITE DESTINATION”Turkey is the favorite destination for German vacationers for 2003, German daily Bild reported yesterday. Both the quality of tourist services offered in Turkey and its reasonable prices make the country an attractive one to visit, added the paper. /Hurriyet/
 FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 FROM THE COLUMNS...
 NEW VISION FOR A NEW ERA
 BY SAMI KOHEN (MILLIYET)Columnist Sami Kohen comments on Ankara’s new vision for a new era in its relations with the US. A summary of his column is as follows:
“Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s visit to Washington should be considered a success. Two things had been expected from Gul’s meetings with US officials: repairing the damage wrought to bilateral relations by our rejection of US troop deployments back in March and then by the Sulaimaniya incident, and ensuring a common understanding for normalizing relations. When Gul returned to Ankara, he stated that a new era had begun in Turkish- US relations. This might be the situation in terms of relations between the governments. However, in terms of public opinion, dispelling the disappointment and doubts caused by recent incidents might not be so easy. Probably the beginning of a ‘new era’ for the public will take more time.
Gul’s visit to Washington focused in particular on the prospect of our sending troops to Iraq, and this issue dominated our media’s coverage. However, Gul’s visit and his meetings in Washington shouldn’t be evaluated through this lens alone. The issue of our sending troops to Iraq came up even before Gul’s visit. In other words, even if he hadn’t gone to the US, discussions on this issue would have begun here. Gul had the chance to express Turkey’s views, especially during his face-to-face meetings with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Circles close to Gul and US sources give the impression that Ankara didn’t reach any binding undertaking about our sending troops to Iraq and that the US had no misunderstandings on the issue. This is very important, because the March crisis over the proposed US troop deployment in Turkey resulted from misunderstandings. This time there’s no need for such, because the situation has been clearly and mutually laid out. In Washington’s view, now Ankara can make a decision as it wants. How would a ‘no’ answer from Ankara affect this new era? There’s no clear answer to this.
Excepting the issue of our sending Turkish troops to Iraq, there was a vision in Gul’s meetings. This was the role which Ankara can play in Iraq and the Middle East, the government’s new approach to solving chronic problems, including the Cyprus issue, and the model which was developed by Ankara by developing a democratic regime. Gul’s messages to US officials concerning these issues signalled a new strategy and vision. This might be the real factor for the healthy development of Turkish-US relations in the new era.”
 POSSIBLE TURKISH TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN IRAQ
 BY ALI BAYRAMOGLU (YENI SAFAK)Columnist Ali Bayramoglu comments on the prospect of Turkish troop deployment in Iraq. A summary of his column is as follows:
“The short-term interests of nations may sometimes come together, despite clear differences in their long-term plans. This is how they come to cooperate notwithstanding a concealed state of mutual conflict. Such is the current course of Turkish-US relations. Ankara’s sensitivities in northern Iraq, its anxiety over a Kurdish stronghold in the region, its counterbalancing Turkmen policy and the will to sustain its military presence there – all these are the basic contours of Ankara’s official northern Iraq policy. Yet, the region’s reins are in the hands of a US unable to hide its uneasiness with the Turkish policy and certain of our controversial moves there. Nowhere was this clash of interests between the two countries more evident than in the recent Sulaimaniya incident.
However, the US invasion forces in Iraq are now in a difficult situation, unable to restore order and losing more and more soldiers to guerrilla attacks every day. Thus, the Bush administration has opted to establish an international stabilization force and asked Turkey to contribute its troops. Ankara sees this as an opportunity to realize its short-term interests such as mending relations with Washington and becoming part of the equation in postwar Iraq, the north in particular. Now is time for Turkey and the US to sit down and talk to each other concerning their respective fundamental interests in Iraq. As a matter of fact, after returning from Washington Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters that Turkey sending troops to Iraq would be useful but that if it happens, they would not serve as a mere ‘police force.’
We have to realize one thing: Deploying troops in Iraq would be wrong both in principle and in practice. In principle, it would be joining ranks with an invasion force. And in practice, it would be nothing more than a desperate attempt to become part of the equation. First of all, Turkish forces moving beyond the lines drawn up by the US would be quite impossible, as that would constitute a challenge to the US’ broader designs for the region. Moreover, no one can guarantee that a international stabilization force deployed in Iraq won’t turn into a tool effectively stoking the Bush administration’s arrogant attitude and ambitions. Within such a framework, the goals Turkey has its sight set on seem very hard to achieve. In other words, under these circumstances Turkish forces in northern Iraq cannot curb US-backed Kurdish rule.”
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